Our Staff

Tennis & Life Camps

Neal Hagberg is the TLC Director. He has taught tennis, led music and entertainment, directed counseling, and headed the “life” portion of TLC since 1981, and has served as Director since 2011. Neal and his wife Leandra are nationally acclaimed singers and songwriters who have been awarded two McKnight Foundation Fellowships. He has also earned the USPTA's Elite Pro Certification. Neal’s unique combination of inspiring talks, motivating music, perceptive tennis teaching, and leadership skills have been crucial for the camp’s success.

Barb and Steve Wilkinson directed TLC from 1977 to 2010. Barb continues to serve on the TLC Board of Directors after Steve's passing, and continue to assist TLC in many other ways. In 2010, Steve received the International Tennis Hall of Fame national education award and was inducted into the Intercollegiate Hall of Fame.

Dr. Tommy Valentini is the Assistant Director of Tennis. He has been the men's tennis coach since 2010 with eight MIAC titles and is a three-time MIAC Men's Tennis Coach of the Year. He is also a professor of sport ethics at Gustavus.

David Lachman is the Assistant Director of Operations. David has been the Assistant Men's Tennis Coach at Gustavus since 2015 and has coached with several high school programs. He is in charge of controlling business operations of the camp as well as supervising instructors and office staff. David has been a part of the TLC staff since 2007.

Several experienced Gustavus staff members at TLC include:

Jon Carlson- Jon is the Head Women's Tennis Coach at Gustavus. He has led his team to win numerous MIAC championships and Coach of the Year awards, as well as a national championship.

Liz Retzlaff- Liz has been a member of the TLC Staff since 2004. Liz holds a masters degree in physical education from UW-La Crosse and teaches physical education in Marion, WI.

Aaron Brock- USPTA Professional at Life Time Athletic, Eden Prairie

Other experienced instructors include: Mikinzee Salo- Assistant Women's Tennis Coach at St. Catherine University; Lizzy Stanczyk- Graduate student at the University of Minnesota and former Gustavus standout tennis player; and Jordon Stevens- Math Teacher for the Eagan School District. All instructors are trained in tennis teaching methods, first-aid, human relations, and counseling. They are known for their high energy levels, outgoing personalities, and positive reinforcement skills. A student/teacher ratio of 4:1 ensures individual attention.