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    Jeff Ellis

    When there's talk of leaders in aquatic safety, Jeff Ellis’ name always comes up.

     
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    Mike Espino

    With 16 years at the American Red Cross and now nearly five years at Chicago-based YMCA of the USA as its aquatic safety and risk specialist, Mike Espino knows large-scale aquatic operations.

     
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    Leland Yarger

    His title — coordinator of aquatics and instructor of physical science at Ball State University — would barely fit on a business card, but that seems appropriate for Leland Yarger, who oversees the school's aquatics degree program.

     
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    Michael Phelps

    With 22 medals, 18 of them gold, Baltimore swimmer Michael Phelps has brought home more Olympic hardware than any other athlete.

     
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    B. Chris Brewster

    He retired from lifeguarding in 2011, but B. Chris Brewster is just as involved in aquatic safety today as he has been for the past 25 years.

     
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    Rick Root

    Twenty-five years ago, the waterpark industry was still playing in the kiddie pool.

     
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    Kent Williams

    “Recreational water illness” is a hot topic today, but it surely wasn't when Kent Williams founded the nonprofit Professional Pool Operators of America in 1993.

     
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    Kimberly Schaefer

    As CEO of Madison, Wis.-based Great Wolf Resorts, Schaefer leads a national waterpark powerhouse known for attracting top talent, tourism dollars and Wall Street interest.

     
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    Chuck Neuman

    As the Model Aquatic Health Code moves toward its 2013 release, it’s worth noting that Chuck Neuman, CEO of Water Technology in Beaver Dam, Wis., has been part of the group from the start.

     
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    Richard D. Hunter

    Forget snow. Think water. That’s what Richard D. Hunter did at ProSlide Technology, the waterpark ride design firm that he founded in 1986.

     
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    Dr. Alison Osinski

    If you must define Dr. Alison Osinski’s influence on the aquatics industry during the past 25 years, here’s one word that works: diverse.

     
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    Dr. John Hunsucker

    Since founding the National Aquatic Safety Co. in 1974, Dr. Hunsucker has grown the Ellijay, Ga.-based organization from a humble beginning of inspecting pools and offering training to its role today as one of the largest lifeguard certification firms in

     
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    Dr. Tom Lachocki

    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.

     
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    Farhad Madani

    “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.

     
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    Dr. Michael J. Beach

    Crypto. Giardia. Norovirus.

     
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    Geoff Chutter

    If you think that accountants and waterparks don’t mix, you’d be wrong.

     
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    D. Scot Hunsaker

    He follows in the wake of his notable father Joe Hunsaker, who built on a collegiate swim career to establish a regional pool management company and then the aquatic design firm Counsilman-Hunsaker.

     
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    Ruth Sova

    You know all those aquatic exercise classes seen in so many public and club pools? Those wouldn’t exist today without Ruth Sova, an entrepreneurial and enthusiastic advocate of aquatic therapy during the past 25 years.

     
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    Jill White

    An alum of Ellis & Associates, Jill White has made her own name in the water safety field with Starfish Aquatics Institute, the Savannah, Ga.-based firm she founded with husband Robbin White in 1999.

     
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    History Lesson

    In 1988, Ronald Reagan was still in the White House and a first-class stamp cost 24 cents.

     
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    Dr. Jane Katz

    Native New Yorker Dr. Jane Katz learned to swim at the insistence of her father, who prized water safety after nearly drowning himself.

     
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    Greg Louganis

    Twenty-five years ago at the Seoul Olympics, diver Greg Louganis hit his head on the diving board, sustained a concussion ... and went on to win the gold. It’s that kind of fierce competitive spirit that fueled his swimming career, producing an impressive total of 17 gold medals — Olympics (four);...

     
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    Dr. Frank Pia

    Frank Pia’s influence is still seen today in lifeguard training and best practices at countless pools and beaches.

     
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    Janet Evans

    Her 2012 Olympic comeback was unsuccessful — she failed to get beyond the Olympic Trials preliminaries in either the 400-meter or 800-meter distances — but distance swimmer Janet Evans still shines like her four golden medals.

     
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    Dr. Tom Griffiths

    You’d think running a university aquatics program for 25 years would make you want to retire for good, but Dr. Tom Griffiths, founder of State College, Pa.-based Aquatic Safety Research Group, remains as engaged in aquatic issues as he always has be

     
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    Johnny Johnson

    If you want an Olympic swimmer in the family, try enrolling your child in Johnny Johnson's Blue Buoy Swim School in Tustin, Calif.

     
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    Leaving a Legacy

    Over the past year, I experienced two profound rites of passage that made me rethink my approach to life and the legacy I want to leave behind when I’m gone.

     
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    Red Cross Changing Fee Structure

    The new year has seen a few changes come to the American Red Cross aquatics program.

     
  • Graphic by Tim Bobko

    Helicopter Crash

    As a young professional, I thought it might be a challenge to carve out my role as a supervisor when some of the staff I was overseeing had not long ago been my peers.

     
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    Back to Basics

    As we move closer to summer, it’s time to energize the winter staff and get them working as a well-oiled lifeguarding machine.

     
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    On the Same Page

    During the past few years, the aquatics industry has promoted professionalism and attention to detail in a number of areas, including lifesaving.