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2023 ALTA Executive Committee

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2023 ALTA Executive Committee
Photo: Laura Barnard

By Emmy Powell, Net News Editor

Linda ShepherdLinda Shepherd, President
Place of Birth:
Freeport, NY
Career: Interior Facility Design and Maintenance
ALTA History: Sunday Women coordinator (2004-2012), overall coordinator (2013-2020), and VP (2021), ALTA Foundation Board (2018-2019), First VP (2022), President (2023).

What is your favorite western movie? It wasn’t a western movie, but a show. “The Andy Griffith Show” was my favorite. It was a simple comedy with values about parenting and community. It was an example of the way life should be.

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Andy Griffith — The greatest sheriff in town. He is who I aspire to be like as the new “sheriff in ALTA town” — calm, humble, fair, and always share a friendly smile.

Who are your favorite professional tennis players and why? The Bryan brothers. They have been successful not only on the court, but through their mission after tennis to better the lives of children. They focus on raising money for underserved children to help with education, tennis, and general life skills.

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? I have always had the hope and dream to become the president one day.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Spend a day without technology. Our social skills, relationships, and overall ability to focus have declined due to the increased amount of technology.

Chequetta AllenChequetta Allen, First Vice President
Place of Birth: Raleigh, NC
Career: Fleet Management

What is your favorite western movie? “The Harder They Fall”

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Sam Elliott

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I make door wreaths. I used to make them with my late mother, and I’ve just recently gotten back into making them.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? I would love to travel to Tanzania, Africa to learn about Tanzanian culture and history, and I would visit Serengeti National Park, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar.

Who is your favorite professional tennis player and why? My current favorite tennis player is Coco Gauff. She is a fighter, and she never gives up.

Larry WatersLarry Waters, Treasurer
Place of Birth: Savannah, GA
Career: Electrical Applications Engineering

What is your favorite western movie? Too many to name but maybe “True Grit.”

If you could have a “dream dinner” with three other people, living or dead, who would they be? Thomas Edison, Bob Hope, Roger Federer. How’s that for variety?

Who is your favorite western movie actor? John Wayne

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? Australia. I have never been there and always wanted to go.

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? To give back to a great organization. When I moved to Atlanta, I really didn’t know anyone. A friend got me involved with tennis in my neighborhood, and I met a number of people who have become long-time friends.

Mimi McFallMimi McFall, Secretary
Place of Birth: Stamford, CT
Career: Retired Commercial Banker

What is your favorite western movie? “Dances with Wolves”

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Robert Duvall

What do you love most about ALTA? Thursday, it’s “Game Day.”

Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people do now know. I have run two marathons.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? An African safari

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? ALTA is a great organization. When I moved to Atlanta 24 years ago, my realtor suggested I join an ALTA team. I am still playing with the same core group, and my teammates have become lifelong friends.

Karen SullivanKaren Sullivan, Thursday Women’s League Vice President
Place of Birth: London, Canada
Career: Bachelor of Science Chemistry University of Cape Town

What is your favorite western movie? “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”

Who is your favorite professional tennis player and why? Rafael Nadal. He never gives up and always plays each point like it was the last.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people do not know. I have lived on three different continents: Africa, Europe, and North America.

If you could have a “dream dinner” with three other people, living or dead, who would they be? Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, and Jane Austen.

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? It seemed a natural extension of being a captain and scorekeeper. It has truly been a joy to meet and work with the most delightful people. I even found my Thursday and Senior Day teams through ALTA and the friendships I have made by being a volunteer.

Greg McAfeeGreg McAfee, Men’s League Vice President
Place of Birth: Dayton, OH
Career: Insurance & Real Estate Sales

What is your favorite western movie? “Unforgiven”

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Clint Eastwood

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do? Invest the money and live off the interest, so I can play tennis and pickleball every day!

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Skyline Chili

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? I can play the drums.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people do not know. I grew up in Dayton, Ohio and love thin crust pizza and have been known to bring back as many as 40 pizzas on an airplane from there.

