Injury Prevention & Education Specialist, Trauma Department, University Medical Center of El Paso (Co-Speaker: Denise Parra)
Ana Acosta is the Trauma Injury Prevention & Education Specialist and Safe Kids EP Coordinator at UMC El Paso. She received her Master’s Degree in Sociology with an emphasis on injury prevention at UTEP. She has been an active board member of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of EP since 2011.
Swim Coach/ Author/ Patent Holder, Swimming Fishies Swim School
Coach Danielle Bakic, a professional swim instructor of fifteen years, has taught thousands of children to swim. She is passionate about teaching survival, as well as proper technique and strokes. Danielle is firm, yet fun, and specializes in helping children who are terrified of the water. By boosting their confidence and building their trust in her, she helps them overcome their fears, Danielle provides private lessons, so children receive the attention they need. Ninety- nine percent of her students learn to swim across the pool in nine lessons. Her children’s book, My Swim Adventure, has all of her secrets to her success in helping children to swim in the water. Her expertise and knowledge has turned into a fun children’s book that will help children learn to swim. In the back of the book there is a Parental Instruction guide to help the parents be able to assist their child.
Co-founder & Executive Director, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin survived a drowning accident in Lake Michigan December 26, 2010 and then dedicated his life to water safety and drowning survival (video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeqxKGQ_BJg) He co-founded the GLSPR and: 1. Tracks the Great Lakes drowning statistics (1,030+ since 2010) 2. Organizes “Great Lakes Water Safety” presentations (Over 850 since 2011) 3. Organizes and leads Open Water Surf Lifeguard training 4. Works with family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims to advocate water safety. 5. Leads the Great Lakes Water Safety Public Relations and Media Relations campaigns with over 1,300 media mentions.
Program Director, Colin's Hope
Jessica learned of Colin’s Hope during a volunteer project in 2015 and quickly identified with its mission to prevent children from drowning. Her passions for working with children and families and community engagement led her to the Program Director position in 2016. Jessica loves working for Colin’s Hope because she wholeheartedly believes everyone can work together to create a world where children do not drown.
Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘em!). She served as a preschool teacher for 5 years prior to joining the Colin’s Hope team. With an extensive background in early childhood development, teaching experience, and parent and caregiver training skills, she has helped Colin’s Hope stand out as a top drowning prevention and water safety curriculum expert. As a former preschool teacher and now mother to 4-year-old Alexander (aka The Colin’s Hope Mascot), Jessica knows all too well the importance of advocating for child safety and is excited to work alongside the Colin’s Hope team to do so.
President & CEO, BoardBuild
Pam Cannell has dedicated her entire career to nonprofit leadership and board governance, playing an active role in the nonprofit community for over 25 years. As the President and CEO of BoardBuild, Pam leads efforts to strengthen communities through the training and matching of emerging and established leaders with qualified nonprofit boards. She is passionate about creating opportunity through collaboration and demonstrates her commitment as a Board Member and Officer of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, Founder and Board Member of the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition, and a Trustee of the Garrett Family Preserve. As a respected board governance thought leader and sought after speaker, Pam enjoys contributing to relevant and meaningful conversations on board diversity, addressing equity gaps, and empowering social sector leadership.
Technical Director, Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code
Celebrating over 20 years of full-time service to the aquatics industry, Dewey serves as the Technical Director for the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code. His career started as a part time lifeguard, evolved into servicing pools, then began managing aquatic facilities while in college. He has served in various roles with the YMCA of the USA, the local and state chapters of the American Red Cross, on the Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision Technical Committee for the MAHC 1st Edition, and on the Technical Review Committee for the MAHC 3rd Edition, as well as having managed aquatics facilities for the YMCA of Southeast Mississippi for 19 years. He holds multiple Instructor Trainer certifications from the American Red Cross, as well as instructor credentials with the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance.
