GLSA proudly presents its prestigious Honorary Members

The below individuals have served in one or more fields of water safety, lifesaving sport, applied lifeguarding, injury prevention for numerous years and in various capacities. The Greek Lifesaving Sports Association is truly honored to be associated with and to announce them as Honorary Members. Their work, ethic and passion acts as beacon for all of us.

Brent Rutemiller (USA)

Brent Rutemiller is the Publisher of Swimming World Magazine, Swimming World Biweekly, and Swimming Technique Magazine. He is also the President/CEO of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, in Florida. The museum is home to the most sought after Olympic memorabilia, valued at over $12 million. Brent has the rare combination of talents that allows him to formulate unique and innovative ideas to promote and market the sport of swimming. He has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to take an idea, turn it into a project, build a team around it, and then bring it to fruition. His knowledge and use of technology and social media have been modeled throughout the aquatic industry. Brent has developed strategic relationships with numerous governing bodies worldwide. Wherever Brent has been, he has created a culture of teamwork, high standards and ethics.

Dr. Steve Langendorfer (USA)

Dr. Steve Langendorfer, Professor Emeritus, developmental aquatic kinesiologist, taught at Lansing (NY) Central Schools, Kent State, Bowling Green State University, University of Wisconsin, and SUNY-Cortland. He has expertise in aquatics, motor development, and measurement, resulting in the authorship of over 500 articles, chapters, presentations, and texts, including Aquatic Readiness: Developing Water Competence in Young Children (1995). Dr. Langendorfer is founding editor for the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education (IJARE) and sits on the American Red Cross’ Scientific Advisory Council as well as chairs the Research Committee for the Ireland-based Lifesaving Foundation. He has been recognized by both the Lifesaving Hall of Fame and by his alma mater SUNY-Cortland’s Academic Hall of Fame. In 2013 the Lifesaving Foundation presented him the prestigious Ireland Medal. He continues to coach, instruct, and swim competitively with US Masters Swimming. Steve lives in Bowling Green, Ohio with his wife of 42 years, Jeanne.

Steven Munatones (USA)

57-year-old American Steven Munatones is from Huntington Beach, California. He founded the World Open Water Swimming Association and the WOWSA Awards. He created numerous terms used in the open water swimming community from Oceans Seven and Openwaterpedia to bioprene and Ice Sevens. He was a 1982 world marathon swimming champion, winning the 25 km race in Windermere, England. He wrote the text book Open Water Swimming and has written nearly 19,000 articles for Open Water Swimming. He was a collegiate water polo player at Harvard University and writes about water polo and open water swimming for Swimming World Magazine. He co-founded KAATSU Global and created KAATSU Aqua. He received the Poseidon Award and the Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer (2001) and in the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Contributor (2019). He has served as event director for USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships, Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, National High School Triathlon Championships, and Global Open Water Swimming Championships.

Hristo Genadiev Grigorov (Bulgaria)

He was born on the 14/10/1944 in Gorna Dzhumaya (current day Blagoevgrad). He studied at the Polytechnic High School and subsequently at the Higher Medical Institute — School of Pharmacy, in Sofia. He began his career as a Master Pharmacist. He was initially a pharmacy manager and subsequently worked in the Pharmacy Directorate of the Ministry of People’s Health, where he was in charge of local pharmaceutical production. In 1973 he became representative of “Bristol Meyers”, the American pharmaceutical company. Since 1987 he has managed “Medabik”, the first Bulgarian-German Association. He has a postgraduate qualification in “International Economic Relations”. Hristo Grigorov is also Chairman of the Supervisory and Management Council of Commercial Bank – Sredets, member of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian-American Bank for Investments and Development, member of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, President of the Metropolitan Committee of the Bulgarian Red Cross. In 2017 he was reelected for a fifth term as the President of the Bulgarian Red Cross. Hristo Grigorov has been awarded the titles Doctor Honoris Causa and Academic of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He has received numerous awards from many state institutions and non-governmental organizations and bears the title “Honorary Citizen of Simitli”.

John R. Spannuth (USA)

John became interested in aquatics more than 70 years ago when he nearly drowned and subsequently learned to swim, joined a swim team, and enjoyed teaching swimming. He has worked as a lifeguard, camp waterfront director, and pool manager before becoming an aquatics director, a collegiate swim coach, and a swimming coach. John has made presentations for over 50 years on physical education, recreation, aquatics, and as President of the American Swimming Coaches Association, he formed the committee for “Swimming for Older Ages”. In 1970, he organized and directed The First Annual National Masters Swimming Meet which included less than 55 men and women, and he was instrumental in getting the National AAU to officially accept Masters swimming as a recognized and official national program in 1971. Since 1971, John has held important positions including AAU National Aquatics Administrator and International Executive Director for the Special Olympics and has organized and directed various aquatics events including: The National Aquatics Summit, The National Aquatics Directors Conferences, The National Adapted Aquatics Summit, the 1969 World Swimming Coaches Clinic, the First National YMCA Masters Aquatic Championships, the First National Masters Synchronized Swimming Championship, and Who’s Who in Aquatics. He has been honored 3 times by the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Terje Stakset (Norway)

Terje is married, has 2 sons and 3 grandchildren. He is Manager of the Oslo Branch of the Norwegian Lifesaving Society. He was Vice-President of the Norwegian Lifesaving Society (1991-1998). Terje has participated in the World Lifesaving Championship 1991. In 2006, he was honored with the International Virginia Hunt Newman Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He published the “Swim with Love” book (2014). The last 10 year, he has traveled all over the world giving presentations on conferences and workshops, to educate baby/toddler swimming instructors.

