Colorado Springs, Colo. (January 23, 2023)—USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States and member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, announced today the election or appointment of four individuals to its 13-person board of directors. DeAnna Ball, Caleb Denecour, Jimmy Donnellon, and Mike Edmonds.
The board unanimously approved both the reappointment of Edmonds, who joined the board in 2020, and the appointment of Ball, who served on the USA Ultimate board from 2014 through 2019, including a three-year term as board president (2016-18).
USA Ultimate members elected Denecour to an elite athlete seat while Donnellon won the at-large election. Both elected seats were filled by candidates who ran unopposed.
All four will serve a three-year term that runs from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2025.
“These additions to the board will be impactful in helping us dig into our next strategic planning process,” explained board president Robyn Fennig. “Jimmy and Caleb are immensely engaged and connected throughout our community and I can’t wait to work alongside them in this capacity. I’m also grateful to have Mike and DeAnna return to the board. They are dynamic, have a wealth of experience and are incredible about sharing their perspectives.”
Returning to the USA Ultimate Board of Directors for another term, this time as an appointee, Ball was previously elected to consecutive at-large terms in 2013 and 2016. As board president, Ball steered the organization though its most recent strategic planning process. As a longtime player, coach and volunteer, she has worn many hats in the ultimate community.
For nine years DeAnna Ball served as the National Women’s Director for USA Ultimate and is a five-time coach of the U.S. National Team. Ball served as an assistant coach for the junior girls team in 2016 and head coach in 2018, 2020 and 2022. She also served as an assistant coach for the U-24 girls team in 2018.
In the college ranks, Ball has coached Ohio State Fever since 2007, leading the team to nine national championship tournament appearances and a national title in 2014. She also coached Columbus Rival to three club championship appearances (2016-18).
Professionally, Ball leads the development of science curriculum for 9th to 12th graders for an educational publishing company where she and her team conceptualizes and designs high school science products to create print and digital learning experiences.
Mike Edmonds currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff at Colorado College, where he has been since 1991. He was Acting Co-President for the 2020-21 academic year and was the Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Life from 1991-2020. Edmonds is also an executive in residence in the Economics and Business Department where he teaches Business Communications.
He holds a bachelor of arts, master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi, where he was inducted as a Hall of Fame graduate in 1984, and inducted into its School of Education Hall of Fame in 2019. He was also inducted into the National Speech and Debate Hall of Fame in 2019.
At Colorado College, Edmonds has been recognized with the Colorado College Center for Service and Learning Award, the Victor Nelson Cisneros Diversity Award and the Gresham Riley Award, which recognizes faculty and staff who have made a significant impact on the community through outstanding service, commitment and accomplishment.
Last year, Edmonds announced his retirement from Colorado College after an illustrious 30+ year career. In celebration of Edmonds service, the college established the Mike Edmonds Legacy Fund to provide resources for future generations of students of all backgrounds and allow access to all Colorado College has to offer. Upon launch, the fund immediately raised $1.5 million in donations.
Elected to the elite athlete seat, Caleb Denecour started playing ultimate as a freshman in college at Colorado State University in 2006, later transferring to the University of Colorado after a brief hiatus from the sport. After college, he joined his first club team in the San Francisco Bay Area (Journeyman) and later played for Austin-based teams Doublewide, Cosa Nostra and Sol. During his time in Austin, Denecour served as the Youth Coordinator for Austin Ultimate and coached the Texas State University women’s team. He also spent time playing in Mexico, competing with Slash at the 2014 World Ultimate Club Championships where they won the spirit award.
Denecour later moved to Minnesota where he played on Sub Zero and Windchill. He returned to the mixed division in 2018 as a member of Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust. During his time in Minnesota, he has also served as a coach for both the Great River High School girls team and the Surly C.O.U.G.A.R.S, a Minneapolis-based women’s masters team.
At the international level, Denecour was named to Team USA for the 2020 World Ultimate Championships, which were ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last summer, he competed with Washington D.C.-based Descent at the World Masters Ultimate Club Championships in Ireland where he won a world championship in the mixed masters division.
Off the field, Denecour spent nearly 10 years working for a start-up production company where he has fulfilled a variety of roles, primarily in marketing, social media and community development. Today, he works in the technology sector as a Senior Inside Account Executive for Jamf, where he manages enterprise accounts.
Jimmy Donnellon joins the board with more than 25 years of experience competing at various levels of the sport, including college, club, masters and grand masters; 16 years of organizing local and national-level programs and events; and six years of coaching, mostly at the collegiate level. Professionally, Jimmy brings 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, and management and is currently the Center Manager with FastSigns of Colorado Springs.
Prior to FastSigns, Donnellon served as the Director of Operations with Altitude Youth Ultimate (AYU) and Colorado Ultimate, the Colorado State-Based Organization of USA Ultimate. He also acts as a marketing consultant and Director of Operations with Morrill Performance.
The addition of new board members also means the departure of others. Those leaving include Harvey Edwards (appointed), Angela Lin (elite athlete) and Steve Sullivan (at-large). Edwards served two consecutive terms and was ineligible for reappointment while Lin and Sullivan did not seek reelection.
“Our outgoing members – Angela, Steve and Harvey – are such passionate members of the community,” Fennig said. “I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have worked with them on the board. They were able to contribute in meaningful ways despite their terms overlapping with one of the most challenging periods for the world of sport with COVID. I know they will stay actively involved in governance and furthering our sport.”
“I also want to thank our independent nominating committee for giving us their time, energy and effort to complete and provide feedback on the vetting process,” Fennig concluded.