Our Founder

Bob Ronstadt: tennis pro, social entrepreneur, and founder of Advantage Kids

Bob has over 60 years of tennis experience. As a young man, he played high school tennis in Southern California where he had the opportunity to observe many tennis legends, including Pancho Gonzales, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Jack Kramer, Tony Trabert, and Pancho Segura.

“One of the highlights of my tennis life was the opportunity to play with Segura.”

– Bob

As the founder of Advantage Kids, Bob has led the creation of tennis programs in numerous towns throughout New Hampshire, including work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire.

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Over the years, Bob played tournament tennis and was an active club player in California, Texas, and New England. He teaches tennis to children, teenagers, and adults. Bob is a certified teaching professional with the USPTA. He also writes about tennis legends, with several articles published in Tennis View Magazine on Dennis Ralston, Pancho Segura, and “the first Rafa”… Rafael Osuna.

As the founder of Advantage Kids (formerly Lakes Region Tennis Association), Bob has led the creation of tennis programs in numerous towns throughout New Hampshire, including work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire.

In 2019, he says, “we plan to infuse more education – like reading, computer coding, and life skills – into our tennis enrichment programs, expand our adaptive program for autistic children, and continue building a sustainable organization that will enrich the tennis landscape in New Hampshire for decades.”

Bob retired from academia after holding academic and administrative positions at Babson College, Pepperdine University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Boston University where he served as Vice President. He holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Oregon at Eugene, and Harvard University. He lives in Gilmanton with his wife, Becky. They have two children and three grandchildren.

Bob will step down as Executive Director effective September 1, 2019. He will remain on the Board and is charged with making Advantage Kids a sustainable organization.

“People often ask me why we’ve been so successful. I think there are five reasons.The first and most important is inclusiveness. It’s so tempting to divide or exclude. My unwritten policy was to include anyone interested in tennis who wanted to play the game or work with us to help others learn our sport for life… and about life.

Second was a regional, and, eventually, a state-wide perspective. Most community tennis organizations are simply too small to either be effective or sustainable. They’re too dependent on one or two people. Our “Lakes Region” perspective right from the beginning forced us to think and act bigger.

Third: both the first and second perspectives forced us to find ways to be properly capitalized. Most tennis organizations, like most new ventures, are undercapitalized. We were fortunate to find individuals and organizations to support our mission with the human and financial capital to insure success.

Fourth, never forget to do what’s best for the kids.

Fifth, never forget the power of tennis to change lives.”

-Bob Ronstadt

Our Staff and Key Managers

Dawn Dragon
Dawn Dragon, Treasurer & Executive Director Elect
Dawn’s bio ›
Brittany Boles
Brittany Boles, Director of Engagement & Operations
Brittany’s bio ›
Sue Vitko
Sue Vitko, Area Manager for the Seacoast Region
Sue’s bio ›
Kent Hemingway
Kent Hemingway, Head Education Coach & Mt. Washington Valley Area Manager
Kent’s bio ›
Diane Phelps
Diane Phelps, Area Manager for the Manchester Region
Diane’s bio ›
Becky Killinger
Becky Killinger, Area Manager for the Concord Region
Becky’s bio ›