2022 Year End Cliffy Awards
Highlighting standout efforts and performances from the staff at Cliff Drysdale Tennis
Clubs of the Year
The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami
Often recognized as one of CDT’s flagship locations, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Racquet Garden has been a longtime favored provider of tennis instruction to local players as well as travel guests. The facility’s true innovation has come from leading record-breaking growth in their Padel program.
The Ritz was also awarded the CDT Club of the Year Award from our parent company Troon. These awards are dubbed T.E.A.M awards - "Together Everyone Achieves More."
“Being one of the largest and longest standing CDT facilities comes with its fair share of challenges,” said CEO, Scott Colebourne. “But Max and his team have delivered time and again and are now responsible for developing a Padel program blueprint that we can apply to other Padel facilities within our portfolio.”
Red Ledges will finish out 2022 with six additional tennis courts and six brand-new pickleball courts to meet members’ fervent support of racquet sports at the club. The enthusiastic popularity and extensive expansion are feats in and of themselves, but Director Michael Topp has also launched expanded programming, leagues and socials to further the momentum.
“The team at Red Ledges has always been a huge supporter of CDT and the racquets program, and the results could not be clearer,” said Senior Director, Bryce Cunningham. “Michael has taken that support to the next level by launching new programming that keeps members engaged and developing for the long haul.”
Directors of the Year
With eighteen tennis courts and eight pickleball courts, racquet sports are a centerpiece at Omni Rancho Las Palmas. It is Director Vicente Ferrer, however, that has taken this desert destination to the next level by building successful, year-round programming and forging meaningful relationships with players and staff members.
“When I think of a director ‘leading by example,’ Vicente is always the first to come to mind,” said Senior Director, Bryce Cunningham. “Whether he is sweeping down benches or selling out a new clinic, he embodies a humble leader that is always looking for the next opportunity to develop as a director.”
As Director of Tennis at a public facility with no membership component, it is up to Carlos Gonzalez to continuously engage new players and develop programs that keep them developing at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Gonzalez’s passion for the sport has energized the center with a host of adult programs, including beginner offerings, as well as acclaimed junior and performance programs.
“All it takes is one interaction with Carlos to recognize his enthusiasm for what he does,” said COO, Scott McCulloch. “He is always coming up with new ideas to grow the game and taking the initiative to execute them. That is exactly the mentality we love to see in our directors.”
General Manager of the Year
Despite a proven background as a General Manager in the club hospitality industry, Scott Christenson’s talents were put to the test when he was elected GM of Newport Beach Tennis Club, the largest facility CDT has operated to date. It was thanks to Christenson’s leadership that just over a year later, NBTC has bolstered membership initiatives, introduced new tennis programming opportunities, elevated the in-club dining experience and maintained the club’s stellar reputation within the Orange County community.
“Scott has struck a remarkable balance between leaning on his past experience and maintaining an open mind to new growth opportunities during his first role with CDT,” said COO, Scott McCulloch. “NBTC’s results speak to his respected leadership both among his staff and the membership community.”
Program Director of the Year
Despite Pickleball’s continued popularity nationwide, it takes the right person to launch and grow a Pickleball program from scratch. Mauna Lani Program Director, Simon Curtin, did just that with new programs, events and play options to engage a variety of players, as well as by delivering an exceptional on-court experience to members and resort guests daily.
“With Simon at the helm, I have complete faith that the pickleball program will succeed,” said Director of Racquets, Matt Dudley. “Simon has a visible passion for what he does, as well as a creativity for programming that have been equally pivotal for developing our latest racquet sport.”
Pro of the Year
It was not long before Wanzell became a crowd favorite at Weston Racquet Club after making the move to one of CDT’s largest South Florida facilities from Philadelphia due to his infectious humor and enthusiastic coaching – talents which ultimately landed him a Director of Racquets role at Hawks Cay Resort later this year.
“Wanzell is a one-of-a-kind coach that Weston was lucky to have,” said Weston Racquet Club Senior Director, Albert Fernandez. “I have no doubt his work ethic, willingness to learn and entertaining sense of humor will take him far in the racquets industry.”
Head Pro of the Year
Kyle Edwards, Omni Amelia Island, Florida
Joining the team at one of the most prolific and acclaimed tennis resorts in the U.S. comes with plenty of expectations. Kyle Edwards has grown into that challenge since joining Omni Amelia Island Resort in 2020 by taking charge at custom camps and CDT Signature Events, as well as launching Amelia Island’s first pickleball tournaments.
“Kyle is a determined and passionate racquets professional with a team player mindset,” said Omni Amelia Island Senior Director, Robert Wright. “Within the last year, he has channeled those talents to his role as Head Pro and become my right hand and an example for our team.”
Support Staff of the Year
As CDT has logged monumental growth in recent years, the demands of corporate support have also evolved – particularly that of Operations. At the heart of this evolution is Club Operations Manager, Dianna Edison, who has grown a team of Operations Coordinators while simultaneously strategizing (and executing) new ways to support CDT’s growing list of facilities.
“Dianna has had a remarkable career journey with CDT, from starting as a Front Desk staff member at one of our clubs to leading our company in operations industry best practices and continually finding new ways to make our directors’ lives easier,” said COO, Scott McCulloch. “I could not be more grateful for her dedication and leadership.”
To say that Joey Hanf wears many hats would be an understatement. Between coordinating marketing efforts for clubs and the CDT brand, to supporting the Experience team with signature events (and even teaching at those events), Hanf is a behind-the-scenes power player responsible for the success of countless event and marketing initiatives within CDT.
“Joey started with CDT fresh out of college as my right hand,” said VP of Marketing and Sales, Kimberly Runyan. “While the latter certainly has not changed, Joey has become one of the most impactful leaders in our company, and a great example for our marketing team to look up to.”
Ambassador of the Year
Katie Steck began her CDT journey as a tennis teaching professional at Omni Amelia Island Resort before her event planning and sales talents were recognized as an instrumental component of the company’s newly formed travel business. Before long, Steck was breaking records of her own with first-of-their-kind signature events, sold-out camp experiences and nationally recognized racquets travel packages.
“Katie could not be a better face of the CDT brand,” said VP of Marketing and Sales, Kimberly Runyan. “From exceeding customer expectations to planning new sold-out camp experiences and everything in between, she embodies the work ethic, passion and personal growth our team strives for.”