Ready To Serve
Most of you know the ALTA organization is managed by hundreds of volunteers. What you might not know are the interesting stories behind the people who devote their time to making sure your experience on the tennis courts is a positive one. It all starts with the captains, coordinators, overall coordinators, and leads to the league vice presidents and top officers who oversee this vast network of volunteers. ALTA is an organization like no other in the country, and each year, officers are elected to manage league play. Meet this year’s Executive Committee.
Sandy Depa, President
Sandy Depa became a part of ALTA in 1994 when a neighbor asked her to play on a team. She firmly believes that building solid relationships within a neighborhood translates into a firm foundation within a larger community. “I enjoy meeting people of all walks of life,” she says. “ALTA enables these relationships, and I have met the greatest of friends.”
In addition to playing, Depa started her ALTA volunteer efforts in 2000, and she has served in nearly every role possible within the organization. Now, she will lead ALTA as the president in 2020. Her commitment and devotion to ALTA was recognized in 2017 when she was given the President’s Award.
Teamwork is a big part of Depa’s personal and professional life. She runs her own property management business and has a true support team of employees who help to keep the company going strong. Of course, the Michigan native’s close group of friends keep her going strong. “I so enjoy watching my people working together as a team. I only wish I had more free time for more tennis, my family, and my dogs,” she said.
With what little free time she has, Depa’s family is high on her priority list. Therefore, she gets as many of them as she can onto the tennis courts. Her husband, Tony, is an ALTA member, as are their three children, Katerina, Joey, and Michael. She is working on getting her son-in-law, Joe, and her daughters-in-law, Erika and Chelsea, onto the courts now. Additionally, Depa enjoys watching her grandchildren, Lexi and Nate, play tennis, and she can’t wait for her younger grandchildren, Maddie, Anthony, Nicholas, and Kinsey to play tennis.
The entire Depa family has dedicated a tremendous amount of time holding fundraisers to support CURE Childhood Cancer of Atlanta, in memory of Depa’s 3-year-old granddaughter, Melissa, who was diagnosed with AML leukemia. The goal is to finance research for a cure. Depa’s granddaughter, Lexi, (Melissa’s cousin) has taken the mission to heart and started the charity, Pedals of Courage. She formed the foundation so that kids who were undergoing cancer treatment could stay active and happy by riding bikes, scooters, and tricycles throughout hospital halls and at home. ALTA sure is lucky to have the Depa family as part of its community.
Debbie Gaster, First Vice President
Like many people who first move to Atlanta, Debbie Gaster began playing tennis as an adult when she relocated from St. Petersburg, Florida. She started out on a C7 team in 1993, but moved up the ranks and now competes on an A1 team out of Indian Hills Country Club. She has been on the same team there since 2001. “I love that people of all ability levels can participate and play competitive matches,” she said. Gaster now also plays on Sunday Women and Senior League teams as well.
She began serving as a coordinator in the Junior Leagues in 2001, and served as the vice president of the Junior Leagues in 2013-2014. She also has been a coordinator in multiple leagues, including Mixed Doubles, Sunday Women and Thursday Women, and she just wrapped up her service as the 2019 Thursday Women’s League VP, following her role as an elected member on the ALTA Board of Directors for 2017-2018.
She has just taken up a new interest — playing bridge with friends from her tennis team. “We have a group of eight who take bridge lessons together. We are all finding it quite challenging and love that this is yet another thing our tennis friendships have introduced into our lives.” Gaster says her favorite place to visit is Italy, and she also enjoys cooking and traveling. She and her husband, Jeff, have two daughters, Katie and Allie.
John Lowell, Treasurer
He’s a volunteer at heart. ALTA is lucky to have a guy like John Lowell, stepping in as the ALTA Treasurer and the ALTA Foundation Treasurer for the next two years. He’s definitely a numbers guy, as he has worked as a consulting actuary for nearly 35 years. A northern New Jersey native, Lowell moved to Atlanta in 1988. That’s when he started playing ALTA out of Mill Glen in Dunwoody. “I’ve rarely missed a season since then,” he says. “My favorite thing about ALTA is having the ability to play a competitive sport in a team environment, regardless of your skill level.”
Lowell has been a captain off and on since 1990, becoming a coordinator in 2015, and stepping into the role of overall coordinator for Mixed Doubles last year. Beyond ALTA, Lowell has been active in charitable, community, and professional organizations for the last 30 years, having served on nearly 10 boards in volunteer roles. Most recently, he served as president of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries and currently represents the U.S. profession internationally.
