The boards of directors of USTA Florida and USPTA Florida signed their fourth consecutive two-year collaboration agreement at their joint leadership meeting.  The agreement was first initiated in 2013 by then-USTA Florida President Bob Pfaender, and it has been renewed multiple times since.  The current agreement expands on the existing partnership, adding new growth priorities and a joint women’s initiative.

“There is no question that having a strong partnership with USPTA Florida and its certified tennis professionals is absolutely critical to growing the game of tennis.  Our board is excited to extend this agreement, and we look forward to working closely with USPTA Florida to advance our key growth priorities in the years ahead,” said Clark Higgs, USTA Florida President.

“This agreement solidifies the work we have done to align our strategic priorities and our respective organization’s strengths to grow the game at the grassroots level.  We are proud of the work we have done to bring more young professionals into the business through our ongoing U30 initiative, and we are excited to now focus additional energy on bringing more women professionals into the organization,” said Jason Gilbert, USPTA Florida President.

Per the agreement, USPTA Florida will continue to support USTA Florida tennis programs and initiatives.  This includes four new growth priorities:  adaptive, adult beginner, family play, and after-school.  The addition of these priorities is significant in that it marks a commitment from both organizations to grow tennis at the community and grassroots level – and not just through established USTA programs.

The organizations also have committed resources to a new Pro-Women initiative, designed to help more women become teaching professionals and serve as leaders in the organization.  The initiative is being spearheaded by four impressive professional women leaders, who currently serve on the boards of USTA Florida and USPTA Florida – Trish Faulkner, USPTA Past President; Dana Andrews, USTA Florida President-Elect; Rita Dotson, USTA Florida Director at Large; and Delise O’Meally, USTA Florida Director at Large.  The first step in the new initiative is to give women time to connect with each other at all regional and section meetings, offering a support system to help identify and address challenges.

 “There are so many talented women in our two organizations and they don’t all teach tennis. We want every woman who has a passion for tennis to become involved in the sport as there are so many exciting ways to grow the game. Get involved. We are here to help you!” said Faulkner.

“We know there are not enough women tennis professionals in the room.  It’s important that we create opportunities for women to share ideas and experiences with each other, and that we actively recruit women for leadership roles.  This is a long-term effort that requires support from all areas of the sports industry,” added Andrews.

As in previous years, the agreement also promises that both tennis organizations will continue to work together to improve and expand communications to their respective members and offer new and innovative educational opportunities.

For more information about USTA Florida, including information on our leadership and strategic priorities, visit www.USTAFlorida.com.

For more information about USPTA Florida, visit www.Facebook.com/USPTAFlorida

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