Padel was first introduced to the United States in 1993 by Ed Thompson and Felipe Arnold in Houston , Texas at the renown Houstonian Hotel Club and Spa. They were proud to have the very first ever padel court constructed at The Houstonian. Felipe being a native of Argentina where padel made its initial successful debut was impressed with the growth of the sport in Argentina in just a few short years which inspired him to bring it to the United States. One of the founders first goals was to form the very first ever men's US padel team. The first men's padel team was formed in 1993 by choosing six of the most elite tennis players in the Houston area. The first men selected for the U.S. Team where: Mike May, Scott Read, Matt Berry, Brian Poynter, Ross Persons and Peter Farrel. Mike May the team captain at the time eventually became the new president of the United States Padel Association in 1998 while continually playing professional padel as well. Mike has played and attended every world padel championships since 1994 and has seen the sport make great strides worldwide. His goal is to share how Padel can be a successful addition to any racquet club or business looking for diversity and a way to attract new customers much like the sport has done for The Houstonian which is one of the top facilities worldwide.
The current board of directors of Kenny Kurtzman, Patricia Herrera and Victor Longo. All three of the Board of Directors are dedicated padel fans and assist in making decisions to help move padel forward in the U.S.
Meet the president
Mike May who is now the president of the United States Padel Association since 1998 was also introduced to the sport in 1993 as part of the very first U.S. Men's padel team. Mike has been playing professionally since then and has played every padel world championships since 1994 until 2016. Mike is also the Director of Racquet Sports at the renown Houstonian Club and has been there since 1993 where padel began in the United States. Mike's goal is to introduce Padel to everyone in the United States as a way to have fun, get exercise and to meet new people.
Mike May, a former professional tennis player summarizes padel as the most complete racquet sport in the market for simplicity of learning how to play, it's variety of shots and most importantly it's social aspect on and off the court.
Mike's dream would be to have Padel as an Olympic sport.
Mike's goals for padel in the US are the following:
- To make Padel known in the whole United States.
- To introduce Padel into racquet sports facilities
- To establish and maintain the rules of play
- To set high standards of amateurism for all demographics
- To nourish national and international amateur and professional Padel tournaments
Vice President Padel USPA
KENNY KURTZMAN, Chief Strategy & People Officer; Tandem Hospital Partners
Mr. Kurtzman is an executive with over thirty years of experience in management consulting, technology, health care, retail and energy industries. He has also led several successful start-ups and growth businesses as CEO or GM of major divisions. His specialties include: strategy, organizational transformation, digital marketing and ecommerce, operations, cultural change, people processes and HR management, marketing and sales, pricing, process redesign in high tech, healthcare, communications, media, energy, retail, consumer goods, engineering and construction industries.
His previous work experience includes Senior Vice President at Hewlett-Packard, Senior Partner at Booz & Company, Managing Partner of the Houston office at Katzenbach Partners, CEO of Ashford.com, Inc., Vice President and General Manager of several divisions of Compaq Computer Corporation, and Principal at McKinsey and Co.
Mr. Kurtzman received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics magna cum laude from Rice University, including a fellowship studying Economics from Cambridge University and a Master in Business Administration degree from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
As Chief Strategy and People Officer of Tandem Hospital Partners, Mr. Kurtzman is responsible for strategic planning and market prioritization, including project management services to support the launch of all hospital markets. Mr. Kurtzman is also responsible for all people processes incluiding recruiting, onboarding and training.