Frank Chiappone is a former sports anchor/reporter at KOMO-TV in Seattle where he once won an Emmy for synchronized swimming although he didn’t actually synch or swim. Now at Microsoft, he helps teachers and students do great things using technology in their classrooms.
He has a wife and three kids who encourage his pickleball obsession and will occasionally play with him. Life before pickleball is a little hazy, but he vaguely remembers enjoying sports of all kind, cooking, DIY house projects and playing the ukulele.
He plays pickleball at least five times a week wherever he can, mostly in North Seattle, but has also played in Florida, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, California, London and Amsterdam… but not all on the same day.
Kate Van Gent
Kate Van Gent served as pickleball liaison to Senator John Lovick in the successful effort to make pickleball the official sport of Washington. She is intrigued with the idea of creating a pickleball think tank and is focused on expanding pickleball facilities throughout the Puget Sound area. She is also a USA Pickleball Ambassador for Mill Creek.
Kate came back from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury in August 2020 to capture gold in women’s doubles in the Marysville City Pickleball League in fall of 2021. She plans on exploring Washington State through the pickleball tournament circuit. She has dual U.S. and Swiss citizenship but doesn’t yodel.
Kate has been a certified real estate appraiser for 30 years with a focus on analyzing properties throughout the U.S. for financial service companies and investment banks, but has recently pivoted to all things pickleball. You can usually find her at Bitter Lake, ETC Kirkland, Harbor Square or one of Everett’s many pickleball parks.
Nicole is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst working as an Educator at Kindering, where she provides early support services to help young children and their families create a foundation for future learning.
Nicole was first introduced to pickleball during a middle school lifetime sports lesson and, believe it or not, she did not like it. She claimed it wasn’t a “real sport” because you don’t have to move very much. In actuality, she was just terrible at it and was playing it wrong. Her older sister re-introduced her to playing pickleball (the right way) during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown and that’s when her real obsession began. Since then, she hasn’t gone longer than a few days without playing pickleball or a few minutes without thinking about it. Nicole can typically be found on the Green Lake East courts after work and on the weekends.
Nicole has become a competitive player and recently started playing in tournaments, debuting in the 2022 Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic (SMPC). Loving the tournament as much as she did, she now serves on the planning committee for the 2023 SMPC. Nicole is dedicated to increasing the Seattle pickleball community’s engagement with local government and creating more opportunities for play across the Seattle Metropolitan area.
Amy was a SAP Security consultant for over 20 years. She worked at Microsoft and Boeing among other companies. She was introduced to pickleball at a SMPA newbie clinic 3 weeks after she retired. It quickly became an obsession. Not a morning person but she will wake for pickleball!
She loves to travel with her family. It was important to Amy and her husband, Wiktor, that their 3 children know their heritage. Thankful to have spent 2 summers traveling all over Asia and Europe, the family visited Hong Kong and Poland before the pandemic.
Amy is determined to grow SMPA membership to have a bigger voice while advocating for dedicated pickleball courts and increase play opportunities in the area.
Stephanie is a Seattle native and owns her own business as an adventure elopement photographer. For those unfamiliar with the profession, it basically means hiking for several miles with heavy camera gear and eating a lot of cake.
She discovered pickleball in the summer of 2022 and it took over her life. Stephanie became pregnant shortly after discovering the sport and she continued to play throughout her pregnancy, participating in 4 tournaments throughout the summer and fall. She even competed in a tournament with her husband at 8 months pregnant, bringing home some hardware to hang in the nursery.
With the addition of their new family member in March 2023, Stephanie plans to spend her time being a mom, continuing to run her photography business, and playing pickleball as much as possible. She is proud to be working with SMPA to grow the organization and increase the demand for facilities in the Seattle Metro area.
John recently retired after a 23-year IT career at the Boeing Company, and previously served 22 years as a member of the Royal Air Force. Like many others, he discovered pickleball during an SMPA-sponsored pickleball clinic and quickly fell in love with the game we are all so passionate about.
Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, and still enjoys following soccer (aka football). An occasional hiker, a past marathon runner, a recreational runner, and I am now a dedicated pickleball player and student of the game.
John intends to work hard to grow SMPA membership and increase our engagement with local government to advance play opportunities. John has a vision to build and deepen SMPA relationships with and among the many pickleball clubs and groups across the Metro area, and beyond, to create a true sense of pickleball community in Washington, the birthplace of our sport.
