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2006 USTA Florida Awards - SPECIAL AWARDS

December 15, 2006 12:40 PM

Jim Martz Media Excellence Award

Jodie Wagner of West Palm Beach
“Don’t Stop Believing”

Because tennis is just one of many sports competing for media coverage in the United States, reporters must be exceedingly diligent when it comes to finding an interesting angle to pique the readers’? and their editors’? interest. As a sports reporter for the Palm Beach Post and Neighborhood Post, Jodie Wagner has done just that by profiling a number of USTA Florida players and coaches and making their stories known to the general public. “Many of the men and women I have profiled are passionate about the game of tennis, and as a big tennis fan myself, I’ve enjoyed introducing these players and coaches to our community,” said Jodie, who is a big believer in the importance of positive thinking. “And I hope to continue doing so in my position as a neighborhood news reporter.”

Official of the Year

Sandi Pardon of Miami
“I Work Hard for My Money”

Over the past decade, Sandi Pardon has become a respected and renowned umpire who has made a significant impact in the officiating area. In addition to serving as president of the officials’ organization in her region, Sandi has spent the past three years serving as head referee for the University of Miami’s men’s tennis team and was chosen to be a referee at the 2006 NCAA Division 1 regional event. She is also an active USTA Florida volunteer, which is evidenced by her presence on the Volunteer Council, the District/Regional Appeals Committee for Leagues, and the Marketing Task Force. Sandi, who also serves as recruitment chair for the Officials Council, says she has gained deep satisfaction from her affiliation with the sport because, “I have had the opportunity to be instrumental in the recruiting and training of grassroots officials. At this level, I am able to be helpful in the on-court development and progress of juniors and adults alike. My biggest pleasure is witnessing players throughout their junior, collegiate, and even professional stages and knowing that their on-court actions may be in some small part as a result of the guidance offered along the way.”

Member Organization of the Year

Crandon Park Tennis Center
Accepting the Award Vishnu Maharaj
“Courting Excellence”

The Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne may be best known for hosting the high-profile international event called the Sony Ericsson Open (formerly the NASDAQ-100) each spring, but the facility is equally as busy during the other 50 weeks of the year. The center provides players of all levels with an opportunity to play on four different surfaces, including grass. In fact, the Crandon Park Tennis Center, which is also home to many Greater Miami Tennis Foundation programs, is one of only two public facilities in the nation that have grass courts. In addition, the center serves as the host site for seven USTA-sanctioned junior tournaments, three NTRP mixed doubles events, the Boys’ and Girls’ 14 Super Series Championships, and numerous other events. It also hosts many USTA-sponsored programs such as recreational coaches workshops and is a frequent destination for field trips that introduce junior players to all the available court surfaces. Most importantly, the Crandon Park Tennis Center has a highly professional cadre of staff members that is always available to serve the needs of the tennis community and ensure the continued growth of the lifetime sport of tennis.

> Back to Tennis supporters honored at annual meeting






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