Why We CARE about the CARE Award

November 04, 2022

It is easy to say you have a strong company culture and work environment where employees can thrive. Actually creating and demonstrating one is another story. For USTA Mid-Atlantic our story starts with our team and the culture we create together.


As a team, we describe our culture with these four principles: People First, Teamwork, JEDI, and Fun. Living this culture is something we’ve been working on consistently year after year, embraced and driven by each person on our team. Over the past year, emphasis has been placed on discovering, understanding, and nurturing each other's talents and strengths so each person can be the best version of themselves in their work and life. In parallel, data about our innate strengths is being used to better align our talents with one another to maximize potential and unlock stronger performance across the organization. 


This commitment to culture and attention to employee well-being is precisely why USTA MAS is a recipient of the 2022 CARE Award given by the Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS). This year's award is special because this will be the sixth time USTA MAS has been presented with this recognition by NVFS.


The CARE Award acknowledges outstanding companies proactively nurturing their work culture and using exceptional employee engagement strategies to cultivate the best place to work across the DC Metro region.

It is an incredible achievement to earn a CARE Award six times, but what does this accomplishment really mean? For one thing, it validates that we are creating and nurturing an exceptional culture at USTA MAS. But, this is best told by our own people, the team dedicated to growing and promoting tennis and helping increase access to the sport for everyone in the Mid-Atlantic region.


Question: What does receiving the CARE Award for the sixth time show about us as a company and the employees that work here?


“We have created an environment where our staff feels as though they can show up as their authentic selves everyday and be successful and this makes us really proud, '' said USTA MAS CEO Tara Fitzpatrick-Navarro. “The CARE Award signals we are doing the right things and being leaders in our community. The work is not done, though. We are motivated to continue to seek ways to create the best possible environment for our top priority - our people.” 


“What makes the USTA MAS company culture special is we realize that instead of trying to make everyone the same, we embrace everyone’s capabilities and play on each other's strengths to be successful,” said Deirdre Hughes, marketing manager for USTA MAS.


“Winning this award is a telling sign of how much thought and emphasis is put into growing our employees as people,” said Erica Gratton, team tennis coordinator for USTA MAS. “The resources we are given here not only help me to become a better member of the team, but also help me succeed in my personal life as well.”


How does having a healthy work environment help us give back to the tennis community around us?


“Having a healthy work environment allows the USTA MAS staff to be our best selves for the community we serve,” said Jeri Ingram, director of development for USTA MAS. “Intentionally implementing a healthy work environment is being the example that we want the tennis community to see and experience as they pursue their tennis journey with the USTA MAS support.”


“By providing the space where employees can grow professionally and personally, this directly funnels into how staff is able to show up and pour into the tennis community around our section,” said Mikiya Ellis-Glunt, marketing and communications coordinator for USTA MAS. “With teamwork and balance, it makes everything possible.”


“We make a proactive effort in providing support and value to our tennis community,” said Alex Chan, associate director of community engagement for USTA MAS. “They make an impact in their local communities, and we do our best to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.” 


“Winning the CARE Award speaks volumes to our company culture because it brings light to the invisible forces our organization encompasses and represents: Diversity, Drive, and Unity,” said Jeanine Acierto, tournament coordinator for USTA MAS. “USTA Mid-Atlantic does a phenomenal job of maintaining company values day-to-day ensuring those values are implemented in our programs for overall success.” 


As we move forward, the Mid-Atlantic Section will continue to embody what it means to be a CARE Award recipient by continuing to make our Section a better place for every individual to work, live and play. As a Section, we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves, creating  meaningful and beneficial connections through a sport we all love.


This year, USTA Mid-Atlantic was honored at the CARE Awards presentation ceremony  on November 4, 2022 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. You can learn more about us and our award-winning team.


To stay up to date on all things tennis in the Mid-Atlantic make sure to follow USTA Mid-Atlantic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps people and communities grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. Learn about our impact in the Section and how you can help bring tennis to more communities throughout the region.

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