2005 Paragon Award / Recreational Swimming
Rick Root is president of the World Waterpark Association (WWA), an international not-for-profit trade association representing more than 1,100 members from more than 40 countries around the globe. More than 72 million people annually attend water parks in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Over 1600 water parks exist throughout the world
Since assuming his role with the WWA, Rick has refocused the organization to increase safety within the industry and to stimulate business growth, service improvement and innovation.
Under Rick's leadership, the WWA located in Overland Park, Kansas, has significantly expanded its educational, member service and development programs, helping fuel industry growth domestically and abroad. The association maintains a consumer web site (www.waterparks.com) and publishes "World Waterpark Magazine", the official magazine of the World Waterpark Association.
Rick has twice been recognized as one of the Top Who's Who of Aquatic leadership in the United Sates and was selected as Difference Maker by Amusement Business magazine for his contributions to the World Waterpark Association.
Since Beginning his career 26 years ago as an American Red Cross lifeguard, Rick has been an active volunteer and instructor for the American Red Cross, ASTM International, Boy Scouts of America, Ellis & Associates, national Recreation and Parks Association, National Swimming Pool Foundation and the YMCA.
During this time he has held varied positions in privately held companies, the public sector and as an executive with the Silver Dollar City and Six Flags organizations. As an industry advocate, he is a frequent media spokesperson, industry speaker, published author and was recently selected as a founding board member of the new International Aquatic Foundation.