Mark Ein on Venus Williams after she won a tie breaker to win the championship and Kastles Tennis’ second perfect season ~
“. . .she said ‘I wasn’t just doing it for myself. I was doing it for a team. I was doing it for a city. I was doing it for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back.’ She will literally cite that as one of the highlights of her career. For Venus Williams to say that, I think is a great summation of what this can mean to people.”
A Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen and this is Our Town and our special guest is Mark Ein. I’m going to tell you a little bit about Mark. As I tell everybody, Mark, Our Town includes Annapolis, PG County, it’s Montgomery. It’s as far as our signal goes. As you probably know, we have a great signal because once we get up there, it goes all over the world. This is a podcast. Mark was an investor and an entrepreneur. He’s built companies over the course of his 22 year young career, but that’s another interview. Today, we’re here to talk about the man, our neighbor, our friend, the kind of guy who steps up to the plate and bids on lunch with me. Why? I don’t know, as an auction prize. A sports enthusiast who has done some pretty creative thinking in the sports arena with Kastles Tennis and the World Team Tennis. He’s a philanthropist. He puts his money up, his energy to educate children in the DC area. Mark Ein, welcome to Our Town.
Mark Ein: Thanks. That was a really generous introduction and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here with you, Andy. That auction item, I think, was the single best item I’ve ever bought at a charity auction. I had so much fun. Every year, I wait for that to come up again so I can get it again.
A Ockershausen: We’re waiting for Shuster. Yeah. We’ll come up with something for you.
Mark Ein: Good.
A Ockershausen: That’s a real thing that Eric has started for his school and his mother. It was a teacher in a Special Ed out there, but we love that. We love to be involved. One of the secrets of your success, Mark, and we preach this to everybody, you get involved in the community. You’re not just in it for the rewards. You’re in it to give. It pays off for you.
Mark Ein: I appreciate that. I feel really lucky with the life I’ve been able to have. I grew up in this area. I grew up in Chevy Chase.
A Ockershausen: You’re Our Town.
On the Giving Culture of Our Town
Mark Ein: Yeah. It has been. The opportunity I had to move back here 25 years ago after being in New York and LA and Philly and Boston, all over the place, and coming back, and the opportunities I’ve had, I feel so fortunate. One of the great things about this community, you talked about Eric Shuster, yourself, but so many people. Part of the culture of this community, I think, is giving back. That’s really something that’s embedded in the people who make this town move and to me, it’s one of the many things that makes this such a wonderful community to be a part of.
A Ockershausen: It’s amazing the people in your life and you’ve grown up with and almost universally, they’re givers and they give back, Mark. The more you give, you get back much more than you ever give.
Mark Ein: You know, that is a nice bi-product of it. I think that is the way the world worked. It’s great that it does. I think when you do it, you have to do it not because you obviously never expect anything to come back, you do it out of genuine care for what you’re doing. Frankly, the act of giving is the most rewarding part of it. You don’t need anything back. What you get back is that feeling of helping other people, helping organizations that are making a difference, doing something more than just for yourself. I’ve been blessed as we all have and I’m just happy to be in Our Town.
A Ockershausen: No. You made such an impact coming back into Our Town and getting involved, but you give so much through your investment companies and through your participation in charities and the things you’re doing in the educational field, Mark, it’s just so unbelievable. The people you work with have been great, too. I know you worked a lot with Joe Robert and all the things he did and he and Kimsey started one of those programs, did they not?
Mark Ein’s Mentors
Mark Ein: Yeah. There’s a whole wonderful set of mentors who were sort of the generation ahead of me. The Joe Roberts, the Mario Marinos, the Donald Dells in tennis, right? The John Harris’ in tennis. There’s more people than I can even name, but there’s a whole generation of people who set the culture and the framework of this community. I’ve had a wonderful cohort of people who are my era. The Raul Fernandezs of the world.
A Ockershausen: Oh boy.