Lowell and his wife, Lisa, live in Woodstock with their dog, Shelby.
Camille Puckett, Secretary
Camille Puckett is no stranger to ALTA. In fact, she has been volunteering her time for nearly 30 years, having served as a vice president for the Senior Leagues, overall coordinator for Senior Leagues, and coordinator for Sunday Women, Senior Day, and Senior Mixed Leagues. Puckett was awarded the Coordinator of the Year for her work with the Sunday Women’s League in 2003, the first year the award was given. Now she has come full circle, having been the secretary for the Executive Committee in 2016-2017, and will take over that role again this year.
Puckett was raised in Savannah, Georgia and lived there until she left for college. It was Savannah where she took her first tennis lesson. “I think most of the balls ended up on Highway 80,” she quipped. Once she moved to Atlanta in 1968, she took up tennis again and took lessons from Jon Niemeyer who said that she needed to start a Business (Sunday) Women’s team, which she did and also volunteered as a coordinator. “I love the people of ALTA and being able to give back,” she said. Another way Puckett gives back is with Special Pops Tennis, where athletes with intellectual disabilities can play. Puckett coordinates Special Pops at Lifetime Tennis and has been involved with the program for the last 10 years. Each session prepares the athletes for the summer games at Emory (Georgia Special Olympics) and for the Special Pops Fall Classic held at Lifetime in the fall. She is a firm believer in their motto: “Play tennis, make friends, live life.”
One of Puckett’s other volunteer roles has been with the BB&T Atlanta Open Presented by First Data, where she has served as a security team leader. She has been lucky enough to meet many of the players, chair umpires, and linesmen whom she always looks for when tennis matches are on TV. During this past year’s tournament, Puckett was able to see Andre Agassi and Grigor Dimitrov on the court. One of their sparring partners turned out to be a player Puckett says is her favorite pro tennis star. Kiranpal (KP) Pannu. He was the #1, Division 2, college player (Columbus College) in the country and was given a wildcard entry into the BB&T in 2018, which is where she met him. Pannu has won various tournaments and is continuing to try to move up the ranks as a professional.
Puckett had a successful career as a registered interior designer and recently retired after working in the business for 51 years. She enjoys traveling and says one of the best trips she has taken was a river cruise from Budapest to Prague. She also enjoys spending her retirement as a volunteer and says you receive much more than you give.
Lamar Scott, Men’s League Vice President
Lamar Scott has been dedicated and involved with the great game of tennis since he was a young kid. Growing up in Georgia and playing junior tennis in Tennessee, Scott served as the captain of his high school tennis team and was ranked as a junior player in Tennessee. After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications and English at Dillard University, Scott received his master’s in human resource management from Clark Atlanta University and currently works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a human resources manager.
Scott also is a professional tennis instructor with Universal Tennis Academy (UTA) and is a certified instructor with the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). He has been a certified professional instructor through PTR since 2001, and also is a certified Elite Teaching Professional through the USPTA. He is a longtime member of the USTA and the Georgia Professional Tennis Association, and also holds professional certification through the Professional Pickleball Registry.
Giving back to the community is important to Scott, and he works through tennis to contribute to the community. He served as the overall coordinator for the Men’s ALTA league and recently completed his first year as the ALTA Men’s VP. Scott was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Youth & Education Foundation (AYTEF) as the incoming Executive Vice President. He volunteers with AYTEF at Washington Park. He also lends a hand each year to the Georgia Special Olympics, the North America Special Olympics Tennis Championships, the PTR Wheelchair Championships, and the BB&T Atlanta Open Presented by First Data. Scott also helps organize local Toys for Tots campaigns during football season.
The NFL took notice of Scott’s community service and volunteer efforts. In August 2017, he was chosen by the League to be featured in an episode of “Tackle My Ride,” a television show that salutes a deserving NFL fan, (in this case, an Atlanta Falcons fan), who symbolizes the spirit of giving back and helping others. The show rewards loyal fans, who get their everyday vehicle customized into a team-inspired dream ride. You can watch the transformation of Scott’s vehicle on YouTube.
As testament of his community service and dedication to the sport, Scott was awarded the USTA Southern Region Tennis Professional of the Year (2017), the USTA Georgia Tennis Professional of the Year (2017), and was the recipient of the Professional Tennis Registry Volunteer of the Year (2017), which carries international recognition. Most recently, the Georgia Professional Tennis Association presented Scott with the 2019 GPTA Community Outreach Award.