John Connolly (Ireland)

Connolly, MA Hons in Learning and Assessment, Advanced Swimming Teacher (ASA), and fellow (ISTC) has been an exceptional aquatic safety leader for 40+ years. He enhanced water safety in Ieland and 10+ developing countries. He is the ‘father’ of school swimming in Ireland. He organizes an elite international conference where many of the world’s leading experts meet and share their water safety knowledge. Lifeguard, Lifesaving and Lifeguard Trainer/ Assessor, Branch Executive and Branch Water Safety Officer, Branch Technical Officer, Chief Examiner, Branch Secretary and Branch President (RLSS Ireland). Retired Primary School Head Teacher. Teacher and specialist learning support teacher. He represented teachers in his school district as their trade union branch secretary and was a primary school representative on the Management Board of the Irish Government’s Waterford Education Centre, serving two terms as Chairperson of the Board. Director of Ireland’s Lifeguard School. Founder of Bonmahon Lifeguard Club. Scout leader and Water Safety Advisor (Scouting Ireland). Pool and as surf lifeguard for 30 years. He made 100+ rescues and taught 3000+ persons to swim. Founder and served chairperson for 15 years of Waterford Schools Swimming Association. Founder and Secretary of The Lifesaving Foundation. He was presented with the Honorary Life Member (RLSS UK), Honorary Life Member (RLSS Commonwealth), Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award (2003), Australian Surgeon General’s Medal (2007), Ireland Medal (2012), Medal of Honour 2017 (Maatschappij tot Redding van Drenkelingen).

Luis Pascal Miguel Gomez (Spain)

Luis-Miguel Pascual-Gomez (Segovia, Sapin, 1960) is Technical Director of Escuela Segoviana de Socorrismo (Segovia Lifesaving School) and a member of the Βoard of Directors of AETSAS (Spanish Association of Professional Lifesavers). Graduated as a Primary School Teacher and Art&Crafts Design Specialist, he has always had a strong vocation for lifeguarding. An early swimmer he became a sport lifesaver at age 10, profesional Lifeguard at 17 and Lifeguard Τeacher at 20. In 1991 he participated in the first Spanish Professional Aquatic Lifesaving text book with an essay about profesional Lifeguard surveillance. He has produced several works on improving professional lifeguard techniques and its teaching methods, the process of drowning and early drowning detection, always characterized by its innovative nature and orientation to practical application. He is a regular lecturer at lifeguard and drowning prevention conferences and contributed to the first 2006 edition of the “Handbook on Drowning” and the “Drowning” 2014 edition with a section on the recognition of persons in distress. Since 2008 he started a long-term research project to study and understand the drowning process and since 2011 the “Drowning in Spain” research Project have collected over 6000 records of drowning incidents and release yearly and specific reports about the facts and figures of the drowning in his country.

Rebecca Wear Robinson (USA)

Rebecca Wear Robinson learned about the global epidemic of drowning in 2007 and accepted the challenge of ending the epidemic from the unique perspective of a strategic business consultant – determined to make an impact in the sustainable, measurable manner. She developed the concept and strategy for Make the Minute Matter and has created the structure to support the organization. An acknowledged activist and expert in the field, she works with drowning prevention organizations around the world to identify and encourage innovation, connect resources, and help organizations integrate principles of Social Marketing into their approach. Rebecca is responsible for recruiting over 25 major organizations globally to adopt consistent messaging into their water safety communications, including Water Safety USA and the U.S. National Park Service. A talented public speaker and columnist with a strong, knowledgeable presence on social media, Rebecca is also the author of “Ignite Changes With Social Marketing”. Rebecca brings a strong background in both business and social psychology to the field. Her first Master’s degree is in International Management, Marketing, and Economics from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Her second Master’s degree is in Organizational and Social Psychology from the London School of Economics. She also has a B.A. in Finance from the University of Illinois and studied German at Salzburg College in Austria.

Gerry Dworkin (USA)

Gerry Dworkin is a professional Aquatics Safety & Water Rescue Consultant for Lifesaving Resources, located in Kennebunkport, Maine (USA). Gerry is a graduate from the University of Bridgeport with a degree in Health and Physical Education. He has worked as a volunteer, paid-on-call, and career Firefighter and EMT and currently works with the Kennebunkport Fire Department and EMS agencies in Maine. Gerry founded Lifesaving Resources in 1985. The company is dedicated to drowning and aquatic injury prevention and emergency management. The company develops educational curriculums in Water Rescue, Ocean and Swiftwater Rescue, Ice Rescue, Lifeguarding Operations and Management, and Aquatics Safety and Drowning Prevention. These programs are conducted throughout the United States, as well as Internationally. Gerry also regularly consults as a Forensics Expert in drowning and aquatic injury litigation, with over 400 cases to date. And, he has consulted as a subject matter expert for numerous news programs throughout the U.S. in matters pertaining to Water Rescue, Ice Rescue, Submerged Vehicles Rescue, and Lifeguarding.

Kim Burgess (USA)

Kim Burgess is a driving force in the field of water safety for many years. She is a graduate of Indiana University. In 1990, she became the Membership Director of the Fort Lauderdale YMCA and subsequently was promoted to Director. Five years later she worked for the International Swimming Hall of Fame. She founded the International Swim Instructors Association. Drowning Prevention Health Coordinator for the Broward County Health Department. She has also held the following positions: Founder and Executive Director of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance; NDPA 2009 Symposium Chair, Board of Directors NDPA, Broward County Death Review Team, SWIM Foundation Board, Chair Broward County Drowning Prevention Task Force, Palm Beach County Adapted Aquatics Council, Board County Safe Kids Coalition, Advisory Council International Swimming Hall of Fame, Healthy Start Coalition, ISHOF Adapted Aquatics Committee, and Aquatic/Safety Reviewer for the American Red Cross National Headquarters. She is the recipient of the G. Harold Martin Award 2013 by the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Dave Candler (UK)

