I started my career in swimming as an instructor, coach as well as a volunteer for special needs swimmers at what is now the Ocean County YMCA, where I eventually became the head instructor for Red Cross CPR & First Aid. After obtaining the rank of lieutenant at the local first aid squad, I was one of the first to complete a new state paramedic program at the Community Hospital of Toms River. As my professional career took a temporary turn away from swimming, I secured employment at one of the casinos in Atlantic City. I never, however, left my community commitment and continued to give back to the community by fundraising over $1million for Muscular Dystrophy foundation.
Missing the world of swimming, I set out to build an aquatic center to share the passion I have for swimming with others. We opened Brigantine Aquatic Center (BAC) in 2001 and have made it my full-time commitment for the last 7 years. Since the BAC opened, we’ve taught more than 5000 children how to swim and have established a swim team, Special Olympics swim team, and a Master’s Team. Our affiliations include USA Swimming, USA Masters Swimming, SONJ, Massi’s Mission, and the American Red Cross. Last year, together with several members of the BAC family, I launched Whelan’s Whales, a free-swimming program for the inner-city youth of Atlantic City. In its first 6 months, the program taught over 300 children to swim! Additionally, I manage and staff 11 private outdoor pools, run several very successful Open Water events, and organize food drives and fundraisers.
My goal as a swim instructor and coach is to instill the love of swimming in children while giving back to the community. I started swimming as a child at the Ocean County YMCA and swam competitively for both the OCY Tiger Sharks and Central Regional High School swim teams. Shortly after my mother opened Brigantine Aquatic Center, I started working as an instructor and the Head Deck Coach for the Greenheads swim team. I am a volunteer instructor for the FACES for Autism Water Safety program, Massi's Mission, and the founder of the Greenheads Swimming Special Olympic Team. I work closely with Make a Splash, a USA Swimming Foundation program, and am Program Coordinator and co-founder of Whelan’s Whales. I am an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor and Water Safety Instructor, a Certified USA Swimming Coach and Official, an Open Water Swim Coach, a Greenheads Swimming Master Swimmer, and consistently thinking of new ways of using swimming for community outreach.
My involvement with Whelan’s Whales, Greenheads Special Olympics Swim Team, and Brigantine Aquatics Center is deeply personal. My son, Stanley, is Autistic. Through BAC’s commitment to teaching water safety to all members of the community, he participated in lessons through Massi’s Mission and FACES 4 Autism. Along with his brother Stephon, Stan learned to swim in just 6 months. He went on to join the Absegami High School Swim Team and became the captain of the Greenheads Special Olympics Swim Team. Stephon will also be following in his older brother’s footsteps by joining both teams.
The peace of mind my husband and I have knowing that our boys will be safe in the water is priceless, and we enjoy watching them become involved in such a great sport. It’s my hope that through the Whelan’s Whales program, many other parents will experience the same feeling while their children discover the sport of swimming.
Swimming has always been a huge part of my life from swimming at Salem City Pool every summer to then lifeguarding there and at Gibbstown Swim Club through college. As much as I swam, the one opportunity I did not have was participating in a competitive swim team. When it was time to teach my daughter to swim, Brigantine Aquatic Center was my first choice, not only because of the coaching staff, but their commitment to the community. The Whelan Whales program in particular hit home with me because of the countless kids we taught to swim at Salem City Pool.
It is my hope that with my professional experience in events, marketing and industry affiliations such as IAEE and PCMA that I will continue to serve Green Whales Inc. in the same capacity as my other volunteer work. I have been an Account Executive at Vista Convention Services since 2009 and before that worked for Marriott Vacation Club International; all of my professional positions revolve around trade shows and events. I come to the Board of Green Whales Inc with experience as a Board Member of the Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives from 2015-2017, as well. I graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, Minor in Marketing and Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
My swimming career began at the Brigantine Aquatic Center in 2007, where our very own Robin Taylor first taught me how to swim. I swam on the Brigantine Greenheads swim team for ten years. I regularly competed for the Greenheads as a kid, under the coaching of our founder, Sari Carroll, and continued to compete for Atlantic City High School where I acted as the women's varsity team captain for two years. I went on to continue my swimming career at Princeton University, where I recently graduated from, on the Club Swim team where I served as the Vice President for two years.
As my love for the sport of swimming developed over the years, so did my investment in teaching it. I began my swim lesson instructor career at the pool when I was 15 years old. I've served as a swim instructor ever since, working with both the Brigantine Aquatic Center and Princeton Aquatics. At Princeton, I held a Head Instructor role prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the course of my time at the aquatic center, I've had a wonderful experience of working closely with many of the Green Whales Inc. programs, like Whelan Whales and Stanley's Special Friends. The community that has been fostered at the aquatic center is truly amazing and has undeniably shaped who I am. I am excited to continue collaborating with these programs both as an instructor and newly minted Green Whales Board member. I hope to utilize my own passion for swimming to continue to foster and grow the Green Whales Inc program for many years to come!
In 2021, we lost one of the founding members of the Brigantine Aquatic Center, one of our trustees, but most importantly a husband, father, and a friend. You will forever be in our hearts! May you rest in peace.
Copyright © 2023 Green Whales, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. Any use of this information by parties other than Green Whales, Inc. will be subject to prosecution.
Powered by GoDaddy