Scott is a member of the Professional Football Ultimate Fan Association, and along with tennis, he enjoys travel, exercise, golf, and of course, the Atlanta Falcons!
Keri Beck, Thursday Women’s League Vice President
Keri Beck is starting her first year as the Thursday Women’s League Vice President, responsible for overseeing nearly 800 teams. She has served the past two and a half years as an overall coordinator and has served the league as a coordinator since 2011.
Like so many others, Beck started tennis in her residential subdivision after moving to Atlanta from California in 1996. She started playing in the Sunday Women’s League while working full-time at Sprint in their Revenue Assurance group. She began playing on Thursdays in 1998, volunteering as team captain, co-captain, and as division scorekeeper while working her way up from low C beginner tennis to mid-A level. She now plays at the B level on Senior Day Women and Thursday Women’s Leagues. Beck loves the camaraderie of ALTA tennis and values the many close friendships she has formed through her time participating in the organization.
She developed a passion for the game from the beginning and has volunteered in several capacities with the Atlanta Tennis Classic through its many iterations into the BB&T Atlanta Open Presented by First Data. She enjoyed driving the players to match sites, and talking with players, umpires, and ATP staff personnel; but she especially loved watching the stars of the game, including Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, and the Mike and Bob Bryan in the intimate setting of the Atlanta venues.
Beck is a native Oklahoman; her husband, Joe, is from Ohio, and their son, Jordan, was born in Atlanta and played Junior ALTA tennis for many years. When she is not playing league tennis, she enjoys book club, volunteering at the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, and traveling with her family.
Chequetta Allen, Sunday Women’s League Vice President
Chequetta Allen will begin her second year as the Sunday Women’s League vice president. Allen has been an ALTA volunteer since 2011. She started as a coordinator and has worked as an overall coordinator since 2015. “I became an ALTA volunteer because it allowed me to blend my two passions; community volunteerism and tennis,” she says.
Allen says she always has been a tennis fan, and both of her parents played when they were younger. “I got started playing tennis because I had a co-worker who played tennis and knew I was a fan. She thought I might enjoy playing as much as I enjoyed watching, and suggested I take some lessons,” she said. That same year, her mom asked her what she wanted for Christmas. “I said I wanted a tennis racquet so I could take tennis lessons,” Allen added. The next spring, I began taking lessons with Coan Tennis Association out of Coan Park in Atlanta. “It was under the direction of the association coaches that I learned all of the tennis basics and became introduced to playing recreational tennis,” she recalled. “I joined my first ALTA team playing out of Coan Park after approximately three month of tennis lessons, and I’ve been playing non-stop since then.” Allen currently plays on a mixed doubles team out of McGhee Tennis Center in Atlanta.
Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Allen has lived in Atlanta since 1997. She is a fleet management professional, so she assists with the procurement and management of company vehicles and equipment. When she is not busy working or playing tennis, she enjoys taking long cruise vacations and doing outdoor activities.
Kim Dlugolenski, Senior Day Leagues Vice President
Kim Dlugolenski’s introduction to ALTA is a great story. In the spring of 2002, her subdivision, Glencree, was forming a team. She went to lunch with a friend who was going to captain a team and was asked to play. “I hadn’t played tennis since middle school. Well, by the end of lunch, I had signed up for ALTA and stopped on the way home to buy a racquet,” she said. That season, Dlugolenski’s team went on to win the division at C7 and then took home the big plate in City Finals. Naturally, she was on the final court to clinch the title.
Growing up in Connecticut, Dlugolenski didn’t have much opportunity to play tennis and would only play in the summer on middle school tennis courts. A job transfer in the insurance industry brought her to Atlanta in 1991. She says ALTA made it possible to meet people and make new friends. Now she is known for her cookies in the tennis community and is often assigned to bring the dessert to her team’s matches.
Dlugolenski currently plays Sunday Women, Senior Mixed, and Senior Women out of Grand Cascades and is on a Senior Day Women’s team in Parsons Run — in addition to a mixed doubles team out of Aberdeen. She is continuing in year two as the Senior Day VP and brings past ALTA volunteer experience as a captain, co-captain, and Senior Women’s coordinator. Because of the outstanding job she did two years ago as a volunteer, she received the 2018 Senior Day League Coordinator of the Year award.
