Meet The New USTA Missouri Valley President: Steve Henry
Get to know the newest President of USTA Missouri Valley, Steve Henry, Director of Tennis at Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
What is your mission as president?
My mission since becoming a USTA volunteer years ago is to promote, grow, develop, and service the game of tennis, only now my boundaries have been increased to cover a 7 district 5 state region. To work with our staff at the Missouri Valley office, staying within our budget to execute our mission of growing the game of tennis.
How many children do you have?
I have two girls.
Do they play tennis?
Jordan, my oldest plays, she was a high school state champion and went on to play college tennis at Abilene Christian University. Ryan, my youngest does not play, she was a gymnast in college but I keep trying to get her out! I’m not giving up, one of these days!
What roles have you been in as a volunteer for USTA tennis?
Oh my! There have been so many!
I started serving 16 years ago and have never looked back. I truly enjoy giving back and hopefully making a difference. Our USTA Tennis Service Representative Laura Puryear convinced me to attend a USTA Oklahoma board meeting 16 years ago and I guess you can say that I have been hooked ever since. Locally I started on the USTA Oklahoma board as a quadrant rep. then VP of Adults, then as Oklahoma President. Next came Missouri Valley appointments serving on the executive board as secretary, then Vice President, next First Vice President and now President of USTA Missouri Valley. Nationally I have served two years each on three committees: Junior Team Tennis, Adult League, and Junior Competition. I have served on Missouri Valley Personnel Committee, the League Grievance Committee and League Grievance chair. I am also on the Missouri Valley Tennis Foundation and have served on the Oklahoma Tennis Foundation.
Where are you from?
I was born in OKC but moved around quite a bit when I was very young. I have lived in OKC since I was 15.
Not even close. Mexican Food.
Have you always played tennis?
I started a little late. I played infrequently until about the age of 18. I didn’t play in high school. It wasn’t offered. At about the age 18 I met others that played. After that, it’s all I did! I probably played 5-6 days a week for the next 12 years before getting married.
Best Tennis Memory?
Sorry I have three!
At the top is getting to play doubles with my daughter Jordan in three National Father/Daughter tournaments in California.
My first trip to the US Open. It was a pinch me moment to be on the grounds of the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center and at Arthur Ashe stadium for the first time. I had watched so many past US Opens on TV, to be there in person the was special.
I get a great thrill each year attending our USTA awards banquets. Whether it’s our Oklahoma district awards, or the USTA Missouri Valley Awards banquet. For me there is something special about seeing the whole audience engaged and reuniting, with old friends and colleagues.
Everyone is reconnecting and reliving past memories on the tennis courts. Seeing firsthand what this game has meant to so many is a special moment.
What do you do besides volunteer your time as President of USTA Missouri Valley?
I operate the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
Your biggest accomplishment?
By far being a husband and father are my biggest accomplishments. Second would be operating the OKC Tennis Center. When I was in my twenties, I once worked behind the front desk at the tennis center, I took lessons, played tournaments and leagues here my whole life. To managed the facility that I have played at for 40 years is special. I also have to add that bringing 8 USTA adult league national championships to OKC and the tennis center is very special for me.
Favorite part of your job or as the USTA Missouri Valley President?
That’s hard to say since my term has really just started, but I really look forward to working with our great staff at the USTA Missouri Valley office and meeting more players from across USTA Missouri Valley.