USPTA recognizes teaching pros

October 19, 2017

ORLANDO, Fla – The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) honored those members who go above and beyond in all aspects of the tennis industry during its annual General Membership Meeting on Oct. 13 at the 2017 NEXT Generation: A Tennis Innovation Workshop powered by USTA & USPTA at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld.

USTA/USPTA Community Service Award

Dale Evans received the USTA/USPTA Community Service Award for his contributions to his community through tennis, presented annually by the United States Tennis Association as part of the USPTA’s awards program.

USPTA Industry Excellence Award

In recognition of his business acumen and advancing the sport of tennis in his community, Juan Selle (Rome, Georgia) received the USPTA’s Industry Excellence Award. Selle created an after-school program called Teach Me Tennis, which goals were to create a tennis culture and awareness in the community, place a tennis racquet in every student’s hand, and to impact the lives of children through the game of tennis. In 2016, the Teach Me Tennis program affected 14,000 students in four counties through tennis presentations, equipment donations, and classroom experiences. The Teach Me Tennis program is also offered at the YMCA Rome Boys and Girls Club in the summer and at variety of summer camps throughout the Rome, Georgia area.

USPTA Star Award

Tom Sweitzer (Orlando, Florida) was awarded the USPTA Star Award for his efforts to bring tennis to socioeconomically challenged communities as the tennis program director at the Orlando Tennis Centre. Sweitzer submitted a proposal to the City of Orlando to provide free beginner tennis lessons to inner city children of Orlando who participate in the summer Community Center programs. His efforts led to the Orlando Free Lesson Program which started in 2013 and over the course of four years has partnered with 30 community centers that held events for 6,000 kids.

Top Education Credit Earner for 2016

Levander Kelley (Richmond, Virginia) was named the Top Education Credit Earner for 2016 after earning an outstanding number of education credits as part of the USPTA Career Development Program.

Lessons for Life

Michael Dombrowski (Orlando, Florida) was awarded the Lessons for Life Award, which recognizes members that have raised money through charities through tennis events. Dombrowski hosted the La Amistad 26th Annual Tennis, Golf, and Silent Auction fundraiser at the Interlachen Country Club. This one-day fundraising event included a morning co-ed tennis round robin, player’s luncheon/awards, afternoon golf, a doubles tournament, and an evening cocktail reception and silent auction. This event not only raised $20,000, but 85% of the proceeds went to the La Amistad Foundation, which is a long term residential treatment center for adults with chronic mental illnesses.

Diversity Award

Lynn Bender (Zeeland, Michigan) received the association’s Diversity Award for her work to increase diversity within the USPTA. Bender volunteered at the USTA/ITF Jr. Wheelchair camp for the past four years donating her time as a camp instructor with kids from around the world to educate and teach them the game of tennis. This individual also raised $30,000 to help purchase tennis chairs for individuals in the town of Lima, Ohio and traveled to conduct workshops with tennis leaders, a rehab sports center, and a school all within the country of Haiti.

Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the Year

Othmane Garma (Los Angeles) received the Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the Year Award. He coached Treat Huey, who ended up winning the Doubles Championship at the 2016 Abierto Mexicano Telcel with partner Max Mirnyi. The duo then reached the semifinals of Wimbledon and finished the year being ranked in the top 20 in the world in doubles. Garma has also worked with players such as Somdev Devvarman, Dominic Inglot, and Sanam Singh. He currently is the hitting coach of 2017 US Open Women’s Singles Champion Sloane Stephens.

High School Coach of the Year

Jonathan Betts (McHenry, Illinois) was named the High School Coach of the Year. As the head boy’s tennis coach at Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Illinois, Betts led his players to a 21-2 overall record and also coached the girl’s tennis team to a 24-1 overall record in 2016. Both teams went on to win both district titles while the boys team went on to win the regional title and place 10th in the state tournament. The girls team placed second in the regional tournament and placed 39th overall in the state tournament. In addition to his success on the court, this USPTA member also conducts community tennis clinics to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Special Olympics. Betts is the president of the Algonquin Community Tennis Association, Secretary of the Illinois High School Tennis Coaches association, and has served on the USTA/USPTA High School Tennis Task Force.

Steve Wilkinson College Coach of the Year

Sheila McInerney (Tempe, Arizona) was named the Steve Wilkinson College Coach of the Year after leading the Arizona State University women’s tennis team to an 18-6 overall mark last season along with capturing the Pac-12 team title for the first time in program history while in her 33rd season as the head coach.

George Bacso Tester of the Year

Hassan Humayun (Las Vegas) was named the George Bacso Tester of the Year. Humayun is a USPTA Elite Professional, USPTA Intermountain President, and the USPTA Head Tester for the Intermountain Division. He has been a USPTA member for 17 years, four of which he has been a tester. In 2016, he administered the USPTA certification exam to 28 people over the last year and was instrumental in reorganizing the Intermountain Certification process by adding and training three additional testers in prominent locations to provide for better applicant service.

Large Facility Manager of the Year

Glenn William (Rochester, New York.) was named the Large Facility Manager of the Year. William is a USPTA Master Professional and has been the general manager of the Midtown Athletic Club in Rochester, New York for the past 24 years and has more than 38 years of private club management experience. His facility has 3,900 memberships, a total of 7,300 members, 18 tennis courts, and requires all tennis-teaching professionals to be USPTA certified.

U30 Award

Ryan Knarr (Robesonia, Pennsylvania.) is the third recipient of the U30 Award. The U30 Award recognizes a USPTA Professional aged 30 or under for their contributions to tennis. Knarr helped increase tennis visibility as the Director of Tennis at the Conrad Weiser Tennis Association. He also placed tennis into the Conrad Weiser School District which introduced over 1,200 students to the game. This accomplishment won Knarr the Community Tennis Association of the Year award from both the USTA Middle States and Eastern PA District in 2014. He also serves as the USPTA Middle States Recruiting Chair and for the past two years, this member was influential in certifying 15 USPTA professionals all of which are under the age of 30.

Small Facility Manager of the Year

Kevin MacDonald (Berkeley, California) was named this year’s Small Facility Manager of the Year. MacDonald has been the general manager of the Claremont Club and Spa at Fairmont Hotel for 17 years and his facility has 5,000 members with 10 tennis courts and requires all tennis-teaching professionals to be USPTA certified. MacDonald’s facility has won numerous awards such as the USPTA NORCAL Facility of the Year in 2016, the USPTA Facility of the Year in 2011, and the USTA Member Organization of the Year in 2008.

USPTA President’s Paul Waldman Award

Jack Michalko (Phoenix) was awarded the USPTA President’s Paul Waldman Award. Michalko has been a USPTA member for more than 47 years and has held multiple roles within the association. He has been a member of the USPTA Executive Committee, National Job’s Committee, National Nominating Committee, National Awards Committee, and National Membership Committee. Michalko has also served the USPTA on a local level, having held several positions with the USPTA Southwest Division board, including as President and Regional Vice President and has been the Executive Director of the USPTA Southwest Division for 23 years.

USPTA Division Awards

About the United States Professional Tennis Association

Founded in 1927, the United States Professional Tennis Association is the global leader in tennis-teacher certification and professional development. With more than 15,000 members worldwide, the association raises the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches, and promotes a greater awareness of the sport.