ORLANDO, Fla., November 16, 2023 – The USTA announced that Thomas Conter, Denise Alexander and Brian Earley were named winners of the Nicholas E. Powell Award, Woodie Walker C.A.R.E. Award, and John T. McGovern Award, respectively. The awards, which honor those individuals who serve the game of tennis with distinction in their capacity as officials, were given out at the 2023 Annual Umpire Awards, which was held virtually recently.
“We are fortunate to have talented and dedicated officials such as Thomas, Denise and Brian, who are truly making an impact in growing tennis at both the grassroots and professional levels,” said Sean Cary, USTA Managing Director, Competition Operations. “Their leadership, work ethic and passion for the game are just a few of the reasons why they’re so deserving of this recognition.”
Given each year to a grassroots official, the USTA Nicholas E. Powell Award recognizes the importance of officiating at the local level. Since 1990, the award has been given to officials who work primarily at sectional/amateur events, have a supportive attitude toward grassroots programs, and are positive role models. Conter, of Colorado Springs, Colo., has been an official for 12 years. He has played an integral role in growing officiating in Colorado, working to recruit and train a number of officials and was previously honored with the Abe Butler Award for his contributions to officiating in Colorado. In addition, he has created a number of helpful training materials for players and tournament directors and is lauded by his colleagues for his willingness to train other officials and serving as a positive role model.
The Woodie Walker C.A.R.E. award recognizes a tennis official whose contributions to the game and to the USTA distinguish them not only for their long-standing service to the sport but for exemplifying the qualities “Woodie” Walker has represented during her decades of leadership in the field, specifically those that represent the award’s acronym: Commitment, Accountability, Responsibility, and Excellence. Alexander, of Bend, Ore., has been one of the most prominent officiating figures in the Pacific Northwest for more than a decade. She is known for helping to guide fellow officials through the training and certification process and has mentored numerous officials throughout the region, helping them advance their officiating careers.
The John T. McGovern Award is given out to a USTA-certified chair or line umpire with at least 10 years of service who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to tennis officiating. Earley, of Redding, Conn., served as the US Open Referee for 26 years and has spent nearly 40 years serving in an officiating capacity on the USTA Pro Circuit. A former gold-badge umpire, Earley has worked at nearly every level of officiating both domestically and internationally and is recognized for his thorough understanding and consistent application of rules and regulations.