Middle States

A Man with Many Hats

A Conversation with David Killian

David Killian kept losing tennis matches, and he simply was not OK with it. 


He was 14 at the time and had been playing for about five years. Problem was, for as long as he played, he continued to lose to this one player.


“What do you do?” he asked. “I got a job so I could afford to take lessons, and beat the guy.”


Pretty simple. Pretty effective.


Thirty-plus years later, Killian is now known in tennis circles around Philadelphia for his time running professional tennis events in the area, as well as for serving as President and Tournament Director at Philadelphia Liberty Tennis Association (PLTA). Killian’s ties to tennis run deep, and his life experiences go even deeper.


A former college standout at the University of the Sciences, Killian is now helping to lead a team coordinating the international Gay Games, which will next take place in Hong Kong in 2022. The games feature tennis and many other sports, and expects to welcome 12,000 players.


Killian is also a part of the USTA Middle States Diversity Immersion for Volunteer Engagement (DIVE) Initiative, working to bring a more diverse population of volunteers into the organization.


“I can say for sure: it’s been a busy few years,” he said. “I’m excited, though, about everything we have going on and all of the great potential we’re seeing out there”


Killian is keeping his local connections, and stays involved with PLTA and local tennis in Philadelphia. He said he’s met lifelong friends through PLTA, and is thrilled to see current President Matthew Wong leading the organization into a new chapter.


And for his tennis game?


“Well, I’m playing more than ever,” he said. “Working from home, I’ve been able to replace my commute time with tennis. My movement isn’t what it used to be, but I’m keeping up with my game.”

Get to Know David Killian


Started playing: 8 years old

Education/College: University of the Sciences (formerly Philadelphia College of Pharmacy)

Unique tennis experiences: Worked in professional tennis for a few years, running tournaments in Philadelphia. Moved to Charleston, S.C. for eight years before moving back to Philadelphia. Has served in numerous leadership roles throughout the industry and beyond, including Team Philadelphia.

Fun Fact: Been to more countries than states. Also been to four continents. A goal is to get to all seven.

Something to know about PLTA: “It’s a place for everyone to play. No one is turned down or turned away, regardless of background. This organization fosters tennis competition but has also built a community with some of my best friends.” 


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