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ITA Announces New Board Members

1 Jul, 2019


The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the not-for-profit governing body of college tennis, welcomes seven new members to its Board of Directors, ITA Chief Executive Officer Timothy Russell announced.

Joining the 19-person board are Shaheen Ladhani (Goldman, Sachs & Co. Investment Advisor), Danielle Lund McNamara (Yale Head Women’s Tennis Coach), Ann Lebedeff (Professor of Physical Education and Athletics at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges), Roland Thornqvist (University of Florida Head Women’s Tennis Coach), Dr. Tommy Valentini (Gustavus Adolphus Head Men’s Tennis Coach), Billy Pate (Princeton University Head Men’s Tennis Coach) and Judy Van Horn (University of South Carolina Executive Associate Athletics Director for Sport and Risk Management.

Created to support the ITA and college tennis, the Board of Directors is chaired by Jon Vegosen, a founding member of the Chicago corporate and litigation law firm Funkhouser Vergosen Liebman & Dunn Ltd. Russell, as the Association’s president and chief executive officer, also serves on the board.

“I am appreciative that our sport and Association have such a committed group of individuals who are giving of their time to work collaboratively on behalf of our coaches, programs and student-athletes,” Russell said. “At the same, I am excited and thankful to our new members who share the same passion for college tennis and possess the desire to help grow our sport.

“A special thank you must be given to Jon Vegosen for his tremendous leadership and to our dedicated executive committee,” Russell added. “I am confident that our Board will continue to serve in the best interests of the ITA and with a vision and purpose to attend to the big-picture needs of the ITA that will insure a bright future for college tennis and tennis in our country.”

Added Vegosen: “I want to thank all those who have served on the Board with distinction and purpose for the betterment of the Association and college tennis. We appreciate their dedication, excellent ideas, guidance and contributions. It has been an honor to work with each of them. I look forward to welcoming a talented group of new individuals who will work together with our outstanding staff, skillfully led by Tim Russell, to carry out and enrich the mission and objectives of the ITA while enhancing college tennis.”

The new term will begin July 1, 2019. The following individuals will comprise the 2019-20 ITA Board of Directors: 

ITA LEADERSHIP: 

Jon Vegosen (Funkhouser Vegosen, Liebman & Dunn, Ltd.)

  • TA Chairman of the Board
  • Founding member of Chicago-based Funkhouser Vegosen Liebman & Dunn Ltd. 
  • Long?time volunteer, leader, advocate, fundraiser and connector for tennis at all levels, 
  • 2011-2012 Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of the United States Tennis Association (USTA)
  • Served as chairman of the US Open, 2011-2012
  • Has served on multiple tennis boards, including the Grand Slam Board, International Tennis Federation, International Tennis Hall of Fame and USTA Foundation
  • While USTA president, created the Tennis and Higher Education Task Force that promotes importance of every American youngster obtaining a college education – and that tennis is the sport of opportunity for achieving this goal
  • Played varsity tennis at Northwestern University all four years; team captain junior and senior years and earned All Big?Ten honors; BA (Phi Beta Kappa); JD from Northwestern (Cum Laude)
  • Member of ITA Men’s Collegiate, Northwestern University Athletics, USTA/Midwest Section, and Chicago Tennis Halls of Fame
  • Awards include the prestigious Samuel Hardy Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame, awarded to an individual for outstanding service and devotion to the sport of tennis; being an inaugural recipient of the USTA Foundation’s Outstanding Service Award; and his family receiving the Ralph W. Westcott USTA Family of the Year Award

Dr. Timothy Russell(ITA President and Chief Executive Officer)

  • Spent three decades as a distinguished educator at two major Division I schools (Arizona State University and The Ohio State University) and University of Rochester (Division III)
  • Highly successful entrepreneur. Held leadership role in the development of two renowned American non?profit institutions
  • Commitment to tennis community has included long?time USTA volunteer and leadership roles, including chairing the USTA Collegiate and the USTA Junior Competition Committees
  • Current member of the Board of Directors of the Tennis Industry Association
  • Inducted into the ITA Men’s Collegiate, USTA Southwest and USTA Central Arizona Halls of Fame
  • Recipient of the 2018 Tennis Educational Merit Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame 

ITA MEMBER COACHES:

Steve Bickham (Head Men’s Tennis Coach at Pomona and Pitzer Colleges)

  • Has more than 25 years in the industry as a player, coach and in the private industry
  • Developed Pomona-Pitzer into a consistent Top 10 program
  • 2014 ITA West Region Coach of the Year
  • Pomona-Pitzer received the 2014 USTA Sectional Community Outreach Award 
  • Served as Executive Director for the USTA Idaho District where he helped bring the 2013 Davis Cup quarterfinal to Boise
  • Held coaching stints as the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Northern Arizona University and men’s assistant coach at Arizona State University
  • 1987 ITA Division I All-American and inducted into the Oklahoma tennis Hall of Fame in 2016

