Board of Directors Spotlight: Joanna Beall
Joanna Beall is the current USTA Vermont President. Her passion is growing tennis in the Green Mountain State, specifically through programs like Junior Team Tennis, local NJTLs and Tennis On Campus. She feels that wherever you are you are in New England, whatever tennis community nurtured your fire, or however you express your love of the game, the Board of Directors is always seeking a variety of perspectives and could be a great fit for you.
Why did you decide to join USTA New England’s Board of Directors?
As the incoming President of the State Association of USTA Vermont, I was quickly made aware of the leadership support I would enjoy by becoming a member of the USTANE Board of Directors. The opportunity to collaborate with other section presidents seemed like an offer I could not refuse; I could engage thoughtfully and productively with USTANE staff; I wanted direct access to initiative and policy changes coming from USTA National; and I could observe the creative ways other states in our region solved similar problems. During my on-boarding journey, I was buoyed by the insights of state presidents from Rhode Island and New Hampshire and have received patient and informative care from USTANE staff. I have accepted that Vermont’s many challenges must be informed by the successes and failures of state association and section initiatives. It takes a village!
What is your professional background?
In my professional journey, I have been equally lucky in meeting the right people at the right time. As a degree holder from both undergrad and graduate writing programs at Johns Hopkins University, I have used my skills to teach creative and expository writing, mentor students at all stages of their academic careers, advise on capstone projects, collaborate with talented educators on program development, helm a Master of Arts distance learning program, and witness the growth and development of two decades of unforgettable writers and academics. My own research and creative writing efforts are enriched by all these experiences. For the past 20 years, I have also managed an LLC dedicated to the maintenance, sale, and distribution of 2 and 3-d work produced by two generations of artists. Finally, through my business Application Allies, I support high school and transfer students through the tricky college admissions process. In this role my goal is to build trust, harness creative energy, and collaborate with parents and guidance counselors to help students find their best path into an uncertain future.
How has your expertise helped USTA New England achieve its mission to promote and develop the sport of tennis in New England?
I am an excellent communicator, an inquisitive collaborator, a conscientious and well organized leader, and a quick learner. These skills have allowed me to support the Board President as Administrative Council Chair, providing insight over the activities of Public Relations, Hall of Fame, Awards, and Officials committees. I have made it my business to understand where these committees find their challenges, organize tasks, and carry out plans of action. I have met such lovely people truly dedicated to tennis at all levels throughout our section! I also serve as Board Liaison to the Tennis On Campus committee. I see their mission as three fold: find ways new college students can integrate their high school tennis experiences into their college lives; support active TOC programs and events; and build pathways into adult tennis for graduates, whether through careers in coaching or officiating, recreational competitive play, or building community with other tennis players wherever their lives take them.
What is a USTA New England initiative you’re most passionate about?
Like everyone, I am drawn to support tennis in ways that fit the needs of our state, our resources, and my own personal love of the game. I find inspiration working with young people, so I work locally and at the sectional level to keep tennis focused on the future through Junior Team Tennis, our Bennington Aces NJTL, and Tennis on Campus programs. Our aging tennis infrastructure means that rural Vermonters are not alone in having limited access to well maintained public courts; facility initiatives (maintenance, repair, new buildings) are very important to me because we cannot grow tennis without safe places to play. Finally, as teaching is a professional and personal driver, educational programs geared toward training our next generation of players, coaches, and officials have a great deal of my attention.
Why should someone consider volunteering as a board member with USTA New England?
Wherever you are in New England, whatever tennis community nurtured your fire, however you express your love of the game, our section Board of Directors is always enriched by a variety of perspectives. Join us and share your tennis joy by helping New England grow the game.
Tell us how you initially got connected to tennis?
Like so many players, my earliest tennis memory is on a public court; the surface was asphalt, the net, a chain link fence, the North Carolina summer sun blistering. Did I own a racquet; I don’t know. Over my childhood years, I flirted with the game as I lacked the athleticism that allowed me to see tennis as a lifelong sport. But I married a man whose vision of the future included a partner who could match him on the court as well as off. Family life didn’t always provide the time, opportunity, and energy to become the player I wanted to be. Consequently I didn’t embrace tennis until my mid-fifties; this meant finding humility in learning as an aging adult; overcoming a significant shoulder injury; managing emotions on the court; and finding my tennis people. While I continue to hone my skills on the court, I find it equally important to connect players with opportunities, organizations and individuals with resources, and share information about Vermont tennis with anyone who will listen!
Apply to be on the Board of Directors
The USTA New England Board of Directors is comprised of Officers, State Delegates, Delegates at Large, President’s Appointees and recent past presidents. The board is elected every three years and is the final authority on all policy matters of USTA New England.
The application for the 2024-26 term is now open. If you are looking to get more involved in the New England tennis community and have creative ideas that could improve the landscape of tennis right here in New England, you could be a perfect fit! Unique viewpoints and new and diverse ideas to help grow and develop tennis in New England are encouraged.