Board of Directors

The TIA Board of Directors is represented by members including manufacturers, representative organizations, and associations who are the stakeholders in tennis. These members are the staple of representation on the TIA Board in respect to their position within their businesses, the tennis community, and their support of the Tennis Industry Association. These TIA Board Member companies appoint individuals from within their company who are best positioned to fulfill a representative role on the TIA Board. Existing board members follow their own internal succession plan and work with TIA to help provide consistency of representation and support for the TIA.

The TIA President and Officers are appointed and are the major stakeholders and financial contributors to the TIA. TIA Board Members can succeed themselves without limitation.     

Interested in Joining the Board?


Fred Stringfellow | Executive Director | American Sports Builders Association (ASBA)

Fred Stringfellow has served as the Executive Director of the American Sports Builders Association since 2009. He started his career in association management in 1992 with a Washington D.C.-based management company. In 2000, he co-founded the association management company King Stringfellow Group (KSG), and in 2012, he created the Stringfellow Management Group, the successor organization to KSG, which manages multiple associations.

With the ASBA, Fred's responsibilities include, among other things, leadership management, including the coordination of the Board of Directors, Committees and Task Forces; coordination of strategic planning; implementation of the strategic plan's activities and programs; and acting as a liaison to related industry organizations.

A graduate of Ithaca College and of the six-year program at the Institute for Organization Management at the University of Delaware, Fred has been a Certified Association Executive for the past 15 years. He also serves on the Board of Directors and on the Accreditation Task Force for the AMC Institute (Association Management Company). Fred is a past president of the Maryland Society of Association Executives and a past chair of the Association Management Council of the American Society of Association Executives.

Linda Clark | Vice President, Tournament Relations-Americas | ATP World Tour

Linda Clark currently serves as Vice President, Tournament Relations-Americas, for the ATP World Tour, the governing body of men-s professional tennis, with international headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. She joined the ATP in 2007 and oversees tournament services for the 17 events in the ATP-s Americas region, which includes four tournaments in Latin America and one tournament in Canada.

Prior to her move to the world of professional tennis, Linda worked in the professional golf and event industry for 20 years, holding positions as Tournament Manager for The Presidents Cup in Montreal, Vice President of Business Affairs for Golden Bear International and Nicklaus/Flick Golf Schools, and Senior Vice President of Executive Sports International. She also had consulting positions with the 2003 US Senior Open and the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

Eric Babolat | Chairman and CEO | Babolat VS SA

Eric Babolat is the fifth generation to run the company that bears his family’s name, becoming Chairman and CEO in 1998. The company was involved in tennis at the earliest stages; in 1875, the sport’s inventor, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield, visited the Babolat factory in Lyon, France (the company still uses the original building), which made strings for musical instruments at the time, and inquired about making strings for tennis racquets.

Babolat started manufacturing racquets in 1994 and, under Eric’s leadership, brought racquets to the U.S. market in 2000, the same year the U.S. headquarters was established in Colorado. Eric also led Babolat in partnering with another French brand, Michelin, to produce tennis shoes in 2005. The company also makes tennis balls, grips, accessories and apparel. Eric attended the Institution des Chartreux and the Université Catholique de Lyon.

Kai Nitsche | Vice President and General Manager | Dunlop Sports Group

Tennis industry veteran Kai Nitsche has worked at Dunlop Sports Group for 14 years, holding several sales and marketing positions before being named General Manager in 2006.

An avid 4.5 player who has played USTA League tennis, Kai has served on a number of volunteer committees to help grow the sport, and currently serves on both the national USTA Technical Committee and Tennis on Campus Committee. He's also served on both the USTA Southern Section and USTA South Carolina Marketing Committees. Kai played varsity tennis for Wofford College, where he received a bachelor's degree in accounting.

John Suchenski | Sr. Manager, Programming and Acquisitions | ESPN

As the Sr. Manager of Programming and Acquisitions at ESPN, John oversees the network's portfolio of tennis and golf properties and maintains relationships with the tournaments, event organizers, and other industry partners.

Over the past seven years, he has led the strategic short and long-term scheduling for all tennis events airing on ESPN's television and digital platforms, and has managed the implementation of the network's coverage at each event. In addition, John has been an integral contributor to many of the company's recent rights negotiations. Prior to joining ESPN in 2008, he worked at the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League, a minor league affiliate of the New York Rangers.

John is a graduate of Temple University, where he majored in Sport and Recreation Management. He is based at ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, CT.

