As CEO of the National Swimming Pool Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colo., Dr. Tom Lachocki would qualify as an industry notable due to his position alone. But Lachocki, who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry, is more than a figurehead. He has overseen NSPF’s reinvention as a scientific and international resource for aquatics professionals of all types.

Since Lachocki joined NSPF in 2003, the foundation has invested $4 million in research and studies on drowning prevention, pool and spa injury, and the health benefits of aquatics. It has raised awareness about recreational water illness prevention and the importance of water quality.

It launched the World Aquatic Health Conference, which industry experts say has been extremely effective in bringing together pool operators, aquatic researchers, government officials and other key groups that don’t always overlap. And Lachocki and his organization continue to look to the future: In 2012, NSPF introduced a 10-year initiative to teach more children, adults and minorities how to swim, for their health and safety.