Laura Carlin Cochran
Community Initiatives Coordinator, DuPage County Health Department
Laura Carlin Cochran, MPH. is a Community Initiatives Coordinator with DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) in Wheaton, Illinois. As a member of the Environmental Health Services team, Laura partners with swimming facility inspectors, pool owners and operators, building department regulators, pool installation and service companies, businesses, and organizations to build awareness of drowning and suction entrapment prevention and to deliver professional trainings on best practices for compliance with the VGB Act. In addition to working for DCHD, Laura has fifteen years of experience as a university-level public health Instructor. Laura resides just west of Chicago, Illinois.
Float 4 Life, NDPA President
After losing his son Joshua to drowning Blake has spent many hours studying the causes, statistics and prevention methods in place today in order to help solve this tragic world-wide problem. He sincerely believes early childhood education can reduce these accidents. Not only are children putting their seat belt on without being asked they are telling their parents to do the same. This has been accomplished through a massive and generational campaign. We can do the same with water safety and awareness. Please help us educate children that water is fun but only when we are all together!
Blake is happy to speak at organizational events about water safety and child education in order to help get out this message.
CSP, CSHM, CPSI, Safety Director, Marine Corps Installations Pacific
Shawn Curtis is the Safety Director for Marine Corps Installations Pacific, responsible for safety and health oversight of seven installations throughout the Indo-Pacific. He’s a Certified Safety Professional, Certified Safety and Health Manager and holds a BS in Management Studies, an MS in Industrial Technology, and is trained as a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival, Waterfront Lifeguard Instructor, and Water Safety Instructor. Mr. Curtis has twice been awarded the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for development and administration of a vibrant recreational water safety program, and in 2020, was recognized as the Marine Corps Civilian Safety Professional of the Year.
Dr. Emily Dow
Assistant Professor of Kinesology, University of the Incarnate Word
Dr. Emily Dow, CAPE is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Incarnate Word in the Department of Kinesiology. Dr. Dow has been teaching in Higher Education for 14 years and has a focus in the areas of Motor Learning and Behavior, Adapted Physical Education/Sport/Activity, Elementary Physical Education Pedagogy, and Aquatics. Dr. Dow received her B.S in Recreational Therapy from Slippery Rock University, her M.S in Sport Management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and her Doctorate of Education: Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Louisiana Monroe.
Dr. Jim Egan
Vice President of Research & Development, LaMotte Company
James W. Egan, Jr. has been Vice President of Research and Development at LaMotte Company, located in Chestertown, Maryland since 2012. He holds Patent # 8,734,734 for Liquid Analysis Cartridge, dated May 27, 2014.
From 1990 to 2008, he was the Chief Research and Development Chemist at the company, responsible for the development of new portable reagents, colorimeters, turbidimeters, and spectrophotometers for testing water, soil and air. He coordinated with both internal and external chemists, engineers and product developers. As Director of Research and Development from 2008 to 2012, he directed product development of all test strips, tablets, powder and liquid reagents and meters for LaMotte’s Markets. In addition, he investigated the development of new, unique testing devices and sensors, primarily for the water testing markets.
Mr. Egan, Jr. is a voting member of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance’s (PHTA’s) Recreational Water Quality Committee (RWQC).
He received a B.A. degree in chemistry with an ACS-certified program at St. Anselms College in Manchester, New Hampshire and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Families United to Prevent Drowning
Families United to Prevent Drowning is the collective voice of moms, dads, husbands, wives, sisters and brothers who are committed to preventing tragedies in the water.
Cassi Free is a high school teacher and a lifelong boater. She lives in Oklahoma and is married with three children. Her youngest son, Andrew, passed away as a result of Acute Carbon Monoxide Toxicity after a day spent on the family boat at the lake. Cassi is a member of Waves of Hope and since her son’s death, has spent countless hours advocating for CO safety in the media and in collaboration with the National Safe Boating Council, the US Army Corp of Engineers, and the US Coast Guard.
MOTR, Founder, Swim Angelfish
Cindy is a recreational therapist and an Occupational therapist. After working for ten years as a recreational therapist in a variety of settings, she pursued a Master’s degree in OT. Her career as an OT includes specialty training in sensory integration, reflex repatterning, and aquatics. She is currently certified as an Autism Specialist by IBCCES. As a swimmer and national champion diver, Her love of the water combined with her education and work experience created an opportunity for Swim Angelfish to become a reality! “Our mission is to create an aquatic community of trained instructors so that together we can decrease the alarming statistic of drowning being the leading cause of death for children with special needs.”
