Q: Welcome to TPC, Jameson! What are your initial impressions of the Club so far?
Thanks Jerry – it’s great to be here! Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and helpful. I was immediately impressed by both the dedication and professionalism of the TPC Management and staff. The Club is an amazing place. I am honored to be a member of the team and I look forward to this next step in my career.
Q: Where have you worked previously?
My most recent work was as a lead Chef for Park Avenue Catering. There I spent the last four years learning the art of catering. This has proven to be an invaluable experience considering all the special events that are hosted by the Club.
Prior to catering, I was the Executive Chef at Deuce restaurant in Sonoma for seven years. There I specialized in New American cuisine with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients.
Q: Is there a cuisine that you specialize in?
As diverse as my repertoire has grown, I have to say my favorite cuisine would have to be a modern, fresh, and elegant touch on southern cuisine.
Q: What do you like to do on your days off; any special hobbies?
I like to spend my days off with my family. I am usually running between schools, various sporting events (my son plays several), and setting up play dates.
As for hobbies, I like to fish, go camping and hiking, forage edible wild mushrooms, ski, play the guitar, play soccer, and the list goes on really. I love the outdoors. Oh, did I mention live music? At 44 I still love a great rock concert!
Q: How do you envision our Café in 4-6 months from now?
My vision is one of a great Café in 4-6 months that people cannot wait to come back to. I see a relaxing environment with great service and exciting food that changes seasonally and always keeps you guessing what’s next.
Q: How are you doing as the TPC Tennis Director after 6 months?
This has been an experience of a lifetime so far. I am really enjoying taking on my new challenges and balancing all the various aspects of my position.
Q: The Challenger starts September 26 this year, what is new with the Challenger?
We are really excited about this year’s Tiburon Challenger. We are proud to announce Wells Fargo as our new Title Sponsor and this will be my first year as tournament director which I’m eagerly anticipating. Our stadium seating has been upgraded this year adding five raised VIP boxes on the west side of the court and as one of only six tournaments of its $100,000 size in the country we are destined to attract many of the world’s best players. We will once again have online streaming for the entire duration of the tournament. Matches can be viewed on the Official ATP Tour website ATPTour.com , the tournament website tiburonchallenger.com and on the USTA website usta.com
Q: How can I purchase a box/tickets for this year’s Challenger?
To purchase box seats please contact me at email@example.com or call 415-937-5002.
Tickets will be available on the tournament website www.tiburonchallenger.com and from a ticket station at the door. You can also contact me at the address or phone number above.
Q: You have added some new Tennis Professionals, tell about them?
TPC tennis is proud to announce the hiring of our new Head Pro, Luke Shields. Luke has been with us for a month now and we’re fortunate to have such a quality teacher and high level player join the team. Luke was assistant Men’s Head Coach at Boise State University before accepting the position here at TPC. As a true team player and great guy, Luke embodies all the characteristics we were looking for in a Head Pro.
Also joining us for the summer months is coach Robert Shawhan. Robert has been a USPTA certified pro since he was 18 year old and in September he will begin studying law here in San Francisco. Robert has been a real asset to our program and has been doing a great job with the children and adults alike.
Q: What is planned for Fall programs for club members?
On August 24th our Fall programs begin. Ladies clinics will start up again and the junior program will continue. Parents will have the opportunity to sign their children up for clinics which we offer for kids of all ages and skill levels and/or private or private group lessons. We have pros available that can teach any level of player from absolute beginner to professional level.
Our very popular ‘Tennis Power Hour’ which is a one hour cardio style class for adults will continue starting Thursday, August 27 at 10:30.
Junior Round Robin events will be taking place on Saturday afternoons from 2:30 – 4:30pm. These are a great way for our juniors to get the very valuable match play practice that will take them to their next level. Competition starts at the orange ball level.
Men’s clinics are also available in the evenings and we are looking forward to more social tennis mixers throughout the rest of the year.
Q: Congratulations on becoming our new Aquatics Coordinator, how does it feel?
Thanks, I am really excited about my new position. I really appreciate all the compliments and congratulations I have received from the membership. It definitely feels good to be recognized for all my hard work.
Q: Can you share with us what it was like to grow up at the TPC and swimming for Ken De Mont?
Many of my fondest memories as a kid are here at TPC, I would say the peak of my competitive swimming career was as a TPC Shark when we swam in the Marin Swim League. The meets here were the best, laying sleeping bags out on the amphitheater seats by the Main Pool, the team cheers and RACING!! I loved the relays and team camaraderie. I was often the anchor of the relays because I was so competitive…this earned me the nickname Anchor by my brothers. Swimming has a unique way of teaching kids about individual and team aspects of sport. Those years swimming for Ken really shaped who I am today. I learned about dedication & commitment, success & failure, competitiveness & passion, all while learning to swim like a fish and having a ton of FUN!!
Q: You were quite an accomplished Water Polo players, what were some of your favorite highlights?
That is hard to say, water polo was a much needed break for me. I had been swimming competitively from the age of 6, and like I said my swimming career peaked at a young age. I wasn’t getting any faster. I started playing water polo my freshman year of high school and that is really what kept me in the pool and swimming all these years. I just loved it. I went on to play after high school at San Diego Mesa Junior College for two years and then at UC San Diego for two years. I have to say that there is nothing like participating in college sports, those were definitely some of the best years as a water polo player. Specifically, I will never forget playing against UCLA at our home pool and scoring a back hand out to the hole set position. At that time, UCLA was the top team in the nation and many of the women’s national team players were on that team, so I was pretty excited. I loved playing in the toughest games, win or lose, I would leave everything I had in the pool.
Q: What are some of your goals for the TPC Aquatics program?
My goal for the Aquatics Department is to maintain the high quality of instruction in our programs and improve the member communication. I would love to see more adult aquatic programs and family events at the pool.
Q: How do I get a swim lesson from the staff?
For swim lesson you can contact me via email or phone to discuss and set up swim lessons. My contact information is:
Main: 415.789.7900 x5018
We started the New Year with the addition of Assistant Manager, Curtis Lew. Curtis has years of club management experience and I interviewed him recently about his background. We are very fortunate to have him on our team!
Q: Curtis, welcome to the Tiburon Peninsula Club. Can you share your club management experience with us?
A: Thanks, Jerry. It feels absolutely great to be here!
I have over twenty five years experience in the Club industry. I started working at the California Tennis Club in San Francisco as the Accounts Receivables for six years, then as the Assistant General Manager for 8 years. Thereafter, I managed Belvedere Tennis Club, Rafael Racquet Club and Sleepy Hollow Swim and Tennis Club. Before arriving to TPC, I was the Assistant General Manager at the South Beach Yacht Club.
Q: We understand you were the General Manager at the Belvedere Tennis Club. How does it feel to be back in Tiburon?
A: It’s definitely great to be back in Tiburon. The whole town is filled with friendly people and the weather is just great.
Q: Can you tell us about the Lew family?
A: My wife and I, along with our four boys, ranging from 7 to 18 years old, live in Pleasant Hill. It’s usually quite busy in the house but if I do find some free time, I usually play tennis with my ten year old or plan a quick getaway with the family to Tahoe to ski/snowboard….Actually, I love the buffets in Tahoe, too.
Q: Rumor has it that you are a pretty good tennis player. What is your tennis background?
A: “Good tennis player” is indeed a rumor! I’ve played tennis for over 30 years, have taken many tennis lessons in the past and have played in the USTA 4.0 league.
Q: What do you plan on bringing to the TPC?
With my experience and with TPC already such a great Club, I hope to bring some new ideas to improve every aspect of the Club’s operations and facilities.
Meg Downie joined the TPC team in Member Services last Fall. As you can see below, her responsibilities have continued to increase throughout that time. Needless to say, we all value her contributions to the club and recognize Meg as a very important member of our team.
Q: Where are you from and what college did you attend?
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I moved to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) to attend the University of Minnesota. I was quite indecisive when it came to picking a major, which is the reason I was in school for 5 years! My junior year, I finally found the major that kept me interested and involved in my studies: American Studies with an emphasis in Immigration Studies. The intersection of culture, people, and society in the United States is interesting and different from any other country, and there is still so much more for me to learn in the field.
Q: Rumor has it you had a softball career, how did it start? Do you still play?
Throughout childhood I was always playing softball with my family. I continued playing softball in High School, played on a rec volleyball team, and also dabbled in rugby for a year. Rugby was a great and interesting experience that I don’t think a lot of people can share with me; however, it is also an intense contact sport so in the end I chose softball over rugby (saving myself from countless bruises and black eyes!).
Q: Tell us about yourself. What brought you to the Tiburon area?
In May 2010 my boyfriend Ryan and I both graduated from the University of Minnesota. We had talked about moving to the Bay Area earlier in the year, and when we finally graduated we said: “What’s stopping us?” If we didn’t make the move future responsibilities would only hinder us from having an adventure so the timing seemed perfect. Ryan moved out in August and I followed a month later after I finished up a job in human resources. Both of us are very lucky to have found full time jobs, with him at Real Goods Solar in San Rafael and myself here at the TPC.
Q: How do you like working at the TPC? What are some of your responsibilities?
While I work the front desk on weeknights and Saturdays, I am also involved in administrative work, updating our membership system and helping out whenever I can. I have worked closely with Juliana and Malcolm in the last months, and I now have the opportunity to work with Catherine Sanders on cash deposits. The directors at the TPC have given me the opportunity to expand and grow from a part-time to full-time employee with more responsibilities and decisions, and I am very grateful for that.
Q: What would you like to be doing 10 years from now?
Whatever in life makes me the happiest. I am interested in continuing my education at graduate school, and have a couple of specific degrees in mind I might pursue. As of now I am happy to have finished school, have a job that surrounds me with bright, friendly people, and have a positive outlook on my life and where I will lead it.
Q: At what age did you begin playing tennis? How did you get started?
I was 3 years old when I started playing tennis. My mom was a player and I had the option of sitting in a day care room or hitting balls off of the wall. It was a no-brainer for me. I started getting competitive at 8.
Q: Where did you grow up and what brought you to Tiburon?
I grew up in a suburb of Detroit. Six years ago I moved to San Francisco to be close to my brother and his kids, who are now 6 and 8. I feel very lucky to live a mile away from my precious nieces and working at the TPC. My move out west couldn’t have gone any better.
Q: In addition to being a terrific tennis player, you are an excellent golfer and a passionate skateboarder Tell us about some of your experiences.
I grew up playing tennis without even considering golf a sport. I had no interest in it at all. In my late 20’s I played in a Tennis Pro-Am at a country club and won a round of golf on their course. I fell in love with the game and achieved some kind of basic competence over the next year. While I do love the game, I don’t consider myself “excellent.” I fell in love with skateboarding also in my late 20’s, after one of my students gave me his skateboard. I am usually the most senior skateboarder in the skate park by a good 20 years (sometimes 30).
I have found no better platforms for personal growth than these three sports. I love them all, and feel lucky to be able to participate in them. They all serve beautifully as metaphors for life too!
Q: Where else have you been a Tennis Pro and what do you like best about teaching?
I’ve been a pro at a number of clubs, but the years prior to TPC were spent teaching at Huron Valley Tennis Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was there for 9 years and left quite a family of students, co-workers and friends.
I suppose my favorite thing about teaching is watching people expand their concept of what they’re capable of. Most people don’t realize what they can actually do until someone encourages them to explore the limits. I also love the challenge of diagnosing a student’s issues, coming up with a prescription for growth, and then communicating that clearly and effectively. Each student poses a unique challenge, and it never feels monotonous. When I do a really good job of listening to my students, and tending to their specific needs, I walk away feeling useful and fresh.
