Every year at this time, we honor a handful of individuals who influence the direction of aquatics — its knowledge and ability to respond and evolve when it comes to issues such as safety, technique, design, business and everything in between. We call it the Power Issue.

But the aquatics industry has been blessed with so many inspiring and effectual individuals, so it’s hard to narrow it down. To manage, we always look for a theme. This year’s theme was inspired by a professional who approached me at the World Aquatic Health Conference last October in Houston. He asked if I was taking suggestions for our Power Issue. When I said “Of course,” he named a peer in his region who is very active in organizations for both aquatics and the pool industry.

“He’s not always in the spotlight, but nobody does more for the industry,” he said. (While I’m very much paraphrasing, the sentiment is accurate.)

And it’s true. Regarding any issue or effort in which he engages, Craig Sears’ name will come up as the one who probably knows the most and was instrumental in the project’s success. You can learn more about him in the first profile.

So we looked for a group of individuals who similarly harbor a more quiet style, but are no less potent in their passion, competence, productivity or influence.

Some might want to call them “behind the scenes” players, but they’re not. These pros are very much in the scene. They are plenty inspirational, at least as much through their actions as their words. They have no problem rolling up their sleeves and doing the work, whether it’s analyzing drowning data, lobbying with government officials, sharing their personal tragedy in the hopes of helping prevent others or creating effective teams.

Another trait they share is a strong aversion to talking about themselves. While it didn't always make our job easy, it showed their dedication when they diverted to discussing their organization or mission.

These professionals are not talkers — they’re doers. Read on to find out all they’ve accomplished for aquatics and its fans.