ISHOF Service Award
The ISHOF Service Award
is given periodically to an individual who has selflessly volunteered their time, energy and/or resources to advance the interests and work of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
From the age of five years old, he swam at the Hall of Fame Pool in the shadow of ISHOF’s buildings. He moved to Washington, DC in 1985 to study at the George Washington University, majoring in East Asian Studies. This would take him to Osaka, Japan where he would spend four years in Japanese language school, igniting his passion for international relations and business.
Russell Weaver returned to Fort Lauderdale in the year 2000, where he became a regular volunteer with the International Swimming Hall of Fame, improving the organization’s reach around the world, especially in Asia and within the local and state governments. In cooperation with then ISHOF President Bruce Wigo, Russell traveled to Sendai, Japan, five months after the Tsunami devastated the region in 2011, to see firsthand the effects the tsunami had on the swimming community in that region. ISHOF organized a fundraiser based on his findings that same year.
Russell is also president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Sister Cities International, helping the organization win this year’s “Innovation in Business, Trade and Professional Exchange Award” for 2022. The worlds of the Swimming Hall of Fame and Sister Cities came together when ISHOF organized a swimming and lifeguard mission trip to Cap Haitien, Haiti in 2001. This was the real catalyst for Russell’s involvement with ISHOF.
In addition to his volunteer work with the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Greater Fort Lauderdale Sister Cities, Weaver is a commercial Realtor with Weaver Morrison Commercial Real Estate. He has been a member of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance for over two decades, and twice has served as its International Chairman.
Mr. Weaver holds a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies from George Washington University in Washington, DC and lettered in swimming for three years. He is fluent in Japanese and studied at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, Japan his junior year. His ISHOF and Sister Cities missions have taken him to Haiti, Medellin, Colombia, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
Dale Petranech (USA)
Dale Petranech has been a fixture at the Hall of Fame for as far back as anyone can remember. Whatever needed to be done, Dale was always there to pitch in and lend a helping hand. Whether it was getting up at 4:00 am to help ISHOF’s own, Bob Duenkel set up for the Ocean Mile Swim, or make a last-minute run to the Miami International Airport to pick someone up, Dale always did it with a smile on his face. And he never said no.
He first became involved in swimming on an administrative level in 1977, when he was selected to be the chairman of the first USA Swimming Open Water Committee and developed successful domestic and international programs. In 1984, Petranech was instrumental in getting FINA President Bob Helmick to establish a commission to study adding Open Water Swimming to the FINA and Olympic programs. Under Petranech’s leadership as Chairman, in 1991, the first FINA 25K was swum in Perth, Australia at the 1991 FINA World Aquatic Championships.
After the death of Commander Gerald Forsberg in 1998, Dale assumed the role of Secretary General for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and since then has been responsible for formulating the nomination ballots and for organizing the annual IMSHOF induction.
In 2014, Petranech was well-deservedly inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, which followed an earlier recognition by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Administrator in 1995. His work has spanned everything from U.S. Masters Swimming and USA Swimming to FINA and the Marathon Swimming Association.
Dale Petranech served as Honorary Secretary of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame from 1998 to present; he became the first U.S. Swimming Open Water Swimming Committee Chairman in 1977; assisted U.S. Masters Swimming to form its own independent organization; served as chairman of the FINA Open Water Swimming Commission; made long-term recommendations to FINA for inclusion of Open Water Swimming into its full program; served as Honorary Secretary of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee 1992 – 1996; helped lay the groundwork to get marathon swimming into the Summer Olympics; provided the administrative background, expertise and efforts to maintain the records, rules, policies, procedures and protocols used at USA Swimming, local age-group and masters, and FINA levels; served as Chairman of United States Swimming Long Distance Committee 1979 – 1991; served as Chairman of first FINA Commission to Study adding Open Water Swimming to the FINA and Olympic Program 1984-1992; served as FINA Safety Delegate, Observer and Official from 1992 to present; and served as Chairman of National Aquatic Coalition 1994 – 1996.
These are only some of Dale’s accomplishments and they are just another part of Dale’s history and background, but to us, Dale is just another member of the family. Another person we can turn to when we need someone to set up tables, get the flags ready for the Honoree parade, help run an important errand, or just count on when you really need someone. There are not many people like that anymore, these days. That’s why Dale Petranech is so special to the staff and all of us at ISHOF. He is one of us and we can always count on him. He is one of the good guys. Thanks Dale for all your many years of support, kindness, hard work and friendship. We couldn’t have done it without you all these years.
Gay DeMario (USA)
Gay DeMario encompasses all of the above. She is a multi-talented artist and graphic designer. Gay is highly skilled in all mediums including watercolors, pencil, pen and ink, oils/acrylics and is extremely proficient in all Adobe Creative Suite programs.