Mark Ein: The Russ Ramseys and Mark Warners. There’s so many great people of our generation and it’s been great to have those people to follow in their footsteps, to continue to follow their example, and hopefully inspire the next generation. The exciting thing is hopefully this just continues to build and grow.
A Ockershausen: I can see that. That’s why I’m so pleased that Eric Shuster got involved in the charity aspect. He’s finally found out that it’s so important to give and he’s giving back in so many ways. But, the people you mentioned are such a part. When you mentioned Raul, who I’ve known through Joe and through you, Raul happens to be chairman of the board of our special charity, Don Bosco Cristo Rey School.
Mark Ein: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: Raul is a great contributor in so many ways. So is his wife, she’s on the board, is she not? My Janice is on the board. But Mark, one of the things you have done is the Kastles. You made Kastles a household word. It wasn’t easy.
Kastle Systems to Washington Kastles
Mark Ein: No. It’s funny, because the year before I started the World Team Tennis Team and this is going to be our 10th season so we’ve had nine seasons. It feels like yesterday that I was hitting a tennis ball into an empty parking lot where City Center was. It’s unbelievable. Billie Jean King and Adrian Fenty, who while he was a great athlete, actually it tuns out had really bad hand/eye coordination, but it feels like yesterday that we were there. The year before, I had bought another amazing Washington institution, the company Kastle Systems, who had another great guy who founded it, Gene Samburg. He’s a wonderful friend.
A Ockershausen: He was not a relative, correct?
Mark Ein: He is not a relative. Gene Samburg. No relation. I met him and we hit it off and this was his life’s work. It’s a security company. We secure 60% of the buildings in DC, but we’re all over the country. We hit it off and he felt like he could trust me to take his life’s work and be a good caretaker and take it to the next generation, so I started that. Then, I met Billie Jean King at the US Open and I just popped my head “Why haven’t we ever had a World Team Tennis Team in Washington?” She said, you know to market, I’ve always wanted to be in the league, was 35 years old at the time. She said it’s an incredible tennis community. It’s exactly a place where I’d love to have a presence. I’ve just never found the right person to do it with, and so let’s spend some time together. We spent time and it turned out that it was something she wanted me to do and I wanted to do. I decided to do it. Then, I thought what am I going to name the team?
Actually, a really creative marketing guy said “Why don’t you name it after your company?” It’s actually interesting. If you look at the history of sports, teams used to very be often be named for it’s owners. The Green Bay Packers, right?
A Ockershausen: Absolutely. I know it quite well.
Mark Ein: The Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s a long history of doing that. We thought we could have some fun with the Kastles with having a knight and a shield and protecting our house like we protect. Yeah. The team, it’s been huge. Who knew that within a short period of time the team would be more well known than the company actually.
A Ockershausen: But, that’s good.
Mark Ein: Right. It’s exactly what we want.
A Ockershausen: Good for you, Mark Ein.
Mark Ein: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: We’re talking to Mark Ein about his investment, but he has invested his time and his money in the educational area of this area. Mark, I want you to talk about that a little bit, because that’s where you give. You get back so much rewards for that.
District of Columbia College Access Programs (DC-CAP)
Mark Ein: Yeah. I’m involved in a bunch of things. I’m on the board of DC-CAP, where Ted Leonsis is the Chair that Don Graham founded an incredible organization.
A Ockershausen: Did Tony Kornheiser and those guys do a golf tournament went there?
Mark Ein: Yeah. It’s incredible. We write scholarships for kids in DC Schools and Counseling Service for kids in schools. Then, when education reform in DC became big and this was Tony William’s priority and then Adrian carried the mantel. He brought Michelle Rhee in. She decided we needed an external arm to raise philanthropic money, to raise private philanthropy dollars that we could use in DC schools. Historically, big national private philanthropies weren’t comfortable giving money directly to the school system. They didn’t know it would be used well.
A Ockershausen: Correct. We know that story.
