NEW YORK, NY – In what was the second annual night of celebration amongst many of the brightest dignitaries from the college tennis community, Cindy Brinker Simmons, alumnus of the University of Virginia, received the most prestigious honor from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) by taking home the 2023 ITA David A Benjamin Achievement Award, which is endowed by tennis legend, Stan Smith, and his wife, Margie.
Hosted at the Yale Club in the heart of New York, the 2023 ITA Leadership Awards Weekend welcomed over 100 guests, including over 20 individuals who were honored, in addition to Brinker Simmons, during the dinner presented with the support of Limoneira.
Brinker Simmons received the 2023 ITA David A Benjamin Achievement Award from Smith, along with ITA Chairman Emeritus, David A Benjamin, ITA Chairman of the Board, Jon Vegosen, and ITA Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Timothy Russell. She was presented with the Achievement Award plaque at the dinner, as well as a specially designed ITA gift. Brinker Simmons and her guests were invited to watch the opening session of the 2023 US Open, courtesy of Rolex.
“I’m so deeply honored to be presented the 2023 David A Benjamin Achievement Award,” stated Brinker Simmons. “This award was named after such a respected gentleman, David A Benjamin, who embodies the very best in commitment, excellence, and leadership. It is such a great honor for me to share this moment with my son William, my sister Brenda, her daughter, and my dear friends in attendance.”
Each year since 1994, the ITA David A Benjamin Achievement Award has paid tribute to past participants in the world of varsity tennis who have achieved excellence in their chosen careers. The award honors both professional success and contributions to society made either as a result of a career or through humanitarian efforts. Endowed by Margie and Stan Smith in 2015, the ITA Achievement Award honors the long-serving Executive Director and ITA Chairman of the Board, Dr. David A Benjamin.
A graduate of the University of Virginia in 1979, where she lettered on the Virginia women’s varsity tennis team and served as Captain her senior year, Brinker Simmons made the transition from the tennis courts to the world of public relations, founding her own company, Brinker Communications.
In the years following, Brinker Simmons would not only build one of the largest and most respected public relations firms in all of Dallas, but would also establish the non-profit Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer as well as serve as the president of the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation (MCB), one of the most respected junior tennis organizations worldwide.
Brinker Simmons has been honored on numerous occasions for her contributions to the Dallas community, including the Dallas Tennis Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the Dallas Mother of the Year, and the Children’s Hope Award from Orphan Outreach.
“After all of these years it has been my pleasure to serve others through my business and philanthropic efforts, never forgetting the lessons I learned on the tennis courts,” proclaimed Brinker Simmons. “So again, my dear friends, my heartfelt gratitude for this treasured David A Benjamin Achievement Award, I am deeply blessed.”
About the ITA David A Benjamin Achievement Award
The ITA David A Benjamin Achievement Award pays tribute each year to past participants in the world of varsity tennis who have achieved excellence in their chosen careers. The spirit of the award honors both professional success and contributions to society, made either as a direct result of a career, or through humanitarian efforts. In 2015, Margie and Stan Smith endowed the ITA Achievement Award in honor of Benjamin.
About the ITAThe Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body and coaches association of college tennis, both an advocate and an authority for the sport and its members. Comprised of 1,260 colleges and universities, 20,000 student-athletes, 1,700 varsity programs, 3,000 coaches, and 1,350 college tennis officials, the ITA empowers college tennis coaches at all levels to deliver vibrant tennis programs that are vital to their college communities and transformational to their student-athletes. Follow the 2023-24 college tennis season on the ITA website and ITA social channels on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.