OUR STAFF

Get to know the PTR team below! We exist to serve our members and grow the sport of tennis together.

Dan Santorum

Our Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

As the longtime CEO, Dan has seen membership increase tremendously during his tenure, from an organization of 2,500 members in 68 countries to one with more than 16,500 members in 125 countries. Dan represents PTR at industry events and conferences, and has personally conducted more than 400 PTR workshops on six continents, in 46 countries and 225 cities. In 1999, he became the first person to conduct courses for tennis teachers in all 50 US states. 

Our Team

Dan Santorum

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

As the longtime CEO, Dan has seen membership increase tremendously during his tenure, from an organization of 2,500 members in 68 countries to one with more than 16,500 members in 125 countries. Dan represents PTR at industry events and conferences, and has personally conducted more than 400 PTR workshops on six continents, in 46 countries and 225 cities. In 1999, he became the first person to conduct courses for tennis teachers in all 50 US states.

Brian Parkkonen

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Brian, who joined the PTR staff in May 2014, has had a series of promotions during his tenure. Prior to his new post as COO, Parkkonen served as Director of Education, where he was responsible for the direction and content of the organization’s four education pathways to certification, as well as Level 3 Specialist and Master of Tennis programs.

Iñaki Balzola

International Director

Iñaki coordinates the International Department of PTR. Iñaki has traveled to more than 100 countries to teach PTR Workshops, resulting in having taught more than 650 PTR workshops. He represents the organization at many International ITF and ATP conferences and symposia.

Julie Jilly

VP of Special Events and Pickleball

Julie is responsible for coordinating special events, such as PTR WEEK, Spring TennisFest, Tennis Club Owners Conference and Professional Development Weekend. Julie also manages the many benefits available to PTR members. Julie is a member of HEAD's Team Airflow.

Milena Stephens

Director of Education and Diversity

In this position, Milena will design, implement and manage PTR’s education for Level One, Level Two and specialty courses. To continue to expand tennis’ reach, Milena will work with PTR’s successful diversity programs such as the PTR ACE Program, Wheelchair and Adaptive Programs and the Junior Apprentice Program. Milena is spearheading PTR’s exciting new initiative PTR-W - Because We Can. The program will recruit, certify and empower female coaches providing the tools and networking support they need to progress through their career paths.

Helma Cap

Membership Director

A familiar face to many PTR members, Helma has been with the organization since its inception. Prior to joining the inaugural PTR staff, she worked for Dennis Van der Meer.

Paige Payne

Education Coordinator

Paige Payne joined the staff at PTR in May 2012, after graduating with a degree in marketing from Ashland University, where she played on the tennis team.

Caitlyn Fries

Marketing Manager

Caitlyn joined PTR as the member experience coordinator. She assists PTR members both new and current, ensuring they have the best experience working with PTR. Caitlyn also manages PTR's branding.

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Christopher Jones

PTR Member Services

Sanaz Marand

PSR Administrative Coordinator

Sanaz joined the PTR Staff in February 2022! She played Division I college tennis at the University of North Carolina (UNC). Then she went on to play the Pro Tour for 8 years.

Vicki Neitzel

Accountant

A Minnesota native, Vicki graduated with a computer operations degree, and moved to Hilton Head Island in September 1989. In 1991,

Louie Cap

International Clinician

Louie travels the globe conducting International PTR Day events, certification workshops & PTR testing. Louie is one of only two clinicians authorized to conduct international Etcheberry Strength & Conditioning Certification.

Dr. Anne Pankhurst

Education Consultant

Anne is the Education Consultant for PTR, responsible for designing and developing the new PTR Coach Education Pathway. She is also a consultant to several tennis academies and USA Football. Previously, Anne was Manager, Coaching Education for USTA High Performance, working with High Performance Coaches throughout the USA.

Dan Santorum

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
In 1999, he became the first person to conduct courses for tennis teachers in all 50 US states. In the early 1990s, Dan created the PTR ACE program, which continues today. The ACE Program has educated and certified thousands of multicultural tennis teachers in the USA. In 2005, he developed PTR on Campus, a successful program aimed at increasing the number of young tennis teaching professionals. More recently he played an integral part of expanding PTR’s education pathway to include five certifications and an externally accredited Master of Tennis program. In 2000, Dan captained the USA team to an upset victory over #1 seeded Germany in the inaugural Tony Trabert Cup held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Dan, who holds a B.S. degree in Business Management from the University of Florida, has served on and continues to serve on several USTA national, sectional and state committees. He also sits on a number of industry boards, including International Tennis Hall of Fame, Tennis Industry Association and the National Public Parks Tennis Association. Dan received the prestigious Educational Merit Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006. That same year, he was inducted into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. In 2010, he received the ITF’s Service to the Game Award. In 2015, Dan was inducted into the USTA Middle States Tennis Hall of Fame. In 2018, Dan was inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame.

