The 2020 Cliffy Awards
Cliff Drysdale Tennis, the largest tennis management company in the U.S., announced their year-end ‘Cliffy Award’ winners Friday, with standout employees and clubs being recognized for their efforts in 2020.
The Cliffy Awards are presented to team members and clubs that embody the Cliff Drysdale Tennis experience through a commitment to world-class tennis and exceptional service for members and guests. All CDT managed facilities submit nominations for the awards before votes are tallied and finalized by the executive staff.
Clubs of the Year
Crandon Park Tennis Center
Despite an extended close period and extremely limited programming options this spring and summer, Director of Tennis Dominic Mahboubi and his team at Crandon Park have grown their business and have the courts bustling with action at this historic tennis center. From the high performance academy to the active adult programs, Crandon Park is back to being a major hub of tennis in South Florida.
“I’m so proud of the team at Crandon Park for the culture they have created at the club,” said Scott McCulloch, Vice President of Operations. “It was a challenging few months, but they have come out of the lockdown operating more efficiently than ever, and the future looks incredible bright, as 2021 could be the biggest year they’ve ever had.”
Southampton Racquet Club
Perennially known as one of the busiest clubs in the Hamptons each summer, Southampton Racquet Club showed record membership and programming growth all while adding enhanced safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. From daily temperature checks to low-ratios on court, Elliot Pegg and his team gave New Yorkers a safe and social outdoor escape when they needed it most.
“It’s not easy to make major changes at a place that has done so well for so long,” said Scott Colebourne, Chief Operations Officer for Cliff Drysdale Tennis. “Elliot and his team embraced safety and social distancing from day one, and it ended up leading to their most successful summer since we started managing the club.
Directors of the Year
Omni Amelia Island Resort
Taking the lead at one of the most prolific and acclaimed tennis resorts in the U.S, Robert Wright has prioritized the small details to enhance the guest experience. Improved internal and external communication combined with a focus on growing the local program has led to a record number of junior players and dozens of new beginner players taking up the sport. With travel beginning to pick up again, Wright has also introduced a safe and engaging experience for adult tennis camps.
“Rob has grown programs at a number of CDT clubs over the past few years, and that experience has been invaluable in his success during his first year at Omni Amelia Island Resort,” said Elliot Pegg, Regional Director for Cliff Drysdale Tennis. “From locals to resort guests to special events, it’s a very challenging job, but Rob has organized and solidified a fantastic operation.”
Matt Kirkham Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
In his second year leading the program at Chateau Elan, Kirkham has substantially improved offerings for both tennis and pickleball players. Kirkham has grown the local USTA and ALTA teams at the club, as well as introduced weekly Pickleball social sessions and instructional clinics. He also led efforts for the first ever Tennis and Wine Weekend with Cliff Drysdale Tennis, an adult tennis camp hosted in September that saw 18 players enjoy a unique on and off court experience.
“Matt did a great job spreading the Chateau Elan word through social media, content creation and local partnerships,” said Scott McCulloch, Vice President of Operations. “His hard work paid dividends in local participation and engagement. Working as a one man team, I’m excited to see Matt continue to evolve as a Director and grow the program at Chateau Elan.”
Pros of the Year
Jose Carlos Hidalgo
Santa Ana Country Club
An incredibly experienced and talented pro, Jose Carlos Hidalgo leads the High Performance Academy at Santa Ana Country Club, where many of the top ranked players in Costa Rica train day in and day out. He sets the tone for their work ethic, sportsmanship, tactics and mental strength. Hidalgo also has been a crucial part of building the tennis membership at Santa Ana, which has quickly become a hub for social tennis play in Costa Rica.
“Jose sets a great example for all of our players, and has made our high performance academy one of the best in Costa Rica,” said Daniel Lopez, Director of Tennis at Santa Ana Country Club. “We are very lucky to have him here, and I know that all of our members and junior players are very appreciative of his coaching expertise.”
Carolina Costamagna Weston Tennis Center
One of the key figures at Weston Tennis Center, Carolina Costamagna has gone above and beyond to help the club in any way possible. She has gone out of her comfort zone to attract new clients, and has become one of the member favorites in clinics and lessons. There’s no doubt that the future is very bright for Carolina!
“Carolina started with us as a very raw pro with a lot of knowledge, but she has grown into such a great member of the team who engages with all of our players and is always up for whatever challenge comes her way,” said Albert Fernandez, Director of Tennis at Weston Tennis Center.
Support Staff of the Year
Southern Trace Country Club
Anya Egorova has played a number of key roles during her career at Cliff Drysale Tennis, including most recently at both Tyler Athletic and Swim Club, and the newly managed Southern Trace Country Club. Whether it’s on or off the court, Egorova knows how to connect with members, quickly resolve issues, assist with marketing of events, and always be there to help out the team.
“We are so happy to have someone with Anya’s experience and energy working behind the scenes to make things run smoothly at Southern Trace,” said Stewart Crerar, Regional Director. “No matter what the job is, she is always stepping up to the task and elevating the member experience.”
Emilie Moeller Cliff Drysdale Tennis
Having joined the corporate marketing team early in 2020, Moeller has quickly become a key resource for all CDT managed clubs in developing and executing effective content plans to help drive business and participation. From daily social media production to implementing new email marketing procedures, Moeller has streamlined the marketing process for tennis directors and pros across the world, and the results have been clear!
“Emilie has taken what was a weakness for our company and made it a strength,” said Kimberly Runyan, Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “Her work day in and day out with our club staff has been instrumental in the programming increases we’ve seen across our portfolio. We know that Emilie has a very bright future, and we are thrilled to have her on our team.”
Ambassadors of the Year
Castlewood Country Club
A graduate of CDT’s Professional Tennis U (PTU) program, Teg Lozano epitomizes the Ultimate Tennis Experience. Now the Director of Tennis at The Club at Castlewood, Lozano is one of the clearest examples of somebody who truly loves tennis, and his energy on the court and in life exudes just that. He has lifted the CDT brand through his entertaining and engaging social media profiles, and through his work at special events around the nation.
“Teg is always a joy to work with because of his true passion for the sport and bright personality,” said Katie Steck, Director of Experiences for Cliff Drysdale Tennis. “Guests at our events have raved about their experience on court with Teg, and he has done a great job engaging with new members at Castlewood in his short time there.”
John Newcombe Country Club
A self-described tennis nomad of sorts, Mitch Joyce has delivered tennis experiences around the globe. Now based at John Newcombe Country Club and as a traveling pro for CDT, Joyce has taken tennis ambassadors to the next level through his unmatched on and off court style. Whether you’re in the middle of a clinic or scrolling through Instagram, you’ll be sure to see Joyce’s positivity and passion for tennis shine through.
“Mitch has made a huge impact both here at JNCC and at events across the company,” said Graham Miler, Director of Tennis at John Newcombe Country Club. “Our young pros learn so much from him, and clients go home loving the sport more than ever after a session with him. If you haven’t been on court with Mitch, you need to put it on your schedule!”