MEET OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM
WHO WE ARE
PETER BURWASH, Founder (1945-2022)
A Canadian native, Peter Burwash founded Peter Burwash International (PBI) after retiring from professional tennis in 1975. With PBI, Burwash introduced new standards to the teaching industry and introduced a new generation of tennis coaches to the game. PBI professionals have taught more than 4 million players in 134 countries, and as early pioneers of the game, PBI introduced tennis for the first time to over a dozen countries. Burwash was a USPTA Master Professional and gave workshops to coaches at conferences for the USTA, USPTA, in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Burwash has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including six hall of fame inductions for the tennis industry, the USPTA, the Hawaii USTA, the University of Toronto Sport, International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award, and the Northern California USTA.
RENÉ ZONDAG, President
A native of the Netherlands, René Zondag joined PBI in 1997 after extensive experience in the hospitality and sports industries. As a tennis professional with PBI, René’s early assignments started at the Canary Islands, Spain, followed by Germany, Egypt, Italy and Austria. In 2004 he transferred to Dubai, UAE, to head up PBI’s fast growing Middle East business. His economics and business studies background offered a solid foundation for his promotion as PBI’s Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Asia. In April 2016 he followed in Peter Burwash’s footsteps to became PBI’s President.
JEFF HENKELMAN, Vice President
Born in Ottawa, Canada, Jeff has worked with Peter Burwash International (PBI) for 30+ years. Jeff currently holds the position as Vice President, and prior to that he served many roles in the company including Regional Manager of Asia and the Caribbean, and later Director of Quality Control. Jeff was fortunate to learn many of his skills directly from Peter Burwash, who was also his first tennis instructor and became a life-long mentor. Jeff was named both PBI Rookie of the Year, and later PBI Professional of the Year. Prior to joining the team at PBI headquarters, Jeff managed the tennis programs at many resorts and clubs around the world including; Malaysia, Japan, Bali, India and Austria.
PHILIPPE AZAR, Senior Director PBI Operations International
Born in Lebanon but raised in London, Philippe discovered his passion for tennis at a young age while competing in regional competitions in the UK. He became an LTA-certified teaching professional in 1991 and has worked with Peter Burwash International since 1998. Prior to his Senior Director role based at Bio Hotel Stanglwirt in Austria, Philippe has overseen many of PBI's most prestigious private club and resort tennis programs in the US, Germany, Mauritius, Mexico, Italy, Dubai, the Maldives, Japan, Lebanon and The Bahamas. In 2000 and 2009, Philippe was awarded "PBI's Most Progressive Pro" and "PBI Pro of the Year," respectively. Fluent in German, French and English, Philippe has run training courses for prospective coaches and authored numerous instructional articles for tennis publications around the world.