Greg Mason | Vice President of Sales and Marketing | HEAD Penn Racquet Sports | Currently sitting TIA President

Greg Mason has spent over 25 years in the sporting goods industry in a variety of senior management roles. He has spent the last 12 years at HEAD Penn Racquet Sports, where he currently is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Racquet Sports Division. In the marketing portion of this role, he is responsible for all marketing and promotions for the HEAD and Penn brands in the U.S.; in the sales portion of the position he directs the U.S. sales force and sales management team, calling on retailers of all types nationwide. During his tenure as Director of Sales, the HEAD Penn sales force rose to achieve its first ever No. 1 ranking in the industry among surveyed tennis retailers nationwide.

Greg's prior experience includes management roles in the outdoor industry while a Vice President at Eastpak backpacks. He has also held sales management roles at both Reebok USA and Puma North America. His start in the industry came from having been a competitive collegiate runner and involvement at specialty retail locations in the Midwest. The variety of roles has led him to give presentations to and be involved with such diverse groups as the Outdoor Retailer Association, National Soccer Coaches Association, marathon training programs, USTA, PTR, USPTA and various other business and sporting goods audiences.

In January 2013, Greg started a two-year term as president of the TIA, and also is a presidential appointee to the USTA Board of Directors.

Meredith Poppler |Vice President-Industry Growth | International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)

Meredith Poppler has been the Vice President of Industry Growth at IHRSA since 2008. IHRSA is the trade association that serves to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness club industry; members include facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers. In her current role, Meredith's goals include increasing the industry's awareness of public policy issues, raising contributions to help promote policies and legislation, promoting the industry and IHRSA members through the media, and maintaining strategic alliances.

Meredith joined IHRSA in 1992 as sales manager then was named Vice President of Sales in 1999. She graduated from Syracuse University's Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Among her volunteer activities, she is the public relations director of the Winchester (Mass.) Tennis Association.

Todd Martin | Chief Executive Officer | International Tennis Hall of Fame

Todd Martin is CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum in Newport, R.I., a non-profit dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history of tennis and honoring its greatest champions and leaders. He also serves as the Tournament Director for the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event held annually in July. As CEO, Martin has oversight of development efforts to support the Hall of Fame's mission, the world-class tennis museum, and the annual Hall of Fame enshrinement festivities. Additionally, he oversees a year-round indoor/outdoor tennis club and a robust calendar of public and private events. He is also responsible for the Hall of Fame's buildings and grounds, a 7-acre site built in 1880, which is a National Historic Landmark.

Martin is retired from the ATP World Tour, where he achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 4, reached the finals at the US Open and the Australian Open, and was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team that won the championship in 1995.Since retiring from the tour, Martin has remained highly engaged in the tennis industry. In January 2013, he began serving a second term as a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors and is currently the board liaison to the Youth Tennis Council. Prior to taking on the CEO role at the Hall of Fame, he operated Todd Martin Tennis, which was focused on junior tennis development. Also in recent years, Martin has worked as a coach and spent time working with Novak Djokovic and Mardy Fish. Originally from Lansing, Mich., Martin attended Northwestern University, where he played varsity tennis for two seasons (1988-90).

Gavin Forbes | Senior Vice President, Managing Director IMG Tennis at IMG| International Management Group (IMG)

Bio coming soon!

Dr. Stuart Miller | Executive Director of Tennis Development | International Tennis Federation (ITF)

As head of Integrity and Development, Dr. Miller is responsible for all ITF integrity-related matters, including the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme. He also is responsible for the ITF Technical Department, which operates the Technical Centre—the world's leading tennis-specific research and testing laboratory, which undertakes research and testing, classification and approval of, and rules and regulations relating to, tennis equipment. In addition, the Sport Science and Medicine provision, the Rules of Tennis, the ITF Constitution, ethics, player welfare, wheelchair classification, and membership-related matters all come under Stuart's responsibility. He also acts as the ITF's Professional Tennis Integrity Officer on anti-corruption matters. The ITF Development Department is responsible for increasing the number and quality of players and coaches around the world, particularly in developing nations. It administers a variety of programs, including the Grand Slam Development Fund, which supports players, teams and facilities around the world, and Olympic Solidarity courses and scholarships.

Dr. Timothy Russell | Chief Executive Officer | Intercollegiate Tennis Association

Dr. Timothy Russell was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association effective July 1, 2015. He is now a member of the Board of Directors of the Tennis Industry Association. He was inducted into the ITA’s Men’s Tennis Hall of Fame in May of 2015, the USTA Southwest Section’s Tennis Hall of Fame in November of 2011, and the USTA Central Arizona Hall of Fame in April of 2009. Throughout 2013 and 2014 he served as a member of the national Executive Committee of the United States Tennis Association in his capacity as a Presidential Appointee.

