Officers Elected and New Directors Appointed to Board of Directors for International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum

NEWPORT, R.I., September 19, 2012 – Corporate leaders, a tennis industry veteran, and a former WTA star are among the eight individuals who have been elected to the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. The new board members were announced at the Hall of Fame’s Annual Meeting in New York City in early September. The newly elected board members are Jim Citrin, senior partner at the global executive search firm of Spencer Stuart; Marianne Gaige, president & CEO of Cathedral Corporation; Jim Goldman, president & CEO of Godiva Chocolatier; David A. Haggerty, current first vice president of the USTA, incoming president of the USTA, and former chairman of Head USA; Bob Jeffrey, chairman and CEO of JWT Worldwide; Stephen Lewinstein, owner of the real estate investment and development firm of Stephen R. Lewinstein Associates and part owner of the Boston Celtics; Betsy Nagelsen-McCormack, a former top-25 player on the WTA Tour, and wife of the late Mark McCormack; and Mark J. Panarese, managing director of Rockefeller Financial.

 

“We are very pleased to welcome these talented, committed individuals to the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “Our new board members bring a variety of expertise and talents to the organization and their active participation will be very helpful in our efforts to preserve the history of tennis and to provide a premier landmark for tennis fans, while honoring the game’s greatest champions and most influential contributors to the game of tennis.”

 

In addition to the new members of the Board of Directors, the following officers were elected for two-year terms: Christopher E. Clouser as chairman, Mark L. Stenning as chief executive officer, Stan Smith as president, Donald L. Dell as vice chairman, Barbara A. Georgescu as vice chairman, Nancy von Auersperg as treasurer, and Peggy H. Woolard as secretary.

The new members of the Board of Directors will begin their terms immediately. Each will serve the organization in various capacities ranging from oversight of the extensive museum to development of the Hall of Fame’s annual ATP World Tour tennis tournament and Hall of Fame induction programs, as well as in other important departments such as fundraising and marketing. Following are brief biographies of the new board members. 

 

Jim Citrin is a senior partner at the global executive search firm, Spencer Stuart, where he leads the North American Board & CEO Practice. During his 19 years with the firm, Citrin has completed more than 500 CEO, board director, chief financial officer, and other top management searches and has worked with clients on CEO succession. Citrin’s clients include world-leading media, technology, communications, and consumer companies, financial services institutions, private-equity firms, and educational and not-for-profit institutions. Among his notable placements are the CEOs of Yahoo!, The New York Times Company, Best Buy, Univision, Charter Communications, Discovery Communications, Telemundo, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, PBS, NPR, MetLife, First Data, Nokia, Starz, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels, the MIT Media Lab, and New York Public Library. He has also co-led CEO searches for some of the world’s leading sports enterprises including the Green Bay Packers, the United States Olympic Committee, Golf Channel, Major League Baseball Network, and the ATP World Tour. A lifelong athlete and tennis player, Citrin was a three-sport varsity athlete at Vassar College. He is the author of six books, including bestsellers: Lessons from the Top, The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, and You’re in Charge – Now What? His 2007 book, The Dynamic Path, detailed lessons on peak performance, leadership, and legacy building from the world’s greatest athletes including tennis legends John McEnroe, John Newcombe, and Billie Jean King.

 

Marianne Gaige was named president and CEO of Cathedral Corporation in 2008, having previously held the position of president and chief operating officer since 1996, and having been a senior manager with the company since 1992. Cathedral Corporation is an industry leader in printed and electronic financial communication programs, personalized direct mail, and e-marketing services, including analysis and application of customer data to create transpromotional checks, statements and invoices, highly targeted direct mail and a wide range of customer care communications. Prior to her leadership roles at Cathedral, Gaige was a manager with Price Waterhouse and a consultant with the Atlanta-based firm McMann & Dee. She has worked with many companies on strategic planning and improvement of operating efficiencies. Gaige and her family are avid tennis fans and longtime supporters of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Alfred University, and an M.B.A from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business. She is also a C.P.A.

 

Jim Goldman was appointed president and CEO of Godiva Chocolatier in February 2004. Godiva is a leading maker and retailer of fine chocolates with distribution in over 70 countries globally. Godiva is a wholly owned subsidiary of Yildiz Holding, A.S., based in Istanbul, Turkey. Goldman joined the Campbell Soup Company (prior owner of Godiva) in 2001 as president – North American Food and Beverage, a division of Campbell with a diversified portfolio of leading food brands such as V8, Pace Salsas, and Prego pasta sauces. In this role, Goldman was also responsible for international operations in Mexico and Latin America. Prior to Campbell, Goldman worked at Nabisco, where he served as president of the Lifesavers Candy Company and held several other executive positions. Goldman is also a veteran of General Mills, and worked at McKinsey and Company as a strategic consultant to consumer driven companies in various industries. Goldman earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dartmouth College in 1980, and his M.B.A. in marketing from Cornell University in 1985. Goldman currently serves on the Board of Directors at Domino’s Pizza.

 

David A. Haggerty began serving a two-year term as first vice president of the USTA in January 2011. He will serve as president of the USTA for the 2013-2014 term. Previously, he served one term as vice president, 2009-2010, and one term as a director-at-large, 2007-2008. He is a member of the Budget, International, Major Construction Oversight, and Compensation Committees, and represents the USTA on the Grand Slam Committee and the ITF Women’s Circuit Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of USTA Serves. Previously, Haggerty served as the chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and as a member of the Compensation, Executive, Strategic Planning, and Budget Committees. Haggerty also served for six years on the Board of Directors of the USTA Middle States Section. He served a two-year term as president of the Tennis Industry Association from January 2007 to January 2009, and has served on the TIA’s Executive Committee for more than 20 years. Haggerty is the former chairman of Head USA, a position he held upon his retirement in March 2010. He began his career in tennis in 1980, when he was hired by Prince as product manager for accessories. In his 14 years at Prince, Haggerty worked his way up to general manager before taking a position at Dunlop as the president of Racquet Sports. He moved to Head in 1998, where he served as general manager and president of Head/Penn Racquet Sports before becoming chairman and chief executive officer of Head’s U.S. businesses. He currently serves as an external director on the Board of Directors of Kepner-Tregoe, a global management consulting firm. Haggerty was the No.1 singles player for three of his four years at The George Washington University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration. Still an active player, in 2004-2005 Haggerty was nationally ranked in singles and doubles in the 45-and-over age division.

 

Bob Jeffrey is the chairman and CEO of JWT Worldwide, the world’s best known advertising agency brand for close to 150 years. As JWT’s CEO, Jeffrey is responsible for more than 800 offices and 10,000 employees in more than 90 countries; working with blue-chip clients such as Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Nokia, Nestlé, Unilever, and others. Jeffrey’s mission is to lead JWT into the future by making things inspired by the world. This blending of international imagination and technological innovation is a process he calls worldmade. It is through this process that he has delivered a freshly reinvigorated network prepared to guide and build some of the world’s most powerful brands. Jeffrey is regarded as an ambassador of advertising and is widely respected for his views and achievements. His knowledge and experience of the industry led him to become a regular contributor to Fox Business Network, CNBC and CNN, as well as a frequent source of quotes for leading trade and business publications.

 

Stephen Lewinstein is the owner of Stephen R. Lewinstein Associates, a real estate investment and development firm, and a part owner of the Boston Celtics. Lewinstein was a part owner of Flashy Bull, a thoroughbred racehorse that was selected to run in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. He serves on the Board of Incorporators for Bank Newport and the Board of Governors for Newport Hospital, and is a member of his Dartmouth College Class Executive Committee. Lewinstein is a past Crusade Chairman of the Providence, R.I. Division of the American Cancer Society. His civic appointments include having served on the Providence Review Commission, the Providence Redevelopment Agency, and the Commission to Revise the Zoning Laws for the City of Providence. He presently sits on the Board of the Thayer Street District Management Authority, a joint initiative between landlords, Brown University, and the City of Providence. Lewinstein received a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College in 1963, an LLB from Cornell University School of Law in 1967, and a master’s degree in taxation from Boston University Law School in 1970. He is the author of two juvenile sports novels – Double Play and Computer Coach.  

 

Betsy Nagelsen-McCormack was an internationally ranked player on the WTA Tour for more than 20 years, and a two-time Grand Slam tournament champion in doubles. She achieved a career high ranking of world No. 25 in singles and No. 11 in doubles, and won more than 30 career titles in singles and doubles. She won the Australian Open doubles title in 1978 and 1980, and was the singles finalist at the 1978 Australian Open. She was a four-time member of the U.S. Wightman Cup Team. Before launching her pro career, Nagelsen-McCormack was the world’s top junior player in 1973 and winner of the prestigious USTA Girls’ Sportsmanship Award. Playing in her 20th consecutive main draw at Wimbledon in 1993, Nagelsen-McCormack won the over-35 women’s doubles championship, and went on to win back-to-back titles in the US Open Senior women’s doubles in 1993 and 1994. After her retirement in 1996, Nagelsen-McCormack became a commentator for ABC and ESPN in the United States and Australia’s Nine Network. She was married to the late Mark McCormack, founder of the sports management group IMG. The couple donated money for the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Women’s Tennis Hall of Fame is located on the site. Today, Nagelsen-McCormack remains active in the sport, and serves as head coach for the State College of Florida Women’s Tennis Team.

