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2014 APTA Annual Meeting & Election of Directors
Notice of Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of the American Platform Tennis Association will be held on Friday, May 2, 2014 at the Short Hills Club, Short Hills, New Jersey, in order to (1) Elect Directors to serve for the term of three years (in accordance with the APTA By-Laws), and until their successors are elected and qualified, and (2) To act upon such matters as may properly come before the Board.
Your APTA Board of Directors reorganizes each year following the Annual Meeting. Board Members are elected or re-elected by the members at this meeting. For those of you who cannot attend the meeting, we offer the opportunity to vote by proxy, either by printing and mailing the form linked below or by casting your vote after receiving an emailed proxy.
At the May meeting we will see the retirement of Rich Green and Tim Mangan. Proposed for re-election are George Douaire, John Noble and Courtia Worth. Proposed for election are Ray Crosta, Cooey Lyon, Jim McCready and Bill O’Brien.
This group is charged with making decisions about the rules, regulations and finances of the APTA.
Please take time to vote.
Mailed, emailed or faxed proxies must be received by Thursday, May 1, 2014.
Proxy in MS Word Format
Proxy in pdf format
2014 Board Nominees
Ray started playing platform tennis in high school with his father, Ray Crosta, Sr. After falling in love with the game instantly, Ray began playing junior tournaments and was a semifinalist at the Junior Nationals. Ray remembers losing 0 and 0 in the semis to two Canadians and assumes to this day that at least one of them had to be named Stulac. After graduating from Bucknell University in 1996, Ray picked up the game again and partnered with high school tennis teammate Bill Browne. Bill and Ray played several years together and continue to play together when their schedules permit. Ray has two National Ranking wins to his name: the 2005 Milwaukee Open with Mike Stulac and the 2009 Boston Open with Matt Dana. Ray also won the 2010 Canadian Open with partner Steve DeRose.
Ray has served as the APTA’s Men's Ranking Committee Chairman since 2008 and will become the Region I Men’s President in 2014. He has also been a board member of the New Jersey Men’s Platform Tennis Association since the early 2000s. Ray currently resides in Franklin Lakes, NJ, with his wife, Maggie, and twin sons, Jack and Charlie.
George, a resident of Northfield, Illinois, was bitten by the paddle bug about 14 years ago. A sub was needed for his club team, he was available and has played ever since. He has been a team captain and participates in as many tournaments as possible. According to George, there is nothing better than a competitive match followed by a cold beer. Early on, George and his partners were cannon fodder in the first round of tournaments but he looked at the experiences as lessons in the game. Since then the goal has been to make it to Sunday in the back draw.
After three years on the board, George has learned that there are other things going on on Sundays aside from the back draws. Although he keeps his aspirations focused on playing on Sundays, he does admit that watching the top players continues to amaze him and he is far less sore after watching them play.
George has a tremendous amount of respect for the game and the people who play it. He is in awe of the dedication of the volunteers who run the tournaments and shepherd the sport. George hopes to continue on the board for the next three years supporting the amazing growth of the game, and striking a balance between the inevitable changes the remarkable new talent brings to the game and maintaining traditions that make this the game we all love and respect. His son has recently started playing paddle. He is a lefty and thinks every middle ball is his. George thinks it is terrific to see him and his friends go out and play every opportunity they get.
Clarissa “Cooey” Burkhart Lyon grew up playing paddle in the platform tennis mecca of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Okay, so maybe not a mecca, but it was home to the Burkhart family court, built in 1971, and the site of many a lively match involving friends, neighbors, a few regional and—every once in a while—national superstars. As the youngest of five children, she spent much time trying to work her way into the Sunday game, watching everyone who was older play endless sets, and retrieving balls that flew out of the hillside court on overly exuberant overheads and mishits. Four and half decades later, the Burkhart Sunday game is alive and well on non-tournament weekends and remains her favorite practice match. Of course, the only thing that the original and extended family members practice at this point is hitting each other. Game and set scores mean little compared to the number of direct body blows.
A life-long fan of any opportunity to get out on the paddle court, her true love is mixed doubles, having being fortunate enough to bake banana bread (standard tradition for anyone willing to go into battle with her) for partners like Tim McAvoy, John Stefanik, Scott Falatek, Juan P. M. Arraya, not to mention her brother, Chas, among others. She met her perennially favorite partner for the Husband and Wife Nationals, Jeff, through paddle. Originally matched up by former APTA president John Horine, the pair was introduced to each other officially by one of the First Ladies of our sport, Nancy McAvoy.
Cooey has served on Region III’s MAPTA board. She was also Region III’s Women’s Chair for a number of years. She has been fortunate enough to represent Region III in the President’s Cup when her body could still manage that many matches over a long weekend.
Cooey, a veterinarian, lives in Berwyn, PA, with her husband, Jeff, their dog, Sukey Lyon, and two pasture potato horses. The two things about which she is most passionate are: solving the pet overpopulation problem in the U.S., and helping the game of platform tennis grow and its spirit thrive. She is keen to continue to support the APTA, its members, new and old, and the game itself, with dedication and enthusiasm.
