If I serve on the Board, what will be expected of me?

The Board meets in January, March, May, July, September, and November, generally on the third Wednesday. The annual members’ meeting and election of officers is usually in early December. The Board meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. and our goal is for the meetings never to run past 9:00.

If elected to the Board of Directors, you are expected to attend the Board meetings whenever possible. If you are unable to attend a meeting, we ask that you assign your proxy to one of the associations officers, or to another Board member. Our bylaws require a simple majority of voting Board members to constitute a quorum, and they may vote in person or by proxy. We need to be certain we can achieve a quorum at each Board meeting or no vote can be called until the next meeting.

It isn’t mandatory, but we do recommend that our Board members also volunteer to serve on one or more committees. The committees are vital to our association and undertake both operational and project-related activities.

What is the function of the HTA Advisory Board?

The Advisory Board consists of members elected by the Executive Committee. Any member may nominate another member to serve on the Advisory Board. There is no set minimum or maximum number of members of the Advisory Board. Advisory Board members serve for a term of three years, and there is no limit on the number of terms an Advisory Board member may serve.

The Advisory Board has the responsibilities and duties designated to it by the Board of Directors. Advisory Board members are often past Board of Directors members, past HTA officers, or have specialized industry or community knowledge. Advisory Board members are not permitted to vote at meetings of the Board of Directors, but they are encouraged to attend the meetings.

What are the standing committees of the HTA, and what do they do?

The committees established by the Executive Committee and approved by the Board of Directors, together with short descriptions, are:

  • NJTL (National Junior Tennis and Learning) Committee: Houston’s NJTL program, in cooperation with the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department, introduces over 6,000 children to tennis each year. Founded by Arthur Ashe, NJTL also promotes scholarship and learning with these children. This committee does fantastic work putting together its annual Gala and helping to set policy with regard to HTA’s involvement with NJTL programs.
  • Leagues Committee: One of our most active committees, this committee looks at the structure of our adult leagues, considers additional types of league products, and manages the significant amount of feedback of our league players.
  • League Rules Subcommittee: This important subcommittee determines, writes, and publishes the HTA league rules each year. The committee first convenes in September, after the USTA publishes its next-year draft of league regulations. Participation is predominantly on-line, and consists primarily of commenting on, and proofreading of, proposed documents.
  • Scholarship & Nominating Committee: This committee in the spring is focused on seeking scholarship applications and ultimately making decisions on the grants of scholarships to students, and in the fall is focused on seeking applications and making a recommendation on the Board of Directors and officers for the upcoming year. This committee is critical to our organization, as it puts in place the people who make it possible for HTA to be successful.
  • JTT (Junior Team Tennis) & the Youth Tennis Pathway Committee: This committee is focused on crafting a youth tennis pathway principles document, and also to manage structural and strategic issues around JTT in conjunction with the HTA League Coordinator. This committee has the primary responsibility of meeting our stated goal of “developing the youth tennis pathway (including Red-, Orange-, and Green-ball 10 & Under)”.
  • Fundraising & Sponsorship Committee: This committee will be focused on obtaining name sponsorships for our events, and on creating and administrating new fundraising opportunities for HTA. The committee has the primary responsibility of meeting our stated goal of “evaluating and implementing new fundraising opportunities.” It also shares in the responsibility to meet our stated goal of forming strategic partnerships with community organizations (including schools, clubs, small/large companies).
  • Marketing & Communications Committee: This committee has responsibility for defining and presenting the HTA brand; for managing how the members, community, sponsors/partners, and others perceive the organization; and for effectively communicating with all stakeholders. It establishes marketing and communication plans and oversees their execution. This includes digital, print, promotional, social, and news media. It also shares in the responsibility to meet our stated goal of forming strategic partnerships with community organizations (including schools, clubs, and small/large companies).
  • Discipline & Grievance Committee: This vital committee acts as a judicial body ruling on disputes in league and tournament play, including publishing official opinions and rulings. This is the only local committee whose members’ names must be provided to the USTA Texas Section, but their names, otherwise, are never disclosed.
  • Volunteer Management Committee: This committee is focused on finding, coordinating, and rewarding volunteers for HTA, including creative ways to use the skills of our volunteers to advance the organization. This committee has the primary responsibility of meeting our stated goal of increasing volunteer participation.
  • Infrastructure Development Committee: This committee is tasked with finding access to more courts (for example, discussion with school districts about access to school courts), making decisions as to capital contributions to facilities, and other ways we can improve our city’s courts and access to courts, including free-play and backboards for lower-income players. This committee has the primary responsibility of meeting our stated goals of evaluating tennis infrastructure needs and nurturing improvements of major tennis facilities. It also shares in the responsibility to meet our stated goal of forming strategic partnerships with community organizations (including schools, clubs, small/large companies).

Do I have to be on the Board or Advisory Board to volunteer to be on a committee?

Not at all. If you have an interest in helping with any of the committees, please let us know.

While our bylaws don’t require it, the chairpersons of the standing committees are generally Board or Advisory Board members. The President, with approval of the Executive Committee, appoints the committee chairpersons, and the chairpersons, in turn, selects the members of the committee.

The Board of Directors manages the association. It makes all important decisions for the organization, including establishment of the annual budget and approval of capital projects.

There is an Executive Committee consisting of the President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and up to four members of the Board of Directors nominated by the President and ratified by the Board. The Executive Committee handles routine matters of administering the association, but their decisions—if not within the purview of a standing, already-approved vote—are subject to ratification by the Board. An example here would be spending decisions that fall within the approved annual budget; if spending would be outside the approved budget, this would have to be presented to the Board.

The Board of Directors is comprised of 21 elected members, plus the President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Executive Director. There are three classes of Board members based upon their elected terms: Class I is a one-year term, Class II is a two-year term, and Class III a three-year term. The Board will consist of as nearly equal numbers of Classes as feasible. Members of the Board are not personally liable for any debts, liabilities, or obligations of the association.