Gordon was at The Boeing Company for 34 years in Human Resources, but is very happy to say that this is his 10th Anniversary in blissful retirement.
He has the honor of learning the game of pickleball at the Betsuin Buddhist Temple in Seattle from a very senior crowd. What he loves about the game is that everyone can play the game, from novices to experts. You can hit the ball as hard as you can, you can place a return shot, you can finesse an angled shot, you can catch a lob floating slowly downward; after all, you are playing with a kid’s “whiffle ball.”
He may be confused about the score; which he thinks is the most complicated aspect of the game. He gets a more thrilling rush of adrenaline from the number of rallies than the score, so tournament play is not his thing. It’s all about community. He can be found playing in the Central and South parts of Seattle and has found camaraderie every place he goes.
Meet The Founders
Sandra retired from Boeing to spend more time playing pickleball and volleyball. She has one son, Max.
Sandra has been playing pickleball (and volleyball) for 15 years, first starting as a way to spend more time with her 94-year old dad. There is some humor in hearing a 60-something woman yelling “Dad!” in a group of people over 55.
An SMPA founder and part of the membership committee, Sandra plays several times a week at 3 gyms in West Seattle. She continues to contribute her energy to SMPA as a volunteer for the Seattle Metro Pickleball Classic in July.
Vice President | Secretary
Handed her own pickleball paddle after a summer of being net hauler and line-painter for the pickleball courts on Orcas Island, Theresa got hooked on playing, too. She accompanies her avid pickleball-player wife, Kathy, to the occasional tournament, and makes certain the paddles are packed for any and all travels.
As one of the SMPA founders, she believes strongly in giving back to the sport by working to increase playing opportunities throughout the Seattle metro area. Theresa organizes pickleball play groups in Seattle, is on the courts as much as she can manage, dreams in pickleball drills, and in 2019 took home a gold medal in Women’s Doubles from the USA National Pickleball Championships. She serves as USA Pickleball Ambassador for Seattle.
Stan is a retired Seattle small businesses owner. He moved to Seattle in 1980 from his native state of Idaho, and has been here ever since, except for one year living in New Zealand.
Stan and his wife, Linda, previously lived in Ballard. He has two adult daughters and a step-son. Three years ago, Linda took Stan to a pickleball class and he was smitten. He is a founding member of SMPA and sits on the membership committee. Stan left the Board late in 2018 when he and wife Linda relocated to Port Townsend, where Stan is a regular on the local pickleball courts.
Jerry took up pickleball in the Summer of 2016 after retiring from the long-time practice of law in the Seattle area. Pickleball is his new passion. Jerry stepped down from the SMPA Board and his role as President at the end of his term in 2021.
Jerry is married to Marcia, and they have a grown married daughter, Kerry. He and Marcia play pickleball several times a week at various venues in Central and South Seattle.
He is one of the founders of the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association along with several other enthusiasts who are interested in expanding available pickleball facilities and events and introducing this fantastic game to others.
Drew retired in 2007 and currently lives in West Seattle.
He is one of the founders ofSeattle Metro Pickleball Association and first played pickleball in the early 1980’s, took it up again 3 years ago and now plays mostly in West Seattle.
He previously worked as a CPA, Controller, CFO and a founder/co-owner of two small businesses.
Jimi is a retired teacher who left small-town eastern Washington life and moved to Seattle with her husband in 2000. They started playing pickleball to get acquainted with the community. They were quickly hooked and now play 4 to 5 times a week.
Jimi enjoys helping people make connections to other people and to our pickleball community. A founding member of the SMPA, she played a key role in the SPR Pickleball Pilot Project. Jimi left the Board in early 2018 for more time with family.
Director | Founder
Miguel de Campos
Miguel must have been a dog in one of his previous lives because when he sees a moving ball he has to go fetch it and return it to wherever it came from.
When he is not coaxing pickleballs with a paddle, you might find him kicking them with his foot or trying to trap them with his chest, both old reflexes from his soccer playing days
When no balls are around, Miguel enjoys programming computers, keeping timeforpickleball.com up to date, listening to music and visualizing achieving world peace through pickleball, a key reason he helped found the SMPA.
Miguel’s wife, who does not share his canine ancestry, prefers yoga, tai chi, and qigong to pickleball.