Department of Computing, Universidad De Cantabria
Diego García Sanz is a professor and researcher in the Department of Computer Engineering at the University of Cantabria, an expert in the development and application of management, analysis and data mining techniques (Data Science). He has more than 40 articles published in national and international conferences and magazines. For several years he has collaborated on research tasks with the ahogamiento.com project.
Founder, British Swim School
British Swim school was started in England in 1981. In 1991 I came to America and opened my first indoor swim school and 1993. I went on to open four more indoor swimming schools before I decided to franchise. The company became a franchise in 2007 and grew rapidly after that. It is now nationwide and is also in three other countries! I sold the company in 2018 and retired from the business world but I am now dedicating myself to educating both the swim community and the parental community on the value of infant swimming back floating lessons.
Facility and Pools Manager, Pikes Peak Athletics Training Center
Originally from South Florida, Rory has more than 15 years of varied aquatics experience. He’s started or restarted multiple swim teams and lesson programs, coached athletes from beginners to Olympians, and has served on multiple USMS and LMSC committees and boards. In his career he has run 4 different facilities; 2 recreational and 2 training centers. Rory currently serves as the Facility and Pools Manger for Pikes Peak Athletics Training Center, a world-class facility located in Colorado Springs offering space for beginners and World Champions alike.
Managing Partner, The Haggard Law Firm
Compassionate, empathetic and a fervent advocate for families that have been effected by drowning, Michael Haggard has dedicated his career to the pursuit of justice on behalf of his clients inside and outside of the courtroom. Haggard has secured unprecedented awards for his clients, and continuously lobbies for permanent solutions and change through local, statewide and federal legislation. Michael is widely recognized as a drowning expert and has been featured in media interviews nationwide. Ultimately, Haggard hopes to give victims the tools and resources to help rebuild their lives.
Director, Aquatics Centennial Initiative
Connie is the director of the Centennial Initiatives for Aquatics at national headquarters of the American Red Cross. She works daily to advance the Red Cross mission to prevent drowning with a focus on at-risk communities throughout the nation. Since joining the NHQ team in Washington DC in 1996, she has played key leaderships roles in the development of many Red Cross Aquatics programs, including Lifeguarding, Swimming and Water Safety, Safety Training for Swim Coaches and Longfellow’s WHALE Tales. Connie is also currently serving a member of the Steering Committee for the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan.
President, Autism Society of Florida
Stacey Hoaglund is the president of the Autism Society of Florida, parent of a young man with autism, educational advocate, statewide coordinator of Partners in Policymaking, author, and disability consultant. She trains on a wide range of topics related to autism, including water safety, behavior, communication, and collaborative processes.
Chairman of CPSC
Alexander Hoehn-Saric is Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). He was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden on July 13, 2021. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 7, 2021 for a term that expires on October 27, 2027.
Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Hoehn-Saric was Chief Counsel for Communications and Consumer Protection with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce. In this role, he served as the chief legal advisor to Chairman Pallone on the Committee on consumer product safety, auto safety, consumer protection, privacy, broadband, and other communications issues. During his tenure, Mr. Hoehn-Saric was instrumental in oversight of consumer product safety matters and drafting legislation to increase the authority and resources for the CPSC.
Previously, Mr. Hoehn-Saric was Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, for Charter Communications. He also served as Policy Director for then Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel at the Federal Communications Commission and worked at the Department of Commerce as the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives.
Mr. Hoehn-Saric also worked on the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee for Chairmen Rockefeller and Inouye. While at the Commerce Committee, Mr. Hoehn-Saric worked on the subcommittees responsible for oversight of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and was integral in the drafting of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. He also worked for Senator Boxer as her Policy Counsel.