Roger Dennington, Senior Leagues Vice President
Roger Dennington didn’t think tennis was that great when he was a kid. When he was about 10 years old, his mother and aunt took him and his cousins to a tennis court on a hot, muggy day in July — and they weren’t the best teachers. “All I know is that was a miserable time chasing balls, and I thought, ‘Tennis is not for me,’” Dennington recalled.
Thankfully, his opinion changed while he was in the Air Force. Dennington spent time playing hand ball and racquetball. One day, all of those courts were full, but the tennis courts were empty. “So, some of the other Airmen and I gave it a shot,” he said. “Needless to say, it was more fun that day than with my mother and aunt.”
Dennington spent his post-military career in computer/electronics engineering, having worked for IBM, Hewlett Packard, General Electric, and McDonald Douglass, among others. He took to the courts again with some co-workers who were forming a tennis team and played ALTA for the first time in 1981, but it was a much higher level than he preferred at A3. He says it really wasn’t until 1986 that his official ALTA journey began. His new level was spot on at B1. This was back in the day when ALTA played three doubles matches and two singles matches. Dennington is especially proud of beating two Atlanta Braves players. “If you were a Braves fan in the 70’s, you would be familiar with Hank Aaron and Darrell Chaney, both of whom I beat in singles matches,” he said.
Playing on multiple teams each year until very recently, Dennington says he has been lucky enough to captain several City Champion teams in Mixed Doubles and the Men’s Leagues. Currently, he plays Senior Day Men A5 out of Rivermoore Park. He also has served as an ALTA coordinator, starting in 1990 for about 10 years. He resumed his volunteer role as a Senior League coordinator in 2013 and became that league’s Coordinator of the Year in 2015. Dennington says he became a coordinator because he wanted to ensure ALTA members received as much enjoyment out of tennis as he has. “It’s hard to do in an organization this big, but almost every season, there is one captain or player that I’ve helped have a better season,” he said. Dennington added that it’s usually as simple as explaining rules to them that they didn’t know or misunderstood. “I get a chance to talk to them and tell them what a wonderful sport tennis is and remind them why we play ALTA. Tennis is fun, and you get to meet a lot of great people while doing it.”
When he’s not volunteering or playing tennis, Dennington is playing golf, a hobby he took up about a year ago. He and his wife, Joan, also are enjoying their time together at sea, as they have taken nearly 50 cruises since their retirement.
Cameron Turner, Mixed Doubles League Vice President
Cameron Turner has dedicated her entire career to non-profit fundraising, having served the Atlanta community for the past 17 years. Currently, she works for the Atlanta Community Food Bank in fundraising and development. She has an impressive volunteer résumé; she is a commissioner for the City of Atlanta’s Commission for Women, a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, in addition to offering pro-bono fundraising consulting for emerging non-profits. Spending time with her family, and most importantly, her nieces, is her top priority, and she stays active at Buckhead Church, volunteering in several different ministries.
An Atlanta native, Turner started playing tennis when she was eight years old, as there were tennis courts across the street from her home. She spent most of her childhood on those courts. Currently, Turner plays A3 out of Vinings on the Chattahoochee. She is left-handed, but plays tennis right-handed, so she has a tough backhand. She has served as a coordinator for the Mixed Doubles League for the past 12 years and will now take over as the vice president. ALTA is lucky to have someone like Turner who brings so much experience to the position.
“ALTA is important to me, and I wanted to volunteer to help continue to make it a great organization that serves its members to the best of its ability. In my 17 years of experience in non-profit development, customer service and volunteer stewardship should always be at the forefront of our work as we manage this organization.”
Rita Maloof, Junior Leagues Vice President
2020 looks to be an exciting year for Rita Maloof. Not only is she starting her second year as the ALTA Junior Leagues VP, but she’ll be back on the tennis/pickleball courts with her new titanium composite knee!
“It was time to get that knee replaced,” Maloof said. “I was becoming better remembered on the court for hobbling around in my red-and-black knee brace, holding one or two balls in my left hand while I played, than for my tennis. Not a good thing.” Rita had surgery at the end of July and is ready for winter play. “It’s funny, while I missed the competition, I missed seeing my teammates and friends even more,” Maloof stated. “There’s even hope for my golf game now. All this time, I just thought I needed new clubs!”
