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PDGA Staffs Up to Meet Membership Growth


2019 PDGA Pro Worlds Gallery

Growth has defined disc golf over the past 18 months, and the Professional Disc Golf Association is no exception. We continue to break records in active memberships and sanctioned events month over month. To keep up with this surge, we are happy to announce that we have made some changes to the organization and staff to better serve our members while also continuing to fulfill our obligations as the global governing body of disc golf.

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2021 active membership figures as of April 2021

The first change was to restructure the “PDGA Tour” and “Events” offices into new directorates and rename them to better reflect their responsibilities while making it easier for members to find the correct office for support. The “PDGA Tour” office, which is the primary contact for tournament directors and players seeking assistance for sanctioned events, has been renamed “Event Support”, while the previous “Events” office will be renamed to “Operations & Logistics.” These changes will go into effect over the next few weeks as we work on filling positions and updating our website and phone systems to appropriately reflect the changes.

Event Support Team

Player participation and tournament development are two of the top priorities of the PDGA Mission Statement. To grow and strengthen this part of our mission, we are excited to announce the establishment of two new positions that will be added to the Event Support Team. These individuals will be dedicated to directly supporting tournament directors and players of our ever-growing sanctioned events, from PDGA Leagues to Majors and everything in between. They will also focus on developing training materials to better prepare and educate tournament directors and players to run and participate in sanctioned events. They are the direct support line to the PDGA seven days a week, including weekends where most events are held. 

Andrew "Big Dog" Sweeton, Director of Event Support

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Andrew “Big Dog” Sweeton #21582

The former Tour Manager and longest-tenured PDGA staff member is shifting his responsibilities to focus solely on directing the overall events process, including event sanctioning, tournament management, tournament director and player support, as well as the creation and implementation of training programs. Andrew is a perfect fit for this role as he has dedicated the past 10 years keeping PDGA events running smoothly as PDGA membership, and the number of sanctioned events has grown exponentially year over year.

Todd Lion, Event Support and Training Manager

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Todd Lion #35916

Moving over from the current Events Team, Todd Lion will take on a full-time event support role, assisting TDs and players with event questions, post-event clarifications, and administering rules and sanctioning procedures. Since 2019, Todd has been a familiar face on the road at National Tour and Major events, working with the local teams to set up courses, act as a roaming marshal, and provide additional day-of event support. He brings this hands-on experience from dozens of elite-level events to daily event and TD support moving forward.

Mike "Sully" Sullivan, Event Support and Training Manager

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Mike “Sully” Sullivan #68783

Mike, better known as Sully, has served on the PDGA Board of Directors since 2018, steering the organization through its most explosive growth during that period. As of June 12th, Sully has officially resigned from the PDGA Board of Directors to accept a full-time position with the PDGA as the second Event Support and Training Manager, alongside Todd Lion. Sully’s in-depth knowledge of the rules, competition manual, history of the sport, and event management was cultivated through years of serving as a tournament director and player in the Northern Virginia area. He also served as an extremely active Board Liaison on both the PDGA’s Competition Committee as well as the Disciplinary Committee where he helped shaped PDGA policy and processes for years to come.

Serving on the Board was one of the great privileges of my life. Stepping down is bittersweet, but I believe focusing my efforts on this type of grassroots service to members is the best way I can be of use to disc golf. I want to thank the membership for supporting me, and I look forward to focusing on what I love most: helping folks run great events where a good player experience is the first priority. – Mike “Sully” Sullivan

Amber Schoch, Event Support Assistant

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Amber Schoch #60431

Amber will change titles from Tour Assistant to Event Support Assistant and continue as one of the first lines of service to tournament directors as she administers the sanctioning processes for tournaments. She will also work closely with Todd and Sully to facilitate tournament support functions. Amber is no stranger to these processes, starting part-time with the PDGA in 2012 and joining the staff full-time in 2015. Over those nine years, Amber has played an important role in sanctioning thousands of events and will continue those efforts with the rest of the Event Support Team.

