Franceen Gonzales was proud when Great Wolf Lodge opened in Mason, Ohio, in 2006. She was the corporate director of aquatics at Madison, Wis.-based Great Wolf Resorts, overseeing operations and maintenance of the company’s nine waterparks.
But the initial excitement over the new property soon became
concern when several guests reported health issues.
It turned out that though the property was diligently maintained
and equipment was state of the art, chloramines were affecting
guests. Gonzales and her team worked with state and federal
officials, and ultimately changes were made to resolve
Today, she oversees the waterparks, engineering, safety, and
insurance as vice president of risk management, but those months of
research, testing, and modifications at Mason, have stayed with
So when the Model Aquatic Health Code project got under way, she
was the ideal candidate to lead the Ventilation Technical
“We’re looking at water chemistry and how that
interfaces with the air,” Gonzales explains. “The
bather load, how much chlorine is in the pool, and how much surface
area is exposed to the air are the drivers in indoor air quality.
” Still, she adds, there’s a lot of opportunity for
The MAHC is a volunteer commitment and Gonzales, who got her start
in aquatics working a summer job as a college student, is no
stranger to “extracurricular” industry involvement. She
served as chair of the World Waterpark Association’s Board of
Directors from October 2006 to October 2008 and is the secretary
general for ASTM F24, where she helped draft standards for water
slides and aquatic play structures. She also serves on the IAAPA
Safety Committee and recently joined the IAAPA Board of
“I’m very strategic when I select volunteer
efforts,” Gonzales says. “It has to be something that
is core to my business and it has to stand to have a broad impact
Ultimately, Gonzales believes the MAHC will accomplish both of
“MAHC is not going to be a silver bullet solution ... and
it’s not going to be a quick process. But it does bring
together a blue ribbon panel of experts to develop consistent
codes, which impacts everyone,” she adds.