About Us

Our Mission

The mission of ZGA is to develop stars in the classroom, on the tennis court, and in the community by providing educational support, positive role models, parent education, and excellent tennis instruction.


The Zina Garrison Academy provides 50 weeks of free programming each year for all children in the Houston area. This tennis and leadership academy was founded in 1992 by legendary tennis professional.

Zina Garrison

Former USTA Professional #4, US Olympic Champion

  • Learned the sport of tennis at McGregor Park beside her friend Lori McNeil while being taught be tennis champion John Wilkerson
  • Became the Number 1 ranked junior player in the world
  • Turned professional in 1982 where she reached a career high of Number 4 and became the first African-American woman since Althea Gibson to reach a Grand Slam final in 1990
  • Beat Monica Seles and Steffi Graf at Wimbledon in back-to-back matches before losing the final to Martina Navratilova.
  • Won the mixed doubles with Sherwood Stewart and finished runner-up in the women’s doubles with Lori McNeil at the Australian Open in 1987
  • Captured the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon with Stewart a year later
  • Earned the 1988 Olympic Gold Medal in doubles with Pam Shriver in Seoul and a Bronze Medal in singles
  • Retired in 1996 from professional tennis
  • One of the finest doubles players in the game’s recent history where she captured 20 major championship titles

John Wilkerson

Senior Director of Tennis | Professional Tennis Player and USPTA Certified Tennis Professional

  • Senior Director of Tennis, Professional Tennis Player and USPTA Certified Tennis Professional
  • Born in San Antonio
  • Was a senior in high school before picking up his first tennis racquet
  • John tried out for his high school tennis team and beat everyone on it
  • Won district and state singles and doubles title that same year
  • Enrolled at Prairie View A & M and got a tennis scholarship where he left for the Airborne 8th Brigade
  • After two and a half years in Germany he planned his future making education first and tennis second
  • Graduated from TSU John became the Tennis Director at MacGregor Park and there he found his real passion, teaching young people on and off the court

Board Members

Zina Garrison

President – Former USTA Professional #4, US Olympic Champion

Steve Albert

Treasurer, Partner, BDUSA, LLP

Dave Black

Vice President Fundraising – President, UrbanCraft Builders

Daniel Cohen

Partner, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP

Jeanne Gillen

Secretary – Senior Director, Pinnacle Financial Strategies

Joe Gillen

Vice President Operations – CEO, Pinnacle Financial Strategies

Jorge Lefebvre

President, Design Stone Center

Doug Reynolds

Managing Director and Head of US Business – Scotia Waterous

Venus Williams

Tennis Professional/Designer

Richard Finger

President – Ariadne Capital, LLC

Phyllis Williams

Owner – Birdiewear, INC

John Spirtos

GE Ventures Executive Director – New Business Creation

Mark Miller

Vice President Legal – Partner, Locke Lord, LLP

John Lucas

John Lucas Enterprises

Allen Watson


Nick Becraft

Architect – Principle, Becraft