Todd Martin has been to Columbus three times in the past, twice for the annual Celebrity Classic, and he and the tennis pros from Peter Burwash, International (PBI) worked with the 155 participants at the classic.
Martin played Pete Sampras in an exhibition at the Columbus Civic Center before committing to the Celebrity Classic in 2012. He said he enjoyed his time and had praise for the volunteers and the staff with Columbus Regional Foundation.
"I have never been a part of anything quite like this where people have as much fun and work so hard in getting something like this. It is a real blueprint for other communities," Martin said.
"To help with the fight against cancer is important, and I committed to Mike (Stewart of Midtown Regional Hospital) six months ago."
Martin made his way to Columbus despite a busy schedule. In addition to running his own company and a seat on the USTA Board of Directors, Martin is set to become the new CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.
Martin started as the CEO designate on April 1. He will become the CEO on Sept. 1.
"When I took the job with the hall of fame, I told them I had made commitments and this was one of those. It is something I feel that was important," he said.
"We are in the middle of a $15 million expansion, and that includes $3 million for tennis courts. We have 13 grass courts and three indoor courts that will expand to six."
The International Tennis Hall of Fame hosts the only ATP grass court tournament in the U.S. It is held the week after Wimbledon in July each year and boasts John Isner as a past champion.
"The tournament runs in conjunction with the induction ceremony each year for new additions to the hall. As CEO, I will be the tournament director as well as run the ceremony as people are inducted in the Hall of Fame, which also has a museum on site," Martin said.
"The entire operation is a non-profit institution."
The Celebrity Classic tennis event is one of four events which includes a run Saturday, a golf tournament today and a bike race April 27.
The classic raised $260,000 this year.
"I have spent my entire life with tennis; it is what I have a passion for. I cannot think of a better cause," Martin said.
"In my new roll, I hope that the hall and the museum will be something everyone can get enjoyment out of."