 

Mark Panarese is a managing director of Rockefeller Financial, a leading investment and wealth management firm serving successful individuals, families, family offices, foundations, endowments, and other institutions, globally. Panarese established and manages Rockefeller’s Boston office and serves as senior advisor to a number of the firm’s clients. Prior to joining Rockefeller in 2004, Panarese spent six years at the Boston-based, wealth management firm of Atlantic Trust/Pell Rudman where, in addition to advising clients, he directed business development and served on its Executive Committee. He previously worked in the private client groups of Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, First Boston, and Bear Stearns Asset Management. Panarese received an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an A.B. in American history from Harvard College. He is active in alumni affairs at Milton Academy, his high school alma mater. He is also a director of Admirals Bank in Boston. Panarese and his family are avid tennis players and his two youngest children have earned USTA national junior rankings.

 

Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum offers an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and honors the game’s greatest legends, historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880 and are open to the public, an ATP World Tour tournament and the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July, and numerous public events year-round. To learn more, visit tennisfame.com.

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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum  

Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide, and enshrining tennis heroes and heroines with the highest honor in the sport of tennis- induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1986, the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis, officially recognized the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum as the sport’s official Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a six-acre property that features an extensive Museum chronicling the history of the sport and honoring the 225 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility that are open to the public and to a club membership; a rare Court Tennis facility; and an historic 297-seat theatre. Annually in July, the venue hosts the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. The buildings and grounds, which were constructed in 1880 by McKim, Mead & White to serve as a social club for Newport’s summer residents, are renowned for their incredible architecture and preservation. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners including BNP Paribas, Chubb Personal Insurance, Kia Motors and Rolex Watch USA. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.

Martina Hingis, Michael Stich, Helena Sukova among Nominees for 2013 Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame

NEWPORT, R.I., USA, September 6, 2012 – Martina Hingis, a former world No. 1 and the winner of five Grand Slam tournament singles titles, the 1991 Wimbledon champion and former world No. 2 Michael Stich, and the great Czech doubles player Helena Sukova, winner of 14 Grand Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles have all been nominated to receive the highest honor available in the sport of tennis, induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. All three are nominated for the induction Class of 2013 in the Recent Player Category. In the Master Player Category, Thelma Coyne Long of Australia, who captured 19 Grand Slam titles between the 1930s and 1950s, has been nominated. Additionally, three individuals have been nominated in the Contributor Category for their work toward the growth of tennis- ESPN’s longtime tennis broadcaster Cliff Drysdale, tennis promoter and industry leader Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac, the Romanian tennis player turned influential player manager and tournament promoter.

 

The announcement of the 2013 nominees was made on the air durng the ESPN2 telecast of the US Open, where Drysdale was applauded by his colleagues, Hall of Famers Pam Shriver and John McEnroe, along with Patrick McEnroe and Chris Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez, and Darren Cahill.

 

“Martina Hingis, Michael Stich, and Helena Sukova worked hard to achieve the ultimate prizes in tennis- top world rankings, Grand Slam titles, Fed Cup and Davis Cup success, and Olympic medals. For their dedication to our sport and extraordinary achievements, I’m very pleased to announce that they have been nominated to receive our sport’s highest honor, induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Stan Smith, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1987 and now serves as the International Tennis Hall of Fame President and Chair of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee.

 

 
Smith added, “We are also pleased to honor Australia’s Thelma Coyne Long for her extraordinary success on the court. And of course, from a commitment to effective tennis news coverage to building up some of the world’s best tournaments, Cliff, Charlie, and Ion have all changed the tennis landscape for the better, and it is thanks to their efforts that we are able to enjoy tennis on such a grand, global scale today. I extend my congratulations to the nominees and our gratitude for their many contributions to the sport of tennis.”

 

Voting for the 2013 ballot will take place over the next several months, culminating with an announcement early next year to reveal the Class of 2013 Inductees. The International Media Panel, which is comprised of tennis journalists and authors, will vote on the Recent Player nominee. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Fame inductees and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, will vote on the Master Player and Contributor nominees. To be inducted in any of the categories, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.

 

The Class of 2013 Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. The Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the annual Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event.

 

Tickets for the tournament and Induction Ceremony will go on sale later this year with a pre-sale for International Tennis Hall of Fame Members, followed by the General Public ticket sale. Individuals interested in becoming a Hall of Fame Member or purchasing tickets should call 401-849-6053 and/or visit www.tennisfame.com.

 

Since 1955, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 225 people representing 19 countries. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of tennis. The Hall of Fame offers an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and honors the game’s greatest legends. Surrounding the museum are 13 historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880 and are open to the public, which play host to the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour tournament, and the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July. The facility hosts numerous additional public events year-round.

 

From winning the biggest titles in tennis to creating some of the sport’s most exciting tournaments, the nominees for induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013 have all been integral in shaping the history of tennis. Following are detailed biographies of the nominees, grouped by category.

 

Recent Player: Martina Hingis, Michael Stich, Helena Sukova

Eligibility criteria for the Recent Player Category is as follows: active as competitors in the sport within the last 20 years prior to consideration; not a significant factor on the ATP or WTA Tour within five years prior to induction; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.

 

Martina Hingis, 32, of Switzerland, was the world No. 1 singles player for 209 non-consecutive weeks and the No. 1 doubles player for 35 non-consecutive weeks. She is in the elite company of Martina Navratilova, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Lindsay Davenport, and Kim Clijsters as one of just five players in history to have held both the singles and doubles No. 1 WTA ranking simultaneously. Hingis won three consecutive Australian Open titles (1997, 1998, 1999), as well as the Wimbledon and US Open titles in 1997. In addition to her five Grand Slam singles titles, she also captured nine major doubles titles (three w/ Jana Novotna, two w/ Anna Kournikova, and one each w/Helena Sukova, Natasha Zvereva, Mirjana Lucic, and Mary Pierce) and one mixed doubles title (w/ Mahesh Bhupathi). In 1998, she achieved a Doubles Grand Slam.

 

Hingis won a total of 43 singles titles and 37 doubles titles over the course of her career, and had records of 548-133 in singles and 286-54 in doubles. In 1998, she led the Swiss Fed Cup team to its only Fed Cup final (lost 3-2 to Spain). She captured two WTA Tour Championships in singles (1998 and 2000) and two in doubles (1999 and 2000).

 

In 1997, Hingis was the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, the WTA Tour Player of the Year, and the ITF Player of the Year.

 

Born into a successful tennis family, Hingis first picked up a racquet at just two years old and entered her first tournament at age four. At 12 years old, she won the French Open junior title, becoming the youngest player ever to win a Grand Slam junior title. She turned pro at age 14 and her career quickly took off, with Hingis setting a number of youngest-ever records along the way, including becoming the youngest ever world No. 1, a feat she achieved on March 31, 1997 at 16 years, 6 months, and 1 day. Hingis’ success was not based on powerful shots, instead she was known for her impeccable technical skill and ability to produce a wide array of shots. In particular, she was a talented net player and was able to place accurate drop shots just when she needed it most.

 

Hingis first retired from tennis in 2003, at the age of 22, due to injury. She made a comeback in 2006, winning two titles that year and closing the season at world No. 7. As a result, she was named the 2006 WTA Tour Comeback Player of the Year. She won her final title in 2007, before officially retiring. Since retirement, she has been active in World TeamTennis, and in 2011, she partnered with Lindsay Davenport to win the Roland Garros Legends title.

 

Michael Stich, 44, of Germany,was the 1991 Wimbledon champion, and in 1992, he partnered with John McEnroe to win the Wimbledon doubles title. In addition to his success at Wimbledon, he was a finalist at both the US Open (1994) and the French Open (1996). At the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, he partnered with Boris Becker to win the Gold Medal in doubles. In 1993, he defeated Pete Sampras to win the year-end ATP World Tour Championships.

 

Stich achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 2, and he was in the year-end top-20 every year from 1991-1996. He won 18 singles titles, and 10 doubles titles. He holds a career singles record of 385-176 and a doubles record of 165-111.

 

Stich was a member of the Germany’s championship Davis Cup team in 1993, and he was a dedicated Davis Cup team member from 1990 – 1996. He compiled a winning record of 21-9 in singles and 14-2 in doubles.

 

A skilled player at both the baseline and the net, Stich was successful on all surfaces throughout his career, and in 1991 and 1993, he won professional tournaments on all four surfaces.

 

Since retirement, Stich has devoted most of his time the Michael Stich Foundation, which he established in 1994 to provide support for children infected with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, he stays involved with tennis by sponsoring tennis camps for junior players in his hometown of Hamburg and by serving as a commentator for Eurosport and for the BBC TV and Radio.

 

Helena Sukova, 47, of the Czech Republic, won an impressive 14 Grand Slam tournament titles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles over the course of her career. She was also a two-time singles finalist at both the Australian Open and the US Open. She held the world No. 1 doubles ranking for 68 weeks and achieved a career high singles ranking of world No. 4.

 

Sukova captured a remarkable 69 doubles titles during the course of her career, and she compiled a doubles record of 752-220. She achieved a career Grand Slam in women’s doubles, winning four titles at Wimbledon, two at the US Open, one at the Australian Open and one at the French Open. In addition, she won two Silver Medals at the Olympic Games, partnered with Jana Novotna. In 1992, she won the doubles title at the WTA Championships with partner Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. She was a doubles finalist at the event four times.

 

In singles competition, she had a winning record of 614-307 and she won 10 singles titles. One of her most memorable singles victories was when she defeated Martina Navratilova in the semifinal round of the 1984 Australian Open, ending Navratilova’s historic 74-match winning streak. In 1985, she as a singles finalist at the WTA Championships.

 

Sukova was an integral part of the Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic Fed Cup teams for 13 years, and she was a playing member of four championship teams (1983, 1984, 1985, 1988). She holds several team records, including Most Total Wins – 57.