Since becoming STA’s CEO in March 2016, Dave has used his extensive leisure management experience to transform STA and its positioning in the industry. Dave has used his vision and insight to not only build STA, but to forge partnerships that are helping to transform the future of the leisure industry. Being a swimming teacher and a parent of two boys, he also understands the importance of teaching children to swim and water safety education. As STA’s CEO he is using this experience to positively benefit the wider leisure industry and in turn give as many people, of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to learn how to swim, as part of STA’s charitable objectives. Dave is also the CEO of the International Swimming Teachers’ Associations (IFSTA), the only international swimming and lifesaving body that represents the global interests of learn to swim associations. With 23 member countries, IFSTA provides a platform for likeminded swimming organisations to share international best practices and promote excellence in aquatic education and water safety. Dave is passionate about swimming, and is not afraid of change if it is for the greater good of the industry. His game-changing attitude is to unite the industry with the aim of raising standards and nurturing talent in the UK and internationally. In his spare time, Dave is also a keen open water swimmer and cites successfully completing a Channel Swim Relay has one of his greatest personal achievements.

Dr. Tom Griffiths (USA)

Dr. Griffiths has spent 38 continual years teaching and coaching aquatics at three major University in the United States. The last 25 years of his teaching career was spent serving as the Director of Aquatics for Penn State University Athletics. During his more than 40 years in water safety he has produced numerous books, articles, videos, presentations, and lifeguard equipment. Often referred to as Dr. Tom, Dr. Griffiths continues to be an entertaining and informative speaker with a global audience. Many of his strategies, books, and videos have become foundations for best lifeguarding practices including The Complete Swimming Pool Reference, The Five Minutes Scanning Strategy, Disappearing Dummies, and Shallow Water Blackout. Teaming his daughter Rachel, he continues to be involved with water safety internationally. The National Note and Float campaign saves lives and reduces water rescues by requiring non-swimmers to wear life jackets who are unable to pass the facility swim test. When facilities utilize the Note and Float program, not only do water rescues decrease but swim lesson enrollments and attendance also significantly increase. For his contributions, he has received numerous awards numerous times, including honors by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the Pen State Diving Hall of Fame (more).

Geoff Wood (UK)

As a young man he played professional Rugby. Then through his children he got involved in their local South Leeds Lifesaving Club. He also coached the City of Leeds Swimming Club. On the lifesaving front, Wood competed in many national lifesaving championships. He was fortunate enough to win many gold medals in the finals. He also became overall National Masters Champion on one occasion. Wood took part in many triathlons over the years and completed the Ironman at Roth in Germany. On hanging up his Speedos, he served as one of the coaches for the UK Lifesaving Squad for the Lifesaving European Championships in Germany.

Dr. Ron V. Trubuhovich (New Zealand)

Ron, born in New Zealand (NZ) of Dalmatian parents, qualified in dentistry, 1953, at NZ’s University of Otago to practise that a few years, then qualify as a medical doctor in 1961. He was a Nuffield Dominion Scholar to Oxford’s University (earning its MSc in 1968) and its Nuffield Dept of Anaesthetics, qualifying FFARCS 1966. Returning to NZ, he spent his medical career in full-time patient care at Auckland (Public) Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, now Department of Critical Care Medicine (until age-obligatory retirement in 1994). During that time he contributed to the foundation of Australasian intensive care organisations (ANZICS; FICANZCA, of which he was inaugural Vice-Dean 1993-96, and received the Intensive Care Medal, 2007; and ANZCICM). He wrote occasional papers, especially on the medical history of his specialty. That culminated with his gaining a NZ doctorate from University of Auckland in 2019, MD by thesis (on ‘Resuscitation and the origins of Intensive Care/Critical Care Medicine’).

Garry Seghers DSTA (UK)

Garry Seghers is the Technical Director for the Vietnam Swimming & Lifesaving Company (VSLC). Previously employed by the Swimming Teachers’ Association UK, a STA National Tutor and UK Principal Expert for the European Standards Committee on ‘Buoyant aids for swimming instruction’ for which he is still a corresponding member. From an extensive career in Lifeguard Training, Swimming Teaching and Swimming Pool Management, working for authorities in London and the South East of England, he accepted the post of Development Officer for the Swimming Teachers’ Association in 1995. His career blossomed with the Association, developing qualifications in lifeguarding skills and progressing the programme into the area of First Aid delivery. In 2015 he was honoured with the role of and Chief Executive for the International Federation of Swimming Teachers’ Associations (IFSTA) and has visited India, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and China promoting the association. In December 2016 he was invited to join VSLC as the Technical Director after working with Hue Help on 4 occasions from 2011 to 2016, training over 100 school teachers to become swimming teachers and developing and running a programme for tutor training.

Audrey C. Dalton (USA)

Ms. Dalton has enjoyed a lengthy career as an artist and writer. Her commissioned artwork includes portraiture, landscapes and murals. Audrey’s graphic art and written work has been published in books, magazines, news articles, websites and online blogs. Owning her own art and marketing company, Artisan Impressionz LLC, for over 25 years, Audrey enjoys the flexibility of writing, creating graphics for publications, and painting. When she was five years old, Audrey drowned and was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital. Surviving against all odds, Doctors cautioned her parents that Audrey might never awaken from her coma. It took her seven years to make a physical recovery and Audrey’s story has since been profiled in a book. Conquering her fear of water at the age of 27, she learned to swim and has since traveled over 13,000 miles in the water by swimming at least a mile a day. Audrey is an ardent water safety advocate, and has volunteered her time giving many presentations about drowning prevention. Ms. Dalton graduated summa cum laude from Palm Beach State College. Happily married for 25 years, Audrey lives in Boca Raton, Florida with her husband, John Pennington, an administrator for the School District of Palm Beach.

