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Introducing the 2024 ALTA Executive Committee

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ALTA 2024 Executive Committee members

Chequetta Allen, President
Birthplace: Raleigh, NC
Career: Fleet Management Professional

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of my mission in 2024. How do I think we can best continue this momentum? I believe we should focus on identifying the activities that will allow us to maintain our momentum and put the most energy into those activities.

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do? I would donate funds to my local community tennis association (Coan Tennis Association) to further our efforts to expose inner city and low-income candidates to the game of tennis.

What’s the weirdest gift you’ve ever received? A power surge cord and a broken microwave. A boyfriend gave them to me for my birthday.

If you had a pet parrot, what would you teach it to say? “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

What item do you hope will be obsolete in 20 years? Paper files

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why? Paul Coelho. I found his book, “The Alchemist,” to be very uplifting, and I would like to ask questions about how he developed the story and what his inspiration for the book was.

 

Rita Maloof, First Vice President
Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
Career: Retired

What are some causes you care about? As a past president of the ALTA Foundation, I care deeply about the impact we (ALTA) can have — through the game of tennis and now pickleball — on underserved communities in Atlanta. Providing options for safe, afterschool havens and socialization is huge these days. I’m a lifelong supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and even had the opportunity to meet Danny Thomas at our home when I was a child. Finding cures and saving children…how can you not care?

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a chopping champion. I love to cook and never follow recipes. I come up with some amazing dishes with whatever I can find in my less-than-fully-stocked kitchen.

What is something you think everyone should at least try once? Wheelchair tennis! I had no idea until I was strapped into a chair the amount of upper body strength and hand-eye coordination necessary to move a chair and attempt to hit a tennis ball at the same time. Hats off to all wheelchair tennis players!

If you had a pet parrot, what would you teach it to say? “YOURS!”

What’s the weirdest gift you’ve ever received? Maybe not the weirdest, but the most unexpected and joyous was a year’s worth of holiday inflatable dinosaurs. The mystery boxes would show up about a week before the occasion. The weird thing about it — I still have no idea who sent them to me!

 

Susan Levin, Treasurer
Birthplace: New Orleans, LA
Career: Recently retired financial analyst

If we went to happy hour, what would you order? Scotch mule or margarita with a salted rim.

If we held an ALTA volunteer talent show, I would… wow everyone with my singing talent. My musical training started with my first piano lesson, leading to vocal and later I became a choral director.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Living abroad. Living in another country can be an exciting experience and gives one a whole new perspective.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why? Tom Brokaw — author and American journalist and news correspondent for over 55 years. He’s witnessed first-hand most historical events in my lifetime and covered a number of these in his books. His books on American history and culture, along with the books about his Midwestern roots, are fascinating.

 

Keri Beck, Secretary
Birthplace: Tulsa, OK
Career: IT systems definition

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? Increase our marketing efforts to expand our footprint in underserved areas of the metro area (example: southern quadrant)

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… an actress.

What are some causes you care about? Supporting families affected by childhood illness

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park

What is the weirdest gift you’ve ever received? My first iPhone — “Why would I need a camera in my phone?”

 

Siobhan Schaeffer, Thursday Women’s League VP
Birthplace: Red Bank, NJ
Career: Finance (past), Real Estate (present)

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do? Move to the beach.

What is a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year as a volunteer? Effective communication and no drama on Thursdays.

What are your favorite websites to read in your free time? Motley Fool and Kindle

What are some causes you care about? Alzheimer’s awareness

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a lawyer.

 

Greg McAfee, Men’s League VP
Birthplace: Dayton, OH
Career: Life Insurance Consulting

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? Connect with young adults and expand offerings.

Are you known for a ‘special dish’ on the ALTA table, a favorite teammates request often? Thin-crust pizza — Dayton Style

If we went to happy hour, what would you order? Old Fashioned

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a mafia boss.

If we held an ALTA volunteer talent show, I would… wow everyone with my drum solo.

What are some causes you care about? Habitat for Humanity

 

Loretta Phillips, Sunday Women’s League VP
Birthplace: Adel, GA
Career: Retired! (Emory Credit Union)

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? Finding ways to reach more of the outlying southern counties to reduce travel to/from those counties.

