We'll Never Stop Wowing Our Members

John R. Embree, USPTA CEO

When we were designing our state-of-the-art headquarters in Lake Nona, Fla., our goal was to create a home of which our National Staff and our entire membership can be proud. I take great joy in welcoming our members, introducing them to our staff and showing them around our beautiful building.

One of the first things members notice when they walk in is our mission statement – I’m sure you all know it: “to elevate the standards of tennis-teaching professionals” – emblazoned on the wall behind reception. They also see three core values that are ingrained in our DNA:

1. Serve Our Community

2. Empower Our Team

3. WOW Our Members

These values are carefully crafted, and we take them to heart. Take our World Conference in Las Vegas this past September, for example. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to say it was not one of our best World Conferences in the last 15 years. We lived up to all three of our core values with the quality and depth of the education presented. The bar was raised to a superior level.

Wowing our members isn’t just a goal of the national office; it permeates throughout the Association. The fact that we hosted 132 education events that were attended by over 4,300 people in 2019 reflects on the incredible work that our divisions do each and every year to engage our members and make them better professionals. Whether they be small lunch-and-learn get-togethers or larger division conferences over several days, each is designed to inspire and motivate our members to serve their constituents as best as possible.

When we moved to Lake Nona and assembled what was ostensibly a brand-new team, we worked tirelessly to create a culture that is totally focused on providing the absolute highest quality customer service. For two and a half years, we lived by that credo of wowing our members with timely follow-up and cheerful phone comportment. I’ve heard from so many people that they enjoyed their experience when dealing with our customer service team. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

However, at the time of this writing, we are going through significant turnover on our staff in two important departments, which has resulted in not doing the job of promptly answering the phones or following up on correspondence that required immediate attention. For that, I take full responsibility.

I want to be clear: the group we have in place is wholly dedicated to doing the right thing. They have tremendous work ethic and I am proud to represent them. They worked diligently through December and January, when the sheer volume of calls from members paying their dues was overwhelming, even with a full staff.

Thus, I ask for your patience as we work through the process of rebuilding our team. It won’t be easy to fill the holes left behind by the good people that have moved on, but I am excited about the prospects of bringing in talented individuals to join the team. They will undoubtedly bring a fresh perspective and new ideas for ways to regain your trust and confidence.

They will also take seriously, just as all of us on the National Staff do, our core value to wow our members. Because only when we go above and beyond for you can we really elevate the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches.

So please, stop by, take a tour of our office and say hello, won’t you?