An avid tennis player since he was nine years old, Dr. Russell was an active tennis volunteer locally, sectionally, and nationally for over two decades. From 2007-2010 he was the chair of the USTA’s national Collegiate Varsity Committee. From 2011-2012 he served as a member of the USTA’s Presidential Task Force on Tennis and Higher Education and as the Chair of the USTA’s national Junior Competition Committee. From 2003-2008 he was a member of the USTA’s national Youth Competition and Training Committee, of which he served as Vice Chair. He also served a two-year term as the national delegate from the USTA’s Southwest Section, following his two-year term as the Southwest Section President.

From 2003 to 2013 Dr. Russell served as the Chair of the Southwest Section’s Coaching Commission. He has made three presentations at the USTA’s National Tennis Teacher’s Conferences (regarding deliberate practice, mindfulness, and innovative ways to compare tennis teaching to the teaching of the arts) as well as offering sectional clinics. He was the coach of the Southwest Section’s 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 14’s Zonal Team. In 2008 the Southwest Section team won the nationalbZone Team Championship.

The Russell family was voted the Southwest Section Family of the Year for 2004, having been named the Phoenix Area’s Family of the Year for 1999 and 2004. Dr. Russell was named the Phoenix Area’s Junior Competitive Volunteer for 2000 and 2001. He was named the Southwest Section’s 2002 Junior Competitive Volunteer of the Year. Dr. Russell has become an innovative spokesperson for the sport of tennis. He hopes to finish a new book, Mindful Tennis: Lessons from the World’s Greatest Coaches, Touring Professionals, and Peak Performance Experts, written with distinguished Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer.

A Danforth Foundation Fellow, Timothy Russell spent over three decades in higher education, teachings at two major DI schools (now a Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University and formerly at The Ohio State University) as well as at the University of Rochester, a leading DIII institution. In 1995 he became a USPTR Certified Tennis Instructor, to further his knowledge of the sport.

Dan Santorum | Chief Executive Officer | Professional Tennis Registry (PTR)

As the longtime CEO of the Professional Tennis Registry, Dan has seen membership quadruple in his tenure, from an organization of 2,500 members in 68 countries to one with more than 14,000 members in 122 countries. Dan has personally conducted more than 350 PTR tennis teacher workshops on six continents, in 44 countries and 186 cities. In 1999, he became the first, and to this day the only, person to conduct courses for tennis teachers in all 50 states. In the early 1990s, Dan created the PTR ACE program, which educated and certified thousands of multicultural tennis teachers in the U.S. In 2005, he developed PTR on Campus, a successful program aimed at increasing the number of young tennis teaching professionals.

Dan, who holds a B.S. degree in Business Management from the University of Florida, has served on and continues to serve on several USTA national and sectional committees. He also sits on a number of industry boards, including International Tennis Hall of Fame and the National Public Parks Tennis Association. In 2006, Dan received the prestigious Educational Merit Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame. That same year, he was inducted into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. In 2010, he received the ITF's Service to the Game Award.

Tom Cove | President and CEO | Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA - formerly SGMA)

Tom Cove assumed leadership of the sporting goods industry’s largest trade association in January 2005, after 15 years building the organization’s advocacy and public policy presence in Washington, D.C. As President and CEO, he represents the interests of the nation’s sporting goods manufacturers by directing SFIA’s overall strategy and positioning among legislative, industry, and media influences.

Tom serves as the industry’s spokesperson before Congress and the media on issues promoting sports participation and safety, health and fitness, physical education, and product standards, and as the liaison for national and international partners and affiliates. He is responsible for fostering growth opportunities and industry collaboration among more than 1,000 leading manufacturers and distributors of athletic equipment, footwear, and apparel. Previously, as chief lobbyist, Tom managed SFIA’s government-relations activities. Among other things, he was instrumental in developing and securing Congressional approval for the Physical Education for Progress (PEP) program, which annually delivers more than $70 million to school districts.

Prior to joining SFIA, Tom served in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Foreign Operations Office, its Strategic Planning Office, and as a liaison for the DEA’s Congressional oversight and authorization committees. He also worked in the U.S. Senate, Office of the Sergeant at Arms, from 1979 to 1985. He serves on numerous committees and volunteer boards and holds a degree in economics from the University of Maryland and a Master of Public Administration from George Washington University.