Prior to joining government service, Mr. Hoehn-Saric worked for Latham & Watkins as a regulatory attorney and Sullivan & Cromwell as a litigation attorney. He also clerked for the Honorable Benson E. Legg, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
Mr. Hoehn-Saric received an A.B. from the University of Chicago and a juris doctor degree from UCLA Law School.
General Session: CPSC Chairman Address
Wednesday, April 13 DAY THREE 2:30PM - 3:15PM
Dr. Ben Hoffman
M.D., CPST-I, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics, Oregon Health & Science University
Benjamin Hoffman, M.D., F.A.A.P., is a professor of pediatrics in the OHSU School of Medicine; medical director of the Tom Sargent Safety Center at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital; director of the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (OCCYSHN); and vice chair for community health and advocacy.
Float 4 Life, Aquatics Director & Lead Coach
Kim is a supporter and advocate of water safety. She was raised in a family that was always surrounded by water and water activities including the swim team. The love she has for the water shows during each lesson she instructs. Her goal is to educate students the importance of water safety in a fun but serious manner.
Lead Volunteer Trainer, Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition
Julie Jackson is the Lead Volunteer Trainer for the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition. With over 15 years of experience teaching children and adults how to swim, Julie knows about the importance of water safety education. Julie is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with others so that no family suffers a loss due to drowning. Julie has served with the FWDPC for 9 years and is a founding Board member of the organization. Julie has 2 beautiful children, and has been married 27 years to her husband Bruce. She has 4 wild cats, 1 lizard and enjoys playing the drums!
Director of Communication and Training, BoardBuild
As a dynamic professional with nearly 15 years of experience, Krista Johnson is known for her passion for human behavior, adult learning, and strategic communication. Krista has spent a majority of her career as a corporate creative, leading the creation of innovative learning experiences for one of the world’s largest luxury beauty retailers, Sephora. While supporting the Sephora division of JCPenney, Krista received the national Guiding Principles award, “Play and Have Fun”, for her playfulness while driving results and her ability to inspire others to do the same. Krista is a AB-NLP certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner and a Fierce Conversations certified trainer.
Dr. Molly Johnson
Research Scientist, Dell Children's Medical Center
Dr. Molly Johnson is the research scientist for the Dell Children’s Medical Center’s Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Program and an adjunct Kinesiology Professor at the University of the Incarnate Word. Her research aims to understand factors associated with injury risk and to explore the impact of injury prevention approaches. Her current research focuses on drowning risk and prevention in children. Dr. Johnson also oversees a professional training program for Alexander technique specialists who work with performing artists and people with chronic pain. Her background allows her to approach pain and injury prevention from both a research and clinical side.
Executive Director, YMCA of Austin
Bret has been with the YMCA of Austin since 2007 and has severed in various roles from Aquatics Director to Executive Director. In addition, Bret provides leadership and support to the Aquatics Impact Team within the YMCA of and Austin and represents the Y as a member of the Central Texas Water Safety Action Team. Prior to his time in Austin Bret served as a Aquatics and Youth Sports Director with the YMCA of Central Ohio. Bret has a strong commitment to ensuring water safety and to this day he continues to teach as a Lifeguard Instructor, BLS Instructor, and Swim Lesson Instructor Trainer. Bret is dedicated to his local community and has served as the Chairman of the Board for the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Ambassador, Chair for the City of Buda Health And Human Services Grant Committee, Commissioner for the City of Buda Sustainability Commission, and is a current member of the Hays CISD Student Health Advisory Committee. Bret also serves as a volunteer trainer for Texas Parks and Wildlife as a Project Wild facilitator providing both formal and informal educators with the tools to provide wildlife-based conservation and environmental education that fosters responsible actions towards wildlife and related natural resources.
Owner, Swim4Life Colorado
Courtney grew up at the pool and competed from age 5. When she fell out of a raft into a rapids, got wiped out by a wave or found herself in open water triathlon swims she was out of her comfort zone. Discovering how many teens and adults drown who have similar backgrounds she was inspired to create a swim curriculum that bridged the gap between the predictable pool setting to open water application. “When I was flailing in the waves my beautiful butterfly or amazing streamline didn’t help me. I had a false sense of security.” As an Orca trainer, Competitive Coach, Stroke Technique Coach and Aquatic Therapist she has meshed experience, international and national trends to develop a comprehensive facility bringing all water has to offer at any age or stage.