Through the years (1980’s-present), Gay has helped create ISHOF programs, displays, brochures, fliers, books, photo exhibits, signage, traveling exhibits, specialty designs and many other vital aspects of ISHOF branding. She has designed the cover of the ISHOF yearbook since 2006 and continues to be an integral part of the team. Her quick wit and life of the party personality always make projects more fun. All kidding aside, Gay is family to the ISHOF and a big part of our history!
As a matter of fact, Gay is so involved in ISHOF productions that when all the artistic creations are complete and the events have begun, you can usually find her behind the ISHOF bar….going the extra mile doing quality control, testing the beverages, bartending, and making sure that your drinks are of the highest quality!
DeMario was born in Yonkers, NY and moved to South Florida in 1980. Gay attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and graduated in 1982. She has over 30 years in the visual communications industry with high-level skills in conceptualization, coordination and implementation of advertising and promotional material from concept through final piece. She has expertise in logo design, signage, printed apparel, menus, murals and hand/digital illustration work.
Gay is currently working as the Graphic Design and Production Coordinator for the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) in Fort Lauderdale, where she began in November of 2014.
Prior to the BSO, Gay was a successful self employed Graphic Designer in South Florida and worked on a wide range of design projects, developing and creating art and graphics for all aspects of advertising and promotions including handling and overseeing of all out-sourcing and print work. Some key clients included Boys and Girls Club of Broward County, City of Fort Lauderdale, Arby’s Inc., Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Hitachi Koki U.S.A., USA Diving, Motorola, and various restaurants, PR firms and advertising agencies. She was also an instructor at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for ten years, teaching Advertising Design, Design and Layout, Graphics and Portfolio.
Gay to this day is always a phone call away when one of the staff needs some advice in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. We thank you Gay!
Daniel Petershagen (USA)
Daniel Petershagen has worked for ISHOF for a little over two years now. He is always positive and upbeat, no matter how big the problem is. At this point in time, we don’t know how we ever survived without him.
His career started in sales then transitioned to a fast-paced technology company where he earned Microsoft certifications as a network and database administrator (MCSE & MCDBA). Daniel designed and supported a Microsoft Active Directory based network infrastructure then transitioned to a customer facing role where he was responsible for integrating backend archiving solutions and architecting Data Warehouse solutions for Business Intelligence (BI). From there, he went on to work as a customer facing pre-sales engineer with VirtualWorks, founded by technology leader Ed Iacobucci, architecting enterprise solutions for data virtualization. As Daniel became more established in the world of Enterprise data “Big Data”, he began to understand the massive amount of value surrounding that data and made a career changing decision to transition to a role in the newly evolving field of “Machine Learning” and is currently pursuing this path with Office Depot as Senior Manager, Supply Chain Analytics.
During the last two years, Daniel has made updates on our network infrastructure including an upgrade to ISHOF’s wi-fi network, improving connectivity throughout the museum building. He performed an e-mail/data migration of Google Docs over to a not-for-profit account with Microsoft Office 365. This has allowed ISHOF to keep expenses down while improving data integrity, reliability and accessibility. As an added benefit, Microsoft Office 365 alleviates the need for onsite servers or IT personnel and allows ISHOF to administer email and data access with minimal effort, thereby saving big dollars on IT support.
In his free time, Daniel utilizes his passion for technology trends and assists small businesses in migrating to the cloud. He is also a father to two boys.
Peer grew up in South Africa and completed his education in the United States at Kutztown University, Pennsylvania. He spent his final semester at Uxbridge University, England, as part of an exchange program, and graduated with a BS in Accounting and Finance in 1990.
After graduating, Peer launched his career with a national firm in England where he remained for two years. Upon returning to the U.S., Peer joined an international consulting firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and in 1997 was transferred to West Palm Beach as a Director.
Since 1997, Peer has run MSI, a National IT consulting and solutions firm. His energy has been focused on the implementations of mobile solutions for their client base.
In 2014, FanHero was founded with the mission of helping businesses, non-profits and individuals broadcast their message, reach out to their audience, increase their revenues, build authentic relationships with their fans, customers and followers and make intelligent choices using the latest technology, data science and analytics.
Starting in 2014, Peer has helped ISHOF redesign its website, and create a mobile platform with live-streaming and enhanced e-commerce capabilities. In short he has helped ISHOF keep pace with new technology.
Peer, wife Nicola, along with his two sons and daughter reside in Boca Raton. Outside interests include European history and traveling. Peer is a member of the Swim Fort Lauderdale Masters Swim Team, and loves to compete.