Also, having fun with interesting people all day, in one of the most beautiful natural settings I’ve ever seen, while I run around and hit balls, is just a pretty sweet gig!
Q: If you had to give just one tennis tip, what would it be?
My one tip would be: Pay attention and be deliberate. If you know what you’re trying to do, you’re much more likely to get it done.
This week Jerry sits down with Director of Operations Malcolm Lacey. Malcolm has worked his way up the ranks, in a variety of club settings, prior to landing at the TPC.
Q: How long have you worked at the TPC and how did you get into the club industry?
I started with Tiburon Peninsula Club in August 2007. My fitness club industry career began with a part-time front desk and shuttle driver position at Telegraph Hill Club in San Francisco in 1986.
Q: You have worked at other clubs in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, what were your titles and responsibilities at the other clubs?
I was promoted from the front desk at Telegraph Hill Club to Pro-Shop Manager then soon moved over to Front Desk Supervisor at the San Francisco Bay Club. At that time I was also doing an internship with Bent Severin International, an interior design firm, as I finished my college career. Soon after I graduated from college, Western Athletic Clubs was in the final phases of building Bay Club at 555 California, where I was offered the position of Director of Membership and Accounting. After two years in that position I was recruited by the General Manager of Beverly Hills Country Club to become the Club Manager.
An opportunity came about to work in the Hotel industry where I became the Western Region Office and Marketing
Supplement Manager for Le Meridien/Forte Hotels in Beverly Hills. That was an exciting time as I was able to travel the world and stay at some of the most luxurious hotels you could imagine. I came back to San Francisco when my mother suffered some medical complications. I felt I needed to be back home in San Francisco. I was able to take some time off, mom got better, and I was back in the job market where I went back to Western Athletic Clubs as the Club Accountant. I quickly moved through the ranks to Director of Membership for San Francisco Bay Club and Executive Club. Because of my Interior Design background I was also often recruited for design projects.
Q: You are a fit and trendy guy, what do you do to stay in such good shape?
Hey, thanks…You know I have to give credit to genetics. My father was lean and tall, and my mom was very athletic. As kids we were also encouraged to be mindful that food is fuel, eat what you need and don’t over indulge. I do enjoy my weekly Cardio Kick Boxing class and I have a morning 20 minute workout that includes compound pull work as well as push-ups and light weights.
As far as trendy…well I worked in retail for many, many years. I often worked at the flagship stores which meant these stores were to set the standard for other stores in the chain. The sales associate’s look and fashion sense is part of the job and becomes part of the employee. That has just carried with my everyday appearance ever since.
Q: What is your biggest challenge at the TPC?
Prior to working here (and before the renovation), what I knew of TPC was that it was a nostalgic recreation center that was cool by the pool, but dated. Now with the renovation I feel the club is in a little bit of a culture shock. The level of service, amenities, what the club has to offer families, and overall management of the club is less like the rec center persona it once had and moving towards a “Full Service” family country club. The challenge is keeping TPC’s casual feel while elevating the quality of the TPC brand on all levels. I look forward to creating a mission statement so that staff and members will know what to expect and where we are going together.
Q: What college did you attend and what did you study?
I graduated from San Francisco State with a BA in Consumer Studies with a focus in Interior Design.
This week Jerry sits down with Tennis Pro Tarrin Dougery. Needless to say, we have a gifted staff of Tennis Professionals and fortunate to have Tarrin on our team. She was ranked #1 in Northern California in Women’s Opens and Mixed Doubles in 2005 and 2006. In 2006 she was the USTA Norcal “Player of the Year.”
Q: What have you enjoyed most about being part of the TPC team?
What I love most about TPC is the camaraderie amongst the staff and the members. Everyone at the club pretty much LOVES tennis as much as I do, and that’s a fun feeling!
Q: Did you participate in other sports growing up? How old were you when you started playing tennis? And at what age did you start playing tournaments?
I played just about as many sports as I could until high-school, then I decided to narrow it down to just tennis. I started playing tennis when I was eight years old and started playing tournaments when I was 12.
Q: You were on the pro tour for a few years. What was a memorable highlight and who were some of your bigger wins against?
The most memorable highlight of competing was the traveling. I loved playing in different places, training in tropical weather, and meeting all new people who were doing the exact same thing I was doing. A person who I respected the most, and played often was Romana Tedjakusuma. We partnered up for doubles and had a few great wins together.
Q: What’s the best age to start playing tennis?
As soon as kids reach for a ball or a tennis racquet, I think they are ready!
Q: How do we contact you for tennis lessons?
You can contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week Jerry sits down with Head Lifeguard Kirsten Fraser, who is gearing up for a busy summer at the TPC pools. Kirsten started here as a member of the TPC swim team and also has a serious water polo background. We are fortunate to have Kirsten on our staff!
Q: How have you liked returning to the TPC. I understand you were a competitive swimmer growing up here, how was that experience?
Returning to the TPC brings back a multitude of fond memories from my childhood. I began taking swim lessons here when I was around two years old and at the age of six I was competing on the TPC Sharks. Ken and Rick DeMont coached the team at that time and we swam in the Marin Swim League.
Swim meets were what you worked for and the relays always promised to be packed with energy. I am a competitive person so I loved to race and challenge myself to break the records. Practices and swim lessons were for conditioning and technique work in preparation for the meets. Working hard all week everyone always looked forward to “Friday Fun-day” when all the lane-lines came out of the Main Pool. We swam across the width of the pool and Fridays ended with an exciting game of Sharks and Minnows.
Looking back at that time I remember having so much fun and working really hard. It is only as an adult that I realize how valuable the commitment of competitive swimming is in my life. Competitive swimming from childhood to early adulthood developed and taught me dedication, commitment, time-management, diligence and ambition.
Q: Tell us about your experience as a college athlete. What school did you attend and what sports did you play?
When I was making my decision about college I decided to start at a community college and transfer to a university; my dream school was the University of California, San Diego. I began at San Diego Mesa Community College for 2½ years, where I swam and played water polo.
Competing at this level was an amazing learning experience and developed me so that I would later be prepared to contribute to the UC San Diego women’s water polo team. Community college athletics have a great atmosphere with a wide range of levels, where everyone really wants to be there. Again my experience had a healthy balance of hard-work and great times.
After 2½ years at community college I finished my general education and it was time for me to transfer. I ended up talking with the UC San Diego coach and transferring there to play water polo and finish my degree.
At first I was a little overwhelmed by UC San Diego, it is a big school. Quickly I became adjusted with the help of all my new teammates on the women’s water polo team. I was assigned a mentor, a senior teammate, who I could go to and seek advice or help. Everyone on the team was really welcoming and I immediately had a great support group.
Competing at UCSD was a substantial commitment. Between water polo and my studies I had little time for anything else, but I loved it. As a kid swimming at the TPC I dreamt about swimming in college, and playing water polo at UC San Diego was living that dream.
Q: How did you enter the water polo arena as a player and coach? What were some of your memorable experiences?
I started playing water polo the summer before my freshman year in high school with the Marin Water Polo Club and I just fell in love with it. By the time I started playing water polo I had been swimming competitively for 8 years and this was just the foundation that I needed to learn the game. The timing of my introduction to water polo really revitalized my passion for swimming.
That first summer playing with the club team I was 14 and I was asked to play with the with the Under 18 team. We qualified for the Junior Olympics and that was a trip I will never forget. I traveled to Los Angeles to compete in the Junior Olympics, I was going to be a freshman in the fall and I was traveling with a group of high school upperclassmen. I remember learning a tremendous amount from this group of young women. They really took me in, like their younger sister, and taught me how to play. I remember my first goal in the Junior Olympics, it was a backhand out of the 2m offense position, also known as hole set. My whole team was so proud, they were cheering from the bench.
That first summer started my interest in the game, which would later develop a passion for water polo. As I entered high school I was eager to play water polo in the fall and swim in the spring. I was a varsity player all four years at Redwood and during the summer I would play club water polo. My junior year I was selected for the Regional Team for the Pacific Zone. We trained in the East Bay and traveled to tournaments.
Like I said before, after high school I went to San Diego Mesa Community College where I played water polo and swam for two years. This was a great stepping-stone to prepare me for playing water polo at UCSD. While at Mesa Community College I was coached and mentored by some great coaches and players. After competing for the two years you are allowed at the community college level, I had two years of eligibility left to play at UCSD.
I played my final two years of eligibility at UCSD and after graduating I started coaching a high school team, this was my first time “on the other side.” I had previously always been a player, as a coach there was more to learn. My first year I did some things great and other things not so well, but I learned plenty and the whole team enjoyed the season. We finished the season winning our league and advancing to the quarterfinals of the playoffs. It was a team that really worked hard with each other. And nothing is better than the memory of the entire team dragging me into the pool, fully clothed, as I throw my cell phone and keys out of my pockets, after their victory that clinched the league title.
Before my second season with the high school team I was offered the assistant coaching position at UC San Diego with the Women’s Water Polo team. This was an amazing opportunity for me to learn and grow as a coach. The head coach and I worked closely planning and training the players. I reveled in the opportunity to coach athletes at this level. In addition to reinforcing the fundamentals as coaches we were able to create offensive and defensive plays for the team to execute and adjust to the opponent. As the assistant coach I was also responsible for certain aspects of the team; like the recruiting, fundraising, and swim conditioning workouts.
While coaching at UC San Diego I continued to coach at the high school for a total of three seasons and also helped out coaching at San Diego Mesa Community College for one season before moving back to Marin.
Q: How do you like working at the TPC?
I would have to say that it is somewhat of a “blast from the past.” The TPC was like a second home to me as a child, I spent a lot of time here. So returning as an adult and after the remodel, I see there have been some major changes and some things that have remained the same. After being in San Diego for nine years this is a great opportunity for me to reenter the Marin aquatics community in a place that is comfortable to me. Working here I am enjoying the pleasure of reconnecting with many familiar faces and meeting new people in the community.
Q: As our Head Lifeguard what water safety tips do you have for parents?
This is a great opportunity to remind everyone to refresh their memory of the pool rules and elements to be aware of in and around the pools. First of all parents need to know their child’s swimming ability and understand if their child has fear, or is fearless, in and around the water. I highly recommend that parents get into the pool with their children, see what their children are like in the water, and move through the water with them. It is important for everyone to be aware that the pool can be a dangerous place; seemingly harmless play can become very unsafe when water is involved.
Here at the TPC you have access to pools with varying depths. Deeper water is more threatening to anyone in the pool that does not have good fundamental swimming techniques. In my opinion the sooner children move away from relying on floatation devices the better; teach them basic body position, how to pull the water and breathing techniques. This will help prepare them for any depth, making them safer and happier in the water.
Q: At what age did you begin playing tennis? Did you play other sports growing up?
My dad’s love for the game drew me to the sport and I began playing tennis when I was about 4 years old. My dad lived next door to Scott Valley Tennis Club and my mom lived close to Mt. Racquet Club so I was always surrounded by tennis. I also played baseball and basketball until High School, but then chose to focus on tennis.
Q: Who were your tennis coaches growing up and what do you remember most from them?
The most influential coaches in my life have been my father and my college coach, Carl Neufeld. My father really set the foundation for my technical skills and my love for the game. I still love playing with him today. When I arrived at SMU in Dallas for my freshman year, I was 6’5″ and about 175 pounds. I didn’t have enough strength or speed to compete at a high level in a top Division 1 tennis program. Carl convinced me to “red shirt” my freshman year – to get stronger, faster and mentally tougher. Instead of competing with the team, I focused on excelling in the weight room, off-court conditioning, and on-court training. Carl’s discipline and belief in me along the way pushed me to become better than I had ever been.
