2011 President’s Report

In 2007 the USTA Nevada board was restructured as was the USTA Nevada senior staff. We decided to hire Ryan Wolfington as our Executive Director because of his long term positive vision and background in restructuring and building organizations.


The years prior to Ryan Wolfington being hired USTA Nevada had some of it’s worst years financially, our ending cash balance was very low and our financial situation was not strong. We wanted his leadership and entrepreneurial skills to make USTA Nevada financially stable while growing our organization so we could be more effective in achieving our mission.


We are happy to report that every year since hiring Mr. Wolfington and putting into place our restructuring plan USTA Nevada has enjoyed it’s highest net profit in the organizations history. Prior our best financial year was $28,997 in 2005. The year before hiring Mr. Wolfington and implementing this plan the organization ended the year with a loss of  negative ($72,958.) During Mr. Wolfington’s first year the organization turned around to book a net profit of  $16,385. The following year was the highest net profit in the organizations history with $76,041 now added to our modest reserves. The next year was also higher then we ever had prior to the new plan with a profit of $50,202. This year net profit increased 37% to 68,998 and  be added to our reserves, giving us additional funds to grow the game.


 As a result of our success USTA Nevada has been able to increase it’s cash reserves making the organization financially sound. In 2007 USTA Nevada ending cash reserves were very low. Four years later we are proud to report our ending cash reserves are at an all time high, making USTA Nevada financially stable and able to invest back into our programs to serve the community.


During this same 4 year period of financial restabilization USTA Nevada also increased league participation by 28% to it’s highest numbers ever. In addition  we increased our USTA Nevada membership by 5%. At the same time USTA Nevada has come up with innovative ways to bring our community together with new social events and elabotrate awards banquets for adults and juniors, special events, new community web site and a magazine.


One of our biggest highlights however was the fine work Ryan Wolfington, his staff and event committee did on the Championship series with Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Jim Courier. Las Vegas sold more tickets then most of the 12 cities including large tennis markets 20 times our size. As a result Ryan and his team helped prove that Las Vegas is a viable and thriving tennis community that can support professional tennis. Thanks to their efforts Vegas can now once again be considered a great town to bring a professional tennis event. Much of the credit for this also goes to our membership, who have done their part to support pro, adult league, junior and recreational tennis.


Over the last four years USTA Nevada has grown dramatically both in programs and financial stability. All of this positive change is the result of the USTA Nevada board’s vision and professionalization, coupled with the significant efforts of clubs, pros , captains and our volunteers. We are now looking forward to using those resources to continue to grow tennis and our organization.


Thank you,


Tim Blenkiron





USTA Nevada Tennis Association

1333 N. Buffalo, Suite 130

Las Vegas, NV  89128


Tel:  702-792-8384

Fax:  702-792-8737






(To be made part of the minutes)




Dear Pros, Captains and Members:


The USTA Nevada staff including Rob Merriman, Mary Maragos, Julia Barrera, the teaching professionals, captains and community partners are the lifeblood of our organization.  All of our accomplishments are a direct result of their efforts.  That being said, I am very proud of our volunteers and Board of Directors for helping us achieve record breaking numbers in membership, league participation, and net profits for the last four years, despite the economy!


Here is a list of USTA-Nevada’s top 10 accomplishments


1. Helping bring pro tennis back to Las Vegas – proving Vegas can do it by selling more tickets then most markets, 6,400 tickets sold at the Championship Series event with Agassi, Sampras, McEnroe and Courier.


2. 28% Growth in league & 5% growth in membership over 4 years


3. This year net profit increased 37% to $68,998, which helps our reserves


4. Revenues have increased 16.07% over the last 4 years


5.  We tripled our cash reserves in 4 years going from unstable to stable!


6. TAO Adult Awards banquet and Jr Awards banquet at Schulmans


7. Herman Ahlers won a National Championships


8. Red Rock team brought women’s pro tennis back to Vegas big time!


9. Kimberly Yee went 4 rounds at US Open jr’s, Kristofer Yee reached finals of nationals and won Authur Ashe contest.


10. Full 3rd party financial audit gave USTA Nevada a clean bill of health!


We are very proud of the work we have done over the last four years to stabilize our organization both financialliy and programmatically. We look forward to using our stability to build a stronger future through growth in adult league, ten and under tennis, diversity and our special community events.


