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WTA Tennis




(Page last updated 11/20/07)

Annual Meeting
Western Racquet Club, Elm Grove, Wisconsin
Sunday November 11, 2007

President’s Report – Lloyd Cook

Good morning & welcome to our 80th Annual Meeting!

Two years ago, I stood before you, a small town player, teaching pro, and tennis promoter… and accepted the President’s gavel from Elizabeth Barnhill… thinking that this year, I would hand over the gavel to my long-time friend Art Santos. Instead, since Art has chosen to go off on a world-wide tour with his PBI Tennis Show and resigned as the Executive Vice-President of the WTA, I will be handing the gavel back to myself. I want to thank Art for all that he has done over the years, as a WTA Volunteer… to make our District a better place for tennis players of all levels… and want to wish he and his PBI Show Team well with this most extraordinary show.

Next, I want to welcome another tennis friend of mine, Steve Butzlaff from Chicago. Steve is an incredibly talented individual, who I had the pleasure to work with over the past several years… on the Midwest Budget and DIF committees. Steve is the current Treasurer of the Midwest Section and the Executive Vice-President Elect as well. Steve is our guest speaker today.

I’d also like to welcome our Past Presidents – Elizabeth Barnhill, Jay Massart, Laurie Covert and Dick Arnold. These extraordinary people represent the embodiment of what a tennis volunteer is and should be. Each of them, in their own way, have mentored me over the years, encouraged me, and yes, at times… steered me in the right direction. Thanks to each of you for all that you do to promote the great game of tennis!

I’d like to take a minute also, to thank another long-time friend… John Jansky… for all that he has done to make the WTA what it is today. Today marks John’s last day as the Executive Director of the WTA… after a nearly ten year stint at the helm…. Thank you John… for all that you have done for us, and thanks for always being there for us. We wish you the very best as you begin another phase of your life… retirement.

Also, I need/want to thank the outgoing WTA Management Committee members; Tom Widener, Jan Dowden, and Jay Massart. Each of you, in your own way, has given so much to make the WTA a solid, great, and growing organization. Thank you for all that you have done for the WTA and thank you for all that you have done for me.

Finally, I want to thank each one of you seated today in the audience… tennis volunteers each and everyone of you… for being here at our 80th Annual Meeting… and for all that you do to promote the great game of tennis in the Wisconsin District. Some of you are new to the WTA Board. Some of you will assume the responsibility of serving on the WTA Management Committee. I want to sincerely welcome each one of you to the WTA organization… and look forward to working with each and every one of you.

And now, if you will allow me just one quick story… this is my US Open story. Picture this. Tuesday night, the last week of the US Open… Cindy and I are perched only a few rows from the top most seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium… Justine vs Serena are warming up for their match on the court below… a late start for the night matches (8:30pm)… the stadium is packed… a continual flow of jets are making their final approaches to LaGuardia (next door to Arthur Ashe), and a it’s a beautiful New York summer night. Justine dominates the match and goes on to win. 10:50pm… Nadal and Ferrer make their way onto the court… the upper decks start to empty out… as many of the fans have to work the next day… kids have school. There we sit, alone now… way up there near the top of Arthur Ashe Stadium… anticipating the start of the match… our entire upper deck section is now empty… The match starts… we zoom in on the players with our 10x telephoto lens digital camera and take some great shots. Soon, a USTA Official approaches… and we look at each other and wonder what we did wrong. He comes up to us and says… “I have to give you a lot of credit for staying way up here for this very late night match.” Here… I have court side seats for you… as he hands us two tickets. We look at each other, then him and say… Court Side Tickets? For Us? We could not believe it… but it was true. 10 minutes later, we were seated in row “H”, just behind the chair umpire… only 8 rows away from the players. Unbelievable… Just to finish the story, it was 2:00am as we started to make our way out of Arthur Ashe Stadium where Ferrer had surprised Nadal and pulled off a win. Did we mind the time? No way. Did we mind getting back to the hotel at 2:45am… No way. Did we meet some neat people on the USTA Shuttle Bus which brought us back to the Hyatt on 42nd street? Yes we did, including one who knew Art Santos really well. I wore my PBI Tennis shirt to the US Open (some free advertising for Art and his show) and on the bus; she asked me where I saw the show…

How did we happen to be in NYC and how did we happen to go to the US Open? We were invited to attend the USTA Semi-Annual Meetings in NYC by Les Varnado – President of the USTA Midwest Section. Thank you Les… for giving us the opportunity to attend the USTA meetings and… to see our 1st ever… US Open.

I like to finish up my President’s Report by giving you an update from last year.

Last year, I announced to you that the USTA/Midwest Section, and the Wisconsin District were adopting a new strategic plan. The focus of the new plan was the continued growth of Leagues, Tournaments, & Junior Team Tennis. A membership goal was set for Midwest at 150,000 by 2010 & 20,000 for Wisconsin

Last year there were 78,482 Midwest Members…
Today (09/30/07) there are 82,192 Members… a 4.3% increase!

Last year we had 10,457 members…
Today (09/30/07) we have 11,597 Members… a 10.9% increase!
Our goal is 12,654 members in 2007… we still have a few to go…

This year, Leagues topped 9,000 players for the 1st time.
This year, JTT participants numbered 2,132 (as of 09/30/07) and last year we had 1,600

This year, we offered over 100 Sanctioned Tennis Tournaments… and 2008 looks like it will exceed 2007.

This year, our DIF distribution, based on a complicated formula, was $34,668
Next year; we anticipate our DIF distribution, based on a Simplified DIF formula, will exceed $50,000

Last year, our individual membership revenue was $60,293 for the entire year.
This year, as of 09/30/07, our individual membership revenue is $66,332 with 1 month to go.
On an annualized basis, our 2007 membership revenue could approach $70,000.

As you can see from the numbers, we are definitely making progress towards our goals.

It’s interesting to note, that a last year’s USTA/Midwest Section Annual meeting, we were calling on all of the Districts to adopt the membership goals as set out by the Section. Some Districts instead, primarily at the insistence of their respective Executive Directors, chose to set their own goals… at around 5% growth. If you analyze the numbers, on average… that is the goal that they are attaining… 4-5% growth and Wisconsin set its goals high… in line with the Midwest Section goals… and… are achieving our goals… with a 10.9% growth rate! I’m hoping Steve Butzlaff will take note of those numbers and go back to the Midwest Section and use them to encourage all Districts to subscribe to the ambitious membership goals. I always believed that you only achieve what you set out to achieve. Aim low, and you will achieve that low goal. Aim high, work hard, and you will achieve lofty goals!

One final thought on goals. It is my personal goal to make Junior Team Tennis bigger in numbers than the Adult Leagues… my personal goal for JTT is 10,000 members. Will you help up to achieve those goals? I shared these lofty goals with Christy Etten at a recent meeting and she agreed… but confessed that it might take more than one year…

Thank you all for attending today’s WTA Annual Meeting and now… let’s proceed with the business portion of the meeting.

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President, Wisconsin Tennis Association

2007 WTA Membership Graph (10/31/07)

2007 WTA Membership Growth vs Goals (October 07)