The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation is comprised of 11 members on the board of directors and two members on the advisory board. Both the board of directors and advisory board members are volunteers of the Foundation.

Board of Directors

Jim Spiers, President (New York, NY): The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation is proud to have Jim Spiers as its president. Jim is a consummate professional in all facets of instruction and teaching methods within the realm of swim and water safety. In collaboration with two-time Olympic gold medalist Catherine Fox, he established the Underwater Schoolhouse for Swimming Programs and Teaching Methods. Jim is credited with the formation and development of multiple swim programs throughout the states of New York and Texas, including the prestigious Phil Hansel Swim Academy in Houston. (read more)

Johnny Johnson, Chairman of the Board (Tustin, CA): Johnny brings over 48 years of teaching experience at Blue Buoy Swim School located in Tustin, California. In 2013, Aquatics International Magazine selected Johnny as one of the 25 most influential people in aquatics over the past 25 years. Johnny is a charter member and past president of the US Swim School Association and co-author of its Infant Toddler course whice has been taken by thousands of instructors world-wide. Johnny is a past president of National Drowning Prevention Alliance and past president of Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation. (read more)

Cindy Johnson, Treasurer (Tustin, CA):  Cindy brings her cum laude degree in accounting and finance along with over 40 years of corporate experience and serves as treasurer of Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation.  Always concerned with water safety, Cindy and her husband Johnny founded the Swim for Life Foundation (now Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation) in 2004 and created the Safer 3 Drowning Prevention Program (Curriculum).

Dan Berzansky, Director (Laguna Niguel, CA): Dan has been a lifelong swimmer since the age of seven. After competing throughout his young life, he swam on scholarship for Division I Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY. After college, Dan worked for Jewish Community Center where he opened the aquatics program at the JCC of Orange County in Irvine, CA and then the JCC Association on the JCC Maccabi Games. After receiving his MBA from Pepperdine University in 2011, Dan started his own business, Premier Aquatic Services. Dan has over 15 years of coaching experience as well as over 12 years of experience in the recreation field with a focus on project management. In addition, Dan also has over 13 years of experience as an instructor for the American Red Cross where he teaches classes ranging from CPR, to lifeguarding and first aid. 


Georgette Cutler, Director (Lake in the Hills, IL): Jett is a partner of Cal Elite Kids and Pro Swim Academy.  Jett has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting from California State University, Fullerton.  Prior to becoming a partner in Cal Elite Kids, Jett had a career in public accounting at a regional CPA firm in California. Jett also has experience working as a controller in the private industry in manufacturing and property management. (read more)


Tina Ferriola, Director (New York, NY): Tina is the founder and president of three successful gymnastics schools in New York City, NYC Elite Gymnastics (I, II, and III), for the past 14 years.   Presently Tina is the Chairperson for the USA Gymnastics New York State Board and a board member of the USA Gymnastics Region 6 Committee as well as the National Gymnastics Foundation.  She enjoys taking part in these organizations, as well as mentoring young business owners just starting out, to encourage positive growth in the gymnastics industry.  Tina continues to uphold her goal of bringing joy and happiness to the heart of each child through her passion of gymnastics.  She loves taking her daughter to swimming lessons each week.

Kim Kaufman, Director (New York, NY): Kim is the education expert on the board of directors. She earned her degree in library and information science and worked for many years as an elementary school librarian. Passionate about education, she is highly committed to getting the Safer 3 message out to the world through the Safer 3 Curriculum. Kim is married with four grown children. (read more)


Mary Reilly-Magee, Director (San Antonio, Texas): Mary is a mom, writer, athlete, entrepreneur and past-president of the US Swim School Association. She began her career in the learn-to-swim business over 28 years ago. Prior to becoming a swim school owner, Mary taught English and coached high school swim and water polo Armed with her passion and experience, Mary established Love to Swim School in 2001, holding lessons in the pools of fitness clubs, neighborhoods and aquatic centers as her business developed. In January of 2006, she opened her first state of the art facility. Now with three locations, Mary continues to pursue her bigger dream of making San Antonio a "no drown town" by teaching her community how to be water wise and risk adverse. Mary is married and has two children. 


Justin Sempsrott, MD - Director (Boise, Idaho): Justin started his water safety efforts as an ocean lifeguard in 1996. While in medical school at the University of South Florida, he co-founded Lifeguards Without Borders and continues to serve as their executive director. He is the medical director of Starfish Aquatics Institute and the International Surf Lifesaving Association. He currently works as an EMS and emergency medicine physician in North Carolina. He has authored textbook chapters and lectures, nationally and internationally, on drowning resuscitation.  


Margee Charron, Director (New London/Norwich, CT)

David Gorman, Director (New York, NY)


Advisory Council

Karen Kittelson, Advisory Council (Wisconsin)

Wayne Ziegler, Advisory Member (Forest Hill, MD): Wayne is a swim school owner/operator and advocate of learn to swim as a drowning prevention strategy and swimming as a lifetime sport that promotes physical well-being and personal development.  (read more)


Lauren Bordages, (Los Angeles, CA) Foundation Director
Lauren has been in the nonprofit setting for 15 years since earning her BA in journalism from the University of Southern California. Over the course of her career, she has performed a variety of roles including: fundraising, grant writing, managing staff, implementing & executing new programs, event planning, branding campaigns, and volunteer recruitment & management. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated strong working relationships with board of directors, providing leadership and guidance for organizations.