President’s Paul Waldman Award

Kevin Theos - Homewood, AL

Kevin Theos currently serves as President of the USPTA Southern Division. For the last four years, Kevin has also led our mentorship program that has involved nearly 400 members across the country who help USPTA members with career advice and counseling. Kevin saw that there was a need for this program within the Association and took it upon himself to start it, manage it and grow it every year. Kevin is a USPTA Elite Professional and has been a member for 25 years.

National Awards

Kevin Theos (Homewood, AL)

Alex Gordon Professional of the Year

Jenny Gray - San Antonio, Texas

Jenny Gray of San Antonio, Texas, was named the 2020 Alex Gordon Professional of the Year. In 2019, Gray directed 13 sanctioned and unsanctioned tournaments across the country, including the USPTA Texas Ladies Champion of Champions Cup, the USPTA National Hard Court Championships and the USPTA World Championships in Las Vegas; where Fast 4 scoring was used for the first time at a USPTA Surface Championship event. Within her own club, she hosted her 16th annual Rally for the Cure benefitting Susan G Komen for the Cure, the DGG Ladies Cup, Davis Cup Member/ Guest and a holiday event benefiting Toys for Tots, among others. Gray also  served on the Executive Committee for seven years and was President of the USPTA Texas Division for three years. And when the Texas Divisional Board needed her, she stepped up to serve a second term as Regional Vice President for 2018 and ’19. She is currently serving as the Past President through 2021. Gray is a USPTA Elite Professional and has been a member for 19 years.

National Awards

Jenny Gray (San Antonio, TX)

George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award

Ken McAllister - Austin, TX

Ken McAllister was presented with the USPTA George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award. Bacso was instrumental in developing the original USPTA certification exam in the 1970s. He tells the story in his book, Cattle to Courts: A History of Tennis in Texas. McAllister spent 20 years as the USPTA Head Tester in Texas before becoming Executive Director of the Tennis Texas Association, which became USTA Texas, for 24 years. In 2008, he created the Community Tennis Association plan to give the power of running Texas tennis to local communities in Texas. He also served on the USPTA National Board of Directors in 2016 and ’17. McAllister has been a USPTA member for 45 years and became a USPTA Master Professional in 1987. 

National Awards

Ken McAllister (Austin, TX)

USTA/USPTA Community Service Award

Ed Collins - San Diego, CA

In his 48 years as a USPTA member, Elite Professional Ed Collins has made giving back to the San Diego tennis community his life’s work. His career started as a volunteer assistant at Monte Vista High School before being asked to take over the men’s program at the University of San Diego, which he led for 19 years. Ed also established a college fund in his father’s name, Julius Collins, which has raised thousands of dollars to provide free instruction and summer camps for children from low-income areas. 

National Awards

Ed Collins (San Diego, CA)

USPTA Star Award

Ron Woods - Corpus Christi, TX

Ron Woods currently serves as President of Tennis Success, a local non-profit NJTL Chapter in Corpus Christi that provides free tennis, education, healthy living programs and college scholarships to underserved youth in the community. Ron has served on the Tennis Success Board since 2012 and has volunteered as interim Executive Director several times since then. Ron is very involved in all aspects of Tennis Success, from fundraising to taking photos. He also directs the Whataburger Invitational High School Tennis Tournament, which has raised over $30,000 for college scholarships in the three years he has run it. Ron is a USPTA Master Professional, a National Past President and a 53-year member. 

National Awards

Ron Woods (Corpus Christi, TX)

Top Education Credit Earner

Mike Friedman - Highland Park, IL

Mike Friedman was named 2020 USPTA Top Education Earner. Friedman is a tennis professional at Winnetka Park District in Illinois and coaches through Net Generation. He earned the most continuing education credits of any USPTA member for the second year in a row, with 256 credits. He was recognized as the USPTA Midwest Illinois Professional of the Year in 2014. Friedman has been a USPTA Professional for 29 years.

National Awards

Mike Friedman (Highland Park, IL)

Bob Ryland Diversity Award

Andy Rodriguez Nerger - Toledo, OH

Under Andy Rodriguez Nerger’s leadership, the Twos Athletic Club started a wheelchair tennis program for up to a dozen players. The club also installed ramps for easy access to the courts. After many wheelchair tennis clinics, the club hosts socials with drinks and pizza for wheelchair and able body players to enjoy together. Andy was also presented the Wheelchair Performance Award by the USTA Midwest Section. Andy is a USPTA Professional and has been a member for one year.

