April 2017 -- I am going to take a different approach with my message this month by reporting on two different events that have recently taken place, along with a sneak preview of two industry initiatives that will be forthcoming.
CMAA – With Orlando, Fla., being such an attractive convention destination for so many groups, the Club Managers Association of America brought their World Conference to the Magic City in early February. Over 2,500 general managers and other club personnel from all over the world attended this year’s convention. In our continuing effort to build a bridge with this important allied organization, the USPTA was represented by President Chuck Gill, First Vice President Gary Trost and me over the course of three days. Besides having a booth at their trade show, we attended various functions that allowed us to network with so many key managers and got to witness several educational seminars that were fantastic. And, Chuck Gill hosted his own seminar, talking about how golf-centric clubs can do more to enhance the member experience away from golf.
LAKE NONA IMPACT FORUM – The very next week in mid-February, I was fortunate to be invited to participate in the Lake Nona Impact Forum, which welcomed more than 250 thought leaders from business, academia, government and industry who are driving creative and innovative health and wellness solutions that will move the needle on health care expenditures nationally and globally. The high-profile members of this gathering are committed to unlocking innovation to create sustainable health communities and advance quality of life by exploring the intersections of wellness, sustainable living and education.
What an incredible lineup of 69 speakers who are the absolute best in their respective fields in medicine, technology, healthcare, the media and of course, sports. Two of the headliners were Dr. Richard Garmona, the 17th Surgeon General, and Sanjay Gupta, CNN medical contributor. On the sports side of the ledger were Dr. James Andrews, who invented the Tommy John surgery; Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic champion and eight-time world champion sprinter; Anikka Sorenstam, eight-time LPGA Player of the Year and Golf Hall of Famer; and Charles Woodson, Heisman Winner and Super Bowl champion. I came away from this three-day conference so motivated and energized. Being a part of the Lake Nona community is going to pay huge dividends to our association.
NET GENERATION – I was able to get a sneak preview of the newly created youth brand initiative that the USTA rolled out in March at the USTA Annual Meeting here in Lake Nona. You will be hearing a great deal more about how this effort will engage average consumers into our great game and how we as professionals will be asked to help drive this endeavor in our local communities. It is an all-encompassing program that will touch every aspect of the industry: from provider, parent, manufacturer, facility, coaches/tennis-teaching professionals, USTA sections/districts, media, US Open, etc. More details are included in this issue of Tennis Industry and in future editions, but it is incumbent on us as the delivery system for industry programs to be fully invested behind NET GENERATION.
ONE TENNIS-TEACHING ASSOCIATION – Over the past 20 year or more, there has been on-again, off-again discussion about the possibility of creating one tennis-teaching association. In fact, National Board member Ken McAllister wrote an article in ADDvantage back in 1987 espousing the rationale for the two existing organizations coming together. Whenever asked, I have publically endorsed the concept of one body, believing strongly that it would elevate our standards significantly and be the best thing for the industry in general.
Over the past six or seven months, dialog between the USPTA and PTR has reached new heights. As of this writing, deliberations continue. While I cannot speculate as to what may end up happening, I can tell you that the Board has been proactive in moving the concept forward. We will certainly keep you posted on the outcome.