The Lake Travis Tennis Association (LTTA) is honored to have been selected to participate in a new initiative co-sponsored by the Southern, Northern California and Texas sections of the United Tennis Association. The Community Tennis Association Leadership Development Program (CLDP) brought together a select group of community tennis association (CTA) leaders from the three USTA sections for a series of virtual and in-person education, collaboration and networking. LTTA board vice president Sara White, along with the Capital Area Tennis Association executive director Fernando Velasco, Houston Tennis Association executive director Emily Schaefer and Spring Branch Tennis Association executive director Erinn Murray were the four Texas CTA representatives invited to participate.
“With CTAs serving such an important role in delivering tennis at the local level, it only makes sense to invest in the leadership of these organizations. In collaboration with USTA Texas and USTA Northern California, that’s exactly what we’re doing,” said USTA Southern President Randy Jackson. “Our different sections have much to learn from one another, and this is a perfect opportunity to facilitate that learning.”
For five months the group convened for a series of webinars with business and non-profit leaders. In between the webinars, each section joined in online sessions to pose questions and offer resources. One Google Meet included a "book club" session with former USTA President Katrina Adams to discuss her memoir published last year. Emily Schaefer, executive director of the Houston Tennis Association, said, “The CLDP pilot has demonstrated how important continuing education is for CTA leaders. Some presenters offered graduate school type training; all of them provided valuable information for those running a small or large community tennis association.” Some of the other speakers who addressed the group were:
Rachel Kubicki, founder of Accelerated Charity Group and previously part of the launch of the yellow Livestrong wristband with the Lance Armstrong Foundation
Antoinetta Mosley, founder of the I Follow the Leader consulting firm to facilitate training on diversity, equity and inclusion
Jeffrey Campbell, former CEO, Burger King
In August the group gathered in person for the first time at the ATP Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina for an in-person, two-night gathering to share ideas about how to move forward as well as spend time at the tournament.
One of the CLDP’s co-creators was Amy Franklin, USTA Southern’s Community Development Committee Chair. “The CTA Leadership Development Program has provided a fantastic vehicle to enhance, challenge and strengthen local CTA and tennis leaders,” Franklin reflected. “The engagement of our participants has proven that our local leaders are receptive and enthusiastic to learn, lead and share information amongst their peers. This will no doubt lead to stronger, more sustainable organizations.” Chris Horne, who serves as president of the Petaluma Tennis Association in USTA NorCal, remarked, "I can't even begin to put a value on the information, resources and leadership network I have obtained being involved with the first CLDP. I look forward to sharing this wealth of knowledge with our Board, volunteers and community.”
Next steps post-August include building an alumni network of CLDP participants, who will bring their learning to the local level, and serving as a resource for other CTA leaders in their states and sections. For more information about the program, contact USTA Southern Director, Community Tennis Andrew Feldman at firstname.lastname@example.org.