My working career started in Manhattan and Long Island as an Administrative Assistant. I stopped for a few years with my greatest career, mother. Moved to MD went back to work in design at a local magazine, where my boss was an avid tennis player. She’s the one who got me hooked on the game. I have been working at McCormack Nagelson Tennis Center at William and Mary for 7 years now. Seems that I have always scoped out tennis wherever I have lived, Maryland, Ohio, VA and been involved with the game in one way or another; whether running the ladies league at the local recreation center, to captaining USTA teams. For the past 6 years Director of Ladies Activities on the Ford’s Colony Tennis Board at the same time working at MNTC. I have a love for the game that you can ask anyone who plays; it can never be given up. Hopefully, I can play the game into my older age, if not, involved in some way that’s for sure.
There has been so much fun everyday with the antics of co-workers and members. The staff here at MNTC is great. Mike, the Director, Neely; lovingly referred to by me as Neely Peely; Assoociate Director and Tennis Pro (I think I was her first adult lesson) Pros; Mark, Don, & Lorenzo, Melinda and all our wonderful volunteers, Cathy, Nancy & Jimmy, to name a few, are just a pleasure. We may have our moments, as with any working environment, but we always respect each other’s opinions and advice.
There are so many students that have come and gone that have all been great to work with. All the W&M tennis team members over the years have been so cordial, respectful and nice. Some students that I worked closely with that really stand out are Josh Risinger and Karen Kimberlin. Josh and Karen always older and wiser than their years really impressed me. They married when they graduated and we all attended the wedding. That was really special. JJ Wilroy, such a great work ethic, and tennis player, always willing to help. He also worked at MNTC longer than anyone. He introduced us to his girlfriend, Lillian, who too, always went over and above. There’s Connor Davidson, always friendly with a great attitude. I loved his fashion sense (one of my favorite pastimes). Along with his brother, Liam, who still works during his breaks, has the same outgoing personality. Then there’s our newest crop of kids. All have been just nice to be around. I feel as though they are all my kids.
The junior kids and their parents are always ready for fun when they come to check in for class at MNTC. I’ve gotten to know a lot of them and seen them grow up right before my eyes. I think they enjoy my special games and treats at holiday times. It’s a lot of fun getting it all together.
What I like best about my job is the whole tennis atmosphere, the people I work with and the people coming in to have fun playing the game they love, the coaches and teams and getting to play myself.
I am constantly inspired by my husband, Frank; whose passion for everything he does in work and in life is contagious.
I have not really changed the way I look at life over time. I always try to find a sunny spot if there doesn’t seem to be one. Doctors don’t seem to believe me when I’m sick (stupid smile that is always on my face, I guess). My mom, (so happy she’s around and is my other part time job that I’m thankful for) who’s 93 always says I missed my calling that I should have been a psychologist. I usually succeed in making people feel better with listening, some silliness and bad jokes. I think I inherited my bad jokes and outlook on life from my Dad. A lot of people say my easy disposition as well. Thanks and miss you, Dad.
The best piece of advice I can share is to enjoy life, it’s shorter than you think. Do what you like. I enjoy dah, tennis, travelling, gardening, baking, the beach, fashion, being creative whether at work, home and especially with my beautiful granddaughters (and by the time this is published, grandson).
I would define success by having a consistent joyful attitude every day and a willingness to always try. Personally, my greatest success is my two sons who have become wonderful men, husbands and fathers.
Something I’ve held onto my entire life (since about 5 years old) is my love for twirling a baton. I usually pull it out a couple times a year, just to see if I still have it and to freak out my kids. I’m sure it has helped with eye-hand coordination for tennis. Just don’t ask Coach Mark about my leg that I always kick up on the serve – oh well, old moves never die.