Thank you for all of your support.





Ryan Wolfington

Executive Director

USTA-Nevada District















Agassi – sampras – mcenroe – courier


We partnered with Jim Courier’s group to kick off the  “Pro tennis is back in Las Vegas” campaign.


Our goal was the prove Las Vegas can be a successful pro tennis destination and we achived that. Las Vegas was one of if not the top selling city in ticket sales. Without mentioning names we beat three markets that have almost 20 times the USTA membership!


We put on an intense three month campaign with interns, volunteers and all of my time to promote the event. The event sold over 6400 tickets! We had over 70 volunteers we recruited and managed to make it a success. Our office made over 12,000 phone calls.


We also negotiated a percentage of our own ticket sales going back to our organization which we were able to use to buy more tickets for our VIP partners and local leaders. This was an extraotdinary advocacy opportunity!




The team at Red Rock Country Club including Tyler Weeks, Jordan Butler and Mike Coppenhaver did a great job bringing womens tennis back to Vegas. Many locals got wild cards and played in the event. Many great leaders supported the event. It was one of the best community events of the year.




The Intermountain USTA Hall of Fame was in Las Vegas with Andre Agassi being inducted. It was a historical and breath taking night with Andre’s speech and his very personal dynamic exchange with his father.


We were also able to get the leaders of our state to attend including : Senator Ensign, RUDY from the block buster film,

Commissioner Weekly, Commissioner Larry Brown, City Councilman Ricki Barlow, Henderson City Council person,

Henderson park and Rec Leadership,


The Hilton CEO helped us upgrade national and sectional leaders into luxury suites at no extra charge.




Our office was the organizer for the Mats Wilander event this year. I traded our promotional support in exchange to him attending our MARQUEE League Kick-off party. I attended and help promote all of the events at Dragon Ridge, Canyon Gate, Cosmopolitan. I met with Cosmopolitan leadership about their new tennis program and helped promote the grand opening by announcing it at our party, with Adrin Himmelheber.




The party was a huge hit. A vip section was set up just for pros and board. Over 700 people showed, people left because it was so packed. Commissioner Weekly gave Mats a proclamation and officially kicked off the season. It was a massive hit.


USTA-Nevada Junior Awards Banquet and Nate Schulman Tennis Ball


We were able to be a part of and partner with the Hennessy Foundation awards banquet, which saved us $6,000. Commissioner Weekly spoke. Ellie Smith sang. Hennessy Foundation paid most expenses. We sold around $800 in raffle tickets for USTA Nevada! It was a big success. Facility donated by Schulmans, Hennessy Foundation paid for rental chairs, tables, food, drinks, bowling after etc.




We took some juniors along with our Harvard intern to a very high level world conference where they listen to Ted Turner and met major CEO’s and leaders. They also had a “Leadership lunch” with my Uncle Vince Wolfington who founded the organization with JW Marriott and the CEO of American Express. They met the Secretary of Commerce for the Obama administration as well.




I meet with parents and players all the time to help them with schedules, advice and scholarship information for college. Ms. Sinatra, Mahlangu’s, Yee’s, Berkabile’s, Bon, Qualls, Ingwaldson, and more.




National USTA Staff held a Quickstart training session for free for all local pros, parents, teachers and tennis lovers who want to learn the new Quickstart programming ideas.  We had over 100 people and pros attend.  It was a big success.


In partnership with VT Marty Hennessy Foundation, Boulder City, Henderson Parks and Rec and the City of Las Vegas parks, we have done 4 quickstart workshops to train parents, coaches, players, and juniors how to coach 10 and under tennis using quickstart equipment. The national trainer was so impressed that we had juniors out there learning to teach he wants to do a national USTA article on it. He was blown away that the number 1 14 under nationally, Kimberly Yee, was in his training session and that she actually teaches a free program for free!




-We gave Indian Wells tournament a bye on 1st weekend due to past complaints

-Negotiated a discounted rate with nice hotel compared to $250 rate on hotwire

- USTA-Nevada members bought 70 plus tickets at a discounted rate

- Many USTA Nevada members got the special hotel rate




We held the Captains Meeting at TAO nightclub. All captains received a free food and drinks. Many stayed and danced. Fun!




