In a special ceremony last night at the US Open, the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) honored former Hall of Fame CEO Mark L. Stenning by presentation of the 2015 Golden Achievement Award.
The Golden Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions internationally to tennis in the fields of administration, promotion, or education, and who has devoted long and outstanding service to the sport.
Stenning served as CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame for 14 years, before stepping down last September, and he was with the organization for 35 years overall in various leadership roles. Stenning has been highly engaged in the sport as a whole, having served as a volunteer committee member for numerous industry organizations and by fostering partnerships among the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the tennis world.
"Mark has been an outstanding leader and a great team player for tennis. Under his leadership, the International Tennis Hall of Fame grew to become a global partner in our sport. Additionally, Mark's work for tennis always far exceeded his position at the Hall of Fame. He has volunteered countless hours and can always be counted on to bring bright ideas and effective executions to committees for the ITF, USTA, ATP, TIA and other organizations," said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. "We are grateful for his many years of service and we are pleased to recognize his great contributions to the game with this honor."
"Mark was a highly effective leader for the International Tennis Hall of Fame for 35 years. He developed the Hall of Fame to be a professional and broad reaching organization that serves tennis tremendously as a careful steward of its global history. Mark personally always went over and above in his work to grow the Hall of Fame's impact on the sport, and in his efforts to support the tennis industry as a whole. His years of service to our sport deserve to be commended and it's a pleasure to acknowledge this by presentation of the Golden Achievement Award," said Jane Brown Grimes, President Emerita of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Chairman of the Golden Achievement Award Committee.
International Tennis Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser stated, "Mark was a tremendous leader for the Hall of Fame and his work consistently brought the organization to new and heightened levels. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, we extend our congratulations to Mark on this well-deserved honor."
Of the recognition, Stenning commented, "I feel fortunate to have enjoyed a lengthy career working with so many great people and organizations in the tennis industry. When I joined the Hall of Fame staff in 1980, I never imagined the opportunities that would be ahead of me in the tennis world. It was a privilege to contribute to the work of the tennis community. I'm truly honored by this recognition."
Stenning began his career in tennis when he joined the Hall of Fame staff in 1980. Over the years he held the positions of Tournament Director for ATP and WTA events, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer. He was named Chief Executive Officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000, and remained in that position until September 2014.
Under Stenning's leadership, the International Tennis Hall of Fame grew exponentially from a modest museum and tennis facility to be a multi-faceted organization that serves the sport of tennis through its award-winning museum and research center and as the officially sanctioned worldwide Hall of Fame. Stenning oversaw the presentation of the sport's highest honor, Hall of Fame enshrinement, to 128 of the sport's greatest champions and contributors, hailing from all over the world.
Also during Stenning's tenure, the Hall of Fame's 7-acre property in Newport, Rhode Island- which was built in 1880 and was the host facility of the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships in 1881- was completely restored to its original 19th century grandeur and was named a National Historic Landmark.
During his lengthy tennis career, Stenning partnered with numerous tennis organizations. He served on the Board Nominating Committee for the USTA, and held numerous other USTA roles at regional and national levels. He was also a long-time active leader on the ATP World Tour Tournament Council.
Today, Stenning serves as a consultant for the Hall of Fame, which is in the midst of a significant expansion and renovation project. He continues to stay involved in tennis as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and by serving on the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and Olympic Team Events Committee of the USTA.
Nominations for the Golden Achievement Award are submitted by tennis federations and individuals from the around the world. The honoree is selected by the Golden Achievement Award Committee, which is comprised of tennis administrators.
Past recipients of the Golden Achievement Award are David Jude of Great Britain (2014); Geoff Pollard of Australia (2013); Shamil Tarpischev of Russia (2012); Tim Phillips of the United Kingdom (2011); Heinz Grimm of Switzerland (2010); Peachy Kellmeyer of the United States (2009); Juan Maria Tintore of Spain (2008); Nancy P. Jeffett of the United States (2007); James R. Cochrane of Great Britain (2006); Eiichi Kawatei of Japan (2005); John Curry of Great Britain (2004); J. Howard "Bumpy" Frazer of the United States (2003); Enrique Morea of Argentina (2002); Pablo Llorens Renaga of Spain (2001); Gil de Kermadec of France (2000) and Brian Tobin of Australia (1999).