Dr. Shaun M. Anderson (USA)

Dr. Shaun M. Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science at Norfolk State University located in Norfolk, Virginia USA. In addition to his work at Norfolk State University, Dr. Anderson has also served as a consultant for USA Swimming to help develop programs for under-served communities throughout the United States. Prior to joining USA Swimming Dr. Anderson also championed numerous aquatic programs, swim lessons, water safety seminars, research projects, camps and clinics throughout the country as well as abroad including co-founding International Water Safety Day. In recognition of his efforts Dr. Anderson became part of the United States permanent congressional record when he was recognized in congress for these accomplishments. He received a B.S. in Kinesiology from Penn State University during which time he was a 4-year member of the swim team. Anderson continued his education at California State University, Long Beach where he received his MBA in Finance and Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from The University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Mike Shucksmith (UK)

Mike Shucksmith DMS, MCIMPSA (Chartered) has served the public, private, voluntary, sport and educational sectors for many years. He has been a member of the Royal Lifesaving Society UK for 30 years and a National Trainer Assessor for 25 years. He has experience in pool, inland water and Coastal lifeguard training and assessment. He has managed leisure centres and written integrated management systems for large leisure authorities. He was one of the first 8 members of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity to gain chartered membership. Mike has had works published in the UK and in Greece. His voluntary pursuits have gained him the Lord Lieutenants Certificate of North Yorkshire for service to the Army Cadet Force. He is the Director of Training for West Yorkshire Medical Services, whilst also being a Business Development Manager for a Community Trust on the Isle of Skye. His hobbies include open water swimming, SCUBA diving and taking out his rigid inflatable boat.

Evelyn Keyes (The Netherlands)

Evelyn Keyes, BSc, was born into an Elite Swim Teaching family in Netherlands. Her Uncle was Coach of the Netherlands Olympic Team in the 1960’s. She was taught swimming as a teenager and played tennis, volleyball and handball at a State Level. Then she became a Trainer in Aquatics for ENVOZ/STA (UK), nationally in Netherlands, and then internationally from 1990’s to this current time. She is now an internationally recognized presenter in aquatics, swimming and exercise science of all levels for 4 decades. In her homeland she is a Master Trainer for decades in swimming and aquatic exercise for leading organizations. Evelyn co-founded the Global Aquatic Instructors Network – Global Lifestyle Organization Web with her husband Greg. They are well known globally for their solo and dual presentations due to their entertaining approach. Evelyn has presented at most of the World’s leading Aquatic Conventions. She has written 3 books on Swimming and Aquatics for Children and currently writing her 4th. RSPCA Humane Award (Australia, 2008).

Gregory James Keyes (Australia)

Gregory James Keyes, JP, PhD, MSc, Dip V.E.T is an internationally recognized presenter from Australia in aquatics and leadership development for over 3 decades, founding 4 successful businesses. His PhD thesis is on business and leadership studies. In 2019 he released a major Book ‘Aqua-I-Cue’. He specializes in interpersonal communication dynamics. Greg and his wife Evelyn own Global Aquatic Instructors Network – Global Lifestyle Organization Web. They are well known globally for their entertaining and humorous approach to teaching. His global aquatic recognitions include: Global Award for Outstanding Performance in Presentations (Aquatic Exercise Association – International Aquatic Fitness Convention, Las Vegas, 2002), Aqua Emma Award (European Aquatic Fitness Convention, Germany 2003), Australian Continent Plaque for Distinguished Intellectual contributions to the World Forum (Cambridge University 2010), RSPCA Humane Award (Australia, 2008).

Prof. Atsunori Matsui (Japan)

Atsunori Matsui is a professor at Naruto University of Education, in Tokushima, Japan, specializes in sports biomechanics and swimming, teaching in swimming, water polo, and various aquatic activities. Matsui is in charge of swimming education at the teacher training university for 35 years. He used to be a goalkeeper at Tsukuba University Water Polo Team, one of the Japanese top teams. Matsui is an expert of swimming technique, instruction method, curriculum and administration as well as the representative of the Research Group for School Swimming in Japan, engaged in research on water competency assessment and water safety education.

Prof. Jan Holden (USA)

After 31 years on the University of North (UNT) Texas Counseling Program faculty, Professor Janice Miner Holden, EdD, LPC-S, NCC, ACMHP, retired from UNT in August, 2019. During her time on faculty she published and presented widely on the topic of near-death experiences (NDEs) and related transpersonal phenomena—those transcending the usual personal limits of space, time, and/or identity. Among her works are peer reviewed journal articles and a book co-authored with Stathis Avramidis on the topic of drowning NDEs and recommendation for water safety professionals who work with drowning survivors. She served as President of the International Association for Near-Death Studies, and for her many scholarly contributions she has received several professional awards. Dr. Holden remains professionally active, servng as Journal of Near-Death Studies Editor and consulting with academic, public, and private health programs and organizations to educate health professionals to work ethically and effectively with clientele with transpersonal experiences.

Dr. Robert K. Stallman (Norway)

Robert Keig Stallman has been active in aquatics for over 60 years. He has participated in, taught and/or coached most of the aquatic disciplines. He has specialized the past three decades in drowning prevention. He has coordinated aquatic instruction at 4 universities and 3 municipalities. He has coached athletes at the national and international level in swimming, springboard diving and paddling. Robert has trained swimming, lifesaving and water safety instructors in 6 nations on 3 continents, since 1961. He has trained coaches in swimming, diving and paddling since the 1970’s and trained lifeguards for many years. Robert is retired from the Norwegian School of Sport Science. Still active, he is an active member (past steering committee member) of the Norwegian Lifesaving Society, a member of the Lifesaving Foundation (member of their Research Committee), a member and consultant to the Tanzanian Lifesaving Society. A frequent presenter at national and international conferences, he continues to do research and writing in aquatics. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, an Honorary Member of the International Drowning Research Alliance, and a frequent member of scientific committees of conferences and reviewer of scholarly papers.