Glen Alex put on her annual event. USTA-NV sponsored the event with eblasts and free balls. I also bought two spots personally and sent the staff.




Rob Kinas’s annual event was a big success. We helped promote the event. Mary is on the committee. I also got Asia Muhammad to attend. I attended and got 40 juniors to as well.




USTA Nevada was a main sponsor of Monty Lapica’s Las Vegas International Film Festival. This free sponsorship was a result of connecting the Hilton with the Film Festival and helping to market the event through our newsletter.


This gave us a full page ad. 200 FREE tickets, which we used 150. 20 VIP all access badges to parties etc. I was also given the honor of opening the film festival by presenting Steve Bellamy (founder of tennis channel) and his movie at the Premiere, which eventually won the Festival! I invited all USTA members.


I invited all USTA juniors to a “Leadership Dinner” with the  Founder of the Tennis Channel and Ski Channel Steve Bellamy. He waived his speakers fee as a favor. The CEO of the Hilton attended as well.


LAVO - TAO USTA-Nevada Awards banquet


Thanks to the sponsorship from Jason Straus and his partners at TAO-LAVO group we were able to hold our annual awards banquet in style. The party was fully sponsored, so our event values at roughly $15,000 cost us nothing!


In line with our cost cutting and “green” initiative  we saved money by using used tennis rackets as awards.


Special guests included: Bill McDonald of McDonald Ranch, Pro Asia Muhammad, GM Dragon Ridge CC, Dirk Superintendent of Henderson Parks and Rec, his Director and sr staff, Adolph Huddleston, Lornie Kuhle came in from LA, Kevin Janison, Board members Jon Janotta, Claire Roth, Glen Alex, Rob Kirkendal?, Ken Shioi, Scott Schneider, it was a great turn out. Sold $600 in raffle tickets for USTA Nevada! We pulled the winning tickets for some prizes.  We advertised the party with posters at Districts and with Eblasts.




The Pumpkin Tournament had a pot luck check-in party. The pot luck helped us avoid $3,000 in food costs. 






We started a “We Need Players” ad campaign designed at inviting players to join League. This included ads in the magazine, PSA’s and e-blasts. We had an additional 100 responses the last time we did this.






-Darling Center ran the RTC.

 -Big opportunity for local juniors who won’t have to travel to this in another state! BIG!

-Many local pros signed up to do weekend of training.

-Suggested the section allow more pros to rotate in to teach the weekend event




We participated in many “Leadership Breakfasts” with local tennis players including CEO Hilton, Marriott senior Executives,  Neil Tomlinson, and others.  E-mail invitations were sent out to all local juniors on our list and 28 attended.  VT Marty Hennessy Foundation paid for the cost of the breakfast as a sponsor. We reached out to Meadows, Bishop Gorman and Dawson School students as well.




For all of our social events I send a personal letter and email out to our VIP list, which includes all state politicians, park and recreation leadership and key leaders.


This year I have met with fewer politicians to advocate for tennis because funding is way down so no tennis centers will be built. I did reach out to the following politicians:


-Senator John Ensign

-City Councilman Ricki Barlow

-City Councilman Stavros Anthony

-State Legislature

-Mayor Oscar Goodman


In an effort to get the word out about tennis, to advocate for new facilities and improved courts at parks and schools I attended the following events:


Mayor Goodmans election party. Talked with Mayor.

Councilman Ricki Barlows victory party. Talked with Councilman and City manager Betsy.

Commissioner weekly meeting.

City of Henderson Parks and Rec Superintendant and staff

Boys Town event

City of Las Vegas Parks and Rec Leadership

Boys and Girls Club President




I met with Henderson parks and Rec three times about their new facility. It will be ten courts! We have a very good relationship with them. I met with their Superintendent Dirk and their facility planner Carrie. They are extremely happy with USTA for helping them with ideas, planning and we got them the architectural best practices from national. The national USTA office is considering them for a $50,000 facility grant process through national.




I met with Par Sanquist and talked for two hours on the benefit of quick start and how it would fit his schools approach to learning. Adolph subsequently set up a thriving quick start program through the school at Dragon Ridge. I met and consulted with Tim on ways he can improve his business model and marketing at Lorenzi. I assisted Ben Coates in promoting his Wilander event and got him players. I assisted cosmopolitan by meeting with leaders and getting Adrin players for his Mats Wilander event. I emailed all the pros letting them know we are happy to offer our help, best practices and advice if needed, free.




