Board Members

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Lisa was born and grew up in St. Louis.  After graduation from college with a degree in history, she worked in New York.  Subsequently, she married and moved to Hawaii while her husband finished his Navy duty.  They both then attended law school following which they worked in Boston.


With the birth of their first child, Lisa became a stay-at-home mother.  At that time, she was also involved with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and a local chapter of the League of Women voters. The next three years saw the birth of their daughter and another son.  Shortly afterwards, they moved to St. Louis where Kim joined a law firm and Lisa continued to be a stay-at-home mother and a community volunteer.  Over the years she has been on the boards of, among others, MICDS, The Repertory Theatre, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Public Library and the Arts & Education Council where she served as Board President.  In 2008, she was honored as a Woman of Achievement. 


In 1982, a month after the birth of their fourth child, their 22-month-old son, Nicholas, died in a drowning accident.  Lisa and Kim were then blessed to have two more children.  When Lisa’s eldest child started a St. Louis franchise of British Swim School, Lisa learned that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children 1 – 4 and came to understand how much can be done to prevent drowning.  As a result of this experience, she and her husband Kimball became re-engaged in the issue of drowning and co-founded the Swim On Foundation whose mission is to raise awareness of drowning and the layers of protection to prevent drowning.



Emily is originally from Pennsylvania where her first job in aquatics began as a Lifeguard at a local YMCA in high school. She soon started teaching swimming lessons there as well before attending Slippery Rock University (SRU). Emily continued to be a Lifeguard and Swimming Instructor during her time at SRU. She also continued to learn more about aquatics and earned multiple certifications including American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI) and Lifeguard Instructor (LGI), FEMA Incident Command 100, 200, and 700 level certifications. While at SRU, Emily began coaching a local swim team - Slippery Rock Swim Team (SRST) from 2013-2016 earning her Level 2 USA Swimming Coaches certification. In 2016 Emily earned a Bachelor of Science in Education for Early Childhood and Special Education with a minor in Aquatics. 


Emily then went on to earn her Master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Sports Management in 2017. Wanting to remain in the higher education realm while still serving in the aquatics field, she accepted the position of Aquatics and Safety Coordinator for Saint Louis University in the Campus Recreation and Wellness department. She currently oversees a Lifeguard and Lifeguard Instructor staff of about 35 people. She also works with all student workers in the building to keep up with staff training and ensuring staff’s certifications remain current. 


Emily is dedicated to the eliminated drownings by helping to educate people on water safety. Currently Emily is the Vice President of the Swim On Foundation to help spread awareness. She remains involved with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) that is helping to share the same message.

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Kimball was born in Boston and grew up in the Boston suburb of Weston, Massachusetts.  He attended public school in Weston from kindergarten through 12th grade, and then attended Amherst College, graduating in 1967.  As a summer camp counsellor and camper in Maine, Kim earned his Senior Lifesaving and Water Safety Instructor certificates, and loved all water sports.


Immediately after college, Kim enlisted in the Navy and chose to become an Underwater Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer, requiring an extra year of training in SCUBA, mixed gas and related diving skills, plus training in defusing bombs, mine, and torpedoes.  He served one “in-country” tour in Vietnam working in the Mekong and Cua-Viet Rivers, and served a second “at-sea” tour in the South China Sea.


After his 3-year Navy stint, Kim received his law degree (JD) on the GI Bill, and later while working earned an LLM in Taxation from Boston University. Kim practiced law in Boston from 1974 through 1980, and then moved to St. Louis where Kim has practiced law, and resided, since 1981.


Way back in his Freshman year at Amherst (1963-1964), Kim had the great good fortune to meet his future bride Lisa, a young woman from St. Louis who was attending nearby Smith College.  They married in 1970 after Kim had completed his last overseas tour.  They were blessed with six children, four boys and two girls.  In 2020, Lisa and Kim celebrated their 50th year of marriage.


In 1982, Kim and Lisa suffered the tragic drowning death of their two year old son, Nicholas.  In the aftermath of surviving deep grief and rearing their five surviving children, it was in memory of Nicholas that in 2019, Lisa and Kim founded “Safer Waters In Memory - Of Nicholas” d/b/a “Swim On Foundation”.  Swim On’s focused mission is “to eliminate drowning by raising awareness of the dangers of drowning, providing information on the layers of protection that prevent drowning, and implementing programs that help to reduce drowning”.  Few parents know that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for kids aged one to four.  Yet drowning is preventable.  SWIM-ON Foundation is determined to make a difference. 