What are your favorite websites to read in your free time? Hoopla (the Henry County Library app)

If we went to happy hour, what would you order? A margarita on the rocks with salt.

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a teacher.

If we held an ALTA volunteer talent show, I would… wow everyone with my dancing talent.

What are some causes you care about? Human trafficking, child neglect/abuse, insufficient minimum wage.

 

Joan Marcinko, Senior Day Leagues VP
Birthplace: Greensburg, PA
Career: Mathematician for the Department of Defense–National War College; Taught math and statistics at Northern Virginia Community College; Substitute math teacher at Westminster High School and Wesleyan

Are you known for a ‘special dish’ on the ALTA table, a favorite teammates request often? Yes, I learned how to make and decorate beautiful sugar cookies online during the pandemic.

If we went to happy hour, what would you order? A lovely pomegranate martini! Or two!

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a cowgirl.

If we held an ALTA volunteer talent show, I would… wow everyone with my deadlifting talent. My Olympic snatches and cleans are decent, but I can deadlift twice my body weight.

What item do you hope will be obsolete in 20 years? Eyeglasses — hate those readers!

 

Seth Appelbaum, Senior Leagues VP
Birthplace: Boston, MA
Career: 42 years – Sales Management in the wine and spirits industry

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? Using our reporting system, we want to clearly identify who is playing ALTA and how we can best meet their needs. At the same time, we must maintain our current structure and be true to the ALTA mission. Change is not a bad thing as long as it improves something or fixes a need.

Are you known for a ‘special dish’ on the ALTA table, a favorite teammates request often? I am the team Grill Master — so it’s sausages, brats, and burgers cooked fresh.

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a lawyer, bartender or in prison.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Using common sense. If it was so common, more people would have it. Also, being nice to people — it’s not that hard.

What’s the weirdest gift you’ve ever received? A machete — it’s a long story.

 

David Rowe, Mixed Doubles League VP
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Career: Home remodeler

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? I truly believe that being attentive to our members and listening to what they say is a big part of continuing our growth and momentum. I believe that customer service is essential to our organization, and I think quick responses to all of our membership are critical, even if our responses are not what they want to hear.

If we went to happy hour, what would you order? Vodka tonic

What are some causes you care about? Childhood cancer. I had cancer at 19 and 35, and I know how hard it was as an adult. I can only imagine how difficult it would be as a child.

If you had a pet parrot, what would you teach it to say? “Zip it!”

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why? Charles Dickens would probably be my favorite mainly because I was in two musicals with my mother growing up, and they were special times for us.

 

Wendy Fee, Junior Leagues VP
Birthplace: Mineola, NY
Career: Chiropractor and therapeutic massage therapist

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? Continuing to work with the juniors and our newly appointed Junior Tennis Ambassador, Saketh Ramakrishnan. Please join him on the social media channels, such as our Instagram (@juniorleaguealta). It is “for the juniors, by the juniors.” He wants to hear from all the junior league players and will be holding contests, posting pictures and much more.

Are you known for a ‘special dish’ on the ALTA table, a favorite teammates request often? My beautiful trifle cake made with devil’s food cake, amaretto, cool whip, and chopped up Heath bars.

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a professional photographer since I am obsessed with taking and looking at photos.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Snow skiing. The views are spectacular, but you have to work to see them.

What’s the weirdest gift you’ve ever received? My son was given two hermit crabs by a friend, and I was the one who had to take care of them — so I guess they were really a gift to me.

 

Gina Woods, Junior Challenge Ladder VP
Birthplace: Fort Wayne, IA
Career: Director of Operations at Piedmont Cancer Institute

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? Recharge members who let their membership expire and rebrand the ALTA Junior Challenge Ladder.

Are you known for a ‘special dish’ on the ALTA table, a favorite teammates request often? Deviled eggs

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a panda munching on bamboo and chilling in the forest.

What’s the weirdest gift you’ve ever received? A toilet seat cover with Santa’s face on it — supposed to be festive but was creepy.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why? Rick Warren. “The Purpose Driven Life” is a book that helps people discover their God-given purpose and live it out. This book changed my life in 2004.

