Presidents Letter October 2018

Kentucky Tennis Family,

It’s hard to believe that that we are mid-way through October already!  The holidays are upon us and the next 2 ½ months are going to fly by.  Even so, there’s a lot going on, from High School Interscholastic and Adult Combo State Championships October 12-15, Middle School State Championships in November and Family Tennis Challenges, and a Wheelchair Tennis Clinic in Bowling Green. There is still lots of tennis to be played in Kentucky, even as the weather starts to change.

Another thing that goes on throughout the year that may never even cross your mind is your USTA Kentucky Board.  This month I want to share with you a little about our board structure and what’s going on behind the scenes to makes sure that USTA Kentucky remains a strong organization, both programmatically and fiscally, so that it continues to provide quality tennis programming and support to providers around the state.

Your Board consists of 18 members & 3 Ex-Officio members who serve 2-year terms.  These board members come from all over the state, from Paducah to Ashland to Somerset and all points in between.  We strive to have board representation from across the state so that the ideas, perspectives and issues facing communities of different sizes and socio-economic make-ups have a voice. 

The full board meets 4 times a year.  Three meetings are face to face and one (the summer meeting) is done by conference call.  The winter meeting is held Louisville in January as part of the Kentucky Tennis Weekend, which includes the annual Community Development Workshop, Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction.  The spring & fall meetings are typically held in different areas of the state each year.  This past spring, we were in Lexington and this month we were in Bowling Green.  In past years we’ve had meetings in Henderson, Paducah, and Owensboro, just to name a few.

At these meetings we review financial statements as well as discuss other issues relevant to our state operations.  The Executive Director gives a report as does the President, usually to cover issues from meetings they’ve attended, including National and Annual meetings that are held during the year, or other items that have come up to them directly.  We discuss any issues that may be facing the organization, new initiatives that National or Southern have asked us to implement, upcoming events, tournaments or meetings of which the board should be aware.  Board members bring up concerns, ideas and input on all of these items or issues that may have been raised to them directly.

There is also a management committee that meets monthly by conference call and is made up of 8 officers (President, Immediate Past President, 4 Vice Presidents, Secretary & Treasurer). Our Executive Director, Jason Miller, also participates in these calls.  These meetings provide updates on financials, progress on initiatives and other items that need to be addressed between the Full Board meetings. 

I am proud to tell you that your Board is involved, engaged and participates actively in the business of the organization.  They are passionate about tennis and about their communities and representing YOU! They are also all volunteers – they take their personal time to travel to our meetings or call in if they cannot attend in person.  They take calls and emails from those in their communities and are active in tennis on the local level, whether as a member of their CTA, teaching or coaching tennis in their communities or playing in their local leagues and tournaments.

Your Board of Directors is a group of amazing individuals who collectively make up one of the best boards around (in my unbiased opinion).  It’s a pleasure to be President when you work with such a tremendous group of service driven people! 

Maybe that’s more information than you needed or even wanted to know, but I hope you didn’t check-out on me!  Why?  Because it’s your board!  It is here for and represents you as a USTA member or provider and it’s our obligation is to ensure the mission, vision and goals of the organization are being met.  We are stewards of Kentucky Tennis and we are here to serve you! 

I encourage you to get to know your USTA Board! Find out who represents your area and if your area isn’t represented, consider applying to be a Board member in the future!  We are always seeking board applicants for areas not currently represented. And, even more importantly, we must continue to work to create a more diverse board. I challenged our board at the October meeting to consider how we can start looking outside our own networks and individual circles and invite people to the table who are different than us.  Diversity & Inclusion doesn’t just happen – it’s intentional – and we need your help in making that happen.

We’ll be unveiling your new slate of directors later this year, which will be voted on at the January board meeting but board (and committee) recruitment is an ongoing task!  It’s never too early to start asking questions about board or committee membership.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Nominating Committee Chair, Dell Kelly, Executive Director Jason Miller or me!

Keep on Servin’!

Rainey Johns