J.D., Executive Director - Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation
Alan Korn is the executive director of the Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation where he assists the organization in its management, public policy, marketing and public relations efforts. Before joining AHCH, he was the executive director/general counsel for Safe Kids USA. He directed the public policy agenda and state advocacy efforts. He advised the organization on legal and liability. A graduate of Washington University School of Law and a member of the DC and Missouri Bars.
Breakout Session: Advocacy Presentation
Tuesday, April 12 DAY TWO 1:45PM - 2:30PM
CMO, LifeguardEye CV Analytics
Yana is the Head of Business Development and co-founder of LifeguardEye, a technological aquatic risk-management system, which she has been working on since 2019. She is a student at Reichman University and an exchange graduate of the Wharton School of Business.
Executive Director, Colin's Hope
Alissa Magrum is the Executive Director of Colin’s Hope. She began as a volunteer when the organization was founded in 2008 and has been the Executive Director for 11 years. Her now 16 year old daughter was a preschool classmate of Colin’s and as a mom, Alissa was deeply impacted by his drowning. As a competitive triathlete, her own love of the water and her passion for keeping all kids safer drives her work with Colin’s Hope and in drowning prevention . Alissa is a co-founder of Families United to Prevent Drowning, Board Member for the Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance, Vice President of Safe Kids Austin Board, Co-Chair of the Central Texas Drowning Prevention Action Team, Co-Chair of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance Advisory Board and an active member of many local, state and national water safety groups.
Nathalie V. Martin
Founder, Swim Global Project, Drowning Prevention Education
Nathalie Martin is a drowning prevention advocate with decades of experience in advancing water safety education through high-impact programming, advocacy, and philanthropy. She hopes is to strengthen global movements of understanding to support aquatic education worldwide.
Founder, Miles of Freedom
Richard Miles was a teenager when he was wrongfully arrested and convicted of murder and attempted murder. Miles spent the next 15 years in a Texas prison. Since his release and exoneration, Richard has been blessed to travel the nation telling his story of hope, determination, and faith but also addressing the issues of mass incarceration, wrongful convictions and the need for productive reentry services.
In 2019, the journey of Richard Miles was shared on the international stage highlighting his accomplishments as one of the Top 10 CNN Hero’s. In 2020, Miles of Freedom was acknowledged for their community work during COVID by the North Texas Food Bank and received a Humanitarian Award from the City of Dallas (MLK Center). Most notably, September 1, 2021, the Richard Miles Act was passed into law in Texas. The Richard Miles Act addresses the accountability and timely disclosure of exculpatory evidence as it relates to arresting officer/agencies. Richard is currently enrolled in Paul Quinn College working towards his Bachelor in Business Administration. He also serves on the board of God’s Holy Church of Christ, Dallas Sheriff Community Partnership and Power in Action.
Central Region Child Fatality Prevention Specialist, Department of Children and Families
Kirby Morgan is the Child Fatality Prevention Specialist for the Department of Children and Families. Kirby has been with the department for 26 years and is passionate about protecting Florida’s children and preventing child fatalities. Kirby worked in Economic Self Sufficiency in Eligibility for 3 years and Welfare Fraud for five years earning a Davis Productivity Award in 2002 for his efforts in measurably increasing performance and productivity. In 2003 Kirby transitioned to Family Safety as a Child Protective Investigator, spending 3 years in the Pine Hills area of Orlando and the last 2 years in the Critical Unit at the Howard Phillips Center covering all of Orange County. In 2008 Kirby moved into the Family Safety Program Office and has been the Child Fatality Prevention Specialist for the Central Region for the last 13 years. Kirby holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Renaissance History from the University of Florida.