Q: What are some of your most memorable experiences playing both college and professional tennis?
The entire experience was unforgettable and I feel very lucky to have had it. Highlights are definitely getting the opportunity to travel throughout the United States and Europe to do what you love and making great friends along the way. I especially enjoyed the three tournaments I got to play in the Greek Islands. I love Greek architecture, we drove scooters around and explored.
For some reason what is most memorable are not the tournaments we won but the tournaments that we should have won and ended up losing in the finals. Our loss in Greece in the finals against the future 2005 Wimbledon Champion Stephen Huss sticks out because there was a big crowd and I played horribly. I’ll also never forget my loss to James Blake in the semi-finals of the All American in 1998 – my doubles partner Dustin Mauck and I were up 5-1 in the 3rd set tie breaker and lost. That said, it was all worth it in the end.
Q: What do you like best about teaching tennis at the TPC?
I especially love watching my youngest clients build confidence through learning tennis. Their excitement is palpable.
Q: Is there one tip that you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, learn to land your split step as your opponent makes contact with the ball. It’s the only way to react to the next shot on time.
Q: How do we contact you for a tennis lesson?
Please email me at email@example.com or call me directly at 415.902.3443.
I graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from Long Beach State with the intention of having a career in Public Relations. After graduating, I got a job in marketing with a big publishing company in San Francisco. I was thrilled. My jobs and internships during college hosting focus groups and conducting surveys and polls (even door-to-door!) taught me about the importance of relating to people, building trust and rapport, and discovering people’s needs. These factors were crucial to my success in my soon-to-be next career of club management and personal training. After a couple of years in marketing, my mom was diagnosed with a mental illness. I spent a lot of time in hospitals and researching treatments that might help her. Study after study showed that regular exercise drastically improved mood, perspective and confidence in mentally ill patients. My own workout program was keeping me healthy and sane as a young caregiver. I then made a decision to change my path and try to reach more people searching for wellness. My mother had stabilized with medication and therapy. I quit my job and moved to Maui.
Q: I understand you spent some time working in Hawaii? What type of work were you doing and how did you get the job?
That was over 16 years ago. I did college course work for an AA in exercise science and got certified as a personal trainer. I landed a great opportunity as the Fitness Director at the newly opened Grand Wailea. The VP of Operations liked my desire to first build rapport and relationships with the many repeat guests the hotel had and then show them the many facets of wellness we offered. It wasn’t just about an exercise room at the hotel. The Spa Grande offered numerous rejuvenating and motivational exercise options that inspired guests to kickstart their wellness program at home. We even did phone checkups after they left! It was a great learning experience for me and I felt very comfortable with the guests. I missed family and friends, however, and moved back two years later to manage Meridian Sports Club in San Rafael.
Q: How do you help your clients reach their fitness goals? How do you measure their progress?
I find that many people have unrealistic fitness goals. They’ve had the same goal for years to lose weight or start exercising regularly, and they just can’t seem to make it happen. They feel frustrated and are critical of themselves. I like to re-define their goals when we first meet. Don’t get overwhelmed. Forget the weight-loss goal for the first month. Focus on finding an activity you can realistically fit into your life 2-3 times per week. When people are working out consistently, the weight seems to matter less and you feel stronger, more confident, more toned. People start to enjoy the mental benefits and worry less about the number on the scale. I like to look at progress based on how often you are working out and if you are enjoying it. Maybe it’s time to introduce something new. Maybe it’s time to train for something that motivates you – like a breast cancer walk or ocean swim. Progress – for your overall health and well-being – is when you are working out regularly every week, you enjoy the activity and you’ve made exercise a priority in your day.
Q: If someone only has 45 minutes, what do you recommend for a quick workout?
Change it up! I see too many people doing the same workout over and over for months at a time – even years! Our bodies respond to change or as some have put it “muscle confusion”. If you have 45 minutes, do a fast-paced total body workout with exercises that include 2 or more big muscle groups working at the same time. Like a squat and back row then a forward lunge with a chest press. Keep your heart rate up by switching exercises quickly. Try new exercises and use props like bands and weighted balls, and the Bosu (blue half dome). Don’t be afraid to try new things! It’s more fun and you’ll use muscles you didn’t even know you had!
Q: How do we reach you to schedule a training session?
I work 6 days a week at the TPC fitness center (Mon-Sat). For an appointment please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text my cell 415.310.3543.
This week Jerry spoke with Tennis Director Scott Potthast. Needless to say, Scott is just a terrific athlete and person. You can see how he honed his skills playing multiple sports during his early years. We are fortunate to have him as our Tennis Director.
Q: Tell us about your career and the professional path that led you to the TPC.
Tennis has always been in my blood. My father and my brother were pros which naturally led me into the industry. I landed my first teaching job at age 21 in Sacramento. That was while I was still trying to maintain a professional playing career and I taught lessons in between tournaments. Through the years, I stayed in the industry and gained much experience. Eventually I got the Head Pro job here in 2001. I took my first Tennis Director position in Sacramento in 2006, opening the door to become the TPC’s Tennis Director in 2008.
Q: You spent some of your early years in Canada. What sports did you play and what was that like?
We moved to Canada when I was six. I graduated from High School in Vancouver then went to college at Long Beach State. I skied, and played Soccer, lacrosse, and basketball, but tennis was always my number one sport. Playing tennis in Canada was a great experience as the competition wasn’t as tough as it is in the U.S. That resulted in me being one of the better players so I was able to play many national tournaments and to travel across the country.
Q: Your parents accomplished a lot as athletes. What rubbed off on you the most?
Great athletic genes I suppose. My father was a Wisconsin state diving, swimming and tennis champion. He attended the University at Iowa and was on the diving team, tennis team and Rose Bowl-winning football team in 1957. After university he joined the Green Berets and after his service decided to play tennis professionally. He twice played in the US Open, losing to Pancho Gonzales and Ken Rosewall in the first round. My mother was a Canadian National Tennis Champion. They taught me confidence and made me believe that I was a champion tennis player.
Q: What was your tennis highlight moment if you have to choose one?
Winning the Canadian national doubles title in 1987.
Q: Where do you see the TPC tennis program in the next 2-3 years?
With all of the league teams, tournaments and the Challenger we host, we have enhanced the TPC tennis program over the last three years. We hope to expand our facilities and I believe that will make our program one of the best in the Bay Area.
Brent makes up one half of the leadership in Fitness with his wife, Juliette. He is the father of daughter Ellie and the newest addition to the family, son Caleb. Brent was a starting pitcher at on the Ball State University baseball team!
Q: Tell us about your baseball career. What age were you when you began playing and were you always a pitcher? How did your career go at Ball State?
I was fortunate to start baseball around three years old with my two older brothers. My grandpa and great-grandpa were former pro pitchers so I was instructed on the art of pitching from a young age. My dad built my brothers and I a baseball diamond in our hometown in Indiana. I have played every position on the field but as a junior in high school I began getting attention from colleges for my pitching. I started my freshman year in the rotation but was in an accident, leaving me in the ICU for seven days followed by six months of bed rest. After rehabilitation I was able to finish a successful career as a middle reliever/closer. After my accident, I began studying kinesiology and realized my passion was to help people to lead stronger, healthier, happier lives.
Q: What was your best pitch?
There were six pitches in my arsenal, but the cut fastball was my strike out pitch. The delivery was the same as the four-seam fastball and then the ball would drop at the very end. This pitch required a hard snap of the wrist at the end of the delivery.
Q: Who were some of your role models growing up and why?
My Grandpa was a great role model. He taught that success meant a close family, good grades, and strong faith, apart from the wins on the pitcher’s mound.
Q: In addition to Personal Training what Group Exercise classes do you enjoying teaching and why?
The classes I like teaching are Cardio Core, Cycle, and Strength/Stability classes. All of these classes are designed to improve muscular strength and endurance. I started my career in Cardiac-Pulmonary Rehabilitation. I enjoy seeing the difference I can make for people to live with more functional movement and be pain free outside the Fitness Center.
Q: What’s new in the Fitness Center these days?
Our newest programs are the introduction of Pilates and a nutritionist here at TPC. We believe in developing all aspects of health and wellness under one roof. We are also happy to have eight new stationary bikes in the Fitness Center.
Q: How do we get in touch with you regarding Personal Training and exercise classes?
You can contact me for Personal Training or any questions regarding your fitness needs at 415-789-7900, x112 or e-mail: Brentr@tiburonpc.org.
This week I sat down “1 on 1” with the talented Juliana Inferrera. While she is best known for directing our popular Summer Camps, Juliana also oversees our Membership administration process and supervises the Member Services Staff. See what Juliana has in store for the 2011 TPC Summer Camp!
Q: The TPC Summer Camp has been extremely popular. To what do you attribute the success?
The TPC Summer Camp has been extremely popular over the years because of the amazing counselors that I have. Each summer I have members come up to me at the end of the summer and say “Your counselors are amazing, our kids love them.” I have outstanding staff members who work for me during the summer and every summer I look forward to working with them. We are like a small family for nine weeks. Each and every one of them works so hard to make each summer an unforgettable one, not only for the children, but for me as well. Each year I make it my goal to hire nothing but the best counselors because you want someone who loves what they do, especially when you are working with children. I can say, “I have the BEST counselors.”
Q: Tell us about your career path prior to arriving at TPC?
Before coming to the Tiburon Peninsula Club, I worked for many different cities along the peninsula for their Parks and Recreation Departments as well as the Boys and Girls Club since I was 14 years old. I held every position from an LIT (Leader in training), to a junior leader, Lead Counselor, Program Coordinator, Site Supervisor to being the Youth Director here at the Tiburon Peninsula Club. I even got the opportunity, while doing my internship for the City of Burlingame, to be a preschool teacher for 2 year-olds. When I was 14 I volunteered for the City of Millbrae helping out with their summer camp programs. I knew then that working with children was going to be my lifelong career. I have been taught by the best teachers at San Francisco State and have not had one bad job experience working with children. I can honestly say, “I love working with children and I have not met one child that I have not liked.”
Q: What are some of the new wrinkles for TPC Summer Camp this year?
This summer we have some exciting new field trips. We will be going to the Academy of Sciences and House of Air, which I am so excited for. We will be adding a Dance Class, which will be taught by a Roco Dance Instructor and much much more. I promise that each day will be exciting and your children will be thrilled to come to camp.
Q: You have a magical touch around kids of all ages, why is that?
Since I can remember, I have always loved working with children and wanted nothing but the best experience for each child I have come across in my summer camps. I truly believe that once you have found the job of your dreams it shows and you are able to relate to everyone, even if they are only 2 years old.
Q: How do I sign up for TPC Summer Camp?
Registration forms are now available, both online (www.tiburonpc.org) and at the front desk. Pre-registration for members is going on now. Registration is first come, first served so don’t hesitate! Registration opens to non-members on Monday, April 11. For more information please email me at email@example.com or call 415.789.7900, x 109.
This week Jerry sits down with TPC Head Tennis Professional Matt Holt. It was a pleasure speaking with Matt and I am still in awe of his tennis accomplishments on and off the tennis courts. In addition to being a devoted family man, Matt finds time to serve on the Board of Directors of the USTA Norcal.
Q: How long have you been working at TPC and how did it all start?
I started working at TPC in January of 1998. I had just finished playing professionally and wanted to start coaching. Steve Jackson, a good friend and childhood tennis rival, had just come on board as the director. Steve was looking for help, and I was looking for a club and director that shared my passion for the game. Thirteen years later I am still here. I think it’s been a great fit!
Q: You mentioned to me that at an early age, you were focused on being the best tennis player that you could be. How old were you and what motivated you?
