Assistant Recreation Supervisor - Aquatics
Lynnwood Rec Center/City of Lynnwood
Lynnwood, Washington - USA
Featured in "World Waterpark Magazine," May 2019
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I have my B.A. in marketing and entrepreneurship as well as a music minor from the University of Washington. I started as a lifeguard, swim instructor and coach for the YMCA, and then through college worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Therapy Pool. After college, I became the Aquatics and Youth Programs Director for the Washington Athletic Club, and then 8 years ago, I became one of the supervisors for the recently expanded Lynnwood Recreation Center.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I have my ARC Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard Instructor, PADI Rescue Diver and NRPA Aquatic Facility Operator Instructor certifications.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
At Seattle Children’s, I was Employee of the Month, and our team was also awarded Best Hospital Aquatics Program in the Nation. At the Washington Athletic Club, I was given the Manager of the Quarter and Safety Team Member of the Year Awards.
WHAT MADE YOU GO IN TO THIS FIELD?
Like so many in this industry, I love water, people and having fun.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
This may be strange, but I love when problems come up because it keeps things interesting. I like troubleshooting mechanical issues, solving program issues and collaborating with other professionals in the industry.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
I am inspired by people who are passionate about the work they do and strive to improve the lives of everyone around them. I have been fortunate to work with several individuals like this including Bill Haugen, Kathy Bateman and Darrin Barr.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
When the Lynnwood Rec Center first reopened in 2011, hiring and training enough lifeguards and swim instructors was a huge challenge. We did some heavy recruiting and even taught some individuals how to swim so they could pass a lifeguard class and work for us. Since then, we have created programs to keep a consistent flow of staff coming in through our doors.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
At work, I am motivated by seeing staff improve, watching thousands of kids learn valuable water safety skills and seeing people’s smiling faces as they play at our facility. I also love spending time with my wife and three kids going camping, hiking, skiing, sailing and traveling.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
If you are passionate about promoting safety, developing staff and creating outstanding guest experiences, then this is the field for you! I recommend working hard, not passing up any opportunities to get trained, asking lots of questions and getting involved with the WWA.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I like to see what others are doing in the industry, so I read World Waterpark Magazine
and look through the how-to articles and webinars on the WWA website.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I love developing our lifeguards and swim instructors. A few of my former staff members have gone on to be aquatics supervisors and directors of other organizations, which is very gratifying to see.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
I am a bit of a dreamer and I also enjoy building things, so maybe I would go into design or construction.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
In 2013, the Lynnwood Rec Center became a WWA member looking to connect with other parks and vendors outside our region. In 2017, I went to my first WWA show at West Palm Beach and went to the Public Sector’s Lunch and Learn where I met other people who were experiencing many of the same issues we were facing. Shortly after, I became a member of that committee. Currently, I am the secretary of the Public Sector Committee.
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I used to have webbed fingers, and I didn’t get them separated until I was done swimming competitively.