 

Sukova is a member of a prominent Czech tennis family. Her mother, Vera Puzejova Sukova was a women’s singles finalist at Wimbledon in 1962, and her father, Cyril Suk II, was president of the Czechoslovakian Tennis Federation. Her brother, Cyril Suk III, is a former professional player as well. The siblings teamed up to win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, at the French Open in 1991 and at Wimbledon in 1996 and 1997.

 

Sukova retired in 1998, and in 1999, she helped re-establish the International Lawn Tennis Club of the Czech Republic and became its president. From 2001 until 2008, she served on the executive committee of the Council of the International Clubs. She remains active in tennis, and is a co-founder of the Kids and Junior Tennis Advancement Organization in the Czech Republic. From February 2001 through November 2008 she served on the Presidium of the Czech Olympians’ Club and in June 2007 she was appointed by the Czech Olympic Committee to the Presidium of the Czech Fair Play Club. Additionally, she is a member of the Champions for Peace Club, a group of famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport Organization.

 

Sukova earned a doctoral degree as a psychologist at Palacky University and since February 2011, she has served as vice president of the Association of Sport Psychologists.

 

Master Player Category: Thelma Coyne Long

Eligibility criteria for the Master Player Category is as follows: Competitors in the sport who have been retired for at least 20 years prior to consideration; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.

 

Thelma Coyne Long, 94, of Sydney, Australia, had a remarkable career of more than 20 years (1935 – 1958), in which she captured a total of 19 Grand Slam tournament titles, including championships in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. In 1952, she achieved a career-best ranking of No. 7. That same year, she completed an Australian triple by sweeping the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at the Australian Championships.

 

In May 1941, during World War II, Long joined the Red Cross as a transport driver and worked in Melbourne, Australia. In February 1942, she joined the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) and rose to the rank of captain in April 1944. In recognition of her efforts throughout World War II, she was awarded both the Australian War Medal and Australian Service Medal for 1939 – 1945.

 

Upon her retirement, Long began coaching junior players in New South Wales. Long was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2002.

 

Contributor Category: Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, Ion Tiriac

Eligibility criteria for the Contributor Category is as follows: Exceptional contributions that have furthered the growth, reputation and character of the sport, in categories such as administration, media, coaching and officiating. Contributor candidates do not need to be retired from their activities related to the sport to be considered.

 

After a successful playing career in the 1960s and 1970s and a leadership role in the launch of the ATP, Cliff Drysdale turned his attention to tennis broadcasting, and for more than thirty years, he has been one of the most respected and appreciated voices of the sport. Drysdale, 71, has been on the air with ESPN since the network’s very first tennis telecast- a Davis Cup match between the United States and Argentina on September 14, 1979, just one week after ESPN’s debut. In the thirty-plus years since, Drysdale has called all four Grand Slam tournaments and countless important moments in tennis history. Known for his insightful analysis and engaging delivery, Drysdale was named “Best Tennis Announcer” by the readers of Tennis magazine four times. In addition to his television coverage, Drysdale has been regular contributor to Tennis magazine for more than 15 years. He has played an integral role in sharing the greatest stories of tennis, and has been an influential ambassador for the sport.

 

Drysdale was a member of the original “Handsome Eight” of World Championship Tennis, the tour that laid the groundwork for a viable men’s professional tennis tour, and he was one of the world’s top players at the dawn of the Open Era. With his contemporaries, he was a co-founder of the ATP, which was developed to give players a unified voice and in structuring the professional game for the Open Era. Drysdale served as the organization’s first president, in 1972 – 1973.

 

Originally from South Africa, but now a United States citizen, Drysdale was ranked in the year-end world top-10 six times and achieved a career high ranking of world No. 4. Drysdale was a finalist at the U.S. Nationals in 1965, and he won the US Open doubles title in 1975 with Roger Taylor. He won 35 singles titles and 24 doubles titles, and during his career he notched wins against some of the greatest champions of the sport including Rod Laver, Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, and Ilie Nastase. He was a member of the South African Davis Cup team for eight years.

 

Today, in addition to his media work, Drysdale continues to take an active role in working to grow interest in the sport. Through his tennis management company, Cliff Drysdale Management, he works with tennis clubs and resorts on tennis programming development, operations, and tennis education programs.

 

Charlie Pasarell, 68, is most recently best known as the past tournament director, managing partner, and former owner of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., but his contributions as a tennis industry leader have spanned all levels of the sport and have been a driving force in the growth of the tennis for more than forty years. Before assuming the leadership role of the Indian Wells event in 1981, Pasarell had already launched the National Junior Tennis League, which is dedicated to offering tennis programming to underprivileged children, and with fellow nominee Cliff Drysdale, he was a co-founder of the ATP.

 

Pasarell’s leadership activities were preceded by a successful playing career in which he achieved the No. 1 ranking in the United States in 1967. He was a member of the United States Davis Cup team for five years, including the championship team in 1968. Pasarell won 18 singles titles, including the U.S. National Indoor Championships in 1966 and 1967. Also in 1966, he was the NCAA Singles and Doubles champion, playing for UCLA. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Pasarell has been a longtime resident of California.

 

A focus of Pasarell’s tennis career has always been finding ways to utilize the game to give back to the community. At the height of his playing career, in 1969, Pasarell partnered with Arthur Ashe and Sheriden Snyder to launch the National Junior Tennis League. The goal of the organization was to have a positive impact on at-risk children by introducing them to tennis to keep them off the streets and to encourage them to stay in school. Today, the program continues to be the largest grassroots tennis program in the United Sates, with more than 950 chapters. Many NJTL students have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, business leaders, and even a few professional tennis players.

 

In 1971, as tennis was in the pivotal transition to the Open Era, Pasarell and a group of his fellow players founded the ATP, with the goal of giving players a voice in the structuring the new professional game. Over the years, Pasarell has remained highly active in the leadership of the organization and the development of men’s pro tennis. He served as an active board member in the critical early years, from 1971 – 1978. When the Men’s International Professional Tennis Circuit became the ruling body of men’s tennis from 1986 – 1990, Pasarell served as a tournament representative on the board. When the new ATP World Tour replaced that organization in 1990, Pasarell was once again elected by the tournaments to serve as their representative, and he was re-elected to the position every year for 20 consecutive years, until he retired in 2010.

 

In 1981, Pasarell took over as tournament director of the ATP World Tour event in the Coachella Valley of California. At the time, the event was struggling and in danger of being removed from the region. Over the past 30 years, under Pasarell’s leadership, the event has grown to be the largest two-week combined ATP and WTA tennis tournament in the world and the most well-attended tennis event after the four Grand Slam events. The tournament has grown from 30,000 fans to attracting more than 370,000 fans, and it has gone from a television broadcast reaching 25 million homes to more than one billion homes worldwide. The growth has necessitated new, state-of-the-art tennis facilities, taking the venue from a 7,500-seat stadium court to a 24-court, 54-acre complex including a 16,100-seat main stadium, seven smaller stadiums, and 44 luxury suites.

 

After more than 30 years working on the event, Pasarell announced his departure from the BNP Paribas Open earlier this year, following another outstanding event that welcomed more than 370,000 fans and broke attendance records for the sixth year in a row.

 

A successful doubles player turned tennis power broker, Ion Tiriac, 73, has been an influential tennis leader in roles ranging from coach to player manager to tournament promoter. Raised in communist Romania, Tiriac explored an array of sports before discovering his greatest potential and opportunity in tennis. Today, he is the promoter of two successful ATP World Tour events and is ranked among the top-1,000 wealthiest people in the world by Forbes magazine.

 

In the 1970s, Tiriac and fellow Romanian Ilie Nastase partnered to form a successful doubles team. Tiriac took on a mentor type role in the partnership, and parlayed that experience into a successful career in tennis administration. Tiriac took a sharp, business-like approach to tennis and he worked tirelessly to promote the players, grow the tournaments, build up television broadcasts, and to grow the sport overall.

 

He went on to manage the careers of top players including Guillermo Vilas, Mary Joe Fernandez, Goran Ivanisevic, and most notably, Boris Becker, who won five Grand Slam titles while working with Tiriac.

 

In addition, Tiriac was a promoter and tournament director for numerous events including the ATP World Tour’s season-ending Masters Grand Prix, and two of the largest Masters 1000 events, the Italian Open and the Madrid Masters. He is still an active leader on the Madrid Masters, and under his leadership the tournament has grown immensely, and is one of the most well attended annual events in Spain. In addition, he continues to promote tennis in his home country of Romania and is the owner/promoter of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy, an ATP World Tour 250 event held annually in Bucharest.

 

As a player, Tiriac was an instrumental part of Romania’s Davis Cup team, competing for 15 years, and helping the team advance to the finals three times. In 1970, he partnered with Nastase to win the French Open doubles title.

 

Known for his no-nonsense demeanor, beneath Tiriac’s tough shell lies the heart of a philanthropist and the vision and ability to make positive changes. In addition to his tennis work, since the fall of the communist government in Romania in 1989, he has worked to rebuild the country’s economic and social infrastructure, developing business in banking, real estate, and other ventures. In his hometown of Brasov, he built four orphanages. When the orphanages became obsolete years later, he turned them into retirement communities for the elderly. In addition, he has developed numerous scholarship opportunities for young people.

 

Tiriac is an Honorary President of the Romanian National Olympic Committee and a Honorary President of the Romanian Tennis Federation.