I grew up in a family that played tennis in an era where tennis, much like it is becoming today, was a sport that was en vogue. Everyone played and professional tennis was booming. My father, mother and one of my sisters were all excellent, ranked players. I was never pressured to play, but I was in a tennis environment many days of the week. I began playing against the wall at the age of 4 and could hit the ball well. I really became hooked on tennis at the age of 7 when I began to rally consistently. It was all I wanted to do all day long. At that point I decided I wanted to play professional tennis. American players comprised about 40-50% of the top 100 players. I loved tennis and I wanted to take it to the highest level.
Q: Needless to say, you were a heck of a tennis player and an aspiring junior and touring professional. What were some of your big wins?
My best wins were over Todd Woodbridge, Jared Palmer, Todd Martin, Brian MacPhie, Cecil Mamitt, Geoff Grant and Brett Steven.
Q: In a few sentences, tell us about West Coast Tennis.
West Coast Tennis is a retail tennis equipment business which services the TPC and the communities of southern Marin. We match internet retail pricing on all of our models! We feature all of the major brands: Babolat, Wilson, Prince and Head to name a few. We have a full selection of current models as well as all of the strings, bags and accessories offered by each of the manufacturers. We offer a full selection of shoes on a special order basis. We offer clothing on a team order basis with group discounts of 10%. We feature brands such as Adidas, Nike and Under Armour. Please contact me for help with any of your equipment needs.
Q: What’s the best age to start playing tennis? How does one sign up for tennis lessons at the TPC?
In my experience, the best time to start playing tennis is around 4 years old. Most kids have developed the coordination to make contact with some consistency, even if it’s not going over the net. For any sport, I feel it’s extremely helpful to get out and practice catching and throwing with children. They learn extremely fast in the scheme of things, and those coordination skills cross over to almost all sports. In terms of beginning lessons, it is really based on each child’s ability to pay attention. There is no good or bad, right or wrong. Each child is ready when they are ready and they can gain ground quickly once they can focus. A half-hour is usually the best length of time to start. To sign up for lessons at the TPC, contact:
We look forward to serving your tennis needs.
This week Jerry Pang sits down “1 on 1” with TPC Superman Rudy Kardos. He has been a terrific addition to our staff and he contributes in so many ways with aquatics and fitness. Meet the personable Rudy Kardos.
Q: You are a “jack of all trades” with personal training, spin classes, triathlon training, splash ball and coaching water polo. How have you become so versatile?
Jerry, first of all I want to thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me. Jack of all trades? I grew up in a family that lived by the slogan “Do it yourself because nobody will do it for you,” so at an early age I focused on the many activities I enjoyed. Now I am the lucky one because I have made my hobby my work. It is quite rewarding to share with my clients all that I learned through the years and see the positive changes it brings to their lives. Additionally, it is very special to work with kids. Coaching the U14 co-ed TPC water polo team as well as the 5-9 year old Splashball group is like being a child again. On the other hand, it is just as rewarding guiding a client to completion of their first triathlon later on in their life. Strangely their facial expression when they are crossing the finish line quite resembles the face of the child scoring their first goal in a water polo game. You can never have enough of those special moments.
Q: I understand that growing up in Czechoslovakia you were quite a talented water polo player, what was your biggest thrill?
Water polo was a way of life for me while growing up. I started at the age of 10 and ended up playing in the national league for a few years before moving to the U.S. Being an athlete was one of the few ways to live healthy while also providing me an opportunity to travel within and outside of the former eastern block country. I enjoyed seeing the world while having fun playing water polo. Biggest thrill?Couple of memories comes to mind. First was the year when our team finished third in the national league and the second was a game we played in Zurich, Switzerland against the Swiss National Team. It was an opening game before two Italian teams played each other in the Super Cup in front of several thousand spectators.
Q: What do you like to do when you have time to work out on your own?
I enjoy almost all outdoor activities. I love riding my road bike through Marin, swimming in the bay, running on the local trails, skiing in the Sierras, and of course playing water polo. Shall I continue?
Q: You must have a big appetite at the end of the day. What’s your favorite meal?
I do not have one favorite meal. I love to sample new dishes. A great bowl of pasta, nice plate of sushi, and a salad will all make me smile just as much as a rotisserie chicken or a good bowl of soup, as long as there are seconds available.
Q: How does a member get in touch with you for a training session?
I can be reached on my cell phone at 650-303-6922 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week Jerry Pang sits down “one on one” with the stalwart of the fitness room, Euan Cormack-Thomson.
Q: When did you start working at the TPC? How did you end up in Tiburon, CA?
My wife and I moved here in January, 2007. Our daughter and son-in-law were living here so we came out from Africa to join them.
Q: Tell us what you did professionally and what your career path consisted of over the years.
I am very fortunate to have lived such an interesting and exciting life. I was a cattle rancher in Rhodesia for 20 years, in the military for a long time and eventually part of a large multi-faceted public company in South Africa in their land and property development division.
Q: What Fitness group exercise classes offer the best value for the members?
The old truism that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” applies to the best group exercise value at TPC, from the early morning spin fanatics to the senior strength and stability class, everyone finds value in what they choose to participate in.
Q: Where do you get all of your energy? Do you have a chance to work out?
I’m not sure it is so much a case of excess energy as an old fashioned work ethic. And yes I do work out, mostly at home but sometimes in the gym at the end of my day.
Q: What do you like best about your job?
That is an easy question. I love meeting and interacting with some of the nicest people I have come across in my long life.
The performance I am most proud of is Vineman 2010, which is a half ironman up in Sonoma County. I had a personal best here by 13 minutes and placed fifth in my age group, with an overall time of 5:05 (I was really striving to go sub 5). It was most exciting to see my improvement from the prior years, and I am hoping to better that in 2011!
Q: How old were you when you started swimming? Were you a member of a swim team growing up?
I started swimming in the backyard pool when I was about three, but I started swimming competitively when I was about ten years old. I swam for the Santa Rosa Neptunes.
Q: What’s the best age to begin swim lessons?
I encourage parents to enroll kids in swim lessons around three years old, though I encourage parents to swim with their kids as early as six months. If kids are comfortable and enjoy being in the water they are more likely to show a positive response to swim lessons. One lesson that sticks out in my head is a three year-old girl who has been swimming with her mom since she was an infant and now, at age three, she can swim freestyle the entire length of the south pool.
Q: TPC Staff Members liken you to Carly character “Sam,” why is that?
I’ve never actually seen the show but I hear Sam is a bit aggressive and the ‘muscle’ of the show. I am aggressive in going after my goals and have no problem sharing what I am thinking, just ask any of my fellow directors! Also, I hear she is quite a ‘razzer,’ and I am guilty of that. I think it stems from being the youngest sibling. You’ve got to be tough and willing to dish it out!
Q: What characteristics do you look for in a Lifeguard or Swim Instructor when you are hiring?
I always look for responsible, outgoing and assertive team players. I think it’s really important to have a friendly attitude but still know when to enforce rules and keep people safe. For swim instructors I look for the same thing, but also someone who has some swimming experience, even if they do not have teaching experience. I find those who have grown up swimming competitively can usually develop a teaching style since they know the fundamentals so well.
Q: How do I obtain information about Swim Lessons at the TPC?
Call me in the office at 415 789-7900, x.106, I am in there all morning and most afternoons if I am not in the pool teaching. I am always up to chat about your child’s level and what we can do to get them swimming or to refine their skills. You can also email me at email@example.com.
This week TPC General Manager Jerry Pang sits down “One on One” with Swim Coach Mike Magruder. Mike coaches the Swim Team and Junior Swim Team and offers private swim instruction. Coach Mike was a member of the TPC Swim Team as a young swimmer.
At first some of the kids (including Lexie Jordan) called me “Jolly Mike” because I was known to laugh quite a bit on the pool deck. A little while later as Mike McDonald and I began working more together, we needed a way to differentiate ourselves, and so Ken DeMont coined the terms “Mean Mike” and “Nice Mike.” Maybe I became “Nice” Mike because my workouts were a little easier, or I smiled more? Either way, the nickname stuck, even though the kids would probably say my workouts have gotten a lot harder over the years!
Q: Rumor has it you were a top swimmer on the TPC swim team growing up? What was that experience like?
Back then we were known as the “Sharks” and part of the Marin Swim League, and I swam for the team in 1989 (earlier in my career I swam for Strawberry and Rolling Hills). It was a blast swimming with the likes of Ben Kilgore, Brian Mathews (who went on to swim a 19.5 50 free at the University of Arizona), and Will Heydorn (whose sister Kathy has competed in, and won, numerous IronMan Championships at Kona). That was also the summer I began teaching swim lessons in the South Pool, which I continued to do for a number of years through college, and I found it to be rewarding and a lot of fun!
Q: Did you continue competitive swimming after TPC?
No, I stopped competing after swimming at TPC, but I have always strived to maintain my connection to the water. Swimming is the greatest sport because it’s something you can always come back to throughout your life to maintain good health and attitude. It’s also applicable to so many other water sports, like surfing, sailing, etc. We have a great Master’s program here at the Club, by the way, and it’s a great way to keep in shape!
Q: What is the best part of your job as Coach of the TPC Junior Swim Team?
Working with the kids is the best part of all my roles here at the Club, whether it’s teaching lessons, coaching the Junior Team, or helping Mike with the regular Swim Team. Beyond that it’s a lot of fun to watch the kids get faster and break through boundaries to learn new skills that they didn’t think they could learn at first.
Q: How can I join the Junior Swim Team?
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We began Junior Team in 2006 with the goal of providing a bridge between the lesson program and regular Swim Team and to give kids an introduction to organized swimming in a fun environment. We offer Junior meets every season where the kids can practice their new skills in the South Pool, win some ribbons and learn how to race. Our goals are to teach kids how to swim the strokes properly and how to race, all in a fun way. Junior Team is for kids ages 5-9 who have the basics of freestyle (including side breathing), backstroke, and breaststroke down, and can complete at least 12-14 one lappers in 30 minutes while we work on skills and technique development. Feel free to contact me with any questions, or to find out if Junior Team is appropriate for your swimmer!
This week TPC General Manager Jerry Pang sits down “One on One” with Aquatics Director “Mean” Mike Mc Donald. Mike oversees the Swim Team and Junior Swim Team, Masters Swim Program and offers private swim instruction.
Q: How did you get the nickname, “Mean” Mike?
When I started coaching here at the TPC in 1995 I didn’t have the ‘poolside manner’ I have today. My youth swimming experience had groomed me to have a no-nonsense approach to the sport—including diabolical sets and kicking kids out of practice who wouldn’t listen. Nowadays, I try to sneak the work on the kids, and try to get the disinterested kids to be the most focused. I credit this approach to my friend and mentor Ken Demont. Anyway, while I was torturing the kids, a parent got me a beanie that read ‘Mean Coach Mike’— and next thing I knew, the moniker stuck.
Q: What was your earliest experience as a participant on a swim team?
I grew up in Reno and joined the Lakeridge Swim Team at about 8 years old because one of my friends joined. I remember my first race (50 free 44.72). I was the tall scrawny kid moving in slow motion, but I think I was more concerned with the nachos I was going to get after my race!
Q: During your years at the TPC, what have enjoyed most?
Over the years here at TPC, I have loved getting to know the whole TPC family. Many of the members who greeted me years ago still ask about my son (Dylan) and wife (Melissa). One of the joys of working here is the close ties I’ve developed with much of the membership.
Q: What have been some of the most gratifying moments for you as TPC Swim Coach?
I love pushing kids to and past their limits—whether it be qualifying for the big meet or taking their first side breath. Maybe that’s why I’m so ‘mean,’ but I find it quite gratifying to break new ground.