Brian Parkkonen

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

In addition, he developed new courses and opportunities, including PTR’s Education Dashboard that provides hundreds of hours of free online video presentations, and was a key player in the evolution of the PTR Coach App. Working with Sarah Ansboury, Brian was also instrumental in the organization’s new PPR pickleball certification curriculum, workshop preparation materials and clinician training. Brian started at PTR as Director of Development where he oversaw the delivery of PTR education and managed scores of clinicians across the United States. Before leading the clinicians, he was one himself.

Brian’s evolution in the organization began long before he joined the staff. Coincidentally, he started his career as Head Pro and Director of College Placement at the Van der Meer World Class Academy (Dennis Van der Meer founded PTR), before going on to serve as director of some of the largest public and private clubs in the country.

Iñaki Balzola

International Director

Born in Milan, Italy, Iñaki is able to converse with our members in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Iñaki is also the Coordinator of ACE, PTR’s multicultural participation program, represents PTR on various USTA and ITF Committees, is on the Cardio Tennis Speaker Staff and is a USTA High Performance Coach. He is one of only two clinicians authorized to conduct international Etcheberry Strength & Conditioning Certification.

Julie Jilly

Vice President of Marketing and Special Events

With a passion for wheelchair tennis and Special Olympics, Julie annually serves as Tournament Director for both the PTR Wheelchair Tennis Championships and the Special Olympics Tennis Championships. In 2006, PTR received a National Award for Adaptive Tennis. In 2005, Julie received the USTA Community Service Award for the Southern Section and the Special Olympics South Carolina’s Super Hero Award. In 2004, she was recognized by RSI Magazine as the Wheelchair Tennis Champion of the Year. Julie is very active in the local community and teaches sports and fitness classes as her hobby. Julie has been with PTR since 1985, and has a B.S. in Public Relations from Florida State University.

Milena Stephens

Director of Development and Diversity

Milena comes to the position very well equipped for it. She has been a member of the organization since 2011, and is a Certified Professional in all PTR education pathways. She grew up on the courts of her parents’ tennis club, where she started playing at age three; and as a junior player, Stephens reached #1 in her native Brazil. She earned a full athletic scholarship to play for Delta State University, and went on to earn her BA and then a Masters degree in Sports Management. Milena served a Director of Tennis at Cleveland Country Club in Mississippi. She also coached at Midtown Athletic Club in Weston, Florida, where she discovered a passion for working with children.

Helma Cap

Membership Director

Helma has worn many hats over the years, including, Clinician, Tester and Merchandise Director. Still responsible for merchandise, accounts receivable, and assisting with workshop coordination, as Director of Membership, her duties expanded to include membership growth and retention. Helma graduated cum laude with a degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.

Paige Payne

Member Services Manager

Paige works in US Member Services.

Caitlyn Fries

Marketing Manager

She is responsible for the consistent look and theme of all PTR graphics and messaging in order to grow the PTR marketing and social media footprint. Caitlyn graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design.

Sanaz Marand

Sanaz joined the PTR Staff in February 2022!

She played Division I college tennis at the University of North Carolina (UNC).

Then she went on to play the Pro Tour for 8 years. 

Sanaz was ranked as high as #150 in world in Singles and as high as #119 in the world in doubles. 

She won 2 WTA Singles Titles and 20 WTA Doubles titles. 

Sanaz is married to Joseph and has a young daughter, Aila.    She’ll be assisting in member services for all the PSR companies so you will probably be speaking with her!  

Vicki Neitzel​

Accountant

Vicki joined the staff at PTR as a bookkeeper, then grew in her position to handle all the accounting, payroll and finances for us.

Louie Cap

International Clinician

Louie has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Baylor University, is a Senior Head Professional at the Van der Meer Tennis Center, a PTR Master Professional and PTR International Tester and Clinician.

