Meet the Candidates for the 2018 Board of Directors

Posted: October 11, 2017 12:21 PM

USA Ultimate Announces Candidates for At-Large, Elite Athlete Board Elections

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Oct. 11, 2017) – This fall, USA Ultimate members will vote to fill three seats on the organization’s board of directors. An at-large election will determine two of those seats, while a separate elite-athlete election will choose the other.

There are four candidates running for the two at-large seats: Harvey Edwards, Tyler Kinley, Kurt Kuelz and Josh Seamon. All current USA Ultimate members in good standing will be eligible to choose two of these candidates in the at-large election later this fall.

Running concurrent with the at-large election is the elite-athlete election. This year’s candidates are Kurt Gibson and Robyn Wiseman. Only USA Ultimate members who are considered "elite athletes," as defined by USA Ultimate’s Bylaws, Section 5.6(b), are eligible to vote in the elite-athlete election. 

Each elected candidate will serve a three-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and concluding Dec. 31, 2020.

After revealing the candidates, the next step of the election process will be an online Q&A with the candidates, administered by USA Ultimate on a yet-to-be-announced platform and date. All members of USA Ultimate are encouraged to read the election statements below and participate in (or read) the upcoming Q&A in order to cast an informed vote.


At-Large Candidates


Elite Athlete Candidates




WHAT: USA Ultimate At-Large Election

Harvey Edwards, Tyler Kinley, Kurt Kuelz, Josh Seamon (Two Seats Available)

November 2017 (Dates TBA)

Any current USA Ultimate member in good standing

Step-by-step instructions on how to vote online using your USA Ultimate member account will be published prior to the election.



Harvey Edwards


Ultimate has been a core part of my life for over 40 years. I was fortunate enough to be a member of the sport in its embryonic stages in college. I was a co-founder of the Bucknell University Mudsharks in 1976. One year later, we were recognized as one of the prominent national teams on the scene. The Mudsharks began as a coed team and maintained that status during my career with stellar female athletes equally represented on the field of play.

Over the course of my decades playing, I had the pleasure of playing competitively on the east and west coasts at a time when those two areas of the country dominated the sport. As a result, I experienced a range of diverse attitudes and approaches to the game. They provided me with numerous perspectives to more fully appreciate the views of other participants at various levels of competition.

Furthermore, three trips to world championship tournaments in two foreign countries broadened my exposure to the reception the sport received from afar. Moreover, the success achieved at those events in winning three consecutive titles contributed to solidifying my performance as a player. As a result, in 2007, I was inducted into the Ultimate Hall of Fame.

I am expressing my interest in running for an At-Large position on the USA Ultimate Board of Directors. This sport has honored me and afforded me an outlet for athleticism, sportsmanship, camaraderie and celebration of spirit of the game that is unmatched in any other endeavor. 

If fortunate enough to be elected to the board, I would bring a unique perspective as an African American in this sport that is under-represented by minority participants. Serving on the board would permit me to assist with the pressing issues of the changing demographics reflected in our country regarding minorities and women. Joining the board would allow me to pay forward all that ultimate has given me.  



Tyler Kinley


I remember when ultimate was discussed on a single message board online. That’s about the time I began playing. My heroes were players like Cruikshank and Nord, and the most coverage I could ask for were Above+Beyond videos and then Ultivillage, whose camerawork was a single angle in the back of an end zone on a ladder, coupled with tourney write-ups from players who attended.

Ultimate has come an incredibly long way, growing by leaps and bounds to become something that my young self could never imagine. It’s wonderful.

I’m running for the Board after great reluctance. "The UPA," now USA Ultimate, was, and is, often considered an annoyance by many players. By joining the Board, I could almost feel like I’m switching sides, from "player" to "Establishment."

However, I am very different from my young self.

As a captain of various teams, I’ve come to understand sacrifice and selflessness and the challenges and joys that accompany them. I’ve also learned from other captains just how different this game is in various geographies and cultures. There is no "true" ultimate approach or style. That’s part of the beauty of the game.

As an ultimate educator/teacher, I’ve traveled the nation and world and seen the passion for this wonderful sport and so many various approaches and considerations of the game.

As a player representative on the Club Working Group, I’ve been exposed to how hard the men and women of USA Ultimate work on behalf of its players and how much of a burden is placed on this very small group of people who receive very little appreciation.

These experiences have helped shape my opinion that this is the greatest sport in the world and is unique in what it can provide to those who are involved.

We are in what feels like a defining moment for the sport, with divergent opinions on refs, spirit, equity, growth and the prioritization of all of the above and more. That said – many moments have felt this way.