Q: How do I join the TPC Swim Team?
You are too old Jerry, but we’d love to have you join Masters! As for the kids, we have divided our swim team into two main parts: the Regular Swim Team and the Junior Swim Team. The Regular team is for kids who know all four strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breastroke and freestyle) and are ready for a 45-minute practice. The Junior Team, headed by Nice Mike, is where the kids learn all four strokes and get ready for the Regular team. To see where your kid fits in best, contact me, Nice Mike or Rachel and we can schedule an assessment!
Mean Mike – email@example.com, 789-7900 ext. 107
Nice Mike – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Melick – email@example.com , 789-7900 ext. 106
Juliana is in the middle of the busiest time of the year, so we thank her for taking the time. We have a large turnout, as usual, for the popular TPC Summer Camps.
Q: How is camp going so far?
Camp is going really well. The campers and staff are having a blast. Here is a sampling of comments I have already received from parents:
“My daughter, Ella, has been coming to camp this week and she is loving it!”
“The kids were so well taken care of and to a parent it is so comforting, thank you!”
I am looking forward to a fun-filled summer. We have an exciting eight weeks complete with fun field trips and great new activities.
Q: What’s new with staff and programs this summer?
This summer we have a great staff. I have to say this is our best so far. We have seven new staff members, including Jennifer who is a registered nurse and a great addition to our team. We’ve also added an instructor from Rocco Dance who’s teaching the kids all forms of dance, as well as a Tae Kwon do Instructor. The kids love the new programs.
Q: I hear there are openings in July. What do we have to offer?
We do still have some openings in July. Anyone who signs up for a week in July receives $50 off. This is a great deal so come down and sign up. If you have any questions or would like to sign up your child, please contact Juliana at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 789-7900 x109.
Q: How long have you been teaching swimming lessons and how did you get started?
Teaching lessons began as a summer job in my youth. After graduating from high school I taught for a private facility that specialized in training young children as little as a few weeks old to swim, with the hopes that these children could one day grow up to be Olympic contenders. Additionally, I also worked with an affiliated program from De Anza College (located in the South Bay) that taught swimming to children with neurological and physical differences. I am grateful for these experiences, and it has sincerely been one of my greatest and rewarding times while teaching over the years.
Upon my arrival to Marin in 2005 to obtain a college degree at Santa Rosa Junior College, I began soon after as a life guard at Tiburon Peninsula Club. Eventually after the club had completed its remodeling and construction, Ken DeMont brought me on teaching in his swim program. At the conclusion of this summer I will have had the distinct pleasure and honor of working with the grandest folks one could work with, teach with, and move through the water with for the last 5 years!
Q: Tell us about your competitive swimming background; did you have a favorite stroke?
Freestyle has been my favorite stroke; it was the first stroke I was taught and also enjoyed the most. I credit that to my families’ involvement while growing up with water skiing and a lot of lake swimming! My grandfather had a hotel in Shasta, so I grew up camping and water skiing on both Shasta and Trinity Lakes.
Although I was involved in team club swimming and was groomed to be a competitive swimmer, I was more motivated to swim the longer distances, because I felt I didn’t really warm up till after a 400 swim. I found that running is the same too for me, not feeling really strong till after an hour or so of the activity.
Due to this, I swam the longer distance events. My love for swimming has always been centered on the connection of family, the unity of club swimming, and the commodity that had/has developed the long lasting richness of friendships that have been and are part of my 50 years of the sport.
Q: I understanding you are finishing up your college degree, what are you studying and what is your goal?
College, learning, and my educational process have been at times- difficult. I had been out of school for 30 years, so starting again in 2006 at 48 years old in thought seemed adventurous and wild to undertake, but I had always wanted to get a college education. I have been so pleased with the privilege of learning and attending school again. Because of the present wave of change in our country and certain occupations diminishing (teaching/Physical education in my example), I have changed my degree and have had to revisit what type of career would be best suited for me as a late life career. My present goal is to continue on in June of 2012 attending a University I am applying to presently as a business major.
Q: You have a nice following from TPC members, what is your magic with people?
The members at TPC have been gracious and generous to me over the past 5 years, and I have been blessed by them in numerous ways. I have appreciated the authentic loving relationship I have gained from my students, their parents, and the community, and I truly do cherish every one of them.
Each child has enriched my life, and the families have been the magic, Jerry, here at TPC. I have been embraced by the community in a loving way that to me is magic; we at TPC work with a lot of TLC! Why wouldn’t you want to return a Tender Loving Care that is reciprocated?
I believe that all the instructors, coaches, and other employees have that same devotion to the members, and as a result have had a reputation that has attracted much of the community to be a part of the club.
Q: What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?
It is no secret that I love movement- swimming, running, and cycling. But not all together! Of the many activities I participate in (a 16 mile race next month!) water skiing is my favorite sport that I do not get to do as often these days. Between school full time and teaching, I love it even more now because it keeps my connected to great feelings of family, community, and physical excursion. Other than water skiing, my favorites are backpacking, camping, fishing… well; I am an outdoors girl- I love just being in the mountains mostly.
We have a dedicated staff at the TPC and one of our more affable and very popular team members is Henry Auriti. Henry is your all around “good guy” and people person! Needless to say, he is also a very good athlete.
Q: Um, Philadelphia, how did you end up across the country in Tiburon?
I came to visit my sister who had already moved here. It was during the month of March and the weather was sunny and warm. Back home it was 7 degrees. I knew right then that I wanted to live here and soon upon returning home, quit my job and made the move.
Q: Are you still a big Eagles, Phillies and 76ers fan? Are you rooting for some of the Bay Area teams?
I am a big Philly sports fan. I grew up watching them so, I became a devoted fan. I do root for the Bay Area sports teams. I like going to Giants games and the occasional Warriors game.
Q: Where did you learn your tennis and rumors have it you were a very good soccer player?
I learned to play tennis here in California. I played all the time and got pretty good. As for soccer, I had played for many years and I played at the Old Dominion University.
Q: You are wearing many different hats at the TPC, Member Services, teaching tennis, Pavilion Nights, what do you enjoy most about the TPC?
I really enjoy working at TPC. I am a people person and love the member interaction.
Q: What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
I would like to be working at the TPC in some sort of management role.
Our Staff is filled with bright, interesting and talented people. The Summer season is extra fun as we add many students to our TPC Staff. This week you get to meet two dynamic Summer team members – twins Matt and Eric Tymstra – terrific students, athletes and young men.
Q: You are both very good athletes, tell us the sports that you played in high school and the sports you are focusing on now?
Eric – In high school I ran cross country and track. I was thinking about going to school for these sports but I choose to focus on academics. I still run quite a bit and hope to join a club team and eventually start running ultra-marathons.
Matthew – I played football for four years in high school and I have done rugby since sophomore year. I just finished my freshman season with the Loyola Lions of Loyola Marymount University. I am now playing 7s rugby over the summer for Golden Gate Rugby Club but the commute may change that to the Marin Reds. Either way I really caught on to rugby and have been a very main focus of my life for about four years.
Q: What schools are you currently attending and how did you make your decisions?
Eric – I go to UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) where I am majoring in Molecular Environmental Biology. I made my decision because the science program at Cal is unbeatable and because I’ve always wanted to be a bear (and of course I wouldn’t go to Stanford).
Matthew – I am attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and I came to my decision after touring the campus with the rugby captain and researching the academics. I also am an avid surfer and spent much of my childhood summers in Manhattan Beach learning to surf and enjoy the beach. Manhattan is a convenient five minute drive and this last spring I could surf before class.
Q: Is this the first time the two of you have been separated for a length of time? How did it feel to be separated, how often did you communicate with each other while away at different schools?
Eric – Before college, we had only been apart for 2 weeks. It was weird not being together and we missed each other a lot so we skyped a lot and we are always texting each other anyway so communication was fairly easy.
Matthew – This is the first time we have ever been separated for this length of time. Honestly, it was tough to make that kind of transition but luckily we video chatted quite a bit and with texting we were able to talk throughout the day. Also, the first day of each of my vacations I would drive over to Berkeley and spend at least one night with Eric as he finished up his finals and I would drive him home the next morning as well as help him move out.
Q: Who’s older and by how much time?
Eric – Matthew is older by 7 minutes and I don’t hear the end of it.
Matthew – I am by about 7 minutes. And yes, it is my greatest victory.
Q: How can we tell who’s Matt and who’s Eric?
Eric – I’m cuter. Also, I work in the cafe so I will probably be wearing a Pelican Bar and Grill shirt. If one of us is giving you food, it’s probably Eric. Matthew is more tan and larger than me.
Matthew – People in the past have told us that the best way to tell is usually our haircuts, or our voices. I also outweigh Eric by about ten or twenty pounds ever since he started to become an outstanding cross country and track runner and I took a different (heftier) path with football and rugby.
Meet the newest addition to our Tennis Teaching Staff, Michael Friedman, a long time instructor with plenty of experience for any tennis game.
Q: Share a little history regarding your career path and how you ended up at the TPC?
I have been teaching tennis since the sixties! It all started where I grew up in West L.A. on the UCLA courts, teaching a family friend’s daughter 12 one-hour lessons and they gave me their 1954 Ford convertible. I had a car before I had a license. I strung racquets all through high school at Hillcrest Country Club, played on the two time City Championship University High tennis team for three years, and then went to SF State and played two years as number two singles and one doubles. In 1973, after graduating with a BA in Speech, I started my professional tennis teaching career at Golden Gate Park, moved back to LA in ’77 to be the Head Pro at Brentwood Country Club, moved back to the Bay Area in 1984 and have been teaching and coaching here ever since. Before I came to TPC, I coached at SF University High for 13 years, was the Director of Tennis at the JCC of Greater San Jose from 1990 to 1999, spent one year at Inshape Sports Club in Tracy and also worked at Rancho Solano in Fairfield. I have had a great career teaching tennis and I am so lucky to have wound up at TPC.
Q: What got you started playing tennis and how young were you at the time?
I started playing tennis at age 8 and played Junior tournaments in Southern Cal. My Mother played tennis everyday with friends so tennis was always a big part of our family’s life.
Q: You have a true appreciation for the game of tennis, how has this evolved?
Teaching tennis is a passion of mine. I was never going to be a playing pro, I was always going to be a teacher. My childhood coach, Carl Earn, was a huge influence on my career choice. His example as the pro at Hillcrest Country Club was something I looked up to. After a couple of decades teaching I joined the USPTA. I went to many conferences and eventually became a presenter myself, focusing on coaching footwork to the other pros, which led to talks on other topics such as: how the sport has evolved over the years, mistake management, junior development and more. I served on the Nor Cal USPTA Board of Directors for seven years, becoming President for two years starting in 2000, and then I was given the honor of USPTA Nor Cal Pro of the Year in 2002.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you are away from tennis?
In my spare time I read, play golf, cook with my beautiful wife, watch sports on TV and lead a wonderful life! We love to travel and have travelled a lot to Europe, North Africa, the Caribbean and Mexico. I go to the US Open almost every other year, which I will be doing this year as well!
Q: What have you enjoyed most about the TPC during your time here so far?
The best part of TPC has been the people. Our students, from the little ones through the advanced juniors are all very into tennis which makes it a pleasure for me as a coach, the adults are very passionate about improving their games and the staff is the best group of pros I have ever been associated with! So what’s not to like! Besides the weather is just perfect! I am one lucky guy!
This week we have a chance to sit down with Coach Mike Mc Donald after the culmination of the swim season with the RESL (Redwood Empire Swim League) meet in El Cerrito. Coach Mike gives us his candid thoughts about the meet and the swim season in general. With Fall season right around the corner, Mike shares how to sign up for Fall swim team!
