Tennis industry veteran Jerome Jones has been named Executive Director of First Break Academy, co-founder Rick Buchta has announced. The Carson-based First Break Academy has successfully delivered top-notch tennis instruction to thousands of youth from surrounding communities and is based out of Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center.
As the Executive Director, Jones will bring a wealth of experience to the academy and continue to build on the program which began in 2014.
Jones recently served as a District Sales Manager for HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports where he was continually a top producer and winner of the coveted DSM of the year award.
“What the First Break Academy has been able to achieve in just five short years is really amazing,” said Jones, who grew up as a top-ranked Southern California junior player. “I’m fortunate to be inheriting a strong program that has made a difference in the Carson community and surrounding areas. And we hope to build on that success.”
He added: “I plan to utilize my years of collective industry experience and industry goodwill to bring life-changing experiences to kids in the academy.”
First Break Academy was named the USTA Southern California Section’s Community Organization Service Award winner in 2017.
Jones’s experience includes managing the Arthur Ashe Safe Passage Foundation Program in Los Angeles, and he has served in sales and promotions with Prince Manufacturing Group. Jones also worked in Program Administration and Development for the USTA National office during the governing bodies successful plan for growth initiative.
During his playing days, Jones was an All-American in singles and doubles at Pepperdine University and won the 1984 NCAA Doubles title with Kelly Jones.
“My passion to help others and bring tennis and life skills to kids who normally wouldn’t be exposed to the game has always been my passion,” Jones said.
Jones takes over for First Break Academy co-founder Peggy Bott, who will remain an active board member. “Since First Break’s beginning in 2014, we’ve made significant impact on the community and it’s an honor to have Jerome take the reins and build the organization,” Bott said. “It’s amazing to watch how our grassroots mission has taken wings. First Break Academy has unlimited potential to empower more and more children.”
Twenty-two time Grand Slam champion Pam Shriver is a First Break Board Member, and said Jones will elevate the academy with his vast experience. “Jerome Jones brings a wealth of tennis industry experience to the First Break team,” said Shriver, an International Tennis Hall of Famer. “His leadership will help us further accelerate First Break Academy’s tennis, education and multi-sport programs in Carson.”
First Break Academy’s mission is: “To support the advancement of tennis and learning by assisting developmental programs championing opportunity, fitness, multi-sport play, education and compassion for others.”
For more information on First Break Academy or to find out how you can donate your time, money or services, Contact Jerome@first1break.com.