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Keynote Speakers
Wednesday, November 6, 8:30 am

Jim Wheeler
CEO, Total Aquatic Management

Thriving on Aquatic Chaos

You have to be a special kind of person to be the Aquatic Professional that can overcome, and even enjoy, the challenges we face every day. From cranky customers and young staff to code browns and constantly changing regulations and rescue techniques, aquatic professionals never have a dull day. We wear many hats: risk manager, problem solver, recruiter, trainer, chemist and more.  This fast-moving, reality-based session will have you laughing and crying as we journey through the world of Aquatics.

Watch Jim's video.

About Jim:

Jim Wheeler is internationally recognized as an expert speaker and author on aquatic operations, training and risk management. With over 40 years’ experience in a diverse range of aquatic settings, Jim has valuable insights that have enabled him to deliver unique training and educational programs that move beyond traditional aquatic thinking. Jim currently works for the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District in California and has worked as an instructor trainer, auditor and accident investigator for Ellis and Associates, the National Aquatic Safety Company, the American Red Cross and USA Swimming. Jim is also the owner of Total Aquatic Management an aquatic safety and risk management firm and the provider of the west coast’s leading advanced lifeguard training program.


Thursday, November 7 12:45 pm

Sarah Routhier
Aquatics Coordinator, City of Belleville and Red Cross Water Satey Ambassador


Mental Health: The Personal Tragedy of Sergeant Sylvain Routhier
Sarah Routhier could not imagine how mental illness would affect her life in the summer of 2018. Her husband, Sylvain, was a very successful police Sergeant with the Ontario Provincial Police and an incredible husband and father. They had the perfect life until he started struggling with a mental illness only 3 months prior to taking his own life on July 31st, 2018. Sarah will share the struggle and tragedy their family lived through in hopes that it can help raise awareness about mental health.

About Sarah:
Sarah Routhier, Aquatics Coordinator 15 years, has worked in both small and large municipalities, as well as being an instructor at Georgian and Fanshawe College.  She has opened three new swimming pools and has been a Red Cross Water Safety Ambassador for 5 years. Sarah is a busy single mom raising her three children and, when she is not at the pool, you can find her in hockey arenas across the province with her 3 travel hockey players or relaxing at her trailer.    


Dr. Michael Beach
Deputy Director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, Associate Director for Healthy Water, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


New Findings from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: Disinfection, Surfing, and Indoor Air Quality
Keeping aquatic facilities clean and sanitary is a necessary part of maintenance. In this talk, learn how the latest disease control research is tackling cutting edge issues like Cryptosporidium inactivation, issues with surf pools, and possible paths to improving indoor air quality.

About Michael:
Michael Beach, Ph.D., is Associate Director for Healthy Water in CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases and also Deputy Director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases in the Center. An epidemiologist and laboratorian with extensive experience in parasitic and other waterborne diseases, Dr. Beach leads a worldwide program to ensure access to safe drinking and recreational water, adequate sanitation, and basic hygiene to protect people from waterborne illnesses. He create CDC”s Healthy Swimming Program, which includes the Model Aquatic Health Code, the first such model code in the U.S., the internationally popular Healthy Water and Healthy Swimming websites, and the CDC's Healthy and Safe Swimming Week.



Friday, November 8, 9 am

Steven J. Langendorf
Ph.D., developmental aquatic kinesiologist, Professor Emeritus, Bowling Green State University, member of American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, and Founding Editor, International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education (IJARE)

Water Competence: A Tool for Aquatic Education and Drowning Prevention
“Water competence’’ was coined by Steve Langendorfer and Larry Bruya in 1995 and more recently adapted for drowning prevention by Dr. Kevin Moran (2013). It has gained acceptance as an effective approach to teach swimming. Its adaptation for preventing drowning has taken water competence from a simple ‘physical literacy” to a ‘know, think, and react positively to conditions around you to save-your-life’ approach. This keynote covers topics such as how water competence has become a driving force in aquatic education and drowning prevention, why understanding this approach must include educating parents/caregivers as part of children’s swim lessons, and what should be learned in lessons. Dr. Langendorfer also touches on recent advances in aquatics education and where he feels it needs to go in the future. As a practicing instructor and Masters coach, he shows aquatic professionals how they can help kids to gain water competence while building their confidence.

About Steve:
Dr. Steve Langendorfer, Professor Emeritus, developmental aquatic kinesiologist, taught at Kent State, Bowling Green State University, University of Wisconsin, and SUNY-Cortland. He has expertise in aquatics, motor development, and measurement, having authored over 500 articles, chapters, presentations, and texts, including Aquatic Readiness: Developing Water Competence in Young Children.

Currently Dr. Langendorfer coaches, instructs, and swims with US Masters Swimming, sits on the American Red Cross' Scientific Advisory Council, and assists the American Red Cross with instructional aquatic program revisions. He is founding editor for the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education (IJARE). During his career, he has worked as a lifeguard, swimming/water safety and canoeing instructor, instructor trainer, and coach. He is a member of the Red Cross' Commodore Longfellow Society, and is recognized in both the Lifesaving Hall of Fame and in his alma mater SUNY-Cortland's Academic Hall of Fame. The International Swimming Hall of Fame presented him a Paragon Award, and in 2013 the Irish Lifesaving Foundation presented him with the prestigious Ireland Medal.

Steve lives in Bowling Green, Ohio with his wife of 42 years, Jeanne.