The benefactor of Maloof’s down time in 2019 was the ALTA Junior Leagues. Tennis used to be one of five or six major sports children played in Atlanta. Now, the competitive options for sports participation at the recreational, club, school, tournament, and elite levels abound. Not running to the tennis courts every other day gave Maloof and her volunteers time to focus on suggestions and requests received from parents and pros, time to examine data trends, and the opportunity to formulate a set of rule changes that reflect the needs of today’s junior teams. “Age and age eligibility were at the top of our parents’ lists,” according to Maloof. “We are thrilled to be in a position to roll out a 15U age group for the 2020 season.”
Maloof has been an ALTA volunteer since the early 2000’s. She started as a Sunday Women scorekeeper — in the days when paper scorecards were mailed to her after every match. “After the fifth week of the season, my doorbell rang, and there was my mailman standing at the door with this armload of paper,” she recalled. “He was so curious; he had to stop and find out where it was all coming from!” Maloof is starting her 11th year with the ALTA Junior Leagues. “The kids are amazing! They are so much more talented, athletic, and worldly than when we were coming up,” Maloof said. “Tennis gets them off the couch, out of the house, and helps teach sportsmanship, discipline, and communication skills.”
Maloof continues to give back because she believes the Junior Leagues volunteers, parents, and pros are special. It’s her way of saying thank you. “They are the backbone of our leagues. Without them, we wouldn’t exist,” Maloof said. “Unlike in the adult leagues, these players go to school, do homework, share time with siblings, and have to be driven to practices and matches. Its not something most of them can do on their own.”
In addition to playing tennis and volunteering for ALTA, Maloof is active in her neighborhood and community. Always on the go and with a new bounce in her step, Maloof is looking forward to 2020.
Brenda Maddaleni, Junior Challenge Ladder Vice President
Brenda Maddaleni will step into the role of Junior Challenge Ladder Vice President, following her volunteer service as a ladder manager for the past four years. She juggles a lot these days, as she has three teenage boys, including one who played on junior ALTA teams and on the JCL for five seasons. “I enjoy being a part of the development of junior players, seeing them compete, learn, become good sports, and grow up,” she said.
ALTA has been a part of Maddaleni’s life for several years, as she started playing soon after she moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles in 1997. She began taking lessons at the YMCA in Buckhead and played on a C6 ALTA team that later won a championship. Currently, she plays out of the Riverside Club and Sandy Springs Tennis Center. She says there is nothing better than the routine of a beautiful morning on a Thursday with the whole team together, enjoying good competition and a great lunch. “I love the history and tradition of the way ALTA works, and getting to City Finals is a great experience,” Maddaleni said.
It was her experience in the consulting and sales field that led her to Atlanta, as she specialized in revenue management and pricing. Initially, she thought she wanted to be a nurse, like her mother, but decided to focus on business when she was in college. Maddaleni graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s in finance, and later received her master’s in accounting from American University. She is a licensed CPA, and currently works part-time at North Atlanta Tennis Academy and Joe A. Gayle and Associates.
One very interesting goal Maddaleni set for herself was to visit each continent by the time she was 30. “I missed the mark by a few years, but did visit all of them except Antarctica by the age of 35,” she said. “I would like to go back to each continent, go to the more obscure places, and spend more time in each place … and, of course, get to Antarctica.”
Bob Kohmescher, Special Programs Vice President
Bob Kohmescher can easily describe the true meaning of ALTA. “It’s the camaraderie,” he says. “Each week, you meet two opponents who love tennis. It’s very rare to encounter players with attitudes. Each week, you need to adjust your game to counter your opponents. That improves your game.” In fact, Kohmescher believes you never stop improving your game. “Whether it’s the serve, service return, volleys, overheads, cross-court shots or doubles strategy, you can always get better. When you become content with any aspect of your game, your game remains the same.” Kohmescher has a great philosophy about the sport of tennis. “I have fun every time I get on the court.”
Kohmescher also has been able to share the fun with his family. He says even though he is a mid- to low-B-level player, he taught his wife, Carolyn, to play. At her peak, she won several ALTA City Finals championships at the AA level. Kohmescher and his wife also taught their daughter to play. “Our daughter played with my wife on those AA teams. We taught two of our grandchildren to play. They are ALTA City Finals champions. One of my grandsons is a certified teaching pro.”
