2020 USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame Inductes

Dear US Table Tennis Hall of Fame Supporter,

On Thursday, July 8th, the US Table Tennis Hall of Fame will honor the Class of 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas during the 2021 US National Championships.  This year’s group of athletes and contributors are remarkable, and I would like to personally invite you to our dinner to celebrate their induction.  We have limited space (50 seats) so please contact us as soon as possible.  Tickets are $85 per person and will include a chicken breast plated dinner with salad and desserts.  You can order your dinner tickets online - https://py.pl/APL2FbJnU0q or venmo to @Sean-ONeill-88.

Players being inducted are Paralympians Pam Fontaine and Sebastian DeFrancesco.  We will also be honoring two amazing contributors to the sport with Roman Tinyszin and Christian Lillieroos.  Hall of Famer and key figure for bringing the World Veterans to the United States, David Sakai will be receiving the Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award.

I know this will be a great event and I hope you will be able to attend.  If you are unable to attend I encourage you to consider making a donation to join our Hall of Fame Boosters Club.

Booster Funds are used for inductee dinners and plaques at the annual banquet, supporting the Si & Patty Wasserman Junior Scholarship Awards tournament, and a new team event, the 2021 Hall of Fame Cup that will be played at the Westchester Table Tennis Club on June 9 & 10.  Any size contribution is appreciated and will be acknowledged both online at usatt.org and in the 2021 Awards Induction Banquet program as follows (Please reply by 5/16/21 if you would be in the printed program):

Contributor up to $99
Bronze Level $100 & up
Silver Level $250 & up

Gold Level $500 & up Platinum Level $750 & up
Diamond Level $1000 & up

The US Table Tennis Hall of Fame is a 501c3 tax exempt organization so your contribution is tax deductible.  Checks for the Hall of Fame Dinner or Hall of Fame Booster Club should be made payable to: US Table Tennis Hall of Fame
Please mail check to:  US Table Tennis Hall of Fame, c/o Sean O’Neill, 7055 SW Leslie Street, Portland, OR 97223

Or you can donate electronically by clicking the link below or using your smart phone to  scan the QR Code to the right:  (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=9SYXSCBEKK83W) or you can use apple pay to 703-863-4429 or venmo to @Sean-ONeill-88.

We have lost a number of Hall of Famers since our last visit with George Brathwaite, Jack Howard, John Tannelhill, and Errol Resek all leaving us too early.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  

Thank you for your continued support of our history of table tennis in the United States.  I hope to see you in Las Vegas this summer.  Be safe and stay healthy!

Sean O'Neill
US Table Tennis Hall of Fame President

Players being inducted are Paralympians Pam Fontaine and Sebastian DeFrancesco. We will also be honoring two amazing contributors to the sport with Roman Tinyszin and Christian Lillieroos. Hall of Famer and key figure for bringing the World Veterans to the United States, David Sakai will be receiving the Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pam Fontaine – Athlete

  • 2016 Member of the USA Paralympic Team
  • 2015 Para Pan American Games Bronze in Singles class 3
  • 2013 Para Pan American Championships Bronze in Singles class 1-3
  • 2012 Member of the USA Paralympic Team
  • 2011 Para Pan American Games Silver in Singles class 1-3
  • 2011 Para Pan American Games Silver in Teams class 1-3
  • 2009 Para Pan American Championships Gold in Singles class 1-3
  • 2009 Para Pan American Championships Gold in Teams class 1-3
  • 2007 Para Pan American Games Silver in Singles class 1-3
  • 2007 Para Pan American Games Silver in Teams class 4-5
  • 2018 PTT US Open Silver in Teams class 2-5
  • 2018 PTT US Open Silver in Singles class 2-3
  • 2017 US Open Bronze in Singles class 2-3
  • 2016 US Open Silver in Singles class 2-3
  • 2015 Slovakia Open Bronze in Teams class 3
  • 2014 11th Slovenian Open Silver in Teams class 1-3
  • 2013 Mike Dempsey Memorial Table Tennis Championships Gold in Singles class 2-3
  • 2011 Copa Tango IX Bronze in Singles class 3
  • 2011 Brazil Open Gold in Teams class 1-5
  • 2011 Brazil Open Gold in Singles class 1-3
  • 2011 Copa Costa Rica Bronze in Teams class 2-4
  • 2011 Copa Costa Rica Bronze in Singles class 3-5
  • 2011 US Open Silver in Singles class 3-5
  • 2010 1st Copa Costa Rica Gold in Singles class 2-3
  • 2007 US Open Bronze in Teams class 4-5
  • 2007 Atlantic Cup Silver in Teams class 5
  • 2007 Copa Tango V Silver in Teams class 4-5
  • 2006 US Open Gold in Open singles standing
  • 2006 US Open Bronze in Singles class 3-5
  • 2019 US Open Mixed Para Event finished 3rd
  • 2016 US National Mixed Para Event finished 2nd
  • 2013 US Open Mixed Para Event finished 2nd
  • 2012 US Open Mixed Para Event finished 2nd
  • 2010 US Nationals Mixed Para Event finished 2nd
  • 2008 US National Mixed Para Event finished 3rd
  • 2008 US Open Mixed Para Event finished 3rd
  • 2009 US Nationals Mixed Para event finished 3rd