Mark Ein: All that stuff. She said I’m going to set up a separate entity that’s going to go raise the money and fund projects related to reform that we can’t afford ourselves, but that national funders will want to support. We’ll use DC as a test bed for all this innovative stuff in education. We formed it. I’ve been chairman of that now for, I think it’s seven or eight years.
A Ockershausen: Oh wow.
Mark Ein: We’ve raised over a hundred million dollars in eight years. The coolest thing about this organization and it’s somewhat well known. We have a big event at The Kennedy Center actually March 13th called Standing Ovation. We do a Kennedy Center honors all for school teachers. The entire orchestra or the 1500 best performing teachers and then the 10 best get a Rubenstein Scholarship that David Rubenstein, who’s an old boss, who’s the guy who hired me to come back to DC, gives to the 10.
A Ockershausen: How about that small world, huh?
Mark Ein: Yeah, there’s a whole another story.
A Ockershausen: Is David a tennis player?
Mark Ein: He’s actually really good.
A Ockershausen: You used to be very good.
Mark Ein: I still am really good. David used to be really good. That’s the difference.
A Ockershausen: Come on, Mark.
Mark Ein: Both those statements are true. Anyways, the DC Public Education was amazing, but the greatest thing about the hundred millions dollars that we’ve raised is the vast majority of it comes from philanthropies, families, and endowments outside DC. This is new money coming into our school system and it has funded a lot of the reforms that have made DC public schools the fastest improving urban school district in America.
A Ockershausen: Really on a fast track to get better. I know that.
Mark Ein: I love that work.
A Ockershausen: The guy, I haven’t met him, but I’ve heard him. We do things. In the old WMAL days, you were too young, when the days of Wine and Roses, we dominated the media market and Channel 7 and WMAL Radio.
WMAL | Ken Beatrice
Mark Ein: Ken Beatrice. Of course. Are you kidding me? Every day, coming in from every game after RFK, listening to Ken Beatrice.
A Ockershausen: You know, so many people remember that because of his voice and his control and what he did. Everybody we talked to will mention Ken Beatrice, particularly in the sports world. They would all say he didn’t really have any agents. I’d say who cares?
Mark Ein: You’re next.
A Ockershausen: He’s an entertainer.
Mark Ein: You’re next. Yeah, he was great.
A Ockershausen: You’re next. Which I said about Kastles when I first saw World Team Tennis. Used to be on late night TV. It wasn’t even good enough to be on primetime with the speckled court and stuff. I watched that 20 years ago, 15 years ago.
Washington Kastles – The Early Years
Mark Ein: Yeah, yeah.
A Ockershausen: When you were bringing it to town, I couldn’t imagine until I saw it live. It was entertainment and happened to be on a tennis court. It was so entertaining. Win or lose. When you first started, you weren’t winning. It took a while to build up. Is that correct?
Mark Ein: Yeah. It is. It was funny. When I started this, I really did this, we talked about giving back to the community, I did this as a platform to give back to this community. That was my goal. Our four founding mission statements were bring the city of Washington together, promote a center of fun activities, promote the sport of tennis and physical fitness, and support local charitable partners.
A Ockershausen: And you did it downtown to start.
Mark Ein: Yeah, we did it right downtown. Those were our four things. I got out there and our first year, we didn’t win very much. It was funny. This sounds obvious, but until you feel it as an owner, you don’t appreciate it. After the matches when we would lose, there’d be all this energy. We always got good crowds. We always packed it from the beginning.
A Ockershausen: Always.
Mark Ein: But, when we’d lose, there’d be no energy in the place. The place would be dead. Then, the couple times we won, the place would be buzzing and people would want to go out. I said winning’s better than losing. I figured that out.
A Ockershausen: You figured that out, huh?
Mark Ein: Yeah. I know. We did figure it out. We’ve had a lot of success. It’s been great to not just bring the World Team Tennis to DC but also a winner.
A Ockershausen: Mark, you are the winner and you’ve transformed this city in so many ways. We’re going to take a break now. We’re talking to Mark Ein. This is Our Town and the impression that your tennis event has made on our town is enormous. I’ll tell you why.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town.
A Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen and this is Our Town. We’re talking to Mark Ein, an investor, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and a wonderful guy who’s doing a great job in so many ways. What he’s done with the tennis is incredible, but you’re bigger than that. Talking to you and mentioning some of these names of people that have made such an impact on Our Town like Manuel Hernandez, who you didn’t know until I told you. He’s Chairman of the Board of our charity, which is Don Bosco Cristo Rey Schools. But, everybody’s involved, all the people you name. I know them. They’re all involved in different philanthropies. Russ Ramsey went to school with Janice’s brother. He lived in Suitland.
Mark Ein: He did?
A Ockershausen: We’ve known that guy since he went to George Washington.
Mark Ein: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: The names that you keep bringing up, it’s just so great.
Mark Ein: It’s again one of the great things about Our Town and our community is that people grow up here and now they’re coming back.
A Ockershausen: Amazing.
The Other Washington DC
Mark Ein: DC used to be known as a transient community and people would come and go with administrations, but there is this whole other part of Washington that’s the real Washington. That’s Our Town, as you guys have said, that is all these people. These families, these individuals, these companies, these institutions now. Whose ever in The White House, whose ever is in Congress, this is stronger than that, and it’s become one of the great cities in the world independent for what it’s known for, which is the seat of the Federal Government, as one of the great places to live, work, be part of the community.
A Ockershausen: Mark, you prove that by coming back. Not only did you prove that, you bought a house in the middle of town, too. Now, that’s a great story in itself. Donald Graham talked to me about growing up in that house and going to school from there, but we travel. Janice has an office in Georgetown, so we go buy it every day just about. It’s not a bad place.
Caretaker v Owner Mentality
Mark Ein: No. It was a great honor to have the opportunity to do that. We talked a little bit about Kastle Systems. To be able to come back in this town and whether it’s companies or house or organizations, you don’t really feel like you’re the owner. You feel like you’re the caretaker. These things were around a long time before I got on the earth. I hope they’re all going to be around a long time afterwards. For a moment in time, you’re a caretaker for these things and you hope you just make them a little bit better than they were before and that you pass them on to someone else.
A Ockershausen: The people you name are living proof of that. Now, I heard those same words over 50 years ago from Jack Kent Cooke, who would say “I don’t own the Redskins. I’m here as a caretaker for the citizens of Washington”, and I don’t know whether he believed it or not, but he wasn’t trying to gouge the team. He had his own businesses and made a lot of money.
Mark Ein: Oh, I know.
A Ockershausen: He didn’t buy that team for money. He bought it because he believed in it.
Mark Ein: No, 100%. I will say again, my sports ownership, I’ve come to appreciate that exact same emotion. You really quickly realize that the most rewarding part of owning a team is nothing that happens on the court. People say what’s your greatest memory? We’ve won six championships. Five in a row. The longest winning streak in pro sports history.
A Ockershausen: 34 straight?
The Greatest Thing About Owning a Team
Mark Ein: 34 straight. The longest streak in the history of pro sports. The First Lady coming out five times, all that stuff. But, my best memory for sure is looking around the crowd and seeing so many people in my community having a great time. Parents and their kids, groups of friends, groups of kids, and I think that would’ve been me. If that team would have existed when I was a kid, I would’ve been that kid. I would’ve wanted to be there and these kids all have these memories for their whole lives. The families will have these memories for their whole lives and it is looking around the crowd and just seeing the opportunity to bring your community together. You realize that’s the most important part of being an owner of a team like that.
Reflection: On Growing Up in Tennis
A Ockershausen: Were you involved in tennis when it was this, then a formed view? WMAL and Evening Start sponsored the tournament called The Star. WMAL gave them the money, because The Star was losing money so we had to provide it. The first tournament, I think you’ll find it was in 1969, when Donald started the tournament.
