The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) recently announced the addition of three recreation experts to help the already successful organization continue to grow.
Hope Tolley was named the organizations’ new director of recreational programs. Tolley, who starts Feb. 1, brings a wealth of experience to her new position. After a successful career in physical education at the elementary through collegiate level, Tolley spent the last seven and a half years working for the United States Tennis Association.
Since 2015, she was the director of promotions at USTA North Carolina, where she coordinated all marketing and promotional initiatives. Prior to that, Tolley was the USTA National Coordinator of School Tennis and focused primarily on implementing tennis programs within school curriculums and supporting extracurricular programs.
Tolley earned a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a Master of Arts in kinesiology from the University of Maryland.
“I am excited to be joining the USAPA team and look forward to helping accelerate the growth of the game,” Tolley said. “Pickleball is proving to be a dynamic and fun sport, with broad generational appeal. I believe that my background and experiences will help build on the success that the USAPA has already achieved.”
In addition, the USAPA has tapped former USTA staff member Jason Jamison as its new recreational programs adviser.
Jamison has been involved in developing and supporting recreation programs throughout his career. From 2004-2015, he served as the National Schools Manager for the USTA and was responsible for implementing physical education and after-school tennis programs for a network of more than 20,000 schools and after-school providers nationwide.
During his tenure, program participation quadrupled, creating on-court and program delivery resources that are still being used throughout the industry.
Jamison is a Certified Professional and National Clinician with the Professional Pickleball Registry (PPR) and Professional Tennis Registry (PTR).
“Pickleball is a dynamic and exciting sport,” he said. “There are tremendous opportunities to work with schools and recreational facilities to introduce the game to. I’m really looking forward to working with USAPA to develop growth initiatives for youth, adults and seniors.”
Also joining the USAPA is John Greene, who will assist the group with partnership procurement. A 25-year-plus veteran in the sponsorship/partnership industry, Greene also worked for nine years as the vice president of Global Partnerships for Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), one of the largest sports and entertainment companies in the world. At AEG, he had the opportunity to work with some of the finest people in sports while heading up the partnership strategies for professional sports teams, events and venues.
Over the last five years, his company, 4Sight Sports Group, worked on naming rights and partnership strategies for professional sports teams and professional sporting events, including working with his former employer, AEG.
“Through my experience, I have had the opportunity to work with many of the national governing bodies and professional sports leagues, and I must say the future of pickleball is very bright and I look forward to working with the USA Pickleball Association to see it reach continued success and reach greater heights,” Greene said.
“The USAPA is truly fortunate to have Hope, Jason and John join our organization. All bring a high level of experience and achievements in various fields, which will certainly help the sport of pickleball continue to grow,” said Justin Maloof, executive director of USAPA.
Recently, the USAPA’s managing director of competition, Christine Barksdale, resigned to take a position with HEAD Penn as its national pickleball promotions manager. In addition to her primary role with the USAPA, Christine also served as the tournament co-director of the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball Championships at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. A nationwide search for her replacement has begun.
The non-profit USAPA was established in 2005 to further the advancement of the sport on a national level. As the official governing body of pickleball in the United States, the USAPA promotes the growth of pickleball by maintaining the rules, setting player ratings, advancing the sport through its national network of 1,800 ambassadors and sanctioning tournaments.
Over the past five years, the USAPA has realized a growth of 650 percent in its membership, which now totals 31,000.
The USAPA is divided into 11 regions across the country, with all 50 states being represented. The extensive group of volunteer ambassadors oversees the sport in their respective states. For more information, visit www.usapa.org.