“Though he retired in 2010 after 27 years with the parks and recreation department of Austin, Texas, Farhad Madani isn’t spending much time lounging by the pool.
Known for his efforts to serve a diverse population of swimmers at Austin’s public pools, the Iranian-American worked to develop and recruit a similarly varied team of lifeguards during his municipal career.
Since 2010, he’s started a consultancy, Aquatic Safety Experts, and is helping establish the fledgling Association of Aquatic Professionals. Not only was he a founding member of AOAP, but Madani is now its executive director.
AOAP was established in 2011 after the evaporation of the National Recreation and Park Association’s National Aquatic Conference, with which he had also been involved. The new group hopes to improve communication and cooperation among the varied segments of people and professionals involved in aquatics — commercial pool designers and builders, pool operators, water safety experts, manufacturers and even the public, which have been welcomed to AOAP events. It’s an ambitious goal, but AOAP has already held its first conference and has plans for a second event in 2013.