USPTA Members Honored At USTA Conference
LAKE NONA, Fla.– USPTA members were honored during the USTA Annual Meeting and Conference at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas. 11 categories were presented during the awards banquet with seven USPTA members earning recognition.
The USTA Annual Meeting and Conference brings together USTA leadership, national staff, national committee members and section volunteers and staff in pursuit of the USTA mission: to promote and develop the growth of tennis. Along with leadership and committee meetings, the Annual Meeting provides educational opportunities for all attendees to develop and enhance their personal and professional skills and learn new ways to promote the game of tennis.
“It’s great that so many USPTA professionals are getting involved in USTA grassroots programs,” said John Embree, USPTA CEO. “We are extremely proud of their accomplishments and their efforts to make a difference in their communities.”
Below is a list of USPTA members that were honored this year:
Brad Parks Award – Dee Henry
Dee Henry of Norfolk, California was named this year’s recipient of the Brad Parks Award. The Brad Parks Award is presented annually and honors an individual or organization that has been instrumental in the development of wheelchair tennis around the world through playing, coaching, sponsoring or promoting the game.
Henry is a USPTA Elite Professional who is also certified to teach wheelchair tennis. She loves teaching all levels of tennis and coached the women’s tennis team at Biola University in La Mirada, California for 45 years. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Southern California Special Olympics Tennis Coach of the Season and the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award. She currently is the Associate Professor of Physical Education at Biola.
International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award – Gigi Fernandez
USPTA Elite Professional Gigi Fernandez was the recipient of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award. The International Tennis Hall of Fame annually presents the Tennis Educational Merit Awards to a man and woman who has made notable contributions in the tennis education field at the national level and have demonstrated leadership and creative skills in such areas as instruction, writing, organization and promotion of the game of tennis.
Fernandez is considered to be one of the best doubles players of all time. She is a Hall of Famer, winner of 17 Grand Slam doubles titles with various partners and two Olympic Gold Medals with Mary Joe Fernandez. In 2000, Fernandez was named Puerto Rican Athlete of the Century. In 2011, she started coaching recreational players. Fernandez now spends her time coaching adult players how to excel at doubles. She now travels the country doing clinics and camps and host The Gigi Method Tennis Camps for enthusiasts that want more in-depth instruction from Gigi.
Janet Louer Junior Team Tennis Organizer of the Year Award – Conan Lorenzo
USPTA Elite Professional Conan Lorenzo of La Mesa, California was named the Janet Louer Junior Team Tennis Organizer of the Year Award. The award is named after Janet Louer, an individual who was instrumental in the development of junior tennis during her lifetime. As the administrator for USTA Junior Team Tennis in Georgia, she built the state championships into the largest youth team tennis state championships in the nation. Her expertise also was utilized in the development of the section and national championships for the program.
Lorenzo is the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club’s Director of Tennis, who serves on the USPTA Executive Committee and brings more than 10 years of professional expertise in the tennis industry. Conan’s former experience includes five years as the Director of Junior Programs at the George Barnes Junior Tennis Center in San Diego and coaching USA Team Tennis teams, leading four teams to sectionals. Conan is a graduate of Washington State University, where he spent four years on the school's NCAA tennis team and has been frequently published in Racket Tech Magazine, Tennis Magazine & ADDvantage Magazine.
Member Organization of the Year – The Greens Country Club
The Greens Country Club was recognized as the Member Organization of the Year, which is given annually to an organization that provides outstanding service to its members and to the local community. The Greens Country Club in Oklahoma City is a premier private club offering golf, tennis, swimming, dining and special events. Along with Director of Tennis and Fitness Suzanne LaBelle, who is a USPTA Elite Professional, all pros that teach tennis at the club are USPTA-certified.
Ralph W. Westcott Family of the Year – The Wilson Pipkin Family
The Pipkin Family out of Landisville, Philadelphia was named the Ralph W. Westcott Family of the Year Award. The Family of the Year Award, created by the USTA in 1965, is given annually to a family that volunteers it’s time to promote amateur tennis, emphasizing the theme that tennis is a family game.
The father, Wilson Pipkin, is a USPTA Elite Professional who has served on the USPTA Executive Committee and been the president of the USPTA Middle States Division.
Volunteer Exceptional Service Award – Carlos R. Cruz-Aedo and Bob Ingersole
USPTA Professional Carlos R. Cruz-Aedo of Torrance, California and USPTA Elite Professional Bob Ingersole of Roosevelt Island, New York were both recipients of the Volunteer Exceptional Service Award. The Volunteer Exceptional Service Award, which recognizes national committee members who have made exceptional contributions above and beyond expected committee work.
Cruz-Aedo is the co-founder/director of Tennis Lovers for Charity, a company that helps US tennis fans raise money for their favorite charity through tennis activities. He also volunteers with organizations such as North America Honda Foundation, the Southern California Tennis Association, St. Lawrence Church, Riviera United Church, YMCA, etc.
Ingersole, president of Ingersole Events and Tennis Management, has devoted his life to the sport he began playing at age five. His experience includes being the director of tennis at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York, where he was responsible for 38 courts with four different surfaces, facility management of the more than 100-year-old facility and scheduling of tournaments, summer and winter programs.