Founded in 1992 as the charitable arm of the USTA/Midwest Section, the USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation (formerly Midwest Youth Tennis & Education Foundation) has been supporting communities, programs and individuals to provide greater educational opportunities for youth. The Foundation places emphasis on programs and activities that provide youth with a positive, fun and disciplined environment to learn the game of tennis - and create alternatives to negative recreation. It also assists young players who have demonstrated talent, and are in need of financial support to compete at higher levels.
We make a difference by providing tennis opportunities to diverse youth from many cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We also award scholarships and grants, in doing so, USTA/MTEF enhances individuals’ personal growth, brings tennis to children who might never otherwise experience it. We enhance communities within the USTA/Midwest Section, and promote the sport of tennis as an enjoyable, lifetime sport that contributes to good health, leadership, education, discipline, and self-esteem. In 2017, MTEF expanded to include specific adult populations including Adaptive Tennis, Wheelchair Tennis, and Wounded Warriors.
Meet Our Board of Directors
Integrity. Diversity. Passion.
Joy Albi hails from a variety of careers but most notably as an attorney and small business owner. She is an active tennis player and been a coach for her children. Her passion revolves entirely around the sport of tennis and giving back to others. Albi's volunteerism with USTA Midwest began decades ago with her local district in Ohio and with a Community Tennis Association (CTA) there. She moved to a Delegate position and later to a USTA Midwest Board Presidency. She is the current USTA Midwest Tennis and Education Foundation (MTEF) Board President and has changed the organization from the ground up. Since Albi's leadership began, the foundation has created two new re-occurring initiatives that, for the last two years, have increased revenue over $110,000. Albi has had the foundation's logo rebranded, rolled out a new website and implemented a new marketing plan. She's led MTEF towards re-analyzing all of its processes and created a five-year strategic plan. Her knowledge and experience of business management has brought the foundation to a whole new level.
Paul Farah's full-time career is as an executive automotive consultant while staying active on the MTEF Board. He is also the USTA Midwest former President. For decades, Paul Farah has consistently volunteered with the USTA on a district, sectional and national level with his sons following in his footsteps. Farah has served on the National Diversity Committee, is passionate about his Hispanic Heritage and has been steadfast in growing tennis opportunities for everyone who wishes to play.
Tim Ross is an area director property manager who is active in volunteering through USTA National, USTA Midwest and within his local district and community. He has helped organize many fundraisers for the LGBTQIA+ community for more than 20 years and raised more than $50,000 for charities throughout Detroit. He is dedicated towards organizing volunteers and fundraising efforts. Tim Ross has an eye for identifying areas no one else can, creating and implementing a plan to motivate those around him and achieve their goals.
Fay Peters brings a wealth of experience to our Board as a retired attorney and former Director of Management at the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C. She uses her leadership to overcome divisions and negotiate towards solutions. Peters has managed more than 500 people with an annual operating budget of $90 million. She applies those skills towards MTEF fundraising, grant writing, strategic planning and budget analysis. Fay Peters also volunteers with the fundraising team for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), which raises money from corporations to support the goals of UNCF. Peters is a member of MTEF's Tennis Innovations Committee and chair of its Finance Committee.
Lynn Callahan brings with her a background in marketing and consulting. She has extensive experience in evaluating corporate operations and in making marketing recommendations. Her volunteer and fundraising experience is paired with excellent communication skills, which both have benefited the foundation's fundraising plans.
Curt Bender works full-time as a legal affairs senior manager product regulator within a global organization. He applies his skills to the foundation's Board of Directors. Bender has played wheelchair tennis since 2007 and has chaired the foundation's committee, the Nationals Wheelchair Committee and served as a Board Member for Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (formally the Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association). He has also been a Wheelchair Committee Member of ITF and a member of the USTA Midwest Rules and Regulations Committee.
Jim Hendrix brings a wealth of experience to MTEF's Board. From having his MBA in banking and finance to working on gubernatorial campaigns and operating his very own racquet club, Jim Hendrix has knowledge from every walk of life. He was the President of a USTA District and a Board member of its tennis association for 18 years. He also chaired the President’s Committee, Delegates-at-large, the USTA Midwest Board and multiple National committees. Currently, Hendrix is fundraising for the foundation's wheelchair initiatives. He was able to purchase three new wheelchairs last year alone.