The family connection to tennis began in the summer of 1961 when Kohmescher graduated from eighth grade and picked up the sport with his younger brother. “We spent more time chasing balls than trying to score points,” he said. Kohmescher didn’t play much tennis after that until graduating from St. Louis University with both a degree in psychology and a master’s in experimental psychology. A native of Cincinnati, Kohmescher began work in St. Louis at a health department before joining the Centers for Disease Control in 1974. He relocated to the CDC headquarters here in Atlanta in 1985. “After nearly 38 years with the CDC, I retired in 2011,” he said.
Moving to Atlanta also marked the first time Kohmescher played league tennis. Even though he is starting his second year as the VP of Special Programs, his commitment as an ALTA volunteer spans two decades. He has captained both men’s and mixed teams, been an ALTA coordinator and overall coordinator for several leagues, and has been awarded Coordinator of the Year in 2013 and 2015. Kohmescher says he became a captain because no one else wanted to do it. “I enjoyed serving as a captain, despite all of the frustrations,” he said. “I know what it’s like to make lineup mistakes. I know what it’s like to try to pair incompatible players.” He jokes, “I know how much fun it is to arrange rained out, make-up matches.” Kohmescher says he sees the role of a coordinator as one who ensures that rules are followed, but more importantly, supports the captains by helping them to avoid mistakes. “I try to help make sure they don’t lose points from matches played because of rule violations, such as sandbagging or player movement. I think my experience as a captain has helped me be a better coordinator,” he said, and it’s that experience that will serve him well as this year’s VP of Special Programs.
Michelle Ruiz, Media Vice President
Meet the “Rum Cake Lady.” That is how Michelle Ruiz is affectionately known throughout the ALTA community, as she makes a variety of flavored rum cakes. She is starting her second year as the ALTA Media VP, after having been a coordinator and overall coordinator for Thursday Women, as well as a Mixed Doubles coordinator. Her role with the Executive Committee includes helping with the Net News magazine and coordinating several local events, including ALTA’s role in the BB&T Atlanta Open Presented by First Data.
Ruiz says she truly enjoys the people of ALTA. “I enjoy working with the team captains and/or my fellow coordinators,” she said. “It’s my small way to give back to the ALTA organization. I think the fact that ALTA is run almost entirely by volunteers is amazing. It’s a great way to meet people and a great way to have fun while exercising.”
Ruiz began playing at the age of 40 and has never looked back. “My neighbors in Kings Farm asked me to join a Thursday Women’s team. I was hooked,” Ruiz said. She plays on several teams, including Mixed Doubles, Sunday Women, and Senior Women.
Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in many locations, Ruiz moved around because her father was in the military. She came to Atlanta in 1972 when she was 11 years old. She says she has always wanted to travel as an adult and got the travel bug from moving so much as a child. She has been to the Galapagos Islands and India, and says her dream trip destinations are Australia and New Zealand.
She currently works from home for a small consulting firm. If she isn’t on the tennis court or volunteering, Ruiz enjoys nice dinners out, dancing with friends, and playing trivia and pickleball. She also enjoys spending time with their two children, Michael and Christina
Barbara Ingram, Appointed Member
Barbara Ingram was born and raised in Atlanta, but she didn’t play tennis growing up, despite ALTA’s prominence in her hometown. Instead, it was television that led her to the sport. “I always played sports in high school, then nothing for many years,” she says. “I always loved the majors on TV, so in my late 30s, I took lessons and loved it.”
She joined a team and ALTA’s volunteer ranks. “I became a coordinator in 1999 after my Sunday Women’s team, which I captained, won City Finals. I loved all my coordinators and wanted to be a part of what they did and help other captains,” Ingram said. Soon, she was coordinating in leagues year-round.
Ingram plays in multiple leagues out of several neighborhoods, and is known for “setting up a great-looking table, especially with holiday themes.” But, be warned, when on the court, she likes the net. “I love to poach and put-away shots,” she says. She’s also a runner and has finished 10 Peachtree Road Races and completed 40 races in 2019, mostly 5Ks. Being retired gives her time to volunteer with the Atlanta Track Club, too, serving as a crew chief for the club’s major races. Her efforts were recognized with the club’s Ambassador of the Year award in 2015.
While Ingram often is on the move, she still likes being a spectator, and ALTA provides her with some of the best on-court action. “I love tennis and watching tennis. When coordinating, you get to watch great tennis at City Finals, and it is not stressful like when it is your own team,” she said. “You get to enjoy every great point, no matter who is making the shot.” She also enjoys nearly every point at the BB&T Atlanta Open Presented by First Data, as she has volunteered as an usher for the tournament since its inception in 2012. Ingram just completed two years as the Senior Leagues Vice President and is looking forward to her work as the 2020 President’s Appointee.