Circuit 9 Community Development Administrator, Department of Children and Families
Tina Morgan has worked with the Department of Children and Families for over 20 years. She was initially hired on as a Child Protective Investigator (CPI). She serves on multiple committees revolving around families and youth; including the Safe Families Task Force, the Healthy Baby Initiative and the Fetal Infant Mortality Review Committee, Child Fatality Review Board, Children’s Safety Village Board, DJJ/DCF Crossover Champion, Central Florida Water Safety Task Force, Youth Homelessness COC Committee, Central Florida Human Trafficking Task Force, and more. Tina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Education degree from Texas Wesleyan University. Tina has a passion for prevention and loves to help children and families!
Co-Owner, Total Aquatic Programming LLC
Mick’s specialty is business development, programming, water treatment, and aquatic facility design. In 2004 Mick moved to Colorado Springs to initiate the Facilities Department of USA Swimming. In 2020 co-founded Total Aquatic Programming and became an advocate for aquatic facilities and aquatic professionals.
Aquatic Program Design Specialist, Total Aquatic Programming LLC
Sue and her husband built and operated their aquatic facility, Poolside Health and Wellness Center for 35+ years. They both were hired in 2004 to work at USA Swimming, NGB for the sport of swimming. They created and developed programs for the facilities department. In 2020 retired from USA Swimming and started Total Aquatic Programming LLC, aquatic advisors and advocates for aquatic professionals and facilities.
Director of Product Management and Customer Programs, Taylor Technologies, Inc.
Water safety has been an integral part of Jody O’Grady’s life. She grew up on an island in the middle of the Ohio River and spent her childhood summers by a lake. For well over two decades, Ms. O’Grady has worked for a manufacturer of water testing supplies, where she wants everybody to know how important water chemistry and sanitation is to the swimmer (and equipment).
Public Affairs Officer, El Paso Water
Denise Parra is the Public Affairs Officer for El Paso Water. She made the transition to public relations in 2020 after nearly ten years as a television journalist for the ABC news affiliate in her hometown of El Paso, Texas. In her role at EPWater, Parra works closely with local and regional media, manages and creates content for the utility’s social media platforms and writes stories and columns for EPWater internal and external audiences. This new career path has exponentially opened a new appreciation for the work it takes to deliver water, from source to tap to the community. Parra graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Luis Miguel Pascual-Gomez
Research Manager, AETSAS (Spanish Association of Professional Lifeguards)
Luis Miguel is an advanced Swimming and Rescue Instructor. In 1996 he co-founded ESS, a charity organization that focuses on drowning prevention and training of aquatic lifeguards. As a member of the Board of Directors and Research Director of AETSAS, he managed the annual Lifesaving Conferences organized by ESS and AETSAS since1997 and the Spanish International Conference on Drowning (SICOD). He has produced several works, on its two fields of interest: improving life-saving teaching and techniques, and early drowning detection, characterized by their innovative approach and practical application. He is the first Spanish author of articles on drowning prevention and rescue to be included in the 2004 and 2014 Edition of the Handbook on Drowning. Since 2011 leads the research project “Drowning in Spain” that have already collected over 8,000 incidents to boost prevention and awareness about drowning.
Dr. Amy Peden
Lecturer, School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales
Dr Amy Peden is an injury prevention researcher and lecturer in the School of Population Health at UNSW Sydney and holds an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowship. She maintains adjunct appointments with James Cook University and the George Institute for Global Health. Much of her work focuses on drowning prevention, regional and remote communities, social determinants of health and alcohol. Dr Peden is also a Senior Research Fellow with Royal Life Saving Society – Australia and is a member of the International Life Saving Federation Drowning Prevention and Public Education Commission.
Swim with Becky, Founder
Becky Puhl understood the importance of water safety at an early age. After enrolling her son in lessons, Miss Becky realized that teaching children to be comfortable and secure in the water is a life’s passion.
She trained with ISR and began teaching in West Volusia County in 1998 and has taught survival skills and stroke techniques to more than 3,000 children . Miss Becky was instrumental in training more than a dozen instructors in Central Florida and Texas. Miss Becky also teaches adults to swim, whether for survival or fitness.
