Looking back over the last eight years or so that I’ve been involved in pickleball, my journey has been richly filled with memories I will carry for the rest of my life. I was immediately hooked on our sport and applied to be an Ambassador just two weeks after hitting my first pickleball. I was incredibly fortunate, through the tutelage of two wonderful people, Carl and Juanita Vincent to succeed them as USAPA Southwest Regional Directors upon their retirement. Later on, I applied for and was elected to the USAPA Board as Ambassador Director. I held that position for two and a half years, served as Vice President for a year and a half, and ultimately had the honor and good fortune of serving as President for the past two years. During my tenure, USAPA membership has grown dramatically and the sport itself is now part of the worldwide sports landscape.
But, as the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end,” and my term as President expires in a few weeks. I’ll be forever grateful to the hardest working staff, led by Justin Maloof, and the most remarkable, dedicated board members that I’ve ever had the privilege of serving with in any organization. All of us worked diligently to develop the USAPA Regional Tournament structure, our popular Ambassador Retreats, initiate wheelchair and adaptive pickleball play and establish a wonderful relationship with our designated charity – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
I look forward to stepping back from this full-time, all-volunteer job, and its time commitments, and catching up on lost personal time and activities.
My biggest and longest supporter in life has been my wife, Joan, whom I met in the seventh grade. I started working at 12 years old, shortly before meeting her, and she’s been waiting patiently for me to retire ever since. Once I did retire from my “real jobs,” I still had pickleball commitments to shoulder, and again, she’s patiently waited for me. Now that the wait is over, there are many things we look forward to doing with our four grandchildren, daughters and sons-in-law, that we’ve had on the back burner for a long time.
I look forward to seeing you on the courts, but from now on, I’ll be out there with my family and friends, enjoying the greatest game ever invented.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!
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