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PTR Selects Southerners For Awards

February 26, 2014 11:58 PM

Hilton Head Island, SC - - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) presented its annual awards last week during the 2014 PTR International Tennis Symposium.  The event, which includes 40-plus on court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a trade show and tournament, was held on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Marc Blouin, of Augusta, Georgia, has been selected as PTR International Master Professional.

In 1983, when he was still a teenager, Blouin had a life changing encounter with the incomparable Dennis Van der Meer.   The competitive junior player was inspired by the illustrious coach to pursue a career in tennis.  Marc joined PTR, got certified and never looked back.  By 1987, he was a PTR Clinician and Tester. 

After 30 years, Blouin still approaches everything and everyone with the infectious positivity he had as a teenager.  His enthusiasm for coaching is matched only by his dedication for self improvement.  Rarely missing an opportunity to learn, Blouin takes a well rounded approach to professional development.  He takes courses and seminars in coaching, psychology, business, management and leadership.  He is a USTA High Performance Coach, Etcheberry certified, and armed with an MBA.  His decades of on court experience is enhanced by his business acumen, and skills in management and leadership. 

Blouin has held every possible job in tennis, currently as Director of Tennis at the Augusta Country Club. 

He has directed tournaments and presented at conferences and symposia.  He has written articles and received many accolades and awards.  He has made all the right career moves, but Marc also recognizes the importance of involvement beyond the lines of a tennis court.  He organizes fundraisers and sits on boards.  He serves his community, the USTA, USPTA?and PTR. 

Just as his mentor Dennis Van der Meer did for him, Marc encourages certification and professional development for all of his pros.  Just like Dennis, Marc has devoted his life to serving the game. 

Daniel Breag, of Saint Marys, Georgia, has been named PTR Clinician of the Year.

In his unending quest for professional development, Breag has acquired certifications in three of PTR’s four education pathways.  He is a graduate of the PTR?Master of Tennis - Performance program, and serves the organization as a Clinician and Tester in 11 to 17. Breag is also a USRSA Master Racquet Technician, and has a Masters degree in Educational Administration. 

He has been an elementary Physical Education teacher and high school tennis coach in Georgia’s Camden County Schools for the past 16 years.  He understands students, in part because he was a junior tennis player in Great Britain, and an NJCAA Division II All-American doubles player in college.  His highest National Junior College Singles ranking was #4.  Daniel cares deeply about each of his students in their pursuit of education.  As a PTR Clinician, he shares his expertise with aspiring tennis coaches with the same professional approach and passion.

Eric Burke, of Marietta, Georgia, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State. 

 This award is presented to a PTR member in the United States who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR. 

A 28 year member of PTR and its official racquet technician for the PTR International Symposium.  He has strung for many top professionals on the WTA and ATP tours at events like the Legg Mason Classic, Bausch and Lomb Championships, and the Family Circle Cup.  He has co-hosted workshops for PTR and helped the organization develop a relationship with its new official string supplier - Ashaway.  Burke is also the owner of Hardcore Tennis, the most unique and friendly tennis store in Atlanta.  Mainly due to superior doubles partners, Eric has won a combined 11 PTR Championships titles.  Eric still loves to play and plans on playing 15 events in 2014. 

Chris Cash, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State.  

This award is presented to a PTR member in the United States who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR. 

Cash has earned three certifications in the PTR education pathway, including the organization’s highest rating as a graduate of the PTR Master of Tennis program in coaching 11 to 17 year olds. 

Cash has taught tennis across the USA, from Beverly Hills to Denver to his current post in Fayetteville.  He coached five state Junior Team Tennis Championship teams out of the Fayetteville Athletic Club.  At the beginning of this year, Cash started a program at Fayetteville Tennis to serve the public throughout Northwest Arkansas, and to build one of the biggest Junior Team Tennis programs in the nation. Recently, he was presented the 2013 Victor Sheshunoff Meritorious Education Award by the Arkansas Tennis Association. 

Maggie Collins, of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, South Carolina, has been named PTR Volunteer of the Year.  

In the past few years, Collins’ smiling face has been a familiar sight at every PTR event.  She volunteers at the PTR Symposium, Spring TennisFest and PTR Wheelchair Championships.  Without hesitation, Collins volunteers her services - as well as those of her husband Jim McNeil. 