Sebastian DeFrancesco – Athlete

  • 1984 - Paralympic Games - Team Silver Medal (Team 1A) with Skip Wilkins
  • 1986 - Pan-American Championships - 2 Gold (Singles and Doubles) with Jerry D’avila
  • 1988 - Paralympics - Team Bronze Medal with Skip Wilkins, Quarterfinalist in Singles
  • 1989 - National Championships - Class 1 Champion and Doubles Champion (1 & 2 Class Combined)
  • 1990 - World Championships - Quarterfinalist
  • 1991 - Irish Open - Class 1 Singles Champion Class 1
  • 1992 - National Championship - USA Champion Class 1
  • 1992 - Paralympics - Quarterfinalist in Singles
  • 1993 - World Games - Gold Medalist Singles & Silver Medalist in Teams
  • 1994 - National Championship - USA Champion
  • 1995 - National Championship - USA Champion (singles and doubles)
  • 1996 - Paralympics Singles Quarterfinalist
  • 1996 - National Championship USA Champion Class 1
  • 1997 - National Championship USA Champion Class 1
  • 1998 - National Championship Doubles Open Silver (all classes)
  • 1999 - Hungarian Open Bronze Medalist
  • 1999 - New Zealand Open, Bronze medalist
  • 2000 - Southern Italy Open - Quarterfinal Class 1 & 2
  • 2000 - National Championship - US Champion Class 1
  • 2000 - Paralympics - Quarterfinals in singles
  • 2001 - Got sick with Hepatitis C and took a medical leave until my liver transplant in 2006, started playing again
  • 2010 - US Open Championships - Silver Medalist Class 1
  • 2011 - 2017 National Championship USA wheelchair division - combination of second and third places 
  • 2015 - National Championship USA Champion Class 1
  • 2018 - National Championship Bronze Medalist Class 1 & 2
  • 2019 - National Championship Bronze Medalist Class 1 & 2

