Board of Directors
Joe Thomas, President
"A late comer to tennis, I started playing in 2020 to improve my fitness and to spend time outside during the pandemic. Prior to that, I played club sports during and after my four years at Vanderbilt in the mid-1990’s. Being a resident of Franklin, I have helped manage some of the regular tennis Meetup events in Williamson County. I’ve enjoyed playing in social and flex-leagues and am looking forward to playing more USTA and UTR events.
Currently, I am a technology and information security consultant (and sometimes employee). I helped build and manage the security and technical infrastructure for a Nashville-based online payments company, have managed the cybersecurity and compliance programs for enterprise healthcare organizations, and have assisted start-ups with business modeling, product development, and technical architecture.
For Tennis Nashville, I’d like to continue promoting social and Meetup tennis in Williamson County, and other south-of-Nashville areas. I’m also interested in elevating Nashville as a tennis destination by raising awareness of local tennis facilities and events, and possibly bringing amateur and professional events to the area."
Becky Sengvilay, Vice President
I started playing tennis in 2000 and played only sporadically until I discovered the Tennis Nashville meet-up and now play with much more frequency. Tennis is (of course) a passion and the opportunity to play with so much frequency has improved my life tremendously. Last spring, I was the captain of the 3.0 social league division. My players frequently expressed gratitude for the opportunity to play within their skill level, meet new partners and simply play in a casual setting. Through Tennis Nashville, I would like to cultivate the social leagues more throughout the area. The social leagues provide players with an alternative to the overly competitive nature of Nashville’s other leagues. This gap in league offerings can be developed in several different locales around the nashville area and I welcome the challenge of growing a sustainable program. I am a registered nurse by trade. I worked for ten years in critical care before changing paths. I now work for a health insurance company to provide telephonic nursing and case management. With a work from home job, the flexibility and work-life balance that I’ve grown to love gives me the space to dedicate part of my free time to Tennis Nashville. I am grateful for any opportunity to serve in growing this program.
Chiarra Conn, Treasurer
Chiarra is an accounts payable manager for a music company and has been in the music industry for her entire career. She has a Bachelor of Music in flute performance from Indiana University South Bend and a Graduate Certificate in Accounting from University of Phoenix. Originally from northern Indiana, she moved to Nashville in 2014.
Chiarra played tennis all through high school and in city tournaments for a few years after, but then took a hiatus from the sport for about 12 years. She decided to pick up her racquet again in 2019 and rediscovered her passion for tennis through the Tennis Nashville meet-ups! Now she plays at meetups, WTT, USTA and NALTA leagues and occasionally captains’ teams.
Ibrahim Ahmed, Member at Large
Ibrahim Ahmed is a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, and almost done with school. He’s been recreationally playing tennis since he was a kid. He considers himself a 4.0 player when he’s feeling generous. What he lacks in skill, he makes up for in enthusiasm. He discovered Tennis Nashville at the start of the pandemic in 2019, and has never looked back. Along with the competitive aspect of tennis meetups, Ibrahim enjoys the opportunity for social networking very much. In his free time, Ibrahim likes reading, climbing, movies, cooking, and video games.
"I would like to serve on the board to advocate for outreach programs. The bulk of my association with Tennis Nashville is as a volunteer meetup host for weekly meet-ups. As an open-level meetup host, I like making new players feel welcome. I also enjoy arranging social activities around tennis events to help make friends off the court. As a host of competitive meetups, I like to encourage sportsmanship in games. I am also part of the graduate students’ tennis group in Vanderbilt, which provides me with more opportunity for outreach."
Ben Koch, Member at Large
"I began tennis during high school in Knoxville, TN. I loved it so much, I helped grow the team from about 6 people to around 20 by senior year as captain. I lost touch with sport for a few years after college; however, the love was rekindled after a single Tennis Nashville Meetup Event! I now look to help others discover how much joy this group can bring. I have a hobby background of growing communities via social media and professional background of tech solution consulting.
I'd love to contribute my creative ideas to help bring in new players in addition to experienced players. As event organizer, I have helped create new, fun routines into our members' lives. While creating these routines of weekly events has been great; it will be beneficial to work with tennis nashville resources to assist in special events to bring new members and generate awareness.
