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Racquets Serving Hope | Board of Directors
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Meet Our Officers

Shelah Chao - Chair- Graduate from the Wharton undergraduate program at the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. During her 4 years at Penn, Shelah was a member of the varsity women's tennis team and was a member of the 2002 Ivy League Championship team. During her years at Penn, she acheived All-Ivy honors in singles in 2004 and All-Ivy honors in doubles in 2003, 2004, and 2005 season.

Shelah spent the following years after graduating as an investment analyst and loan associate structuring debt for various commercial real estate property types including hotels, multi-family, office, industrial, retail, and assisted living. She analyzed and underwrote loans for various capital sources such as Prudential’s balance sheet, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, CMBS, and commercial banks, which ranged in size from $5mm to $150mm. She currently works as a Commercial Real Estate Loan Officer for Bancorp Bank.


Caroline Stanislawski - Treasurer - Caroline Stanislawski was born and raised in Philadelphia. She started playing tennis when she was four years old. She has a deadly two-handed forehand and backhand. Caroline was ranked top in the region throughout her teens and she achieved her highest national ranking during her career when she was 14, ranked #16 in the country. Caroline graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied Finance, Economics and French. She was a starting player on the varsity tennis team all four years at Penn. She also served as Co-Captain her senior year. During the summer, Caroline worked as teaching pro at the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadephia where she taught tennis to kids from ages 5 to 17.

Since graduating, Caroline moved to New York City to work as a research analyst for an investment firm called CM Advisors. CM Advisors then relocated Caroline to Geneva, Switzerland in 2008. Caroline has since moved back to NYC and currently works as a Senior Investment Analyst for a hedge fund called Millburn Ridgefield Corporation. Caroline speaks fluent French and Polish.

Sanela Kunovac - Secretary - Sanela graduated in 2003 from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Economics and in Penn's Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program. During her time at Penn, she earned All-Ivy singles (2001 and 2002) and All-Ivy doubles (2001 and 2002), Ivy League Rookie of the Year (2001), and Ivy League Player of the Year (2001). Following her undergraduate completion, Sanela obtained her Master's Degree in International Relations and Comparative Politcs from the University of Arizona, before returning to Penn to become the Head Women's Tennis Coach in 2009. She is currently in her 2nd year as the Head Coach.




Advisory Board

Raluca Ciocina - Raluca graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. She is currently the Director of Operations for the Chinese and Indian divisions at Keystone Research and Pharmaceuticals based in Cherry Hill, NJ.

During her years at Penn, Raluca competed on the women's tennis varsity team all four years. As a junior tennis player, Raluca was the National Champion of Romania 18 & under in 2001, she was the European Championships Bronze medalist in Hatfield, UK for 16 & under in 1999, the Finalist for the National Championships in Romania 10 & under and again in 16 & under in 1993 and 1999, and was the winner of the Orange Bowl Championships in Miami Florida 16 & under in 1999. Additionally, she held titles in doubles for the European Championships in Hatfield, UK 16& under in 1999 and the Orange Bowl Championships in Miami Florida 16& under 1999, and finished as a Finalist for the National Championships in Romania for 16 & under and 18 & under in 1999 and 2001.

Raluca was also a member of the Romanian Fed Cup Team from 1998-2001.

Julia Koulbitskaya- Julia was born and raised in Russia, she immigrated to the United States at the age of ten. Moving to the US, right next to a tennis academy, stirred a passion for tennis in her and she spent most of her school years training at tennis academies all over the country, going to school and traveling for tennis tournaments nationally and internationally for 8 years before moving on to college tennis. Julia graduated in 2008 from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Communications, minoring in Creative Writing, Russian and Fine Arts. She has since been working at an Online Marketing Company in NYC and coaching tennis on the weekends.

Robert P. Levy - Mr. Bob Levy has been an active member of the sports scene throughout his life. The proud owner of Robert P. Levy Stables, Mr. Levy has raced horses that won the Belmont Stakes, Eclipse Award, American Outstanding Sprint Horse, and more. His influence has also garnered attention for other sports in the area. Mr. Levy founded the Little Quakers football team in 1953 and was indispensible in bringing major athletic events, such as the 1999 U.S. Figure Skating Championship and the 2002 NBA All Star Game, to Philadelphia.

In addition to the countless contributions Mr. Levy has bestowed upon the Philadelphia community, he has also been an avid supporter of the University of Pennsylvania tennis team. To honor his generosity, the University of Pennsylvania has even named its indoor tennis facility Levy Pavilion. It is little wonder that part of RSH’s roots, too, lie with him. RSH President and member of the 2002 Women’s Tennis Ivy League Championship team Shelah Chao cites Mr. Levy as a key motivational figure, saying "Mr. Levy dedicated much of his time and energy to being our Volunteer Assistant Coach. Mr. Levy dedicated much of his time to being the Volunteer Assistant Coach of the Penn Women’s tennis team and has been noted to help influence the founding of Racquets Serving Hope.


Michelle Mitchell - Currently attending Cornell Law School. Graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, playing all four years on Penn’s Varsity Women’s Tennis Team. We were the Ivy League Champions in 2007.

Prior to Penn, participated in all four junior tennis grand slams: US Open (2002,2003), Wimbledon (2002,2003), French Open (2003), Australian Open (2004). Received a ranking on the WTA professional tour (2002-2004).

Jamie Peisel - Born and raised in Savannah, GA, Jamie graduated from Northwestern University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She served as co-captain of the top ten nationally-ranked NCAA Women's Tennis team; helping the team win four consecutive Big Ten championships. After graduation, Jamie accepted a position at the University of Chicago where she successfully recruited participants for and managed a $5M NIMH-funded adolescent anorexia treatment study. She then traveled to Ghana to volunteer as a healthcare educator in rural villages -- working closely with both adults and children. It was on this trip that she discovered her passion to become a doctor. She is currently completing a Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical program at the University of Southern California, with expected graduation date of May 2011.

Nicole Ptak, DDS - Born and raised in Great Neck, NY, Nicole Ptak was a member of the 2004 University of Pennsylvania graduating class and 2009 Stony Brook University of Dental Medicine. Nicole was an integral member of the University of Pennsylvania's Women's tennis team during her years at Penn, having received many honors such as All Ivy League honors first team and second team in singles and doubles during her years at Penn. She is currently the Chief Dental Resident for General Dentistry at North Shore Hospital and is completing a fellowship in Implant Dentistry.

Sara Schiffman - As a Philadelphia native, Sara Schiffman grew up in lower Merion and was a member of the 2006 graduating class at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to being on the Dean’s list at Penn in 2004-2005, Sara was a 2-year Captain of the tennis team. Following her years at Penn, she was the Director of Tennis at the Constenoga Swim Club, the Assistant Tennis Coach for 2 years and then Interim Head Coach of the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Women’s tennis team. She is currently finishing up her Masters degree in Social Organizational Psychology at Columbia University, where she is also the Women’s Assistant Tennis Coach for Columbia’s Women’s Tennis Team.

Courtney Smalley, MD