Board of Directors
The PDGA Global Board of Directors is required for nonprofit status and mandated by the PDGA bylaws. In addition to semi-annual summit meetings, the board conducts monthly teleconferences with staff to accomplish its varied goals, such as setting PDGA policies; hiring and supervising of the executive director, who is responsible for headquarters, staff and ongoing operations; financial managements, including an annual budget; identifcation of responsible future board members; and representing the membership's visions for the future of the sport and the association.
The first formal all-member election for the first PDGA board of directors was held in late 1986. The first board—Ted Smethers #1159, Rick Rothstein #2458, Tom Monroe #33, Steve Wisecup #1467, Darrell Lynn #784, and Joe Feidt #362—began to chart a course through fits and starts that would gradually allow the PDGA to grow into the organization it is today.
For additional information, please see the PDGA Elections page.
All board members are elected by the PDGA membership except for those denoted with an (a) which have been appointed by the board of directors according to article 3.3 of the PDGA Bylaws.
Nate Heinold, #49340
- Serving: 2017 - present
- Location: Washington, IL
- Education: Masters Degree (MBA), CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter)
- Occupation: Vice President, Ledgestone Insurance
Professional Experience: For the last eleven years Nate has worked at Ledgestone Insurance as the Vice President. Nate has approximately 1000 clients all over the Midwest including several disc golf organizations. Nate focuses on commercial insurance and has a specific focus with contractors and Churches. Nate specializes in risk management for his clients, and his focus at the university level was in financial matters. He has an MBA from Illinois State University and has the equivalent of a Masters Degree in Insurance, the CPCU.
Disc Golf Experience: Nate has run the Ledgestone Insurance Open disc golf event for the last 11 years and has run over 55 other events. He is also the TD of another Elite Series event, the Discraft Great Lakes Open. He was the TD for the 2019 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships and will be the TD for the 2022 Combined PDGA Masters and Juniors Professional Disc Golf World Championships. Nate has been involved with several course projects in the Central Illinois area, ranging from funding, construction, design, etc.
Elaine King, #3090
- Serving: 1990 - 1999, 2017 - present
- Location: Durham, NC
- Education: B.SC. Biochemistry, Ph.D. Analytical Chemistry
- Occupation: Consultant, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Quality
Professional Experience: With a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry, Elaine has worked in academic and industrial research and in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Elaine held positions of Research Scientist and Associate Director in R&D; Site Quality Head; and global Head of Analytical Sciences, Manufacturing for GlaxoSmithKline. During her career Elaine managed up to 150 employees and budgets of up to $11 million. Several years ago, she elected to leave full time employment and has formed an LLC specializing in consulting for the pharmaceutical industry.
Disc Golf Experience: Elaine discovered disc golf in Toronto in 1983 and first competed in 1984. Her achievements include: 5x Open Women’s World Champion (1991-1994, 1997); 2x US Women’s Disc Golf Champion (2003, 2007); 2x Masters Women’s World Champion (2009, 2017); Disc Golf Hall of Fame inductee (1997); 4x Women’s Player of the Year (1990, 1993, 1994, 1997); Senior Player of the Year (2012). She has had the opportunity to play disc golf in North America, Europe and Japan and has competed in more than 570 tournaments with more than 300 wins.
Over the years Elaine has volunteered her time to the disc golf community in various positions. She was on the PDGA Board of Directors from 1990-1999 as Regional Director then as Commissioner. In 2017, she was appointed to the board and was elected in 2019. Elaine was a founding member and secretary (2002-2017) of the Disc Golf Foundation, a charitable organization (501c3) which brings disc golf to underserved populations. She served on the PDGA Europe Board of Directors (2017-2020). She has been chairing the PDGA Women’s Committee, and she established the PDGA Medical Committee.
David Schreff, #177512
- Serving: 2021 - present
- Location: Connecticut
- Education: MBA Marketing, University of Connecticut; BA Government, Wesleyan University
- Occupation: CEO at ACTV8me.com, a global media, sports and entertainment software solutions provider.
