Message from Tom Baxted / Advisory Board

Tom Baxted and Alexander Smirnoff,
DhhEAF Advisory Board Member

Tom Baxted is a former #1 USA Deaf tennis player and has represented the USA in the Deaflympics (Bucharest Romania, 1977 and Cologne Germany, 1981) and the Dresse Cup (Paris France, 1978 and New York, 1980).

Growing up in Southern California, my favorite sport was baseball. At the age of ten, I was introduced to tennis and practiced incessantly. My athleticism helped me progress quickly and my confidence blossomed. Eventually I was chosen to represent the U.S. in the World Games for the Deaf and traveled all over the world. Meeting people from all walks of life, together with travel, further inspired me to pursue tennis with greater discipline and perseverance than ever. Subsequently, I was able to take my tennis to the highest level in the game, the professional ATP tour.

People have asked, "Did you win lots of money on the tour? My answer is "No, but I earned something more valuable.  It was tennis which taught me that hard work pays off and can help everyone excel in life."

I thank tennis for giving me the ability to look at things from a broader perspective. Instead of tennis, I concentrated on my education and earned a B.S. in Finance and Information Technology. More recently, I completed my MPA, a Masters Degree in Public Administration.  I have over 20 years experience as a Financial Adminstrator at Boeing Company in Southern California.  Today, my wife Gina and I have a broad spectrum of friends. I feel that I am "giving back" with the success of the DhhEAF Program and proudly volunteer as DhhEAF's Advisory Board Chairperson.  

Advisory Board:

Along with Tom Baxted, we have several outstanding individuals on our Advisory Board:  

Alexander Smirnoff, CPA lost most of his hearing at age five and graduated from San Diego State University.  He accomplished in the business arena.  Alex started his career in Public Accounting with Ernst & Young and is now the Chief Financial Officer of Clayton Industries, a manufacturer of steam generators with multiple plants around the world.

Deaf since birth, Mr. Chris Wedekind has been recognized as an Award Winning Software Engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation and has been a team lead for the past 10 years for FBCB2 project that supplies the Army and the Marines with a Digital Battle Command Information system.

Vic Braden (1929-2014) was an international tennis luminary, renowned as an author, television commentator, tennis-ologist and teaching guru. Vic was a good guy & a visionary.  Unselfishly, he sought to help the underserved & recognized the importance to be on DhhEAF’s Advisory Board.  We owe him many thanks!  Our opinion: Vic should be in the Tennis Hall of Fame. 

DhhEAF is an approved project of Community Partners.