Grant Chen (Southern Methodist University Men’s Tennis Head Coach)

  • First-year head coach of the Southern Methodist men’s tennis team
  • Joined SMU after a 15-year tenure at UCLA where he served head coach Billy Martin in multiple roles, ranging from team manager to associate head coach
  • Held the position of associate head coach of the Bruins for his final three years in Westwood
  • UCLA reached the national semifinals twice (2012 and 2014) and the finals once (2013) in his tenure as Martin’s top assistant
  • Head coach of UCLA’s club team (2007-10) and led club to Southern California Regional Championships in 2007 and 2008, and third-place national finish in 2010
  • Member of the club tennis team from 2005?2006, winning both the Fall and Spring Intramural events at UCLA while leading the team to a regional title and a top 5 finish at nationals
  • Coached Team USA at World University Games in August 2017 helping Hart/Staggs win bronze medal in mix doubles
  • Served on the USTA Southern California Board of Directors

Lauren Conching (Hawaii Pacific Head Women’s Tennis Coach and Assistant Athletics Director)

  • Entered 2018-19 season with 135-38 (.780) record in seven seasons as head coach at Hawaii Pacific
  • Has led the Sharks to seven NCAA National Championships appearances, including five semifinals and two quarterfinal berths
  • Two-time NCAA Division II ITA/Wilson National Coach of the Year, ITA West Region Coach of the Year and PacWest Conference Coach of the Year (2013, 2018)
  • 2018 Hawaii Pacific teams twice held No. 1 national ranking
  • Hawaii Pacific teams have earned final national top five rankings five times
  • Coached six NCAA Division II ITA All-Americans
  • In addition to role as an assistant athletics director, added title of Senior Woman Administrator in 2018
  • Serves on NCAA Coaches Commission, ITA West Regional Ranking Committee, ITA West Regional Award Committee and ITA Ethics Committee
  • Named 2010 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year
  • Part of 2001 National Junior College doubles title while at Collin Country College in Plano, Texas
  • Graduated from Stony Brook University with a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism

Danielle Lund McNamara* (Yale Head Women’s Tennis Coach)

  • Has led the Bulldogs to four Ivy League and ECAC Championships, and NCAA Championships appearances
  • 2011 and 2013 ITA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year
  • Guided Yale to a No. 18 national ranking and No. 1 spot in the Northeast
  • Named to the Big Ten’s first women’s championship all-tournament team
  • Garnered All-Big Ten honors and was named 1999 Big Ten Sportswoman of the Year 

Billy Pate* (Princeton Head Men’s Tennis Coach)

  • A 23-year coaching veteran, including seven years as the head coach at Princeton
  • Led the Tigers to a No. 23 national ranking during the 2015 season
  • Guided Princeton to the 2015 NCAA Championships as an at-large selection
  • Spent 10 seasons as head coach at Alabama, leading the Crimson Tide to seven NCAA Tournament appearances
  • Named 2007 ITA South Region Coach of the Year and SEC Co-Coach of the Year after leading Alabama to a No. 9 national ranking
  • Tabbed 2002 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year after helping Notre Dame to a No. 4 national ranking
  • Spent five seasons (1996-2000) as head coach at Georgia Perimeter College, winning NJCAA national championships in his final three seasons and earning National Junior College Coach of the Year and USPTA National Coach of the Year each season 
  • Served as co-chair of the ITA Operating Committee, ITA Executive/Budget Committee in addition to ITA Board of Directors
  • Served on the USTA Collegiate Committee

Roland Thornqvist* (University of Florida Head Women’s Tennis Coach)

  • Currently in his 18th season as head coach at the University of Florida
  • Has guided the Gators to four national championships (2003, 2011, 2012, 2017), four semifinal showings, two national runner-up finishes and more than 400 wins
  • Five-time SEC Coach of the Year, 2011 ITA National Coach of the Year and two-time ITA Southeast Regional Coach of the Year
  • Produced 25 All-Americans and 26 All-SEC First Team selections
  • Had head coaching tenures at Kansas and North Carolina prior to Florida
  • 1992 and 1993 first team All-American and 1993 ACC Player of the Year at North Carolina

Dr. Tommy Valentini* (Gustavus Adolphus College Head Men’s Tennis Coach)

  • Has directed Gustavus Adolphus to nine consecutive MIAC championships
  • Professor in the school’s philosophy department teaching a sports ethics class
  • 2001 Arthur Ashe Award winner for excellence in tennis, academics and humanitarian concerns from both the ITA and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS: 

Ray Anderson (Vice President for University Athletics and Athletics Director at Arizona State)