There are a few initial questions I would like to help solve:
How do we reduce the friction between a new member WITH tennis experience and having the courage to join their first event? How do we create this event in a way to target this audience?
How do we reduce the friction between a member WITHOUT tennis experience and having the courage to join their first event or create a simple roadmap for them to complete prior to joining said event?"
Ethan Sengvilay, Member at Large
Ethan Sengvilay is currently an Inside Sales Account Manager for Dell Technologies. He attended the University of Kansas majoring in Business Administration. He played varsity tennis in High School and intramural tennis in college. He moved to Nashville from Dallas, TX in 2018.
"During the 2020 Covid Pandemic, I discovered Tennis Nashville meetup and desperately needed an excuse to get out of the house and become more active. To my amazement, Tennis Nashville not only improved my game, but also introduced me to so many friends. I think the tennis community in Nashville has untapped potential. It would be an honor to serve on the board. I am interested in helping grow Tennis Nashville membership and participation via creating a formal membership option for our players."
Helen Neuhoff, Past President
- Tennis Nashville BOD president July 2018 to November 2021.
- Retired International Flight Attendant, American Airlines.
- USPTA, PTR, Net Generation certified teaching pro.
- University of Arkansas. B.S. Education Health/Science.
- High School Tennis Coach-St. Cecilia Academy since 2003.
- School Tennis Coach for K-8, Overbrook 2009-2017.
- Co-director for Nashville Catholic Tennis - parochial school K-8 tennis program.
- West Meade Swim and Tennis Club, Board Member, 1996-2000.
- Hillwood Country Club, teaching pro 2011-2014.
Curtis Holland, Member at Large
- Involved in tennis as a player, teaching pro and coach, since 1970.
- Springfield High School Tennis Coach, Springfield TN 1985-present.
- Coach and mentor of hundreds of tennis players, many going on to play collegiate tennis.
- PTR Professional, Clinician and Tester.
- The Curtis Holland Tennis Complex- dedicated in 2012, by the City of Springfield.
- Tennessee PTR Member of the Year: 2004 and 2019.
- American Tennis Association: Lifetime member.
Stuart Littleton, Member at Large
- Property Management, Freeman Webb Inc. 2013 – present.
- Tennessee Real Estate Commission, Affiliate Broker License 2012.
- Abilene Christian University 2004, BS in Social Work.
- Active volunteer in Buddy Up Tennis Murfreesboro and Knights of Columbus.
- 1st place finish in the Tennis Nashville 2019 Fall Combo Doubles Social Tournament.
- Member of the Division Championship team in the 2019 Nashville Tennis Meetup Summer League.
Nigel John, Member at Large
"My name is Nigel John. I have been a tennis enthusiast for the greater part of my life. I am a big fan of the game. I grew up admiring Arthur Ash and what he stood for. Some of my early heroes included Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Serena and Venus, Monica Seles and Novak Djokovic to name a few. I love watching and playing the game of tennis. I view it as a healthy pastime and a great way to meet new people. I would be happy to be a part of growing this healthy sport in the Nashville Community and firmly believe that much more needs to be done to inspire people to become more active by participating in the beautiful game that’s called tennis."
Rodney Williams, Member at Large
"My name is Rodney M. Williams. I am 54 years old. My father taught me to play tennis at the age of 8. In my 30’s I started teaching also because of my father. I worked for a non-profit teaching tennis to children along with that came the realization that I was in a position not only to teach the game; but also the realization that I was in a position to pass along values. Tennis is a great vehicle for self development: the game requires you personally put in the work to achieve a positive outcome.
I was a non faculty coach at the University School of Nashville for a decade. During that time I helped teams to middle school HVAC championships and an appearance in the High School appearance in the TSSAA state tennis tournament. I have a couple of young people that I have helped to compete at a collegiate level.
Currently I operate a racquet stringing business: hard work and personal responsibility for my self. My work for parks bears the responsibility of passing those same values on. To the children I have the opportunity to teach on a daily basis.
Serving on the tennis Nashville Board represents an opportunity to further grow the game. I would be interested in adding programming to an under 18 demographic. I believe the young is how you grow the game of tennis over decades."