She is active within the community and is a member of the Drowning Prevention Task Force, the NDPA, and is the chapter holder of the Volusia County NDPA. She also provides water safety presentations to organizations such as Mother’s Groups, pediatricians, and schools.
Halle Quezada Rasmussen
Water Safety Advocate
Halle Quezada is a Chicago Public School teacher who entered the water safety world when she assisted in the rescue of a former student’s little sister while her 13 year old friend fatally submerged. She started the City of Chicago Water Safety Task Force and Chicago Alliance for Waterfront Safety and has seen action come from advocacy. The rest of her time she spends wrangling her two young children and running a multi-lingual mutual aid network in her neighborhood.
Executive Director, Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium
Jamie Racklyeft Executive Director, Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium A native Michigander and annual up north vacationer, he was fortunate to narrowly survive being caught in a Lake Michigan rip current in 2012 when he was saved by two brave strangers in a kayak. Today he is applying communication strategies and human-centered design thinking principles in leading the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium, a community of BEST practice with more than 1,000 members working together to END drowning in the Great Lakes area. In 2018 Jamie was married back on the beach where nearly drowned. Jamie is a Communication Director and core faculty in injury prevention at the University of Michigan. He earned his Master’s in Education from Wayne State University and a Bachelor’s in General Studies from U-M, focusing on Communication, Psychology, and Art History. Jamie’s Rip Current Survival Story (2M views): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnGCXk4qY68 Jamie’s Water Safety TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr9Pt2XITRc
Associate Professor, IU and American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, Aquatics Sub Council Chair
Residing within the Department of Health & Wellness Design under the umbrella of the Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington as an Associate Professor, Dr. Ramos’ research is focused on examining the impact of both built and natural aquatic environments on the human experience. Dr. Ramos’ current service contributions to the field include appointments to the board of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, The ZAC Foundation, as well as a role on the U.S. Water Safety Action Planning
Beth Root is the creative behind the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™. She has been a volunteer with the World Waterpark Association (WWA) for the last 20 years, helping to build and support their water safety awareness programs with campaigns like “His Super Powers Don’t Work in Water,” Be Water Aware and the National Water Safety Month initiative. She’s a passionate drowning prevention advocate, former lifeguard, WSI and competitive swimmer and serves on the National Drowning Prevention Alliance Advisory Board. Her professional background includes work for global brands such as Blue Man Group, Cartoon Network, Disney on Broadway, MTV Networks and Showtime. Currently, she’s the Principal at Buzzonic, a content and integrated marketing agency she founded in Overland Park, KS
Executive Director, Swim Strong Foundation
Shawn Slevin started Swim Strong Foundation in 2006 to reduce unintended drowning by teaching water safety and swimming skill education. Swim Strong offers Learn to Swim (including Adaptive) through Competitive programs for ages 3 through Seniors. We have taught more than 10,000 students how to swim and given more than $1 Million in free swim lessons to families in need. Swim Strong’s newest offering is “Know Before You Go™” series of four environmentally focused water safety educational programs which may be taught in person, remotely or in blended fashion. Shawn is a passionate advocate for water safety and has been featured in two documentary films, many articles, tv and radio appearances and been recognized for her community work by several local civic and governmental agencies and nationally by USA Swimming Foundation. She resides in NYC. Shawn can be reached at Shawn.Slevin@swimstrongfoundation.org Her website: www.SwimStrongFoundation.org Social Media platforms: http://www.linkedin.com/company/swim-strong-foundation-inc-/ http://www.facebook.com/SwimStrongFoundation @SwimStrongNY www.youtube.com/user/SwimStrongFoundation
Immediate Past President, NDPA & DPCA
Ms. Sutton is a professional fundraiser holding a degree in pre-med biology from the University of Utah, a two-year post-graduate certificate in nonprofit management from Arizona State University, and an SBA MBA. Melissa is the Immediate President of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona and of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. She is the Vice President of Water Smart Babies, and an aquatic expert for Maricopa County’s Child Fatality Review Team; all voluntary positions. Her paid gigs are with the companies has founded or co-founded: Abundance Journey Consulting and Active Kids Global. She is active in the Phoenix nonprofit and endurance racing communities.
