Dr. Adam Katchmarchi (Ph.D.) is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Sciences (KHSS) at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Adam is also Executive Director of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.
Adam completed his Ph.D. in Coaching and Teaching Studies with a cognate specialization in Sport Management from West Virginia University. He received his M.S. in Sport Management from IUP and completed his B.S.Ed. in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Aquatics from Slippery Rock University. Adam carries a very active research agenda all surrounding his passion for aquatics. His research interests focus on aquatic education, swimming and water safety, drowning prevention education, lifeguard training, and sport facility risk management.
Adam holds provider, instructor, and trainer certifications from multiple safety and aquatic organizations and is a licensed teacher in the state of Pennsylvania for grades K-12 in Health and Physical Education. He received a National Swimming Pool Foundation Fellowship Award in 2014 and has been recognized twice by Aquatic International as a Power Award recipient, first in 2012 as a “Next Generation Leader in the Field of Aquatics” and again in 2017 as one of the “Most Influential People in the Aquatic Industry.” He has also received a letter of commendation from the National Water Safety Congress in 2011. Most recently, Katchmarchi received a Recent Alumni Award from Slippery Rock University in 2019.
Adam is a steering committee member for the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan, serves as an organizational representative to Water Safety USA and the Aquatics Coalition, represents NDPA in the planning for National Water Safety Month, and serves on numerous industry committees and councils.
After Laura’s son almost died from a nonfatal drowning accident, she started CPR Party™ (a program of The Clay Foundation 501C3). The mission of CPR Party™ is to provide CPR training and water safety tips to all Americans regardless of financial ability. She is an advocate for drowning prevention through public speaking, being a founding member of Families United To Prevent Drowning and serving on the board of directors for the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) for four years. Laura is now the Director of Communications and Marketing for the NDPA.
Laura’s professional background is in public relations and marketing. She specializes in developing strategic marketing plans & products that foster an emotional connection between people and brands. Her life experiences coupled with public relations and marketing provides a unique perspective focused on thoughtful, innovative and cost-effective marketing and public relations practices.
Her career is comprised of both corporate and entrepreneurial marketing/public relations experiences. After graduating from American University with an undergraduate degree in public communications, Laura spent a few years learning health and tech PR at Ketchum Communications with brands like Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals. In her tenure at Ketchum, she participated in the launch of Cingular Wireless, Webvan (the first online grocery company) and ezgov.com (the first online government company.) From there, she was recruited by one of Ketchum’s successful senior executives to help start a boutique marketing/public relations firm, The Sage Agency. At Sage, she brought in the Marriott account and supported new openings for their select service family of brands.
For the past 15 years, she stayed in the marketing field doing freelance work with a few large corporate organizations, like Tim Hortons, as well as having started an entrepreneurial cause-related business venture, WINK Bags.
Alison Petri was always the child at school who had her name written on the board as punishment for talking out in class. As the years have passed her energy, enthusiasm and talkativeness have not dwindled but have been focused. With her background in education and advocacy Alison has worked to use ‘her big voice to make the world better for its smallest people.’ With drowning being a preventable tragedy Alison is eager to use her energy and talents to make a difference.
Alison’s formal education includes a double major in education and public relations from the University of St. Thomas and master’s in educational leadership from the University of Dayton. Alison has taught children from toddlers to middle school and worked in educational public policy for nearly 2 decades. Alison currently is also the Program Manager for Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation in Minnesota. Alison loves the mission of Abbey’s Hope: “Safer Pools. Safer Kids.” and is honored to work with the NDPA to further prevent childhood drownings. In 2020 Alison received the NDPA President’s Award with the virtual conference team for their excellent pivot to present a virtual conference. In 2021 Alison received the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Distinguished Service Award for her partnership efforts to promote water safety in the Minneapolis area.
Outside of work Alison is married to John, a Marine Corps veteran, and they have three lively boys. As a family their favorite things are snorkeling, Disney, and telling cringeworthy jokes.
Karen Farrington, Founder and President of Suncoast Meetings & Events, Inc., is an event planner with a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Designation and a Learning Environmental Specialist (LES) Designation from the Professional Convention Management Association.
Karen received the MPI Tampa Bay Meeting Professional of the Year award in 2016-2017 and was also recognized as Member of the Month for the Tampa Bay Chapter in October of 2016.
She has served on the Tampa Bay MPI Board of Directors twice in leadership roles since joining in 1999 and spearheaded the chapter’s “Emerging Leaders” program which is still currently in place today.
She continues to serve on the MPTBA nominations committee and as an advisor for special projects.