USTA Names Recipients of Annual Awards

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (March 21, 2018) – The United States Tennis Association today announced the winners of its Annual Awards presented at the USTA Annual Meeting and Conference, held March 17-19 at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa Carlsbad, Calif. The honorees were recognized for their dedication to growing the game at an awards luncheon.
 
Below are the awards, descriptions and honorees:
 
Brad Parks Award: The Brad Parks Award was established in 2002 to honor an individual or organization that has been instrumental in the development of wheelchair tennis around the world through playing, coaching, sponsoring or promoting the game. The award was named after Brad Parks, a pioneer of wheelchair tennis and the first wheelchair tournament champion.
* Grady Landrum, Wichita, Kan.
 
Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award: The USTA bestows the Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award upon individuals who perpetuate Kraft’s selfless mission to bring the sport of tennis to everyone who wants to play.  Eve F. Kraft was a tennis pioneer whose ability to touch people’s lives exceeded the boundaries of the tennis court.  As a teacher, coach, author, USTA staff member and volunteer, Kraft was a lifelong champion of recreational tennis in the United States until her death in 1999.  She introduced thousands of young people to tennis, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
* Terri Florio, Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
 
Community Tennis Association of the Year: The Community Tennis Association of the Year Award honors a CTA for outstanding service in growing and developing the sport of tennis in its community.  The award recipient is selected from 17 nominees, one from each of the USTA sections, by a panel of USTA Community Tennis Association Committee members.
* Dallas Tennis Association (DTA), Dallas
 
Janet Louer USTA Junior Team Tennis Organizer of the Year: The USTA bestows the Janet Louer USTA Junior Team Tennis Organizer of the Year Award upon an individual who positively influences children’s lives and substantially impacts their community.  The award is named after Janet Louer, who was instrumental in the development of junior tennis during her lifetime.
* Mark Platt, St. Louis
 
NJTL Founders’ Service Award: The USTA NJTL Founders’ Service Award was created by USTA Diversity in 2011 and recognizes an individual NJTL chapter founder who is committed to positive youth development through tennis and education and provides free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to thousands of underserved children each year. The award is given to the recipient reflecting the values of NJTL founders Charles Pasarell, Sheridan Snyder and Arthur Ashe.
* Bert Cole, Arlington, Texas
 
Organization Member of the Year: The award is given annually and recognizes the outstanding services of a USTA member organization through its commitment to the tennis community, the organization’s members and the game of tennis. The award was instituted in 1981.
* Downtown Club at the Met, Houston
 
Ralph W. Westcott USTA Family of the Year Award: The Ralph W. Westcott USTA Family of the Year Award was created in 1965 by the USTA in honor of the late Ralph W. Westcott to emphasize the theme that “Tennis is a Family Game.” The award is given annually to the family that has done the most to promote amateur tennis, primarily on a volunteer basis. All members of the family should participate in tennis in some way, either as players or by offering their services in running programs or tournaments or in junior development activities.
* The Fridinger family, White Bear Lake, Minn.
 
Seniors’ Service Award: The Seniors’ Service Award was established in 1958 and is given annually to the person most deserving of the respect and honor of all senior players. It is awarded on the basis of the recipient’s willingness, cooperation and participation, either in play or organizational work, for the betterment and furtherance of senior competition. The award was first awarded to W. Dickson Cunningham of Rahway, N.J., for whom the trophy is named.
* David Carey, Asheville, N.C. (posthumously)
 
Volunteer Exceptional Service Award: The Volunteer Exceptional Service Award (VESA) recognizes the most outstanding USTA Volunteers. Starting this year, two awards will be given each year: one to a volunteer with more than 10 years of service, and one to a volunteer with up to 10 years of service. Nominees in each of these categories must currently be serving on a USTA National Committee.
* Steve Gerdes, Omaha, Neb. (more than 10 years of service)
* Roshan Rajkumar, Minneapolis (up to 10 years of service)
 
The USTA Annual Meeting and Conference brings together USTA Leadership, national staff, national committee members and section volunteers and staff in pursuit of the USTA mission: To promote and develop the growth of tennis. Along with leadership and committee meetings, the USTA Annual Meeting provides education opportunities for all attendees to develop and enhance their personal and professional skills and learn new ways to promote the game of tennis.