My opinion on all of the above is that the first step is empathic listening across all sides. Our current atmosphere seems to be one of idea-polarization and echo chambers, and our communication paths – reddit, twitter, etc. – are often only exacerbating these problems.

My platform is one of listening and of helping to shape conversations so that a reasonable sharing of ideas and disagreements can occur without falling to ad hominem attacks or complete dismissal.

I’m looking forward to talking through positions and listening to those who are willing to think critically about their own positions as well as those they disagree with. That, I believe, is the best way forward for ultimate, and I hope to bring this approach to a seat at the table of the board.



Kurt Kuelz


My name is Kurt Kuelz, but the ultimate community really only knows me as "Big." I will lay out my qualifications for a USA Ultimate Board of Directors position for your consideration on three fronts:

Business Leader

Player:  In my first year playing ultimate, I helped my Georgia Tech (BSME ’87) team qualify for the 1987 Collegiate Nationals. I then moved to San Diego where I was a founding member and player-coach for the Southern California Iguana. From ’89-’91, Iguana went 14-1 in Nationals pool play while playing in the finals against NYNY in ‘90 and losing in the semis in ’89 and ’91.  We had numerous epic battles against NYNY, Boston, Tsunami, Windy City and others through the years. I am currently on the ballot for the Ultimate Hall of Fame. What was interesting about my role on Iguana was that while I was the team leader, I was the youngest and least experienced player on the team. My natural leadership instincts have always pushed me to the forefront.  

Business Leader:  My leadership qualities served me well in my professional career which became my focus when Iguana disbanded following the ’92 season, and for family reasons, I moved to Charlotte, N.C. I have become a very successful business leader of large technology services organizations. I currently hold an executive position in Siemens PLM Software where I have global responsibility for a $500M technology services business with over 2,000 professionals. I have significant international business experience, having lived in Europe for eight years, run a global organization for over 10 years and travelled the world extensively for business. 

Volunteer:  Now that my professional career has plateaued, I have had the time to reconnect with ultimate. For the last two years, I have been both a high school and YCC coach. I truly love teaching our youth the game that provided such amazing experiences and taught me such incredible life lessons.  

I have tremendous passion for the game of ultimate and would like to see the sport continue to grow and flourish. I believe the best is yet to come and that my player and business experience, coupled with my leadership instincts, will enable me to help the sport realize its full potential.


Josh Seamon

headshot JoshSeamon  

I am running for reelection to the USAU Board of Directors, so I can continue my work helping drive equitable policies and growth as well as to be a voice for the community. I believe that ultimate has and will continue to change the world, and I want to continue to do everything I can to keep building ultimate’s momentum as a positive force for change in deliberate and thoughtful ways. 

My ultimate life centers around spirit, equity and youth, and I believe that all three must be at the forefront of all USAU operations. In my time with Ultimate Peace, I have seen the true impact of Spirit of the Game and how it can build impossibly strong bridges of trust and love where none have existed before. In my time building girls ultimate teams, tournament and leagues, as well as programs for underrepresented populations, to my time serving on multiple equity and diversity working groups and committees, I have seen firsthand the inspiring power of all people being propelled by ultimate. As someone who was lucky enough to grow up in Amherst and be pulled into ultimate at a young age, I am intimately aware of the invaluable impact ultimate can have on young people in our communities.

As ultimate’s growth gearshifts into new realms, USAU must stay true to its values and the voices of the players in the community. The organization must use its privileged position as the largest ultimate organization in the world to create, promote and support progressive policies and programs. The organization will continue to grow, but that growth must go along with a deep focus on growing equitably across a true spectrum of diversity. We need to commit to hearing the voices that have been silenced. We need to truly be an organization that celebrates diversity.

I am very good at making big ideas real. I have launched thousand-person tournaments, written and implemented national policy, coordinated an international Middle East peace program and helped chart the course of USAU. I have a passion for details, a deep connection to the ultimate community and a love for working with large sets of data. I can’t wait to continue to fully lean into conversations with you all that can drive changes on the national and world levels. 

Over the past 25 years, I have transitioned from an ultimate life primarily focused on playing to one centered around ultimate organization and administration. I have extensive ultimate administrative experience on the local (Valley Ultimate, VYUL), regional (BUDA), national (USAU), and international (Ultimate Peace) levels. I have served for six years on the USAU Board of Directors, and in my current job, I chair a high school math department of 13 teachers. I have a long, well-proven track record of getting things done inside the world of ultimate.

I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to continue my service to the sport and community.

