Three outstanding providers of tennis in Southern California were recognized with prestigious awards at last month’s USTA Annual Meeting and Conference in Austin, Texas. Conan Lorenzo was selected as the recipient of the Janet Louer USTA Junior Team Tennis (JTT) National Organizer of the Year Award. Dee Henry was presented the Brad Parks Award for her outstanding contribution in helping grow wheelchair tennis at the local level, and Carlos Cruz-Aedo received the USTA Volunteer Exceptional Service Award.
Lorenzo, of La Mesa, has been involved with Junior Team Tennis since 2011. Since joining, he has exponentially grown the number of league players through various initiatives including the creation of a website which serves as a resource for local players to learn more, register and ask questions. Additionally, Lorenzo works with local schools to develop leagues and participates in a tennis ball donation committee, donating thousands of tennis balls to after-school tennis programs, hospitals, school classrooms and animal shelters. (Learn more about Conan)
“Conan has exhibited hard work and remarkable dedication which has led to a great amount of growth and development in La Mesa over the last few years,” said Craig Morris, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “We are proud to recognize him for his continuous efforts in growing the game especially in the schools.”
The Junior Team Tennis National Organizer of the Year Award is named after Janet Louer, who instrumental in the development of junior tennis during her lifetime. As the administrator for USTA JTT in Georgia, Louer built the state championships into the largest youth team tennis state championships in the nation. Her expertise also was utilized in the development of the Section and National Championships for the program.
Henry, of Norwalk, has worked extensively with wheelchair tennis players for over 15 years. In 2008, she became certified to teach wheelchair tennis, allowing her to start the Biola University Wheelchair Tennis program which she still oversees to this day. Henry has also assisted with a local youth summer program for more than two decades. (Learn more about Dee Henry)
The Brad Parks Award was established in 2002 to recognize outstanding contributions to the sport of wheelchair tennis. Named after San Clemente resident Brad Parks, a pioneer of wheelchair tennis and the first wheelchair tournament champion, the award is presented annually and honors an individual or organization that has been instrumental in the development of wheelchair tennis around the world through playing, coaching, sponsoring and promoting the game.
“Dee Henry has been an inspirational leader in wheelchair tennis and an asset to our team in growing the sport,” said Morris. “She is more than deserving of the Brad Parks Award for her dedication to the organization.”
Cruz-Aedo, of Torrance, Calif., has served as the vice chair of the Pro Circuit USTA Committee since 2013, leading research for player development. He is also the co-founder and director of “Tennis Lovers for Charity,” a national organization that provides a fundraising platform for athletes, enabling them to raise money for their favorite charity through the sport of tennis. In addition, Cruz-Aedo has served as tournament director at various USTA Pro Circuit and Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) tournaments and is currently an active board member of the SCTA Foundation.
“We are fortunate to have talented people such as Terry focused on our mission, who continue to make our game great by giving up their time and volunteering so unselfishly,” said Morris.