David Egdes | Senior Vice President, Tennis Industry Relations | Tennis Channel

David Egdes is Tennis Channel's senior vice president, tennis industry relations, guiding the network's various tennis business interests and relationships, and acting as conduit to tennis players, agents, manufacturers, tournament directors, associations, governing bodies, clubs, sponsors and retailers. He was tournament director for the Tennis Channel Open in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, David began a three-year term as the International Player Board Representative on the ATP Board of Directors, and he was recently re-elected to a second term.

Before joining Tennis Channel, David was vice president of World TeamTennis, where he negotiated and oversaw more than 50 player contracts per year, among them some of tennis' most marquee names. He also was involved with the league's relationship with its 12 franchises. From 1997 to 2001, he served as a client manager for tennis at IMG, where his responsibilities included endorsement contract negotiation, sponsor relations and career management functions, the latter of which involved managing exhibitions, tour schedules, tournament entries, travel plans, coaches and practice facilities. David worked as an associate attorney at two Los Angeles law firms from 1991 to 1997, handling general civil litigation.

He holds a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and a bachelor's degree in political science and history from Trinity University in San Antonio, where he played for the men's tennis team and was an All-American in 1984. He participated in the amateur and professional tennis circuit in the U.S., Europe and South Africa from 1979 to 1984.

Adam Burbary | Founder and Owner | Game-Set-Match, Inc.

Adam Burbary is the founder and owner of Game-Set-Match, Inc., a premiere racquet sports retail enterprise. Beginning in 1989, Burbary opened a small pro shop, created and managed tennis programming and court maintenance for 16 clubs and 80 courts in a 16-mile radius, developing 1,000s of players. After 15 years, in 2005, he sold his programming business to focus on retail. Thriving in retail is a tough game yet Burbary has solidified his spot as the #1 Intermountain Retailer as a brick and mortar specialty shop. For the past 29 years, he has surpassed the obstacles presented by the technologically savvy consumer, a feat in today’s market. Having been a player, a pro and a business owner, Burbary realizes the value of staying competitive while actively participating in numerous sponsorships, partnerships and donations, therefore paying it forward to grow the game.

Burbary built Game-Set-Match, Inc. from the ground up to serve players of all levels carrying high performance racquets sports gear while fueling a friendly, knowledgeable staff. As one of the Top 10 national retailers, he provides a substantial economic impact on the industry coupled with his advocacy to be an access point for all players to get on the court, beginner to advanced. He has served on the National Advisory Staff for Prince, been a Premier Member of the Wilson Advisory staff for the past 28 years with 2 years as Advisory Staff Member Of the Year, received Wilson Business Partner of the Year six times, been a University of Denver Pioneering for Gold Award honoree, awarded Most Successful Tennis Specialty Retailer in the Intermountain and named 2016 Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year by Tennis Industry to name a few honors. Burbary’s Game-Set-Match, Inc. serves as a local hub for outstanding selection and top-notch service on racquet sportsngear. As a professional consultant and industry leader to pros, players, fellow business owners and clubs alike, Burbary offers expertise in product and service to all proponents of the game.

Jeff Williams | Group Publisher | The Tennis Media Company

Jeff Williams was named Publisher of The Tennis Media Company (Tennis Magazine, Tennis.com and Tennis 15/30) in 2001 and became Group Publisher in 2003. He also has been an Owner, Publisher and Editor of Racquet Sports Industry magazine (formerly Tennis Industry magazine) since 1985.

A longtime volunteer in tennis, Jeff was named president of the USTA Eastern Section in 2011, after serving on the section's Board of Directors since 2009. Also for USTA Eastern, he was chairman of the Personnel/Compensation Committee and on the Strategic Planning Committee. Nationally, he served on the USTA's Publications Committee (2003-2006) and Nominating Committee (2007-2010). He also has been chairman of the TIA's Tennis Industry Hall of Fame Committee since its inception in 2005 and is on the Board of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.

Jeff earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Florida, where he received the Wilkinson Award (Phi Gamma Delta National Award) for Outstanding Undergraduate and was named to the Florida Blue Key Honor Society and the University of Florida Hall of Fame. In 1999, Jeff received the Industry Merit Award from the American Sports Builders Association.

John Embree | CEO | U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA)

Embree has held a wide variety of influential tennis industry roles for more than 30 years. They include serving as President of Prince Sports, The Americas; President of Balle de Match LLC; and Vice President/General Manager, Racquet Sports Division for Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Most recently, he launched a tennis consulting practice to assist endemic brands, associations and new corporate entities in maximizing their impact in the tennis marketplace. His client list included the USTA, Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Peter Burwash International, Off the Grid Technologies, and Donnay USA.