I met with the City of Las Vegas Parks and Rec leadership to find a solution to park permits that was a win for both sides.




Thanks to Commissioner Weekly and the Police Athletic league a grant has come through to help the Agassi Boys and Girls Club program to continue. The high performance program is no longer running. Those children in the recreational program are still at Agassi working with the program Director Sue Ownes.




I have talked and gotten ideas from most of the pros and clubs in town. I also have talked and or worked with the following people about ways our organization can partner and grow the game of tennis. The people below also helped the organization in some way this past year.


-Las Vegas Hilton CEO Dave Monohan

-Stratosphere CEO Frank Riolo

-Bob and Mike Bryan

-Wayne Bryan

-Actor Eduardo Verestagui

-USTA National staff Geoffrey Russell

-National USTA Board member Judge Valdez

-National USTA Staff High Performance

-Martin Blackman

-Telemundo Marketing Director

-National USTA Community Tennis Staff David Slade

-USTA National NJTL staff Dan Limbago and Emily Sandor

-Tenniswarehouse President Don Hightower

-Claudine Grant, FOX news reporter

-ITA Executive Director David Benjamin

-Entertainer Clint Holmes

-Newsman Kevin Janison

-New Vice President Rob Scott

-Incoming ITA President Jon Messick

-Marriott International Steve Heitzner

-Attorney and tennis enthusiast Phil Aurbach

-ITA Volunteers

-Darian Borowiak, Agassi Foundation Sr. Staff

-NJTL leader Ray Benton

-Leon Vernon – NJTL

-Dr. Sid Franklin - NJTL

-Andre Agassi Foundation Director Adam Carey and Foundation Leadership

-Boys and Girls Club President and Chairman of Las Vegas

-Senator John Ensign

-City Councilman Stavros Anthony

-Agassi CEO Steve Miller

-BYU head coach Brad Pearce

-ED of Utah Linda Vincent

-ED of Colorado Fritz Garger

-ED of ITA Mathew Warren

-ED of Montana Dave Boon

-Laura Wilson, Rep.

-YMCA Sr. Vice President

-Interns for video and admin work

-Staff and leadership at City, County and Henderson Parks and Rec.

-Darling Tennis Center

-Many clubs and pros

-Whole Foods Marketing Director

-Fremont Middle School and Sig Rogich Principal

-Lower school principals

-Trader Joes staff





-I sent the Annual Report from last year to all members via Inside Tennis Magazine

-I sent the Annual Report for Captains, for pros, and for members to all groups via email and will do again this year

-Sent out quarterly tournament schedule reminders

-Sent out 2011 Tournament schedule via e-blast

-Published many articles on USTA-Nevada

-3rd annual tournament poster worked out well. 

-Sent many PRO & CAPTAIN ALERTS to update them on important items

-Sent information letter to all junior parents and coaches about new RTC.




I have met with 20 or more pros to go over the USTA-Nevada Business Plan to get their feedback.




I sent two pro updates letting them know what they can get involved in. These opportunities included: Club promotion E-Blast, Special pros only Preview rate at Ravella, formerly known as The Ritz Carlton - Lake Las Vegas,  Free USTA memberships for 10 and under players,  Marketing, program & event planning, human resource support, free to member organizations, a special rate on staff personality tests, invitation to take part in new "Starter Camps" promotion to get ages three to seven playing,  Quickstart workshop opportunities to host, and more.








-Tim Blenkiron and I, as well as Ron Holmes, Glen Alex and Claire Roth have made an effort to support and be productive at a Sectional and National level so Nevada is represented and informed.  The most important element is meeting the people who make things happen and creating positive working relationships with Sectional and National leadership.


-I sent our Annual Report to Sectional and National leaders.

-We received a lot of positive feedback

-Tim Blenkiron and I worked hard to advocate for positive change and a unified vision within our Section. These efforts have resulted in a lot of positive change.

-We have created a pathway for volunteers to get active locally, then Sectionally, then Nationally.

