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2021 Heart For Community Award Winner: Pam Hammond

The USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation (MTEF) would like to announce the 2021 winner of the Heart for Community- MTEF District Executive Director Award. This is a new award founded in memory of Margaret Ruemanapp, who served as Executive Director in Northern Michigan and was a recognized leader. This award honors her innovative, inclusive spirit. Award recipients must exhibit a commitment to growing the game of tennis for youth with an emphasis on serving those with disabilities, from underserved communities, and/or those economically disadvantaged. The award honors an Executive Director and will fund an initiative of their choice with $1,000 paid out to the District directly in their honor.

MTEF is honored to announce that the 2021 Heart for Community- MTEF District Executive Director Award goes to Pam Hammond from Wisconsin District.

The Heart for Community- MTEF District Executive Direct Award for 2022 will re-open for submission on March 1st. Anyone is eligible to nominate and ED for this award. 2022 award will be announce during the September Annual Meeting.

Who is Margaret Ruemenapp?

Margaret Ruemenapp exhibited the following qualities as a youth tennis coach: patience, dedication, leadership and generosity. She had a positive influence on many youth players in Northern Michigan and made a difference in her District.

She was a USPTA professional for 40 years and spent most of her life promoting, fostering and encouraging grassroots tennis for the benefit of children, youth and adults. She was inclusive and competitive. Margaret established programs to introduce youth of the local Native American tribes to tennis; she traveled the expanse of northern Michigan to start tennis programs where none existed. She started and coached the Harbor Springs High School girl’s tennis program, coached for Petoskey, ran “Fun In Tennis” camps for free to get kids involved, promoted inter-district youth competition between teams of Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, created “family tournaments” featuring parent/child teams. Margaret was a teacher, coach, instructor, and friend, who gave a guiding hand to all.

Margaret was a recognized leader. She was inducted into the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Petoskey High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. She spent 10 years as Chair of the Juniors Program and several years as Executive Director of the Northern Michigan Tennis Association (NMTA) bringing her grassroots commitment to the sprawling 39 county district. In 2020, Margaret was posthumously awarded the NMTA Phyllis Laurila Award, an achievement award recognizing her incredible lifelong contribution to growing northern Michigan tennis.

2021 Heart For Community Award Winner: Pam Hammond

Pam has served tennis in Wisconsin in every capacity from youth, adults, diversity, special needs, USTA adult and junior programs, tournaments and leadership in all areas throughout the Wisconsin District and Midwest Section. Notably, her service began nearly 20 years ago as a youth coach and has grown to encompass the following local accomplishments:

• President of the Fond du Lac Tennis

• Initiated Fond du Lac Junior Tennis and served as Local League Coordinator in Northeast Wisconsin for 12 years, increasing participation by 100%

• Brought USTA into 9 public elementary schools, helping introduce tennis into their physical education programs

• Created Diversity Inclusion programming at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Fond du Lac

• Developed a tennis program on the Oneida Reservation. Pam served as Adult District Coordinator from 2013-2017 where she grew adult participation and introduced new programs (Weekend Warrior and other special events). She became Executive Director in 2017. As ED, Pam oversees all aspects of WI tennis and with great ingenuity and service to the sport. She manages and has spearheaded multiple new programming to engage new players of all ages, abilities, ethnicity, diversity and inclusion. Her leadership and creativity abound in the following programming and administration:

• Family Rally Series: Instrumental in initiating and delivering programs in 8 new communities so far this year.

• Elite Clubs Relationship and introduction of adult and family special events.

• Weekend Warrior Events (special weekend events for men or women and multiple levels play)

• Sand Valley Grass Court Events known as Wimbledunes

• Currently working on a cooperative program with the Milwaukee Brewers for 2022

• Sanctions Wisconsin Tournaments and works closely with and personally trains tournament directors on the new Serve Tennis (assisting with player registration, score entry, financial settlements.

• Current ED leader

• Serves on several USTA Midwest committees: TSR Planning Committee, Midwest Budget Committee, District/Sectional National Alignment Task force, Midwest Jr Competition Committee.

Pam stands apart as a true leader dedicated to the sport of tennis, and most importantly dedicated to community, sensitive to serving players, staff and Wisconsin with integrity, character, and sensitivity.

During this most difficult of years for all and for Pam personally, she has overcome adversity when she wasn’t at her best and lead our organization with innovative adjustments adapting new programs and modifications which have been successful and deeply appreciated by all. Wisconsin is proud and grateful for Pam's service, loyalty, and creativity. Wisconsin District is proud of the many innovative programs that were introduced in these challenging times to engage current and new players in tennis. USTA Wisconsin prides itself under Pam's leadership to be the first District in the Section to pilot programs, develop and engage new website design, introduce and be up to date on Serve Tennis and all new digital introductions. Pam has been the leader through it all and a leader to all the Executive Directors.


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