The 30th anniversary celebration of Ferris State University’s Professional Tennis Management program continues Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2, with the 2016 Michigan Tennis Conference, along with the Banquet Weekend for the PTM program, and the Ferris men’s and women’s tennis teams.
Ferris’ PTM program was the first to offer a Bachelor of Science curriculum in the U.S., and that has helped form a unique relationship with corporations in the industry, and luminaries in the sport, according to PTM Director Derek Ameel.
“We’ve been able to bring in names such as Roy Emerson, Nick Bollettieri, Todd Martin and Vic Braden,” Ameel said. “This year, we’re honored to have Katrina Adams, the president of the United States Tennis Association, as our keynote speaker. I have been working on her involvement for more than a year, and it speaks to the stature of our program.”
On Friday, April 1, the focus of the conference is on-court activities, with afternoon sessions from Ray Sahag, Walker Sahag and Steve Keller planned at the FSU Racquet and Fitness Center. Ameel said that the business and administrative considerations of professional tennis management will be considered in sessions Saturday morning, April 2.
“We have all of the previous PTM directors, R.J. Tessier, Tom Daglis and Scott Schultz offering their experience and expertise,” Ameel said. “Current students, prospective players and PTM students from across the state are able to meet and learn from these people.”
All Saturday conference sessions will be held in the PTM classroom, including USTA President Adams’ address that afternoon. Ameel said that they are thankful for the Wilson Corporation’s support of her participation in the conference and banquet.
“It’s the first time a USTA president has attended,” Ameel said. “We are also pleased to have the support of the USTA for Schultz’s appearance, along with assistance from the Professional Tennis Registry and the United States Professional Tennis Association.”
Chris Michalowski, the first student of the PTM program, will serve as master of ceremonies for the awards banquet Saturday evening at the Holiday Inn Conference Center.
“It’s a chance to honor our graduating PTM students, along with their parents and families, and present the various awards and scholarships that have earned in the last year,” Ameel said. “The men’s and women’s tennis teams also get the chance to celebrate their excellence and pay tribute to their top players.”
Ameel said that the PTM advisory board will also visit the university campus at this time, and officials from the USPTA will be welcomed to the Racquet and Fitness Center. A $150,000 grant was recently awarded by the USTA for facility upgrades at the center, which will benefit the indoor court areas, and the outdoor clay courts.
PHOTO CAPTION: United States Tennis Association President Katrina Adams will be keynote speaker at the 2016 Michigan Tennis Conference Saturday, April 2 at the Ferris State University Racquet and Fitness Center. Ferris' Professional Tennis Management program is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016.