-In 25 years only two people have ever been on National committees: Sandy Tueller and myself.  This past year two people from Las Vegas were on National committees, which is very impressive:  Sandy Foley on the Adult Competition and Claire Roth on Junior Comp.




Over the last 3 years Tim Blenkiron and I have fought hard for positive change in our section, in hopes of ushering in an environment of inclusion and efficiency that supports national and sectional initiatives.


What began as a desire to improve our sections ability to grow the game led to a complete restructuring of the organization. As a result the section now has a new strategic plan, a new business plan, a new positive energy and positive vision that is inclusive and very motivating.


This could stand to be one of if not the most powerful contributions to our section and district in our organizations history. It has already began to impact the moral of volunteers, staff and our bottom line in growing our numbers. Much of the credit goes to the ITA board of Directors and it’s leadership, especially President Jon Messick. Our own Tim Blenkiron was a very significant part of this process, in many ways the catalyst.







-Sent an RFP to top hotels in Vegas

-Offered exclusive Strip and Summerlin rights to our events and assistance in getting non-USTA events at Darling, etc.

-Met with Darling and UNLV and Hennessy Foundation who all run National events and agreed to let me bargain for them collectively

-Marriott, Venetian and Hilton submitted proposals

-Staff voted on the hotel without comment from me at our staff meeting

-Staff voted the best proposal was the Hilton for the Strip and Marriott for Summerlin

-Hilton has been an incredible partner, sponsoring most of our events and giving us comped or discounted rooms for VIP’s and upgrades.






-Captains and pros were given free football tickets

-LAVO, TAO parties

-Sent District League Championships photos to all captains and team players for Spring League




Mary has done a great job. Captains and pros have done a great job. As a result league tennis has grown again, now showing  28% groth in four years.




-Website additions to add clubs’ information went into effect this year.  Now any club can post all of their information on the site.

-“Click to play” button added on website so people looking for tennis can fill out form

-Regional referral system created that sends all persons requesting facility information a list of facilities in their region.  This inspires fairness and confidence.

-New website survey functions have helped us







-USTA-Nevada new Board Member orientation took place within a month of being elected.

-I met with our new Board Members and updated them on all aspects of our Strategic Plan and Business Plan.




Admin assistant has been very successful in her new job.




I met with Chris Gaynor and set up the new bank account and Service First bank. This transition has been great for our organization. Chris is also a tennis player!




Dann Battistone officially took over the organizations accounting and book keeping this year. It has been very smooth and made our process far more efficient.




W continue to add to our new Procedures Manual for each job. This way if a new person were to come into the job, there would be a “How To” that is detailed and simple, explaining all the tasks and procedures related to that specific job.  Some are more in-depth than others, but the basic outline has been achieved for each job. These archive and Procedure Manuals have helped staff to see their roles more clearly.  The Manuals also insure continuity in case a staff person moves on and has to be replaced.


We are in the process of changing and editing the existing employee policy manual.




We strted with a formal employee evaluation form for all staff positions that I created.




I went through the archives and discovered the following:


1.   Our Minutes, Board meeting procedures, ED Reports and Annual Reports are far more in depth and more professionally written then any others in the past 10 years.

2.   I archived all of our Annual Reports so they are easy to find in a binder instead of buried in boxes in storage

3.   I have archived all ED Reports in a binder




The audit done by the Intermountain’s accounting firm confirmed that all our books and records are correct and show everything is doing well.


-The Auditor’s letter is available to the Board




The former Ritz Carlton on Lake Las Vegas use to be $500 a night. It is world class facility and location on the lake. I negotiated a deal with them to give us hotel rooms for our staff retreat and a very low USTA member rate in exchange for sending out three eblasts using my newsletter and doing an article on their resort in our USTA Nevada magazine. All USTA members can get a $79 arate any time, and nay non profits, like USTA Nevada, even cheaper!




We took the staff to Ravella Resort for our annual staff retreat. This was very successful. I also think it was a great way to reward and motivate them without spending money.




-Assisted in helping families and programs apply for diversity grants

-Helped promote the Hispanic Ad campaign

-Met with Latin Chamber of Commerce

-Helped administer and set up programs in title 1 schools and in diverse areas

-Helped recruit Diverse umpires

-Inspired Diversity on the Board and on committees

-Held in office Diversity discussions

-Reached out to diversity vendors for printing




Recruited countless volunteers including interns

-Interns include:

Video intern

Graphics intern

Marketing intern

Sponsorship intern


Our internship program has given college and high school students an opportunity to learn, augment their resume and get experience. In return we get some high level help.




