Competitor Aquatics Professional of the Month is a recurring AOAP feature shedding light on an Aquatics Professional who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Aquatics Professional of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one aquatic professional whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a manager who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite aquatics director wasn’t selected, feel free to submit their name and information below for future consideration (they must be a member of AOAP to be considered).
January 2022 Competitor Aquatic Professional of the Month
City of Irvine, California
Competitor Aquatic Professional of the Month - January 2022
Cory Hilderbrand has been working in aquatics since the age of 15. Cory started his career with King County Parks in the Seattle area, working at various pools and beaches in the area. Part time jobs throughout school eventually led to a full time career in Aquatics as Cory accepted a position with the Bellevue Club in Bellevue, WA as their Aquatics Director. At the age of 23, Cory was the youngest Director the club had ever hired and oversaw a staff of 50 which included Lifeguard, Swim Instructors, Coaches, and Locker Room Attendants.
During his tenue at the Bellevue Club, Cory helped create a robust Learn to Swim program and assisted in overseeing a complete renovation of the facility that included removing 1-50 meter pool and building 1-25 yard and 1-25 meter pools as well as 2 spas and 1 outdoor pool. After moving to Southern California in late 2008, Cory accepted a position with the City of Carlsbad as their Recreation Supervisor of Aquatics.
In Carlsbad, Cory really began to expand his aquatics knowledge with the help of a great mentor and boss. He became more involved with the American Red Cross, eventually becoming an Instructor Trainer Educator, and was more active in Drowning Prevention efforts through the San Diego County Aquatics Council. Carlsbad provided an opportunity to create new, innovative programming with the completion of a new facility/park, Alga Norte Community Park. At Alga Norte, Carlsbad aquatics expanded to include various camps, junior lifeguarding, pre-competitive classes, special events series, a full service birthday party program, inflatables, and several other revenue generating programs.
In 2015, Cory left the City of Carlsbad and accepted a position with the City of Irvine as their Aquatics Supervisor. In Irvine, Cory started to get more involved with AOAP and several other organization such as the Orange County Drowning Prevention Task Force. He’s continued to participate in several Drowning Prevention efforts and has worked to create several events focused on Drowning Prevention messaging with his team. Cory is presently a Community Services Manager with Irvine and oversees a division that includes Aquatics and Human Services (Seniors, Childcare, Disability Services, TRIPS, Outreach). While is passion will always be aquatics, Cory has loved the challenge to oversee such a diverse program area.
When he’s not at work, Cory enjoys spending time with family and friends. He loves the outdoors and can often be found running, paddle boarding in Dana Point Harbor, or hiking in South Orange County. Cory also loves to travel and often spends time seeing concerts and shows Las Vegas or hanging out at the beach and pool in Kona.
About Competitor Swim
Since 1960, Competitor Swim® has been the leader in the production of racing lanes and other swim products for competitions around the world. Competitor lane lines have been used in countless NCAA Championships, as well as 10 of the past 13 Olympic Games. Molded and assembled using U.S. – made components, Competitor lane lines are durable, easy to set up and are sold through distributors and dealers worldwide.