2015-09-24 / Around Town

Tennis World Honors Mark Stenning

In a special ceremony earlier this month at the U.S. Open, former International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Mark L. Stenning was recognized by both the Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) with the 2015 Golden Achievement Award. The honor is presented annually to an individual who has devoted long and outstanding service to the sport, and has made significant contributions internationally in the fields of administration, promotion, or education.

Stenning 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 Hall of Fame CEO in 2000, and remained in that position until September 2014. Throughout it all he remained highly engaged in the sport, 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.

Among other accomplishments, Stenning was recognized for the global reach of his work. "Mark has been an outstanding leader and a great team player for tennis," said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “Under his leadership, the International Tennis Hall of Fame grew to become a global partner in our sport. Additionally, his work for tennis always far exceeded his position at the Hall of Fame. He has volunteered countless hours . . . We are grateful for his many years of service and we are pleased to recognize his great contributions to the game with this honor."

Stenning's commitment on the home front was recognized as well. "Mark was a highly effective leader for the International Tennis Hall of Fame for 35 years," said Jane Brown Grimes, President Emerita of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Chairman of the Golden Achievement Award Committee. “He went over and above in his work to grow the Hall of Fame's impact on the sport,” she added, “and in his efforts to support the tennis industry as a whole.” International Tennis Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser said that, "Mark was a tre- mendous leader for the Hall of Fame and his work consistently brought the organization to new and heightened levels.”

Of the recognition, Stenning commented, "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. Under his leadership, the Hall of Fame grew exponentially from a modest museum and popular local tennis facility to be a multifaceted organization, recognized internationally, that promotes the sport through its award-winning museum and research center–and as the officially sanctioned worldwide Hall of Fame. Stenning oversaw 128 Hall of Fame enshrinements,

Also during his tenure, the Hall of Fame's seven-acre facility — including the 1880 clubhouse designed by McKim, Mead & White, and which hosted the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships in 1881 — was completely restored to its original 19th century grandeur and in 1987 earned its status as 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 longtime active leader on the ATP World Tour Tournament Council.

Today, Stenning serves as a consultant for the Hall of Fame, 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 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.

Stenning joins an international circle of tennis administrators who have been honored for their commitment to the sport.

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