Lou has served as the Executive Director of ATANC since 2014. Lou played college tennis for Peace College and holds a degree in Recreational Administration with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation from East Carolina University. She has both PTR Adaptive Training certification and Level 1 Coach certification. In 2021, Lou received the Mary Milam Lifetime Achievement Award. She won the USTA North Carolina Educational Merit Award given by Karen and Buster Brown in 2019 and the NC Tennis Adaptive Award in 2017. Lou served as chair of the NC Tennis Adaptive Committee and is a current member of the committee as well as being a member of the Southern Tennis Adaptive Committee. Under Lou’s leadership, ATANC has expanded to serve over 500 athletes at 27 locations across the state and hosts seven annual tennis tournaments. Abilities Tennis was named the 2019 USTA North Carolina and USTA Southern Community Tennis Association of the Year. At the 2018 US Open, Abilities Tennis was honored with the USTA's National Adaptive Tennis Community Service Award. In 2019, Lou took 25 Abilities athletes to perform a demonstration in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open before the Djokovic/Londero match. It was a highlight of Lou’s life to share that moment with our Abilities athletes.
President, Board of Directors
Cameron was elected to the board of directors in January of 2015. He is an avid tennis player within the Raleigh Pro League and serves as the Director of Business Development with Curi Capital. He is excited to share his love of the sport with Abilities Tennis, as well as the mission of the organization with the community. Cameron is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his business degree from the Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is an active member of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, serves as a board member for StepUp Ministry & North Hills Club, and captains for several USTA teams. You can also catch him on the weekends with the 40 Love Band.
Board of Directors, VP of Marketing
Ken Smith earned his BA in Mass Communication from the University of South Florida and is an award-winning reporter currently with WRAL News in Raleigh. He has won the Mid-South Regional Emmy for best weekend newscast in 2008, the Mid-South Regional Emmy for Spot News in 2009, the Mid-South Regional Emmy for Breaking News in 2012, and earned a National Emmy nomination for Breaking News in 2012. Ken has also received two Georgia Associated Press awards for best spot news and best feature. He loves tennis, reading, hiking, jazz and calypso music, and is a self-proclaimed Foodie. He regularly volunteers with the Special Olympics of N.C. and Wake County schools.
Board of Directors, VP of Events
Wendy joined the Board the Directors in May 2015. As an active tennis player and a mom of a daughter with intellectual disabilities, joining the board of Abilities Tennis was a natural fit. Wendy graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Communications. Her career in medical equipment sales brought her to North Carolina in 1998 where she met her husband John. They have two daughters, Emma and Lily. Wendy looks forward to combining her love of tennis, the intellectually disabled community and community involvement to further the mission of Abilities Tennis.
Board of Directors, Member-At-Large
Elected to the Board of Directors in March, 2018, Duncan is a graduate of the University of Evansville where he played collegiate tennis for the Purple Aces. Duncan currently works in Business Development for a healthcare data analytics company, Prognos. Duncan continues to play USTA League tennis and is also a USTA-certified tennis official. He was first exposed to Abilities Tennis while working with his sons in 2016/17 to develop a fundraising tennis tournament in honor of Rhonda Blanchard, the former men's and women's tennis coach at Middle Creek High School. He is now very excited to expand his involvement in Abilities Tennis and to help grow and improve its programs in the future
Board of Directors
Alex is a graduate of Florida State University receiving a degree in International Business. While at FSU, he played on the varsity tennis team. After graduating he went to work at Wachovia Bank. He currently is a manager at Vision Indoor Tennis Center and is a managing member at Forsyth Holdings, LLC. Alex has held the positions of President of USTA North Carolina and President of the North Carolina Tennis Foundation, and is currently on the Board of both organizations. He, his wife Sara, and their son Charles live in Winston-Salem. The family loves to play tennis and snow ski.
Board of Directors; Coordinator, Raleigh Clinics
John was elected to the Board of Directions in 2018. He has been playing tennis actively out of Seven Oaks Swim and Racquet Club in Raleigh since 2011 and began coaching ATANC clinics in 2015. John leads the Saturday Raleigh ATANC clinics at Millbrook Exchange Park (Spring/Fall) and the Raleigh Racquet Club (Winter) where we have around 16 athletes and 8-10 volunteer coaches attending these clinics. John is also part-time tennis instructor at Millbrook Exchange Park where he is a junior tennis coach and teaches introductory tennis classes to kids and adults. John has four children, three daughters and a son, who are all grown and just about through college. John is very grateful for all that tennis has brought into his life including the opportunity to be associated with ATANC, the abilities athletes, and their families. John holds a Computer Science degree from the University of Maryland and works in the software technology industry.