Mark Ein: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: He came to us and we worked with him on it. Were you ever a ball boy?
Mark Ein: I was a ball kid at that tournament. That was the highlight of my Summer. It was one of the highlights of my youth every Summer, I would be a ball kid at that tournament probably in the mid-70’s.
A Ockershausen: They played on clay.
Mark Ein: It was a clay court. I would be the guy at net. Then, you get bigger. You’re the guy behind. Then, when I was too old to be a ball kid, I did transportation. I drove the players around. For sure, I wouldn’t be as involved in tennis or do what I did today if I hadn’t had that experience.
A Ockershausen: That atmosphere was incredible for a young person.
Mark Ein: It was great. It was incredible. My brother did it and I did it. All of our friends did it. The chance to be that close to professional places was the great part. When you’re an 11 year old kid and you’re on Stadium Court, you feel like they’re all watching you as a ball kid. Of course, they’re not. Then, of course, we all had that one incident. My brother had it and then I had it where on Stadium Court, you run, you pick up a ball, and you lose your balance and you fall right exactly on the clay. Everyone starts laughing at you. You learn humility doing that, too.
A Ockershausen: Clay was so much fun, though. The rallies would take forever.
Mark Ein: No, the rallies were great. The players were great. Jimmy Connors. Harold Solomon from Silver Spring. Eddie Dibbs and Fred McNair, who grew up in Chevy Chase, who’s a friend now. All those great players.
A Ockershausen: He was a great double player, wasn’t he?
Mark Ein: Ranked number one in the world.
A Ockershausen: Yeah.
Mark Ein: Then, just to bring the small world story even further, in the winter, there used to be both a men’s and women’s tournament at The Smith Center where now the Kastles play.
A Ockershausen: You’ve come home.
Mark Ein: Back when I was in ninth grade, for a number of years, in Junior High School and High School, there was an indoor tournament there. I remember I spent a lot of time with Arthur Ashe was there, Martina Navratilova.
A Ockershausen: Slims was there one year.
Mark Ein: Virginia Slims, right. I was a ball kid and I actually, later had to tell my parents the reason that my 9th grade academic record was so bad was because I didn’t tell them. I told them I was going to school, but I took a different bus and I went down and I ball kidded all day.
A Ockershausen: To The Smith Center?
Mark Ein: To The Smith Center. All the people running the ball kids were all wondering how I could miss school. I didn’t tell them I wasn’t supposed to be missing school, but it all worked out okay in the end. I have great memories of that.
A Ockershausen: You’re a tennis bum and I love it.
Mark Ein: Yeah. It was fun.
A Ockershausen: This is Our Town. I’m talking to Mark Ein. This is Andy Ockershausen. After this break, I want to talk about the Kastles and what you’ve accomplished and how much it means. This is Our Town.
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On the Washington Kastles Culture and Success
A Ockershausen:This is Our Town. Andy Ockershausen with Mark Ein, who has established an unbelievable record as an owner of a pro franchise that I want to talk about, Mark. What you’ve scored, I don’t think it’ll ever be produced again. What you’ve done in a short period of time with the Washington Kastles.
Mark Ein: Thank you so much. I’ve had a lot of great help, the fans and the community. As we said earlier, this is a great tennis town. They’ve come behind us. People who weren’t tennis people come, because they just love to be there. My team in the office, the people who’ve helped, really who run the team have done an amazing job. It’s been an amazing team effort.
A Ockershausen: It seems to be the sponsors have all come back. They’ve all loved it.
Mark Ein: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: The GEICO story I’m familiar with. The whole thing, Mark. Your record is you’ve won six straight world titles.
Mark Ein: We won five straight. We didn’t win last year. We won five straight until last year. Six overall.
A Ockershausen: Who won last year?
Mark Ein: San Diego. We just missed. It was a rough year. We had some last minute injuries. We had two really difficult injuries.
A Ockershausen: But basically, one of your secrets that you’ve held the nucleus of that team together.
