Heinold pursuing one last term on PDGA Board of Directors

Heinold pursuing one last term on PDGA Board of Directors

Hey Ledgestone fans! The PDGA just announced the final six candidates for the 2023 Global Board of Directors and our very own Nate Heinold is one of those six.

The 2023 election will take place from July 1 to July 31 for current PDGA members. Only two of the six candidates will be honored with a seat on the board. All PDGA members will be emailed a ballot, with the first batch of ballots going out July 1st. Because of the large number of PDGA members, the emails may go out over a several day period in early July.

The Global Board of Directors is in place to accomplish a variety of goals for the PDGA, highlighted by the creation of new association policies, hiring and monitoring the executive director, and representing the interests of the PDGA’s more than 261,000 worldwide members.

Perhaps the most well-known of the six candidates on the ballot, Heinold is the current president of the board and has served as a PDGA board member since 2017. If selected by voters during the July election, 2023-2024 will be his final term.

In his over half a decade on the board, Heinold has been influential in creating a fourth PDGA Major (Champions Cup), unifying the National Tour and Disc Golf Pro Tour, pushing for eligibility standards within gender-based divisions of competition, and making sure tour standards allow for tournament directors to be properly compensated for their work.

I am very proud of the work that I have accomplished over the last six years as a PDGA Board of Directors member, but I know there is more work to do,” he said.

Leadership both inside and outside the disc golf world has epitomized Heinold for decades. From his home in Eureka, Illinois, he finds time to be a devoted husband and father, while still working hard to further the game of disc golf in Central Illinois and around the world.

Since 2010 he has served as the vice president of the Ledgestone Group. He also played an instrumental role in founding the Paul McBeth Foundation and now serves as volunteer Chairman. In addition, he has run the Ledgestone Open for over a decade and has directed multiple world championships.

In his final term on the PDGA board, Heinold has three specific objectives.

My goal is to propose a new plan this summer, with the goal to begin to implement this plan in 2024, that would see the PDGA directly supporting new courses in the ground in areas that do not yet have access to disc golf,” he said. “This program would be a substantial investment on behalf of the PDGA to directly give grants to communities and areas that do not yet have courses.”

Fueled by signs of flatlining within the disc golf industry after years of booming growth, Heinold understands that the best way to spur more growth is to introduce the game to new players and inspire those who have yet to experience it.

“A specific focus for this program would be schools, youth camps, international projects, Native American and other tribal lands, and US communities that have little or no access to the sport,” Heinold said.

His second goal revolves around the high demand for tournament play and how quickly events fill up.

“I will be supporting an initiative for 2024 to require PDGA membership to play in any sanctioned event that is at the C-Tier level or above,” he said. “I will also be supportive of continuing to invest in PDGA leagues and investing resources into developing additional tier levels that give competitive access to newer players who may not be ready to become a PDGA member.”

Tied hand-in-hand with that vision is Heinold’s continued push for tournament director compensation and training to not only produce more TDs, but better and more knowledgeable TD’s..

His final mission is the continued support of the DGPT and its entities.

“In order to continue to grow the sport, we need to continue to invest in the spectator and fan experience along with the DGPT,” Heinold said. “The PDGA will continue to see success as the sport grows, and the DGPT is an integral part of that growth opportunity that the PDGA needs to continue to work closely with and support. The stars of our game are some of our biggest assets to get our sport to the next level, and their success on the DGPT only helps the PDGA in its mission.” 

During the first week of July, all current PDGA members with a valid email address will be sent instructions for the Global Board of Directors online ballot. A weekly reminder will be emailed out during the month of July for any members who have not yet voted.

The two elected candidates will officially begin their terms of office on September 1, 2023.


Blog by Jacob Arvidson

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