At its annual Educational Conference in March, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance rolled out several organizational changes largely driven by the incoming president.
Current NDPA Vice President Adam Katchmarchi will take the helm July 1. He succeeds Jim Paterson, known as an important figure in the group’s 14-year history for tightening up the organization and steering it clear of very rough financial waters.
Katchmarchi, a Ph.D. candidate in kinesiology at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W. Va., already has made coalition building a priority. For instance, he plans to reach out to more corporate partners, including service professionals, manufacturers and pool builders, to help spread the word about water safety. “My goal, at least in my first year of presidency, is to build [corporate] partnerships, maintain our current partnerships and see how we can foster and grow those,” he said.
Building partnerships with members of Families United to Prevent Drowning to help spread their messages also will be one of his goals. In fact, NDPA has incorporated Families United as an affiliate group.
This spirit of cooperation is reflected in a new NDPA logo that was unveiled at the conference, marking the first such change in the organization’s history. Featuring four brightly colored people linking arms around a wave of water, the graphic symbolizes NDPA’s commitment to working together toward a common goal, as well as the four pillars on which the group was built: education, task forces/coalitions, corporate and Families United to Prevent Drowning.
“It shows that we are working all together in an effort to have a positive effect on the problem of drowning,” said NDPA board member Blake Collingsworth. “The old logo conveyed we were about water safety, but we were looking for one that truly stated the collaborative effort, vision and mission we have moving forward.”
In his new post, Katchmarchi also plans to address NDPA’s corporate function. On the day he begins his tenure, headquarters will officially move from Tustin, Calif. to Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pa. The move is “solely for business and logistical purposes,” Katchmarchi said.
NDPA’s 501(c)3 nonprofit status and its official governance will remain in Tustin. The relocation will involve a new mailing address; however, the phone number and incorporation will remain unchanged.
So, why make the move in the first place? Katchmarchi soon will begin his first year as a full-time faculty member at IUP, where he is tasked with revamping an undergraduate aquatics program for the 2016-2017 academic year, with a graduate program to follow.
The NDPA also will hire a graduate assistant at IUP for the 2016-2017 academic year. He or she will assist the board of directors with conference planning and ongoing projects.
“With the NDPA growing at an accelerated rate, it was time to start discussing how to better manage the operations of the organization,” Katchmarchi said.
But it isn’t straying too far from the 100 percent volunteer strategy that has kept it in the black, he said. The selected student will work with the NDPA 20 hours a week during the school year and receive a tuition waiver and university stipend. The position is expected to be filled by the start of the fall 2016 semester.