James D. Howe, Jr. (USA)

Director, Honolulu Emergency Services Department (HESD), City and County of Honolulu. The HESD is the life safety component of the public safety team in the City and County of Honolulu. The Department consists of the Emergency Medical Services Division (EMS), the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division (OSD), and the Health Services Branch (occupational medicine services for all City employees). Mr. Howe is a highly skilled management professional with experience in international, national, and municipal public safety programs. His primary management objective is to utilize new and developing technology, including data collection, to evaluate and manage injury prevention and public safety programs. Mr. Howe also has extensive experience in the identification of public policy issues related to the provision of public safety programs and the development and passage of legislation at the state and municipal levels to allow for implementation of the public policy initiatives. Prior to his responsibilities as the Director of Emergency Services, he was the Ocean Safety Chief for the City and County of Honolulu. Integrated emergency first responder agency with Honolulu Police, Fire, and Emergency Management Departments. He is an expert in the Ocean Safety Risk and Hazard Analysis Studies, safety management system evaluations and improvement recommendations, legal expert services, safety and efficacy evaluations of ocean sports equipment, education and injury prevention program development and delivery in ocean safety management. He is a member of the State of Hawaii Injury Prevention Steering Committee. Participation on the EMS Advisory Committee, the Drowning and Aquatic Injury Prevention Advisory Committee; Member of the EMS providers Cabinet. He has published in the Handbook on Drowning, USLA Open Water Lifeguard Training Manual, Personal Rescue Craft Instructors Manual, and numerous magazines and newspapers and co-authored the “Bonus Time, Extreme Lives and Second Chances”.

Dr. Vicky Bafataki (Greece)

Dr. Bafataki holds degrees and masters in Archeology, Cultural Communication and Media, Administration of Cultural Units, Bioethics, a PhD in Social Sciences and Culture Finances whereas she is currently doing another PD on Medicine. In 2005, she participated in the International Giuseppe Sciacca Awards competition for new researchers in the “communications” category. She won among 362 young scientists. She has volunteered in large scale projects for social solidarity and civil heritage. In 2006 she became Member of the Presidential Committee and Secretary General of the International Giuseppe Sciacca Awards in 2012 ( She is General Director of the International Institute of Law, Finances and Social Studies (Rome) and Member of the Scientific Committee. She taught literature in Liceums, in Police Academy, public and private vocational institutions. She has worked as Journalist and TV presenter in big companies. She is Vice President of the Scientific Union of Panteion University “Aristotle”. Dr. Bafataki has supported or (co)organized numerous lifesaving sport and drowning prevention activities in Greece as Giuseppe Sciacca Secretary General and Ambassador of lifesaving sport (EOYDA). Her accolades include Dama de Merito de Honor (Knights Order of Emperor Konstantin, Spain 2010); Social and Voluntary Humanity Services Award (Abidjan, 2010). World Giuseppe Sciacca Award for New Scientists in Media and Journalism (Vatican 2005); Honorary Plaque for Education and Culture (Camerino University, Italy 2005); Global Italian Culture Ambassador (Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Italy 2006). She is the Vice President of Friendship among Nations.

†Bob Burnside (USA)

Bob is perhaps the best known and most iconic lifeguard in the United States. His contributions to water safety are extraordinary. He was selected 22 times to the “All American Swim Team”, and 3 times to the “All American Water Polo Team”. In high school, he was the national record holder in the 100 yard backstroke and the 120 yard IM. He was the first high school swimmer in the US to break the one minute barrier in the 100 yard backstroke! Bob was hired as an ocean lifeguard by Los Angeles County in 1951. He became the president of the Surf Life Saving Association of America. He created the U.S. team that competed in an international lifesaving competition in Australia during the 1956 Olympics. Bob was a member of that team, which had never competed in an international lifesaving competition, and was placed 3rd. In 1964, the Surf Life Saving Association of America (aka United States Lifesaving Association) was created as a nonprofit organization with him serving for 4 years as president. In 1967, Bob he was a manager of a new team which competed in Australia and in New Zealand. He produced the Burnside Rescue Can (patrol can), the iconic symbol for beach lifeguards and for the TV Series “Baywatch”. Bob mandated women’s rights to take the beach lifeguard test that led to the hiring of the first female ocean lifeguards. Chief lifeguard of L.A. County and founder of “Club Tortuga”. (USLA approved Mexican water safety project). He is a Grand champion in World Body Surfing (1989) and 13 years winner in his age. 12 times Masters division national champion at the USLA National Lifeguard Championships. National master’s swim champion. National Dorymen’s Association Champion. Winner of the Masters Inter-Mountain Downhill Ski Championship. Bob passed away on Wednesday 11 December 2019. He had accepted the title of GLSA Honorary Member 6 days earlier.

Dr. David Szpilman (Brazil)

Dr. David Szpilman is widely acknowledged as one of the most dedicated and modest driving forces of world lifesaving. His work as doctor, scholar, athlete, and event facilitator has impacted water safety in most continents of Earth for 26 years. He holds a Medical Degree, studied Internal Medicine and Critical Careand got a Diploma of Management Military Officers. He holds over 400 certificates on lifesaving, lifeguarding, first aid, resuscitation, defibrillation, spinal injury, lifeguarding and rescue in all aquatic environments, with rescue equipment including surf, jet ski and helicopter at the founding and instructor level from 135 organizations in 22 countries, including the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS). He is the author of 4 books, 68 book chapters and 156 research papers on national/international medical literature, whereas he has given over 500 lectures on national/ international conferences and run 178 workshops on drowning and CPR. He is a reviewer in 7 medical, lifeguard related scientific journals. As teacher, instructor and conference speaker he has reached an audience of over 10.000 people in 22 out of 27 Brazilian states and in 32 countries. Szpilman is the Founder, the Former President and currently the Medical Director of the Brazilian Life Saving Society (SOBRASA). Member of the Brazilian National Resuscitation Council. Member of the ILS Medical Commission. Founding Member of the International Drowning Researcher Alliance. 2 times National Lifesaving Sport Champion in Brazil and currently is the lead organizer of the National Championships. He has participated in the World Lifesaving Sport Championship 3 times. His contributions in water safety have been acknowledged and honored 22 times by national and world organizations.

