Our Management Team
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Our Management Team

Management Team Members

 

Leslie Donavan, President and CEO

Jennifer Calver White, COO and Swim School Specialist

Lake White, Quality Assurance and Improvement Director

Sara Poe, Operations Director

Allison Larsen, Finance Director

Carol Fick, Quality Assurance Consultant


Leslie Donavan

 

Leslie Donavan is President and CEO of the Starfish Aquatics Institute. Leslie received a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin/Madison and her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. She practiced corporate and commercial law at Schiff Hardin and at Martin, Craig, Chester & Sonnenschein. Leslie also represented United Airlines in the financing of Denver International Airport. 

Leslie served as Volunteer Brand Protection Manager for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. She is a past trustee of Northwestern University, a past President of the Northwestern Alumni Association, a past President of the NU Club of Chicago, and has served on numerous Boards and committees at the Law School. Additional volunteer activities include past appointments on the Village of Lincolnshire Plan Commission and School District 103 Foundation Board.

 

Jennifer Calver White

 

Jennifer White, named one of Aquatics International’s Power 25 in 2012, is a nationally recognized expert in swim school education. Jennifer is the COO and Swim School Specialist for the Starfish Aquatics Institute. Partnering with Jill White, Founder of SAI, Jennifer White has developed one of the world’s leading swim school programs and offers it through SAI Training Centers throughout the United States and internationally. Her responsibilities include oversight of program and curriculum development, training and education, client relations, educational merchandise development and marketing.

Jennifer has developed the industry’s premier risk management assessment program for swim school programs, and is a member of the team supervising a national team of auditors who advise swim school clients in all aspects of safety and risk management. Additionally, she trains swim instructor trainers and swim instructors worldwide. Her newest endeavor is launching training through a strategic partnership with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). The Starfish Swimming curriculum is the foundation of the PADI Swim School, PADI’s newest education program. Jennifer continues to enjoy teaching swimming and resides with her husband and three children in Savannah, Georgia.


Leslie Donavan
Leslie Donavan

Jennifer Calver White
Jennifer Calver White

Lake White

 

Lake White has experience in all aspects of the aquatics industry. Lake is the Quality Assurance and Improvement Director for the Starfish Aquatics Institute.  He travels around the world providing training in lifeguard and emergency care instructor training, and providing on-site risk management and safety evaluation assessments for waterparks, swimming pools, and beachfronts.  Lake has served on industry leadership committees including the US Lifeguard Standards Coalition and the Child Drowning Prevention Council.  

Lake also has experience coaching swimming, producing state champions and nationally ranked swimmers.  Under his leadership, his aquatic facility earned a “Best in Aquatics” award from Aquatics International.  He has been a seminar speaker for the World Waterpark Association (WWA). the Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP), and multiple state Parks & Recreation conferences.  He is an AquaTech Instructor Trainer, Starfish Swimming Instructor Trainer, and an Instructor Trainer for ASHI Emergency Care programs.  Lake holds a B.A. degree in Liberal Arts and lives in Savannah, GA with his wife and three children.

 

Sara Poe

 

Sara Poe is the Operations Director at SAI.  Sara received a BA Degree in English Literature from SIU, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.  During college, she was a columnist for the local weekly newspaper.  Prior to joining SAI in 2006, Sara was a pharmaceutical sales representative for several years, and also taught various courses at Rend Lake College in Southern Illinois.  Sara lives in Central Illinois with her husband, Greg, and their two sons.


Lake White
Lake White

Sara Poe
Sara Poe





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Starfish Aquatics offers Starguard Lifeguard Certification program to provide training to lifeguards in any kind of pool or waterpark.  Starfish Swimming is a comprehensive swimming instruction and water safety curriculum for all ages and ability levels.  AquaTech Pool Operator Certification program offers training and certification for anyone responsible for the water quality and maintenance of a pool or aquatic facility.

Starfish Aquatics Institute • Founded by Jill White and Robbin White