Back in 2005, when we started featuring the Power 25,
the industry was flying pretty high. City coffers were full
and aquatics seemed to be on a roll: A fledgling new sector
known as waterpark resorts was coming into its own; the
industry had begun embracing and embarking on important
research; and manufacturers were producing exciting new
products and amenities. The first Power 25 group was our
way of saying, “These people are leading the way.
And their vision can help us keep the good times
Every year since then, the need for that vision, that
inspiration, has become more acute. Nationwide, aquatic
funding has dried up, and the industry has been dealt a
succession of blows, most recently in the forms of
unseasonably cool weather and an unforgiving, arguably
unreasonable, federal law. Many industry veterans,
including this editor, think it all adds up to more than
just the gentle wave of occasional ups and downs. This
time, the industry is being hit with a tsunami that will
require fundamental change and rebuilding.
This year’s Power 25 honorees represent the
people who can help make it happen. They’re our
Reinventors — the aquatics professionals we think
have the vision, the drive and the know-how to lead us into
the next reincarnation of aquatics.
As always, we know they represent a fraction of the
people who could be featured. All over the world, aquatics
professionals labor in obscurity, fighting the good fight
for their local pools, inspiring yet another generation of
lifeguards to take to the stands with vigilance, or
devising ingenious designs to make facilities more safe,
fun and healthy.
These are the people I want to recognize today. And
it’s all thanks to a reader who reminded me of
something very important: Aquatics is a profession
that’s built on mentors.
Think about it.
People certainly don’t get into aquatics for
the money, or the fame, or the recognition. They get into
it because they love aquatics. Why? Because
they’ve been inspired by someone else who loves
aquatics — they’ve seen through these
people’s, actions, words and deeds what it means
to make a difference in a community, a facility, a
So, as you think about what it means to reinvent
aquatics, I hope you’ll remember that
you’re as much a part of the solution as anyone
else featured in this year’s Power 25. You have
the power to make change happen. You have the ability to
inspire a new generation of aquatics professionals.
In that spirit, I want to know: Who inspired you? Who
was your mentor? Please go toAI Connect and share your
stories in the blog titled, “Who’s Your
The more stories we get, the more that inspiration will
flow, and the more everyone will realize that reinventing
aquatics is more than just a slogan or an idea.
It’s a life’s calling.