Solon Tanos (Cyprus)

Solon has a Master in Business Administration (MBA), a Post Graduate Diploma (PgD) in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Business Administration (Management). He is a certified Trainer / Assessor of the Cyprus Life Saving Federation and The Royal Life Saving Society U.K. He is also a St John’s First Aid Teacher, as well as a Martial Arts Instructor in Shotokan Karate and a founding member of the Cyprus Karate Referees Association. Solon, served for many years as a Secretary General of the Cyprus Life Saving Federation, a Board Member of the Limassol Nautical Club and Limassol Shooting Club and as a President in the Limassol Divisional Life Saving Club. He has been a speaker in international lifesaving conferences and issued articles and notes in water safety related area. For his contribution to water safety, Solon has been honored several times.

Dr. Iwona Michniewicz (Poland)

Iwona Michniewicz, PhD in physical culture, PgD in management, PgD in psychology, PgD in the prevention of domestic violence, senior lecturer at The President Stanislaw Wojciechowski State University of Applied Sciences in Kalisz. Currently a mayor of Kozminek, in office from 2018. Author of 7 books and over 100 scientific articles on water rescue. Registered expert witness in the Regional Court in Kalisz. Founder and first president of Water Rescue of Republic of Poland Association. Founder and president of the National Council of Sport and Water Rescue Foundation. Founder and president of Central Research Center for Water Rescue. Supervisor of numerous Bachelor, Master and PhD theses. Water rescue mentor who educated over 1000 lifeguards and instructors. Coach of multiple sport disciplines (e.g. athletics, swimming, fitness). Author of tens of expertise and safety audits on recreational water facilities.

Dr. Romuald Μichniewicz (Poland)

Romuald Michniewicz, PhD in physical culture, senior lecturer at The President Stanislaw Wojciechowski State University of Applied Sciences in Kalisz. Author of 8 books and over 100 scientific articles on water rescue. Registered expert witness in the Regional Court in Kalisz. Co-founder and first vice-president of Water Rescue of the Republic of Poland Association. Co-founder and vice-president of the National Council of Sport and Water Rescue Foundation. Co-founder and vice-president of Central Research Center for Water Rescue. Water rescue mentor who educated over 1000 lifeguards and instructors. Coach of multiple sport disciplines (e.g. athletics, swimming, canoeing, shooting sports). Author of tens of expertise and safety audits on recreational water facilities. Author of one of the first PhD dissertation in Poland regarding water rescue: “Lifeguards knowledge and skills versus rescue operations structure”.

Christina Fonfe´ BEM (UK)

On December 26, 2004, Christina Fonfe´saw the Indian Ocean Tsunami on TV. She left her swim school in UK to give free swimming lessons to children in the tsunami refugee camps of Sri Lanka. There, she discovered that few adults in country could swim, so she switched to teaching mothers and teenage girls so they would make sure their children learned also. She founded The Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project. Chris is a drowning prevention pioneer who requires students to totally master how to Float-and-Breathe on the surface before learning to swim. Her standard for a ‘safe swimmer’ is one who can float for 10′ and cover 100m without touching any outside support. She also trains teenagers as Student Swimming Teachers and adults as internationally recognized, Full Swimming Teachers. In 2015 she was awarded the British Empire Medal for Meritorious Service to women. Since 2019, the Project is run by Sri Lankans under her guidance and nearly 7,000 women have learned to swim in this way.

Robert Dillon (USA)

Bob Dillon was active with the local chapter of the American Red Cross including being on the Board of the Water Safety Committee for 9 years. He taught high school science for 35 years. Bob started a swim team in 1995 at his high school and coached the team. He started the Monmouth County Chapter of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) in 1979 which has now won the Nationals 4 times. He has officiated at the local lifeguard competitions for over 20 years as Head Official and has officiated at the Mid Atlantic Regional’s of the USLA for 6 years. For his contributions, he was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame with the 2013 Service Award.

Sonny Tanabe (Hawaii)

Tanabe holds a BSc on Physical Education and a MSc on Health and Safety (Indiana University). He worked as Assistant Aquatic Director, Teacher in Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Swimming and Water Polo Coach, Water Safety, Skin and SCUBA Diving Instructor in various places. Sonny served many organizations in leading capacities; Corporate Board (Island of Hawaii YMCA); Chairman Emeritus (Island of Hawaii YMCA); Chairman (Blue Water Spearfishing Symposium), Co-Chairman (Hawaii Freedive Spearfishing EXPO 2000); Vice President of the US Olympians Hawaii Chapter and President (Hawaii Freediving and Spearfishing Wall of Fame). He is a Life Member of the US Olympian Alumni Association and the Indiana University “I” Men’s Association. He is the Founder, President and currently Emeritus President of the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame. He serves as swimming historian (Friends of the Natatorium) and the Board of Directors (Pat Mc Cormick Educational Foundation in California). He holds the following awards; Athletes of the Week (Softball, Swimming), Hawaiian AAU Indoor Swimming Championships – Outstanding Men’s Junior; Key to the City from the Mayor of Newark, NJ; National Interscholastic All-American Swim Team (3 years); US Swim Team – Mid Atlantic Swim Championship (Bermuda).

