Provider Appreciation Month
We always dedicate the month of April to celebrating and appreciating the people who deliver tennis all year long! This year, we will be in person for two exclusive provider networking events. The first will be on April 6 in Ipswich, MA and the second will be on April 23 in Southington, CT.
We will also be highlighting tennis providers all month long on social media and featuring their number one coaching tip.
If you'd like to nominate someone for this, please email Ludmila Yamus at email@example.com.
Thank you for attending our free events. See below for photos and recaps.
Sunday, April 23 (Event Passed)
Kinsmen Brewing Company
For event photos, click here.
April 23 Panelists:
Peter Francesconi - Moderator
Peter Francesconi is the editor of Racquet Sports Industry, the world’s largest tennis trade publication, and through his company, Ace Media Group, he works closely with the Tennis Industry United, U.S. Tennis Association, American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), Tennis Industry Association among others.
Peter has been the editor for the ASBA/USTA publication “Tennis Courts: Construction & Maintenance Manual” since 2010 and editor of the ASBA/USAP publication “Pickleball Courts: Construction & Maintenance Manual” since 2016. He was managing editor of Tennis magazine from 1990 to 1999 and editorial director of Tennis’s custom publishing division from 1999 to 2009, in charge of USTA Magazine.
On the volunteer side, Peter is the chair of the USTA National Advocacy Committee, a member of the USTA New England Board of Directors and the president of USTA Connecticut. He also contributes on public relations committee for USTA New England and the marketing committee for the ASBA. While a frequent tennis player, he admits he needs to get out on the court much more.
Andre Danford - Panelist
Andre Danford has built a prestigious career as a top level tennis coach. He brings a wealth of knowledge from both the junior and adult phases of the game.
He is a USPTA certified racquet sports professional with over 25 years of coaching experience. Andre is currently the Director of Junior Competition at Lyme Shores Racquet Club. He is a USTA High Performance Coach and a long standing member of USTA New England’s Junior Competition/Tournaments committee.
He is also a Tennis in the Parks coach for new and beginner players. His dedication and devotion to the sport have merited him many awards and accolades for coaching excellence.
Danielle McNamara - Panelist
Danielle McNamara founded DLM Coaching, a coaching and consulting service that helps youth athletes maximize their potential on and off the court, in January 2023 after a long career as a college tennis coach.
Her 15 years of college tennis coaching experience include time at Yale University, the University of Texas and the University of Michigan. Danielle led the Yale Bulldogs to four Ivy League titles, four ECAC championships and was named the ITA Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2013.
Danielle played college tennis at the University of Michigan where she was a Big Ten Champion, an All-Big Ten player, Big Ten Sportswoman of the Year and a two-time Captain. She is also a former New England junior tennis player originally from Massachusetts.
Chris Marra - Panelist
Chris Marra is the Director of Tennis at Guilford Racquet and Swim Club in Guilford, CT, where he has been for over 25 years. In 2014, Chris developed the Guilford Collegiate Showcase, a platform for all high school players to get exposure to college programs throughout the Northeast.
He has coached girls' high school tennis for 20 years, winning a state title in 2022. He is an industry leader in expanding the scope of high school player pathways into college and beyond. Chris is currently the Vice President of USTA Connecticut.
Chris Lives in Deep River, CT with his wife Carolyn and their son Jonathan.
Shawna Fors - Panelist
Shawna Fors is the Director of Player Development for USTA New England, where she oversees both the adult and junior competitive tournament pathways.
Prior to her work with USTA New England, she worked as the Director of Client Success at PlatformQ Education, a higher education company, while also coaching the Men's and Women's Tennis teams at Lesley University. At the National level, she has served on a number of task forces providing strategic evaluation and planning on a variety of topics. Most recently evaluating and understanding the landscape of coaching in the U.S., reviewing trends, creating a SWOT analysis and developing a philosophical approach to enhance USTA's efforts in contributing to engagement of coaches.
Shawna is a former college player at Quinnipiac University, where she earned both her bachelors and master’s degree. She is also a former Eastern junior tournament player and current USPTA Elite professional.
April 6 Panelists:
Brian Lomax - Moderator
Dr. Brian Lomax is an expert mental performance coach and the author of The Mentally Tough Competitor: Mindsets and Perspectives to Achieve Excellence. He founded PerformanceXtra in 2009 to train athletes and executives on mental skills to enhance their overall performance as well as life satisfaction. His philosophical and practical approach is unique in the field of performance coaching.
In addition to his mental performance coaching, Brian is also the co-host of the Tennis IQ Podcast and is the chairperson of the USPTA New England Sport Psychology Committee.
Alex Skinner - Panelist
Alex Skinner is the Director of Tennis at Spark Fitness and Tennis Club and Executive Director of Serving Stars, an NJTL chapter that provides tennis, fitness, and educational enrichment to the young people of Lawrence, MA.
Alex has worked previously in a number of roles, including as a full-time faculty member and coach at Brooks School in North Andover, Director of Tennis at Edgcomb Tennis Club in Kennebunk, ME, and Director of Tennis and Chatham Beach and Tennis Club, where he still currently works.
Alex is a former NCAA DI player for Boston College and earned a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a former New England junior tournament player.
Samantha McCarthy - Panelist
Samantha McCarthy is the Director of Nutrition and Group Exercise at Cedardale Health and Fitness in Haverhill, MA. As a registered dietitian with specialized training in sports nutrition, she has worked with a variety of clients in the fitness field for over 10 years. She has been instrumental in building the Nutrition and Wellness department at Cedardale.
In her time there, she has developed several successful programs such as the 12-week HealthyLIVING wellness program, the HealthyLIVING Diabetes program, and two online nutrition courses for optimal immunity and optimal metabolism.
Jim Lawson - Panelist
Jim Lawson is a coach of the Lob-Stars adaptive tennis team based out of the South Shore YMCA Emilson in Hanover, MA. He is also a unified player who has competed and won a title at the USTA National Adaptive Championship.
Jim is a coach for the Special Olympics Massachusetts and an adaptive tennis consultant. He is the parent of a son with Down Syndrome and the Vice President of the Andrew James Lawson Foundation that promotes inclusion and unified sports.
Madeline Havens - Panelist
Madeline Havens is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) and is also USPTA, CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist), and RacquetFit certified. She is the founder of Penny Project Fitness, specializing in training for injury prevention and performance enhancement.
Madeline has a bachelor's degree in athletic training and clinical experience at Harvard University and The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention through Boston's Children's Hospital. This fall, Madeline is pursuing her master’s degree at Plymouth State University in Post-Professional Athletic Training as a graduate assistant.
In off hours, she coaches a few lessons on court at Bass River Tennis Club, and contracts for Jeff Salzenstein (former top 100 ATP Pro) at Tennis Evolution. Madeline was also the Head Salem State Women's Tennis Coach for 3 years.