  • Has held current position since January 9, 2014
  • Named by Forbes Magazine as one of 2016’s 25 Most Influential Minorities in Sports
  • Board member of the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame, NCAA Football Oversight Committee, Chair of the new Ad Hoc NCAA Competition Committee, and most recently the Green Sports Alliance
  • Under Anderson’s leadership, Arizona State announced the reinstatement of the Sun Devils’ men’s tennis program, partly made possible by his and his wife’s (Buffie) $1M lead gift.
  • Led a strategic alliance with the ITA to leverage the resources of a research?based University to grow the sport of tennis locally, nationally, and globally
  • Joined Arizona State after serving as the executive vice president of football operations for the National Football League (NFL) since August 2006
  • Earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford in 1976 and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1979
  • All?league high school quarterback and shortstop, and a three?year football letterman and two?year baseball letterman at Stanford
  • Co?founded the sports law practice at Heller, Ehrman, a prominent San Francisco firm, in 1980 and entered the sports agency business in 1984, opening the West Coast office for Sports Advisors Group
  • In 1987, launched his own agency, AR Sports, specializing in the representation of NFL coaches and players and later adding Major League Baseball players
  • Merged his agency with Octagon in 2001
  • Served as executive vice president of administration for the Atlanta Falcons (2002-06) 

Judy Van Horn* (University of South Carolina Executive Associate AD for Sport & Risk Management)

  • Joined the South Carolina Department of Athletics in 2011
  • Oversees men’s and women’s tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball, sports medicine, sport performance, mental health, human resources and serves as Title IX Deputy Coordinator and liaison to Office of Equal Opportunity Programs
  • Served as chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee (2016-18)
  • Member of the NCAA Committee on Institutional Performance, chairing the Inclusion Subcommittee
  • Spent nine years as associate athletics director/SWA at University of Michigan
  • Served on the steering committee for the President’s Ethics in Public Life Initiative
  • Had a four-year tenure at Michigan State University, rising to assistant athletics director for compliance
  • Served two-year term as president of the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC)
  • Recipient of the 2010 Frank Kara Leadership Award and 2005 Outstanding Achievement Award by the NAAC
  • Began athletics administration career at Central Michigan University

BUSINESS, PROFESSIONAL, SPORTS, MEDIA: 

Stephen Butzlaff (40-year career with Northern Trust Company, including Senior VP and Managing Director of the Highland Park, IL Financial Center; Securities Analyst, Portfolio Manager, and Business Owner) 

  • Long-time tennis volunteer at multiple levels
  • President of the Chicago District Tennis Association, Chicago Tennis Patrons Board and, later, the USTA/Midwest Section and Midwest Youth Tennis and Education Foundation
  • Lead fundraiser and innovator in growth of tennis
  • National participation includes: serving as Council Chair, USTA Board Budget Committee, Nomination Task Force, Vice Chairman of Section Presidents, Membership Innovation Study Group, Membership and Marketing Committee. 
  • Currently serves on the USTA Foundation Advisory Board. 
  • Co-founded the Shoreline Tennis Association CTA, located in Waukegan IL. 
  • Shoreline built two tennis courts in a reclaimed park and has introduced over 1600 students under the age of 16 to tennis – all without incurring any salary or administration costs. 
  • Son, William, was formally a nationally-ranked junior who played tennis at Gustavus Adolphus.
  • List of awards includes: Family of the Year (CDTA), Paul Dean Volunteer of the Year (CDTA), Chicago Hall of Fame and the Mel Bergman Award (Midwest). 

William Dutton (Securities Analyst, Portfolio Manager and Business Owner)

  • Played collegiately at Princeton University, serving as team captain in 1975 and 1976
  • Has enjoyed playing tennis for more than 50 years
  • Enjoyed 37-year career in the investment industry as a securities analyst, portfolio manager and business owner
  • A registered certified public accountant, current partner and senior advisor at Chicago-based Skyline Asset Management, L.P. Company manages a small cap mutual equity fund called AMG Managers 
  • Tremendous supporter of the ITA and other tennis causes.

Harold Edwards (President & CEO of the Limoneira Company; (NASDAQ: LMNR)

  • Limoneira Company is a 125?year?old agricultural, real estate and community development company
  • Previously served as president of Puritan Medical Products, a division of Airgas Inc. 
  • Held management positions with Fisher Scientific International, Inc., Cargill, Inc., Agribrands International and the Ralston Purina Company. 
  • A high-level tennis player, Edwards has raised considerable donations for tennis projects in California. 

Molly Fletcher (Founder and CEO of The Molly Fletcher Company)

  • Played collegiate tennis at Michigan State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications
  • A trailblazer in the highly-competitive business of sports client representation
  • Spent two decades as one of the world’s only female sports agents
  • Hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” by CNN as she recruited and represented hundreds of sport’s biggest names, including Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, PGA TOUR golfer Matt Kuchar, broadcaster Erin Andrews, and basketball championship coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers
  • Has authored three books: A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating; The Business of Being the Best; and, The 5 Best Tools to Find Your Dream Career
  • Co-founder of The Betterment Institute, a series of online coaching courses for corporations and individuals. 

