Dr. Adam Katchmarchi (Ph.D.) is an assistant professor and the aquatics director 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 MS in Sport Management from IUP and completed his BSEd 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 organizations. Katchmarchi is a licensed teacher in the state of Pennsylvania for grades K-12 in Health and Physical Education. He is also a licensed emergency medical technician (EMT-B) by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 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.

Katchmarchi’s personal mission is to help grow the field of aquatics, educated future aquatic professionals, and conduct research that will further the field of drowning prevention and water safety to help save lives.

Phone: 814-590-0393



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 (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.

Phone: 301-802-3655



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.

Phone: 813-852-1977