The Pickleball Club, a world-class, indoor pickleball facility and private membership club opening in Lakewood Ranch in December, has hired nine executive team members.
They are Dominic Catalano, general manager; Brian Gradow, controller; Lance Martin, director of operations; Erica Love, director of pickleball; Nova Grande, director of marketing and merchandising; Victoria Rodriguez, club controller; Caitlyn Ralston, event coordinator; Ryan Praefke, director of retail; and Anne Thomas, senior concierge.
Catalano has been involved in the pickleball industry for more than 10 years. He is a tournament level player, certified pickleball teaching professional and a national pickleball authority, appearing as a professional commentator on ESPN, CBS Sports and the Tennis Channel.
He is a seven-time US Open Pickleball Championship medalist and a nationally recognized amateur and professional coach.
Martin is a USPPR coach and an avid pickleball player. He worked as an elementary school teacher in Manatee County until 2009 before becoming the events and programming coordinator for Lakewood Ranch Tennis Center until 2014.
He then worked for five years with the USTA League program as a league coordinator before moving to Northern Virginia to work as the director of pickleball at Pickleballerz in Chantilly, Virginia.
Six weeks after first playing pickleball in 2017, Love signed up for her first tournament, where she received gold in singles 3.0/3.5 and bronze in women’s doubles 3.5.
Since then, she has become a 5.0 player and a US Open Medalist, and has already secured her 2022 National Championship Golden Ticket for 5.0 MXD. In 2019, she began coaching again and has found tremendous joy in working with her students.
The nine new team members join the already established senior leadership team of Brian McCarthy, founder and chief executive officer; Valerie McCarthy, president and chief operating officer; and Matt Gordon, chief financial officer and co-founder.
The $12 million, 33,000-square-foot facility, at 1300 Sarasota Center Blvd., sits on 2.4 acres and will be the first of its kind nationwide, with 12 indoor pickleball courts and two outdoor courts.
Sarasota Art Museum has hired Christina Fraser as senior director of business operations.
Fraser has more than 13 years of professional experience at arts and higher education institutions, including the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and New College of Florida.
As a museum professional, she bridges creative, financial and operational areas through her expertise in finance administration, marketing, public engagement and events, facilities management and public safety.
Fraser holds a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of South Florida.
The Circus Arts Conservatory has named its 2022-2023 board of directors. Shari Ashman, who has served on the board since 2020, is the new chair – the first woman to serve in this role in the CAC’s 25-year history.
Board members are: Barton Lowther, immediate past chair; Michael Salmon, vice chair; Jack Brown, treasurer; Deborah Walk, organizational secretary; Julie A. Harris, Donald Malawsky, Barb Tye, Pedro Reis, founder/CEO; and Dolly Jacobs-Reis, ex-officio member.
Ashman worked in the administration of the University of Miami and also taught “Starting Your Own Business” and “Direct Mail Marketing” as noncredit courses at the University of Miami and Florida International University.
She started, ran and sold several direct mail marketing businesses from 1978 through 1998 in Miami and Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Stephen, moved to Sarasota in 2014 and became supporters of, and believers in, the CAC shortly thereafter.
Steven Greenberg, an Icard Merrill shareholder and real estate attorney, is retiring from the practice of law.
Greenberg joined the firm in May 1994 and has been board certified in real estate law by the Florida Bar since 1993. He has handled tens of thousands of closings over his career and has provided countless hours of education to real estate agents and affiliates in the region to help them stay current on legal issues.
He has been an instructor and frequent lecturer for the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee and other organizations. Greenberg served as an agent for most title underwriters and as general counsel to several real estate companies, advising clients on all aspects of real estate law.
He was named to the list of The Best Lawyers in America in 2022 and 2023.
Icard Merrill is a full-service law firm based in Sarasota.