Bill Price, 2019 President
Bill Price was ALTA’s president last year, and worked to grow the ALTA brand and spread the word throughout Atlanta as to why ALTA offers something for everyone.
Price began his ALTA adventure in 1992 when a new team formed in his neighborhood. He was hooked immediately, serving as captain or co-captain almost every season until becoming a coordinator for the Mixed Doubles and the Men’s Leagues in 2009. In 2013, Price assumed the role of overall coordinator for Mixed Doubles and was elected vice president of the league in 2016, a position he held for two years before becoming first vice president. In addition to volunteering with ALTA, Price served three terms on the board of Camp Sunshine and a term as leader of GE Volunteers in Atlanta. He also has been president of Lei Lani Condo Association in Orange Beach, Alabama. “I guess it’s just something in my blood. I like to get involved and help where I can,” he says.
Price is employed by Elavon, a division of U.S. Bank, where he is vice president of solution design and engineering. When not working or playing tennis, Price and his wife like to spend time in the North Georgia Mountains or relaxing at the beach. “ALTA is a very unique and special organization that has provided me with many great memories and wonderful friends,” he says. “It is more than just exercise or recreation; it becomes your social life, too. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give my time to this great organization.”
Joyce Vance, 2018 President
Joyce Vance began her tennis tenure in the late 1980s after receiving free tennis lessons at Coan Park, through the Coan Park Tennis Association. Her connection to ALTA began in 1991, as she began playing in the Sunday Women’s League. Vance serves on the ALTA Executive Committee and will act as ALTA Board Chairman in 2021. Her vast volunteer efforts with ALTA, which span more than two decades, include serving as the 2018 President, 2017 first vice president, vice president of the Sunday Women’s League, and she has been a co-captain, captain, scorekeeper, coordinator, and overall coordinator. She received the ALTA 15-year Honorarium Award in 2017.
Although neither of her children play tennis, her grandson (Kevin Kindred, Jr.), a sophomore at North Carolina A&T University, did play in the Junior Challenge Ladder and Junior League with ALTA and USTA.
Vance currently plays on teams out of Sugar Creek Tennis Center and Mainstreet Tennis Center. She, at times, finds herself wearing many hats. Along with her ALTA duties, Vance also volunteers by managing a tax site at Stonecrest Library during tax season. She also serves on various committees with Wilberforce University National Alumni Association. When time permits, Vance assists with tennis lessons for the Coan Park 10 and under tennis program. Though she juggles a lot and stays active throughout the volunteer world, Vance is looking forward to continuing her service with ALTA.
Candace Cole, ALTA Foundation Rep
The work by Candace Cole as Treasurer of both ALTA and the ALTA Foundation has provided a big boost for the entire ALTA organization. Now, Cole will be turning all of her attention to the foundation. She is excited about the opportunity to concentrate her efforts as the ALTA Foundation Representative/Secretary.
Her background is quite impressive. Before serving as the treasurer, Cole worked as a corporate banker with Trust Company/SunTrust Bank, specializing in franchise and distribution finance. “I stopped working to have children, but I stayed active in our community, utilizing my financial background,” Cole said. Her volunteer résumé is equally as formidable as her finance career, as she helped start a new school for St. Catherine of Sienna Church. “Somehow, I worked myself into a job and became the school’s first Development Director,” she said. Cole also has served as the president of the Kennesaw Mountain Magnet Foundation, Awtrey Middle School Foundation, and several PTA’s. This year, she also will claim the top honor of USTA Georgia female captain of the year.
Her family includes sons Bobby, 22; Connor, 20; and Andrew, 15. Zoey, a King Charles Cavalier dog, completes the family. Connor, who started playing ALTA tennis at age nine, has nine ALTA plates. She and her husband play on teams out of Legacy Park. She started the junior program at that park and helped the program grow to where it had at least one team at every age level for both boys and girls.
Cole says she truly enjoys the entire ALTA experience. “My favorite thing about ALTA is the friends I’ve made volunteering in various capacities. I’m still amazed that ALTA is the largest local tennis league in the world, yet has only five people working in the office who collaborate with an incredible group of outstanding volunteers.”