Accounting

Mark Wetherell, Senior Accountant

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Mark Wetherell #167884

Mark took over accounting leadership in early 2021. His efforts ensure that the PDGA’s financial foundation remains strong and organized as membership and event sanctioning continues to explode. Mark is a highly experienced accountant who has already begun the process of modernizing and streamlining PDGA financial processes to ensure the highest level of accountability and ease of use for our members are met.

Technology

Ben Botto, Senior Software Engineer: 

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Ben Botto #157509

Ben started working with the PDGA in January. His work focuses on enhancing the PDGA Digital Scorecard application where he’s already introduced several new featured embraced and valued by our members. Additionally, Ben works on improving Tournament Central, the tool that tournament directors use to manage tournaments. Ben and the technology team will continue to work on improving digital event management and other projects to enhance the tournament experience.

Mike Crist, Senior Software Engineer

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Mike Crist #130297

Mike works with the technology team across all PDGA technology products. His tasks include improving search functionality for members to more easily find the course or event information they need, creating new ways to share player results across social media, and strengthening technology infrastructure to make sure PDGA technology products are readily available when members need them.

IDGC Staff

Nate Michalove, IDGC Manager

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Nate Michalove #100729

The home of the PDGA is one of disc golf’s premier destinations. Staff office space, three world-class courses, and the International Disc Golf Hall of Fame comprise the International Disc Golf Center. Nate is very familiar with the IDGC as he previously served as an IDGC Assistant since April 2019. He’s since been promoted to IDGC Manager where he supervises two staff members that oversee the daily operations at the PDGA’s home facility, ensuring everything from course quality and maintenance to office operations are at the highest possible standard.

Nathaniel Samsel, IDGC Assistant

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Nathaniel Samsel #104929

 

Patrick Graziani, IDGC Assistant

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Patrick Graziani #60977

Patrick and Nathaniel are part of the strong IDGC facility team and work alongside Nate to tackle daily maintenance of the IDGC property, including mowing, trimming, tree cleanup, improvement projects, course layouts, running sanctioned events/leagues, pro shop operations, as well as community engagement. Patrick joined the team in October 2020 while Nathaniel recently came onboard in April 2021. They are the reason the IDGC continues to be on disc golfers’ bucket lists and boasts multiple courses that are perennially on the top 10 course lists through various media outlets.

Marketing and Media Team

Danny Voss, Director of Marketing

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Danny Voss #45698

Joining the PDGA Staff in April of this year, Danny brings with him a high level of experience and award-winning results within the marketing field. Danny oversees the PDGA’s overall marketing strategy and outward-facing communications, including PDGA.com, social media, media partnerships, and sponsorship programs, as well as working with the DiscGolfer Magazine staff to release quarterly issues. The Marketing and Media’s overall aim is to strengthen the PDGA brand and increase the organization’s visibility as disc golf continues to grow around the world.

Matthew Rothstein, Media Manager

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Matthew Rothstein #51515

Matthew joined the PDGA Staff in early 2020 as a Media Specialist, which quickly grew into serving as a liaison with the PDGA’s media partners. Matthew’s main priorities focus on building relationships with the media outlets, securing contracted coverage, developing commercials and other promotional media, and composing articles for PDGA.com. He also works closely with the PDGA’s Communications Manager to provide onsite media coverage at PDGA Majors and Elite Series events.

Hayden Henry, Communications Manager

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Hayden Henry #32725

If you follow PDGA on social media or receive the official newsletter, you’re interacting with the PDGA’s Communication Manager, Hayden Henry. Hayden composes and distributes the weekly newsletter, develops a majority of the PDGA official social media posts, writes articles for PDGA.com, and provides in-house photography and media coverage at select Majors and Elite Series events.

More Growth Coming

Even with all these changes and additions, we’re still not done! We continuously assess our mission requirements and predict current and future needs of our members and tournament directors. We will continue to grow our staff to meet the high demands of our sport and will announce those changes as they occur. In the meantime, we currently have two positions open for hire and look forward to adding more passionate and highly qualified employees to our Team. Follow the links below for additional information on these open positions:

Comments

I have PDGA number 143687 currently however prior to last year due to growing family obligations I had to stop for about 4 years, prior to that I had a much lower PDGA number somewhere in the low 60k or 70k I was wondering if there would be a record of this and if it’s possible to get my old number back.

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