National Awards

Andy Rodriguez Nerger (Toledo, OH)

USPTA Lessons for Life Award a

Clint Sumrow - Plano, TX

In 2019, Clint Sumrow co-directed the 29th annual Children Helping Children tennis tournament, which raised over $85,000 in 2019. The tournament was founded by Clint’s parents, Ken and Pam, in 1991 after Clint was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, which he beat after a year of treatment. Over 375 players competed in the USTA sanctioned junior open singles tournament, and it also featured raffles, a silent auction and adult mixer. 

National Awards

Clint Sumrow (Plano, TX)

High School Coach of the Year Award

Karen Ronney - San Diego, CA

Karen Ronney is in her 14th year as girls’ head tennis coach at Patrick Henry High School, where she has accumulated a 127-23 record in the CIF San Diego Division. She has led her team to eight Eastern League Championships in 12 years, and has produced five Singles champions and 11 Doubles champions. Karen also worked hard to create team-building activities and philanthropic initiatives, such as giving sandwiches to the homeless in San Diego and volunteering in the community. She is a USPTA Elite Professional and a 20-year member. 

National Awards

Karen Ronney (San Diego, CA)

Steve Wilkinson College Coach of the Year Award

Kim Gidley - Colorado Springs, CO

In 2019, Kim Gidley led the Air Force Academy women’s tennis team to a 22-3 record, which tied a school record for wins and set a new Division I era program record. The Falcons became the first service academy women’s tennis team to be ranked in the top 50. Air Force captured the Mountain West Conference championship and Gidley was named conference coach of the year. Additionally, four of her players were named to the Mountain West Academic All-Conference team. Kim is a 22-year USPTA member. 

National Awards

Kim Gidley (Colorado Springs, CO)

Industry Excellence Award

Kevin Young - Ridgefield, WA

As Pacific Northwest Territory Manager for Wilson Sporting Goods, Kevin Young drove 50% growth in performance racquet sales, as well as increases in ball and Wilson/Luxilon string sales. Throughout his career in tennis, Kevin has increased tennis participation and grown tennis businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest. Kevin is a USPTA Elite Professional and has been a member for 28 years.

National Awards

Kevin Young (Ridgefield, WA)

Tester of the Year Award

Don Henson - Coronado, CA

Allan Jensen was named 2019 USPTA Tester of the Year. Jensen is the tennis service representative at USTA Southern and also works with Hispanic outreach and Net Generation. In 2018, Jensen conducted nine tests for a total of 43 applicants. He was one of the first to be trained and implement the on-court testing app. Jensen went above and beyond when he flew out of his region to assist with a test that had an overflow of applicants.

National Awards

Don Henson (Coronado, CA)

Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the Year Award

John DeVorss - Portland, OR

John DeVorss of Portland, Ore., coaches several world-ranked wheelchair tennis players, including No. 3 David Wagner. In 2019, Wagner captured the NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters title and the Georgia Open title, and was runner-up at the 2019 US Open in doubles. John has been a USPTA member for 20 years. 

National Awards

John DeVorss (Portland, OR)

USPTA Elevate Award

Neely Zervakis - Seaford, VA

As Associate Director of the McCormack Nagelsen Tennis Center, Neely Zervakis developed ACEing Autism Williamsburg and directs many of the events at the club. In the Spring of 2019, Neely led the 10U and 12U JTT teams to championships. She also volunteered at tournaments and camps, including working with over 500 kids at Clara Byrd Baker Field Day. 

National Awards

Neely Zervakis (Seaford, VA)

Small Facility Manager of the Year Award

Marshall Carpenter - Denver, CO

As Director of Tennis at the James M. Swiggart JCC Tennis Center in Denver, Colo., Marshall Carpenter increased his after-school junior program to over 1,100 players through creative scheduling and active marketing in 2019. He also grew the adult drills and cardio tennis participation by over 20%. He also ran the Bow Mar vs. The World Pro-Am, where eight high-level players from Bow Mar took on eight pros from around Denver. Marshall is a USPTA Elite Professional and has been a member for 27 years. 

National Awards

Marshall Carpenter (Denver,CO)

Large Facility Manager of the Year Award

Robin Robertson - Bellingham, WA

In 20 years as owner/operator of the Bellingham Training & Tennis Club in Bellingham, Wash., Robin Robertson has grown the tennis membership from 150 to a cap of 450, and the number of tennis clinics and camps serving players aged 5 to 85 has grown every year. Robin lives out the club’s core value to “Always Improve” by investing in a fifth indoor court, new LED lighting and other facility expansions and upgrades. 

National Awards

Robin Robertson (Bellingham, WA)