The Annual Paragon Awards, sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems, are presented for outstanding contributions to: Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.
Jim Wheeler (USA) /Aquatics Director,City of Oakland
2008 Paragon Award / Aquatic Safety
Jim Wheeler's work in the aquatic safety field spans more than four decades. He has worked as a California state beach lifeguard, managed recreational aquatic programs for several municipalities, consulted on facility audits and advanced lifeguard training and contributed to aquatic research and lifeguard readiness. In 1998, he created and implemented a plan to operate a year round, full service program for the City of San Ramon becoming active with the National Recreation and ParkAssociation's NationalAquatic Branch. By 1991, he had become a speaker and chairperson at schools and conferences across the nation. Jim has been retained by more than 30 agencies and corporations across the country to
train staff, inspect facilities and investigate accidents. Since 1991 he has spoken at more than 100 local, state and national conferences.
Jim has been the driving force in developing the aquatics section of the California Park and Recreation Society. Nationally, he has served on the NRPA National Aquatic Council as a regional representative and President. He has also served on United States Masters Swimming's Safety Education, Marketing and Long Distance Swimming Committees, as well as chairing the Planning and RiskManagement Committees. He developed an annual graduate school level scholarship for the California Foundation for Parks and Recreation in the name of TotalAquatic Management, his consulting firm.
Jim is currently theAquatics Supervisor for the City of Oakland, California, having served previously with six other cities and counties.