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Hesse Named CEO of USA Diving -- November 20, 2006

DEBBIE Hesse has been named Chief Executive Officer of USA Diving, president Dave Burgering announced Friday.

"We are pleased to have Debbie join USA Diving as our new CEO. Her management and leadership experience along with her passion for aquatic sports will provide great direction for USA Diving," Burgering said. "She has a clear vision of what it takes to run a non-profit sports organization, as shown by her success at Special Olympics Indiana and with USA Synchronized Swimming."

Hesse has served as the President and CEO of Special Olympics Indiana since 2003, and prior to that, she spent seven years as Executive Director of USA Synchronized Swimming.

"I am honored and humbled to be a part of USA Diving. It's difficult to replace someone like Todd Smith, who for the past 25 years has been so essential to the success of diving in the United States," said Hesse, who will begin her duties with USA Diving on Jan. 8, 2007. "Diving has a history of excellence, and I look forward to working with the athletes, coaches, board members and staff to carry on this tradition."

While at Special Olympics Indiana, Hesse managed a staff of 14 and oversaw all business operations, increasing the annual budget by 25 percent in one year. She initiated a comprehensive branding plan and emphasized fundraising events for the organization.

As Executive Director at USA Synchronized Swimming, Hesse more than doubled the organization's budget in seven years, much in part due to her efforts in securing national corporate sponsorships, fundraising programs and grants.

Hesse has also worked at the International Swimming Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she was the marketing director/assistant manager, and she began her career in aquatic sports as the membership coordinator for the American Swimming Coaches Association.

Hesse earned a bachelor's degree in business administration – marketing – journalism from Texas A&M, where she lettered four years in swimming.

She served on the Local Organizing Committee for the World Swimming Championships in 2003-04, and was a member of USA Swimming's Gender Equity Task Force Committee in 2002.

Hesse's husband Mark is the aquatics director and swim coach for Crawfordsville Independent School District. He has coached numerous individual state champions, and in 2005, his North Central High School boys' team won the Indiana High School State Swimming & Diving Championships. Debbie and Mark have two children, Gabriella, 8, and Hannah, 4.
Greg LouganisEraldo

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