Gail Benzler Joins Seattle Tennis and Education Foundation as Executive Director
Benzler will steer STEF's efforts to bring transformative tennis and education programming to under-resourced kids across the greater Seattle area.
Benzler, who spent the past 20 years dedicated to driving national and regional tennis play and accessibility initiatives, branding and marketing, will steer STEF's efforts to achieve lasting community impact.
"I'm excited to hit the ground running and to lead STEF's portfolio of programs," says Benzler. "These programs help to equip kids for the future and to shape the conversation here in Seattle about how we can deliver important and well-rounded tennis and education programming."
STEF is proud of its solid partnerships with national and local organizations such as the United States Tennis Association, Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Amy Yee Tennis Center. Heading into the new school year, STEF is prepared to broaden its mission across Seattle's under-resourced communities.
"Seattle's tremendous growth over the last 10 years has left many people and families struggling to keep up with rising costs of housing and living expenses," says STEF's president Colin Plank. "I founded STEF with the goal of providing access to tennis, mentorship and life skills to ensure kids do not get left behind. STEF is the first Seattle USTA NJTL chapter based on a model started by the great tennis and civil rights champion Arthur Ashe to provide support for kids in marginalized neighborhoods. We encourage tennis players and volunteers alike to join us as we work to create a more equitable city and playing field for these kids."
Benzler began her career in tennis and community engagement in San Diego, working to implement programming serving adults and under-resourced youth. After nearly a decade with the USTA Pacific Northwest Section where she led the organization's play initiatives, community outreach and marketing efforts in Western Washington, Benzler joined The Racers Group, as Global Director of Communications, driving the team's marketing and branding on and off the track. She has been recognized by many organizations for her work, including the Forbes Communications Council and the United States Professional Tennis Association.