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USA Tennis Florida and USPTA Florida Division Share Passion to Grow Tennis

June 10, 2005 04:32 PM
Bob Pfaender USTA/USPTA Award w/Don_Doug

Volunteers are teaching professionals and teaching professionals are volunteers.  Chuck Gill, immediate past president of the USPTA, Florida Division, and Don Cleveland, president of USA Tennis Florida recognized this and created the first joint United States Professional Tennis Association, Florida Division Annual Meeting and USA Tennis Florida Semi-Annual Meeting.

The setting was the beautiful Registry Resort in Naples, June 3rd to 5th.  Ideas, energy, and enthusiasm were shared.  Most important was the passion for the growth and development of tennis that was celebrated by both groups throughout the weekend.

A highlight of the weekend was the USPTA Awards luncheon.   Doug Booth, Executive Director of USA Tennis Florida, presented the prestigious USA Tennis Florida/USPTA Florida Division Service Award.  This award represents the shared spirit of both organizations.  It is presented to a volunteer who represents and gives to both groups as a part of his dedication to tennis.  It recognizes leadership and vision in promoting both organizations.  This year the award went to Bob Pfaender of Wilson.

While Bob Pfaender is not an official member of the USPTA, he has been a supporter of hundreds of tennis professionals during his career in the tennis industry for the last 30 years. He also was a teaching professional in his early tennis days in New Jersey. In addition, he was a highly ranked junior player in Florida competing with players including Brian Gottfried, Harold Solomon, and Eddie Dibbs.

He is the father of three beautiful girls, the last of which just graduated high school this year.  Tennis Industry Magazine named him the National Sales Rep of the Year in 2003.  He is currently a member of the USA Tennis Florida Board of Directors and Recreational Tennis Council. His late father, Marvin Pfaender is a member of our Hall of Fame and a past president of USA Tennis Florida.

Other USA Tennis Florida staff and volunteers recognized by the USPTA during the awards luncheon included:
District Volunteer Awards:
Tallahassee—Kelly Tucker
Daytona—Rita Gladstone
Lee County—Kiko Castillo
District Professional of the Year:
Jacksonville—REB Phillips
Daytona—Dave Brown
Professional of the Year:  Whitney Kraft

Members of both organizations came away from the weekend with a new appreciation for the “power of two.”  We all agreed that when two enthusiastic tennis groups combine, the energy and the enthusiasm and passion are exponentially expanded.  Hopefully, this will be the first of many shared occasions.






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