Aquatics have been a big part of Juliene Hefter’s life since childhood. The fusion of her knowledge and experience are evident in her leadership as executive director of the Association of Aquatic Professionals, which she founded with other aquatics professionals.

“Our passion for aquatics was to make sure that there were education opportunities ... that were just aquatics-based,” she says, “[so attendees were] not going to an overall conference that offered tons of different things and only had a few things on aquatics.”

While having a conference for aquatics professionals was one of the main reasons behind the inception of AOAP, the real goal is making aquatic information available to professionals at a reasonable price. AOAP’s Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign does just that, giving free resources to people in the aquatics community to present to, and educate, their communities.

But what’s particularly interesting about the campaign is a piece that was launched this year, focusing on educating caregivers on being water watchers. It’s a drowning prevention tool beyond the standard repertoire of educating children.