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2022 ALTA Executive Committee

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By Emmy Powell, Net News Editor

ALTA is an extremely unique organization, as the backbone and true functioning body is made up of extraordinary volunteers. In this issue of Net News, we recognize those who devote countless hours to organizing and scheduling the ALTA leagues. They do everything they can to make sure your experience on the courts is positive and enjoyable. It all starts with the captains, coordinators, overall coordinators, and that leads to the league vice presidents and top officers who oversee this vast network of volunteers. Meet your 2022 ALTA Executive Committee.

Lamar Scott, President
Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia
Career: HR Manager, Professional Tennis Instructor
ALTA history: 30 years as an ALTA player, 14 years as a volunteer (coordinator, overall coordinator, Men’s League VP, ALTA 1st VP, ALTA President).

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? Paella on the Big Green Egg! Oh yeah!

If you could pick a superpower, what would that be? Batman…he could escape ANY bad situation!

What movie or song title best describes your life? “The Pursuit of Happiness”

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? I would be placed on the sideline at the 2017 Super Bowl. Folks who know me will surely know why!

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Adopt a pet.

 

Linda Shepherd, First Vice President
Place of birth: Freeport, New York
Career: Shepherd Center Facilities
ALTA history: Began as coordinator in 2004; moved to overall coordinator with Sunday Women. My next adventure was Secretary followed by President of the ALTA Foundation. Still so excited to serve ALTA, I was awarded Vice President of Sunday Women’s League. Honored now to move into another rewarding position as First Vice President of ALTA with Lamar Scott as President.

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? No child hungry, no child left behind, and no child without a family.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I’m crafty and can cook.

What movie or song title best describes your life? “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? I would go to Westfield, Massachusetts in 1917 to watch my dad grow up.

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people who are trying to succeed and find happiness? Be yourself. Live by the 3 C’s — never complain, compare, or compete.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip? The Holy Land

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Volunteering for ALTA!

 

Larry Waters, Treasurer
Place of birth: Savannah, Georgia
Career: Engineering (Electrical), mostly applications engineering with GE
ALTA history: Player, captain, scorekeeper (see who remembers that role), coordinator, overall coordinator, League VP, First VP, President, Chairman and now Treasurer. Just about everything, I guess.

Do you have a favorite holiday and why? Thanksgiving. It’s a time to remember the things that are important to me — friends, family, the good life I have enjoyed — and the many people and organizations that do so much for others.

What is your favorite type of music? Oldies — 60’s and 70’s. There are way too many great bands to pick one, but perhaps the Beach Boys, Chicago, Commodores, or The Beatles.

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? Two things come to mind. Back to a time like the 70’s or early 80’s. “If only I knew then what I know now” is an old saying that comes to mind. Or the year 3000. I’d like to see what the world looks like then — how technology changed, how life is different, what problems were solved, and what the new problems are.

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? My advice: Be true to yourself, appreciate your friends, and be tolerant of others’ opinions.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Cheeseburgers and fries.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? What else — tennis.

 

Mimi McFall, Secretary
Place of birth: Stamford, Connecticut
Career: Retired banker
ALTA history: Player for 20+ years, coordinator, EC President’s Appointee, incoming EC Secretary, Junior team mom for two kids.

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? Liberty and justice for all, no ALTA rain outs, and three more wishes.

What talent do you have that more people don’t know about? I can ride a horse.

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? “Chicago Med” …so many seasons!

What movie or song title best describes your life? “It’s My Life” by Jon Bon Jovi

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? A motto I believe in is, “it’s OK to not be OK.” The advice I would give is to strive for balance in your life … learn, love, work, and play.

 

Karen Sullivan, Thursday Women’s League Vice President
Place of birth: London, Ontario, Canada
Career: B.Sc. (Chemistry) University of Cape Town — have lived in three different continents and moved 14 times.
ALTA history: Been a captain and scorekeeper, have volunteered with ALTA for 10-plus years as coordinator, overall coordinator, and now Thursday VP.

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? My favorite guilty pleasure, “Succession.”

What is your favorite type of music? I love Mumford and Sons, Dave Matthews Band, and most alternative type music.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip? I would love to go to the Australian Open.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Tennis, of course.

 

Mitch Falkin, Men’s League Vice President
Place of birth: Long Island, New York
Career: Residential real estate broker
ALTA history: Long-time player, captain, coordinator, overall coordinator, and VP.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I can sit down and play piano by ear.

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? “Dexter” — A pretty strange binge-watch, I have to admit!

What is your favorite type of music? Jazz & blues — probably comes from growing up outside of New York City. I’ve always liked watching musicians improvise and play off each other.

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? I’d love to go back to when my parents were in high school, to see what they were like as young people and not as my parents!