Susan LevinSusan Levin, Sunday Women’s League Vice President
Place of Birth: New Orleans, LA
Career: Financial Consultant

What is your favorite western movie? “Lonesome Dove”

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Robert Duvall

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Live overseas. It gives one a whole new perspective.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? I would take my entire family on a safari in Kenya to see the many majestic animals in their natural habitat while we can.

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? I love tennis and as an ALTA captain, it created a desire to be even more involved in this great organization. So, when I received the call to become an ALTA coordinator, it was with great excitement that I accepted.

Joan MarcinkoJoan Marcinko, Senior Day Leagues Vice President
Place of Birth: Greensburg, PA
Career: Mathematician/Programmer

What is your favorite western movie? “Blazing Saddles”

What do you love most about ALTA? I love the variety of leagues we have to join. It’s been fun to try them all, but my personal favorite is the ALTA Run/Roll League. The Wheelchair League players are amazing athletes and so fun to play with!

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Probably Clint Eastwood

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Horseback riding on a beautiful island beach at sunset.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people do not know. I married my high school sweetheart, Len, after both of us finished college in the summer of 1973. In August, we’ll be celebrating our 50th!

Gina ClanceGina Clance, Senior Leagues Vice President
Place of Birth: Kingsport, TN
Career: Newspaper reporter, public relations, homeschool mom

If you could have a “dream dinner” with three other people, living or dead, who would they be? Peyton Manning, Dolly Parton, and Bobby Cox.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? During COVID, I learned that I could make a delicious meal out of the most ridiculous ingredients!

Who is your favorite professional tennis player and why? Andre Agassi. I loved watching him play, loved his bad-boy persona, and love how much he does for others now.

What do you love most about ALTA? I’ve loved meeting some super people on the tennis court that I probably would never have met otherwise. I love the competition and feel blessed to be able to play a game I enjoy!

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? Truthfully? Because Joan Appelbaum talked me into it! I believe in stepping up and helping with groups/organizations in which I participate; ALTA wouldn’t be able to do what it does without its volunteers!

John Lowell John Lowell, Mixed Doubles League Vice President
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, PA
Career: Consulting Actuary and frequent volunteer

What is your favorite western movie? “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do? Check my pulse.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? Follow my “in-progress” book from destination to destination in nearly every country in the world, drinking their best local wines.

Who is your favorite professional tennis player and why? Roger Federer, both because of his class on and off the court and his ability to play a great game on any surface against any player.

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? It was time to give back. I saw an opportunity to make positive change and to make the league better for our tens of thousands of members.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people do not know. If you are reading this, it’s likely I have a lot more siblings than you do.

Wendy FeeWendy Fee, Junior Leagues Vice President
Place of Birth: Mineola, NY
Career: Chiropractor

What is your favorite western movie? I don’t really have a favorite movie. However, when I was younger, I used to love watching “Little House on the Prairie” on TV.

Who is your favorite western movie actor? In the 70’s, my favorite western actor was Pete Duel on “Alias Smith and Jones.”

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? My sister was a coordinator for the Junior Leagues, and I saw how much fun she was having. When my kids grew older, I asked how I could become involved. The rest is history!

If you could have a “dream dinner” with three other people, living or dead, who would they be? Jackson Browne so he could sing for us, Wayne Dyer so he could advise and motivate us, and Curtis Stone so he could cook for us.

Who is your favorite professional tennis player and why? Mariaan de Swardt from South Africa. Many people may not know that she partnered with Martina Navratilova, and they played and lost against the Williams’ sisters at Wimbledon in 2000. Mariaan coached my Sunday Women’s team in 2004, and we went to City finals for the first time ever!

Stacey SimmonsStacey Simmons, Junior Challenge Ladder Vice President
Place of Birth: Grand Rapids, MI
Career: Patient and Family Advocate

What is your favorite western movie? “Unforgiven”

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Denzel Washington

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? Visit every country in Africa.

What talent do you have that most people don’t know about? My son says I can yell really loudly.