Roman Tinyszin –  Contributor

  • Roman has been an active umpire for more than 25 years. He has advanced in umpire and referee ranks to reach the highest levels in both qualifications.
  • He began his umpire career in 1992 when he passed the Club Umpire exam during the Nationals at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.
  • Slowly he worked his way up the umpire ranks by umpiring at local tournaments. He would go to a 2 day tournament, play on Saturday, spend the night and umpire on Sunday. He started attending the US Nationals and US Open in 1993, first as a volunteer umpire and later as an invited, uniformed umpire through our officials selection process.
  • He passed the Regional Umpire exam in 1996 and was selected to umpire at the 1996 US Open and the Paralympic Games in Atlanta.
  • In 1998, he attended the US Open in Houston, TX, and passed the National Umpire exam.
  • In 2002, he sat for the International Umpire exam and passed. In 2004 he became one of our first Certified Referees.
  • He was selected for and umpired at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.
  • In that year, he became involved with Pete Schuld to open and run a club in Shelton, CT. They opened the Lower Naugatuck Valley Table Tennis Club (LNVTTC) at the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boys’ & Girls’ Club.
  • It was during the time of running the club that he met Tara Profitt, a class 2 para athlete, who was looking for a coach. After a long layoff, she wanted to get back into the sport. She reached out to Sean O’Neill to find a coach. Sean recommended Roman and he became her coach. Tara travelled overseas to compete in international events. She has won several medals in international competition and achieved her goal of competing in the 2012 London Paralympics.
  • While all this was going on, Roman was still helping to run the LNVTTC club in Shelton, CT, and traveling as an umpire overseas, attending the 2011 World TT Championships (WTTC), Dutch Para Open and the 2011 US Open.
  • In 2010 he became chair of our Officials and Rules Advisory Committee (ORAC) and qualified as a National Referee. He served as chair of ORAC for 4 years until being forced out by the 6 year limitation (he had been on the committee for 2 years before assuming the chair). He led the committee with distinction, ensuring a smooth umpire and referee selection process and supervised the development of SOPs to provide continuity of committee operations. 
  • In 2011, at the WTTC in Rotterdam, Netherlands, he sat for and passed the ITTF Advanced Umpire Training exam (AUT), the first step to becoming a Blue Badge (BB) umpire, the highest umpire qualification in the world. He umpired a Men’s quarterfinal at the 2011 WTTC.
  • In 2012, he continued to attend events as an umpire. He attended the 2012 World Table Tennis Championships in Dortmund, Germany. After an interview to determine his English proficiency, he qualified as BB umpire.
  • In 2013, he umpired at the German Open, receiving highest umpire evaluations,
    the Joola North American Teams Table Tennis Championships, where he began a repeating assignment as tournament referee.
  • While he continued to umpire, he was also moving up the referee ladder. As stated above, he became a Certified Referee in 2004. He served as a referee for local events, traveling in Connecticut and nearby states. At each event, he gained more experience. He qualified as a National Referee in December 2008 at the US Nationals in Las Vegas.
  • His first event as a visiting Deputy Referee was in 2009. He attended the 2009 Canadian Open Teams Championships, held in Vancouver, BC. He also served as a Deputy Referee at the 2010 Double Fish Canadian Table Tennis Championships.
  • He served as the Deputy Referee for the 2009 US Open and US Nationals and as Referee at the US Nationals in 2010. He refereed several 3 and 4 star tournaments in the Eastern tournament region, including continuing serving as Referee at the 4 star events at the Westchester Club. He was gaining valuable experience at these events. It would be something he appreciated when sitting for the International Referee exam.
  • In 2012 he served as the Referee for the US Olympic Trials. This was his first major event alone, as there was no Deputy Referee. There were no problems. Besides serving as Referee at the Westchester events, he served as Referee at the Eastern Open run by North American Table Tennis.
  • He has served as a mentor to several of our newer officials.
  • In 2013, he qualified as an International Referee (IR), attending an IR School which was conducted in conjunction with the US Open and a World Tour event. He served as Referee for the Eastern Open and attended as an umpire, the North America Cup, German Open and the JOOLA North American Teams Championships.
  • 2014 was a very busy one for Roman. He Refereed the Westchester events and served as Racket Control Coordinator at the US Open and at Nationals. In August, he was the Referee for the ITTF North American Championships, held in August in Ontario, Canada.
  • In 2015 he served as Deputy Referee at the World Table Tennis Championships in Suzhou, China. He also attended the Swedish Open as an umpire.
  • In 2016, he served as a Deputy Referee for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and as a Deputy Referee World Veteran Championships, held in Alicante, Spain.
  • In 2018, he served as Referee for the 19th World Veterans Championships (WVC) and several other 4 star and smaller events. The WVC is the largest tournament ever held in the USA, with 9 deputy referees, 80 umpires and nearly 4,000 athletes from all over the world. The WVC went off without a hitch.
  • Over the past five years Roman been the most active US International Referee. Beginning this year he has taken over responsibility for conducting all US umpire exams.
  • Roman has been an outstanding contributor to USATT, excelling in everything he has done, umpire, referee, committee chair and para coach.

