Our Staff

President and Executive Director Katrina Adams provides the vision, strategy, and relationships that have been instrumental to HJTEP's growth since her tenure began in 2005. Under her leadership, HJTEP has grown from 375 young participants to more than 1,000 year-round, and from a budget of $300,000 to nearly $1 million. A former professional tennis player, Ms. Adams is the First Vice-President of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), next USTA President (2015-2017), and Board Member of USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the USTA. She is an analyst for the Tennis Channel and serves as a spokesperson for the Althea Gibson Foundation. A USPTA & PTR certified teaching professional, Ms. Adams served as a USTA National Coach from 1999 to 2002 for the USA Tennis High Performance Program where she help develop some of the Nation's top players.

Director of Tennis and Programming Dante Brown is a USPTA certified teaching professional and one of the program's many success stories. As a 12-year-old growing up in Harlem, he stopped by the program out of curiosity - and has been playing ever since. Through the HJTEP he was awarded an athletic scholarship to Southern Illinois University where he played varsity tennis. His exceptional skill led to a successful professional career, but he stayed connected to HJTEP as a volunteer. He served as executive director of the program for 11 years before being named to his current position in 2004. His focus is on implementing effective year-round tennis and education programs for more than 1,000 young participants each year.

Operations Manager Mikella Matthias has more than five years of experience working with non-profits, including the Police Athletic League, Harlem Children's Zone and UNICEF. Ms. Matthias manages HJTEP's day-to-day operations including administrative and grant management duties, and is responsible for enrollment, communications, tracking, and reporting of outcomes among participants in HJTEP's programs.

Education Director Pamela M. Crowley manages the continuum of educational services that HJTEP offers, from homework help to assessment-based interventions, college prep and enrichment services. She is a former teacher with specialized skills and experiences in the areas of literacy, technology, and the arts as they relate to curriculum, instruction, intervention, and evaluation. Through her previous employment at the Institute for Minority Education at Teacher's College, Columbia University, Children's Television Workshop, the Galef Institute, and Scholastic, she provided professional development for administrators and teachers serving grades Prekindergarten through 12 to educators throughout the United States and the Caribbean. As a consultant to schools and nonprofit organizations, she focuses on developing effective academic interventions for inner city youth.

Fitness Instructor Kenrick Guild works with youth one-on-one and in small groups to build their awareness, skills, and passion for health. He is a personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise and a tennis fitness trainer with Pat Etcheberry certification. Before joining HJTEP in 2012 to integrate fitness and nutrition training into the tennis program, he was a master trainer and personal trainer at an upscale fitness club and a communications coordinator for the US Tennis Association.

Director of High Performance Development Esu Maat, a USPTA and USTA High Performance certified teaching professional, ensures the effective training of the coaches while also developing intermediate and tournament level players in the Tournament Academy Stage (TAS). He is a HJTEP graduate, who received a scholarship to Farleigh Dickinson University. He played #2 singles for four years and was an All-American his last two years there. He went on to receive a Masters in Sports Management from Columbia University.

TDS and TAS Coach Sam Fumi is a coach for the Tournament Academy Stage (TAS) and Tournament Development Stage (TDS) players. A certified USPTA instructor, he has an eye for greatness. He also played for The Davis Cup Ghana team.

TDS and TAS Coach Daniel Davis, a USPTR certified teaching professional and a graduate of HJTEP, recently graduated from Temple University, where he attended on a full four year scholarship, played #2 Singles, and was a top-ranked tennis player in the USTA Eastern Division.

Tennis Coach Ben Johnson, a USPTR certified instructor, Ben played for four years at Farleigh Dickinson University. He works with all level players, from Grassroots to competitive.

Grassroots Tennis Director Simone Spigner, a HJTEP graduate, is a PTR certified teaching professional with more than 10 years of experience as a coach. She attended South Carolina State University on a 4 year tennis scholarship.

Grassroots Tennis Coach Charles Solórzano, a USPTA certified teaching professional, is a HJTEP graduate. He received a scholarship to Mitchell University, where he played #5 Singles. Charles is the Director of the Grassroots (beginners) program.

Grassroots Tennis Coach Quacey Balleste, is an HJTEP alumni who has been teaching in the program for the last four years. She attended The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). She attends numerous 10 and under workshops to keep knowledgeable on the development of our youngest players.


Executive Director
Katrina Adams

Director of Tennis and Programming
Dante Brown

Operations Manager
Mikella Matthias

Teaching Professionals
Quacey Balleste
Daniel Davis
Sam Fumi
Kenrick Guild
Ben Johnson
Yann Lucina
Charles Solórzano
Simone Spigner
Esu Maat
Pablo Miristay
Patricia Zapata

National Spokesmen
James Blake
Thomas Blake

Bill Brown
Claude Cargill

Harlem Armory Center | 40 West 143rd Street | New York, NY 10037 | Office: 212-491-3738 | Fax: 212-491-0328