Washington Kastles’ Team
Mark Ein: Exactly. It’s funny, because people think of tennis as an individual sport, which it obviously on the court is, but in a team format like World Team Tennis, team chemistry is as important as it is in basketball or football or anything else. Yeah, the nucleus of the team’s been the same. Our coach, Murphy Jensen, has been there for eight of the nine years. The first year, saying we weren’t successful would be an understatement. We weren’t great, but we really quickly started building a foundation. For me, having continuity, having a great culture, and having obviously great players. but many years, we did not have the best individual players. Other teams did.
A Ockershausen: That is correct.
Mark Ein: But, the culture of the team was every time there was a critical match or a critical point in a critical match, we literally for many years won every single one.
A Ockershausen: I was amazed at that. They not only won in Washington, they won on the road, too.
Mark Ein: Yeah. Everywhere. Everywhere.
A Ockershausen: Was McEnroe a permanent member?
Mark Ein: He played against us.
A Ockershausen: Oh, that’s where I saw him.
Mark Ein: He played against us a few times. Actually, once, we were really close to having a fist fight on the tennis court and it was actually made ESPN Top Play. It was a Top Play of the Week. The only time tennis has been Top Play of the Week at ESPN in the last decade and it was John McEnroe and Leander Paes standing nose to nose on our court about to get into a fight. But, John’s great. He’s a great talent. Obviously, no matter what he’s doing, he cares a lot and he has that fiery personality.
A Ockershausen: But again, your nucleus, the young Indian boy.
Mark Ein: Yeah. Leander Paes, who joined us our second year, is amazing. One of the greatest.
A Ockershausen: Yeah. He’s consistently a great player.
Mark Ein: One of the greatest double players of all times. He’s won The Grand Slam in men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
A Ockershausen: Correct.
Mark Ein: Martina Hingis played against us and I was dying to have her on our team and we had the opportunity to do that five years ago. She’s been just incredible.
A Ockershausen: She’s consistent.
Mark Ein: Just as a side note, her and Leander went off and paired on our way to the championship in 2014. I said why don’t you guys play mixed doubles on tour? On the plane, I wouldn’t let them get off the plane until they agreed to do it and so they started in 2015 at The Australian Open and won four of the next six mixed doubles Grand Slam’s. They won the mixed doubles Grand Slam.
A Ockershausen: That’s incredible.
Mark Ein: Every time they won it, whether it was Australia or US Open, they thanked the Kastles, because it was where it all started. That was special. Obviously, Venus and Serena. Serena played her first match and Venus has been a huge part.
A Ockershausen: I went to one of the luncheons with Venus downtown on K Street. I forget who it was, but she was just delightful. I think she was doing some clothing things at the time.
Mark Ein: She does that, but she lost to Serena in the finals at Australia.
A Ockershausen: Is that incredible at her age?
Mark Ein: Yeah, it’s incredible. She’s great. She’s coming back this year. She loves being part of this team. She, in 2012, when we completed our second perfect season, there had never been a perfect season in 35 years in the league. We did it once and we did it again in 2012 and she played the last match. It came down to her set. We were tied going in. It was four all. It was a tie breaker to win the championship, a second perfect season. First of five. She’s played Coco Vandeweghe, Kiki’s niece, who she just beat in the semis in Australia. First of five. Venus served the first two points. Coco won them. Venus was down 2-0. She ended up winning five straight points. She won the set, the game, the set, the match, the championship, the perfect season.
A Ockershausen: The world.
Mark Ein: She said “I called my mom and said that was one of the greatest experiences of my career”.
A Ockershausen: Oh, I’ll bet.
Washington Kastles’ Team Spirit
Mark Ein: Because she said “I wasn’t just doing it for myself. I was doing it for a team. I was doing it for a city. I was doing it for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back.” She will literally cite that as one of the highlights of her career. For Venus Williams to say that, I think is a great summation of what this can mean to people.
A Ockershausen: I love the fact you have so much enthusiasm for the people on the bench.
