TENNIS OUTREACH PROGRAMS
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) was created by Marceil Whitney in 2003 as a desire to give back to the community by reaching disadvantaged, at-risk youth as well as other kids and teens, using tennis and education as a vehicle for success
Since its inception, Tennis Outreach Programs has been operating out of community tennis courts until February 2012 when it opened Eastside Tennis Center in Kirkland, Washington.
Tennis Outreach Programs provides before school tennis programs at local schools.
TOPs currently serves over 2000+ different youth each year at Eastside Tennis Center and our schools programs, thanks to the support of our generous donors and volunteers.
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 40 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. 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 Community Outreach for TOPs.
Charles "Chick" Hodge
Charles “Chick” Hodge is a former president of the TOPs Board and currently serves 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.
Eric Jensen consults on facility planning for the TOPs Board of Directors. 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.
Aliya Khan is a 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, she remains passionate about bringing tennis to everyone as a way to be active and connected in the community. Aliya is a former IT 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.
Schyler Pa serves on the Board of Directors as Finance Committee Chair. A graduate of University of Virginia, Schyler joined the TOPs board 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.
Lori Dickerson has dedicated a lifetime toward kids and tennis. Lori has played tennis competitively for 25 years, a passion she now shares as a junior coach at Eastside Tennis Center. As a member of the TOPs board she manages Enrichment Programs teaching kids how to care for themselves and the world around them. Lori has a B.A. in Psychology from The University of Massachusetts Boston and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington.
Richard L. Furman, Jr.
Richard L. Furman Jr. serves as the President of the TOPs board. Rich received his B.A. from Northwestern University, his M.A. from Boston University, and his J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law (Law Review, Note and Comment Editor). He is the managing shareholder at Aiken, St. Louis & Siljeg, P.S., in Seattle where his practice focuses on trust and estate litigation and administration. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, the King County Bar Association, the Pierce County Bar Association, the Snohomish County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the bar of the United States District Courts for the Western District of Washington. He serves as a Pro Tempore Judge/Court Commissioner for the Snohomish County Superior Court. Outside work, Richard spends his time playing tennis, cooking, and travelling.
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.
Valarie Kaye is a Seattle Native and currently resides on Mercer Island. She has worked as a residential real estate broker with Windermere and as a certified staging specialist for nearly 30 years, retiring in 2017. Valarie has a long-standing commitment to volunteering in our communities, including the National Charity League, Children’s Hospital, MI Youth and Family Services and many others. She has been playing tennis for approximately ten years and knows first hand the benefits of our wonderful, supportive and vibrant Northwest tennis community. Valarie is looking forward to serving on the TOPS Advisory Board, offering her marketing expertise, organizational and creative skills.
Chris Langdon is the Owner and Director of Arizona Tennis & Golf Academy. He is certified by the USPTA as a P-1 Tennis Professional and is also a member of the USTA and USRSA. Chris's played for Boise State University where he won three Division 1 NCAA Big Sky Championships, played professionally, and coached Boise State men's and women's teams from 1986-1989. He has expertise at every level in tennis and provides guidance to TOPs because of his love of the game and to give back to the community. He has played some of the best players in the world including Stephan Edberg, David Pate, Butch Waltz, Mike Tammen, Brian Joelson, and he has a win over Andre Agassi.
Virginia Nunes is a passionate parent in the TOPs tennis community. When ETC opened its doors in 2012 she enrolled her son in the Red Ball program and has seen his growth and development into a passionate high school high performance student. Virginia has served on the TOPs auction committee since 2016. She graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from Central Washington University, and has 20+ years experience in finance & accounting. She is currently the Finance Manager at Metia Solutions. Virginia enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community. And, on the sideline, she and her husband, can be found supporting their son when he is playing in tennis tournaments.
Stacey Romberg 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.
Brigitta Suwandana is a member of the TOPs auction committee. She has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Oregon State University. She is the Principal at Argus Product Development LLC, providing mechanical engineering services. Brigitta is the parent of a former ETC student who now plays for Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio. Brigitta believes in TOPs' mission - that every child should have access to enrichment/sport activities at any level, regardless of financial or talent. Brigitta has held several Board positions including PACE (Parent Active in Cooperative Education) of Wellington Elementary in the Northshore School District. She co-founded and managed the Wellington Elementary Lunch Time Science Club which received a Golden Acorn Award and a Lightbulb Award from Washington PTA.
Lori Brillhart Thomson
Lori Brillhart Thomson started playing tennis at age 9, was ranked number one in the Girls 16's and 18's in the Pacific Northwest, and played Division 1 tennis at Trinity University. She has coached at Seattle Tennis Club, Mercer Island High School, the Nordstrom Tennis Center, Mercer Island Country Club, Mercerwood Shoreclub, ETC and the Bellevue Club. Currently, Lori manages a small tax and accounting firm in Redmond and she continues to teach tennis at the Bellevue Club, part-time.
Mike Walter has had a lifelong passion for tennis. He was a top ranked junior from New Mexico and earned a tennis scholarship to Washington State University where he played 1988-1993. Mike enjoys teaching all ages and abilities. He is experienced and dedicated to working with juniors and adults, reaching their individual fitness goals. Mike is a USPTA certified tennis professional. He captains USTA 5.0 teams, competes in Pacific Northwest tournaments as well as National 45 tournaments. In 2016 Mike discovered Pickleball and thus began competing at the national and local level. By November 2019, he won a Singles Gold Medal at the Margaritaville National Pickleball Championships in Indian Wells, CA. Mike joined the board in 2007 as a fundraising and business strategy advisor. Within the Eastside Tennis Center facility, Mike runs the Fit2Hit Pro Shop.
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.
Marlene Winter graduated from California State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Personal Management. She supports clients as an HR consultant and previously worked for Korry Electronics and the Washington State Human Rights Commission. Marlene is passionate about volunteering and is actively involved in elementary school reading programs, the Renton Regional Community Foundation, and pet welfare.
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