Shortly after the Connecticut couple moved to Hilton Head Island, Collins got the tennis bug.  She started on her home turf, rallying members of her Home Owners’ Association to better utilize their tennis courts.  She helped raise funds to start Learn to Play clinics conducted by PTR?Professionals, which attracted many of the over 50 crowd.  With everything in place at home, Collins set her sights beyond her HOA. 

She became the volunteer coach for a USTA 55 team that went to States.  She coaches the boys and girls Learn to Play starter program at Bluffton High School, and serves a volunteer assistant for the Bluffton School’s tennis teams.  She assists at the annual Bluffton Open Tournament, which raises money for Youth Tennis and Junior Team Tennis. 

It was through her love of tennis, that Collins found and joined PTR, and we are so lucky she did.  Collins runs one of the sites for our Wheelchair Tennis Championships, and works for us during the PTR Spring TennisFest.  She coordinates a slew of other volunteers to make sure PTR events run smoothly.  She and her friends even cook lunches for tournament players!  She can also be spotted at our International Tennis Symposium doing whatever needs to be done.  It’s not just that Collins volunteers, it is the positive attitude and joie de vivre she brings when she does.  Regardless of the tasks at hand, Collins shines, finding the fun and joy in everything.

Jana Fogleman, of Metairie, Louisiana, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State.  

This award is presented to a PTR member in the United States who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR. 

Fogleman, a PTR Professional in 10 & Under Tennis, has hosted several large PTR Certification Workshops so that others can learn to teach this crucial age group.  As the USTA Southern 10 and Under Tennis Coordinator, she knows the value of ensuring that tennis teachers and coaches are trained properly.  Fogleman was a top Louisiana and Southern junior player and was on the Tulane tennis team.

Julio Godreau Named PTR Mississippi Member of the Year.

Julio Godreau, of Madison, Mississippi, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State.  This award is presented to a PTR member in the United States who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR. 

Godreau, a PTR member since 1995, has earned the Professional rating in Adult Development and a PTR Master of Tennis - Performance.  He is also a USTA High Performance Coach.  The Director of the Mississippi Tennis Academy, Godreau is an advocate for education and professional development.  He has hosted PTR Certification Workshops so others can learn to teach the game.  He has been a presenter at many tennis conferences, including the PTR International Symposium, where he presented in both English and Spanish.  He has developed players to rankings as high as #5 in the United States.  No stranger to awards, Godreau has been named USTA Southern Pro of the Year, as well as USPTA Developmental Coach of the Year and Rookie Pro of the Year.  

Jaime Kaplan, of Macon, Georgia, has been named PTR Jim Verdieck High School Coach of the Year. 

Kaplan is Head Tennis Coach at Stratford Academy, the high school from which she graduated in 1979.  She started playing tennis at age nine, and went on to reach junior rankings as high as #1 in the State, #2 in the South, and #18 in the United States.  At Stratford, she had an undefeated record of 156-0 in Singles and Doubles, and won five State titles.  After playing college tennis, Kaplan competed on the WTA Tour for six years, breaking the Top 100 in Doubles.  She played Wimbledon five times, the US Open four times, the French Open four times, and the Australian Open once.  A knee injury forced Kaplan to retire in 1989, and she settled in back home in Macon, Georgia. 

She had always been very involved in her community, and raised more than $3.5 million for various charities. Kaplan currently serves or has served on more than a dozen non-profit boards, and recently filled a spot on Macon’s City Council.  She returned to her alma mater as Coach in 2004. 

In 2010, Kaplan was diagnosed with a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia.  After a year, three rounds of chemo, and a bone marrow transplant, she returned as Head Tennis Coach and Major Gifts Coordinator at Stratford Academy. Kaplan’s individual players and teams have won 40 Region titles and 13 State titles. 

If you ask Kaplan her greatest accomplishment, she will tell you that it’s not being inducted into the Stratford Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, or the Macon Sports Hall of Fame, or even the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.  It’s not receiving PTR’s High School Coach of the Year either.  She will tell you that it’s the many lives she has touched through her charity work and through her journey with cancer. 

Michael Paul, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, has been named PTR Humanitarian of the Year. 

An adaptive sports athlete who has been PTR?certified since 2004, Paul has become a spokesperson for disabled veterans. 

It started with a cross country road trip, during which he pitched his idea to a fellow Delta Company vet he visited along the way.  Paul wanted to get together for one last - or in this case lasting - mission!  Through Paul’s passion, On Target 4 Veterans was born.  Its staff is a group of patriotic Americans, mostly active duty and retired military personnel with a background in Special Operations. 