    Christian Lillieroos –  Contributor

    • Works for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) as coaching course conductor Level 1, 2 & 3, and trainer for Level 1 course Conductors in Spanish & English. Over 800 coaches have attended 44 courses in 22 countries, Certified ITTF Level 3* coach. Worked with Table Tennis in 48 countries. Training camps with 19 different National teams. Now works at the Paddle Palace Club.
    • Coached 7 World PTT champions from 3 countries. Mike Dempsey since 1984, Jennifer Johnson since 1985, Mitchell Seidenfeld since 1991, Christina Hoffman (MEX) since 1992 (WC Class 5 1998), Ernst Bollden (SWE) since 1981 (Paralympic Gold Class 5, 2004), Gregor Bonderud (SWE) since 1976 (WC 1977 Class 1c), Urban Andersson (SWE) since 1980 (Paralympic Gold Class 1B, 1984).
    • 2008-2013 was USA Table Tennis, Board of Directors
    • Head Table Tennis Coach for Texas Wesleyan University 2001-2006. The team won 16 National titles out of possible 25 in 4 years. (USATT Hall of Fame members) Eric Owens, Jasna Rather, Jim Butler
    • Developed the Killerspin “extreme table tennis” concept for a Worldwide TV audience, 2002. Produced two 1-hour instructional Table Tennis DVD’s
    • USOC National Table Tennis Coach of the year 1997 and 2002.
    • USATT Coaching Development Director for 4 years, over 200 coaches attended coaching certification courses, Conducted 2 coaching conferences.
    • USATT Men’s National Team Coach 1997-1998 (USTT Hall of members) Eric Owens, Jim Butler, David Zhuang, Chen Yinghua, Todd Sweeris
    • Director of Sport of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), 23 sports and 160 countries, in charge of the Sport Department at the IPC world headquarters in Bonn, Germany
    • Chairman of the International Paralympic Table Tennis Committee for 10 years, the International governing body for Table Tennis athletes with a disability. Technical Delegate for 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games and 1998 IPC World Table Tennis Championships in Paris
    • Assistant Table Tennis Competition Manager for the 1995 World Team Cup, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic & Paralympic Games. Worked with Richard Butler & Richard McAfee (USATT Hall of Fame members)
    • Head coach for the 1992 USA Paralympic Games team in Barcelona, 23 athletes 5 coaches, Mike Dempsey (USTT HOF) Silver Open WC, Marcy Monasterial (USTT HOF) Class 10 Bronze Team, Terese Terranova (USTT HOF) Bronze Class 5, Jennifer Johnson (USTT HOF), Mitch Seidenfeld (USTT HOF) Gold Class 8 singles, Bronze Class 10 team.
    • Head coach Mexico Men’s & Women’s team, Guillermo Munoz, Francisco Mendez 1992 – 93
    • Table Tennis High Performance Director in Mexico, Yadira Silva, Marcos Madrid 2013 - 14
    • Provincial High-Performance Coach in Canada, 1986-87.
    • In Sweden, Head Table Tennis Coach at one of 2 Elite Colleges for the best 16 to 20 year olds in Sweden, Coach of the National Table Tennis Team for Wheelchair in Sweden

    David Sakai – Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award

    • 9-time New England champion 

    • Member '79 Pan Am Team

    • 2016 World Veterans semi finalist 60 Men's Doubles (with Dan Seemiller)

    • Over 25 Open or Closed over 40 Men's Doubles (with Braithwaite, Seemiller & Cheng)

    • Over 25 Open or Closed over 50 Men's Doubles (with Braithwaite & Seemiller)

    • Multiple Open & Closed over 60 Men's Doubles (with Seemiller)

    • Multiple Open & Closed over 60, 65 and 70 Men's Doubles (with Dell Sweeris)

    • Multiple Open & Closed over 40, 60 & 70 Mixed Doubles (with Donna Sakai)

    • Starting in 1984, won the 1st 30+ National title and since has won every age group both Open & Closed - 30, 40, 50, 60, 65 & 70

    • Open 2019 over 70 champion

    View USATT Hall of Fame Annual Dinner Programs

    2021 Program - Players: Pam Fontaine, Sebastian DeFrancesco
    ContributorsChristian Lillieroos, Roman Tinyszin
    Lifetime Achievement Award: David Sakai

    2019 Program  - Players: Michael Ralston
    Contributors: Sharon Frant Brooks, Li Zhenshi
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Hicks

    2018 Program - Players: Dhiren Narotam, Aili Elliot, Norman Bass, Jr.
    Henan Li Ai, and Teodor "Doru" Gheorghe
    Lifetime Achievement Award:
    Larry Hodges

    2017 ProgramPlayer: Marcy Monasterial 
    Contributors: Bowie Martin Sr. and Scott Preiss 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Dell Sweeris

    2015 Program - Players: Tahl Leibovitz, Eric Owens, Wang Chen 
    Contributor: Tongsheng "Jack" Huang and Dean Johnson 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Si Wasserman

    2014 Program - Players: Tawny Banh, Lisa Gee 
    Player/Official: Sheila O'Dougherty 
    Official: Richard Butler 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Donna Chaimson Sakai

    2013 Program - Players: Todd Sweeris and Terese Terranova 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Yvonne Kronlage

    2012 Program - Players: Jennifer Johnson, Errol Resek, Tieu Lan Vuong 
    Contributor: George "Gus" Kennedy 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Dick Evans

    2011 Program - Players: Quang Bui, Jim Butler, Jasna Rather 
    Contributor: Jim McQueen 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Mal Anderson

    2010 Program - Players: Amy Feng, Brian Masters, Mitch Seidenfeld 
    Officials: Bill Walk, Azmy Ibrahim 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Fred Danner