Q: How did the RESL meet turn out for the team?
The RESL Championship meet was a great success! Our team placed 2nd overall, but much of our Senior team was competing at the CA/NV Sectional meet in Clovis. We had great participation from our younger age groups, and that, along with performance, is how I assess our success or failure. We swam fast and had a lot of participation, so we did great–Nice Mike and I look to keep the upward trend going! The meet is also a chance to bridge the gap between the group at TPC and our Pre-Senior team which trains offsite.
Q: What were some of the highlights of the meet? Any personal bests?
There were a ton of great swims. As a team, I’d guess we had over 100 personal best times! Some of the standout swims were:
- Hannah Holscher swam her first 100 fly, made finals, and then swam another second faster!
- Connor Chen set a RESL meet record in the 25 backstroke
- Our 8-un girls went 1-2 in both the Free and Medley relays (Alex Gershman, Nicole Johnson, Olivia Fee, Sydney Brakebill, Rebecca Sherry, Emily Fee, Daphne Hwang, Miranda Ward, May Ling Roberts, Kendall Racich)
- Our 8-un girls also had 9 of the top 16 swims in the 50 free (domination!)
Owen Sherry swam all best times by tons and had a huge breakout meet
Robbie Wilson and Jack Finnegan both had a stellar meets and made the Finals as 9 year olds!
Q: Awesome team party last Thursday, your thoughts?
We almost got skunked! It was a great end of season bash. Nice Mike and I really enjoy individually recognizing each of the kids for what they bring to the team. We spend a lot of time with them, so we have a very family-type feel on our team. I could have rambled on all night about them, but I didn’t want to keep them up past their bedtimes.
Q: What are you doing for a break now that the season is over?
I’ll spend the next week preparing for the Fall season, and then I’m off to Kauai with my family to enjoy some surf, sun, and seared ahi.
We will start training September 6, the day after Labor Day. We are planning a sign-up night for August 23 which will include team gear ordering (suits and stuff), a speaker, and general swim team information. The Fall session goes all the way to Dec. 16.
The US Open has concluded and the First Republic Bank $100,000 2011 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger, October 8–16, is only weeks away. Our Tennis Director, Scott Potthast has been busy since the final match ended last year – when Tobias Kamke topped Ryan Harrison in the finals on that rainy Sunday – preparing for this year’s event. Scott was in New York for the first week of the U.S. Open this week and will be announcing who our two “wild card” players will be shortly! Please contact Scott at email@example.com if you have any questions and are able to help out with this year’s Challenger.
Q: I see we have doubled our prize money from $50,000 to $100,000, how did this happen and do we anticipate higher ranked players?
Yes, our tournament now has $100,000 in prize money. It happened mostly due to the USTA who loves our tournament and see’s our event as a lead up tournament to the Australian Open, which provided a great incentive to increase it. I do expect to see higher ranked players. With the increase in prize money comes an increase in ATP points and this is likely to attract well-known names.
Q: If I want to obtain tickets to watch the Challenger, what are my options for seating and who should I contact?
There are many options for seating. For those who may be interested in sponsoring the event, we have front row and 2nd row box seats available for $1,500 and $1,000. The sponsorship amount is a tax-deductible donation to the California Mentor Foundation. We also have lower level sponsorships like Friend of the Challenger (a $500 contribution) and Officials Housing Sponsor, both of which provide preferred seating and invitations to various tournament events.
For those who just want to come watch at their leisure, tickets are free for members from Oct. 8th through the 14th. Finals weekend tickets are $15/day or $25 for both days. Tickets can be purchased through the Challenger website at http://tiburonchallenger.com/tickets/.
Q: Over the years, the Tiburon Challenger has had very strong participants, name some of the top players that have played here and have done well on the ATP tour?
Tiburon Challenger Alumni have had great success on the ATP Tour after playing our event. Some notables are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Janko Tipseravic, Dmitri Tursonov, Ryan Harrison, Tobias Kamke, Ryan Sweeting and Alex Bogomolov Jr. It’s always fun to see who the next star will be!
Q: This event takes plenty of mobilization, how can one volunteer and who should we see?
An event like this is a huge undertaking and requires help in many different ways. We need volunteers to help ball staff, ushers, court refreshers, ticket booth sales, shuttle drivers and tournament desk coordinators. For those interested in any volunteering position, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What part of the Challenger do you enjoy most?
My personal favorite part of the challenger is how this event brings our membership together. Our facilities make us a perfect host and give us the ability to host great events surrounding the tournament to bring people together. I also love how the tournament gives back to the community – last year we donated $10,000 to the Foundation for Reed Schools.
Matt is moving on to take a position at the Burlingame Country Club. Please come to Friday Night Dinner on September 23, 2011 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm to wish Matt and his family well!
Q: We all have mixed emotions about your move, sad that we will not work with you, but extremely happy about your new opportunity at the Burlingame Country Club. What is your new title and when will you start your new role?
It has been a bittersweet transition for me. I am excited to lead the department at the Burlingame CC, but will truly miss the membership and staff at the TPC. I will start as the Tennis Director this coming Tuesday, September 20th.
Q: You have been at the TPC for 14 years, share some of your best memories with us?
This is a tough one, as there have been many over the years.
1. BBQ nights at the TPC always have a great atmosphere. It is always a great way to get to know the families at the club outside of the tennis courts.
2. The Pro Challenger event is something I have been extremely proud to have been a part of over the years. It is a tremendous amount of work, but very rewarding. I am always grateful and impressed by the extent to which the membership and community pulls together to help make it a successful endeavor.
3. Dodging swarms of bees on the lower courts and cranking dance music during summer camp! Talk about keeping the adrenaline pumping.
4. Getting thrown into the pool by students on the last day of Spring League! Luckily, this was before we all had cell phones:)
Q: What changes have you noticed at the TPC during the past 14 years?
There have been a lot of changes over the years here, from a quieter, dated clubhouse to a state-of-the-art, world-class facility. The club has always been a family club, but the demographic has gotten younger since the renovation. I think the club as whole has done a great job of growing up and still retaining its best qualities. The board has worked hard to identify and maintain a sense of community.
Q: Any farewell messages for all of us?
I would like all of the members to know what a privilege it has been for me to serve you, work with you, and to get know the families of the TPC over the years. I have been blessed to work with wonderful people on a daily basis, both on and off of the court. The staff and members of this club create such a unique work environment. It has been meaningful and significant for me over the years to be in a place where I look forward to coming to work each day. I am truly appreciative for all of the relationships I have built. They will not be forgotten. My family and I plan to stay in the area and remain part of this close-knit community. Thank you so much for a wonderful 14 years.
This week I had the privilege of doing a One-on-One with the Challenger official from the USTA, Keith Crossland. A seasoned professional, Keith has run professional tennis tournament around the world including two Grand Slams. We are fortunate to have worked with Keith during the past three years, he is a consummate professional.
Q: How many tournaments do you work per year and how many travel miles do you log?
I work roughly 18 tournaments per year including the US Open. Most tournaments are like the TPC challenger in that they are usually 9 or 10 days long and the US Open, which is 3 weeks. I am on the road working tournaments (there is only one tournament a year where I can stay at home) about 230 days a year including weekends. One would think that it would add up to a lot of frequent flier miles. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) it does not because like the TPC challenger and the one in SAC the week before, they are often within driving distance. I usually accumulate only about 60,000 air miles each year.
Q: Outside of the Tiburon Challenger, what are some of your favorites tournaments that you work and why?
Every event has its best qualities. The best tournaments around the country are like TPC where the club and its members are enthusiastic about tennis, excited to have these world class players playing on their courts and involved in making the players’ tournament experience the best that it can be.
Q: What is your role during the U.S. Open? Have you worked other Grand Slams and which ones?
I have worked every year at the US Open beginning in 1983. First as a line umpire and then chair umpire. Since 1990 I have been working on the Referee’s staff in various assignments. For the past few years I have been working in the scheduling room (called the Zim Room in honor of Jim Zimmerman from NorCal who worked there before me until he passed away in 2000). In the Zim Room we schedule every match played during the US Open (or reschedule them when it rains). Counting main draw and qualifying of the main events, junior boys and girls, wheelchair and senior events we schedule about 900 matches in the 3 weeks of the tournament. You may want to Google a New York Times article titled The Alchemy of the US Open Schedule for some pictures. I have also worked at the Australian Open as a chair umpire and for the last 3 years in their scheduling room. After we installed the new scheduling software in New York, the Australia Open liked it so much that they wanted to use it too. They have asked me to come down and help them run it. It is a great way to avoid winter in Chicago! I have not worked any other Grand Slam.
Q: How would you compare the Tiburon Challenger compared to other Challengers around the country? What are some differences that you may see?
The challenger at TPC is among the best in the country. The setting is beautiful. The club members and staff are very welcoming, enthusiastic and involved. They make everyone feel quite at home. This year with the higher prize money the caliber of play seemed better with some well-known names in the draw, two former top 50 players in the final as well as some up-and-coming young players. One of the differences at TPC is the limitation that the town’s ordinances place on us. For a tournament with this level of prize money, it is unusual not to have night matches for sponsors and other spectators who work during the day. I think that I understand the issues involved, but finding a way to work through them will probably bring more spectators to the town and club.
Irma Rodriguez is a friendly face to our club members at the front desk each morning during the week. In addition, she is very competent behind the scenes – working and helping us organizing our maintenance and janitorial staffs.
A very proud mother of two – meet Irma Rodriguez!
Q: How long have you been at the TPC and what brought you to the club?
My daughter was getting ready to go to daycare/nursery school and I was looking for a job with flexible hours that was challenging. Mark Swanson, a family friend and member of the club, suggested I apply here at Tiburon Peninsula Club. I have never regretted the suggestion.
Q: What are your hobbies, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to cook, bike ride with my oldest son and spend time in my garden.
Q: You have a variety of tasks at the club, but most of the time we see you at our lead Member Services person at the desk. What do you like best about the club?
I have been exposed to much of the management and operations of the club. Malcolm has given me many tasks that push my comfort zone and challenge my member service skills, as well as entrusting me to maintain the standards of the club. I like the confidence that has been bestowed that my decisions are always for the best interest of the club and the members. I also enjoy getting to know the members and watching the kids mature and grow into young adults.
Q: What would you like to be doing 10 years from now?
Although it scares me to plan that far ahead – you never can tell what the gods have in store – I would like to be going to New York with my daughter for my son’s opening night on Broadway, then off to a Beachside Villa for some serious R&R…
It’s hard to believe the Challenger ended only three weeks ago! We had an outstanding event and below are comments from our Tennis Director and Challenger Tournament Director Scott Potthast who sat down with me to answer some closing questions about the 2011 $100,000 First Republic Bank Challenger.
Q: I have heard so many comments that this was the best Challenger we have had at the TPC. What do you attribute our success to?
Organization was better as it was our 3rd straight year. I have to compliment my core volunteers who were absolutely invaluable! They handled each of their areas with professionalism and expertise. We could not have done it without them!
Q: What a field of players, Ivo Karlovic and Sam Querrey in the finals? How did we attract former top 20 players in the World?
Raising the prize money to $100,000 – and the ATP points to 100 – certainly attracts better players. Have to be honest though, some of it was luck. We happened to catch Sam Querrey coming back from elbow surgery when his ranking dropped to 116. Of course, I would love to see Sam back every year, but it’s not likely.
Q: Attendance was higher this year; even the crowds for the qualifying matches were larger – why?
We had a better marketing plan this year with information getting out to local clubs. We also ran a commercial advertising the tournament 30 days prior. That definitely helped raise the attendance.