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pizza — any kind of pizza. I can eat a whole pizza at one sitting, even though usually I don’t have a big appetite. There’s just something about the combination of melted cheese and anything else that suits my taste buds.

 

Susan Levin, Sunday Women’s League Vice President
Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana
Career: Senior Financial Analyst
ALTA history: Volunteer since 2001 (over 21 years).

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? Good health for me and my family, lifelong happiness for my children & grandchildren, and more international travel to ports of call.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? Musical (vocal, piano and choral director)

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? “Ted Lasso,” it’s so funny! Couldn’t stop watching it!

What is your favorite type of music? I love all music, but currently, my favorite is Country — Rascal Flatts (band) and Keith Urban (singer).

What movie or song title best describes your life? “It’s Who You Are” by AJ Michalka

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? I never knew my paternal grandmother; she was a wonderful pianist and worked with John Philip Sousa. I would love to go back in time to be able to hear her perform.

 

Cathy Gonzales, Senior Day Leagues Vice President
Place of birth: Montgomery, Alabama
Career: Long career as a High School Guidance Counselor, 1970 to 2000. Now retired. Georgia Secondary Counselor of the Year, 1997-1998; National Secondary Counselor of the year, 1998-1999.
ALTA history: Mixed Doubles coordinator 2003-2016, Mixed Doubles Coordinator of the Year 2012, Thursday Women’s Coordinator 2009-2019, Thursday Women’s Coordinator of the Year 2016, Sunday Women’s Coordinator 2015, Coordinator for Senior Day Women 2016-2019, Overall Coordinator for Senior Day Women and Senior Day Men 2019-2020, VP for Senior Day Women and for Senior Day Men 2021-2022.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I am an artist. I was an art major in college. Before I got my master’s and specialist degree in Counseling, I taught art in high schools.

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? The series about British Detective Inspector Adam Dalgliesh from Scotland Yard shown on PBS.

What is your favorite type of music? Adele is my favorite singer. I like popular music, and I like opera.

What movie or song title best describes your life? The movie, “Stranger Than Fiction.”

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? I would like to travel back to 1765 and meet my Irish ancestors in Ireland, the four, red-headed McCrory brothers. Then, I would like to travel in time to the American colonies where they fought under Gen. George Washington.

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? Chill out and have fun.

 

Gina Clance, Senior Leagues Vice President
Place of birth: Kingsport, Tennessee
Career: Newspaper reporter, public relations, stay-at-home mom
ALTA history: Joined ALTA in 1990’s.

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? Peace on Earth, unlimited supply of Hershey miniatures, and three more wishes.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I have the uncanny talent of jinxing sports teams by rooting for them! Except my Braves! #worldchamps

If you could pick a superpower, what would that be? Teleportation so I wouldn’t have to sit in traffic.

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? “The Blacklist”

What is your favorite type of music? I love most kinds of music — kinda diggin’ “Hick Hop” these days. I’d say my all-time favorite performer is Prince … gone way too soon!

What movie or song title best describes your life? “It’s a Wonderful Life”

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? I think I’d like to experience a 1960s “Mayberry” type place. So maybe travel back in time to 1960s small town America? It could even include Barney Fife and Andy Taylor … and of course Aunt Bee!

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? Don’t forget to call your mom … often!

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip? I would love to travel to all of the Major League Baseball parks!

 

John Lowell, Mixed Doubles League Vice President
Place of birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Career: Consulting Actuary
ALTA history: Joined ALTA in 1988. Began this round of volunteering in 2015.

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? Health for family, friends, and me, more good wine, and a competent left hand.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? Mental math

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? “Clickbait”

What movie or song title best describes your life? “Happy Together”

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? Find your passion and follow it.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Can I eat great wine?

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip? A tour of all the first-growth wineries in France.

 

Tammi Copelli, Junior Leagues Vice President
Place of birth: Long Island, New York
Career: Registered Nurse
ALTA history: Team captain, scorekeeper, team manager 1996-2002, coordinator 2006-2013, overall coordinator 2014-2020, VP Juniors 2021-22.

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? I’d wish for health and happiness for everyone; I’d wish to cure terminal illnesses (especially cancer); and for fun, I’d wish for the ability to time travel.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I make angels.

If you could pick a superpower, what would that be? To be like Samantha Stevens in “Bewitched,” to wiggle my nose and instantly have my house cleaned.

What movie or song title best describes your life? “It’s a Wonderful Life”

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? I would go back to when my kids were little again to re-experience that joy.

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? Look for the joy in each moment, and remember the joy you give out somehow finds its way back to you.