We partnered with BNP Paribas, International Tennis Hall of Fame and SAP OPEN to promote their events in Las Vegas. Each of these organizations gave something back to the USTA-Nevada is the form of discounted or free tickets for our raffle.





CITY WIDE RAFFLE’s Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation does a “Community raffle.” They get prizes, print tickets and on the ticket it says purchase a raffle ticket to support community organizations and juniors, and it lists us as one of the beneficiaries. The “Citywide raffle” concept arms everyone who participates with raffle tickets and a poster of prizes , in return asking the organizations that participate to help get prizes. Right now USTA-Nevada has sold tickets with all the proceeds going to USTA Nevada.


Each organization is responsible for selling their own tickets and they get to keep the money. USTA Nevada sold raffle tickets at most of our events this year. We also arranged to pick most of the prizes out at our events.





-Went to Latin Chamber of Commerce meeting breakfast

-Telemundo did feature story


The following clubs agreed to put on free clinics for the Hispanic ad campaign:

Rafiel Rivera Community Center

Lorenzi Park

Sunset Park’s Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation

We need more






Held a staff retreat at Ravella, the former Ritz Carlton at Lake Las Vegas. This was free due to a trade I made with the resoirt. We went over 2010 accomplishments and 2011 goals. We held many staff meetings all year to follow up on the quarterly goals and projects.






I met with Connections Academy and offered them an upgrade to their sponsorship of the Pumpkin Tournament. They agreed to a great sponsorship. They requested my consulting them on marketing and promotion as well as a presence at all of our events. They sent a  $7,000 check.  This makes a total of $14,000.





I was on the sports talk radio show “In the Zone” and discussed the many tourist opportunities for a tennis player when coming to Las Vegas and the great tennis history of our town.




Our relationship with Inside Tennis allowed us to send 9 issues to our members promoting a different club, pro and program each month.  This is also used as a tool to communicate with and educate members.


Press Releases


I have sent out countless press release and published articles to our web site.


Articles Published


We have gotten over 30 articles published this year about or relating to tennis including a few TV spots.






The last two years building our schools program has been a top priority.  Our pilot program at Sig Rogich and Gibson middle school has been very successful in offering high quality and fun programming to children. We maintain a 4 players to 1 coach ratio which is achieved by having volunteers from the high school, local league teams, NJTL’s, juniors and parents.




2011 the Board has agreed to make 10 under tennis the top priority so we will now move into lower schools, kindergartens, YMCA’s, Boys and Girls Clubs and offer a free weekly and monthly clinic and tennis carnival for ages 3 to 10.


We hope to start a school program, then team and league program that will feed to match play days and tournaments for players 3 to 9 years old. We will also be entering the schools to run gym classes like we already did this past year at Fremont Middle School.




Partnering with the NJTL we did a tennis carnival at Boulder City with NJTL’s help. Their book keepoer is a PTA president-had the city council, mayor, tv people there. There was a jump house, food, drinks, and a 4 to 1 coach ration for 140 children. The NJTL  paid for it. Our staff went and helped.




We continued to cut costs in all areas, including these few examples:


-No cleaning service

-Getting sponsors to pay for items we normally have to buy

-Potluck at Pumpkin

-NJTL sponsored Junior Banquet and League

-Cut ED travel by canceling trips, sharing hotel rooms, etc.

-No cost of living raises

-Bulk purchasing and RFP’s to get better prices

-Negotiated reduced lease 




We are trying something new to promote clubs and pros.  Before I came to the USTA I always wondered how referrals were sent out and if there was a bias based on relationships. My goal was to make this process more objective and fair in perception and reality.


In order to make sure referrals are distributed fairly when a player calls our office we made an automated online form system that staff will use or persons can use online on our web site.


All persons that call in or go on our website will be placed into an online form asking for contact info, what they are looking for and what side of town they live on. The system automatically sends them a welcome information letter with the facility list for the region or regions they selected.  We also have record of all our referrals.  This way no one club is referred to based on a staff person’s opinion, but an objective list is sent to the customer for them to choose.

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