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August 14, 2017


Each year, USTA Intermountain honors individuals and organizations that work to promote and develop the growth of tennis in the Intermountain Section of the United States Tennis Association. Intermountain’s six Districts (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming) annually nominate candidates for the following recognitions: Organization of the Year; Family of the Year; Barbara Clark/Diversity & Inclusion Community Service Award; Jan Dowse (exemplary volunteer/staff member) Award; Youth Tennis Ambassador; Developmental Coach of the Year; and Nikos Ridle (sportsmanship) Award. Awards given periodically when deemed appropriate are the David Freed (lifetime service) Award and the Jon Messick Leadership Award. Congratulations to all of our recipients!


USTA Intermountain announced its 2016 Annual Awards winners at an awards breakfast and ceremony held Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.




2016 ITA Award Winners, left to right: 
Kristofer Yee, on behalf of the Yee family (Family of the Year); Tom Campbell, (Developmental Coach of the Year); 
Andrew Valdez, (Jon Messick Leadership Award); Duke Paluch (on behalf of Rocky Mountain Tennis Center, Organization of the Year);
Tom Van De Hey, (David Freed Award); Ben Platt, (Barbara Clark Diversity and Inclusion Award); and Crystal McMullin, (Jan Dowse Award)
Not pictured: Julia Fenn, (Nikos Ridle Award); and Alissa Owen, (Youth Tennis Ambassador/10 and Under Award).


2016 Organization of the Year: Rocky Mountain Tennis Center; Boulder, CO

2016 Awards Video

Given annually to recognize the services rendered to Intermountain’s USTA members by its member organizations: Community Tennis Associations, Clubs, and Parks and Recreation Departments. Section winners are submitted to the USTA for the National Organization of the Year Award.


2016 Family of Year: Yee Family (Adam, Gabriella, Kristofer & Kimberly); Las Vegas, NV

2016 Awards Video

Presented annually to a family within the USTA Intermountain Section who has exemplified the benefits of tennis as a family recreational sport and has contributed to their tennis community in a significant way. Section winners are submitted to the USTA for the National Family of the Year Award.


2016 Barbara Clark Diversity and Inclusion Award: Ben Platt; Mapleton, UT

2016 Awards Video

Initiated in 2000 as the Community Service Award, this award was renamed in 2006 to honor Barbara Clark, who died in September of that year. Barbara was a longtime employee and ambassador for the Section. This award is given annually to honor an individual in the Intermountain Section who has made a significant contribution to multicultural populations and communities through tennis.



2016 Youth Tennis Ambassador (10 and Under) Award: Alissa Owen; Sandy, UT

2016 Awards Video


Initiated in 2012, this award is given to recognize the outstanding individual efforts of a coach, parent, CTA or organization that is helping to build the 10 and Under Tennis program.



2016 Nikos Ridle Award: Julia Fenn; Sheridan, WY

2016 Awards Video

Presented annually to a junior tennis player within the USTA Intermountain Section who exemplifies the spirit of tennis through their activities on and off the court. This award is given in memory of Nikos Ridle, a nationally ranked junior player from Billings, Montana, who was killed in an automobile accident at age 19. Section winners are submitted to the USTA for the Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award.



2016 Jan Dowse Award: Crystal McMullin; South Ogden, UT

2016 Awards Video

Named after Jan Dowse, former Executive Director of the Utah Tennis Association, this award is given to Intermountain’s Volunteer or Staffmember of the Year to recognize his or her outstanding contributions, personal unselfishness and devotion to the game.


2016 Developmental Coach of the Year: Tom Campbell; Boise, ID

2016 Awards Video


Initiated in 2000, this award is given to recognize the outstanding efforts of a developmental coach in the USTA Intermountain Section. This coach is being honored for his or her endless dedication to developing junior tennis players at all levels through teaching, presence at tournaments and events, and positive role modeling, on and off the court.



2016 David Freed Award: Tom Van De Hey; Denver, CO

2016 Awards Video

This award is given from time to time to an individual for lifetime service to tennis within the USTA Intermountain Section. This award was first introduced in 1988 and given to David Freed of Salt Lake City, Utah. David served as Intermountain's Secretary and Treasurer for 39 years from 1936-1975.



2016 Jon Messick Leadership Award: Andrew Valdez; Salt Lake City, UT

2016 Awards Video


Initiated in 2014, this new award was created in recognition of Jon Messick, Past President of the Intermountain Tennis Association. Jon served as President of Intermountain Tennis Association during a very challenging time in the Section's history. He responded to every problem with a soothing solution; involving all stakeholders in an honest and respectful manner that put the goal of growing tennis above all else. Jon's leadership exuded a quiet sense of purpose, a vision of what needed to be accomplished, and the resolution to address critical and often difficult issues. Through it all, he never lost sight of the fact that tennis was more than just a game, but a valuable venue for teaching life lessons. His leadership skills were also demonstrated in numerous Board and volunteer roles throughout the Colorado District and the Intermountain Section, as well as in his position as head coach of the Colorado State University women's tennis team. This award is given periodically in honor of individuals who exemplify the transformational and servant leadership characterized by Jon Messick.


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