 

Anthony Swatski, Junior Challenge Ladder Vice President
Place of birth: Ashland, Pennsylvania
Career: Information Technology
ALTA history: 2-year AJCL volunteer, 1-time Men’s League City Finals Champion, parent of two Junior AJCL and JTT players.

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? All people live in a peaceful and prosperous utopian society, travel around the universe in a “Star Trek” fashion, and stay forever young.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I’m a qualified marksman.

What is your favorite type of music? Alternative — Depeche Mode.

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? July 20, 1969, the first manned mission to land on the Moon. The thrill of exploration and the achievements of humankind are incredible and powerful.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip? A flight aboard the SpaceX Starship.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Dipping French fries in a chocolate Wendy’s Frosty.

 

Lynn Lee, Special Programs Vice President
Place of birth: Sandersville, Georgia
Career: Business
ALTA history: Player, captain, team mom, coordinator, VP Senior Leagues, President ALTA Foundation, VP Special Event/Wheelchair.

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? Good health, happy family, and good friends.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? Strangely enough, I usually miss red lights and get great parking spots.

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? “Yellowstone”

What movie or song title best describes your life? Yet to be made!

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? Pray before decisions, listen to adults who love you, choose a career you love and it’ll never feel like work.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip? Australia by way of Hawaii, and back through England.

 

Sandy Depa, 2020 President
Place of birth: Lincoln, Nebraska
Career: Accounting, Association Management
ALTA history: Coordinator since 1999 in many levels, leading to 2020 ALTA President.

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? A cure for childhood cancer.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I can visualize fixing houses to better floor plans.

What was the last TV show that you binge-watched? “Truth or Lies”

What is your favorite type of music? Country — Luke Bryan.

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? Pick a career that you like. Don’t make your choice simply because of money.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip? I would love to go to Austria, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

 

Cameron Turner, ALTA Foundation Representative
Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia
Career: Nonprofit Development and Fundraising
ALTA history: I have been a volunteer for 14 years.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I am ambidextrous.

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? “Ted Lasso”

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? Try new things, love people well, give grace always, forgive others, and stand up for yourself and for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Fresh seafood. Whenever I am on the coast, I always try to find the local fishmonger to see what they have brought in each day!

 

Debbie Gaster, 2021 President
ALTA history:  2021 ALTA President, VP Thursday League, VP Junior Leagues.

Do you have a favorite holiday and why? Christmas. I really enjoy all of the traditions we established and having so many family members together.

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? “Ted Lasso”

What is your favorite type of music? Country music — Eric Church

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pizza

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip? A trip to all of the tennis Grand Slams!

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? A peanut butter and bacon sandwich.

 

Barbara Ingram, Media Vice President
Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia
Career: Sales & Marketing, retail and wholesale, trade show director
ALTA history: 22 years as coordinator and overall coordinator in Sunday Women’s, Mixed Doubles, Sr. Leagues and Sr. Day Leagues, VP in Sr. Leagues and Media.

A genie grants you three wishes; what are they? Wipe out cancer, live in a crime-free society, and the ability to eat and drink all you want and never gain a pound.

Do you have a favorite holiday and why? Christmas, I’m a December baby and growing up, it felt like my birthday went all month long. I love to decorate and host Christmas parties.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I was sewing professionally while still in high school. I did this for several teachers and my principal and her husband!

What is your favorite type of music? Not sure how to classify the type, but loved The Beatles and still love Paul McCartney. I have been to all of his concerts except the outdoor concert at Piedmont Park when it poured rain.

What movie or song title best describes your life? “It’s My life” by Jon Bon Jovi. He is also one of my favorite artists.

If you could travel in time to any place, where would you go? Tie between senior year in high school as I was a 1976 Bicentennial graduate and 1996 during the Atlanta Olympics — that was an amazing time!

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? While you plan your future, don’t forget to live each day to the fullest.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Broiled lobster tails with drawn butter.

 

Dorian Jefferson, President’s Appointee
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois
Career: Software Development, Project Management
ALTA history: It was on the courts that he met his wife, Melvina, also a long-time ALTA volunteer. The couple are active tennis players. Jefferson began volunteering for ALTA in 2001 and has served as coordinator, overall coordinator, VP Tournaments, VP Men and First Vice President, 2013 President and 2016 Chairman of the Board and 2018 Presidential Appointee. He is the recipient of the 2010 President’s Award.

Do you have a favorite holiday and why? Thanksgiving — lots of great food and football.

If you could pick a superpower, what would that be? X-ray vision

What was the last TV series that you binge-watched? “Have and Have Nots”

What movie or song title best describes your life? “The Negotiator”

Do you live by a motto or have any advice for young people? The poem “IF” by Rudyard Kipling.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Fried catfish

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip? Cruise down the Nile River.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Zip Lining

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