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2025 - 2026 Invitation to Serve With USTA Louisiana
Board of Directors or Nominating Committee
Dear Tennis Enthusiasts and Volunteers,
We recognize that tennis is executed and grown locally and therefore we place a very high priority on selecting candidates that have experience at the local level. This would include active involvement with your local CTA, NJTL, facility, schools, etc. We encourage everyone to get involved in your local tennis community in some capacity as we feel this will create better engagement with the LTA Board of Directors.
If you are not already active locally, please consider getting involved as this will be an important consideration for your application.
Tennis is growing very rapidly, and we need more volunteers to keep this trend going.
Applications will be available in January of 2024 so this will give you an opportunity to become engaged in your local tennis community. Below is an overview of the LTA Board of Directors and what is required.
The Board of Directors is the managing board of USTA Louisiana and sets strategic priorities for the organization, as well as financial direction, personnel decisions, and alignment with Southern and National policy. The Nominating Committee is charged with nominating the future officers and board members of USTA Louisiana, after reviewing written applications and interviewing applicants. For those interested in serving as a volunteer with one of USTA Louisiana’s committees that report to the Board of Directors, please do so in the appropriate section of the application.
The Louisiana Tennis Association is committed to ensuring a diverse and talented pool of volunteers and encourages you to apply to serve on its Board of Directors and Nominating Committee. The deadline for all applications is August 22, 2024.
The LTA Nominating Committee shall file nominations with the LTA Secretary not later than 60 days (October 7), before the LTA Annual meeting and the LTA Secretary shall post such notice on the LTA website no later than thirty days (November 7) before the LTA Annual meeting.
The 2024 LTA Annual meeting is scheduled for Saturday, December 7, at which time the 2025-26 LTA Board of Directors and Nominating Committee will be elected by 20% of the Organizational Members.
The Nominating Committee shall be composed of five members, one of whom shall be the Immediate Past President who shall serve as Chair. The four members of the Committee other than the Immediate Past President shall be elected for a single two-year term at the Annual Meeting. Other than the Immediate Past President, no more than one member of the Nominating Committee may be a member of the Board. No two members, except for the chair, of the nominating committee may be from the same member club, city or organization including CTA. In the event a member of the Nominating Committee is nominated for election as an officer or Board member, that person shall be prohibited from participating in all discussions and/or voting on said nomination.
The Directors of the LTA Board are the President, Executive Vice President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, five regional representatives (see below), one USPTA Professional, one PTR Professional, two At Large Delegates and the Immediate Past President.
** The Regional Representatives represent the following geographic regions:
NORTHERN:Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Claiborne, Union, Morehouse, West Carroll, East Carroll, Madison, Richland, Ouachita, Lincoln, Jackson, Bienville, Desoto, Red River, Natchitoches, Winn, Caldwell, Franklin, Tensas, Catahoula, and Concordia.
SOUTHWEST-Sabine, Grant, LaSalle, Avoyelles, Rapides, Vernon, Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, St. Landry, St. Martin, Lafayette, Acadia, Jefferson Davis, Calcasieu, Allen, Cameron, Vermillion, Iberia, and St. Mary.
EASTERN-Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, East Feliciana, St. Helena, Livingston, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Ascension, St. John the Baptist, St. James, and Assumption
SOUTHEAST-St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson, St. Charles, Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Plaquemines.
NORTHSHORE-Washington, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa
All LTA Board members meet three or four times annually and the annual meeting weekend is the last meeting of the year. The annual meeting is scheduled the second Saturday after Thanksgiving.
LTA Board Meetings generally occur once per quarter and are scheduled by the President, who also determines the location of the meetings.
Please consider volunteering locally and if you are interested in submitting an application, please let us know and we will place you on the email list to notify when the application becomes available in January of 2024. Please be aware that after all applications are reviewed, zoom or in-person interviews may follow. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or any other member of the Nominating Committee.
Jay R. Boyd
Chair, USTA Louisiana Nominating Committee
Janusz Conradi - LTA Nominating Committee member
Amy Browne - LTA Nominating Committee member
Hassan Abbas - LTA Nominating Committee member
Ben Robinson - LTA Nominating Committee member
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JAMES B. EWERS JR. ED.D. | February 22, 2024
Growing up in New Orleans was the building block that Alvin "AJ" Varnado, Jr., needed to launch a successful tennis career. He credits his mom for exposing him at an early age to the game of tennis.
Varnado said, “My mom put me in a sports-based youth program in 1982. I had the opportunity to play several sports at Delgado Community College. There was something about tennis that made me stick with it.”
With the stars aligned and good fortune on his side, he met Nehemiah Atkinson and Lloyd Dillon, Sr., at the Stern Tennis Center in New Orleans. As the history books confirm, both Atkinson and Dillon are legends in Louisiana and Southern tennis. Atkinson was inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in 1997.
The chance to be tutored and mentored by these two master tennis teachers was a pivotal moment in his life. According to Varnado, called “AJ” by his family and friends, the Stern Tennis Center was “the place to be.”
He is the recipient of the 2023 Nehemiah Atkinson Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award given by USTA Louisiana.
I suspect there were many promising junior players who started their tennis lessons at this iconic tennis facility. Now called the Atkinson Stern Tennis Center, it is one of the oldest public tennis centers in the country. I would not be surprised if it receives national honors in the future.
As I talked with Varnado about his tennis experiences, he said proudly that Atkinson soon had him playing singles and doubles with some of the older guys. He added, “Mr. A wanted me on the courts every day.”
I would opine playing against older competition strengthened his communication and prepared him for tournament play.
He is a graduate of Warren Easton High School, one of the premier high schools in the New Orleans area. He thinks that his tennis improved dramatically during his high school years.
Andre Agassi, Zina Garrison and MaliVai Washington were some of the players he watched as he was refining and defining his game. His time on the Futures Qualifiers Circuit improved his game and allowed him to have more tennis exposure.
Teaching the game of tennis has been a passion of his for over twenty years. Varnado contends his students have a high degree of trust in him. He believes that the trust factor is a key when developing technical and strategy components in a young person’s game.
“Tennis is both physical and cerebral. When the two mesh, it can lead to superior play on the court,” he explained.
Varnado held the position as assistant head pro at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Long Beach, Calif., beginning in the summer of 1998. There he was able to mold and shape the games of both juniors and adults. Years later, he was named the head tennis pro at the Lake Charles Racquet Club in Lake Charles, La. He also had the chance to work with Ronnie Walters, the Director of Tennis at the Graywood Golf and Racquet Club, also in Lake Charles.
His tutelage and teaching have come full circle. He is now the co-executive director and director of player development of A’s and Aces in New Orleans. A’s and Aces has received both Louisiana and USTA Southern recognition for its outstanding academic and tennis programming for youth. It is consistently one of the top NJTL programs in the country.
Varnado’s teaching prowess has also been a positive influence on Nathan Cox who has played the No. 1 and 2 singles for the men’s team at Vanderbilt University in 2022-23. He also works with Eadan Waters who is one of the top ranked junior girls in Louisiana, according to Tennis Recruiting for her graduating class of 2027.
He is well-respected and liked in tennis circles. As you observe him, you can readily see that he loves what he does. Simply put, tennis fits him like a hand in glove. AJ’s teaching has been given rave reviews by parents and students.
James B. Ewers Jr. Ed.D. is a member of the Black Tennis Hall of Fame and a former chair of the USTA Southern Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Committee.
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