Shawn DeRosa, JD, has replaced industry veteran Tom Griffiths as manager of aquatic facilities at Penn State University in State College, Pa. The move follows an exhaustive search that commenced after Griffiths announced his intention to retire from the position, which he held for 25 years, last spring.

“Tom not only provided outstanding leadership as manager of aquatic facilities, but he provided leadership in the advancement of the aquatics industry. … His efforts have elevated the status and reputation of Penn State aquatics,” said Mark Bodenschatz, associate athletic director of facilities and operations. “While Shawn has big shoes to fill, we believe he is the most likely candidate in the United States to do so effectively. We are elated to have him join the Penn State team.”

Like his predecessor, DeRosa is a recognized industry leader. The president of DeRosa Aquatic Consulting began his industry career as a lifeguard. He holds a degree in business administration from Boston College and a law degree from Suffolk University.

A former Northeast regional director of the National Recreation and Park Association, DeRosa has published and presented numerous articles and papers, developed training curriculum, and taught in academia and professional seminars.

“My main focus as I begin my new role at Penn State is serving the university to the best of my abilities,” DeRosa said. “I will continue my work through DeRosa Aquatic Consulting, much of which involves report writing and inspections that I am able to do outside of my responsibilities with Penn State. However, I will likely have to scale back my consulting and training business so as not to conflict with my primary responsibility to the university.”

DeRosa and Griffiths have been recognized in Aquatics International’s Power 25 rankings, an annual look

at industry leaders. The two also have worked closely together on addressing numerous water safety

issues through Griffiths’ Aquatic Safety Research Group, where DeRosa acted as a consultant.

“I am both elated and proud that Penn State University chose Shawn DeRosa as my replacement,” said Griffiths, who will remain an active part of the industry as an author, researcher and consultant. “I value his dedication, passion, intelligence and commitment. Shawn and I have not only developed and presented educational programs together, but we have also co-published as well. I know that he was the best candidate for this job and am confident he will carry on the Penn State aquatics tradition.”