Katrina Adams: A Woman Extraordinaire




By Judy Carmack Bross

L-R: Co-Chair Ria Rörich, honoree Katrina M. Adams, President Ying Hirsh, Co-Chair Lisa An Wong

Always following a roadmap to the path of global understanding, the International Women Associates (IWA), composed of members from around the world, works through cross-cultural exchange, philanthropy, community service and friendship to foster what is now needed more than ever.  Each year, in honoring a “Woman Extraordinaire” at a motivating benefit luncheon, guests see what this Chicago-born organization is all about and celebrate its roadmap.

Katrina M. Adams, IWA’s “Woman Extraordinaire”

Recently, 240 guests gathered at the Ivy Room to honor Katrina M. Adams as IWA’s “Woman Extraordinaire.” Currently Vice President of the prestigious International Tennis Federation (ITF), Chairman of the Billie Jean King Cup Committee, Chairman of the Gender Equality in Tennis Committee, and the Executive Director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, Adams’ leadership and vision impact private and public organizations worldwide.

Born and raised on the West Side of Chicago, where she played on the Whitney Young tennis team and now has a community tennis court named in her honor, Adams received recognition as a global trailblazer for diversity, equality, and underserved youth. She is the first African American to lead the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the first two-term Chairman and President of the USTA and the first former player to hold that honor.

L-R: Nour Rishmawy, Jenny Schade, Sylvia Duby, Sharon Campbell and Alice Chow

L-R: Carol Sommers, Ayhan Lash, Caroline Orzac Shoenberger, Greta Doumanian, Sonya Doumanian, Clare Salamon and Monique Fouant.

L-R: Ethel Gofen, Gay-Young Cho and Marian Jacobson

L-R: Margo Bennett, Gail Murphy, Füsun Borelli, Laurie Ashcraft, Danielle Hamada, Jill Brennan and Erin Malley

IWA President Ying Hirsh told us: “Katrina is a woman of many firsts. Her acceptance remarks shared her ‘12 Match Points: For Ways to Thrive When You are the Only One. ‘Own Your Courage, Own Your Identity, and Own Your Voice’ particularly resonated with us on how one person can make a difference.”

Sitting L-R: Milena Fay, Kathleen L’Esperance, Chisako Takayama and Sheela Dayal. Standing L-R: Brenda Kang and Catherine Sinegal

Ria Rörich and Lisa An Wong served as co-chairs of the IWA luncheon that highlights the cultural and educational aspects of the non-profit that always captures the inspirational drive of its “Woman Extraordinaire” and brings together merriment from around the world.

L-R: Marcia Ockleshaw and Cheryl Merchant

L-R: Susan Hanes, Barbara Champion and Susanna Doolin

L-R: Lena Meriden, Yuanda Zhang, Carol LeBlanc-Blatt and Heddy Miloszewski

An ecstatic Sandy Fencic, winner of the $1,000 raffle prize donated by Cleise Brazilian Day Spa

For further information or to join the IWA, please visit www.iwachicago.org or call (312)-263-1421