Q: This has really turned into a nice community event – how much was contributed to the Foundation for Reed Schools?
It was a great community event! We had players visit local schools and talk about being a professional athlete and conducted a Kid’s Day where 60-70 local kids were treated to a free morning of tennis. $13,000 was donated to the Foundation for Reed Schools.
Q: The 2012 Challenger is 50 weeks away – have you had a chance to think about what you may do differently next year?
Still decompressing from this year. Some new thoughts for next year would be increasing grandstand seating and adding more boxes on the east side of the court. Also thinking about adding more VIP boxes above the fence on the south side of the court.
Two weeks ago, Tennis Director Scott Potthast announced that staff member Rick Goldman has been promoted as our new Head Tennis Professional. That is great news for anyone who has had a chance to be on the tennis court with Rick, who has a great demeanor as a teacher! Rick is very dedicated to the TPC and is motivated to make our tennis program better. We are fortunate to have him on our staff.
Q: Congratulations on being our new Head Tennis Professional, what are your thoughts?
Thanks Jerry, I am very honored to have this position at this club. It is my opinion that the TPC is the most excellent place teach tennis in the North Bay and having the job of Head Pro here means a lot to me. Not only is the TPC a very beautiful place to teach, with a very competent staff, but the membership here is dedicated to growth through sport, and that is a dream for me. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help build this Tennis program in new ways.
Q: What are some of the challenges that you will be facing as our new Head Pro?
To be completely honest, over the past few years I have given a great deal of myself on the court, and offered very little of myself off the court. As you know, I steal every opportunity to go skateboarding or go hiking, or go fly a helicopter. I have a large number of hobbies that I engage in, and I have become accustomed to showing up for my lessons, and leaving when they’re done. I think my biggest challenge will be managing my time and adapting to a new workflow. There are a lot of things that need to be implemented into our program here, and sooner is better than later. I need to become more clearly focused on the organizational and administrative responsibilities that help to make a top notch program.
So I think my greatest challenge will be accepting this new role, engaging in it passionately, and still maintaining a sense of balance in my life.
Q: How do you best describe your teaching style?
I don’t know if it’s a teaching style, or a teaching philosophy, but I always try and teach up. The most common pitfall tennis pros fall into, in my opinion, is to expect too little from their students. People can do a lot more than they realize. It’s my job as a teacher to help students understand their potential by pushing them past their self-imposed limitations. So I expect a lot and believe wholeheartedly in the student’s ability to deliver a lot. I also think it’s very important to teach the student, not the curriculum. It’s important to pay close attention to how a specific student learns. There’s no single best way to present a curriculum and tending to the specific student’s needs is the best way to get good results.
Q: Where would you like to see our tennis program in 12 months?
In a year’s time I’d like to see several things. I’d like to have a whole lot of newly established 4.0 and 4.5 men and women. 3.5 is a fun skill level, but 4.0 is where I’d like most of our tennis players to spend most of their competitive careers. I’d like the TPC teams to be looked at as a model of sportsmanship and class. We have a bunch of very successful people that play at our club, and I think successful people should exude a certain amount of grace and class on the court. When people play the TPC, they should know that they will be playing a skilled and gracious group of people. I’d like our 2.5 and 3.0 players to know without question, that if they put the time in, they will progress through the skill levels (regardless of age).
I’d also like to see our juniors start competing on the national level. We have a number of very talented players under the age of 14. They need to be stimulated and nurtured in order to reach their potential. I’d also like to see these kids out on the courts playing with adults. In the 70’s, during the tennis boom, it was commonplace to see serious juniors out on the courts with adults of all skill levels plying their craft. Somehow this has disappeared, and I think it is to the detriment of our young players.
In a nutshell, I’d like to see everyone getting a lot better, and enjoying the process to the fullest extent possible!
Q: Will you still have time to skateboard?
Sadly, I think I’ll be lucky to get to the skate park more than five or six times a week ;)
One of the best parts of my job is working directly with a dedicated Board of Governors and Club President. It was a privilege working with David Holscher. I worked closely with David during his first two years on our Board of Governors when he led the House and Grounds Committee. As one of the leading architects in the community and area, we were fortunate to have David navigating issues for the club. Here is an inside look at our talented leader.
Q: During your three year tenure we were fortunate to have your expertise and completed many projects that improved the club. What projects were the most satisfying?
I had a great learning experience with the infamous water well. I thought it would be advantageous to have the water supply for all the site vegetation via our own well water. It all looked great until we started drilling and we received the news that the clay below the TPC is a very poor environment to set up a well. The news was a bit shocking as the previous sales persons practically guaranteed the well would work. It was a valiant try.
Q: As a club member, what activities do you and your family enjoys the most when using the TPC?
Swimming and water polo are our favorite family activities. Also, as a father, a great activity has been watching my youngest daughter becoming a competent swimmer. Late at night we have quietly tried tennis. It was not a pretty sight- we lost most of the balls we brought relatively quickly and called it a night.
David Holscher – pictured second from right
Q: As a participant of the group “Night Train Swimmers,” you completed many difficult endeavors such as swimming from the Farallones Island most recently that raised money for local charities. What have been some of your other challenging swims with “Night Train” and do you have anything coming up?
The most challenging swims have actually been some of our practice swims. A few stand out- we were practicing at night before our first English Channel Relay and I somehow ended up swimming into and punching a seal. We both got a little scared. Another time we went about five miles outside the Golden Gate Bridge and jumped in with relatively poor visibility. It felt very eerie as I had no physical reference other than the seemingly very small boat. Night Train Swimmers are not known for thinking small. Next year we are attempting a very long swim connecting two major cities via the Pacific Ocean.
Q: How would you describe your experience as Club President of the Tiburon Peninsula Club?
The experience was very satisfying. The Board of Directors is a talented and hard working group that does enjoy working with each other. I also appreciated meeting and getting to know most of the staff. We had our challenges but more importantly we worked well as a team.
Q: You have been in the club industry for many years and a General Manager for the majority of those years. What do you find the most rewarding about your position in the industry?
Gosh, I don’t look back very often, but I have been at this for 30 years, 22 at the California Tennis Club, 5 years at Alpine Hills and 3 ½ years at TPC. Without a doubt the most rewarding piece has been the great friendships that I have developed with former members, staff and vendors. Many have become close friends and a resource for me.
Q: Being a general manager comes with a lot of responsibility and long hours. How do you manage to make time for family and enjoying things you love to do?
That’s probably the toughest balance, because a club manager’s schedule is all over the map. At this stage, the first priority is spending time with family over things I enjoy doing. Fortunately, I have a very special wife, Mary, who understands the demands of this role. I also recognize that she has the tougher of the jobs we have respectively because she is raising our son, A.P. almost single-handedly and doing a phenomenal job!
Q: If you could have any other job in the world what would it be?
There was a time when I wanted to be a college basketball coach! Looking back, I am not too sure I would have traded my career path. I have loved sports my entire life and feel fortunate to be involved at TPC and with prior club settings.
Q: What interested you in tennis from the very beginning?
First of all, I am a very competitive person. While I spent most of my high school and college days playing basketball, tennis was very different because it was an individual sport. Needless to say, in tennis, everything is on your own shoulders and I learned you are only as good as your weaknesses.
Q: Have you ever considered playing any sports professionally?
I wish I was good enough to have that conversation! I think I may have had the right attitude, unfortunately I came up way short on the talent side!
Q: It is said that the sports and fitness industry is ever-evolving. Do you agree with that statement?
Yes, more than ever in our modern world. Fortunately, I belong to multiple organizations that share information in the forms of newsletters and seminars. I am always sharing some article with our staff members. You always wish you can do more in terms of becoming a better manager, but the first priority is also doing a good job at the club.
Q: Does practicing your golf swing in the office really help your game, or is it all for show?
Unfortunately it does not help, but I play so rarely these days I have to practice my swing whenever (and wherever) I can.
Q: What is your favorite sports team?
Stanford Football! (Note the only time I disagreed with David Holscher and Peter Winkler!)
Q: As a leader in the industry, how do you motivate your team to keep TPC current and forward thinking?
We invite most of our Directors to participate in training classes and seminars. Most take advantage of these opportunities a couple of times per year. If our team learns 1-2 new concepts that work, it’s money well spent. Scott Potthast has attended the USTA Coaches Clinics in New York; Mike Mc Donald has participated in coaches clinics for swim; Malcolm Lacey and Catherine Sanders have been to conferences sponsored by our software vendor. Our core staff is younger than other staffs that I have worked with. The TPC staff has plenty of energy and enthusiasm and that takes you to a good place!
Q: Was it your charm, wit, or rugged good looks that caught Mary’s eye?
Must have been the charm!
Q: Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Does A.P. have a valentine?
Yes, his mother.
Q: How long have you had such a strong relationship with Diet Coke?
Ever since I ended it with regular Coke. Back in the day when I was teaching tennis I used to drink 6 cokes a day! I switched over to Diet Coke because I had thought at the time it would be a healthier option.
Q: Everyone in the office knows how much of a sweet tooth you have. What is the absolute BEST dessert you think you’ve ever had?
[LONG pause..we told you Jerry loves his sweets] It would have to be a discontinued flavor of Ice cream that Ben & Jerry’s used to have called “Coconut Almond Fudge Chip”. After they discontinued the flavor I got the chance to ask Ben and Jerry at a book signing why they stopped producing the popular flavor (it was due to a shortage in coconut). A friend of mine owned an ice cream business called Rory’s in San Francisco and decided to replicate the flavor and call it “Jerry’s Favorite” for his stores. It was apparently a top seller until they ended up selling the business.
Q: What is one thing we would find in your refrigerator/freezer right now?
Four half gallon tubs of Dreyer’s Ice cream. [Adds with a smirk] I like to say that it’s for A.P., to give him some different options.
Q: Where is one of your favorite places to have a great meal in the Bay area?
Wow, that’s a tough one just because there are so many different places to choose from. There is a café named Chez Maman in Portrero Hill. It’s a casual place, but the big draw is that you can watch them prepare everything in front of you. Years ago Mary and I used to go once a week.
Thanks for the interview Jerry! We hope you enjoyed the interview as much as we enjoyed conducting it. We appreciate your great leadership at the Tiburon Peninsula Club!
Wow, summer is almost here again! Juliana Moreno is ramping up for the TPC Summer Camps and is our featured one-on-one this week. See what fun is in store for all the kids this Summer.
Q: What is new exciting for the 2012 TPC Summer Camps?
2012 TPC Summer Camp is going to be the best ever! We have exciting new themes, new art projects but most important to the success of our Camps is our staff. Although most of our staff is not new, they are the ones that make TPC Summer Camp the BEST!! TPC Summer Camp 2012 is now offering a camp for 9-14 year olds over the summer which will consist of tennis, swimming, water polo, a featured sport on the basketball courts and a chance to explore the town of Tiburon. They will also get to go on some exciting field trips (Giants Game, Great America, Six Flags). It’s a great way for your teenagers to have some fun with their friends. Sign up today!
Q: How do parents sign up and what should they do to obtain more information about Summer Camp?
Information about the TPC Summer Camp is located on the Kids page on the website. If anyone has questions, they can feel free to contact me, Juliana Moreno at 415-789-7900 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Once parents have filled out the forms, they can drop them off at the club and I will make sure to sign their child up.
Q: How is the Camp Staff shaping up for the Summer?
What can I say, I think I have the BEST staff around and I am excited that almost everyone is coming back from last summer, along with some new additions. They are a great staff to work with and I really feel they enjoy coming to work here every day. I constantly get e-mails once summer is over from my staff telling me how excited they are to come back. All staff members are First Aid and CPR certified and go through a week long training. I think the highlight of training is when Ezra Holland, a teacher from San Francisco State, spends the day with the staff and teaches them different leadership techniques, camp activities, songs and games. My camp counselors look forward to him coming back every year.