CEO and Board Director: ACTV8me.com (global media, advertising and sports technology platform)
President and COO, Board Director: Marvel Entertainment (comic book-superheroes development, TV, licensing and marketing)
President, Global Marketing and Media, National Basketball Association (NBA)
Vice-President, Walt Disney Television (Disney Channel)
Chairman of the Board, USA Volleyball (national volleyball governing body of the US Olympics and Paralympics Committee)
National Director, Affiliate Marketing and Strategy, Viacom (Showtime Networks)
Visiting Professor or Assistant Professor in executive graduate MS, graduate MBA/MS degrees, and undergraduate programs in sports management, entertainment management, sports marketing, sports journalism, advanced sports marketing research, and other business/communications topics at University of Massachusetts/Amherst-Isenberg School of Business, Marist College-School of Communications, Iona College-Hagan School of Business, Boston University- Questrom School of Business, and Parsons School of Design (New York City and Paris, France).
Biography/Candidate Statement: I’ve devoted my entire career to serving as a senior executive and board director of high growth sports, media, entertainment and tech companies, and developing expertise in event management, player/athlete/talent management, membership development, corporate sponsorship sales and marketing, licensed merchandise design and marketing, and media (linear, streaming, CTV, digital out of home, retail and venue).
I will add measurably to the growth of the PDGA to further popularize disc golf as a performance and recreational sport, offer ideas to drive participation and membership, enhance the celebrity of high performance PDGA athlete competitors, enlist the support of media and tech companies to drive viewership/usage, grow licensed merchandise interest, attract endemic and non-endemic corporate sponsorship revenue to serve the PDGA and the entire disc golf community.
I will apply particular expertise in marketing to GenX, GenY, GenZ consumers who comprise key components of the future growth of the sport, based on my prior executive or Board of Directors work at the National Basketball Association, Marvel Entertainment, Walt Disney and the Olympics. Further, I’ve served as a Professor at leading universities in sports business, sports communication, and entertainment management.
Disc Golf Experience: I bring an avid fan’s perspective to disc golf, because fans drive the ultimate value of all sports. My children, nephews and nieces play disc golf, some competitively and some for the pure recreational value. They taught me how to play disc golf as a family participation sport. I grew up near the original Frisbee Pie Bakery in Connecticut, that initiated the U.S. flying disc fan base, and that later evolved into disc golf, so it’s a pleasure all these years later to be a player, a fan and now a PDGA Board member.
Wilbur Wallis, #6583
- Serving: 2021 - present
- Location: Rantoul, IL
- Education: Some college
- Occupation: Manager at a bicycle helmet and accessories manufacturer
Professional Experience: Wilbur has worked in retail and restaurants for over 20 years, so he has a lot of experience dealing with many types of personalities. He is currently the Distributions Projects Manager for a large bicycle helmet and accessories manufacturer. In his work, he is responsible for a department of 25 people that builds freestanding displays filled with various bicycle helmets and accessories. These displays are in most major retailers in North American. He helps design, layout, test, and build these displays. He has interaction with many outside suppliers, salespeople and buyers as well as working with every department within the organization on a daily basis. He has been with this company for over 19 years.
Disc Golf Experience: Wilbur began playing disc golf in 1986 in Bradley Park in Peoria, Illinois. He joined the PDGA in 1992. In the almost 30 years since then, He has been the TD of over 150 events, both sanctioned and non-sanctioned. He has been on staff at 15 World Championships, 12 USWDGC’s and 4 other Majors, usually as a Course Director. Wilbur was named as the first Illinois State Coordinator and served in that position from 2000 to 2004. He was on the Board for the Peoria (IL) Frisbee Club for many years, serving as the President for 10 years. After moving to the Champaign, IL area, he helped start the Champaign County Disc Golf Club and has served as the President since its founding in 2015. Wilbur is a member of the Disc Golf Course Design Group and has designed or consulted on more than 30 disc golf courses in the Midwest. Wilbur has served on the Illinois Disc Golf Hall of Fame Committee since it's founding and was inaugurated into the IL HOF in 2021. He has ran clinics/demonstrations for many years introducing children and adults to the sport. His local DG club is partnered with one of the park districts, and he has taught classes through them. Wilbur was named an Innova Ambassador in 2018. He is also a moderator/admin for several disc golf Facebook pages.
Biography/Candidate Statement: Married 37 years. One daughter and one granddaughter who may be the first 4th generation PDGA member. I have been heavily involved with the PDGA for many years, and I feel it is time for me to be on the Board. I think that the future of our sport is getting more diversity and more youth involved. I am a supporter of the EDGE program and would love to work with the Youth and Education Coordinator to try to get disc golf into more schools. High schools need disc golf teams! I also consider myself a "rules guru" and many people come to me with rules questions.