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Charlie Claggett loved Nicholas and was his Uncle.  Before retiring in 2016, Charlie had a long career in advertising and marketing.  Most recently he was VP Marketing, Warson Brands; and before that he was Managing Director, Chief Creative Officer of D'Arcy Advertising in St. Louis where he served for 28 years. He loves anything having to do with water except drowning.  A competitive swimmer in high school, he once had a Red Cross Life Saving Certificate, and years ago did save someone from drowning on a Missouri river float trip.

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I started working in Parks and Recreation when I was 16 years old as a lifeguard. I quickly fell in love with making a positive impact in people’s lives and decided to pursue a career in the parks and recreation field. I graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism- M…I…Z…! I also have a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois in Recreation, Sport and Tourism.

After college I went on to pursue my career in Parks and Recreation with the Waukegan Park District in Waukegan, Illinois as their Fitness and Aquatic Specialist. Returning to Missouri in 2010 as the Aquatic Specialist with the City of Des Peres allowed me to be closer to home and the state I love. I have been with the City of Des Peres as their Aquatic Specialist and was promoted to the Aquatic Supervisor in 2016. I currently oversee both an indoor and outdoor aquatic center as well as being a supervisor on duty for all departments. I hold the following certifications: Certified Parks and Recreation Professional, Certified Pool and Spa Operator, American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor, Athletics and Fitness Association of America –Group Exercise Instructor as well as a Certified Program Planner through the LERN Network.

I have served the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association as the Aquatic section secretary and president. Currently, I serve as the MPRA Conference Chair for 2020. Starting in June of this year I will be taking over as one of the Board Members at large for the organization. Other roles that I have held with MPRA include leading the Programming Support Group, volunteering for multiple MPRA events, and have attended multiple conferences. I am active in the St. Louis Aquatic Professionals group and enjoy mentoring new professionals in the field. I have also served on the American Red Cross Hero’s committee where I have had the pleasure to nominate and select local hometown heroes for courageous and lifesaving actions. I am very passionate about the field of parks and recreation and have truly enjoyed my involvement with MPRA over the years.

As of June of this year, I recently became part of the SwimOn Foundation to keep the memory of Nicholas alive. I am so proud to be part of this organization and honored to serve the community. I am passionate about water safety and raising the awareness of the dangers of downing. I look forward to educating the community on the different layers of protection that prevent drowning and unsafe pool environments.



Dr. Jeremy Garrett is a Pediatric Critical Care Physician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. He is a member of the SLUCare Physician Group. He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. He is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

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Stephané Rebeck McCormick has over 30 years of experience in aquatic supervision and management and has held several leadership roles in aquatics, education, and related fields. Her attention to detail and complimentary background in event production make her especially skilled at

aquatic facility inspection, emergency logistics, and on-site problem-solving. Over the course of her career, Stephané has demonstrated a commitment to water safety, drowning prevention, and aquatic education.

A native of New Jersey, Stephané spent 12 years as a swim instructor with the YWCA of Princeton, worked as an ocean lifeguard with the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol on Long Beach Island, and managed the Brooktree Swim and Tennis Club. After working as a corporate event producer for nearly ten years, she moved to St. Louis in 1998. She served as Aquatic Program Manager with Clayton Parks & Recreation from 2001 to 2008, setting regional enrollment records and earning her department the prestigious Best in Aquatics award from Aquatics International for its overall commitment to aquatics.

Named National Drowning Prevention Alliance 2018 Lifesaver of the Year for her entrepreneurship and impact on drowning prevention, Stephané is a certified Instructor Trainer in Water Safety and Lifeguarding who holds a Masters degree in Education from Columbia University.   She has served as adjunct instructor of physical education and chair of the W-Club Alumni Athlete Association at Washington University. Her achievements have been noted in The Sandpaper, Southern Voice, and Suburban Journal, and she was featured as an expert in aquatic program management in Aqua’Zine. In June 2009, after a highly publicized home pool drowning, Stephané began work on an idea to provide water safety services to residential pools. The result is Backyard Lifeguards, a fully equipped and insured portable professional lifeguard service that also offers site-specific evaluations and water safety training. The goal is to reduce the dramatic rate of drowning at historically under-supervised locations and events. One of only five in the nation whose primary business is supplying contract lifeguard services, the company has earned mentions from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Today in St. Louis, Great Day St. Louis, and the Association of Aquatic Professionals.

