The Tennis Alliance

The Tennis Alliance is working with the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks to study the potential use of County parkland for an indoor/outdoor tennis center.  

The Tennis Alliance mission is:
To provide a year-round home for tennis serving Anne Arundel County
To promote “Tennis for Life

Our Organization is –

  • A Maryland not-for-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status
  • Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors
  • Accredited with Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks
  • A USTA Certified Community Tennis Association more
  • USTA NJTL designated. National Junior Tennis and Learning more

 

Goals & Objectives

  • To promote TENNIS FOR LIFE
  • To PROMOTE THE DEVELOPMENT OF A TENNIS CENTER to serve Anne Arundel County
  • To GROW THE GAME OF TENNIS for fun, fitness and friendship
  • To promote HEALTH AND WELL-BEING through tennis
  • To develop values of RESPECT and SPORTSMANSHIP inherent in the game

Principles

  • Make it easy to find tennis opportunities
  • Collaborate with community-based organizations to implement programs of value that highlight exercise, health and well-being
  • Promote sportsmanship and respect in our players that extends beyond the tennis court
  • Steward a sound and transparent organization serving the best interests of Anne Arundel County
  • Run a professional Tennis Organization serving the needs of Anne Arundel County

 Board of Directors

    Louise Gengler Thomas, President

    Louise served as the Head Coach of Women’s Tennis at Princeton University for 25 years. She has served on several boards including the Princeton Tennis Program (PTP), one of the country’s most successful not-for-profit community-based tennis associations, and for 22 years she served on the Board of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). Louise has received national recognition for her contributions to the community and to the growth of women’s collegiate tennis. She is a recipient of the Educational Merit Award presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the ITA Meritorious Service Award. She was inducted into USTA Middle States Hall of Fame and the Mercer County Tennis Hall of Fame. As a player Louise competed as a nationally ranked Junior, captained her college team, and with her sister Margie Gengler Smith, achieved a #7 national ranking in USTA Women’s Doubles. Louise continued her coaching at College Park’s Junior Tennis Champions Center in 2011-2013. She currently serves as the Assistant Tennis Coach at Annapolis High School. BA Princeton University.

    Michele Archibald, Vice-President

    Michele is the past President of the Anne Arundel County Tennis Association (AACTA), winner of the 2012 USTA Maryland Organization of the Year award. She is also the past USTA Anne Arundel County Local League Coordinator and has held both of these positions for the last six years. In her first year as league coordinator, she was awarded the USTA Mid Atlantic Section Program Administrator of the Year Award (2008). She served on the USTA Mid Atlantic Leagues Committee and led efforts to implement standard rules across the section. She also participated in the USTA MD Executive Search Committee and USTA MD Nominating Committee for 2012. Michele is an avid tennis player and fully participates in all tennis activities in the county, state, section and national level. She is dedicated to promoting and growing the game of tennis. Michele is an accomplished Program Manager and Business Development professional, working with the federal government for the last 33 years, managing and leading projects valued over 5-10M per year for five years. She is a registered Project Management Professional and a Certified Biometrics Professional.
    BS James Madison University.

    Jeff DeCaro,Treasurer

    Jeff has practiced law since 1980, and is one of the founding partners of DeCaro, Doran, Siciliano, Gallagher & DeBlasis, LLP. He is barred in the state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia, and his practice is concentrated in the areas of Insurance Defense, both at the trial and appellate levels, Employment Litigation, Construction Litigation, with a special emphasis in Products Liability Law, and Commercial/Contract Litigation.

    Jeff is an active member of various Bar Associations including Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, Maryland State Bar, District of Columbia Bar, and Virginia Bar. Jeff served as the President of the Shipley’s Choice Homeowners Association for eight years, the Executive Committee of the University of Maryland Law School Alumni Association, Soccer Commissioner of the Greater Severna Park Athletic Association (GSPAA), and is now a member of GSPAA Board of Directors. For the past fifteen years, he served as the Commissioner of the Prince George’s County Bar Association Softball and Basketball Leagues, and has raised more than $25,000 for the benefit of the Carol Jean Cancer Foundation, Inc., during the Association’s annual softball tournaments.
    BA, University of Pennsylvania, Political Science, 1977
    JD, University of Maryland,1980.