Mark Ein: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: They are in the game so deeply and so much a part of it, you feel it up in the stands. I think it’s the only sport you can really cheer like that anymore. In golf, if you cough, they go nuts.
Mark Ein: Yeah. I think you’ll see more and more of this in tennis, but it’s been a wonderful experience.
2017 Washington Kastles’ Schedule
A Ockershausen: Mark, this year, what are your dates?
Mark Ein: Yeah. It’s July 16-August 2. We’ve got the Bryan brothers. We’ve got Venus. We’ve got Leander. We have Martina Hingis coming back. The rest of the team will be announced on March 14th. We have Sloane Stephens playing against us, Eugenie Bouchard. It’s going to be star studded. It’s out 10th anniversary. It’s going to be our best year yet. People come year in and year out. As you said, the stands are always packed. What’s amazing is there are still some people who haven’t been, which I love, because that just means there’s more people for us to get.
A Ockershausen: It’s a big market.
Mark Ein: It’s going to be the best season we’ve ever had. Hopefully, July 16-August 2, people will come out and cheer us on.
A Ockershausen: I know that it’s so important to you Mark, but I recall the feeling of sitting down on the waterfront gazing at the beautiful sky, the beautiful night, having dinner right there. Those events can’t happen again. It’s a shame they got rid of your venue.
Mark Ein: But, The Smith Center’s been fantastic. The fans, our fans love it. The weather’s always perfect there.
A Ockershausen: Right.
Mark Ein: We all fantasize about the perfect Washington Summer night. It just doesn’t happen very much, so inside, it’s always perfect. We customize it for tennis. You’re on top of the action. People come. You can’t believe how close you are to some of the best players in the world.
A Ockershausen: And you feel it. But, you used to do it at the park, when Donald ran that tournament, you were up there squeegeeing the water off of the courts when they had the rainstorms.
Mark Ein: Of course. By of course, I mean I’ll do anything. I’ll clean the bathrooms if I need to. Whatever it takes to make our fans have a great time.
A Ockershausen: We appreciate it so much, Mark. Whatever we can do to help you, WMAL’s here for you. We’re here for you. But, what you have done is unbelievable in pro sports and nobody ever matched it and I doubt if they ever will. There will be no more World Team Tennis like you’ve established it. It’s a TV sport now, too, for the same reason.
Mark Ein: It is a TV sport and stay tuned. We’ve got some big news coming up about continuing to build this, not just Washington, but around the country. Stay tuned. You’re going to see some big news. I just want to say how much an honor it is to be here with you. You are an institution, and you guys both have built this town.
A Ockershausen: This is Our Town.
Mark Ein: It is and for me to have a chance to come and sit and chat with you is a gigantic honor.
A Ockershausen: Mark, you’re wonderful. I’ll never be in institution. I refuse that, too. When we were building a house, the building wanted to put an elevator. I said I don’t want an elevator. If I have to go up on my hands and knees, I’m not using an elevator. That’s what I’d still say. Mark, thank you for all you do.
Mark Ein: Thank you.
A Ockershausen: Thank you. We’re going to be back to you many times to talk about Don Bosco and talk to Fernandez, because we need that.
Mark Ein: Good, I love that. I’d love to do that.
A Ockershausen: We need you.
Mark Ein: Thanks.
A Ockershausen: This has been Our Town with Mark Ein, an entrepreneur unparalleled and a great, dear friend. Thank you Mark.
Mark Ein: Thank you guys.
Announcer: You’ve been listening to Our Town, Season 2 presented by GEICO, our hometown favorite, with your host Andy Ockershausen. New Our Town episodes are released each Tuesday and Thursday. Drop us a line with your comments or suggestions. See us on Facebook or visit our website at ourtowndc.com. Our special thanks to Ken Hunter, our technical director, and WMAL radio in Washington DC for hosting our podcast. Thanks to GEICO. 15 minutes can save you 15% of more on car insurance.
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