In response to increased demand for supervision and management at adult events, Stephané formally added BYLG Sport, now the open-water rescue division of Backyard Lifeguards. BYLG Sport has provided service to events in St. Louis city and county, Jefferson City, Columbia, Kansas City, Southern and Central Illinois, and Chicago. Her open-water event safety plans incorporate supervision strategies from swim and adventure races around the country in which she competes or lifeguards. In 2011, she was one of only twelve rescue swimmers assigned to the Nautica New York City Triathlon. In 2012, Stephané graduated from the United States Lifesaving Association’s Surf Rescue Training Officer Academy.

Later, the company added Club BYLG, which offers private group training for individuals aiming to become American Red Cross Lifeguards and Lifeguarding Instructors.  Stephané has worked as an Aquatic Examiner of community pools, mentored Instructor Trainer candidates, and volunteered at Aquatic Safety Schools teaching Lifeguarding and Water Safety Instructor courses.  She is a merit badge counselor in swimming and lifesaving with the Boy Scouts of America.  Stephané has been active with the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association and St. Louis Aquatic Professionals, and she presents on a variety of topics related to aquatic supervision, programming, and management aannual industry conferences.

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Birch is the brother of Nicholas McMullin. Birch was five when Nicholas drowned and his brother’s death has had a lifelong impact.


Birch graduated from MICDS, Amherst College and, after taking a year off to travel, attended University of Virginia Law School. He played football, lacrosse, and rugby but he always loved swimming. During summers in high school and college, he worked at a summer camp where he was a swim instructor and then head of the waterfront. During his year of travel, he worked in Hawaii as a scuba instructor.


After law school, Birch practiced law with Thompson Coburn and then in the law department of Graybar Electric. However, when the opportunity arose to buy a franchise of British Swim School, he acted. To provide kids with the chance to learn to swim and to be safe in the water was a way to do meaningful work and to respond to the death of Nicholas. He chose British Swim School because he believes it is the best program for teaching survival skills to students of all ages, from infants to adults. His program teaches kids, even very young kids, how to jump in the water, roll over and float on their backs - skills that save lives and would have saved Nicholas


Learning from Birch’s experience with British Swim School about the statistics of drowning and about the life-saving techniques that can be taught to even the littlest kids, was the impetus for his family to create SWIM ON Foundation.  


Birch and his wife Amy have two children, Teddy and Clare. Before children and, in his spare time, Birch was a member of a hurling team and played the bagpipes. Now in his spare moments, he enjoys woodworking and reading and his role as a board member of Care and Counseling.

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Dawn McNamee, MD, PhD, has been a pediatric hospitalist at Ranken Jordan since 2013. She is inspired by watching children at Ranken Jordan continue to play, learn and develop while they heal. Dr. McNamee completed her residency in pediatrics at University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She is a graduate of the MD-PhD program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, which trains physician-scientists in both clinical medicine and research. Her doctorate is in cell and molecular biology.


Before medical school, Dr. McNamee received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Because her father was in the Air Force, Dr. McNamee lived all over the country while she was growing up before her family settled in the St. Louis area. She now has three daughters and is active in her community, and is an avid Green Bay Packers fan.

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Ayanna is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and has worked in the field of aquatics for over 20 years. After learning to swim and swimming competitively from ages 6-12, she began her aquatic career as a lifeguard at age 16.  Over the years, she has held various instructor, supervisor, and administrative roles in aquatic programs. 


Ayanna went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training from McKendree University and a Masters of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Kinesiology (University of Minnesota) with an emphasis in Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity. She is the founder of HK Fit Club, a fitness training business that offers movement therapy and athlete development. She specializes in providing personalized aquatic fitness and swim regimens as a cross-training tool for elite non water-sport athletes. She also offers various forms of water therapy including injury rehabilitation and trauma relief.


Ayanna is an avid swimmer, scuba diver (SSI), and USA Swimming coach, who is passionate about raising awareness for the importance of swimming in communities across the African diaspora.


Cristy is a native St. Louisan and grew up spending weekends at her family “farm”, swimming with her
brother and cousins. She attended Villa Duchesne and has a BA in Psychology from Smith College.
After graduation, she taught first grade at Community School before moving to London with her husband for 3 years.

Upon her return to St. Louis, she obtained a real estate license in 1984 and worked as an agent with Laura McCarthy Real Estate. In 1989 she became a Broker/Manager and currently co-manages 80 sales agents with primary responsibility for contract compliance and closings.

Cristy joined the Board of Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis in 2020 having previously served on
the Board of Grace Hill Settlement House. She has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Her interests include baking, cooking, needlepoint, reading, and travel.