For more information about my candidacy, please visit



Elite Athlete

WHAT: USA Ultimate Elite Athlete Election

WHO: Kurt Gibson, Robyn Wiseman (One Seat Available)

WHEN: November 2017 (Dates TBA)

ELIGIBLE TO VOTE: Only USA Ultimate members in good standing who are considered "elite athletes" as defined by USA Ultimate’s Bylaws, Section 5.6(b). Voter eligibility will be verified.  

HOW TO VOTE: Step-by-step instructions on how to vote online using your USA Ultimate member account will be published prior to the election.

USA Ultimate Bylaws, Section 5.6(b):

"Elite Athlete" shall mean a USA Ultimate member who has either (i) within the last ten (10) years preceding election, represented the United States in a world championship event recognized by WFDF for which a competitive selection process was administered by USA Ultimate or an international championship recognized by WFDF or (ii) within twenty-four (24) months prior to election (a) finished in the top half of USA Ultimate’s national championship or team selection competition for an international championship recognized by WFDF or (b) has been a member of USA Ultimate’s national team.




Kurt Gibson


Since the first time I was invited to play in a local ultimate summer league, I was hooked on the sport. I dropped all other sports in favor of ultimate and have never looked back. I am wholeheartedly invested in the success of this sport and have dedicated much of my life to it. I want to continue to carry on that spirit and energy in leaving the sport better for the next generation. I believe USA Ultimate plays the most critical role leading the direction of the sport and would be honored to continue to contribute to our sport’s development as a member of the USA Ultimate Board. 

Over the last 15 years, I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world participating in tournaments and teaching clinics. In that time, I have achieved success on the field with a College National Championship, three Club Championships and two World Championships, and I have dedicated countless hours day and night to pushing my body and mind to the limits to be the best I can be to support my team.  

Equally as rewarding as having success between the lines, I have also been able to see the value of sharing and teaching the sport as a role model to youth and other ultimate players across the globe. Understanding the importance of sharing ultimate’s core values in the right way to foster that ripple effect globally is critical to growing our sport in a way that is aligned to the vision and mission of USA Ultimate. 

The sport has grown tremendously since I began playing in 2003. I have seen great progress within youth programs and partnerships, and this is something I believe should be strengthened. Continuing the development and investment at that youth level for young girls and boys is something I believe to be extremely important to the future of the growth of the sport. We play a unique sport with strong, foundational values that are worthy of spreading as we strive to introduce others to it.  

When not playing ultimate, I am a sales executive for a publicly traded company. I have also volunteered my time visiting cancer patients at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas. I also speak to youth cancer patients regarding the trials and tribulations of my cancer journey, encouraging them on their own journeys and maintaining a positive mental attitude as they go through treatment. 

Ultimate has been a formative part of my life, and I would like to continue to contribute to its future on our board. I respectfully request your vote!


Robyn Wiseman


I am running for the USA Ultimate Board of Directors to help provide opportunities for equitable outreach and contributions: every player has a voice, an experience and a unique perspective, and our community deserves to be represented. My goal is to help facilitate conversations, share perspectives and ensure that athletes of all levels have their voices heard. My experience as an elite athlete, coach, organizer and recreational player allows me to wear many hats and communicate with many people across dynamic sectors of our membership.

Through emphasizing Spirit of the Game and self-officiation, our sport’s unique culture contributes to empathetic, active members of society. Spirit of the Game actively develops players’ skills in conflict resolution, active listening and empathy, as well as empowers its athletes to actively engage in managing the game. The opportunity to make calls, resolve calls and do so with emphasis on sportsmanship and respect allows our athletes to actively practice skills that many people outside of our community struggle to realize. I am driven to promote these skills and encourage members to use them, as we engage in so many important discussions focused around equity and access.

In my off-field life, I am a disaster recovery and mitigation professional. I have experience navigating difficult situations while expressing empathy and helping others seek understanding. I also have a lot of experience engaging with people to consider other alternatives and navigate difficult projects, while being able to communicate these projects transparently to their residents. These skills make me a powerful choice for this position, especially during a time when membership is becoming increasingly engaged in discussions around equity. 

I feel grateful to the sport for providing me so many opportunities; any opportunity to help steer the macro-level decisions and continue to provide positive opportunities for others to fall in love with and continue to pursue their passion for ultimate is a huge focus for me in life on and off the field. I feel equally passionate about playing and developing the game as I do about ensuring there is a more equitable and accessible future for our athletes and communities.


Have any questions or comments? We welcome community feedback and discussion made in a respectful manner. Please refrain from profanity or personal attacks, as such public comments negatively reflect on our sport and community.