 

For additional information about the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, please visit tennisfame.com

 

 

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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum

Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide, and enshrining tennis heroes and heroines with the highest honor in the sport of tennis- induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  In 1986, the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis, officially recognized the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum as the sport’s official Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a six-acre property that features an extensive Museum chronicling the history of the sport and honoring the 225 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility that are open to the public and to a club membership; a rare Court Tennis facility; and an historic 297-seat theatre. Annually in July, the venue hosts the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. The buildings and grounds, which were constructed in 1880 by McKim, Mead & White to serve as a social club for Newport’s summer residents, are renowned for their incredible architecture and preservation. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners including BNP Paribas, Campbell Soup Company, Chubb Personal Insurance, Kia Motors and Rolex Watch USA. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.

BBC to be honored for commitment to tennis at The Legends Ball

NEWPORT, R.I., September 6, 2012 – With US Open finals weekend just around the corner, so is The Legends Ball, the annual gala celebration of tennis hosted by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. The event will gather hundreds of tennis enthusiasts, industry leaders, and stars of the sport, including recent retiree Kim Clijsters and legends like Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Pam Shriver, Stan Smith, and more, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. The Legends Ball will pay tribute to the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2012- Jennifer Capriati, Gustavo Kuerten, Manuel Orantes, Mike Davies, and Randy Snow, and it will recognize one individual and one organization that have shown an exceptional commitment to the growth of the sport. The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award, which is presented to an organization, will be awarded to the BBC, which has delivered an outstanding year of tennis coverage, including Wimbledon and the London 2012 Olympic Games, and is in their 85th year of covering the sport. BBC Sport’s tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend will be at the event to accept the award. It was previously announced that the other award of the evening, the Eugene L. Scott Award, will be awarded to Chris Evert and presented by Billie Jean King.

 

The Cullman Award is given in honor of the man who served as president and chairman of the Hall of Fame from 1982-1988, and recognizes an exceptional company that shares Cullman’s enthusiasm for tennis and has also made a significant contribution to society at large- both philanthropically and through outstanding generosity of spirit.

 

“The BBC has been a dedicated broadcast partner to the sport of tennis for a remarkable 85 years. In recent months they’ve delivered extraordinary coverage of Wimbledon, as well as some of the most exciting Olympic tennis the world has ever experienced. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum’s Legends Ball is an opportunity to pay tribute to the outstanding contributors to the sport of tennis who have played an instrumental role in its growth. We are so pleased to present the Cullman Award to the BBC to say thank you for all they’ve done to spread tennis news and deliver its most important moments to the fans,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.

 

The BBC brought tennis to the airwaves of Great Britain in 1927, with the first radio coverage of Wimbledon. This contract with the All England Lawn Tennis Club continues today- making it the longest running multiplatform rights contract in world sport.

 

The BBC has always strived to bring technological innovation to tennis- the first ever live television coverage of a sports event (1937), first color TV broadcast (1967), first use of Hawkeye in tennis, first multi-platform coverage, and in 2011, the first ever 3D transmission on the BBC. As host broadcaster at Wimbledon, the BBC currently brings live coverage of the event from nine courts, producing over 900 hours of tennis coverage distributed to 160 countries. Over the years, many great voices of the sport have delivered BBC’s coverage, including Dan Maskell, “The Voice of Tennis” for BBC from 1949 -1991, John Barratt, Bill Threlfall, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, and Jimmy Connors. Today’s team is led by Sue Barker and includes John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Lindsay Davenport, Virginia Wade, Tracy Austin, John Lloyd, Pat Cash, and Tim Henman.

 

As well as Wimbledon, the BBC covered many World Championship Tennis tour events throughout the 1970’s, and has been the host broadcaster for Olympic tennis from Atlanta, Athens, and London, with live coverage everyday from the 2012 Olympics. Over the years the BBC has covered all the Grand Slams with many years at the French and Australian Opens. Additional tennis coverage has included annual tournaments such as Queens, Eastbourne, and Bournemouth, as well as Davis Cup, Wightman Cup, the ATP World Tour Finals, and the Masters events from The Royal Albert Hall.

 

Today’s multi-platform coverage includes the Wimbledon Championships, as well as the Australian Open Finals, the Barclay’s ATP World Tour Finals, and the AEGON Championshpis at Queen’s Club on television. BBC Radio 5 Live has commentary from all four Grand Slams, all the key ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, and Wimbledon warm-up events, plus key Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties. News and reports throughout the year across BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC news channel, and BBC sport online round out the tennis coverage.
Previous recipients of the Cullman Award have been: BNP Paribas (2006); Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc. (2007); Sony Ericsson (2008); Tennis Channel (2009); Mercedes-Benz (2010); and Campbell Soup Company (2011).

 

An impressive collection of tennis greats will be in attendance at the Legends Ball, including current players, Hall of Famers, executive leaders from the ATP World Tour, WTA, ITF, and Grand Slam tournaments and tennis fans from around the world. In celebration of their Hall of Fame Induction, which occurred in July, speaking programs and video presentations will pay tribute to former world No. 1’s Jennifer Capriati and Gustavo Kuerten, Spanish tennis great Manuel Orantes, tennis industry innovator and promoter Mike Davies, and the late wheelchair tennis champion, Randy Snow.

 

Always a highlight of the evening, The Legends Ball silent auction will feature an array of exclusive experiences and luxury items that will excite tennis fans and non-tennis fans alike. Among the items up for bid are exclusive tickets for the finals of all four tennis majors in 2013, luxurious vacation packages to the Caribbean and Europe, tennis camps for juniors and adults, including a week of instruction at esteemed academies like the Chris Evert Tennis Academy and Ivan Lendl’s International Junior Tennis Academy, and exclusive tickets to events including the Grammy Awards and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

 

Proceeds of The Legends Ball, which has been held annually since 1980, will benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and support the mission of preserving the history of the game, honoring the legends and inspiring the future.

 

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about The Legends Ball, call 401-849-3990 or email mforts@tennisfame.com.

 

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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum

Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was recognized as the sport’s official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a six-acre property that features an extensive Museum chronicling the history of the sport and honoring the 225 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility that are open to the public and to a club membership; a rare Court Tennis facility; and an historic 297-seat theatre. Annually in July, the venue hosts the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. The buildings and grounds, which were constructed in 1880 by McKim, Mead & White to serve as a social club for Newport’s summer residents, are renowned for their incredible architecture and preservation. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners including BNP Paribas, Chubb Personal Insurance, Kia Motors and Rolex Watch USA. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.

BNP Paribas Showdown Returns to The Garden This February

The BNP Paribas Showdown will have a 2012 version at new and refurbished Madison Square Garden on February 27, 2012.

Maria Sharapova and world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki will make their first appearances in the event in the 7:00 pm opener. That match will be followed by Roger Federer vs. Andy Roddick.

Last year Roddick was scheduled to play Andre Agassi,but Pete Sampras ended up playing Agassi after John McEnroe was forced to default to Ivan Lendl due to injury in the first match despite leading 6-3.

Federer has played in the past and won against Sampras.

There will be an opportunity to bid on the event at the International Tennis Hall Of Fame Ball this coming Friday evening at Cipriani in Manhattan.

Tickets will go on sale at The Garden in the Fall.

Peachy Kellmeyer to be Inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame

NEWPORT, R.I., USA, January 27, 2011 – Fern Lee “Peachy” Kellmeyer, who was the very first employee and director of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) in 1973 and still serves the organization today, has been elected for induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum announced Kellmeyer’s induction today at a WTA Alumnae & Friends Reunion at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia.

Kellmeyer is the sole 2011 inductee in the Contributor Category. She joins Recent Player inductee Andre Agassi, whose induction was announced last week. Together, Kellmeyer and Agassi will be the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The Class of 2011 Induction Ceremony will be held on July 9, 2011 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I. The Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event.

“Professional women’s tennis players, young female athletes and the sports world in general should be grateful that Peachy Kellmeyer chose to apply her dedication and leadership skills to women’s tennis, because her tireless work has played a critical role in the growth of the game and in improving rights for female athletes across all sports,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “We are delighted to honor Peachy for her contributions to tennis with induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.”

Kellmeyer, 66, of Wheeling, West Virginia, became involved in the game as a talented junior player, went on to be a star collegiate athlete, and then launched an administrative career in tennis. During her career with the WTA, Kellmeyer has led the WTA’s operations, player and tournament relations and has been at the center of all major policy decisions. Kellmeyer currently serves as WTA Operations Executive Consultant. She is also a member of the ITF Fed Cup Committee and oversees the WTA’s alumni program to ensure that past players and tournament directors remain engaged with the WTA that they helped build.

“This is a tremendous honor, and I’m so grateful for the recognition. I am particularly pleased to have been able to celebrate the news of my induction surrounded by many of my close friends in the WTA Alumnae & Friends Association who have shared the vision and worked with me to grow women’s tennis around the globe,” said Kellmeyer. “From playing opportunities to prize money, to interest in the game, we’ve all worked very hard to reach the positive position that women’s tennis is in today. I’ve been fortunate to have truly loved my work all my life, and it’s a real joy to see that my efforts have positively impacted women.”

During Kellmeyer’s tenure, prize money on the WTA has increased from $309,000 in 1973 to more than $86,000,000 in 2010, and the number of WTA events has increased from 23 domestic tournaments to 53 events in 33 different countries. Attendance at WTA events has increased dramatically with nearly 5 million in-stadium fans annually, and television exposure has increased with hundreds of millions of homes receiving more than 6,000 hours of international TV coverage on an annual basis.

