USTA New England Honors 2017 Award Winners
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | January 22, 2018
MARLBOROUGH, MA- The New England tennis community is full of dedicated players, coaches and contributors, and USTA New England recognized those who made the most meaningful impact on and off the court in 2017. The organization celebrated its annual award winners at a luncheon on Saturday, January 20 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Marlborough, MA.
“Our award winners are a microcosm of the devoted tennis community we have here in New England. Each one of them truly inspires the others in his or her own unique way, and we are extremely appreciative for their contributions to growing the game,” said USTA New England Executive Director and COO, Matt Olson.
Chief Meteorologist for Boston’s NewsCenter 5, Harvey Leonard, emceed the ceremony, and as a passionate tennis player and fan himself, he applauded the winners for their continuous work to grow the game.
“I love tennis and I play when I can, but I’m not doing what all these great people are doing,” Leonard said. “Getting people in their communities and young people into tennis is really a big deal. It gives them another interest and it’s a great way to compete, but even more so, it helps instill valuable lessons that will serve them so well throughout their lives.”
USTA New England honored 31 award winners as well as a number of volunteers at the ceremony, ranging from 5-30 years of service.
Thomas Dodd, of Attleboro, MA, was this year’s only multi-award winner. Dodd took home Eastern Massachusetts Volunteer of the Year as well as the Wheelchair Tennis Player of the Year honors.
Dodd earned his awards in part due to the success of his newly formed Community Tennis Association, South Coast Wheelchair Tennis Foundation, which gives both wheelchair players and non-wheelchair players the opportunity to play in an inclusive environment.
“Wheelchair tennis is a passion, so I don’t see it as volunteering, just being a fun part of my life,” Dodd said. “No matter what we do, we’re always having a good time with tennis, and knowing the work you put in and the effort that goes in is being seen and recognized by others, is always a humbling experience.”
Dodd was one of seven recipients selected as Volunteers of the Year.
The Ramirez Luna Family, with members living in Massachusetts and Florida, took home the afternoon’s most celebrated award, the Edwin Goodman Family of the Year. Consisting of parents Juan Alberto Ramirez Gonzalez and Blanca Luna Gomez and sons Juan Camilo Ramirez Luna, Julian Ramirez Luna and Felipe Ramirez Luna, the Ramirez Luna lives and breathes tennis.
Each of them has been both a player and coach and has made enormous impacts on younger players both in their native Colombia and in the United States.
Oldest brother Juan Camilo was on the coaching staff for the men’s tennis team at Warner University that took home the 2016 National Christian College Athletic Association National Championship, while middle brother Julian took home the New England PTR Pro of the Year Award in 2016.
“We grew up on the tennis court, and we’ve been involved from a young age,” Juan Camilo said. “Tennis has done so much for us and has brought our family very close. We’re all in different places now, but we talk about tennis whenever we get the chance, and it’s something that will always keep us close.”
Special to the ceremony this year were two additional awards. Peter Francesconi, of Tennis Industry Magazine, gave out the Community Tennis Association of the Year Award to Advantage Kids, of Gilmanton, NH, while Pam Paquette took home USTA National’s Grassroots Glass Ball for top grassroots official in New England.
The following junior players took home Youth Sportsmanship Awards:
Sebastien Lowy (Boys’ 14 and Under), Jennifer Riester (Girls’ 14 and Under) Derek Shen (Boys’ 16 and Under) Jason Boucher (Boys’ 18 and Under) and Maggie Dorr Girls’ 18 and Under)
The following received Volunteer of the Year Awards:
Thomas Dodd (Eastern Massachusetts), Allen Dunbar (Western Massachusetts), Herb Mendelsohn (Connecticut), Norm Archer (Maine), Bruce Leibig (New Hampshire), Charles Dress (Rhode Island) and Laury Shea (Vermont).
The rest of the award winners are as follows:
William Freedman Award- Toni Wiley
Joseph Deitz Bowl (USPTA Award)- Kevin Pease
PTR Pro of the Year- Marton Balla
Junior Team Tennis Organizer of the Year- Kendra Becker
Junior Tournament of the Year- JTT Connecticut State Championships
Community Tennis Association of the Year- Granite State Kids
National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Chapter of the Year- Moving on Up
Organization of the Year- Midcoast Recreation Center
Official of the Year- Joan McShane
Adult Tournament of the Year- Wentworth by the Sea Red Robin Series
Adult Female Sportsmanship Award- Maria Park (Weston, MA)
Adult Male Sportsmanship Award- Chris Terpko
USTA League Coordinator of the Year- Charlie Michaelman
USTA League Female Captain of the Year- Monique Collins
USTA League Male Captain of the Year- David Parekh
Special Tennis Event of the Year- Stowe Mountain Lodge Classic