Board of Directors
Stephanie joins our board with a business background in recruiting and marketing from East Carolina University. She spent 16 years as a recruiter and 10 of those years specific to the pharmaceutical sales industry. During her last 10 years in pharmaceuticals, Stephanie found employment for over 1800 candidates and upon her retirement, she was awarded Recruiter Of the Decade. Stephanie is an active USTA tennis player out of North Hills Club and Raleigh Racquet Club. She enjoys volunteering for Sanderson High School as their JV Women's Coach and has experience coaching a recreational league middle school team as well as a Junior Tennis Team. Stephanie's passion for tennis began in 2016 when she was looking for an outlet to be with friends and participate in a sport. She is excited to be a part of Abilities Tennis to help grow the organization so all people, no matter their learning differences, can find the same outlet she was seeking in 2016.
Wilmington Community Coordinator; Coach, Wilmington Clinics
A tennis player for 50 years, Billie Fitzsimons has dedicated her spare time to teaching her favorite sport at camps, public parks, and private clubs. Eight years ago, Billie began coaching athletes with intellectual disabilities in the Wilmington area. Billie’s team was having so much fun on the court that they wanted to play tennis all year long. Billie hooked up with Abilities Tennis of North Carolina and began holding tennis clinics for her team every Thursday afternoon. If you stop by the Althea Gibson Tennis Complex (Empie Park) between 4:30 and 6:00 year-round, you will see anywhere from 10 to 20 athletes practicing skills, short court, and full court doubles and singles, with lots of volunteers helping out. She also hosts a yearly tournament, Swing into Spring, at the Althea Gibson Tennis Complex. In order to raise funds for the athletes to travel to tournaments in North Carolina and other states, Billie also hosts a fundraiser tournament called the Great Pumpkin Smash each October at Holly Tree Racquet Club.
Tennis Professional USPTA Elite Professional, PPR Professional (Pickleball), PTL Certified including 10 & Under & High Performance Steve joined the Cary Tennis Park as permanent staff in 2018, after working part-time since 2016. He brings a lifelong passion for tennis and coaching. Steve attended the University of Nebraska where he competed at the Division 1 level in gymnastics. Steve has transferred those disciplines into a successful coaching career, developing junior and adult tennis players. Steve likes developing all aspects of a tennis player, working on both the physical and mental abilities and uncovering the full potential of the player. He works not only with Academy Team, but Academy 1 and adult clinics as well. His energetic persona makes him a dynamic tennis coach!
Coach, Southport Clinics
Karen Holbrook lives in Southport, NC, about five miles from the ocean and equidistant to Wilmington, NC, and Myrtle Beach, SC. She gets much joy and inspiration from working with Abilities Tennis athletes and helping them achieve their goals. Karen developed a Net Generation program linking middle school PE student helpers with Abilities Tennis high school players. She is safe-play certified and registered as a Provider with Net Generation.
Coach, Salem College Head Coach
Ed Steele has been coaching tennis for over three decades, all along the East coast. He began his coaching career in New Hampshire in 1978. Since that point, Steele has coached in New England, Florida, New Jersey, and most recently North Carolina. He took over the Salem College tennis program in the spring of 2015 and helped the team to the Great South Athletic Conference Tournament. Since taking the helm of the Salem tennis program, Steele has guided the Spirits to at least five victories every year. Steele graduated from Georgetown College (KY) with a bachelor of science in zoology. From there he went to earn a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern (FL) in Teaching Speaking of Other Languages. He also holds a USPTA Level Two coaching license.
Greensboro Community Coordinator; Coach, Greensboro Clinics
Jinni has been active in the tennis world, playing USTA leagues and playing at Gate City for over 15 years. She graduated from Western Kentucky University with a major in Therapeutic Recreation and has worked with special needs athletes since high school. She is the Abilities Tennis and Special Olympics coach for Guilford/Greensboro area where she hosts clinics from August to May. Jinni is a board member as well as merchandising chair for Racquets for a Cure (an annual tennis tournament to raise money for the local Komen Foundation). Jinni has also worked diligently to coordinate and promote the fundraiser, Dancing on the Diamond, which benefits the ARC of Greensboro.
Chapel Hill Community Coordinator and Coach
Rich enjoyed playing a lot of tennis growing up on Long Island, for the University of Vermont, and on USTA Teams in New York and North Carolina. Rich serves on the Special Olympics NC Tennis Sport Development Team, coaches Special Olympics in Orange County, and trains and certifies Special Olympics NC Tennis Coaches. The most fun Rich has had playing in a tennis tournament was when he partnered with Kevin Olin to represent NC Abilities Tennis in the 2019 USTA National Adaptive Tournament in Orlando, Florida. Rich loves working with Abilities Tennis and Special Olympics, especially when athletes, families, and volunteers have so much fun being together at events and on the tennis court. In his other life, Rich works for an investment company, plays Platform Tennis, and enjoys learning to play the Sitar.
