2009 Builder/Contractor of the Year: Derosa Tennis Contractors
The tennis industry puts a lot of emphasis on what’s new. But sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the fact that proven, even “old-school,” ways of doing business may still be the best: delivering quality work, charging reasonable rates and above all, keeping your promises. It’s these “traditional” methods that often build a successful “family” business.
When Thomas DeRosa Sr. started building clay courts in 1930, he did it out of dedication to and pride in the sport he loved. When his sons, one of whom is Tom DeRosa, became involved with the business, they continued that tradition of success, and that has made DeRosa Tennis Contractors Inc. of Mamaroneck, N.Y., our 2009 Builder/Contractor of the Year.
“Our reputation is probably our strongest point because everyone knows what we do and our quality,” says Tom DeRosa, the second generation and the current owner. (His son works summers with the company and expects to follow his father after college.)
DeRosa handles all aspects of jobs — fencing, paving, lighting, landscaping and more. “If you control it all, you know it will be done the way you want it,” he says. Away from the company, DeRosa is an accomplished pianist and singer and leads a band.
“Tom has a reputation for quality and integrity,” says Fred Stringfellow, executive v.p. of the American Sports Builders Association. “He’s been a Certified Tennis Court Builder since 2003 and has been the ASBA’s CTCB certification chairman for the past several years.”
“I think the world of Tom,” says Tom Magner, Eastern regional manager with DecoTurf. “He’s been involved in this industry since he was a kid. And he plays a mean keyboard.”
Tips for success
- Let customers choose. “I tell them the pros and cons of surfaces, then let them decide,” says DeRosa.
- Don’t get stuck in a rut, but don’t overdo it. “You have to change with the times. And you can’t do everything, but you can do everything the best you can.”
- Learn everything you can. “Court builders should have a knowledge of the game and of construction — everything from the base up.”
See all articles by Mary Helen Sprecher
About the Author
Mary Helen Sprecher is the managing editor of Sports Destinations Management Magazine, a niche business-to-business publication for planners of sports travel events, in addition to being an RSI Contributing Editor. She is the technical writer for the American Sports Builders Association and works as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore City.