Don Harris is a retired city treasurer and banker from a notable institution in Illinois. He still does consulting for the bank. He's one of the foundation's Past Presidents and actively volunteers in his community for foundations, museums and a local high school. Currently, Harris chairs MTEF’s Investment Committee and is a tremendous advocate for the foundation. He is passionate about helping others to understand that every donation benefits the foundation's programming and the individuals it serves.
Don Newport has served as a retired college President at five institutions across the country. With 40+ years of experience fundraising, he has raised more than one million dollars and been active in multiple foundations, both private and public, along with other non-profit groups. Newport is an active volunteer and shares his passion of philanthropy with his community.
Susan is known in the Midwest tennis community for starting her own 501c3, The ACE Project, which is a USTA National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapter. Since its inception, The ACE Project has grown beyond its home city in Chicago, Illinois and expanded to locations in Detroit, Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland. Klumpner is a researcher, professor, social worker and tennis coach, and volunteers with the USTA on its Junior Recreation Committee, CTA Taskforce and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is also a USTA Foundation Board Member.
Jorge Brioni of the Chicago District was born in Marcos Juarez, Argentina. After 30 years, he moved to Vernon Hills, Illinois. A retired Pharmaceutical executive at Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, Brioni has incredible experience in both sports and medicine. He started playing tennis at 8 years old after his doctor recommended it to him. He's played his entire life. However, what matters most to Brioni is service to others. Brioni is involved with the USTA at all levels. For our Midwest Section, he has been a Delegate-At-Large and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Oversight and Review Committee. For the Chicago District, he chaired the Growth Team and for several years sat on the Adult Tennis Committee. At the national level, Brioni led the Research Team and was selected to be a member of the Sport Science Committee. Outside of the USTA, Brioni has volunteered for OMNI Youth Services and the American Society of Experimental Pharmacology. He is currently a member of the Scientific Review Committee for the US Department of Health and Human Services, and when he's not volunteering, Brioni enjoys horse riding and soccer. Most importantly, Jorge Brioni loves to spend time with his family.
Jeff Stassen comes to the MTEF Board from the USTA Midwest Section Board. He runs and operates his own CTA and has sanctioned tennis tournaments. As chair of the Dearborn Recreation Department, Stassen has coordinated volunteers and fundraising efforts to restore a redevelopment project called Hamtramck, aimed at improving diversity and inclusion efforts in Michigan tennis. He is active on the National Committee and involved at the section and district levels as well.
Tammy Simone of the Northeastern Ohio District was born in Aurora, Ohio and grew up in Mansfield. Her dad was a sheet-metal worker who started playing tennis during the '70s boom. When Tammy Simone turned 8 years old, her parents bought her a racquet and took her to a park for lessons. After a racquet club opened up nearby, her father used some money that he'd set aside and put it towards a family membership. Simone started taking lessons and playing year-round; the court became her favorite place to be and she loved playing tennis with her dad. Simone went on to play number one singles in high school and she walked on to the University of Notre Dame's Women's Tennis Team. She earned a national ranking at 46 years old, finishing number three in the country, and now dedicates her time towards making tennis more accessible. One of her proudest moments was playing in a National Mother/Son tournament with her son. Tammy Simone was the President of USTA Northeastern Ohio from 2016 to 2020 and has served on several district and section committees. She is also involved in ACEing Austism's Akron program and was President of the Solon High School Academic Boosters. Through her volunteerism with MTEF, Simone hopes to make a positive impact on peoples' lives. She wants to make it easier for people to start tennis programming and she wants to encourage people of all ages to play. Some of Tammy Simone's hobbies, aside from tennis, are traveling and learning and about health and wellness. She studies nutrition, strength-training and meditation. Her role models in life are her family, friends and the people she's worked with.
Todd Schorle of the Chicago District was born in Hinsdale, Illinois and grew up in Downers Grove. He started taking tennis lessons when he was 5 years old. As he got older and became a high school student, he needed a job and found his passion for teaching the game to others during the summers—he would continue to teach tennis every summer through college. Schorle played for the DePaul University Men's Tennis Team and gained considerable leadership experience working as a tennis professional at clubs for more than 20 years. He is certified with the Professional Tennis Registry and has served as a board member for Chicago Tennis Patrons. Schorle enjoys helping players build confidence through their game. As an MTEF board member, he wants to make the sport (and the lessons tennis teaches) more accessible. Schorle is a fan or platform tennis, fishing, cooking and collecting vinyl, and the people who mean the most to him, are his family and friends.