PBI Pro Memoirs: Steve Halverson
Updated: Oct 28
I joined PBI in December, 1977 and I got into the company through a friend. I played on Oregon State’s tennis team. One of the students at OSU asked me one day after practice if I would hit with him. For some reason I said yes, and we eventually became friends. Two years later after directing a tennis program at a local club in Oregon, my friend (Jim Pyle) contacted me from the Caribbean, stating that I needed to check out this tennis company. Being accepted for an interview in Los Angeles where I met Peter Burwash for the first time, I accepted a position with PBI and agreed to their one month training program.
My plan was to work in PBI for 2-3 years and move back to Oregon to accept a tennis director’s position at a brand new club that was being built. That club of course never was built. By this time however I also got my first taste of travel, endless amount of learning and growth and most important, working with some of the nicest people on the planet, I decided to stay for 45+ years!
Through PBI, I have had the fortune of traveling to 50+ countries and learned to teach in French, Spanish and Indonesian. I also have been the director of PBI’s special programs, especially focusing on wheelchair tennis. Most recently, one of my students of 5+ years won women’s doubles at Wimbledon 2022. As a result of these special programs, I received PBI’s 1st Larry Huebner Award, PBI’s humanitarian award.
I also had the fortune of being one of the pros performing our PBI Tennis Show all over the world. Billed as the Harlem Globetrotters of Tennis, we performed in over 100 countries, doing shows for Prince Rainier in Monaco, the President of Mexico, celebrity and WTA events, U.S. Open to islands and countries that had never experienced tennis or very little.
When teaching, our PBI motto is a successful lesson has to contain three components. The lesson has to be fun, the student needs to learn, and exercise has to be included in the learning and fun process. My motto is, “If I’m not having fun, neither is my student!”