Eleni A. Rossides, President, joined WTEF as executive director in September 2004. A native Washingtonian, Ms. Rossides grew up playing tennis on area courts. She received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where she was ranked number 1 in the country and was a championship player on the women’s tennis team. After Stanford, she spent eight years as a tennis pro on the women’s professional tennis tour. During part of this time, WTEF’s present Program Director, Willis Thomas, Jr., was her coach. Following her professional tennis experience, Ms. Rossides received her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and spent several years in the private sector. She served as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. Ms. Rossides has important strategic and leadership skills; experience in business; and broad contacts in DC’s business, philanthropic, governmental and educational community. In October, 2009, Ms. Rossides won the 2009 EXCEL Leadership Award recognizing and honoring outstanding nonprofit leaders for excellence in the areas of innovation, motivation, community building, ethical integrity and strategic leadership.
Willis Thomas, Jr., Vice President of Programs, is an experienced tennis coach on both the grass roots and professional levels. A former junior doubles partner of the late Arthur Ashe, Mr. Thomas has played tennis since the age of ten and was one of the first African American tennis talents from our nation’s capital. After a stint on the tour as tennis coach to professional African American stars such as Zina Garrison, Lori McNeil, and Rodney Harmon, Mr. Thomas returned to his roots to launch and direct the Arthur Ashe Children’s Program at WTEF, a program combining tennis and educational opportunities for at-risk youth. In 1998, NBC-TV featured Mr. Thomas during Black History Month, profiling him as a community leader who has made a difference in the lives of at-risk children by helping them to choose sports over life on the streets. In 2001, Mr. Thomas was named Washingtonian of the Year. In 2005, local PBS station WETA recognized Mr. Thomas as “Hometown Hero” for the month of February.
Larkin Cohan, Special Events Director
Joyce Grand, Deputy Director
Dr. Mary Johnson, Math Specialist, Center for Excellence (CFE), joined WTEF in September 2004. Dr. Johnson has more than 30 years of experience in education with the DC Public Schools, including her tenure as founder and principal of the Washington Math & Science Technology Public Charter High School and Director of the Frank W. Ballou Mathematics Science Technology Academy/School-Within-A-School Charter School. Dr. Johnson holds a Masters in Mathematics Education from Hampton University and a Doctorate in Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland. She is also a founder and director of SUCCESS IN LEARNING MATH CENTERS in Maryland and Washington, DC. Johnson’s success with her students has been featured by local and national media. She is the author of several books and articles on mathematics education and the recipient of numerous professional and community awards.
Alfred (AB) Morgan, Coordinator, Center for Excellence Academic Program, has more than 34 years of experience with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DCCPR) in developing, organizing, analyzing, implementing, and evaluating recreation and education programs designed primarily for youth and young adults. Morgan was a unit director at the Anacostia Recreation Center and the Langdon Park Recreation Center and was Manager for Region Three of the DCDPR. Morgan received his Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Elizabeth State College and has continued to take professional educational courses through the University of the District of Columbia and the University of Maryland, College Park.
Mike Ragland, Director of Tennis (WTEF East Capitol Campus), Mike has over 30 years of teaching experience; he is a USPTA Certified Professional who brings a "keep it simple" philosophy to his tennis coaching. His belief is knowing the fundamental basic of strategy combined with tennis skills is the perfect combination to elevate one's tennis game, regardless of age or ability. For 10 years at Arrowhead Country Club in Glendale Arizona, Mike coached individual players and teams as well as directed the junior tennis program. He formerly was the Director of Tennis at Metro Sport and Health Club, Vistancia Village Community and the D.C. Parks and Recreation department. Mike played collegiate tennis at Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C. where he received his B.S. degree in Business Administration as well as being named All Conference and All District for tennis. Mike also serves on the advisory staff for Head Penn Racquet Sports.
Courtney Shaw, Development Associate, joined WTEF in the fall of 2014. Her professional background includes a broad range of program and administrative support work in both the private and nonprofit sectors, working with organizations ranging from government contractors to small, specialized charities. A native of the DC area, she is keenly aware of the importance of organizations like WTEF and their work serving the District’s marginalized communities, and is excited to be able to support these valuable efforts. Courtney holds a BA in Political Science from Guilford College and a Master’s in Understanding and Securing Human Rights from the University of London.
Teresa Smith, Accountant
Carolyn Stevens, Development Director, manages WTEF’s individual, foundation, corporate and workplace giving programs. A graduate of the school of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, she has more than 30 years of experience in development. Prior to joining WTEF, she was Director of Development at House of Ruth in Washington, DC, for 12 years. She previously had a consulting business and before that served as a Regional Director of Major Gifts for The Sierra Club.
Jeff Thomas, Director, Arthur Ashe Children’s Program, is responsible for the administration and implementation of the AACP. A native Washingtonian, Mr. Thomas played in Junior USTA tournaments and attended the University of the District of Columbia. In 1993, Mr. Thomas was one of the first coaches for the Arthur Ashe Children’s Program, and in 2004 he was appointed to oversee and coordinate the program full-time.
Gerald Weston, Counselor, Center for Excellence, brings to WTEF thirty years of experience in career counseling, program development and management, and job placement and monitoring in correctional institutions and community-based rehabilitation programs. Mr. Weston received a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from Howard University and has also done graduate work there.