Greensboro Community Coordinator; Coach, Greensboro Clinics
Charles is a tennis enthusiast who has been enjoying the sport for more than 50 years. He has played USTA League tennis and continues to play regularly but finds his current role as tennis coach for Special Olympics of Forsyth County and Abilities Tennis most rewarding. Charles began coaching and playing unified doubles with his son, Justin, in 2009 and joined Abilities Tennis at its beginning. "Just watching the growing success and confidence of my son and so many of our friends in Abilities Tennis has been an absolute joy! I have met some of the best people in the world through Abilities Tennis and look forward to its future of continuing to develop and celebrate their ABILITIES!”
Coach, Raleigh Clinics
Nancy started playing tennis when she was twelve years old. She played junior and high school tennis and started teaching at the local YMCA while she was in high school. In college, Nancy played lacrosse to get the team sport experience. In 2009, Nancy and her family moved from Atlanta to Raleigh, and she started coaching for the City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation in the spring of 2012. Later that fall, she became the head coach of the Endeavor Charter School Girls tennis team, a position she held for two years. She continued to coach for the city and soon landed a position on the tennis teaching staff. Nancy's years of taking lessons carried her into the position she now holds as Assistant Tennis Pro for the City of Raleigh. She teaches all ages and abilities in private/group/team lessons. She also works for Raleigh Tennis Association (RTA) as both Expansion Coordinator and Director of Tournaments. Nancy is licensed as a cardio tennis professional. A native of Ohio, Nancy lives in Raleigh with her husband Grant, daughter Elizabeth, son James, and dog Tucker. In her spare time, she plays tennis!
Coach, Raleigh and Wake Forest Clinics
David Marquina is a tennis professional who moved from Venezuela to the United States at age 18 to play college tennis at Metropolitan State University of Denver and later, Barton College. David is Director of Junior Programs at Carolina Country Club. He is a certified professional with the United States Professional Tennis Association, Registro de Tennis Professional (Spain), and United States Professional Tennis Registry, in which he holds a professional rating in: 10 & Under Tennis; 11-17-Year-Old Tennis; High Performance; and Adult Development. In 2008, David was named “North Carolina Professional of the Year.” David has been a head coach with Abilities Tennis for three years in Raleigh and currently in Wake Forest. He is an Adaptive Tennis Certified Professional through PTR and also serves on the board of Wheel Serve NC.
Coach, Pinehurst Clinics; Statewide Volunteer Trainer
James Hunt has been in the tennis world as a player, coach, club manager, and tennis pro. He was a highly ranked junior state and regional competitor before playing college tennis on scholarship in Georgia. This rise was cut short by a drunk-driver, unfortunately ending the competitive career of this "freshman phenom." His dedication to the sport found many other avenues. Several of his clinic attendees who were PTs and speech therapists asked to bring their patients out to play because they loved his easy and encouraging manner. This lead him to found Atlanta's Adaptive Tennis Program, which became the first Wheelchair Tennis program in the South. He has run tennis programs for wheelchair players, amputees, hearing-impaired, brain injured, and cancer survivors to name a few. When he is not running a tennis clinic for Special Olympics or Abilities Tennis, he travels the state training our volunteers.
Coach, Concord Clinics
Chad Oxendine is the owner and director of AMPTENNIS in Concord, NC. Chad played college tennis at UNC Wilmington. His early career path took him to many prestigious clubs such as the Briar Club in Texas and Vicksburg Country Club in Mississippi. Chad is a USPTA professional and has achieved USTA High Performance status. For several years, Chad has served as president of the Concord Community Tennis Association. Chad is an Adaptive Tennis Certified Professional through PTR and has been a head coach with Abilities Tennis since 2018. Chad’s love of the game and his desire to serve others make him an ideal coach for Abilities Tennis athletes.
Apex Community Coordinator; Coach, Apex Clinics
Jessica Rigney received her USPTA Recreational Tennis Coaches Certification in 2009 and has four years training in the LA84 and Quick Start tennis programs. She went on to develop and run Youth and Family Tennis Programs for the United States Navy’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Department in San Diego, CA. After moving to Fuquay-Varina in 2013, Jessica took an Abilities Tennis training and found ways to continue teaching tennis in surrounding towns. She has been running an Abilities Tennis clinic in Apex since the summer of 2015.
Coach, Goldsboro Clinics
Russell Stephens has been with the City of Goldsboro for 14 years where he serves as Athletic Director/Supervisor for Goldsboro Parks and Recreation. He believes that quality programming and community engagement are the keys to building quality recreation services. Russell has received the NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching Certification and specializes in adult as well as youth programs. Russell truly believes that children are our future and wants to be a part of their overall growth in the community. For this reason, Russell serves as the Varsity Boys and Girls Tennis Coach at Goldsboro High School so that he can be an asset in the school system as well as the community. He is the head coach for the Abilities Tennis clinics with the high school teams volunteering each week. Russell has a Bachelor's degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from Mt. Olive College, where he was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame for basketball and baseball.