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Competitor AOAP Aquatic Professional of the Month

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 director 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).

November 2019 Competitor Aquatic Professional of the Month

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Terri Smith, Water Design Inc.

Terri Smith has worked in some capacity of aquatics for over 35 years.  Her aquatic evolution began like a large number of professionals, starting in the water as a swimmer and migrating to the land as a lifeguard in high school.  Then, like so many other professionals, evolving to swim instructor, coach, head lifeguard, program manager, aquatic director and assistant facility director.  Aquatics has always been a large part of her passion, and as her experience expanded, her desire to contribute to the aquatic community did as well.

After a series of tragedies at her facility while she was Aquatic Director, she decided that she wasn’t doing enough to prepare her staff to succeed as lifeguards.  She developed a scanning technique; The Vigilance Voice, that helps managers work together with the lifeguard staff to ensure they are seeing what they need to see.

Terri has always wanted to encourage professionals to network and expand their “aquatic family”.  She has made it a priority to become involved at the local and national level with numerous associations that promote the aquatic industry.  She was voted in as the Southwest Regional Representative or the NRPA National Aquatic Branch Board in 2005.  Since then, she has worked at the local and national level with other professionals to expand and connect aquatic professionals across the nation.  She was one of the founding board members for the Association of Aquatic Professionals and served as President of the association.

While on the board, Terri was charged with the task of creating a viable drowning prevention campaign.  She developed the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. the Water campaign, and along with a committee of experienced professionals, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. the Water has provided educational materials and other drowning prevention educational items to many communities across the nation.

Although Terri’s first love is working at the pool, it became apparent that she could contribute greatly to the design world.  She currently works for Water Design, Inc. an aquatic design firm, where she gets to use her knowledge of aquatic risk management to assist with creating designs that are not only beautiful, but safe and operable.  Terri’s love for the water, aquatic professionals and helping others has helped shape her professional success.


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.

Competitor Swim is an AOAP partner.

Submit a name to be considered for the Competitor Aquatic Professional of the Month

  • Contact Information for the person being nominated: