A means for all youth to play tennis, regardless of socioeconomic, ethnic, or family background
"Empowering youth for lifetime success through tennis, education, fitness
and character development regardless of economic circumstance"
Tennis Outreach Programs (TOPs) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organizaton located on the Eastside of Seattle, Washington. TOPs was founded by Marceil Whitney in 2003 as a desire to give back to the community by reaching disadvantaged, at-risk youth as well as ALL kids and teens, using tennis and education as a vehicle for success
In February 2012, TOPs celebrated the grand opening of a new facility at Eastside Tennis Center in Kirkland, Washington. Over the last 10+ years Eastside Tennis Center (ETC) has welcomed thousands of juniors into our programs and tournaments. In addition to the juniors, we are proud to serve a loyal community of adult players spanning all ages and levels.
TOPs delivers on our mission in many ways: thru financial assistance, partnerships with elementary schools for before/after school lessons, Adaptive Tennis for special needs, seasonal employment for junior coaches age 14+, and enrichment events with local non-profits.
TOPs serves over 2,500+ unique youth each year thanks to the support of our generous donors, volunteers and community. To learn more, visit our Fiscal Year 2022 annual report.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Marceil Whitney is the Founder of Tennis Outreach Programs. Her mission, "Empowering youth for lifetime success through tennis, education, fitness and character development, regardless of economic circumstance." Across a 50 year career in the Pacific Northwest, Marceil's passion for coaching has reached thousands of students. She formerly owned Teenie Tennis, a youth tennis program geared toward the youngest students. In 2003 she created Tennis Outreach Programs operating out of community tennis courts on the Eastside. In 2012 TOPs opened at the Eastside Tennis Center Facility in Kirkland. A certified USPTA instructor, Marceil served as Program Director for Redmond Parks, Kirkland Parks and King County parks. She coached students at Redmond High School and Central Park, many whom are still a part of the Seattle tennis community today. Presently Marceil serves on the Board of Directors, and works as Director of Outreach and Director of Junior Programs for TOPs.
Aliya Khan serves on the Board of Directors as President and Chair of the Marketing Committee. Aliya is an avid tennis player and program manager who joined TOPs in 2020. Aliya is a strong believer in the value of mentorship and sees tennis as a great way to provide kids with a positive environment. A current USTA and Cup player at Eastside Tennis Center and Harbor Square, she remains passionate about bringing tennis to everyone as a way to be active and connected in the community. Aliya is a former technology professional with 20 years industry experience working for corporations including Teligent, OpenText and most recently Microsoft. She has mentored young adults through the YearUp organization and currently volunteers within Lake Washington School District. Aliya is from Northern Virginia and a graduate of Radford University with a B.A. in English and French.
Charles "Chick" Hodge
Charles “Chick” Hodge is a former president of the TOPs Board and currently serves as Vice-President and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and the TOPs Marymoor Task Force. He is strongly committed to the TOPs mission and finds the work both challenging and rewarding. As a former less-than-affluent junior tennis player, he appreciates those who made tennis possible for him and wants to provide that valuable experience for other kids, regardless of their economic circumstance. He also appreciates the commitment of TOPs to enrichment programs, as well as the generosity of the TOPs donors. Chick is a graduate of Lehigh University and Stanford. He moved to Seattle for a 35-year Boeing career in aircraft engineering. During this time, he built a neighborhood tennis court, served on the Washington Youth Tennis Foundation, and as Tennis Chairman at the Mercer Island Country Club during a time of a major facility expansion. He later served on the board of the Atlantic Street Center, a non-profit that serves low-income kids and families in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, where he co-founded and taught tennis for thirteen years at a weeklong Tennis Camp at Rainier Playfield.
Suki Brown serves on the Board of Directors as Secretary. Suki holds a BA in Marketing from Portland State University. She has 10 years of experience working with children of various age groups. While in college she volunteered at a non-profit organization with a gang outreach program where she acted as a mentor for kids from ages 6-17 years old. Suki currently volunteers her time as a youth coach for the TOPs junior programs at the Eastside Tennis Center. She was introduced to tennis in 2020 and has completely fallen in love with the sport. "It’s more than just a fun way to stay in shape, it’s a close knit community that helps forge lifelong friendship." She strives to share her passion for tennis with our youth and help them build healthy habits.
Sneha Choudhury serves on the TOPs Board of Directors as the Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair. An Economics and Finance graduate, she is currently a Finance leader at Amazon and has close to 15 years of experience across the financial services industry, including American Express and Deutsche Bank. Sneha was introduced to TOPs when her family moved to Kirkland in 2017 and her daughter started playing tennis. She joined the TOPs board in 2022 feeling strongly about the TOPs outreach objectives of making affordable tennis available for the youth in the community. Outside of work, Sneha enjoys biking, traveling and exploring new cultures with her husband and 8 year old, and when time permits, trying to cook a new cuisine.
Helen Halverson serves on the Board of Directors as Human Resources Committee Chair. She is a University of Washington alumni and a long-time PNW resident. Her professional experience in HR has involved a broad range of specialties, including compensation & benefits and mergers & acquisitions. Her two sons are current Eastside Tennis Center students. She has seen first-hand the skills they have developed both on and off the tennis courts through the instruction of ETC’s amazing coaching staff. She cherishes the way the game of tennis brings together her family, as well as connecting her with other players in the community. She believes in our Tennis Outreach Program mission for every child to have the opportunity to develop the same skills and share the same sense of connection through the game.
Katie McRoberts serves on the Board of Directors as Chair of the Development and Donor Relations Committee. Katie has been playing tennis since early childhood and first learned the game at Central Park through Marceil Whitney’s Teenie Tennis program. She has worked on the communications, operations, and development teams at various nonprofits and currently is the Director of Communications and Development at a small environmental nonprofit. She holds a BA from James Madison University in International Affairs and a Masters in Comparative Religion from the University of Washington. Katie lives in Kirkland where she continues to play tennis at Central Park.
Schyler Pa serves on the Board of Directors as the Outreach Committee Chair. A graduate of University of Virginia, Schyler joined the TOPs board in 2020 to help support its mission of offering affordable tennis programs to youth in the community. She is grateful for her tennis journey which started in elementary school and loves that TOPs helps to grant these opportunities to so many kids. Schyler is a Corporate Finance Manager at Microsoft. Coming from Virginia, she appreciates the beauty of the PNW and enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and trying new foods in her free time.
Bradley Brown is a member of the TOPs Advisory Board member serving on the Marymoor Task Force Committee. Bradley has a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Nebraska. Currently he is a licensed architect with the City of Kirkland Design Review Board and City of Kirkland Parks Funding Exploratory Committee. Bradley has played tennis since high school and won a bronze medal for doubles at the state level. "I love the sport of tennis, supporting my community, investing in the future of the next generation, and I believe in giving, too."
Stephen Hopps serves the TOPs board as a financial advisor. He is a CPA/Principal at Melang, Hopps & Company, PLLC, a local firm in Bellevue, Washington. Stephen played regionally as a junior and adult achieving rankings in Pacific NW. He played doubles at Seattle University and is a member of the SU Athletic Hall of Fame. Stephen coached at both Seattle University, University of Washington, and Mercer Island Country Club Tennis. Stephen is passionate about promoting tennis as a lifetime sport and extending the opportunity to kids regardless of social or economic circumstances.
Eric Jensen serves on the TOPs Advisory Board as Chair of the Facilities Committee. Eric is currently the Planning Manager at The Blueline Group civil engineers responsible for land use planning, permitting and grant management activity. Prior to joining Blueline, Eric coordinated grant management activity for public infrastructure and park capital projects at King County and was the principal planner for three different Washington municipalities. Eric spent a season playing for Central Washington University has previously instructed tennis for Western Washington University and the City of Kirkland recreation programs. Eric is a graduate of Eastern Washington University’s school of Urban and Regional Planning and Western Washington University’s Sociology program.
Nikola Lakic a member of the TOPs Advisory Board serving on the Marketing Committee. Nikola started playing tennis when he was four years old. Throughout his tennis journey, he has competed, coached and now assists in marketing tennis and furthering the TOPs message. A graduate from the University of Washington, Nikola majored in Marketing and now runs his own digital marketing and content creation agency, Lakic Creative. As a photographer and filmmaker, Nikola has worked with major companies to bring their stories to life. Nikola is excited to bring a new wave of digital marketing and content creation to the TOPs organization and create exciting imagery to help promote the organization and inspire future tennis players. Nikola is born in Toronto, Canada of Serbian descent and is fluent in Serbian & Montenegrin. Naturally, he is a massive Novak Djokovic supporter! Nikola is passionate about sharing the success stories and incredible work that the TOPs team continues to do every day in the community. His efforts will be focused on branding, photography and videography along with social media.
Stacey Romberg serves on the TOPs Advisory Board as Chair of the Legal and Governance Committee. She has practiced law for over 25 years, focusing her practice on business law, estate planning and probate. She earned her B.A. from Idaho State University, J.D. from the University of Idaho College of Law, and LL.M from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991. Prior to moving to Seattle, Stacey drafted legislation for the U.S. Senate's Office of Legislative Counsel. A former sectionally ranked and college tennis player, Stacey enjoys writing, and has published many articles in a variety of publications including GPSolo eReport, the Puget Sound Business Journal, the King County Bar Bulletin, and DeNovo.
Audrey Watanabe was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and attended University of Oregon. After graduation she moved to Seattle where she worked for Nordstrom for 14 years and eventually served as a Store Manager and then Buyer. She has served on the Advisory Board and Executive Board of TOPs since 2007. Audrey was introduced to TOPs in 1992 when her eldest daughter was coached by Marceil Whitney. Two of her children played as juniors through their education at Linfield College. Audrey plays USTA and Cup for Eastside Tennis Center. She is a member and co-chair of TOPs annual auction committee.
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