Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons has announced the appointment of Mara Cotich as executive director.
Cotich brings to the position over eight years of nonprofit management experience and, more recently, 15 years of strategy and operations experience in the software industry. After falling in love with the game of tennis in college, she married into a Santa Barbara tennis family and continues to play with family and friends.
Her father-in-law, George Cotich, was active in the local tennis community and served as board president of Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons in the 1980s. Now, her husband, Craig Cotich, and their 10- and 12-year-old boys play in United States Tennis Association (USTA) leagues and tournaments across Southern California.
“The local tennis community is one of the things my family and I most love about living in Santa Barbara,” said Cotich. “Tennis is such an amazing way to meet new people, enjoy the outdoors, and stay connected with family and friends. We tell our boys that tennis is a sport you can play for a lifetime. And I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead an organization that brings the game of tennis to more people.”
In her role as executive director, Cotich will oversee day-to-day operations of the organization, including its educational and outreach programs, its tournaments for junior players and adults, and its community-building events. She will be responsible for leading the organization in its mission to promote and grow the sport of tennis in Santa Barbara and to develop young tennis players who might not otherwise be able to play the game.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Mara on board as our new executive director”, said Neil Levinson, Board President of Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons. “She joins us at a critical time for the organization. With her track record of building capacity and leading meaningful change, we believe she will be a transformational leader.”
Early in her career, Cotich spent eight years in non-profit administration and fundraising, leading the Teen Court program in Santa Barbara and then serving as Associate Director of Development at the local orchestra and Director of Marketing and Business Development at the Economic Forecast Project. At Citrix, LogMeIn, and then AppFolio, Cotich held key strategy, marketing, and corporate development positions. She is known for her strategic sense and her talent at building organizational capacity.
The Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons was founded in 1971 by a group of community-oriented tennis players who wanted to ensure the growth and quality of junior tennis in Santa Barbara. The Patrons is the oldest community tennis association in California.