Neel Grover(Founder and CEO of Indi.com, a video engagement and shopping platform)

  • Previously, held the title of Chief Executive Officer of Rakuten.com, Buy.com and Bluefly.com, leading teams that sold over $5 Billion of products online while competing with Amazon
  • Led the 2010 sale of Buy.com to Rakuten, after transforming Buy.com from a negative $100 Million per year loss to 13 consecutive profitable quarters
  • Served on the Boards of PrimeSport, Rakuten USA, Linkshare, Coastal.com and Buy.com
  • Served as an Executive Operating Partner for Clearlake Capital and a member of the Executive Committee for noon. 
  • Previously, Grover was a corporate securities lawyer at Brobeck and Jones Day. 
  • Received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law and his Order of The Coif, and B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Irvine
  • Captain of UC Irvine’s men’s tennis team and 2013 US National Men’s 40s National Team that participated in the World Championships in Turkey
  • Has won several national championships and is currently No. 1 in the U.S. in Men’s Doubles 40s and 45s. 

Shaheen Ladhani* (Goldman, Sachs & Co. Investment advisor)

  • Manages portfolios for private clients as well as for several nonprofits and foundations
  • Previously served as director of alumni, corporate and foundation relations at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business
  • Enjoyed an eight-year tenure as assistant men’s tennis coach at Rice
  • Named 2004 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year
  • Had a stint coaching several tennis players on the pro tour, while simultaneously serving as a sport psychology consultant for athletes in a variety of team and individual sports
  • Served as chair of the Investment Committee for The Center for Adults With Disabilities in Houston
  • Earned undergraduate degree in psychology and managerial studies from Rice University while competing on the men’s tennis team
  • Master’s degree in sport psychology and MBA from Rice University

Ann Lebedeff* (Pomona-Pitzer Colleges Professor of Physical Education and Athletics and Head Women’s Tennis Coach)

  • Has held the position of professor and head women’s tennis coach at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges since 1998
  • Began coaching career at the University of Arizona (1977-84). Honored as the Western Collegiate Coach of the Year in 1985
  • Coached the Cal Poly Pomona (1989-98) men’s and women’s tennis teams to national championships, with the women claiming back-to-back national titles in 1991 and 1992 and the men capturing a doubles national championship in 1993
  • Since taking the reins at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, Lebedeff has guided her program to NCAA Division III quarterfinals seven times, including a semifinals appearance in 2008
  • In 2000, her doubles team of Sheree Schwartz and Megan Gould won the NCAA Division III doubles title
  • The Sagerhens captured the 2016 ITA National Team Indoor Championship
  • Five-time Wilson Coach of the Year (1990, 1992, 2001, 2008, 2016) and Wilson Coach of the Decade (1990s)
  • 1999 International Tennis Hall of Fame Tennis Educational Merit Award and Rolex Meritorious Service Award presented by the ITA
  • 2005 “Doc” Counsilman Award recipient bestowed upon an individual by the U.S. Olympic Committee for a coach who utilizes scientific techniques and equipment in her coaching methods
  • 2015 ITA Conant Meritorious Leadership Award recipient
  • Billy Jean King endowed the ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award in 2017. Award honors a recent college graduate who played college tennis and demonstrated excellence and leadership on and off the court
  • Scheduled to be inducted into the ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in September 2019
  • Member of the San Diego State and Cal Poly Pomona Athletics Halls of Fame
  • Earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from San Diego State and Ph.D degree in physical education for the University of Southern California
  • A nationally-ranked junior and collegiate player
  • Won U.S. Amateur Clay and Grass Courts Doubles titles in 1972
  • Won 1974 USTA National Women’s Intercollegiate Doubles and 1970 New Zealand Women’s Doubles titles

William McGugin (President and CEO of Iroquois Capital Group, Inc.)

  • Chairman/President/CEO of REIT Investment Group, LLC, and President and CEO of Iroquois Captive Services, LLC, which are both portfolio companies of Iroquois Capital Group 
  • Previously worked with Covenant Capital Group, a real estate private equity firm with $300 million of equity invested in apartment projects
  • Holds Series 7, Series 24, Series 27, Series 63 and Series 79 licenses 
  • Active and selfless volunteer for tennis, having served as President of USTA Tennessee (2016?2017) and currently serving on the USTA’s national Collegiate Varsity Committee and the USTA?Southern’s Budget Committee.
  • Played four years of college tennis, graduating from Vanderbilt University (BA in 2000 and M.Ed in 2003)
  • Remains an active adult competitor having won multiple USTA gold balls over the past 10 years. 

*- Indicates new board member

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