Summit Sports League (SSL) is a local Denver non-profit organization focused on creating a welcoming and socially rewarding atmosphere, inclusive of orientation, gender identity, athleticism and creed through recreational sports. Our mission is to provide resources to the community through the passion of SSL’s athletes, local businesses, and our supporters.
A Colorado native, Dusty (he/him/his) loves all things Colorado: being a type A personality, finding the best green chili and telling people he's a Colorado native. When he's not mixing cocktails or playing with his wild Corgis, you can find him on the dodgeball court, where he's been involved with multiple kickball and dodgeball leagues since 2009.
"When I lit the closet on fire and kicked the doors out, my dodgeball team was a crucial set of people who accepted me for who I am." After running several small businesses, he feels right at home on the board of this exciting new 501c3.
Michael (he/him/his) is a happily driven individual who has dedicated his life to living truthfully, with integrity and with a committed focus of always giving back to my community. Never a handout, always a hand up.
Ashley Hackett (she/her/hers) has been a Denver resident since 2018 after 25+ years as an east coaster. With almost 10 years of nonprofit experience, Ashley has a passion for giving back and supporting her community, while celebrating her intersectionality as a member of the queer and BIPOC community. As a board member of the Summit Sports League, Ashley is excited to create opportunities for positive and inclusive impact to build stronger communities.
John Michael Watkins (he/him/his) is a nonprofit accountant and a longtime supporter of community advocacy. Since starting his professional career with political organizing on LGBTQ campaigns, John Michael has remained dedicated to fostering inclusivity and creating welcoming spaces.
Sean (he, him) moved to Colorado when I was 9 years old. The community that I moved to was not inclusive to LGBTQ people, which is why I hid being gay until I was 28. I met some of the most amazing people who not only accepted me for who I am but encourage me to be me when I joined a rec sports league. After becoming more comfortable with myself, I join a few LGBTQ sport leagues. At the time, I thought I was just joining a sports league, but in reality, I was joining a community where I have found friends and support. I wish I had found this sooner, as I definitely would have accepted myself earlier in my life. I strive to make sure that anyone looking for a community to feel a part of has a place in ours. I will fight to make sure everyone can be who there are.
With 5 years of event management experience for non-profits, Kim Gaiennie (she/her/hers) (last name pronounced like “Kanye”, but it starts with a “G”) loves working on initiatives that focus on community building and social equity.
She fell in love with dodgeball in 2015 when playing for New Orleans Dodgeball Association, and now has friends across the country after playing in USA Dodgeball, Elite Dodgeball, and regional tournaments. As a board member for Summits Sports League, she is excited to continue to foster new and existing relationships while also giving back to the Denver community.
Jeff Casarona (he/him/his) is a computer engineer who relocated to Colorado in 2018. Jeff has sat on the LGBTQ+ board of his employee resource group at an aerospace company for multiple years, creating a more inclusive and welcoming space for his fellow coworkers. He has been playing dodgeball for 4 years and is a player on the USA Dodgeball team "Summit".
Eli (he/him/his) has lived in Colorado since 2019 and has an extensive history of participating in various sports and sports leagues across the country, as well as community empowerment and improvement initiatives. Eli currently represents Denver as a player on the USA Dodgeball team “Summit”, works as a Director of Customer Experience in big tech, and is pursuing his entrepreneurial passion of sustainable furniture refurbishing and sourcing.