Laura Nagtegaal, #44969
- Serving: 2015 - 2017, 2019 - present
- Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
- Education: Computer science and psychology
- Occupation: Self-employed, live music industry
Biography: Laura is a self-made woman with a can-do attitude. Solar, inspirational, strong, and empathic. Important mottos for her are:
“You cannot get the big picture right if you ignore the small details.”
“Representation and visibility will, inevitably, lead to awareness. Through awareness, the path to acceptance can be found, and followed.”
In 2016, she finally learnt to accept herself for who she truly is, and shared with the world that the doctors made a grave mistake when they assigned her the misnomer “boy” at birth. Until then, if she even got described at all, apathetic, arrogant, aloof, invisible, facts-driven, clinical, and robotic were oft-used adjectives.
2016/17 was a “tear it all down and rebuild from the ground up” period; necessary and inevitable to rise from her own ashes like a Phoenix. Since, she’s landed in her new life more and more, and where her emotional footprint used to be 0.3 (even smaller just wasn’t possible), she’s now proudly and fiercely taking up 1.4.
Professional Experience: Initially, she sank her teeth in IT, as that was what she always assumed she was meant to be doing. Luckily, in the mean time, from the late ‘90s on, her passion for behind the scenes work in the live music industry got kindled into a full flame. She made it her full-time self-employed job in 2002. The first day that job feels like a “real job” still needs to present itself. Most-used job descriptions for her work are “guitar technician” and “tour manager”, but the best one may simply be “safety net”.
Since 2019, she’s also a volunteer counsellor for gender-questioning and transgender folx. This may very well be a combination of pay-it-forward and retro-actively applied self-help.
After her transition, and with the pause button being pressed on the live music industry, she has intentionally become very active (both on an activistic and philosophical level) in advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in life in general, through her being politically active, and her live music industry & sports networks.
Disc Golf Experience: On the fairway, her experience, aspiration, and goals have almost exclusively been focused on beating/improving herself (“play above her player rating”), and possibly the course (stay close to par). It wasn’t – and won’t – ever be about beating others, let alone about winning events and trophies.
Many in the disc golf community will probably remember her from when she became disc golf’s first openly transgender world champion in 2019.
What will hopefully be the lasting imprint she leaves on the sport, however, is what she did behind the scenes.
Within months after starting playing disc golf, she took on various roles. In less than five years, that evolved from Chair of Workgroup Disc Golf for the Nederlandse Frisbee Bond (Dutch national flying disc association), to being appointed (and elected twice) PDGA Board of Directors member.
Her being part of the Dutch Open staff resulted in her programming a fully automated registration module for the world’s first tiered ratings-based & multi-division tour (the EuroTour implemented that in 2011, Dutch Open was the first event to put that to practice). Ultimately that led to becoming the core of DiscGolfMetrix’s code.
In Europe, she quickly became a well-respected provider, facilitator, and knowledge base, whether as PDGA EuroTour Manager, PDGA Europe Interim Administrator, or being on-site in an official role at most of Europe’s highest profile events between 2014 and 2018.
Almost at the start of her career, she was awarded a PDGA Europe Volunteer of the Year award, which she reluctantly but proudly accepted as “prematurely handed-out lifetime achievement award”.
Leah Tsinajinnie, #139109
- Serving: 2021 - present
- Location: Decatur, GA
- Education: Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S. in Business Administration. Arizona State University, J.D. Candidate.
- Occupation: Full-time Touring Pro
Disc Golf Experience: Leah first started playing disc golf in May 2020. In her short time playing, she competed in many tournaments and began touring full-time in the FPO division. Leah currently serves on the PDGA Diversity and Outreach Task Force. In the fall of 2020, Leah helped organize a tournament called the Color of Disc Golf, which celebrated players identifying as Black, Indigenous, People of Color.
Biography/Candidate Statement: Hello friends! I respectfully ask you to admit this statement as my letter of interest for my candidacy as a PDGA Board of Directors Member. I am a newer community member in disc golf, and I believe that my diverse experiences can bring a fresh look in helping to grow the sport. My extensive experiences include: being an organizer, volunteer, leader, coach, and top level competitor in ultimate frisbee; interning at various non profits while in law school; and traveling this season as a full-time touring disc golf professional.
My passion to be a PDGA Board Member stems from my excitement in being on the PDGA Diversity and Outreach Task Force and my overall enthusiasm to serve the community. I thrive most when I can give back to others that have given so much to me. Disc golf created a fun, safe space for me to feel successful and to make new friends. As a result, I feel strongly compelled to bring others into the sport so that they can see the joy of playing.
