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May 15, 2018 03:01 PM

Toby Smith visits with the newly appointed TSR. 

In April, Colleen Ramnath, 42, took over as the
Tennis Services Representative for USTA’s
Northern New MexicoIMG_20180425_094018 Tennis Association.  She replaces Becky Lee who spent 15 years on the job.  Though she was born in Columbus, Ohio, and lived in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Ramnath grew up in Albuquerque and graduated from Eldorado High School, in 1993.

What exactly does a TSR do?
I promote recreational tennis or community tennis to juniors and adults, families and schools.  I make sure anyone who wants to play tennis or who wants to start a tennis program knows that resources are available. 

It’s likely you wouldn’t be interested in this job if you didn’t play tennis. So tell me a bit about how you began?  
I had my very first tennis lesson when I was 10. I was Colleen Hollowell back then. David Pitts was the pro at the San Juan Country Club in Farmington, where we happened to be living. So, David taught me. 

You come from a big family, I have heard. 
Yes, I was one of eight children. I am the oldest.  

It appears you moved some. 
We did. My father owned a freight company in Albuquerque so that’s why we moved to New Mexico.  

What about lessons in Albuquerque as a youngster? 
Gary Stansifer worked with me at Highpoint.  Dave Pitts by then had moved on to the Lobo Tennis Club.  So I had lessons there.  Loren and Alan Dils were at the Lobo Club too, as Dave’s assistants.  I attended a high-performance clinic at the Lobo Club along with Ray Jaramillo. We were both students at the clinic. Ray of course is now the boys coach at Albuquerque Academy.

Did you play in tournaments?
Yes, I traveled to Phoenix, El Paso and Tucson as a junior.New_Doc_2018-05-14_(1)_1

Were you planning on playing college tennis?
 I definitely wanted to. With eight kids in our family I needed to get the best tennis scholarship I could. 

So where did you end up? 
The University of Akron, which is near Cleveland.

Are they the Bulldogs?
[Laughs.]  No, they’re the Zips.

The Zips? 
The mascot is a kangaroo, which is pretty fast. I spent four years at Akron.  I met my husband Monish on Akron’s tennis courts. He was on the men’s team.  He still plays tennis, USTA league tennis, as do I. Monish works in data analytics for the Presbyterian Hospital system. 

What is the derivation of your husband’s name?
Monish was born in India, but he grew up in Australia.

Tell me about your family.
We have four children, two boys and two girls.  Their ages are 14, 11, 8 and 5.

Do they all play tennis?  
Tanin is the oldest. He’s a top junior player in the 14s. My 2 youngest are showing interest too.  We definitely enjoy tennis as a family. 

How did you wind up as the TSR for Northern New Mexico?
Last August I wanted to go back to work. I took a marketing job at a local agency. It proved to be high-stress. I realized it was not a good fit for me with four kids at home. 

So then . . . ? 
One night this past March I saw an ad for the TSR job in the Sun Country Newsletter. I got really excited; it seemed perfect for me. The application deadline was due in two days, so I immediately sent in my resume and it all worked out from there.  I feel fortunate to have a job I am passionate about. 

If you know someone who might be a good candidate for the Got a Minute? column, contact tobysmith68gmail.com and tell him..