Ultimate Peace was conceived and developed by its three founders: Dr. David Barkan, Linda Sidorsky and Dori Yaniv. Linda and David currently lead the organization, bringing expertise and experience from multiple domains of interest. David and Linda are committed to building the organization into an entity that can be increasingly inclusive, adaptable, and relevant.
Dr. David Barkan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also volunteers year-round for Ultimate Peace, and is the Director of Camp UP in Acco Israel every summer.David has led many Ultimate teams over the course of his thirty-year career to compete at the highest national and international levels of the sport. He has coached youth Ultimate for over 30 years on 4 continents, won a world championship as a player in 1995, and was inducted into the USA Ultimate Hall of Fame in 2010.
David has worked with youth earlier in his career in the USA and Israel as a teacher, counselor, therapist, and program administrator. He has an international reputation as a master group facilitator and consultant to organizations dedicated to social change, holds a Ph.D. in Clinical/Organizational Psychology, and consults to schools, non-profit organizations and community collaborations across the USA and around the world. He has dedicated his career to helping people and groups find creative solutions to life and work’s most challenging problems.
David along with his wife, Nancy (see below) are sharing the values of UP and love for Ultimate with their two sons, Brody and Amir, who participate in Camp every summer.
Linda Sidorsky, Founder and Chief Operating Officer, has dedicated many years to growing and promoting youth Ultimate on the east coast of the United States. She and her husband ran a high school program for 10 years, developing and establishing their local high school program as one of the first varsity Ultimate teams in the country. Together they founded a high school league in New England, working hard to establish Ultimate as a recognized competitive sport.
In 2006 she organized and ran the World Junior Ultimate Championships (WJUC 2006) for youth teams throughout the world to compete. It was through this project that she met David Barkan and Dori Yaniv. Together they made it possible for an Israeli youth team to travel to the US to participate in the week-long event. She also worked tirelessly to bring youth from Columbia and South Africa to the event, countries that did not have sufficient support or resources.
Nancy Melrose, Camp Program Director has been an avid follower and supporter of Ultimate for almost 20 years. She oversees and creates the daily schedule and programming for our campers! She also helps supervise staff and serves as a key problem solver. Nancy resides in California but lived in Israel for many years where she received training in experiential/informal education and taught high school students and adults from around the world. This led her to designing and guiding trips for students in the surrounding countries of Jordan and Egypt.
After obtaining a teaching credential in Social Science/History, she taught for several years at the middle and high school level; taking a hiatus from teaching to work with her husband David in a nonprofit consulting firm along with raising two sons. Presently Nancy has returned to school to complete a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership – bridging education, leadership and the nonprofit world! Nancy is also a certified Spin Cycling teacher/coach, a member of Pacific Masters Swimming and an avid house/garden project enthusiast. From time to time, she enjoys competing in open water swimming races. Her latest hobby is teaching her sons ‘the art of bartering’ at yard sales and flea markets around the world.
Miranda Knowles – Director of Coaching
Miranda (Roth) Knowles found ultimate frisbee as a high school athlete and within in the following 3 years transferred all her hard work, athleticism, leadership and sportsmanship from basketball and soccer to be a full-time frisbee player. Once fully dedicated, she never looked back, winning junior worlds for the United States, the Callahan Award while playing for Carleton College and soon after 2 national championships with Seattle Riot and a World Games championship with the USA. Most recently her body has encouraged her to transition away from playing and toward coaching and she couldn’t be happier to acquiesce. She and her husband, Matthew, have conduct coaching clinics year round in Shanghai, Wuhan and Ningbo, China and in Singapore.
As the Director of Coaching for Ultimate Peace, Miranda develops the ultimate frisbee portion of the camp curriculum and supports the coaches of the ongoing program. She brings knowledge from the USA Ultimate Level 1 coaching clinics she instructs and from the world-renowned coaches she has played for – Michael Baccarini, Tiina Booth, and Ted Munter to name a few.
Miranda’s interest in multi-cultural and multilingual education was sparked by Ultimate Peace and she has extended this work at YK Pao School in Shanghai where she is a year 8 Biology teacher, housemistress and basketball/soccer/volleyball/u