Simultaneously with her efforts to build women’s tennis, Kellmeyer has been a tireless fighter for women’s rights in sports. When she was the Physical Education Director at Marymount College in Boca Raton, Florida in 1966, Kellmeyer spear-headed a lawsuit that ultimately led to the dismantling of a National Education Association rule that had prohibited athletic scholarships being awarded to female athletes at colleges across the nation. The landmark case paved the way for Title IX and contributed greatly to the increase of female athletes in intercollegiate athletics. Additionally, Kellmeyer was a driving force behind the WTA’s campaign to achieve equal prize money for women. In 2009 she was honored with the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Golden Achievement Award for her important contributions to tennis in the field of administration and long outstanding service to the sport.

On court, Kellmeyer began winning junior titles as early as age 11. By the age of 15 she was competing at what is now the US Open, and she was the youngest player at the time to be invited to such a prestigious event. She went on to be a tennis star at the University of Miami, where she became the first woman to compete on a Division I men’s team. As an adult, Kellmeyer was ranked nationally in both singles and doubles, and was a competitor at Wimbledon and the US Open.

Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 219 of the greatest players and contributors to the sport since 1955. Inductees are honored in one of three categories – Recent Player, Master Player and Contributor. In recognition for her immense contributions off the court, Kellmeyer joins the esteemed Contributor Category which includes Hall of Famers such as sports marketing pioneer and agent Donald Dell, and former player turned tennis administrator and tournament director, Butch Buchholz.

Contributor Category – Induction Eligibility

Inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame are elected in the categories of Recent Player, Master Player and Contributor. To be eligible for Hall of Fame induction in the Contributor category, the individual must have made exceptional contributions that have furthered the growth, reputation and character of tennis, in categories such as administration, media, coaching and officiating. Contributor candidates do not need to be retired from their activities related to the sport to be considered.

Induction Voting Process

International Tennis Hall of Fame President and 1970 Hall of Famer Tony Trabert serves as Chair of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee. Annually, the Committee develops the Hall of Fame induction ballot, based on nominations submitted by the public. The ballot is then put to vote by the International Media Panel or the International Masters Panel, depending on the category. The Contributor category, in which Kellmeyer was elected, is voted on by the International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Fame inductees and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history. To be inducted as a Contributor, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.

Induction Ceremony

The 2011 Induction Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event. Tickets for the Induction Ceremony and its surrounding events are limited. Custom sponsorship and hospitality packages are available. In addition, the International Tennis Hall of Fame is developing additional events and programs to complement the Induction Ceremony and allow as many fans as possible to be part of the celebration. Individuals looking for additional information should call 866-914-FAME (3263) and/or visit www.tennisfame.com.

To learn more about the Class of 2011 Induction Ceremony or about the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, please visit tennisfame.com or call 401-849-3990.

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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum

Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was recognized as the sport’s official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a six-acre property that features an extensive Museum chronicling the history of the sport and honoring the 218 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility that are open to the public and to a club membership; a rare Court Tennis facility; and an historic 297-seat theatre. Annually in July, the venue hosts the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. The buildings and grounds, which were constructed in 1880 by McKim, Mead & White to serve as a social club for Newport’s summer residents, are renowned for their incredible architecture and preservation. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners including BNP Paribas, Campbell Soup Company, Chubb Personal Insurance, Kia Motors and Rolex Watch USA. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.

An Interview With Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi

CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER: Good afternoon, everyone. With me here besides Andre and Anne Marie is Mark Stenning, who’s CEO of the Tennis Hall of Fame. I thought we’d take a minute with Tony Trabert. Tony is the president of the Tennis Hall of Fame. He also chairs the enshrining nominating committee, and it always comes up as we are fortunate enough to announce an inductee, the process. So Tony, will you take just a minute and go through what you and your committee do?
TONY TRABERT: Sure. We have people that are proposed for the Hall of Fame. We go to that group of people, and if we think they are worthy we put them in a book that we call. We have recent player category, we have master player category, a contributor category and now a wheelchair category, and we have an enshrinement nominating committee at Wimbledon each year, at which time we talk about the recent players we think should be on the ballot.
We are 21 on that committee, international, and then we vote for any of the master players we think should be on and then contributors. And then it goes to — we have various panels that vote, and some of the same — some people are on both voting panels, some are not, and you have to get 75 percent of the votes that are returned to be elected.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER: Tony Trabert was elected in 1970 and serving as our president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. We are here in Las Vegas at Agassi Prep. We had a wonderful ceremony here with 600 students who now represent kindergarten through the 12th grade. It’s my fourth time back at the school, and every time I come I’m a little more uncomfortable because I know I could never get in here. It’s a wonderful place, and it was an emotional thing.
I said to the group, 25 years ago today there was an announcement that went out of the Tennis Hall of Fame that announced the selection of Arthur Ashe to the Tennis Hall of Fame, and that July 25 years ago, Andre was 15, I was much older, let’s just say way out of college, and I think if Arthur was here today, not just because of the tennis accomplishments, and I don’t think Jeanne would mind, who serves on our board, I think Arthur would say today he’s met his match. He’s met his match on the court, his match as a human being, as a philanthropist, a guy that was committed to improving people’s lives on top of committing every tennis accolade there is.
That’s what we told the students today and then Andre took some wonderful questions and said how important this was to him. I’m sorry you all weren’t there, but it was a wonderful ceremony. So Andre has been nice enough after being worked over by these 600 students and the press to take some questions today. Is there a question that you all would like to address to Andre?

Q. You had a great career obviously, a lot of incarnations during your career. I was just curious how you want to be remembered, what do you want your legacy to be in tennis?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I was hoping you didn’t notice those tips and turns through my career. You know, this is such a special moment for so many reasons, but mostly for me today because it was done here at the school and so profoundly connects my past and my future. You know, tennis was a vehicle that gave me my life’s work.
You know, tennis allowed me the opportunity to impact people for a few hours when I was playing, and then my career has given me an opportunity to impact people for a lifetime if not generationally. And my hope, like in tennis, was to leave the sport better off than it was when I entered it. That was always my hope as it relates to life and legacy. My hope is to leave everybody in my life starting with my own family and then my extended family, which is the school, better off for having me a part of their lives.

Q. One of the things that fascinates me so much about your story and came through so well in your book is this sort of mixed message if you turn back the clock to the days when your dad was firing balls at you out on the court and you were feeling like you really missed out on the, quote-unquote, normal childhood. And then you came up through the game, and now here you are going into the Hall, and all these incredible achievements that have happened in your life, the prep school, et cetera, et cetera, happened because of the tennis. I wonder if you could reflect on that a little bit. Was it worth it, all the sacrifices that you made during your childhood?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I’ll answer that with the short answer, which is yes. It was worth it because we all have our cross to bear in life, so to speak, and while mine were certainly unique in some cases, it did teach me a lot about myself. I learned a lot about myself, probably at a slower rate in some cases, but in others at a faster rate. And at each intersection of my life I was always striving to understand myself better.
And I had what I call a hate-love relationship with tennis, not a love-hate. I went from resenting a life that was chosen for me to at 27 years old after being No. 1 and then falling to No. 141 chose to take ownership of my life and to find a reason to do what it is I do, and then that’s when I started the school. And I built this school, and I all of a sudden felt like I was connected to a team. All of a sudden tennis felt like a team sport. I felt like I was playing for something but I was also playing — I was connected to something but I was also playing for something much larger than myself.
And it then gave me my life’s meaning, my purpose. It then gave me my wife, and as a result, I’m so grateful for where I find myself for many reasons, but starting with the fact that I have this opportunity to change these children’s experiences, these children’s expectations, and ultimately their lives.

Q. If I could just follow up, in the tennis business, of course, we always talk about what it takes to create a champion, what the ideal tennis parent is, so now looking back would you say that the way that he raised you — are you saying some of that was really necessary, maybe some of that pushing is what you need to go through to get to all you’ve achieved?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I can’t honestly say that you need to go through that. You know, when you look at other people’s experiences, I don’t know how transparent they are. You look at a Federer who seems to be so comfortable on the court and comfortable in his own skin, and to do things so gracefully and so easily, and hopefully he has a healthy upbringing in the game.
My father made a lot of decisions that I wouldn’t make, unquestionably, and I represented him not as abusive, but I represented him as very intense. Along with that intensity came intense love, came intense generosity, came intense us against the world, and also came intense pride. And there’s something very profound about a young man feeling like his dad is proud of him, and I always felt that. He used to introduce me as the No. 1 player in the world, future No. 1 player in the world, so there was a lot that I represented about him. I think it was a loving, honest portrayal.
But do I think you need to make the decisions he made to succeed? Absolutely not. You need nature and you need nurture. You need to be born with a gift, no question; it’s too competitive to be the best in the world at anything to not be born with a certain gift. But you also need it nurtured so that that gift can flourish, and in my dad’s case nurturing meant thousands of tennis balls and intensity, but in other cases I don’t think it needs to mean that.