John has served on many national USTA Committees, including the USTA Nominating Committee in 2005-2006 and recently as the Vice Chair of USTA Professional Circuits Committee for the 2013-2014 term. In addition, he recently served as Presidential appointee of the Board of Directors of USTA Middle States section, is a past member of TIA Board of Directors and Executive Committee, member of the Board of Directors of American College of Sports Medicine Foundation, and past President of the Chicago Tennis Patrons Foundation. One of his proudest achievements in tennis was the creation of the USTA Adult League Tennis program in 1980, when he served as the first USTA Adult League Tennis Administrator for two years. He earned a bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, and was inducted into the W and L Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

Kurt Kamperman | Chief Executive, Community Tennis | United States Tennis Association (USTA)

As Chief Executive of Community Tennis for the USTA, Kurt Kamperman leads the USTA's efforts to increase participation in the U.S., and in recent years he has played a major role in overseeing the USTA's 10 and Under Tennis initiative. He was a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors from January to April 2003 prior to accepting the full-time position.

Active in the tennis industry for more than 30 years, Kurt's expertise spans a broad spectrum of tennis and business fields. He has served as tournament director for a number of nationally televised tennis events, and as president of Stan Smith Design, he designed numerous world-class tennis facilities. As a tennis management and marketing consultant, Kurt has worked with dozens of top clubs, resorts and companies to increase revenue and improve the bottom line.

From 1996 to 2003, Kurt was president of the TIA, and during his tenure, the TIA established its comprehensive research program and invested more than $12 million in grassroots initiatives. A longtime tennis volunteer, Kurt has served on a variety of national committees. He is a member of both the PTR and USPTA and served as USPTA president from 1996-1997. A four-year scholarship tennis player at Youngstown State University in Ohio, where he earned a degree in education, Kurt later acted as coach at Youngstown State while attending graduate school and was named Conference Coach of the Year in 1981.

Hans-Martin Reh | Global General Manager Racquet Sports | Wilson Racquet Sports

Bio coming soon!

Illana Kloss | CEO/Commissioner | World Team Tennis (WTT)

Ilana Kloss was named CEO and Commissioner of World TeamTennis in 2001, heading up day-to-day efforts in both the U.S. and internationally. Her primary focus is on national sponsorships, strategic planning, media partnerships and expansion of the WTT Pro League. She also oversees the nationwide grassroots WTT Rec League programs. (WTT was co-founded by Billie Jean King and then-husband Larry King in the 1970s; King-s current role is mainly as a spokesperson, advisor and global ambassador.)

Ilana is a former professional player; she became the youngest No. 1 in South African tennis history at age 17. At age 20, she was the top-ranked doubles player in the world, winning doubles titles at the US Open and Italian Open, among other events, and adding the 1976 French Open Mixed Doubles Championship. Ilana played WTT for several years before becoming a team coach, then she joined the league full-time as player liaison in 1985. She took over as the WTT Vice President in 1987 and succeeded King as WTT Executive Director in 1991.

In early 2009, Ilana brought the USTA on board as a minority owner of World TeamTennis. The USTA works with WTT on a number of growth initiatives, including youth participation in team tennis. Ilana was recognized as Sports Business Woman of the Year by the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center in 2007, and in July 2013 she will be inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Steve Simon | Chairman and CEO | Women's Tennis Association (WTA)

Steve Simon has been entrenched in the sport of tennis since competing as a collegiate player. Out of college after spending six years teaching and coaching the game, Simon joined adidas as National Tennis Specialist, in charge of the development and management of all national, junior, collegiate and teaching professional programs. Simon was also responsible for the management of the Southern California Sales Office and all Western United States Tennis Sponsorship and Promotional Programs. In 1981, Simon competed in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon.

Simon joined the BNP Paribas Open team in 1989 and was named Tournament Director of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in 2004. During his tenure there, he also served as Chief Operating Officer of Desert Champions LLC, Garden of Champions LLC. Outside of the Grand Slams, under Simon's leadership, the Indian Wells tournament has become the largest two-week combined tournament and is the most attended WTA and ATP World Tour tennis tournament in the world.

Simon has served as the BNP Paribas Open representative on the ATP Media Board, and as a member of the WTA Board since 2004, equally serving as Chair of the WTA Tournament Council. On October 4, 2015, by unanimous decision of the Board, Steve Simon was appointed CEO of the WTA.

 

35 E Wacker Dr, Suite 850
Chicago, IL 60601-2106
Email: info@tennisindustry.org