I decided to run for the PDGA Board of Directors this year. It's been an amazing experience working in the NW to build this sport that we love so much, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to influence the PDGA in a positive way by serving on the Board of Directors. I'd love to have your support in the election.
My Official BoD Candidacy statement is as follows:
1999 - Present: R&D Engineer for Hewlett Packard. Fluidic Architect designing and developing Thermal Ink Jet (TIJ) print-heads and Writing Systems Engineer defining and developing new TIJ printer platforms from conception to manufacturing start-of-ramp. I have extensive experience in program leadership, program management, and effective communication that should be directly applicable to a position on the PDGA BoD.
1995 - 1998: Process Technician for Hewlett Packard supporting the Advanced Applied Research Lab R&D Engineers while completing my BS at Oregon State University in Chemical Engineering. I Gained experience leading teams and administering programs while running the R&D test and analysis lab.
Disc Golf Experience:
2009 - Present: Running the OLE (Oregon Liquid Environment) winter disc golf series, the Great Northwest Open, and this year the Scout Lake Classic with my husband Tom Embree. We have been taking a much needed breather from intensive disc golf leadership. Now Iím ready to jump in again!
2002 - 2008: Board Member, Event Coordinator and Event Producer and Promoter for the Oregon Series that officially became Northwest Disc Golf Promotions in 2007. Cris Bellinger, Todd Andrews and I administered the Oregon Series, and successfully helped grow the sport of disc golf in Oregon and the Northwestern US with the help of the Series event TDs and clubs. We worked passionately for the players to create the best possible competitive disc golf experiences.
2003 - 2008: Co-Tournament Director for the Beaver State Fling. Starting this event as a C-tier and growing it to an NT in four years. This event for me was everything I love about competitive disc golf put into action.
2003 - 2007: Co-Owner of Sassy Pants - Traffic Stopping Disc Golf Gear for Girls. My partner Jodie Turmell and I ran this business to promote women participating in competitive disc golf. We sponsored several amateur women through our "Pass the Sass" program, based on essays they wrote, to play an event of their choosing and help spread enthusiasm for disc golf to other women in their areas. We also sponsored several events every year that were involved in growing disc golf in a positive way for women.
Member of the PDGA Executive Director Hiring Committee tasked with replacing Brian Hoeniger.
Co-founded the Willamette Disc Golf Club (WDGC) in Corvallis, Oregon
Highlights as a player:
2005: PDGA Female Rookie of the Year; 3rd woman to ever play the USDGC, played again in 2006 and 2008.
2004: First/Only Amateur to claim a PDGA Professional World Championship Title - Mixed Doubles with Dave Feldberg.
2003: First World's experience, placed 4th in Advanced Women's. Took 1st Place at the Memorial in Advanced Women.
I started playing disc golf in Corvallis, OR in 1999 when the Willamette Disc Golf Course was installed a few blocks from my home. I quickly fell in love with this sport and soon after with competitive play. My husband at the time, Cris Bellinger, and I started being seriously involved in the local disc golf scene and co-founded the Willamette Disc Golf Club along with the players that had brought the sport to our attention in the first place.
We started traveling to play in tournaments in the western United States in the early 2000s and soon after started running not only our own events, but also a summer Series, the Oregon Series, that has helped grow disc golf in the Northwest. We paid attention to all the events we traveled to and took our favorite parts of these experiences and incorporated them into our events and the Oregon Series. Our flag ship event, The Beaver State Fling, quickly grew from a C-tier to an NT based primarily on the philosophy of delivering the ultimate player experience to all the players.
I feel my experience with the Oregon Series and the Beaver State Fling has prepared me to be an effective member of the PDGA Board of Directors. I understand and appreciate the perspective of both the players and the tournament directors, and will work to strike balance and represent the interests for both of these member bases in the PDGA.
I am concerned that Tournament Directors, the back bone of the PDGA are not getting the support they need from the organization. If elected, I will work to bring TDís better tools to help make their jobs easier, allowing them to put more time and effort into the actual events. The PDGA needs to empower and back-up TDs and I will work toward this goal.
Through my experiences, I have an understanding of the concerns and struggles of the touring pro, and also the different set of needs and desires of local pro and amateur players. The PDGA needs to take both of these groups of members into account when making decisions and allocating resources, and if elected, I will work to make sure that happens.
I am concerned with how the Masterís division is essentially being pushed aside in the PDGA National Tour. We have Pro Masterís players that have been touring for years, and should have the same ability to sustain going on tour as the rest of our Pro players. I would like to see the NT payout structure adjusted to give these players a fair shake at Purses. After all, our Masterís are not just the generation of disc golfers previous to the current Pros, in many cases these players are the fathers and mothers of this sport we love. They deserve better than the back burner.
Last, but not least, I am passionate about growing the number of competitive female disc golfers. This has been a core goal for me throughout my disc golf career, and it will continue to be if I am elected to the Board.