Q. When we were doing the television, we all thought that the last Grand Slam tournament you would probably win would be Wimbledon because it was on grass. We thought the first one that you would probably win would be the French on clay, and it was just the opposite. Do you have any thoughts on that?
ANDRE AGASSI: You know, I have to keep the trend up, the conflicts in my life. Tony, it’s good to hear your voice. Your voice, you have left an indelible mark on me over the years, but hearing your voice, I realize how indelible your voice is in my mind and my connection to the game, so nice to hear your voice, Tony.
You know, I really felt like I could have won the French first. I agreed with you then and now that it probably should have been and that Wimbledon probably should have been my last, if at all. But the game changed shortly after I came into it, and once I had a player that could take offense from both wings, they could exploit the fact that I treated clay courts like a hard court.
For me I’ve loved playing on clay for the first few years of my career because it was just more time and more opportunities in a point to just beat somebody up because all I did was take the ball early and make him run and I never had to worry about defense. But when I lost out on those first two opportunities and then I started playing the likes of Courier, who was very aggressive on both wings against me, or Bruguera, who moved well and could generate that kind of spin with both sides and open up the court, I quickly realized that clay was not, like most Americans, my best surface.
So my hopes for Roland Garros changed really early in my career, which is why it makes it so powerful that after coming back from 141, 29 years old, that I found myself with that opportunity to win it again, and it speaks to how scared I was walking out if that finals that day thinking that this tournament would elude me for the rest of my life.
Wimbledon on the other hand was a surface that rewarded a person who could take charge of a point early. So winning Wimbledon surprised me until I’d played it, and I don’t mean in ’87 when I lost first round to Leconte; I mean when I went back and got to the quarters and had two sets to one and two breaks on David Wheaton to play Becker and Stich in the semis and finals who I both had a heavy head-to-head record on.
I started to really believe I can win here because if you can get start off well on grass it was hard for a player to recover. Grass played very fast, and the return was just shot-making and I felt comfortable there. So it didn’t surprise me how comfortable I felt at Wimbledon, but it did surprise me how quickly I got uncomfortable with pairs.

Q. Most athletes come to their second career after their first one is over, and you were in the rare position of finding it while you were still playing. Why do you think that happened to you, and has that been a benefit that you were able to overlap your kind of ongoing career with your future career?
ANDRE AGASSI: Well, I think it happened to me because I played until I was 36. You know, had I faded off into the sunset in 1997, which I wish you understood as closely as I do just how close I was, you know, I’m not sure I would have had something to go towards. But my spirit to fight on and to give myself the permission to quit but to not choose it gave me the fortitude to start to envision what I really want for myself. And tennis was such a great opportunity to have that mission become a reality.
I don’t know why others don’t, other than any sport is all-consuming. It’s a short window and a short career, and mine was almost a short career. But the fact that I continued to push myself and make myself better gave me the time to make sense of a few things and then gave me the age and perspective to not lose out on that opportunity.

Q. You gave such a beautiful speech when your wife was inducted into Hall of Fame, and I was wondering if you can share any of her thoughts or comments on your acceptance.
ANDRE AGASSI: You know, it’s interesting because we’re going through the same thing just in reverse. I got to experience watching her go through it and knowing her so well and how understated she is. I would never suggest that she did not want to go through it, but I would just say that she was — she doesn’t need it to be who she is. And those around her really were proud for her, and the love that I have for her allowed me to really understand fully just what it means to be in the Hall of Fame because I wanted it for her even though she didn’t necessarily crave it for herself.
Now that she went through it, she feels differently, but now she gets to see it through the perspective of somebody she cares for deeply, and she wants it for me, even though I tend to say it’s a bit nerve-wracking. I can’t hardly believe that it’s actually happening, and I don’t feel like I need it to continue my mission in life.
But seeing how I felt for her allows me to embrace this even more than I would have because so many people that have been around me that care for me want it for me, and I know that because of how I felt for her.

Q. After your last match against Becker in Ashe Stadium, it was really kind of a Lou Gehrig type moment when you addressed the crowd in New York and there was a lot of emotion. I wonder if you could not only reflect on that moment but also what emotions might come up when you’re addressing the crowd in Newport?
ANDRE AGASSI: Sure. The thing with New York, that was — that had very little to do with missing a tournament, missing a career. It had to do with a connection to people that I was so grateful they felt to me. That’s why that was emotional, because they were connected to me and I was just quite frankly thankful that I wasn’t the only one feeling that way.
In Rhode Island, I don’t know what to expect. I think it’s probably doing yourself a disservice to expect anything one way or the other. I’ve seen others go through it, and it never ceases to amaze me how surprised they are by the occasion. So I’m going to probably for one of the rare times in my life will just allow myself to be surprised, you know? But I will put a lot of thought behind it because I think if you care about anything you do, and I will make my best attempt to communicate what tennis has meant to me, what it means to others, and what it means to certainly a lot of children’s lives here in North Las Vegas.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER: So July 9th is our induction in Newport, Rhode Island. Obviously you all are invited. Andre is the sole inductee in the recent player category. We will be announcing one additional person who has been elected into the contributor’s category. We’ll be announcing that Thursday of next week from Melbourne.
Andre loves his school, and we’re happy to be here. He walked in and said, “Now, the school is not paying for this phone call, are they?” For the record, it is not. We want to thank you for joining us, and I want to thank Andre for a terrific day and a terrific announcement.

Andre Agassi To Be Inducted Into Tennis Hall of Fame

NEWPORT, R.I., USA, January 20, 2010 - Andre Agassi, a former world No. 1 and one of the most revered athletes in the world, will receive the highest honor available in the sport of tennis, induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The announcement of Agassi’s induction was made today at Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, the public charter school that Agassi founded in 2001 in Las Vegas’ most at risk community. The students at Agassi Prep, who range from kindergarten through Grade 12, joined Agassi in a pep rally style event to celebrate his induction.

“I’m truly honored to be recognized alongside the greatest players of tennis,” said Agassi. “My tennis career afforded me the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives and it was truly special to share this exciting moment with the students of Agassi Prep.”

Agassi is the sole 2011 inductee in the Recent Player category. Additional 2011 inductees in other categories will be announced at a later date.

“During his 20-year career Andre Agassi recorded some of the most incredible achievements in tennis, including Grand Slam titles, an Olympic gold medal, and Davis Cup success. The energy and excitement that he personally brought to the game inspired generations of players. Today, he continues to inspire people around the world as a dedicated philanthropist, and, therefore, it was only appropriate that we share this news at the school where so many young people benefit from his generosity,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “Andre is a true champion of the game, and we are delighted to honor him for his contributions and achievements with induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.”

Agassi’s Induction Ceremony will be held on July 9, 2011 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I. The Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event.

Tickets for the Induction Ceremony and its surrounding events are limited. Box seats, custom sponsorship and hospitality packages are available. In addition, the International Tennis Hall of Fame is developing additional events and programs to complement the Induction Ceremony and allow as many fans as possible to be part of the celebration. Individuals looking for additional information should call 866-914-FAME (3263) and/or visit www.tennisfame.com.

Agassi, 40, of Las Vegas, Nevada, held the No. 1 singles ranking for 101 weeks, and is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, as well as one of the premier athletes of his generation. Agassi achieved a career singles record of 870-274, winning 60 titles, including four at the Australian Open, two at the US Open, and one victory each at the French Open and Wimbledon. Within his 60 tournament wins, he captured 17 Masters 1000 events. In 1990, he won the season-ending ATP World Tour Championships. Agassi earned a Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympics, by taking the Singles title in Atlanta. A member of two winning American Davis Cup teams (1990, 1992), Agassi achieved a career record of 30-6 in Davis Cup play for the United States. Agassi’s passionate performances, non-traditional apparel and style, and extraordinary skill made him one of the most iconic athletes in the history of the game. He is credited for reviving the popularity of the game and inspiring a generation of tennis players.

In 1999, Agassi came back from two sets down against Andrei Medvedev in the final to win the French Open, putting him in the elite company of Rod Laver, Don Budge, Fred Perry and Roy Emerson, as the only five men at that time to have achieved a Career Grand Slam. (Roger Federer later joined them with his victory at the French Open in 2009.) This win also made him the first male player in history to have won all four Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces (clay, grass, and hard courts), a tribute to his adaptability.

Agassi turned professional in 1986 at the age of 16, and made his way into the top-100 in his first professional year, finishing the season ranked No. 91. He won his first Tour-level title in 1987, and closed out his second professional season ranked No. 25 in the world. In 1988 his year-end ranking was No. 3 and he surpassed $2 million (US) in career prize money, after playing in just 43 career tournaments – the fastest anyone in history had reached that mark. Agassi enjoyed a long, successful career through 2006, during which time he earned more than $30 million (US) in prize-money, fourth only to Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal to date.

In June 2003, at the age of 33, Agassi became the oldest player to hold the No. 1 singles ranking, a position that he held onto for twelve weeks. Agassi retired from professional tennis on September 3, 2006, after losing in the third round of the US Open. He delivered a memorable retirement speech and was honored with an eight-minute standing ovation from the crowd.

During his career and into retirement, Agassi has been a dedicated philanthropist. In 1994, he founded the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, which is devoted to helping at-risk youth in Las Vegas and its surrounding areas. Since the inception of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education $150 million dollars has been raised to benefit the mission of the Foundation, including $92 million from the Grand Slam for Children fundraising event. In 1995 and 2001, Agassi was awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award, which is presented annually to one ATP World Tour player in acknowledgement of outstanding humanitarian contributions.

In 1997, he established the Andre Agassi Boys & Girls Club in Las Vegas, which supports 2,000 children throughout the year and boasts a world class junior tennis team and basketball program. Additionally, the club utilizes a rigorous system that encourages a mix of academics and athletics.

In 2001, Agassi opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a tuition-free public charter school in Las Vegas’ most at-risk neighborhood. The school utilizes advanced technology, smaller class sizes and extended school hours, among other tactics, to combat lowered academic expectations and to foster a sense of hope among this community’s most challenged children. In 2009 and 2010, the school graduated a 100% acceptance rate for higher education.

