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Meet ALTA’s 2021 Coordinators of the Year


One of the key highlights of the ALTA annual meeting is the recognition of the major workforce behind this successful nonprofit organization. Each season, league coordinators donate their time to make sure everything is scheduled and arranged for league play. ALTA honors these folks who go above and beyond by naming them our Coordinators of the Year. The 2021 winners are:

Karen Carroll
Thursday Women’s League   
Place of birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Career: Industrial Engineer (ramblin’ wreck), Domestic Engineer (mom of 3), small business owner/partner (with my sister), in that order
ALTA history: Started playing ALTA in 2006. I’ve served as captain or co-captain on many of these teams at one time or another, though I am currently enjoying being just a regular player. I’ve been an ALTA coordinator for the Thursday Women’s League since Fall 2018, the last two seasons at level C8.

Carroll is regarded as a great asset to the Thursday team. “It is not easy being the coordinator for the C8 group. Many of the players are new and captains turn over quickly from season to season,” says Keri Beck, Thursday Women League VP. Patience and kindness are essential for any coordinator, but even more so for one tasked with helping these ladies. Beck says Carroll has done a fantastic job making herself available to these captains and communicating frequently with them.

Kevin Houston
Men’s League
Place of birth: Dalton, Georgia
Career: Sales Engineer
ALTA history: 20-year member, nine-year coordinator, two years on the Board of Directors.

Houston is described as a steady, reliable Men’s League Coordinator, which Men’s League VP Mitch Falkin says is exactly what is needed. “He is well thought of by the captains and other coordinators alike; he has a very positive outlook,” says Falkin. He goes on to say that Houston is an excellent representative of the ALTA volunteer spirit. “We are very lucky to have him in our ranks!”

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

For 2021, Ingram has served as overall for the Senior Day Leagues. Senior Day Leagues VP Cathy Gonzales says she makes such a difference with her positive attitude and her knowledge of ALTA, and her ability to solve challenges. “Barbara loves tennis, she loves ALTA, and she devotes her boundless energy to make ALTA tennis more organized and more fun,” says Gonzales. Ingram has volunteered in several ALTA leadership roles, including overall coordinator for the Sunday Women’s League, Mixed Doubles League, Senior Women’s League, and the Senior Mixed League. She also holds an important job as 2021-2022 Media Vice President.

Jane Jones
Junior Leagues
Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York
Career: Ran a small chain of record stores
ALTA history: Played ALTA for approximately 30 years. Coached for about 20 years. Started playing on a C7 ALTA team and made her way up to AA2.

Junior Leagues VP Tammi Copelli says she is honored and thrilled to have Jones as the Junior Leagues Coordinator of the Year. Jones moved to Atlanta in 1987. Her new neighborhood had tennis courts, so she started playing and eventually earned certification to become a teaching professional. “Tennis brought so much fun to her family’s life that she said she wanted to teach others so that they might have the chance to experience all the benefits of playing tennis,” says Copelli. If that was not enough, she volunteered to be a coordinator the fall season of 2000 to give something back to the sport that gave her years of joy.

Cindy Saunders
Sunday Women’s League
Place of birth: Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada
Career: Medial Laboratory Technologist in Canada, full-time administrative assistant, office manager, and currently working part-time
ALTA history: Started playing tennis in 1996 and coordinating in 2003.

Saunders has served as a coordinator for more than 18 years. She knows the rules and can explain them to the captains. “Her customer service skills are polite and professional, and she is always willing to help in special situations,” says Sunday Women’s League VP Linda Shepherd.

Kirsten Sykes
Mixed Doubles League
Place of birth: Durham, North Carolina
Career: Retired
ALTA history: She started playing on a Thursday Women ALTA team in 1998 and later on Mixed Doubles and Sunday Women teams. She became a Thursday Women’s League coordinator in 2007-2017, a Mixed Doubles League coordinator 2011-2013, Mixed Doubles overall coordinator 2014-2017, VP Mixed 2018-2019, and continues as a Mixed Doubles coordinator.

Sykes has been a long-time volunteer for ALTA and has fulfilled several positions from team captain to league VP. Although Sykes has recently moved to Florida, she continues to serve as a coordinator. Even though she is remote, she also makes sure to show up to important events. “She came to Atlanta to help supervise the Mixed Doubles City Finals competition. She always has a positive attitude, never complains, and always helps her teams have a fun experience,” says Judy Battles, Mixed Doubles Overall Coordinator.

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