The newest member of the Tennis Coalition Board, Drew is an alumnus of UC Berkeley where he played football (lettered four years) and double majored in Political Science and American Studies. Drew also received a master’s degree in education from UC Berkeley through its Sport in Education program, writing his thesis on locker room culture and its effects on team success.
Drew possesses 10+ years of business development experience across multiple fields, holding Director positions at the HR tech giant Namely, service design firm Fjord (acquired by Accenture NYSE: ACN), and digital media and branding agency Portal A. Drew has helped companies like Adidas, Nike, JP Morgan Chase, Trunk Club & Best Buy bring award-winning products and services to market. At Steady, Drew focuses on strategic partnerships, marketplace curation and building meaningful product and service experiences via design-centered approaches.
1.What role has tennis played in your life?
Tennis has played a competitive and comforting role in my life since childhood. I grew up in Oakland and played tennis almost every day as a kid with my dad. Tennis was a consistent bonding event for me and my dad as we played at all hours of the day while I always tried to mimic my childhood heroes: Agassi, Rafter, Philippoussis and my all-time favorite Pete Sampras.
I played on organized teams through my early teenage years until I fell prey to irrational hoop dreams of becoming Michael Jordan through high school. Throughout my many sports transitions, tennis always remained consistent. My feet have always felt comfortable behind the service line prepping for a first serve. Today I consistently play at least once a week wherever I can find space in SF.
2.What got you interested in volunteering with the Tennis Coalition SF?
My close family friend, and fellow board member, Lois Salisbury, has always known of my love for tennis and my family's passion for civic engagement and public good. Over the past year Lois and I spoke numerous times about the Tennis Coalition, its mission, and the need for a presence and perspective like mine. Let's be honest -- being an African American tennis lover in the Silicon Valley tech scene is not something you see everyday 🙂
Through our many conversations, and after meeting with Julie Exley (Executive Director) and Lois Anne Indorf (Board member) I was able to witness first-hand San Francisco's need for an organization like the Tennis Coalition to lead the Golden Gate Park Tennis Center renovation project. From the redesign, to the future impact, all the way to youth programs that inject tennis, competition and education into SF communities, I quickly became a huge believer in everything the Tennis Coalition represents.
3.What type of impact do you think programs like RPD’s Tennis & Learning Center program can have on youth?
TLC will positively impact future generations. I believe sport is one of the most important activities a community and its youth need. To me, sport is competition, teamwork and communication all rolled into one -- it's those three characteristics that everyone needs to do effectively to build a successful community.
4.When you are not on the tennis court or working in Tech, what do you like to do?
I like to eat food and drink wine. I play all kinds of sports: tennis, basketball, ultimate frisbee, dodgeball and football. I love art in all mediums: film, digital, physical. I enjoy walking through museums and when inspired enough trying to create my own medium. I read, I write. I enjoy doing all of the above with my closest friends and family -- mostly in San Francisco and Oakland.
5.What aspects of the renovation plans for GGPTC most excite you?
The feature court! There's something special about a space where people can congregate to enjoy watching high-level, competitive sport in action under the lights.