Who is your favorite professional tennis player and why? Carlos Alcaraz is my favorite tennis player. He’s so aggressive and unrelenting.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people do not know. I have tried standup comedy.

Mark LaRotondaMark LaRotonda, Special Programs Vice President
Place of Birth: Seaford, NY
Career: Retired – cellphone company

What is your favorite western movie? “El Dorado”

Who is your favorite western movie actor? John Wayne

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? I would visit all the Major League Baseball parks.

Who is your favorite professional tennis player and why? Andre Agassi. He had long hair (and so did I at that time), and he was a great returner of serve, which is a strong part of my game.

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

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? I wanted to make sure wheelchair tennis would continue and grow in our area.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people do not know. I was a bouncer at my college bar.

Debbie GasterDebbie Gaster, 2021 President
Place of Birth: Wilmington, DE
Career: Former Insurance Adjuster

What is your favorite western movie? “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Clint Eastwood

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do? Book a trip to all four Grand Slam tennis tournaments.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? Always Italy.

What do you love most about ALTA? I love the concept that players of any ability level can have a competitive match. The experience is essentially the same for beginners and advanced players.

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? ALTA tennis has enriched my life in so many unexpected ways. It was an easy “yes” when asked to be a coordinator back in 2001.

Lamar Scott Lamar Scott, 2022 President
Place of Birth: Atlanta, GA
Career: HR Manager, Professional tennis and pickleball instructor

What is your favorite western movie? “Blazing Saddles”

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Denzel Washington (“The Magnificent Seven”)

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

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? The time to spend with those that I love the most; so there would be no destination, and it’s something money could never buy.

Who is your favorite professional tennis player and why? Rafael Nadal because of the time I got to spend with him personally. I had the opportunity to show him and his team around the city few years back, and he is an incredible person. He is a fierce competitor on the court but has one of the biggest hearts off the court.

Cameron TurnerCameron Turner, ALTA Foundation Representative
Place of Birth: Atlanta, GA
Career: Non-profit fundraising and development

What is your favorite western movie? “Open Range”

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? A trip to the Maldives.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? New food from different cultures.

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

Why did you become an ALTA volunteer? I started volunteering with ALTA 15 years ago to be more active in the organization and be helpful in helping advance ALTA’s mission.

Marla MichalewiczMarla Michalewicz, Events and Tournaments Vice President
Place of Birth: Fort Worth, TX
Career: Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission/ auditor, then mom and homemaker

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do? I would buy houses for our sons, nieces and nephews, or pay off their mortgages.

If time and money weren’t obstacles, what would be your dream trip destination? It would be the Galapagos Islands on a private yacht.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Ziplining, which is on my bucket list.

Who is your favorite professional tennis player and why? Billie Jean King. She changed the sport for women, and I love that she beat Bobby Riggs in that infamous “Battle of the Sexes” showdown.

What do you love most about ALTA? The concept: a bunch of volunteers who love tennis and want to make it accessible to everyone in Atlanta.

Tammi CopelliTammi Copelli, President’s Appointee
Place of Birth: Long Island, NY
Career: Registered Nurse

What is your favorite western movie? “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”

Who is your favorite western movie actor? Paul Newman (or maybe Robert Redford — he was so handsome back then).

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Skiing across Europe. If you are not able to ski, at least take the ski lift up to the top. It’s breathtaking!

What do you love most about ALTA? Everything! Playing, volunteering, neighborhood gatherings, friendships made on and off the court, etc. I think one of the most special things has been playing tennis with my family: my husband, my two sons, my sister and my brother-in-law. I used to tell my son, it may not be so special right now playing tennis with your mom, but in years to come, you will look back and think it was so cool that you had the opportunity to play tennis with your mom and dad.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people do not know. My husband and I are childhood sweethearts, going on 43 years this year. We even made it through playing Mixed Doubles together.

 

ALTA is an extremely unique organization, as the backbone and true functioning body is made up of extraordinary volunteers. 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.

 

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