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Meet Our Team

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Jason Speirs

Director of Tennis
USPTA Eastern President
USPTA Elite Professional
Tennis Saves Founder
USTA Eastern Western Regional Board Member
USPTA Pickleball Certified

Born and raised in Rochester, has returned after 12 years in NYC developing his tennis professional career at the popular 12 court indoor facility, Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. He was the Director of Tennis at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club since 2009, and Adult Program Director for the four years prior. After 12 years of developing the Adult program, Junior Program, and all levels in between, he's really excited to be home and continue the legacy of the Dave Strebel Tennis Academy, of which he grew up in. Returning to Harley, of which he is alumni, class of ’99, means the legacy of  his mentor, Dave Strebel will continue on. Jason became a doubles player at the national level while studying at Assumption College, where he held a ranking of 24 for Division II, and #3 in the Northeast Region. Off the court, He is highly involved in the USPTA teaching organization as the President for the USPTA Eastern division and often presents at conferences throughout the region. In 2015, he won the prestigious USPTA Pro of the Year. In addition to volunteering for the USPTA, Jason also volunteers with the USTA, having served on the USTA Junior Competition Board and Adult Competition Board, and served on the USTA Metropolitan Board for four years. Now he serves on the USTA Western Board and he recently won the 2018 USTA Clinician of the Year and 2021 USTA Eastern Member Organization of Year. Giving back to the community is a big part of Jason’s life, which is why he volunteers for the USPTA, USTA, and his own charity foundation, Tennis Saves. You can email Jason directly at any time to say hi, or ask any questions.


Julian Danko

Director of Junior Programs
USPTA  Professional

JULIAN DANKO picked up a racquet for the first time at the age of seven, and has loved tennis ever since his first day on the court. After playing junior tournaments throughout his childhood in Rochester, he began teaching tennis beginners as a teenager over his summer vacations. These first experiences in coaching made Julian realize that he enjoyed being on the other side of the net teaching as much as he liked improving as a player himself. Upon completing high school at Pittsford Sutherland where he was captain of their Section Five championship team and an All Region standout, he attended the University of Rochester, graduating in 2015 with a degree in Public Health. Julian started on U of R's varsity team in both singles and doubles all four years and served as senior captain in his final season. He then returned to his home tennis club to work with the next generation of young tennis players. Julian has coached for numerous programs in Rochester including Colombo High Performance, Advantage Rochester, University of Rochester Tennis Camps, and now Empire Tennis Academy where he serves as Head Pro and Junior Program Director. You can reach Julian at


Frank Solome

Director of U8 Programs
Head Pro
USPTA Professional
Director of Marketing
USPTA Pickleball Certified

FRANK SOLOME was born in Chicago and moved to Rochester, New York at a young age, growing up in the town of Irondequoit. He played tennis throughout high school, finishing his career playing first singles at Eastridge high school in Irondequoit serving as team captain as well as playing in the local Grand Prix, L2, L1, and Districts tennis tournaments along the way. Frank attended Rochester Institute of Technology and graduated with honors receiving a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Media Design and minors in both Business Marketing, Communications and Italian Studies. During his collegiate career he played both singles and doubles and helped lead his team to an Empire 8 Conference Championship in 2005, remaining undefeated in his conference his senior year. Frank also served as Team Captain for the RIT Tigers. Upon graduation, Frank spent time in Genoa, Italy where he lived and worked during the summer over the course of four years. Frank returned back to RIT to become the Men’s Head Tennis Coach for four years and the Women’s Head Tennis Coach for two years. Frank has also been a tennis pro at Oak Hill Country Club. Furthermore, Frank had the privilege to work with and be mentored by Rochester Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee Billy Nealon for seven years as a coach for the Billy Nealon Tennis program at Tennis Club of Rochester. In 2009, Frank moved to New York City where he lived an eclectic life of teaching tennis at various private clubs and parks throughout NYC, as well as working in the fields of Photography and Hospitality. Frank also attended the prestigious HB Studio for acting studies for two years. After spending ten years in NYC, Frank has moved back to Rochester area where his family resides. Frank had picked up the sport of Pickleball a couple years back and loved the ease of transition that being a tennis player provides to playing Pickleball at a high-performance level. In the Rochester area, Frank has played with several religious Pickleball players in the community and is excited to instruct and cultivate the local community with both group and private instruction, as well as provide several social events to fill a much needed advancement of Pickleball in the area.  Frank is an accomplished pianist and loves composing and performing cover music. Frank loves traveling, and has visited several countries throughout Europe, Asia, and South America and is passionate about all cultures and learning new languages. You can reach Frank at


Diana Toia

Assistant Director of Tennis

Adult Program Coordinator

Remote Program Coordinator

Born and raised in Rochester, and also a product of Dave Strebel’s Tennis Academy, Diana was one of the top junior players in the area growing up. She played collegiately at the University of Buffalo where she graduated with a Marketing and International Business degree and has over 10 years of teaching experience at programs including Dave Strebel’s Tennis Academy, Billy Nealon Tennis at the Tennis Club of Rochester and the prestigious Roosevelt Island Racquet Club in New York City. She coached collegiately for two and half years at the Rochester Institute of Technology followed by two years at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania, where she also earned her MBA. Diana served as a teaching pro and was our Marketing Director from 2017-2020. She also played an instrumental role in getting the Rochester Junior Grand Prix back up and running during her time with us. She took a short break away to focus on starting her own business and moved to Nashville. Diana rejoined the Empire team in 2021 as Adult Program Coordinator & Remote Program Coordinator and more recently appointed  an integral role as the Assistant Director of Tennis.

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