Swim school owner/firefighter/boater safety, Little Swimmers/The Safety Anchor
Meric was a physical education teacher for 10 years. He has co-owned and operated a swim school, Little Swimmers, since 1996. Meric is a Miami Dade County Firefighter with certifications as a marine firefighter, paramedic, and has a USCG vessel license.
State Safe Kids Coordinator, Florida Department of Health
Amanda Throndsen currently works for the Florida Department of Health Violence & Injury Prevention Section as the Safe Kids State Coordinator. Ms. Throndsen has been in the Aquatics Industry for more than 25 years teaching, training, running programs and facilities. She is certified by the American Red Cross, is a Certified Pool Operator and holds other injury prevention area certifications. Ms. Throndsen holds also holds a Master’s degree in management and public relations.
MA, PT, Founder, Swim Angelfish
Ailene is a pediatric Physical Therapist with more than 25 years of experience treating a variety of diagnoses, both in and out of the water. She is NDT (Neuro-Developmental Treatment) trained in pediatrics and is trained in DIR/Floortime. She is currently certified as an Autism Specialist by IBCCES. Ailene brings all of her Physical Therapy expertise into the water, where she helps children of all abilities feel safe, confident, and independent. She combines her passion and skill for working with children with special needs with the therapeutic properties of the water to achieve amazing results. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience by educating other Aquatic Professionals so that they can also make a significant impact on the lives of swimmers with special needs.
Chezik Tsunoda is a mother of four boys, a documentary filmmaker, and the founder of No More Under. Since her 3-year-old son Yori drowned in a friend’s backyard pool, Tsunoda has been driven to promote the conversation about and raise awareness around drowning prevention and water safety.
Tsunoda is an accomplished director and producer whose work spans across movies, television, and advertising. She is currently in production on a documentary film to bring more awareness to water safety and is speaking with doctors and community leaders and connecting with other parents who have been personally impacted by drowning.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
US Congresswoman, State of Florida
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a tenacious, hard-working, passionate advocate and tireless fighter for progressive values and the safety and security of families and children in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District and across America. Involvement in student government at the University of Florida, combined with her strong belief in the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world – inspired her toward making public service a lifetime calling. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a trailblazer who has knocked down barriers and shattered glass ceilings. After winning 53 percent of the vote in a six-person primary in 1992, at age 26, she became the youngest woman (at that time) elected to the Florida Legislature. Wasserman Schultz is intensely focused on issues key to the success of families from all walks of life: expanding access to health care and lowering costs; improving the quality of life for children and families; protecting women’s reproductive freedom; safeguarding Social Security and Medicare; standing up for equality for all and ensuring that our brave service men and women and first responders have the support they need to do their jobs.
Wednesday, April 13 DAY THREE 2:30PM - 3:15PM
Senior Formulations Chemist, CP Consumer Technology, BioLab, Inc. – A KIK Custom Products Company
John Weber is a Senior Formulation Chemist with BioLab where he is primarily responsible for new product development, supporting existing products and evaluating new technologies.
John has been in the pool and spa industry for over 24 years and has worked for several pool and spa manufacturers including Laporte Water Technologies, Advantis Technologies, Arch Chemicals and Lonza prior to coming on board with BioLab for the past 4 years. John has been a manager in quality control, technical services as well as new product development. John has worked with and/or been a member of the Recreational Water Quality Committee of PHTA for many years, is CPO Certified and teaches numerous courses on water quality at trade shows annually. John was educated at Old Dominion University and Georgia State University and holds 2 patents for new product development.
Owner, Elemental Aquatics
Angela Wild has been a passionate drowning prevention advocate for 2 decades. With formal degrees in motor learning & recreation, her experiences in the swim school industry, public education and Municipal Aquatics bring a well- rounded perspective of the unique challenges that Water Safety experts face. As a small business owner specializing in water safety , swim lessons and Aquatic Enrichment, Angela provides her community with a variety of aquatic based programing and water safety education.