The nonprofit organization provides funds, support and mentoring to disabled veterans through adaptive sports, recreational therapy, and health and wellness. Paul personally mentors disabled vets in various sports, including tennis.  He is part of On Target 4 Veterans’ development and strategic planning team, focusing on raising awareness and funds to benefit disabled vets. Paul oversees the organization’s finances and budgets, marketing and branding, and establishes policies and procedures to ensure full transparency of operations.

Paul served our country as a paratrooper, and continues to serve through On Target 4 Veterans.  Everything Paul does, he does with focus.  He leads by example.  In 2005, Paul received the PTR?Golden Eagle Award.  In addition to working passionately for On Target 4 Veterans, Paul competes in several sports, including tennis.  His primary mission now is to show other disabled veterans how to live life to the fullest through sports, and to show our appreciation for the sacrifices they have made for our country.  This is a battle we can help him win!

As the recipient of the PTR Humanitarian Award, Paul receives a $2,500 check from PTR Foundation Chairman, Scott Tharp, to continue his work with On Target 4 Verterans.  PTR Foundation is the charitable arm of Professional Tennis Registry.

Nancy Powell, of Lexington, South Carolina, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State.  

This award is presented to a PTR member in the United States who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR.  

A PTR member for more than three decades, Powell is keen on professional development and continuing education for tennis teachers, rarely missing a chance to learn.  She has participated in every PTR educational opportunity attending the Symposium every year.  Additionally, Powell has earned ratings in all four PTR Pathways and is qualified to teach tennis to: 10 & Under, 11 to 17, Performance and Adult Development.  A consummate volunteer, for several years Powell has assisted on the PTR Court for Arthur Ashe Kids Day in New York.  Powell is a staff professional at Lexington County Tennis Complex and in September, was named Head Tennis Coach Columbia College.

Mike Sell, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been named PTR Jim Verdieck Touring Coach of the Year.  

Sell is the personal coach for American #1 and ATP #13 John Isner.  As the Lead National Coach for the USTA Men’s Tennis until 2012, Sell has worked with players including Serena Williams, Mardy Fish and Donald Young. Sell was Monica Seles’ coach for two years, during which she won five titles.  In 2012, he was the Assistant Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach for the United States Olympics at the London Games.  As a resident of Baton Rouge, Sell currently serves as a Volunteer Tennis Coach for the Lady Tigers of LSU. Sell played on the ATP Tour, and reached a #136 in Singles and #83 in Doubles.  Sell was named All-American four times while at the University of Georgia. In 1994, Mike received Intercollegiate Tennis Association Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.

Blain Smith, of Brentwood, Tennessee, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State.  This award is presented to a PTR member in the United States who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR. 

Smith is a 22 year employee of the Metro Board of Parks/Centennial Tennis Center in Nashville.  He also serves on the Board of Tennis Nashville and 10 & Under Junior Competition Committee for the State.  A PTR member since 1996, Smith is a strong proponent of continuing education and professional development for tennis teachers and coaches.  In 2013, he was instrumental in organizing and promoting a PTR 10 & Under Certification Workshop in Nashville that grew to be one of the organization’s most well attended.  Smith has earned the Professional rating in two PTR of the certification pathways: 10 & Under and Adult Development.

Kevin Theos, of Birmingham, Alabama, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State.  

This award is presented to a PTR member in the United States who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR. 

Theos serves the USTA as the Tennis Service Representative for Alabama.  Although he has been a PTR member for only two years, Theos has been instrumental in the recent growth of the organization’s membership in Alabama.  He is a PTR certified Professional in Adult Development, and a strong advocate for education and professional development for tennis teachers and coaches. 

Joanne Wallen, of Nicholasvillle, Kentucky, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State. 

This award is presented to a PTR member in the United States who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR. 

Throughout her career, Wallen has been devoted to growing the sport by developing her own skills and teaching those around her.  Her involvement in tennis has been multifaceted, and includes serving on Board of Directors of USTA?Kentucky.  She also served on USTA Southern’s Junior Competition Committee. She is a USTA Certified High Performance Specialist, working with top juniors to prepare them for competition.  Wallen has also earned two Professional ratings on the PTR education pathway - 10 and Under and 11 to 17.  Named PTR Newcomer of the Year in 2012, Wallen has maintained her momentum for growing the game. 




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