Windsor International Aquatic & Training Centre, Adventure Bay Family Water Park & Aquatic Services
Windsor, Ontario- Canada
Featured in World Waterpark Magazine
, March 2020
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I have a bachelor of arts degree from Western University in London, Ontario and have been working in aquatics since 1987. In addition to my time in Windsor, Ontario, I’ve had the pleasure of working in London, Ontario and Victoria, British Columbia. I moved to Windsor, Ontario in 2014.
WHAT CERTIFICATION OR LICENSING DO YOU HAVE?
I am an NSPF Certified Pool Operator and hold certificates through the Workplace Mental Health Leadership Program at Queen’s University, the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association and Emergency Management Ontario. I am also a National Trainer through the Lifesaving Society in National Lifeguard, First Aid, Swim, Lifesaving, AED and Airway Management. I am also a Chief Auditor for the Lifesaving Society.
WHAT HONORS, AWARDS OR SPECIAL RECOGNITION HAVE YOU ACHIEVED?
While working at Western University, I received teaching awards through both the Faculty of Health Sciences and the University Students’ Council. I received a Service Cross Medal by the Lifesaving Society and a Centenary Medal presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario for volunteerism. I also sit on the Lifesaving Society Board of Directors as Vice President of Management Training.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO THIS FIELD?
I became interested in aquatics when I was in high school. An outdoor waterpark opened in our local community and I thought that becoming a lifeguard would be fun—and I wasn’t wrong. I worked my way up to a supervisory role while I was in university and after I graduated, I decided that it was something I wanted to pursue as a career.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY DO YOU LIKE BEST?
I love watching people come to the waterpark and have fun. People put down their devices to de-stress, play, smile, move and have fun with their families and friends.
WHO HAS MOST INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
I’ve had the honor of working with four very insightful and strong women in my career who have all played a major role in my personal and professional development at different times throughout the past 30+ years. They are Lynn Loubert (City of London), Ann Carmichael (Victoria, BC), Therese Quigley (Western University) and Jan Wilson (City of Windsor).
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WATERPARK CAREER?
Adventure Bay Family Water Park is unique as it is a year-round indoor municipally-owned waterpark within a couple of hours drive from several big and well-known waterparks. Our biggest challenge since opening in 2014 is to demonstrate how our park is unique from the other parks and a great place to visit.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FOCUSED AND MOTIVATED?
Staying focused can be a challenge in an environment that changes on a daily basis, especially when unexpected issues arise. I rely heavily on an amazingly talented staff team to help keep me on track. I could not do it without them.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY?
Go for it! What other job provides you with the opportunity to de-stress and hop on a waterslide? In addition, I would encourage people to reach out to others as having colleagues you can bounce ideas by is essential in this industry.
WHAT BOOKS OR PUBLICATIONS DO YOU RELY ON MOST FOR INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION?
I’d have to say The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho, The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande and Who Moved My Cheese
by Spencer Johnson. They’ve motivated me to dream, get organized and manage change.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I love the variety of what I do and I truly love the staff team that I work with and the synergy we’ve developed.
WHAT CAREER OR BUSINESS WOULD YOU CONSIDER IF YOU WERE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN?
I love to cook for my family and friends and have a passion for food. If I started all over again, it would likely be in the food service industry.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH THE WWA?
I attended my first WWA conference way back in the 1980s! The first year was in Orlando and I believe the second year I attended the conference was in Las Vegas!
WHAT IS SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOU THAT FEW KNOW OR WOULD GUESS?
I have never eaten a peanut butter and jam sandwich. I like peanut butter and I like jam. I just don’t think they’d go well together!