    2009 Program - Players Gao Jun and Diana Gee 
    Contributor: Bob Fox 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Houshang Bozorgzadeh

    2008 Program - Players: Ilija Lupulesku and Chartchai "Hank" Teekaveerakit 
    Contributors: Bill Hodge and Chuck Hoey 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Danny Seemiller

    2007 Program - Players: Ray Guillen, Sean O'Neill, Olga Soltesz 
    Official: Wendell Dillon 
    Contributor: Joe Newgarden 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: George Brathwaite

    2006 Program - Players: Katarzyna "Kasia" Dawidowicz, Khoa Nguyen, Dan Pedora 
    Official/Contributor: Si Wasserman 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Joseph R. "Tim" Boggan

    2005 Program - Officials/Contributors: Richard McAfee and Marvin "Marty" Prager 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Leah Thall Neuberger and Thelma "Tybie" Thall Sommer

    2004 Program - Players: David Sakai, Norbert Van de Walle, Lily Yip
    Lifetime Achievement Award
    : J. Rufford Harrison

    2003 Program - Players: Eric Boggan and David Zhuang 
    Contributor: Larry Hodges 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Marty Reisman

    2002 Program - Players: Mike Dempsey and Wei Wang 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Dick Miles

    2001 Program - Players: Scott Boggan and Richard Hicks 
    Contributor: Thomas B. Miller 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Jimmy McClure

    2000 Program - Players: Cheng Yinghua and Attila Malek 
    Contributor: Robert "Bob" L. Green 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Sol Schiff

    1999 Program - Contributors: Ying Chow "Y.C." Lee and Dr. Michael Scott 
    Lifetime Achievement Award: Bobby Gusikoff

    1998 Program - Player: Richard "Ricky" Seemiller 
    Contributor: Richard "Dick" Evans

    1997 Program - Players: Sydney Heitner, Judy Bochenski Hoarfrost, Sharlene Krizman Wilson 
    Officials: Shonie Aki, Mal Anderson

    1996 Program - Players: Angelita Rosal Bengtsson, Donna Chaimson Sakai 
    Contributors: Herwald Lawrence and Neil Smyth

    1995 Program - Players: Alice Green Kimble and Danny Seemiller

    1994 Program - Players: Davida Hawthorne, Jack Howard, He Ja Lee, Wendy Hicks Stockwell 
    Contributors: Steve Isaacson, Yvonne Kronlage, Mary McIlwain, Manny Moskowitz

    1993 Program- Players: Patty Martinez Archer and Insook Bhushan 
    Official: Fred Danner

    1991 Program - Players: Garrett Gray Nash and Pauline Robinson Somael 
    Contributor: Sanford Gross

    1989 Program - Player: George Brathwaite 
    Official: John Read

    1988 Program - Player: Bobby Fields 
    Official: Graham Steenhoven 
    Contributor: Nippon Takkyu co., Ltd.

    1987 Program - Players: Peggy Ichkoff, Connie Sweeris, Dell Sweeris 
    Contributors: Houshang Bozorgzadeh and Tamasu Company, Ltd.

    1985 Program - Players: Jimmy Jacobson, Barbara Chaimson Kaminsky, Edward Pinner, Cy Sussman 
    Official: Joseph R. "Tim" Boggan

    1984 Program - Players: Charles Burns, Douglas Cartland, Mae Clouther, Bobby Gusikoff, George Hendry, Mildred Wilkinson Shipman
    Contributor: Bernard Hock 
    Official: J. Rufford Harrison

    1983 Program - Players: Sharon Acton, Valleri Bellini, Bernice Charney Chotras, Dal Joon Lee, John Somael

    1981 Program - Players: Bernie Bukiet, Tibor Hazi, Erwin Klein, Reba Monness, Marty Reisman 
    Officials: Otto F.J. Ek Carl Zeisberg
    Contributors: P. Becker and Co. and Harvard Table Tennis Co.

    1980 Program - Players: Laszlo Bellak, Peggy McLean Folke, William C. Holzrichter, Mildred Shahian, Thelma "Tybie" Sommer 
    Officials: William Gunn and George Shein 
    Contributors: William R. Price and John Varga

    1979 Program - Players: Abe Berenbaum, Robert "Bud" Blattner, Emily Fuller, Dolores Probert Kuenz, Lou Pagliaro, Sally Green Prouty, Jessie "Jay" Purves, Marcus Schussheim 
    Officials: Elmer F. Cinnater and Coleman Clark 
    Contributors: Detroiter and General Sportcraft Co., Ltd.