About Us

Our Mission

The Northeastern Ohio Tennis Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes, more specifically to promote the growth of tennis, service to the community and education.


Board of Directors:

Dale Hartwig, Chair (President) / Web

Sharon Miles, Secretary/Fellowship chair - smiles5153@aol.com - - - for fellowships/funding - fellowship@neotf.org

Jackie Maynard - Vice-chair (VP) -

Tasha Mixon

Robbin Garcia, Treasurer

Deidra Engle

Honorary Board of Directors: (Nonvoting members:)

Diane McNeil, deceased

Carol Gander, deceased

Ron Gander, former executive director, deceased

Michael Sandercock, retired director/chairperson


Fellowship committee

Sharon Miles, Chair
Ashley Miles
Carlene Lundgren
Tasha Mixon

Fundraising committee

Robbin Garcia, Chair
Deidra Engle
James Nelson

Honorary committee

Mike Sandercock, Chair
James Nelson





This fellowship was established in November 2013 by the Northeastern Ohio Tennis Foundation to recognize students that have made a significant impact in the lives of others through community or volunteer service.   These Fellowships will provide graduating seniors and/or those that have graduated within 180 days prior to the deadline.

This fellowship aims to continue Executive Director, Carol and USTA Official/Past NEOTA President Ron Gander’s legacy of distinguished public service. The fellowship, up to $1,000 can be used to pursue advancement in the recipients chosen careers.

Both Carol and Ron Gander realized that not all seniors planned to attend college upon graduation, therefore college attendance is not a requirement of this fellowship.   They felt everyone could be a point of light for others.  It was their belief that life experiences both broaden and strengthen our personal character.  This fellowship is designed to thank you for helping others.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Graduating high school senior or graduate*
  • Current USTA member
  • Reside in the Northeastern Ohio tennis district
  • Documented record of volunteer or community service
  • Plans to pursue either post-secondary schooling , continued public service, play professional tennis, or serve our country by joining  the military

You will be required to upload a picture of yourself, along with two essays that are described below.

Deadlines: January 31 and July 31

Fellowships will be conferred in late February and August

*those that have graduated within 180 days prior to the deadline*




2021 - - - Gold Ball - - - Brigette Fuentes

2021 - - - Silver Ball - - - Jackson Quinn





Services Available

Foundation Links




Carol Gander: She was born in Canton, Ohio and was a library technician with the Akron Public School System at Seiberling Elementary School in Akron, retiring after 25 years of service. She most recently was the executive director of the Northeastern Ohio Tennis Association for 11 1/2 years.

Carol was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Helen (Green) Wike; daughter-in-law, Joni Gander; brother, Courtney Wike; and sister, Donna Wike. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Ronald A.; son, Brett; daughters, Ronna (Randy) Smith and Sandy (Bob) Heffelman; sister, Lucille (Donald) Stone; grandchildren, Jessica (Derek) Angeloni, Kevin (Christina) Lord, Rob (Emily) Heffelman, Kristin Heffelman, Zac (Lauren Norfolk) Mullenix, Madison and Mikayla Gander; and great-grandchildren, Tristen Mullenix and Harper Lord.

April 2013

Ron Gillian: age 67. As a member of the NEOTA he served on many committees including the Ranking & Seeding Committee of which he was chairman. His true passion was officiating. He was a certified ITA official and had officiated at USTA Tournaments at different levels and college conference championships including Mid American, Atlantic 10, Conference USA, and Big 10 conferences. In 2002 he was awarded the Herb Nold Award by the NEOTA.


Russell Hartwig: father to Dale Hartwig (NEOTA board member [retired], NEOATL District League Coordinator [1997-2016]), NEOTA interium Executive Director (2013). Born June 13, 1925, died on November 26, 2003 at 78 years old. He lived in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.


Herb LaTuchie: Owner of LaTuchie Tennis Center, and an avid tennis nut!


Diane McNeal: NEOTA board member, tennis professional.


Tom Seikel: tennis professional.


Dan Miler: USTA/Midwest Hall of Famer, 98, of Mentor passed away March 14, 2015 at Fairmount Health Center in Willoughby. He was born September 26, 1916 and grew up in Cleveland Heights, OH. After earning his college degrees, Dan joined the Navy and became the Commanding Officer of a Landing Craft Infantry ship. He made six trips carrying troops across the English Channel on D-Day.


Ronald Gander: 84, passed away peacefully on August 29, 2019. Born in Youngstown on February 10, 1935 to the late Clifford and Thelma Gander, Ron was a graduate of Rayen High School, and went on to attend Kent State University. He worked in sales his entire career. Ron was a member of the Cuyahoga Falls Jay-cees, the National Rifle Association, the Oktoberfest Committee, was an integral part of the Cuyahoga Falls Parks and Rec Youth Tennis Program, as well as the Parks and Rec High School boys Basketball League. He was a tennis coach at Cuyahoga Falls High School and Walsh Jesuit High School. He was a USTA official and Past-President of the Northeast Ohio Tennis Association. In addition to his parents; Ron was preceded in death by his wife, Carol; sister, Betty Rae Ziegler and daughter-in law, Joni Gander. He is survived by his children, Ronna (Randy) Smith, Sandy (Bob) Heffelman, and Brett (Kathy Boxler) Gander; brother, Charles Gander; grandchildren, Jessica (Derek) Angeloni, Zac (Jenn) Mullenix, Kevin (Christina) Lord, Rob (Emily) Heffelman, Kristin Heffelman, Madison Gander, Mikayla Gander, and Brydon Boxler; 11 great-grandchildren


If you would like to contribute, comment, tell us about or an experience with any persons listed in the Memorial, please email.

It was 1990 and I had taken my daughter to play in the Western Section Jr. Qualifier. We were told of a site change and she was to report at University School for check in. After the long walk down the wooded path we came to a clearing where the courts were. At that time we were approached by a man in a khaki shirt with stripes and what appeared to be five stop watches hung around his neck. My first impression was that this man was trying to emulate Mark Spits but I would soon learn that this was Ron Gander. For the next nearly 20 years I would work beside both he and Carol and we traversed the district and the section officiating at the numerous sectional events. The thin build with white hair and mustache was often accompanied by a broad brim straw hat. Ron was an unmistakable image both on court and in various committee meetings of the Western Section that would become the Midwest Section. Ron and Carol were the initiating force that started and kept me in officiating. Their tireless efforts to improve the integrity of the game as well as their many contributions off court will be greatly missed. To Ron I say - it’s been a long day my friend now it’s time for a “Little Bit Beer”. Alan Steinhauser

Get in touch

Northeastern Ohio Tennis Foundation Board of Directors:

Sharon Miles.
NEOTF Board Secretary, 30799 Pinetree Rd. #307,
Pepper Pike, Ohio 44124-5903t
Phone: 216-990-2287
Email: smiles5153@aol.com

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