Tim Heckler today announced that he will retire from his position as chief executive officer of the United States Professional Tennis Association in December 2012, after 30 years in the position.
When Heckler was tapped as USPTA CEO in 1982, the organization had approximately 2,400 members and an annual budget of $700,000. Today, the association is the world's oldest and largest organization of its kind, serving more than 15,000 members in 66 countries, and operating on an annual budget of $6.5 million. Also, the Association's equity has grown from $60,000 in 1982 to more than $4.2 million today.
Heckler, who began playing tennis at age 3, started his tennis-teaching career in 1970, the same year he joined USPTA. He was elected president of the USPTA Texas Division in 1974 and served as national president of the organization from 1980 to 1982.
With Heckler's guidance, USPTA became one of the first tennis organizations to embrace technology, first through the computerization of the business itself as early as 1982, and then later through its use of the Internet and email-based communications and education. USPTA introduced its first website in 1995.
The USPTA honored Heckler in 2000 by naming him a grand inductee in the Association's Hall of Fame. He also received the International Tennis Hall of Fame's Tennis Educational Merit Award in 2002 and was inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2008 he received the highest honor awarded by the United States Professional Tennis Association, the George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award.
For more information on Heckler, see his full biography here.