Q: What are the different TPC Summer Camps offered during the summer?
Camp offerings this year are:
- 2-4 year old Camp (Tues, Wed, Thur., from 9:00-12:00)
- 4.5-9 year old Camp (Mon-Fri from 9:00-3:30 with a half day option)
- 9-14 year old Camp (Mon-Fri 9:30-3:30, offered 3 different weeks during the summer)
Q: Separately, how was your wedding day and where did you celebrate your honeymoon?
February 18th 2012, will be a day that both Danny and I will never forget. Our wedding day was perfect and I have to say we are really lucky that we had great weather. It was worth the 16 months of planning. We are both very thankful for everyone that was able to share in our special day. After all the stress and planning, we enjoyed our honeymoon in Bahamas. It was by far the best vacation we both have ever been on!
This week we sit down with the “other half” of the dual Fitness Directors, Brent and Juliette Rodenbeck. Juliette is unique since she grew up in Tiburon and at TPC and is pleased to be back working in our Fitness Department.
Q: It’s been 4+ years, but how have you enjoyed returning to the Tiburon Peninsula Club as our Co-Fitness Director?
I feel blessed to be able to return to the TPC, since I enjoyed the swim team and playing tennis at the club during my childhood. The club has grown so much and I love that it is so family-oriented. It is very rewarding to me to be fulfilling my passion of fitness and spa services to enhance the Members’ experience in the TPC Fitness/Spa Department.
Q: What are some of the new programs in the Fitness Department that members should be aware of?
In 4 1/2 years, we’ve hired an incredible Fitness/Spa team, created a plethora of Group Exercise classes to 30/week, and grown the Massage and Personal Training department’s revenues. In order to increase Customer Service, the Fitness/Spa department now offers a variety of Complimentary Member Services such as scheduled Body Fat Testing, Blood Pressure Checks, Personal Training & Pilates Reformer Demos, Informative Talks, Ladies’ Events with Organic Juice Beauty Mini-Facials/Make-Overs and Chair Massage! The Self-Defense, Basketball and Music Kids’ Camps this summer and One-on-Ones are new to the department. The Yoga and Pilates Reformer One-on-Ones, Triathlon Training Program and Nutrition Consulting are also new, exciting additions. The Techno Gym, FreeMotion, cardio and TRX bands are cutting edge new equipment in the Fitness Center.
Q: I have felt from day one that the Fitness Department has the most potential for growth and you and Brent have reflected so much as revenues have grown steadily? What is your secret for success?
We feel fortunate to have a supportive Board, management and to have been able to hire a dynamic Fitness/Spa Team. Our staff works very hard every day towards our goals as a team, to enhance the members’ experience and increase overall revenues. It is essential to be consistent and watch the department’s expenses closely. We are always open to member feedback to create a better member experience and offer a variety of services.
Q: Tell us about Juice Beauty, how this started and why?
As the Spa Supervisor at the Sports Club LA, we sold a variety of spa products and this was a niche that had not yet been fulfilled at the TPC. After exploring a variety of companies with our members, we decided to choose a local, organic company called Juice Beauty, who would give TPC a generous profit. Juice Beauty also offers incredible support, bringing their estheticians and skin care experts to our events. During my two pregnancies, I learned that we all absorb 60% of what we put on our skin! More people are eating local and organic foods; they also want local, organic skin care. Juice Beauty’s Skin Care and Mineral Make-up is local, Organic, Vegan and Gluten-Free. Juice Beauty is available in the Fitness Center and look for the specials and Complimentary Events in the Weekly Email!
Q: There are only so many hours in a day, how do you manage your time being a Fitness Director, Instructor, Mom and wife?
I learned in college at USC and being on the tennis and soccer teams at SF University High School, the secrets of time management, organization and communication. Balance is key! In order to get everything done in a day, as a Fitness Director, Personal Trainer, Mom of a 1 & 3 year olds and wife, I have to be very organized with my scheduling and always carry my phone! I’m thankful to have an incredible team, supportive husband, and caring parents.
Q: You have done an outstanding job with the $100,000 First Republic Bank Tiburon Challenger, what are you anticipating in 2012?
Thank you. I anticipate 2012 to be another excellent year and think this year’s US Open will highlight a few names that will be coming to Tiburon. As each year passes, the exposure to our tournament increases and larger crowd’s and bigger names will likely follow.
Q: As a club member, how can I buy a box or tickets?
Buying a box is perfect for the family to experience the tournament up close. We still have a couple front row and 2nd row boxes to sell at $1,500 and $1,000 respectively and come with tournament benefits. Contributions can be made to the California Mentor Foundation. If you have any questions about box seats, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 6-11: Free
October 12: $5
October 13: $15
October 14: $15
October 13+14 Weekend Pass: $25
Tickets can be purchased on the tournament website at http://tiburonchallenger.com/tickets/.
Q: I know we have a great base of core volunteers who exceed expectations each year, but if I have a day to help out, how do I get involved?
There are many different volunteer jobs that are needed. If interested in helping with tournament desk, ball person volunteer desk, crowd control, grandstand usher, ticket sales or court refresher, contact Nancy Shapiro at email@example.com. We could also use help with ball persons especially during the week while school is in session and it’s a fun way to be up close and personal! To be a ball gal, guy, girl or boy, contact Mary Lou Tierney at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shuttle drivers are also in need to bring players to and from the tournament hotels. Contact Cris Schonefeld at email@example.com if you can help drive.
Q: When do we have a better idea of which players will be playing this year?
Every year the most common question I get leading up to the tournament is “Who’s Coming?” Entries for our tournament close on September 16 and our acceptance list is posted on September 17 which provides the 22 names of those accepted into the main draw and the alternates who would need to qualify. It’s always an enjoyable suspense to wait and see who is officially playing.
Q: What are some of the benefits of the Challenger in terms of our community?
Bringing world class tennis to Tiburon has had a win/win effect for the game of tennis and our community. The Tiburon Challenger has given back to the Tiburon community every year of its 6 year existence. Since 2010, with the help of our friends at the California Mentor Foundation, we have donated $10,000 annually to the Reed School Foundation to benefit their physical education program. In 2012 we are also including a donation to the Tiburon Rotary Foundation. Each year players have volunteered their time to visit local schools to introduce/demonstrate the game of tennis and talk to the kids about what it’s like and takes to be a professional tennis player. The players talk about how our Challenger is one of their favorites in the country and how they look forward to coming back each year. Our club/community is a big reason why!
Q: I am so excited to have you teaching swim lessons now!! What is your teaching style?
I would have to say that my teaching style is very individual based, my first priority is safety in the water. Safe is a pretty general term, but for me to see someone as safe in the water they have to possess a few characteristics; breathing, body position and confidence. They need to be comfortable in the water and want to move through the water. To start a new swimmer out I think the most important thing is to make the learning process fun for the person by using their imagination and the things that they like. I feel that you have to create a good foundation to start, with good body position and breathing. I don’t hesitate to teach any and all of the strokes right from the start if the student is ready to learn.
Q: I know that you coach masters, would you enjoy working one-on-one with adults?
I would be happy to work with anyone that wants to improve their swimming. I think that swimming is a great low impact sport that can be really beneficial to anyone’s workout regime, especially if they are injured and looking to still get some cardio work while rehabilitating.
Q: I remember you have quite a lot of experience with Water Polo, which included playing and coaching on the collegiate level. What’s your water polo experience post college?
After my college water polo career was over, I certainly loved staying involved with the sport not just as a coach, but as a Masters player as well. Master’s Nationals are a yearly tournament in the summer for all the teams that are over 20 years of age. It is a great time for the sport and for me I love to see old teammates and opponents in this competition.
Q: Would you ever be interested in bringing adult water polo to TPC?
I would love to offer an opportunity for adults to play water polo here at TPC. It is a great way to get a workout and never boring. It would also be a great opportunity for me to get back into the pool and play a sport that I really love.
Mark Kohtz started on March 1 as our new Food and Beverage Director. I had a chance to meet with him on day one for some initial insight. Mark will be working Wednesday through Sunday and we encourage you to introduce yourself! If you have any Café questions, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark is happy to call Sebastopol, CA home, where he lives with his partner Elise, his 2 children, Gunnar(12) and Ellie (11), and 2 step children, Aaron (19) and Marissa (21 and soon to graduate from Lewis and Clark College!). When not at work, he loves to pursue outdoor activities with his family or on his own. Mark was born in West Germany, emigrated to the US as a child, and is proud to be a military brat, having lived on US Air Force bases throughout the States and Europe. He shared a little of his story with me in this One-on-One recently.
“I have over 15 years of experience in hospitality and restaurant management. I have worked with a Michelin Starred Chef, a Fortune 500 company, small, family-owned restaurants and even a celebrity chef, Guy Fieri. All of these experiences have played an important role in my development as hospitality professional and I feel very fortunate to have found a career that I am completely happy with! One experience that really stands out for me was what transpired in the days following the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon. That day I was working as a Starbucks manager in my newly opened store at the Pentagon Row center, about a mile from the Pentagon. We all heard and then felt the impact of the plane and the chaos that followed is indescribable. The next morning, I called a few of my employees, and I asked them to meet me at the store if they could. Four of us were able to get there, we brewed 50 gallons of coffee and headed to ground zero. Over the next 3 days, we took shifts brewing coffee, getting it to the Pentagon and serving countless cups to grateful first responders and ordinary folks wanting to help. But it wasn’t about the coffee, it was about solidarity, connection and hope. That is when I got a sense of the power of a simple gesture of service, and that experience still resonates with me today.
It is true, I love all sports and have participated in many. My parents were very supportive of my interest in sports, and made sure I had exposure to whatever caught my fancy. I remember my Father used to wake my brother and me up very early on cold winter mornings in South Dakota to get us out on the ice at the nearby lake for hockey! The 3 of us would scrimmage for hours, and later, back in Germany I found a club team to play with. Soccer, tennis and swimming were a constant presence. I first played tennis as a 5year old and started swimming at the same time. I lettered in tennis and earned my Water Safety Instructor certification at 17, so I could lifeguard and give lessons.
My style of management can best be described as hands-on. I want to inspire and empower those I work with to be the best at what they do. I set my standards high and coach and mentor others to meet them. I also like to bring a sense of fun and excitement to what we do, because after all, we are breaking bread together and that should be a happy and positive experience for everyone. I hope to help create a third place experience here at TPC Café, where members feel welcomed and valued, where their input is appreciated. I want you to be proud of your Café, and I sincerely want to hear from you!”
Q: What attracts you to the Food and Beverage industry?
I am attracted to the food and beverage industry due to its high paced environment, as well as the customer service aspect that comes with it.
Q: What do you like to do during your time off?
During my time off I am an avid golfer sporting a six handicap. I am also big into back yard BBQS, watching and playing sports.
Q: What would you like to be doing in 10 years?
Still being young I am not sure where I will be in 10 years, but I would either want to own my own restaurant/college hang out for Sonoma State students, or be in the field of wealth management.
Q: How do you motivate your team (ie. staff) members?
To motivate my team I like to lead by example and work extremely hard. I feel like if I am the hardest worker and doing a lot of things than the rest of the staff will follow suit and work hard as well.
Q: How do you like the TPC so far?
I really enjoy working at TPC thus far. I enjoy working with the staff of the bar and grill as well as all of the other members of the staff at TPC. I have really enjoyed starting to build relationships with the members and look forward to getting to know more of the members in the future.