Deborah J. McDonald (USA)

Deborah J. McDonald BA, CPA, CA, BFA (cum laude). Deborah’s documentary about an ISHOF Champion, “50 year old FRESHMAN Suzanne Heim-Bowen”, has won numerous festival awards including the International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival Best New Film Award. She’s a member of Canada’s Creative Industry Advisory Council, L.A., a CJOH Screenwriting Grant recipient, been profiled on Fox Prime Time Special, Executive Produced and hosted her own cable access show, produced hip-hop music videos, worked on American Idol, the 2nd UNIT VFX crew on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the Godzilla VFX crew and part of the NFL Films Super Bowl 50 Wires crew. She’s a CPA, CA (Ernst & Young), an award-winning filmmaker (BFA University of Art SF) and part of the spatial computing new wave. She also holds a BA from University of Toronto (Political Science) and is a Producer (ASG) for Google Developer Studios.

Peter Heimlich (USA)

Peter’s life took an unexpected turn in 2002, when he and his wife Karen began researching the career of his father, Henry J. Heimlich MD, best known for the Heimlich maneuver, the famed abdominal thrust which creates an artificial cough to help chokers expel a foreign body obstruction in the airway. To their astonishment, they uncovered what they call “a 50-year unseen history of fraud” surrounding Dr. Heimlich’s career. According to Robert S. Baratz MD PhD, “I’ve been investigating medical fraud and quackery for 25 years. Peter and Karen uncovered the biggest case I’ve ever seen.” They learned that for decades Dr. Heimlich used his access to the media to promote a string of dangerous, unfounded medical claims that resulted in the significant loss of life, including children. “In order to bring the facts to public attention and perhaps prevent further harm, we decided to bring our research to journalists.” Their efforts resulted in scores of media reports in the U.S. and elsewhere which put an end to Dr. Heimlich’s reckless misconduct and resulted in a significant re-evaluation of his reputation. The project turned out to be a compelling personal and journalistic odyssey for Peter who says, “I discovered that I enjoyed exposing misconduct via investigative reporting which I do on my blog, The Sidebar.” Now retired, Peter and Karen owned and operated a wholesale fine textile import business. A former professional musician and recorded songwriter, Peter also leads a weekend rock & roll band in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

Karen M. Shulman (USA)

Karen’s life took an unexpected turn in 2002, when she and her husband Peter began researching the career of Peter’s father, Henry J. Heimlich MD, best known for the Heimlich maneuver, the famous abdominal thrust which creates an artificial cough to help chokers expel a foreign body obstruction in the airway. To their astonishment, they uncovered what they call “a 50-year unseen history of fraud” surrounding the elder Heimlich’s career. According to Robert S. Baratz MD PhD, “I’ve been investigating medical fraud and quackery for 25 years. Peter and Karen uncovered the biggest case I’ve ever seen.” They learned that for decades Dr. Heimlich used his access to the media to promote a string of dangerous, unfounded medical claims that resulted in the significant loss of life, including children. “In order to bring the facts to public attention and perhaps prevent further harm, we decided to bring our research to journalists.” Their efforts resulted in scores of media reports in the U.S. and elsewhere which put an end to Dr. Heimlich’s reckless misconduct and resulted in a significant re-evaluation of his reputation. Now retired, Karen and Peter owned and operated a wholesale import business in which she designed fine fabrics. Before they married in 1988, Karen designed her own line of fine art-to-wear jewelry.

Shawn DeRosa, J.D. (USA)

DeRosa J.D. (@DeRosaAquatics) is a leading expert in the field of aquatic risk management. He has been twice profiled as one of the Top 100 Leaders in Aquatics in addition to having been twice selected by Aquatics International Magazine as one of the “Power 25.” The owner of DeRosa Aquatic Consulting, Shawn helps agencies minimize risks and improve safety through consulting services and high-quality education and training programs. Shawn combines his training as a lawyer with his years of experience as an Aquatic Director to provide litigation support services as an expert witness in a variety of pool and beach cases. His knowledge of the aquatics industry combined with his experience as a consultant, attorney and expert witness help bring practical experience to all of his training programs. Over the years, Shawn has worked closely with the American Red Cross in the development of the lifeguarding, CPR and water safety programs and has even made an appearance in a number of Red Cross training videos. Shawn developed the Practical Pool Management PLUS course, a pool operator training program recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The recipient of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Paragon Award for Aquatic Safety and the Distinguished Service award by the Association of Aquatic Professionals, Shawn is one of the most sought-after speakers in the industry with speaking engagements across the globe including the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and the United Arab Emirates.

Rob McKay (USA)

Rob is a former high school All American swimmer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was honored as a scholar athlete at Florida State University where he swam as an undergraduate and later returned as an assistant swim coach while pursuing graduate level studies in education. Along with his wife, Kathy, they started the Lifestyle Swim School in 1981 teaching babies, the gentle way, to love the water and then gradually learn swim safety skills. Surrounded by many aggressive swim programs, and inspired by infant swim pioneer Virginia Hunt Newman, they created their own warm, child-centered, family-friendly approach to teaching babies. They developed many techniques to de-program babies traumatized as a consequence of aggressive, survival swim programs. Rob have been honored twice by the International Swimming Hall of Fame, receiving the inaugural Virginia Hunt Newman award (Baby Swimming) and The Paragon Award for Aquatic Safety. The couple’s best selling Diaper Dolphin video series helped to spread their message of gentle teaching and child water safety, globally in the 1990’s. He has presented workshops in China, New Zealand, Australia, England, Poland and trained many teachers from Japan. Their book, Learn to Swim, published by DK/Penguin Books, was released in English, German, Portuguese and Italian, and rose to the number #2 spot of all swimming and aquatic related books on Rob currently serves on the State of Florida’s Department of Health’s approval board for certifying baby swimming instruction programs. Today Rob and Kathy train teachers from all over the world in their mindful, holistic, playful approach at their home base at Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, Florida.