Priorities as a Board Member:
- TRANSPARENCY. Communicating effectively with my fellow Board Members. Being open and honest about Board activities and decisions. Clearly stating goals and directives in a timely manner. Recognizing and acknowledging the value of each member’s input.
- DIVERSITY AND EQUITY. Making efforts to diversify the sport by bringing in people from underrepresented populations while prioritizing growth in an equitable manner. Redirecting more resources towards communities focusing on growth for women, youth, and Black, Indigenous, People of Color, people identifying as LGBTQ+, and other diverse populations.
- AWARENESS. Building a sport culture that prioritizes a community-driven mindset and creating strong, local support systems. Recognizing the spectrum of intersectional goals that the PDGA and its members can achieve by identifying and connecting issues within the sport. Making time as a Board Member for reflection and adjustments in all aspects of my role.
I chose these priorities based on my conversations with disc golf community members and listening to the improvements people would like to see, as well as my personal analysis for areas of growth. The time for a better future in disc golf starts now! If chosen to serve on the Board, I will use my education, life experiences, 12 years of ultimate experience, and 10 years of professional experience to ensure a productive, forward-looking Board of Directors.
Geoff Hungerford, #688
- Serving: 2020 - present
- Location: Louisville, CO
- Education: Ph.D. Materials Science, B.S. Chemical Engineering
- Process Engineer: silicon wafer fabrication
- Engr Manager: Microlithography
- Engr Manager: magnetic recording head fabrication
- Software Development (enterprise storage systems)
- Physics Teacher (college level)
- 3 U.S. Patents: #6362934, #6212040, #6118605
Disc Golf Experience:
- First major disc golf tournament: 1974 American Flying Disc Open
- Competed in 1975, 76, 77 World Frisbee Championships (Rose Bowl)
- Designed Colorado's first installed disc golf course (CU campus 1975)
- Founded the Colorado Disc Sports Assn (1992), a 501(c)(4) non-profit
- Over 100 PDGA pro wins (never competed as an amateur)
- PDGA Sr. Player of the Year (last 2 years)
Biography: Geoff Hungerford was a career engineer, working in new product development for over 40 years in the USA and United Kingdom. Geoff retired from engineering in 2016 and is now engaged full time with disc golf competitions and related pursuits. He has served for over 3 years on the PDGA Seniors committee. Geoff was also a director for the Mile High Disc Golf Club until his board position expired recently.
Geoff started competing at disc golf in 1974 at the American Flying Disc Open. He designed the first Frisbee golf course in Colorado (1974), which was permanently installed in 1976 by the Univ. of Colorado. He started the Chinook Frisbee Group in Boulder, CO in 1975. He ran the Boulder Flying Disc Festival in 1977. He competed in the World Frisbee Championships at the Rose Bowl in 1975, 76 and 77, invited by Wham-O Mfg. Co. He served as one of two International Frisbee Association (IFA) Regional Directors for region 9 from 1976-78.
Since that time Geoff has had an unquenchable passion for disc golf. In 1992 he founded the Colorado Disc Sports Association, a 501(c)(4) that managed the Colorado disc golf tour. He's won over 100 PDGA pro events with career earnings in excess of $63,000. Over the past four years Geoff has been engaged full time competing in the biggest disc golf events offered in the USA and Thailand. He competes in 30-40 PDGA events per year across the U.S.
Candidate Statement: I have been passionate about disc golf since the PDGA was created in 1976. Ed Headrick told us why he was starting the PDGA at the Western Nationals in 1976 held in Boulder, CO. He anticipated the sport would grow tremendously and need regulation for professionals who play for money, like other professional sports. Since then the PDGA has achieved Ed's original vision and taken the sport to levels unimaginable at that time. Tournaments, tours, players, clubs and companies have come and gone since then, but the PDGA has endured with the vision of taking our sport to the next level of professional sports.
I'm still as excited today about that vision as I was almost a half century ago. I want to see disc golf take its place among major professional sports. Now that disc golf is a full time pursuit for me, I have the time to contribute to the PDGA Board. With my travel schedule taking me to a new city almost every week, I can see firsthand how the sport is developing at major events. I'm active on social media and love to interact with disc golfers. I'm most excited about three things in particular:
- growth among women playing disc golf
- media coverage of major events both Pro and Am
- a PDGA Seniors Tour modeled after the PGA Seniors Tour