Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Enshrined
NEWPORT, RI – USTA New England enshrined its esteemed Hall of Fame Class of 2023 on Sunday, June 11, in a ceremony at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. New England legends, Lisa Gilbride, Felicia Hutnick, Karen O’Sullivan and Harlan Stone, were celebrated for their lifetime of achievements as players, coaches, volunteers, philanthropists and tennis fans in front of family, friends, USTA New England and National Board members, and more.
Also recognized at the ceremony were Sally and Stephen Goldman, who were presented with the Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award, USTA New England’s lifetime achievement award.
“These incredible individuals have dedicated their entire lives to tennis, from playing and coaching to growing the sport in New England and beyond. It’s our privilege and honor to have them part of our section and to recognize their commitment to excellence in our sport,” said Lindsey Keeler, USTA CEO and New England Executive Director.
Bill Mountford, Director of Tennis at the International Hall of Fame, emceed the ceremony.
Lisa Gilbride, originally from Needham, MA, resides in Topsham, ME and is the recently retired Director of Racquet Sports at the Central Lincoln County YMCA in Damariscotta, ME, where she worked for 27 years. Through her work at the Y, and on the high school and college courts as a head coach, she gave thousands of players the opportunity to learn or improve their tennis skills.
“This was unexpected and amazing. I just tried to just soak it all in since it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Gilbride said. “I’m proud of what the Y has done, and I feel like I’ve been in the right spot at the right time throughout my life. Each person has made me feel like I could start something or make something happen, and I’m grateful I’ve had so many people in my life to show me the right pathway.”
Prior to her coaching days, Gilbride formed the women’s tennis team at Providence College, where she competed in the inaugural class and became the school’s first female athlete of the year.
Gilbride was presented on Sunday by her daughter, Molly Gilbride Arnold, who years later, followed in her footsteps and played tennis at Providence college.
“As nice as all of this is, without people to share it with, it wouldn’t be nearly as great, so I’m extremely grateful so many people could come out and support me,” Gilbride said.
Felicia Hutnick grew up playing USTA New England tennis in Wethersfield, CT. She excelled as a junior and collegiate player at Rollins College, and eventually went on to compete on the WTA tour. She was previously elected to both the Wethersfield High and Rollins College Halls of Fame, but this honor holds a special place in her heart.
“Yes, I’m in two other Halls of Fame, but I am New England. I’m Felicia Hutnick from New England, so this is my favorite and most important honor,” she said.
Hutnick is one of many former professional players elected in New England, including James Blake, who was enshrined in 2022.
- From left to right, pictured are Karen O'Sullivan, Steve Goldman, Sally Goldman, Felicia Hutnick, Lisa Gilbride and Harlan Stone.
- Friends and family gathered at the International Tennis Hall of Fame for the 2023 Induction.
- Six New Englanders were honored at the 2023 Induction Ceremony.
“It was great to go down memory lane and see all those names in the Hall of Fame and reflect and now my name is on that plaque with an unbelievable group of distinguished tennis players,” Hutnick said. “What better place than the International Tennis Hall of Fame to host this ceremony, and it was very touching to have my whole family together.”
Hutnick most recently won multiple Gold Balls as part of a mother/daughter team with her daughter Teresa.
She was presented by her brothers, Larry and Steven Hutnick.
Karen O’Sullivan is Boston tennis through and through. She grew up in South Boston where she had an historic junior career, reaching No. 1 New England rankings and top National rankings. She went on to play NCAA tennis at Duke University and has continued playing and captaining as an adult.
“One of the best things about tennis is the wonderful friendships it has brought into my life, and that was reflected by many of the people that came.”
O’Sullivan was joined by friends and family, including two longtime partners, Katrina Driscoll and Alex Chen, who presented her with the prestigious honor.
O’Sullivan is still active in tennis, serving on the USTA National Collegiate Committee and competing and captaining on New England Sears and Addie Cup teams. Her volunteer service has also included work on the USTA National Awards Committee as well as the USTA New England Board of Directors.
“This is a tremendous honor reflective of my lifelong involvement in tennis. The big theme is tennis has had a major impact in each of our lives in a very positive way, and it’s wonderful to be recognized for my involvement in the sport I gave a lot to but gave so much more back to me.”
Darien, CT is where Harlan Stone has spent most of his life honing his tennis craft. He’s had success as a junior, college player at the University of Virginia, and post-college throughout the USTA adult and senior tournament circuit.
Stone was presented by doubles partner, Jon Bates, with whom he’s held top New England and national rankings and have earned top prizes, including a Gold Ball in 2022.
“This is super exciting to be inducted with a great group of people who preceded and came in with me,” Stone said. “It’s nice to see so many great players and people in there who love the sport as much as I do. It’s a neat select club to be a part of.”
Stone’s tennis involvement has spanned off the court as well. His decorated business career has included jobs at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, USTA National, where he worked as the Chief Marketing and Business Officer, and President of Advantage International, one of the largest global sports and tennis marketing agencies.
He also has served on the Board of Directors or Advisory Board at Grassroots Tennis and Education (Norwalk/Stamford) since 1999, where he started and chaired their largest annual fundraiser, which has raised more than $1 million to date.
“Tennis has been everything for me. It’s opened every door in my career and created most of my friendships. You can’t love a sport more than I love tennis, and I’m sure my fellow inductees feel the same way,” Stone said.
Stephen and Sally Goldman have been together for 50 years, the majority of which has been as owners of the Weymouth Club in Weymouth, MA. Both competitive tennis players and coaches themselves, the Goldmans have put countless hours and dollars into making their facility one of the premier family-oriented tennis facilities in New England.
They are one of the leaders in innovation, performing around 30 major renovations and additions to the facility since its purchase. The club has been home to top juniors and teaching professionals, but the Goldmans’ pride and joy is their award-winning Tennis, Fitness & Arts Camp, which in its 37th year, has introduced hundreds of new children to the sport.
“Both Sally and I can look back and be proud of many things: the countless people who we taught the game to; how we kept the game of tennis as the strength of our business even as the industry at times waned; how we made the sport a priority, whether through a recession, or recently covid. Tennis is what we could always turn to. We thank our family, the USTA, colleagues, teaching pros, and employees for over 50 years for being a part of our success,” Stephen said.
The Goldmans were presented by longtime friend and USTA New England Past President, Bob Greene.
The USTA New England Tennis Hall of Fame exists to recognize and honor New England tennis players and non-players whose achievements or volunteer contributions in tennis-related activities have been outstanding over a significant period of time.
The Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award is given to an individual or individuals who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to tennis in New England.
Congratulations to everyone honored this year!
To view more photos from the event, click here.