Janet Wilson (UK)

Janet has been involved with the work of RLSS UK for over 50 years and is an honorary Vice President of both RLSS (Commonwealth) and RLSS UK. The focus of work has been in Water Safety Education and training others. Previous work has included being an RLSS Trustee and Chairman of the Education Committee. Currently Janet is Chairman of ILSE Education Commission, and has served on that commission since 2009, contributing to several international projects. She has been an RLSS trustee since 2018. Work in these two areas has given Janet a wider understanding of worldwide water safety issues. In the UK, Janet has held all the performance awards, and is still an active trainer for all aspects of lifesaving and lifeguarding activity. Her main interest is in the outdoor environment, where she is also a keen outdoor swimmer, having completed the length of Loch Lomond (21.6 miles) and several other swims over 10 miles in length. Janet is a retired Biomedical Scientist by profession and has also been an active volunteer with St. John Ambulance for over 50 years.

Dr. Anestis Vasiliou (Cyprus)

Διδάκτορας Διοίκησης Μονάδων και Υπηρεσιών Υγείας (University of Frederick). Μεταπτυχιακό Διοίκησης Μονάδων και Υπηρεσιών Υγείας (University of Frederick). Πτυχίο Γενικής Νοσηλευτικής (Τεχνολογικό Πανεπιστήμιο). Μεταβασικό Δίπλωμα Ψυχικής Υγείας (Τεχνολογικό Πανεπιστήμιο). Δίπλωμα Γενικής Νοσηλευτικής (Νοσηλευτική Σχολή Λευκωσίας). Εκπαιδευτής/Εξεταστής Ναυαγοσωστικής (Κυπριακή Ομοσπονδία Ναυαγοσωστικής) και κάτοχος Διπλώματος Trauma First Response. Εκπαιδευτής Αρχής Ανάπτυξής Ανθρώπινου Δυναμικού (ΑΝΑΔ). Ανακοινώσεις σε πανελλήνια συνέδρια ψυχικής/ δημόσιας υγείας. Έχει ασχοληθεί ερευνητικά με τα Πληροφοριακά Συστήματα των Υπηρεσιών Ψυχικής Υγείας και το ρόλο της διατροφής στην παιδική παχυσαρκία. Έχει υπερδεκαετή εργασιακή εμπειρία ως Νοσηλευτικός Λειτουργός, Κλινικός Εκπαιδευτής Νοσηλευτικής Ψυχικής Υγείας σε διάφορους φορείς. Αθλητής υδατοσφαίρισης, κολύμβησης και αθλητικής ναυαγοσωστικής του ΑΠΟΕΛ και Αρχηγός της Εθνικής Ομάδας Κύπρου σε υδατοσφαίριση και αθλητική ναυαγοσωστική. Αναδείχτηκε ως καλύτερος Υδατοσφαιριστής 2018-2019. Συμμετείχε ως αθλοσώστης και προπονητής στο παγκόσμιο πρωτάθλημα «Rescue 2016», στο Ευρωπαϊκό πρωτάθλημα 2017 και 2019. Έφορος Αθλητισμού (Κυπριακή Ομοσπονδία Ναυαγοσωστικής) για δεύτερη θητεία, και γραμματέας του Σωματίου Εθελοντών και Φίλων «Άγιος Χαράλαμπος».

Georgia Fyrigou – Consolo (Greece)

For the past 30 years, Georgia has been involved in diving and sport in her native Greece as well as on an international level. She has earned BSc University degrees in both physical education and finance at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She also has a Ministry of Culture, General Secretariat of Sports Diploma for diving coaches. Within the last year and a half, she was appointed to four year terms to the LEN and FINA Technical Diving Committees, serving on the Event-Rules Sub Committees. She served as Competition Director for Diving at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, as well as serving on the Organizing Committee for the Games and Paralympic Games of 2004. She also served as Sports Information Manager for Cycling, the Velodrome, Paralympic Village and Paralympic Games of 2004. Georgia is a LEN A Category International Judge and has officiated at the 2004 and 2002 European Championships. She has been an IF Liaison for synchronized swimming, water polo and rowing and has been a FINA deck official at the 2003 Barcelona World Championships and 2000 Fukuoka World Championships.

Dr. Klaus Wilkens (Germany)

Dr. Wilken’s voluntary lifesaving activities are numerous. He was involved in the activities of the German Life Saving Society (DLRG) on all levels of its hierarchy. This included work at its local level with involvement at the DLRG-Club Luneburg, as a member of the Board for Education and Youth, Chairman of the Board and Honorary Chairman of the Board, as well as his work at the DLRG-Verlag und Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH as a member and Chairman of the Advisory Council. On a higher National level, at DLRG, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Youth Organization, Deputy Member of the Board, Technical Director/Member of the Board, Treasurer/Member of the Board, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Education of Hotel Ltd., Vice President and President. Klaus played a key role at the international level for 4 decades. He was responsible for the international sport, education and rescue activities in DLRG. At the Federation Internationale de Sauvetage Aquatique (FIS), he served as a member of the Technical Commission, Secretary General and Moniteur. At the Federation for Supporting International Lifeguarding, he served as Vice President and President. At the International Life Saving Federation of Europe (ILSE) he acted as Secretary General, President and Honorary Life-President (2012-). Finally, at the International Life Saving Federation, he was the Vice President (1998-2012) and President (2012). He also served the water safety field by participating in international initiatives. He was involved in lifeguard and lifesaving instructor educational projects in 16 countries for 20+ years. He conducted several co-operations with the European Association for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, the European Child Safety Alliance, the Foundation for Environmental Education Blue Flag Campaign and made risk assessment training courses in different European countries. He was the chief organizer of “EC 2005”, the World Sport Lifesaving Championships of “RESCUE 1990” and “RESCUE 2008”, the Series European Qualification Framework for lifesaving and contributed to the development of Safety Information Boards in Germany (and other parts of Europe). Dr. Wilkens’ work has been repeatedly awarded nationally and internationally including awards by ILS, ISHOF and numerous other national and international organizations.

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