September 10th, 2015

Florida’s Ivan Baron Recognized by USTA as Top Jr. Tournament Director

General News
Ivan Baron in 2013 after being enshrined in the Florida Tennis Hall of Fame

Ivan Baron in 2013 after being enshrined in the Florida Tennis Hall of Fame

Five of the nation’s top tennis tournament directors were selected by a subcommittee of the United States Tennis Association’s Junior Competition Committee to be named the first class of “Blue Ribbon” tournament directors.

Ivan Baron of Parkland, Fla., who competed at the US Open twice, was one of five directors who made a trip to New York City and a day at the US Open. Baron has been running tournaments for 14 years in Delray Beach, Fla. He is a member of the USTA’s Florida Tennis Hall of Fame and was once ranked No. 1 in the USTA Junior Worlds Rankings.

Baron runs various tennis tournaments throughout the year, most notably the Delray Beach Open, drawing in over 50,000 spectators during the event.

The Junior Competition subcommittee reviewed a wide range of candidates from across the country. Particular emphasis was given to the prominent national tournament directors who also run tournaments at the section, district, state and local levels.

“The tournament directors chosen were thoroughly vetted and are truly recognized as the best of the best,” said Ellen Ehlers, USTA Junior Competition Subcommittee Sanction and Schedule Coordinator. “They really care about every aspect of the tournaments they run and at the end of the day the goal is for everyone who steps foot on tournament grounds, whether it’s a player, parent or coach, to walk away feeling that this tournament was well run and met all of their expectations. These directors continuously exceed expectations.”

While in New York City the tournament directors were able to debate best practices and strategize on how the USTA can attract new directors moving forward. The subcommittee and directors were also able to learn from each other, taking away new ideas, best practices and advice on mentoring and recruiting other directors.

“Hearing from and learning about other tournament director’s strategies and practices was a great way for us all to be exposed to something new,” Baron said. “No one knows everything and having an open line of communication between directors to learn from each other and bounce the best ideas off of one another is a great tool.”

Also recognized were Robert Dunivan of Deer Park, Texas; Meghan Houk of the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz.; Lorraine Novak of Mobile, Ala.; and Sheryl Osborn of the Arlington Tennis Center in Arlington, Texas.

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