Dr. Anne Pankhurst

Education Consultant

Prior to the USTA position, Anne served as Coach Education Director for The Lawn Tennis Association in England. At the LTA, Anne had full responsibility for developing all Coach Education and Teacher Education courses, all Tutor Training, Coach Development and Coach Licensing. She was a member of the ITF International Coaches Commission from 1997-2005. Anne has also coached full time, and presents at numerous tennis and other sport conventions and symposia around the world. She is in the process of completing her PhD, studying how the relationships between coaches, parents and the system impact the development of young tennis players with potential.

Brett Karpman

Joining the staff in 2022, Brett supports the development of our multiple organizations. Brett comes from a strong background in the racquets industry, serving as the Director of Adult Tennis at Providence Country club in North Carolina, as well as numerous years as the head men’s & women’s tennis Coach for Queens University of Charlotte. During his time as head men’s & women’s Coach, Brett received several accolades, including NCAA nationally ranked programs, Coach of the year awards, and was one of the youngest tennis coaches in NCAA history to achieve 100 NCAA dual match win.

Michelle A. Riklan

ACRW, CPRW, CEIC, CJSS

Michelle Riklan is a Career Strategist and Search & Consulting Executive. She started her professional career in corporate human resource management as a generalist, then specializing in employment, employee relations, and training and development at Fortune 1000/500 companies. Breaking out on her own, she built a successful career management firm applying her expertise in personal career marketing, outplacement, and soft skills training. For more than 25 years, Michelle has leveraged her skills as a Human Resources Executive, Executive Recruiter, Career Marketing Strategist, Trainer, and Speaker to serve individuals and companies across multiple industries.

Michelle was introduced to the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) many years ago and was their resume writer for more than 8 years, offering her time during annual conferences to assist their members and students. She has worked with hundreds of managers in the industry, helping them to refine their skills and presentation of credentials, and continues to offer these services as a member of the KK&W team. She has been a speaker at several CMAA conferences and is a requested speaker for chapter education meetings. Over the years, Michelle assisted and built strong relationships with many industry professionals. The opportunity to work with so many amazing individuals is how her passion for the Club industry grew and what prompted her desire to dive in deeper and do more.

Karolina Lagerquist

Member Services Manager

Prior to PPR, Karolina was the Assistant Director of Racquets at Allegheny Country Club in Pittsburgh, PA where she could be found running cardio tennis classes, teaching junior development clinics, running member events, playing in platform tennis tournaments, stringing racquets and everything in between.  Having been in the industry since 2009, Karolina’s passion for racquet sports and making them accessible and enjoyable for everyone motivates her daily.  Karolina has been a PTR certified pro since 2018 and recently became a triple threat – certified in tennis, pickleball, and platform tennis.  Karolina graduated from Grove City College, where she played on the tennis team, with a B.S. degree in Entrepreneurship.

 

Len Simard

PTR & USPTA Master Professional

Len Simard oversees all racquet sports, fitness, wellness, and director of athletics searches for the firm’s club clients. Len is an industry leader in tennis facility consulting, performing evaluations, compensation reviews, and provides solutions to all types of racquets facilities and organizations throughout the Country.

Len has been directing, teaching, and coaching at well-respected country clubs throughout North America for more than 35 years and is regarded as one of the country’s leading racquets directors and managers. Len has hired, trained, and worked with hundreds of professionals in his career and is extremely proud that more than 47 of his former assistants are leading prominent clubs in the U.S. and Canada.

Len was named Professional of the Year three times and twice Player of the Year by the Florida Division of the USPTA. In 2019, Simard was named National Club Manager of the year by the USPTA. As a player, Len holds 15 national singles and doubles titles in the U.S. and Canada. He has represented Canada in international play for more than two decades in the veteran categories. Simard, a past president of the USPTA Florida Division, has lectured on many industry topics at PTR, USPTA, USTA, TIA, PGA, and CMAA educational forums and conventions for more than 30 years. Len chaired the USTA committee to bring the first-ever “Online Certification” to become a Racquets Director to the industry. This certification is now available through the University of Florida, is sponsored by the USTA, and certified through the PTR and USPTA. It is the industry standard in determining qualified directors of racquets.

Join us in sunny, majestic Indian Wells, CA, for a week of education and networking.

Your ticket includes a wide variety of presentations,
recognition breakfast, awards banquet, tradeshow, and more!

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