Our Staff

Our team is here to serve you.

Meet the Kroc Center staff.

Steve Cook, Kroc Director

Steve Cook has been an integral part of The Salvation Army Kroc Center since its conception. He served on the executive committee that proposed the Kroc Tennis Center as a venue of the overall project. Upon the opening in 2011, Cook was named Director of Tennis of the 16 court facility. During his five years at the tennis center, Cook brought the tennis center numerous accolades including SC-­‐‑USTA Member Facility of the Year and USTA National Facility of the year. The tennis 
 center has 700 members, hosts over 200 USTA league teams annually and is 
 operated by a staff of 20; eight of which are teaching pros. Formerly, Cook owned an independent real estate brokerage firm in Greenville. Earlier in his career he was a national sales manager for a publicly traded mortgage company. He has served as a teaching pro, high school coach, NCAA college coach and also a Director of Tennis at resorts and country clubs in Michigan, Florida, North Carolina and West Virginia. Cook holds a marketing degree from The University of West Florida.

Katie Penland, Senior Program Director

Katie Penland was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina and graduated from J.L. Mann Academy in 2005. She then attended college at the University of South Carolina-Upstate where she received a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Nonprofit Administration. Through college, Katie worked in a number of different nonprofit areas of focus, including drug and alcohol prevention and awareness, homelessness, domestic violence, and health and wellness. She spent almost 6 years working with the YMCA of Greenville, primarily in the Membership department, but also served as the Small Groups Coordinator to help build a strong community among the members. Upon graduating USC Upstate, Katie worked at Safe Harbor in Greenville, as the Transitional Housing Program Case Manager. Katie was hired by The Salvation Army Kroc Center in May of 2011 and served as the Membership Director for 5 years. She now serves as the Senior Program Director for The Salvation Army Kroc Center, leading programs in the area of Fitness, Sports, Aquatics, and Membership. Katie also serves as the Southern Territory Kroc Center Representative for the National CCMS Development Committee.

Anibal Braga, Director of Tennis

Anibal Braga was hired as the Head Tennis Professional at the Kroc Center when it opened in July of 2011 and now serves as the Director of Tennis. He played varsity tennis for Auburn University Montgomery, where he earned a marketing degree and an MBA. His teams won two National NAIA titles in 1995 and 1996. He served as Assistant Tennis Coach at Auburn Montgomery (1996-1997), and at Clemson (1998-2001). For the next nine years, he was the Director of Tennis at Green Valley Country Club in Greenville, SC. Anibal is a PTR Professional and a Senior Tennis Instructor at the Clemson Tennis Camp. He is also a Certified Yoga Instructor, having completed the 9 month/230 hour training at the Asheville Yoga Center in May of 2013.

Patty Lauritzen, Kroc Tennis House Manager

Patty was born and raised in Lafayette Hill, PA, and earned a BS Secondary Education/BS Psychology from West Chester State University. She managed and originated construction and residential lending for major bankers in South Florida from 1984-2000. Patty has been the Kroc Tennis House Manager since our inception in July 2011. Patty is “married to the best guy in the world,” and their two children are now studying at USC.

Mike Burdine, Executive Director of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club

Mike Burdine has been employed by The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club for 26 years. He is a product of The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. After graduating from the SC Criminal Justice Academy and serving as a uniform patrolman for Greenville City Police Department, he realized that his calling was working with the youth of Greenville County. Mike has received several awards over the years for his work with Youth, Schools, Churches and Law Enforcement. Mike has served as both Vice President/President of the School Improvement Committee, was on the board for four years at Greenville Technical Charter High School, served on the Release Time Board and is a previous president of the PTA at Blythe Academy.

Bryan Hayes, Athletic Director

Bryan Hayes graduated from SWU, where he played soccer and golf, and served a role as student body president. Later, Bryan came back to SWU as a recruiter, and then as head coach of the men’s and women’s cross-country teams for 4 years. Bryan also worked at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Greenville for 14 years, and served as Athletic Director for 11 years and Program Director for three years. Bryan has a passion to reach children and make a difference in their lives. Bryan now serves as Sports Manager at the Kroc Center.

Amy Boswell, Aquatics Director

Amy Boswell is the Aquatics Director for the Kroc Center. Originally from North Carolina, she moved to Greenville in May of 2011 to join the Kroc Center leadership team. She has been involved in the aquatics industry for 10+ years. Her family was involved in the aquatics industry while she was growing up, which sparked her interest in the aquatics industry. She attended Western Carolina University where she received a Bachelors of Science in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. While working for the Kroc Center she attended NC State online for her Masters in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. Currently she is a certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor and National Swimming Pool Foundation Certified Pool Operator.

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