Bahram Akradi, the founder, president and CEO of Life Time Fitness, has been named Person of the Year for 2014 by Tennis Industry magazine in the publication’s January 2015 issue. Akradi led off the magazine's 14th annual Champions of Tennis Awards, which honors people, businesses and organizations dedicated to improving the sport and business of tennis.
Life Time Fitness, Chanhassen, MN, operates 113 fitness facilities in the United States. It has more than 200 courts at 20 locations, including 128 indoor courts, making it the largest operator of indoor tennis courts in the country. The company went from $1 million in revenues in 1992 to $1.3 billion today, Akradi says.
"Under Bahram Akradi's leadership, Life Time Fitness has been extremely committed to helping the sport of tennis grow," says Peter Francesconi, the editorial director for Tennis Industry, the world's largest tennis trade magazine. "The company has been investing in tennis for years, and it's hit on a formula that provides top-notch facilities, amenities and programs for its tennis players. Mr. Akradi considers the sport to be an important component for a healthy and fit lifestyle, and that's a key to growing tennis in the U.S."
Akradi plays tennis a few times each week. He says that he wants to work more with the U.S. Tennis Association to build a program where Life Time can sponsor and pay for kids to play tennis on a regular basis.
"I really want Life Time to impact tennis in America in a big way," he says.
In addition to its Person of the Year, Tennis Industry also named winners in 20 other categories for its 2014 Champions of Tennis Awards:
- Private Facility of the Year: Army Navy Country Club, Arlington, VA
- Stringer of the Year: David Yamane, Winston-Salem, NC
- Builder/Contractor of the Year: Trans Texas Tennis, Houston
- Tennis Sales Rep of the Year: Allan Iverson, Los Angeles
- Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year: Your Serve Tennis, Atlanta
- Tennis Advocate of the Year: Shima and Joe Grover, Richmond, VA
- Community Tennis Association of the Year: InnerCity Tennis Foundation, Minneapolis, MN
- Grassroots Champion of the Year: Ellen Miller, Washington, DC
- Youth Tennis Provider of the Year: Simon Gale, Yonkers, NY
- Municipal Tennis Facility of the Year: Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Indian Wells, CA
- Junior Tennis Champion of the Year: Jack Newman, Austin, TX
- Public Park of the Year: Mercer County Park Tennis Center, Mercer County, NJ
- High School Coach of the Year: Laurie Martin, Tempe, AZ
- Park & Rec Agency of the Year: Washington, D.C., Department of Parks and Recreation, Washington, DC
- Wheelchair Tennis Champion of the Year: Paul Walker, Lakeland, FL
- Youth Tennis Facility Developer of the Year: Signature Tennis Inc., Woodstock, GA
- Innovative Tennis Event of the Year: The Tennis Congress
- Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) Member of the Year: Nigel Pugh, Fremont, CA
- U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Member of the Year: Randy Mattingley, Kingwood, TX
- U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Section of the Year: USTA Intermountain