In 2007, Agassi joined forces with Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken, Jr. to found Athletes for Hope. The non-profit organization helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes and aims to inspire the sports community, especially athletes, to make a difference and to inspire others to pass their passion for philanthropy from generation to generation.

Agassi is married to retired professional tennis player and 2004 Hall of Famer Stefanie Graf, and they reside in Las Vegas with their two children.

Induction Process
International Tennis Hall of Fame President and 1970 Hall of Famer Tony Trabert serves as Chair of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee. Election to the Hall of Fame is voted on by a panel of more than 100 tennis media professionals around the world and a 75% favorable vote is required for induction.

Inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame are elected in the categories of Recent Player, Master Player and Contributor. To be eligible for Hall of Fame induction in the Recent Player category, the individual must have been active as a competitor in the sport within the last 20 years prior to consideration; must not have been a significant factor on the ATP or WTA Tour within five years prior to induction; and must hold a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level. Consideration is given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.

Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of tennis. Since 1955, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 218 people representing 19 countries.

To learn more about Andre Agassi’s induction or about the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, please visit tennisfame.com or call 401-849-3990.

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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was recognized as the sport’s official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a six-acre property that features an extensive Museum chronicling the history of the sport and honoring the 218 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility that are open to the public and to a club membership; a rare Court Tennis facility; and an historic 297-seat theatre. Annually in July, the venue hosts the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. The buildings and grounds, which were constructed in 1880 by McKim, Mead & White to serve as a social club for Newport’s summer residents, are renowned for their incredible architecture and preservation. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners including BNP Paribas, Campbell Soup Company, Chubb Personal Insurance, Kia Motors and Rolex Watch USA. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.

International Tennis Hall of Fame Announes New Directors

NEWPORT, R.I., September 10, 2010 - The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum has announced the election of eleven new members to the Board of Directors. The new directors were all elected today at the Hall of Fame’s Annual Meeting in New York City. The new directors are John P. Arnhold of New York; Mark D. Ein of Washington, D.C.; Renée A.R. Evangelista of Lincoln, R.I.; James (Jim) L. Farley of Cincinnati, Ohio; Philip H. Geier, Jr. of New York; Madam Sun Jinfang of China; Katherine Burton Jones of Newton, Mass.; Geoff Pollard AM of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Will Prest of Minneapolis, Minn.; Michelle Sicard of New York;and Ken Solomon of New York. Additionally, George Gowen, who served as General Counsel for the Hall of Fame for the past 30 years, has been recognized as a Hall of Fame Life Trustee. Gowen is a partner at the firm of Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller in New York.

“I am pleased and honored to warmly welcome our class of highly experienced, talented and committed new Hall of Fame and Museum Directors,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “Each of these individuals brings a variety of talent, resources and expertise to the organization and their active participation will be very helpful in our efforts to preserve the history of tennis and provide a premier landmark for tennis fans, while honoring the game’s greatest legends and contributors. We are also pleased to announce that George Gowen has been awarded the designation of Hall of Fame Life Trustee. George has served the Hall of Fame as General Counsel with distinction for the past 30 years, along with his firm of Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller.”

John P. Arnhold is chairman and chief executive officer of First Eagle Investment Management, LLC (FEIM), as well as co-president and co-chief executive officer of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Holdings, Inc. In addition, he serves as the president of and a trustee of the First Eagle Funds. Arnhold joined FEIM in 1983 following positions with Chase and Lehman Brothers. In addition to his directorships at FEIM and its affiliates, he is a director of Arnhold Ceramics and the Quantum Endowment Fund, as well as on the International Advisory Board of Hanseatic Asset Management. Additionally, he is a director of the Arnhold Foundation, which focuses on education, conservation and the arts; and the Mulago Foundation, which advances global health initiatives. Arnhold is a member of the board of trustees and the investment committees of Trinity Episcopal Schools Corporation, where he was a past president, as well as Vassar College. He also serves on the board of directors of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Arnhold is a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara.

Mark D. Ein is the founder and chief executive officer of Venturehouse Group, LLC, a technology holding company that creates, invests in and builds technology and telecommunications companies. He is also the founder and chief executive officer of Capitol Acquisition Corporation (AMEX: CLA.U), a special purpose acquisition vehicle formed for the purpose of making an acquisition of a growth company. Through Leland Investments Inc, his personal investment holding company, Ein is the co-chairman and principal shareholder of Kastle Systems, LLC, one of the country’s leading providers of building and office security systems. He is also the founder and owner of the Washington Kastles, the first World Team Tennis franchise in Washington D.C. Ein is a native of the Washington area, where he actively supports many community, charitable and cultural organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Economic Club of Washington D.C., The District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP), The Tennis Center at College Park and The Potomac Officers Club. He also serves on the Steering Committee for the Business Executives for National Security (BENS) DC, the Advisory Board of the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund, the Donor Advisory Group for the FasterCures Philanthropy Advisory Service, and the Selection Committee for the George J. Mitchell Scholarship program. Ein is an executive producer of Kicking It, a documentary film about the Homeless World Cup of Soccer, that was shown at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and has formed distribution deals with both ESPN and Netflix. Ein is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and he earned his M.B.A. from The Harvard Business School.

Renée A.R. Evangelista is the co-managing partner of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge Rhode Island Offices, where she is focused on sophisticated estate planning for an array of clients including professional athletes, venture capitalists, retirees, family business owners, CEOs, trust companies and banks. Evangelista is an appointed member, by the Rhode Island Supreme Court, to the Rhode Island Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission (MCLE), and she has served on the Rhode Island Board of Bar Examiners. Besides Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, Evangelista is an appointed member to the Board of Trustees for The Wheeler School in Providence, R.I., and she serves on the Executive Committee of the Institute for International Sport. She served as chair of the Ethics Subcommittee and as a member of the Financial Subcommittee for the Women’s Sports Foundation in New York, a foundation established by Billie Jean King. Evangelista has served on the Development Committee for the International Tennis Hall of Fame for several years.

James (Jim) L. Farley is the president, managing partner and co-founder of Nursing Care Management, Inc., a privately held long-term care company with ownership and management of nursing facilities, home health care and hospice services and other related companies.  Prior to this position, he was a successful hospital administrator/executive for approximately 15 years. Farley served on the Board of the American College of Nursing Home Administrators where he was the national president/chairman in the early 1990’s. Farley is active within his community, having served as a bank board of director, president of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Ohio Health Care Administrators Licensure Board and president of the State Hospital Association. Farley is an avid tennis player and he has served as president of the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Association, founder and chairman of the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame and chairman of  USTA/Midwest Committees. Farley and his wife and two daughters have been active and successful in tennis, and were named the National Tennis Family of the Year in 1990 by the United States Tennis Association. The Farley family owns and manages the Western Tennis and Fitness Club in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Philip H. Geier, Jr., served as chairman and chief executive officer of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. from 1980 through 2000. In February 2001, Geier formed The Geier Group to provide consulting/advisory services in the marketing, communications, and venture capital areas. Additionally, Geier is a senior advisor for Lazard Frères & Co., LLC and serves on the Board of Directors of AEA Investors Inc., AgKnowlege Holdings Company, Inc., and Cross MediaWorks. He has retired from the Boards of Fiduciary Trust International, Alcon Labs Inc., Mettler-Toledo International Inc., and Foot Locker Inc. Geier’s philanthropic director/trustee relationships include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Save the Children, Autism Speaks, Columbia Business School, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Mr. Geier holds a B.A. in Economics from Colgate University (1957) and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from Columbia University (1958).

Madam Sun Jinfang is currently the administrative vice president of the Chinese Tennis Association. She has served in this position since 2004. Madam Sun is also an executive board member of the Chinese Olympic Committee, as well as the director of Tennis Administrative Centre of General Administration of Sport of China. From 2001 – 2004, Madam Sun served as the director of the National Sports Lottery. Prior to that she held the position of deputy director of the Sports Administration Department in Jiangsu Province since 1983. Madam Sun was elected as a top 10 sports person in China in both 1981 and 1982. From 1971-1982, she was a renown volleyball competitor, and she was a member of the Chinese championship Volleyball World Cup team in 1981, as well as the winning team at the Women’s Volleyball Championships in 1982.

Katherine  Burton Jones is the director of development at the Museum of African American History – Boston and Nantucket. She was the assistant dean for information technology and media services at the Harvard Divinity School from 2000 to 2009. With Paul Marty (FSU faculty), she is an editor of and contributor to the book Museum Informatics (2007). She is the editor of The Wired Museum: Emerging Technology and Changing Paradigms (1997), a book available from the American Association of Museums. Jones has written many articles on the use of emerging technologies for museum. Her current research interests focus on the use of technologies in support of the mission of non-profit organizations and on social marketing. Jones is a former president of the Board of Directors of the Museum Computer Network and a former member of the New England Museum Association Board of Directors. She holds a graduate degree in Anthropology from Florida State University.

Geoff Pollard AM is retiring in October 2010 after serving Tennis Australia with distinction as its president for 21 years from 1989 – 2010. Pollard was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1988. As president and chairman of Tennis Australia, Pollard has led the Association through on and off court achievement and a significant corporate governance change to convert Tennis Australia from an amateur association to a modern and successful professional corporate body. During Pollard’s tenure, Tennis Australia has become profitable and has substantially increased national player development initiatives, among many other successes. As chairman of the Australian Open, Pollard has overseen the development of the tournament from an Australian Championships, whose Grand Slam status was in jeopardy, to one which is now at least equal, and in some cases the leader, with the other Grand Slams. In particular he has taken the Australian Open from being primarily a domestic event to becoming Australia’s largest annual international sporting event worth between $150 and $250 million annually to the Victorian economy. Pollard has been elected by his international peers as vice president of the International Tennis Federation, president of the Oceania Tennis Federation, chairman of the ITF Rules of Tennis Committee and Chairman of the ITF Technical Commission, and member of many other worldwide committees such as WTA Tour Board, Grand Slam Committee and Davis Cup Committee.

