Congratulations, Carrie Cimino!
An amazing 25 years working for HEAD Penn Racquet Sports!
Southern California Tennis is very fortunate to have a person like Carrie Cimino as Senior District Sales Manager for HEAD Penn Racquet Sports. In 2015, Tennis Industry Magazine wrote about her, "Passion. Knowledge. Accountability. Each can make for a good sales representative. But combine all three, as found every day by the clients of HEAD/Penn District Sales Manager Carrie Cimino, and you have the 2015 Tennis Industry Sales Rep of the Year." In the same article, HEAD Penn's former President Greg Mason said, "Carrie is a consummate professional and always balances the needs of the retailer with the goals of the company. She is always working to make sure it’s a win/win. And she lives by the 5 ‘P’ rule: ‘Proper planning prevents poor performance."
Questions for Carrie Cimino
TCB: Where were you born, Carrie, and where did you grow up?
CC: I was born at the Queen of the Valley hospital in West Covina, CA. I grew up in Orange County, California. I attended Orange high school the same school where both Steve Johnson Senior and Steve Johnson Jr. went.
TCB: How old were you when you started with tennis and who got you into the sport?
CC: I started playing tennis when I was 10 years old. My dad purchased a tennis racquet for me and I started by hitting the ball against a wall at a local park. In the Summer the park offered tennis lessons so I signed up and was instantly hooked.
TCB: Did you play high school and/or college tennis?
CC: Yes, I played high school tennis, both singles and doubles. But, I definitely liked singles better. I played College Tennis at Fullerton College and then for the University of Texas.
Messages from friends, clients, and colleagues.
Carrie was once quoted as saying, “You need a genuine passion for the company that you represent and for all of the products that you are selling, but more importantly a lifetime love for tennis! Passion and enthusiasm are contagious.”
Carrie has spent her entire career following her racquet sports passion, and HEAD Penn Racquet Sports has had the good fortune of working with Carrie for most of her career. Carrie does an incredible job of servicing her accounts, embracing new challenges, and thinking outside the box to adapt and grow as the market changes.
We congratulate Carrie on 25 years in the tennis industry, and with her energy and enthusiasm, we fully expect to see Carrie reach new heights.
VP of Sales
HEAD Penn Racquet Sports
TCB: How did your professional career evolve before you joined HEAD?
CC: I was really lucky. I knew I wanted to be either an Attorney or I wanted to be involved in tennis. After taking many law classes I realized that profession was not for me. So one day I was reading Tennis Magazine and there was an article about a new tennis school called Tennis Tech. It was in Tyler, Texas. I was so excited and made a call to the Director, Steve Smith. That day I made arrangements to fly to Texas to check out this school and the program. To my surprise, it was exactly what I was looking for. The Tennis Tech program was a two-year very comprehensive college-accredited program that taught me almost everything I would want to learn about Tennis.
Tennis methodology, stroke production, strategy, group dynamics, history, how to string a racquet, and how to run a tennis club. We had both Dennis Van Der Meer and Vic Braden, as well as many other GREAT tennis teachers and people in the Industry, come to speak and share their expertise. It was a great experience because as I was going to school, I also was the Director of Tennis at a tennis club called Gladewater Tennis and Swim Club.
So all the information I was learning at school, I was able to apply it on the job. Then I had a lucky break....the USTA Texas Section was hiring a USTA Schools Program Director. I applied and got the job. I worked for the USTA Texas Section for almost four years and then the same position opened up in Southern California which was a true blessing as I wanted to move back home as my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I worked for the USTA Southern California Section for five years running the USTA Schools Program. I loved this job! Going into schools and setting up tennis programs for elementary and junior high children was a dream come to true!
Carrie Cimino is one of the staples in our tennis industry. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. She is personable, funny, energetic, and a go-getter! (I don’t know if that is even a word). I have known her for years, I can’t even count how many.
Congratulations on being with HEAD for 25 years, that is a major accomplishment! I am so glad I have come over to the HEAD/Penn family in the last 4 years, and that is strictly due to Carrie. I wish you continued success and know that we will climb mountains together, and I am happy to call you a friend!
