Wednesday, March 18, 2015

For immediate release: THE INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES THE 2015 PARAGON AWARD RECIPIENTS

Presented by Pentair Aquatic Systems

Fort Lauderdale - Sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems, the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today the recipients of the 2015 Paragon Awards. The Paragon Awards are presented annually to individuals or organizations for outstanding contributions to: Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming. This year’s awards will be presented on Friday, June 20, 2015, at a ceremony in Santa Clara, Calif., USA.

“Pentair is honored to be associated with the International Swimming Hall of Fame and to recognize leaders in the aquatic industry who play a prominent role in the promotion of swimming”, said Jim Drozdowski, Institutional Aquatics Sales Manager for Pentair Aquatic Systems. 

“The annual Paragon Awards bring some of the most interesting and fascinating people each year to the Hall of Fame” said ISHOF President/CEO Bruce Wigo. 

“These are the unsung heroes who make competitive and recreational aquatics possible, who save lives, who promote water safety and further aquatic education.” The Paragon Awards are part of ISHOF’s 51st Annual Hall of Fame Honoree Weekend,

June 19-21, which will be held in Santa Clara, Calif. for the first time. For ticket information visit www.ishof.org or call 954-462-6536.

This year’s Paragon Award recipients and their categories are:

COMPETITIVE SWIMMING - JULIE O’NEILL
Julie O’Neill began her Paralympic coaching career in New York, prior to joining the USOC’s fledgling Paralympics swimming division, where she coached Erin Popovich to 19 career Paralympic medals, including 14 gold and 5 silver. She was a member of the 200, 2004 and 2008 USA Paralympic coaching staffs and currently serves as Team Leader of the USOC Paralympic Sport Performance Division, over seeing all Paralympic NGB programs.

COMPETITIVE DIVING - JIM STILLSON
Jim Stillson has served as head men’s and women’s diving coach at Southern Methodist University for over thirty years. His divers have earned 87 All-American honors and have won 31 combined conference championships. He has also coached 10 USA Diving National Champions and four Olympians, including 1992 Silver Medalist Scott Donie.

COMPETITIVE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING - MARY ANN REEVES
Mary Ann Reeves has been a key player in the development of synchronized swimming both in Canada and internationally. Her work in synchronized swimming became a model in the Canadian sport system for developing coach education programs for all sports in her country and she became the first woman to take on a coach education leadership role in Canada when she became the director of the National Coaching Institute in Calgary.

COMPETITVE WATER POLO - DAN SHARADIN
Dan Sharadin has been the Executive Director of the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) since 1990. In the mid 1990’s Dan worked with United States Water Polo for the purpose of collegiate development and is primarily responsible for the addition and growth of women’s water polo as an NCAA sport and for saving many men’s NCAA water polo programs. Today over 80% of all collegiate contests are played under the auspices of the CWPA.

RECREATIONAL SWIMMING – LORI THOMPSON
While serving as the Aquatics Director for the City of La Mirada, Calif., Lori Thompson oversaw the high successful opening and programming of the Spash! La Mirada Aquatic Center. Rather than lose money, like most publicly operated pools, Lori’s facility generates six figure positive cash flow for the city while providing diverse recreational and competitive programs for all residents. The City of La Mirada has been named a “Best Place to Live" by CNN MONEY Magazine, with the aquatic center named as one of the reasons for the honor, and Lori now serves on the City’s Executive Staff as Community Services Director.

WATER SAFETY – DR. PETER WERNICKI
As the Aquatics Sub-Council Chair on the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and Medical Advisor to the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), Dr. Peter Wernicki is a global leader in water safety and drowning prevention. Under his leadership, the Red Cross and USLA have helped to educate literally millions of people about basic swimming safety knowledge and skills need to help people be safe in and around the water.

About Pentair Aquatic Systems: Pentair Aquatic Systems is a world-wide leader in the manufacture of residential and commercial swimming pool equipment, including Paragon Deck Equipment out of its LaGrangeville, NY facility. Paragon deck equipment, including competitive starting platforms, has been a leader in innovation, design and manufacturing for over 50 years, and is a proud sponsor of the ISHOF “Paragon Awards” since 1996. For more information about the Paragon Awards, see: http://www.ishof.org/awards/paragon.html

About ISHOF: The International Hall of Fame, founded in 1965, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to inspire everyone to be a swimmer by promoting the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children. For more information about ISHOF, see www.ishof.org For tickets or more information, call 954-462-6536 For more information about the Paragon Awards, see: http://www.ishof.org/awards/paragon.html

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