 

Lamar Scott, 2022 President
Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
Career: HR Manager

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? Let’s continue to listen to ensure that we make informed decisions that cater to the needs of our members.

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a veterinarian.

What are some causes you care about? Atlanta Youth Tennis Foundation and Toys for Tots.

If you had a pet parrot, what would you teach it to say? “Good morning, you matter, stay strong, and YOU ROCK!”

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why? Martin Luther King Jr. to find out how he remained encouraged despite any circumstance.

 

Linda Shepherd, 2023 President
Birthplace: Freeport, NY
Career: Interior facility design and maintenance

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? The best way to continue our momentum is to continue to listen to our members, continue recruiting positive volunteers, and never lose sight of the mission of ALTA.

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year as a volunteer? My goal in 2024 is to continue my passion for this organization by staying engaged as a member of the Executive Committee as well as a member of the Board of Directors. I will continue to work hard with my energetic spirit promoting ALTA because I know it makes such a positive difference in our community.

What are some causes you care about? Giving children with special needs the opportunity to learn and enjoy the game of tennis

 

Karen Harris, ALTA Foundation Representative
Birthplace: Copperhill, TN
Career: Amazon Global Relations Executive and restauranteur

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do? Lift friend and family burdens, donate to research and impactful charities, and build a philanthropy team.

Are you know for a ‘special dish’ on the ALTA table, a favorite teammates request often? The allergen-friendly baked goods and foods I offer at each home match are only sometimes requested, but always appreciated and ensure something is available for everyone.

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year as a volunteer? In 2024, I aim to increase awareness about ALTA and the ALTA Foundation among its members and the public through new outreach strategies, engage more with captains and players to understand their needs from ALTA better, and also work collaboratively with ALTA’s Foundation President to help increase the lives we impact through foundation programs.

If you had a pet parrot, what would you teach it to say? “Hey, Karen: let’s dance!”

 

Marla Michalewicz, Events and Tournaments VP
Birthplace: Ft. Worth, TX
Career: State auditor

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? The inclusion of the pickleball league is a big step in that direction.

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year as a volunteer? Bring back mixers, including pickleball mixers.

If we went to happy hour, what would you order? Martinis/cosmos

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

 

Jerry Niemeyer, Pickleball League VP
Birthplace: Des Moines, IA
Career: I spent more than 30 years selling parts in the automotive aftermarket. I then spent more than 10 years selling real estate before retiring.

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? We need to keep an eye open where the racquet sport market is going. We must be on top of changes that may occur in the tennis market and do what is necessary to accommodate an ever-growing pickleball market.

What is a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year as a volunteer? I want to see the pickleball league continue to grow. The winter league has more teams than the summer league of ’23, and I want to see that trend continue.

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was… a cowboy on a ranch in Montana.

If we held an ALTA volunteer talent show, I would… wow everyone with my attempt to do stand-up comedy.

If you had a pet parrot, what would you teach it to say? “Are you kidding me? That ball was in!”

 

John Lowell, President’s Appointee
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Career: Consulting actuary

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we can best continue this momentum? By actively listening to our constituents, particularly among the demographic groups who have the most potential for growth.

What are some causes you care about? Autism, financial literacy.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once? Chateau d’Yquem

If someone gave you $20, and you had to spend it immediately, what would you buy? Flowers for my wife

If you had a pet parrot, what would you teach it to say? I would teach it to tell the dogs to ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’

 

 

Mark LaRotonda, Special Programs Vice President
Birthplace: Seaford, NY
Career: Retired Cell Phone Company

ALTA continues to gain momentum and is continuing to focus on growth in our membership. This is a big part of Chequetta Allen’s mission in 2024. How do you think we best continue this momentum?  For the wheelchair program, get juniors involved in ALTA tennis.

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do?  Change my phone number.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once?  Spend a day in a wheelchair, from the moment they wake up to getting into bed that evening. I think it would give folks a good prospective on the simplest obstacles in life and not just from someone in a wheelchair’s point of view.

If someone gave you $20 and you had to spend it immediately, what would you buy?  A Chick-fil-A gift certificate so I could use it whenever I wanted.

 

 

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