Metropolitan Tennis Group

Technology Director / Webmaster:
DENNIS SLADE

Photo of Dennis Slade

The Technology Director shall be responsible for the maintenance and administration of MTG's technological infrastructure, which includes the website, email accounts, social media accounts, file shares, and other Internet-enabled services. The Technology Director shall work with the respective Board members to ensure that website content is accurate and current. The Technology Director shall work with the Treasurer to ensure payment for site hosting, domain registrations, and other Internet-enabled services.

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When and why did you join MTG?

I first joined MTG in 2004, soon after I first moved to NYC. Playing tennis has been an important part of my life since I was a teenager, and I knew joining MTG would allow me to maximize my tennis playing opportunities here in the city. It was just something I needed to do.

How long have you been playing tennis?

I've been playing tennis since autumn 1987, so over 30 years now.

Tell us more about your tennis background.

I fell in love with tennis watching it on TV with Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander and Boris Becker (and later Graf, Navratilova, and Sabatini) fighting for supremacy in the mid 80's. For a few years I had no opportunity to learn the sport but then college happened. I realized by the end of freshman week that I could take pass/fail tennis courses for credit and I was off to the races! I took 5 courses before I graduated, moving from beginner to hitting with the team in the advanced class. Over the summers I played with whoever I could find, mostly in noisy playgrounds around the Philadelphia area, and after graduating I was lucky to play for four years on the red clay of Europe. Upon returning to the U.S. I found GLTA tennis with Ad-Out Philly, GLTF, SDTF, and of course MTG.

So yes, tennis playing is a big part of my life, though tennis *competition* is a much lesser part. I love just hitting (with my favorite lefty, one-handed backhand) and I love being social during pickup doubles, but I rarely enter tournaments. I have been known to join a league occasionally though...

When and why did you become Technology Director/Webmaster?

The "when": In August 2018 I became Technology Director/Webmaster, officially on the MTG Board for the first time in 14 years. However, in 2011 as head of an ad hoc website committee I led the conversion to the site cloud service (with online payments and membership directory) we still use today. And since then I've helped out with the site whenever needed, even remotely when I lived in San Diego from 2012-16. I returned to NYC in late 2016 and officially was back doing MTG tech duties by summer 2017, so assuming this Director position was a logical next step.

The "why": Because I'm just the volunteer organizer-type. I've previously been involved at the Board level with GLTA groups in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and San Diego, and I'm also very involved with my college alumni association. I actually feel weird when I join an organization and I'm not involved in some capacity at the Board level.

What are some of the pros/cons of your position?

The biggest pro of being a Webmaster is that you get feedback about what you do pretty quickly - either you're making the site better and more useful or you're not. The only con I've seen is unrealistic expectations from members who don't understand the level of effort needed to keep a site like MTG's current, especially when being Webmaster is not your day job!

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