Board of Directors
Mrs. Bostick is the Director of Pharmacy Operations at the South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority. She is a highly skilled pharmacist and pharmacy administrative leader with more than 30 years of management experience, working for a variety of hospital and clinic settings in for-profit and non-profit businesses. Additionally, since 2002 she has been working as an adjunct faculty for Xavier University College of Pharmacy. Mrs. Bostick received a B.S. (Pharmacy) from Xavier University.
Ms. Cross is a native of New Orleans and mother of three. She is committed to volunteer work that aids in the continued revitalization of her home town. Jane has served as a volunteer for several local cultural organizations, including the New Orleans Symphony, Ballet, and Museum of Art. After Katrina, Jane became involved with Habitat for Humanity. She co-chairs the "Oldest Clubs Challenge Cup Tournament," an event between the two oldest tennis clubs in the Americas (the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club and the Longwood Cricket Club of Chestnut Hill, MA) which was founded by her late husband, Dennis Cross.
James B. Ewers, Jr., Ed.D., Vice-President
Dr. Ewers is a champion of tennis, community advocate, and an educator with over 40 years of experience at the college and secondary level. Dr. Ewers received his M. A. degree from Catholic University, and the Ed. D. degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He is a recipient of several awards, including the Ohio House of Representatives special recognition for work in the community and commitment to diversity, and in 2021 he was inducted into The Black Tennis Hall of Fame. Dr. Ewers is a Board member of the Louisiana Tennis Association (LTA) and chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for both the LTA and the Southern section. Most recently, Dr. Ewers was elected to the Morris Brown College (Atlanta GA) Board of Trustees and the Audubon Nature Institute (New Orleans) Board of Directors.
Tripp Friedler, JD, Treasurer
Mr. Friedler is the President and CEO of Free Gulliver, LLC, advising both corporate and individual clients in ways to maximize abilities and achieve desired results. He earned his JD at Tulane University, is certified as a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP), and received a Masters degree in Financial Services from American College. Tripp has served as President of the Young Leadership Council, Chairman of the Board of Isidore Newman School, and as a Board Member of the Arts Council, the Contemporary Arts Center, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Advisory Council, and the Community Service Center.
Michael Griffin, Ph.D.
Mr. Griffin is the African-American Museum’s Board President and the Chief Executive Officer and President of Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans, a health ministry that is committed to strengthening health care in the greater New Orleans community by delivering health care that works, is safe, and leaves no one behind. He is responsible for strategic planning and development of short and long-range objectives, policies, operating plans and budgets, as well as the execution of the philosophy, mission, objectives, and initiatives of DCSNO. He received a BS degree from Dillard University, a MS in Health Care Administration/Management from Meharry Medical College, and a Doctor of Science degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Mr. Griffin is the father of 5 children, including three A’s & Aces participants. He cares about many causes, including children, social action, economic empowerment, education, health, and poverty alleviation.
Ms. Hart was the Executive Director of Suite Sales & Services for New Orleans Saints since 2000 and New Orleans Pelicans since 2012 until recently retiring. She earned a B.A. degree from Louisiana State University with major focus in Journalism, Psychology, and French. She is an avid NTRP tennis player and has been a member of several league teams.
Russell Ledet, Ph.D., MD, MBA
Dr. Ledet obtain his Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology from New Your University's School of Medicine, and MD/MBA from Tulane School of Medicine and Freeman School of Business, respectively. Since starting medical school, Dr. Ledet has co-founded The 15 White Coats, a world-renowned organization that helps to propel under-represented minority students to the next levels of education by providing inspiration and economic support. Dr. Ledet has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, People Magazine, NPR, Washington Post, The Steve Harvey Show, Good Morning America, and most recently the Kelly Clarkson show. Following medical school, he plans to go into residency for Triple Board (Pediatrics/General Psych/Child and adolescent psychiatry), with a focus on mental health accessibility for marginalized communities. Prior to his education journey, Dr. Ledet was enlisted in the U.S. Navy, both on active and reserve duty. He is a father of two daughters, and when not doing his medical work, he spends his time playing and coaching his children and A's & Aces scholars.
Anna Monhartova, Ph.D., President
Dr. Monhartova, co-founder of A's & Aces, is part of the Tulane faculty teaching social innovation and social entrepreneurship classes. Dr. Monhartova is a recipient of several community awards, including the New Orleans Saints Community Quarterback Award, St. Elizabeth Guild Volunteer Activist Award, Gambit’s 40 Under 40 Award, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Angel Award, USTA Southern and Louisiana Educational Merit Award and is an honoree as one of the City Business Women of the Year. A top-10 nationally ranked college player, Dr. Monhartova was selected as the Conference USA "Player of the Decade" and in 2007 was inducted to Tulane University Athletics Hall of Fame. She served as the Men’s & Women’s Assistant Coach at Xavier University and Women’s Assistant Coach at Tulane. Prior to college, she was a member of the Czech junior national team and was ranked as high as #30 in the world ITF Junior Rankings.
David Schumacher, JD
Mr. Schumacher, founder of A's & Aces, was the top-ranked junior in Louisiana, a collegiate conference champion and played 50 pro events in Europe and the US. David practiced law for 18 years focusing on general civil litigation and appellate practice. He is an Elite-level USPTA pro who has taught tennis to thousands of children including over 100 who have played collegiately, many earning tennis scholarships. During a seven year term ended by Hurricane Katrina, he guided the never-before-ranked Tulane women’s team into the NCAA top-10, was five-times selected “Louisiana Coach of the Year", and was named Conference USA “Coach of the Decade”. He coached the first individual National Champions in any sport at Tulane in 50 years, Tulane’s first women’s tennis All-Americans, first Female Student-Athlete of the Year, 29 All-Conference selections, 35 individual ITA Scholar-Athletes and multiple Academic All-America teams. Post-Katrina he ran the Schumacher Tennis Club at Tulane until launching A's & Aces in January 2008.
Alvin (AJ) Varnado, Co-Director, and Director of Tennis
Coach Varnado, Co-Director of A's & Aces and Director of Tennis, comes to A's & Aces with a wide range of tennis experience, including high performance training. He is a USPTA Elite Pro and USPTR Professional, completing his USPTA Masters certification, the highest tennis certification in the U.S. Coach Varnado is a dedicated educator with over two decades of experience coaching players of all levels and educating the generation of next leaders.
Mr. Waguespack is retired from Encompass Insurance Company as a large loss property adjuster. He is a life-long tennis enthusiast and has been a committed A's & Aces volunteer volunteering as a the certified USTA Referee for all A's & Aces' USTA sanctioned tournaments (five each year) . On weekends, Coach Kenny often provides mentoring and coaching (he is certified by the Professional Tennis Registry) to A's & Aces participants, and throughout the year he assists with our fundraising efforts. Following his retirement in 2019, Mr. Waguespack joined the A's & Aces staff and he now serves as the Director of Operations.
Kelli Wright, Secretary
Mrs. Wright is a graduate of Newcomb College and lives with her husband, Kurt Hagstette, and two sons in New Orleans in the Broadmoor area. She is a real estate agent with Latter & Blum and previously worked as a graphic design consultant and marketing manager. She has multiple years of service served with the Advocacy Center of Louisiana, the Broadmoor Improvement District Board of Commissioners and as the President of the Broadmoor Improvement Association. Kelli was introduced to tennis as a child in the Washington, DC area through the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, a National Junior Tennis & Learning chapter organization similar to A's & Aces. Kelli remains an avid tennis player and league competitor, as well as a USTA Certified Referee.