Jim was fortunate to be introduced to the game as a teenager in the 1960s by Don White (1940 National Champion) at the Innis Arden Golf Club in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. He continued to play tournaments during the Tribuno and Passport era of the 1970s, playing on three President’s Cup teams in the 1980s. Jim became an APTA Board member in 1981 and President of Region I from 1982-85. Jim then took over as APTA Executive Director from 1985-88. He looks forward to joining the board again.
Jim has been an umpire at many national event finals in the 1990s, and from 2006-2012 spent time as the Curator for the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame Museum Foundation. He partnered with Diane Straus Tucker to win the 2011 and 2013 National Mixed 60+ Championship.
Teaching has been his passion during his 40-year USPTA tennis career. Most recently, he retired from the Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown, New Jersey, and bought a home in Charleston, South Carolina—where he is active in growing the platform tennis community—with his wife and paddle partner of 18 years, Myra, He is an avid collector of early tennis memorabilia and owns one of the premier private collections in the United States, exhibiting over the years in London and New York and Charleston. He has also written many articles on paddle and tennis, most recently the first two chapters on our early history in the APTA Hall of Fame’s coffee table book, Passing Shots.
Bill started playing platform tennis in 1978 at the Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. He immediately fell in love with the game and started playing in the North Jersey League for ITC shortly thereafter. By 1990, Bill had moved to Hinsdale, Illinois, and started to build what would become one of the largest park district platform programs in the country. Of Hinsdale’s 17 teams currently playing in the Chicago Men’s League, he started and captained 15 of them. As strictly a volunteer, he has taught more than 200 new players.
Bill has also served as Alan Graham’s right-hand man in running the Chicago Men’s League, which is perhaps the largest and fastest growing platform tennis league in the country with 180 teams and some 2,000 players. He and Alan also co-chaired the APTA National Championships in 2006 in Chicago.
Bill was first elected to the APTA Board in 2005 and served as Secretary of the Board. He looks forward to his return. Bill is 65 years old, retired, and has been married to the wonderfully supportive Betsy for 43 years.
Courtia is currently the Director of Tennis and Platform Tennis at the Hartford Golf Club, where she has grown the platform tennis programs in particular over the past nine years. She is partial to her senior racquets group of over a dozen men who show up with paddle or tennis racquet in hand three times a week throughout the year ready to play either sport! With an average age of 82, how great is that?
Courtia learned how to be a teaching pro from some of the best. Bob Callaway gave her guidance at the Reilly Platform camps in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Patty Hogan was her PPTA coach, and she started her teaching career coaching juniors with Marie Minnick. Her sister, the one and only Hall-of-Famer Winnie Hatch, brought her into the game. Winnie was forever wondering why Courtia was never in the right the place at the right time, questioning, “Well, where did you think they were going to hit it?“ Courtia never knew, but Winnie always did.
Courtia has won three Senior National Championships, one with Karen Cashman in the Women’s 50+ and two with Doug Barrow in the Mixed 60+, and has twice been a runner-up.
Courtia was raised on the tennis courts in Houston Texas, spent a few decades in marketing and advertising and dealing in photographic art in Manhattan. She now lives in the Hartford area, and has returned to her athletic roots!
John Y. Noble
John lives in Lake Forest, Illinois, with his three beautiful daughters, Susanna, Sarah and Catherine, and a wonderful wife, Susan. He is an Owner and Vice President of Sales, working alongside his brother, in a unique healthcare company—PathFinder Health LLC.
Being friends with a good number of the Chicago-area tennis pros, who taught paddle, allowed for ample opportunity to learn the sport. John began playing platform tennis in 1999 and quickly became addicted and participated whenever and wherever he could. While living in Evanston, he was introduced to the Chicago League and Alan Graham. It did not take him long to volunteer one too many times, and so, in 2002, began his time running the Chicago Charities and as Director of Tournaments for the Chicago Platform Tennis Charities League (CPTC). He has helped chair a few Chicago National tournaments, and will be chairing many more in the future.
John is on his second term on the board. He heads the Technology Committee, where he creates opportunities to bring the sport and the association into the 21st century. He introduced the Live Scoring system with Isabel Cabanne several years ago and has been working to bring a new player/league rating system to the APTA. Recently, a new Streaming concept has been introduced, and John was the mastermind behind the new “Paddle Night In America,” with the hope of having a dedicated Platform Tennis Channel online. Additionally, John serves on the APTA Men’s Ranking & Tournament Committee (since 2004) as the Region V representative.
Noble has played on the Region V President’s Cup team over ten times, including three championships, and is currently ranked in the top 20 nationally, with Mike Rahaley. In a completely different arena, Noble is a two-time Tony Award winner; for Best Revival of a Play (2001) for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring Gary Sinese, and for Best New Musical (2002) for Thoroughly Modern Mille.