    John Officer, Member at Large

    John Officer grew up in Hanover, NH and attended Williston-Northampton School in Easthampton, MA. He then went on to Boston College to receive a degree in History. During his freshman year in college John became the tennis director at a major resort entitled the Quechee Lakes Club. He helped grow their program throughout his four years at Boston College. After college he worked for two years as the Head Men’s Tennis Coach at Boston University as well as achieving a Masters in Education. In 1984 John accepted the job as Head Men’s Tennis Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy. He won over 450 career wins (most in program history). He won (10) conference titles (2nd most in school history). He was named United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) National Coach of the Year. He was twice named Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Coach of the Year as well as Naval Academy Athletics Association Spring sports coach of the year twice. His teams went to the NCAA’s (6) times. He produced (10) videos sold nationally. He wrote a philosophy book entitled: “Discovering Your Passion: The Path of the Spiritual Warrior”. While at Navy in the summers John was tennis director at the Myopia Hunt Club for seven years. He spoke to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Convention on four separate occasions. John organized the effort to bring conference qualification to college tennis. Additionally, John received four research grants from the Naval Academy to study the Warrior Ethos, Spanish tennis, Scottish tennis, and U.S. Tennis. John also spoke to Informed, Inc. board of directors on the concepts in the book. Recently he created a template for taking top flight players to the next level with “The keys to high level tour success”. Upon retiring last spring after 30 years John now serves as Director of the Naval Academy Athletic Association Coaches Group and as a Professor of Physical Education. Boston College, Boston University Master of Education./p>

Committee Chairs

    Henry Thomas, Director of Facility Development

    Henry is a registered architect and Design and Construction professional who has worked in the public, private and institutional sectors. His various completed projects include academic and parking structure facilities at Towson University, industrial/commercial facilities in Greenbelt Maryland, and most recently the 75 million dollar Science Library at Princeton University designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Henry is a tennis enthusiast and Anne Arundel league player residing in Davidsonville MD. BA Brown University, MArch Columbia University, MBA Wharton School University of Pennsylvania.

    Jennifer McGowan, Director of Business Operations

    Jennifer brings 30+ years of accounting and financial management experience in both for-profit and nonprofit arenas. She was a practicing CPA for 18 years with expertise in financial institutions and faith-based organizations. She was Director of Accounting and Finance at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, supervising a staff of 15 for 8 years. She currently provides full-range accounting and financial services from her home-based office. She was a graduate for the University of Texas at San Antonio, with degrees in Accounting and Business Data Systems.

Professional Advisors

  • Crosby Communications, Pro Bono Communications Consultant
  • Darren Burns, Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett & Scherr, LLP, Pro Bono General Counsel
  • USTA Maryland, Pro Bono Facility Planning Consulting

History

In September of 2012, the Annapolis Area Tennis School (AATS) initiated discussions with the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks regarding the urgent need for an indoor/outdoor tennis facility to accommodate year round play.

Following several grass roots round table discussions and planning sessions, a CTC (Community Tennis Center) Steering Committee was formed consisting of AATS Board members, community tennis leaders, and the Anne Arundel County Tennis Association (AACTA). AATS president Russell Fink served as Chair.

The CTC Steering Committee studied the needs and opportunities for a new tennis center in Anne Arundel County and developed a preliminary business plan, a mission statement, and a strategy for building a community tennis center that would be welcoming to the public, serve the needs of existing players, and reach out to new players and constituencies of all ages, abilities and economic means. The Steering Committee met with the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks and discussed the possibility for a public/private partnership to include the use of County parkland for the tennis center.

The Steering Committee made its final report to the AATS board in May 2013 detailing its accomplishments to date to include: participation in the 2013 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP) process, facility research, business planning, fundraising scenarios and a communication plan. In conclusion, the Steering Committee report recommended that the project move forward with the creation of a new organization that would promote the development of a facility in partnership with Recreation and Parks.

Of special significance was the Steering Committee’s role in 2013 LPPRP process.  On January 8, 2013, a large number of tennis enthusiasts attended a public meeting on the LPPRP to stress the need for a year round tennis facility.  Members of the tennis center Steering Committee requested that a tennis center be included in the LPPRP.  The Steering Committee also attended the Planning Advisory Board meeting on the LPPRP and testified before the County Council in support of a tennis center.  Over 200 people provided written or verbal comments to the County in support of a tennis center or additional tennis facilities.  These comments are documented in the 2013 LPPRP.  As a result of the strong public support the 2013 LPPRP recommended a feasibility study for an indoor-outdoor tennis facility to serve the needs of the Anne Arundel County tennis community.

The County is currently in the process of securing a consultant to conduct this study.  If the study is favorable, the Tennis Alliance of Anne Arundel County will continue discussions with the County regarding the use of County parkland for a year round tennis center.