Mary Pat Faley
Director of Tennis
The Riviera Tennis Club
Pacific Palisades, California
Carrie Camino, what can I say? Way back I was represented by Prince, Carrie came up to me during the Mercedes Cup at UCLA and said “Hi Stephen Bauer I would love to speak to you." I said, “sure.” She wanted me to try a new Head tennis racket and she gave me a racket and also said “Keep it, it’s yours.” That alone made me want to really try the racket and that showed me what kind of person she really is. Carrie has been the most giving person and wants to take care of you from her heart which keeps the HEAD team together like family. I couldn’t think of a better company to represent and lucky for us, Carrie is the head. Congratulations, Carrie, for another 25 years to come!
Los Angeles, California
Carrie is outstanding on every level. HEAD is very lucky to have someone so knowledgeable, dedicated, and passionate about their tennis equipment.
Director of Tennis
Beverly Hills Tennis Club
Beverly Hills, California
TCB: Why did you start working for HEAD? What attracted you to the company and the job?
CC: I started working for Penn Racquet Sports in 1995 as the Penn Western Region Promotions Manager. In 1997 an opening became available to move into sales with Penn. This position was in the Atlanta market. I was promoted to this as the District Sales Manager of 3 states, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. The Southern Section was fantastic and such a great learning time for me. In 1999, HEAD purchased Penn and that's when we become HEAD Penn Racquet Sports. I was attracted to the Company for two main reasons, I loved the people and I loved the products! I was offered to stay on the HEAD/Penn team but this would involve a move back to California as this was the sales position offered. I jumped at the chance! Back home to California I was on my way and that was in 1999 and I have been here ever since.
TCB: What are your favorite three memories from the last 25 years with HEAD?
CC: My most favorite memory is when I was honored by the TIA (Tennis Industry Association) now known as the Racquet Sports Industry as the National Tennis Sales Rep of the Year in 2015 this was such a great honor. My other favorite memories are being HEAD Penn Sales Rep of the Year in 2009 and being the first Women Sales Rep inducted into the HEAD Penn Hall of Fame in 2013.
TCB: How do you see the industry evolving amid the rise of pickleball?
CC: In 2019 approximately 3.3 million Americans played pickleball and the number is expected to climb in the coming years. What I like about pickleball is it's fun, social, healthy, and easy to learn. I personally think that tennis and pickleball can go hand in hand. If 60% of pickleball players are 50+ these are folks that we can recruit as new tennis players or bring them back to the game.
TCB: What would you recommend for tennis professionals and club owners who are sitting on the pickleball fence?
CC: Get involved now as Pickleball is the fasting growing sport and is a great way to make added income at your facility. You can set up pickleball clinics on how to play, round robins, and tournaments. This is interesting.... two years ago in Southern California I would say that 20% of the tennis clubs were offering pickleball, now close to 75% of the tennis facilites are offering pickleball.
TCB: Are you still playing tennis? How about pickleball?
CC: Yes, I still play tennis and yes, I am playing pickleball as well. Both are great and we are holding demo days at clubs here in Southern California for both sports. This gives me a great chance to meet the members and play at these events.
TCB: What is your HEAD tennis racquet of choice?
CC: My favorite HEAD racquet is the new Graphene 360+ Speed S. I love the fact this racquet has a slightly larger beam of 25mm which helps me create more power and the weight is perfect at 10.1 oz so I can swing through the ball.
TCB: Thank you, Carrie Cimino. And congratulations from all of us at TENNIS CLUB BUSINESS.
Carrie - Congratulations on celebrating this incredible milestone in your career with Head Penn! I've personally witnessed many changes and challenges in our industry over the past 34 years, but one thing has remained constant in all these years - CARRIE CIMINO! Your unyielding dedication to your accounts, teaching professionals, the Head Penn Brand, and the tennis and pickleball industry as a whole is unparalleled. I'm proud to be a part of your TEAM - here's to another 25 years!
Director of Tennis
Mission Viejo Country Club
Mission Viejo, California