Will Prest is chief marketing officer and head of business development for Transamerica Retirement Management, Inc. (TRM), where he has steered the development of branding, marketing, and the online businesses from the ground up since its 2006 launch. Since then, Prest has taken on responsibility for growing outside distribution directly with employers and through various intermediaries such as group benefit brokers, affinity groups, and health care companies. Prior to joining TRM, Prest served as vice president of field development and national sales support for H&R Block Financial Advisors, where he developed the strategic direction for delivering the company’s financial advice through a sales force of 1,000 advisors across a national network of 140 branches. Prest also served as vice president of financial planning for MetLife Financial Services where he built and implemented a fee-based financial planning platform across a field force of 6,200. Prest also spent more than eight years in various regional, sales management and marketing roles for American Express Financial Advisors, including region director for the Eastern U.S. Prest holds an M.B.A. from Boston University, Graduate School of Management, and a B.A. in Psychology from Pitzer College in Claremont, California.

Michele Sicard is a managing director and head of corporate communications for North America for BNP Paribas. In this role Sicard is in charge of devising and implementing BNP Paribas communication strategy in North and South America, including coordination with Bank of the West, BNP Paribas retail banking division in the United States and BNP Paribas’ offices in Latin America, and ensuring both are aligned with the Group’s global strategy. Areas under her leadership include media relations, advertising, sponsorships, charities, internal communications and client events. Sicard has been with the BNP Paribas for more than 10 years and has held this position since 2006. Prior to BNP Paribas, Sicard was head of press and public relations for GAN – CIC Group, an insurance and finance group. She has also worked as an Account Manager for Agence Véronique Foucault Conseil, a public relations firm in Paris.

Ken Solomon is chairman and chief executive officer of Tennis Channel. In this position, he leads the continued growth of cable television’s ultimate destination for everything tennis, utilizing more than 20 years of cable, new media, TV production, distribution and advertising experience. Solomon has held top posts at Universal Television, DreamWorks, News Corp. and Scripps, and prior to Tennis Channel, he founded and led Fine Living Network, where he developed the network from concept to launch in just over a year. Earlier in his career, as president of Universal Studios Television (also Studios USA Television), Solomon oversaw program and asset development and distribution activities on a worldwide basis for primetime network, cable, syndication, and made-for-television movies. During his tenure Universal captured the Emmy award for best drama with “Law & Order” and pioneered the licensing of an original series across multiple network platforms with “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” to NBC and USA Network. Earlier in his career, he served as executive vice president of network distribution at Fox Broadcasting, leading the network through its transitional ascending period where he was responsible for all network affiliate relations, as well as leading the network’s successful transition of dozens of CBS, ABC and NBC affiliates to Fox, and launching the NFL and NHL franchises. Solomon has served on the board and the executive committee of leading trade association NATPE International. Among his numerous accolades, Solomon has been honored as “Humanitarian of the Year” by H.E.L.P. Group, one of the largest and most influential children’s charities in the western United States.

George Gowen has served the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum as General Counsel for 30 years. Gowen is a partner at Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller in New York, where he is a member of DBM’s estate, trust and private clients, corporate, art law and not-for-profit religious and charitable institutions practice groups. Gowen is a member of the New York Bar Association, Sports Lawyers Association and International Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland. Additionally, he served in the U.S. Army and he has served on United Nations Commissions. Gowen is an adjunct professor at New York University Graduate School of Business Administration. He is an alumnus of Princeton University, and he earned his J.D. at the University of Virginia.

Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum offers an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and honors the game’s greatest legends, historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880 and are open to the public, an ATP World Tour tournament and the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July, and numerous public events year-round. To learn more, visit tennisfame.com.
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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was recognized as the sport’s official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners, such as BNP Paribas. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.

Pete Sampras Named Tennis Night in America Spokesman for 2011

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Pete Sampras, a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, will serve as the first spokesman for “Tennis Night In America,” a joint promotional effort between the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and StarGames, Inc.

“Tennis Night in America,” the annual celebration of tennis that includes youth registration events at facilities around the country and concludes with the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, will take place February 28, 2011.

“I am honored to be the first spokesperson for ‘Tennis Night in America’,” Sampras said. “Tennis was a great sport for me when I was young and having tennis facilities around the country come together to promote the game and the BNP Paribas Showdown makes for a great celebration for tennis.

“Last year Tennis Night had over 700 tennis facilities involved.  I would like to see that reach 1,000 in 2011.”

“Tennis Night in America” showcases tennis at local facilities around the country. In 2010, more than 700 tennis clubs and recreation centers hosted open houses, clinics and parties. Along with the festivities was the USTA’s Youth Registration Night, the organization’s largest youth tennis recruitment effort.

“Tennis Night in America is a great platform to raise awareness of our sport, and now with the help of one of tennis’ greatest stars, we can raise the level even higher,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA.  “We believe Tennis Night can be a platform to kick off the tennis season in hundreds of markets throughout the United States.”

Sampras, who began his professional career at the age of 16 in 1988, holds 14 Grand Slam singles titles, the most Wimbledon titles (7), two Australian Open titles, five US Open singles titles, and the record for the most number of weeks as World No. 1 with a total of 286 weeks.

Sampras debuted in 1988 and played his last professional tournament in 2002 when he captured the US Open, defeating longtime rival Agassi in the final. Sampras walked away with a total of 64 singles titles and a World No. 1 ranking, which he held for a record six consecutive years from 1993 – 1998. Sampras was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.

In addition to serving as the Tennis Night in America spokesman, Sampras will also play in the BNP Paribas Showdown. In 2011 the event will renew classic rivalries of the 80’s and 90’s, as John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl will compete in a one set pro match (first player to win eight games) followed by a best of three set match between Sampras and Andre Agassi. The four all-time greats have won a combined 37 Grand Slam Singles titles and 295 ATP Tour events.

“Tennis Night in America” began in 2009 and is a partnership between the USTA and StarGames, the co-promoter of the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden.

“We started ‘Tennis Night in America’ as a promotional idea, and with the partnership of the USTA, it has grown into an exciting grassroots program to involve the broad tennis community,” said Jerry Solomon, President and CEO of StarGames. “With Pete’s support and involvement this year, the whole concept is taken to an even greater level. Pete has been an inspiration to so many tennis players, and we look forward to him spreading the message of the game on this special day.”

The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by StarGames and MSG Sports. Tickets will officially go on sale September 27 @ 10:00 a.m. and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. BNP Paribas Showdown information, including an opportunity to sign up for pre-sale alerts prior to tickets going on sale, can be found at www.tennisshowdown.com.

For more information on “Tennis Night in America,” fans around the country can visit www.tennisnight.com.

Tennis Greats and Celebrity Fans to Attend 2010 Legends Ball to Benefit Tennis Hall of Fame

NEW YORK, NY, September 8, 2010 - While US Open action heats up on court for finals weekend, the tennis industry will go glam off the court at the star-studded Legends Ball, the premier social event of the US Open, which serves as a fundraiser for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. Tennis legends, industry executives and VIPs, and celebrity tennis fans will gather to honor the heroes of the game and celebrate its history at the extraordinary event which will be hosted on Friday, September 10 at 6:30 pm at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

More than 20 tennis Hall of Famers will be in attendance including Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Pam Shriver, Gigi Fernandez, Mark Woodforde, Stan Smith, Ken Rosewall, Russ Adams, Butch Buchholz, Maria Bueno, Owen Davidson, Donald Dell, Jan Kodes, Brad Parks, Nancy Richey, Vic Seixas, Fred Stolle, and Tony Trabert. In addition, celebrity tennis fans including The Real Housewives of New York City cast members Ramona & Mario Singer and Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford will attend. Honorary Co-Chairs attending include Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour; Jean Gachassin, President, French Tennis Federation; Lucy S. Garvin, Chairman of the Board and President, United States Tennis Association; Tim Phillips, Chairman, All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club; and Phillip H. Scanlan AM, Consul General of Australia, New York. Former tennis star Vijay Armritraj will emcee the evening and LPGA champion Annika Sorenstam and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe will present awards.

This special night of celebration will honor a host of tennis luminaries including Martina Navratilova, who will receive the Eugene L. Scott Award and the Hall of Fame Class of 2010 – which features the extraordinary doubles teams of Gigi Fernandez & Natasha Zvereva and Todd Woodbridge & Mark Woodforde; mixed doubles champion Owen Davidson; Derek Hardwick, an influential tennis administrator; and Brad Parks, the first ever wheelchair tennis inductee, who is also one of the pioneering founders of the wheelchair game. Mercedes-Benz will be presented with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award.

In addition to rubbing elbows with tennis legends and industry leaders, guests can bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique items in a silent and live auction. More than 65 unique items will be on the block ranging from exclusive access at all four Grand Slams in 2011 to luxury Caribbean vacations, as well as unique opportunities such as hit sessions with tennis greats, celebrity meet and greets, tickets to major sporting events, autographed sports memorabilia and more. Auction items may be previewed online at: www.biddingforgood.com/tennisfameauction
For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about the event, call 212-843-1740, visit www.tennisfame.com or e-mail legendsball@hgnyc.com. The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Newport, RI, is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.

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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was recognized as the sport’s official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners, such as BNP Paribas. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.