“Developing Mobile technologies for ISHOF will help the organization interact with the public and share the great history of swimming and the latest happenings with the Hall of Fame. We have an incredible sport and we’re happy to be of help.” — Peer Snoep
Kevin Moore - Santa Clara
Growing up in Santa Clara, which has long been known for its youth recreation programs, it
was only natural that Kevin Moore developed a passion for sports and the benefits they bring
to the community. It is a community he loves and where he has lived his whole life, except
while attending college at Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii. If you have never
heard of Chaminade, Kevin will tell you, it’s a small, unheralded Catholic college in Hawaii
that pulled off “the biggest upset” in college basketball history, when it upset #1 ranked
Virginia in 1982. Kevin, in high school at the time, was considering attending Chaminade and remembers his dad showing him a newspaper headline one day that read “OBSCURE TEAM TOPPLES NUMBER ONE”. This event cemented his decision to attend Chaminade.
Two years later, Kevin was fortunate enough to watch the Chaminade Silverswords continue their tradition of upsetting some of college basketball’s top powerhouse teams. Witnessing these games left Kevin with an infectious, almost evangelical confidence that “anything is possible” through a combination of hard work, persistence and enthusiasm. In his senior year, Kevin used this same hard work, persistence and enthusiasm to earn a spot on the Chaminade basketball team.
After college, he became a real estate agent and got involved with education and athletic projects. He joined Santa Clara’s Parks and Recreation Commission. During his tenure as chairman of the Commission, the San Tomas Aquino / Saratoga Creek Trail project and youth soccer park were launched.
Believing the city would benefit from a professional sports franchise, he led two failed attempts to attract major league baseball to town. Then, in 2003, he wrote a letter to John York, owner of the San Francisco 49ers, asking him to consider what Santa Clara had to offer as a site for a new NFL stadium for the 49ers. The following year he was elected to the Santa Clara City Council and while the history of Levi’s stadium was being written, he embarked on another project – a new swim center for Santa Clara.
Although not a competitive swimmer himself, he had learned to swim at the George Haines International Swim Center, had met the great George Haines and was proud of Santa Clara’s international reputation for producing Olympic superstars, including the 1964 Associated Press and ABC Wide World of Sports “Athlete of the Year,” Don Schollander.
“Long before Levi’s Stadium,” he says, “George Haines and our swimmers put Santa Clara on the map as a town
where children could grow up in a healthy environment and dream of being Olympic champions.”
When he learned the Hall of Fame was looking to leave Fort Lauderdale in 2007, he immediately saw a connection.
His vision for the new aquatic center was not just to be a great place for swimmers, but also a place where children
and adults from Santa Clara and around the world, swimmers and non-swimmers alike, could learn about an activity
that is both an essential life-skill and a sport that made Santa Clara world famous. For over eight years he has
pursued ISHOF with the same passion, commitment, dedication and enthusiasm that brought the 49ers to Santa
Clara, and while the final chapter on the International Swimming Hall of Fame/Santa Clara has not been written, the
Hall wants to thank Kevin Moore with this award for all that he has done so far.
Bob is a retired high school science educator and swim coach from the Jersey Shore. He is a U.S. Navy veteran. Since his retirement in 2007 after 31 years teaching, he has become a “snowbird” and is now able to spend several months in Fort Lauderdale and at the ISHOF, where he volunteers his time to do whatever is needed. He has been affiliated with the ISHOF since 1966, when he came to visit Fort Lauderdale and the ISHOF where he met Buck Dawson, ISHOF’s founder. His high school swim coach from Trenton Central High School, the late Al Neuschaefer, was inducted into the ISHOF in 1967. Bob was later introduced to ISHOF Director Bob Duenkel by the late Dick Steadman, who Dillon knew from the Jersey Shore. He has made a “pilgrimage” every year to ISHOF, both when he was in the Navy, and when teaching, during his Christmas vacations. Since 1989, he has helped Duenkel set up and run Fort Lauderdale’s “Rough Water Ocean Mile Swim”, including buoy placement, finish schute, departure pens, streamers, and tables. He also helps with airport runs, writing and typing and other requests.
Now that he can spend more time in Ft Lauderdale, Bob has been able to assist in a myriad of ways. In addition to helping with the annual ocean mile swim, he assisted in the organization and running of the “Fran Crippin 10K Swim” two years ago; assists in the preparation of the annual Induction Ceremonies, and last year’s inaugural “Aquatic History Symposium”. Bob is an ISHOF member and feels like he is also “quazi staff” when here and enjoys working with the ISHOF staff.
Bob has presented two plaques along with monetary contributions, one in 1996 on behalf of the late Dick Steadman, member of ISHOF and the Olympic Diving Committee, as well as on behalf of a Monmouth County NJ Water Safety icon, the late Howard Rowland, in 1983.
Bob has been involved with aquatics all of his life which has been his avocation. Swimming in high school and at Gettysburg College; an American Red Cross Instructor; member of the Monmouth County A.R.C. Water Safety Committee; swimming official (1974-1982); founder and first coach of his high school swim team (1995); lifeguard; beach club aquatic director and manager; founder and Past President of the Monmouth County Chapter of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) for 25 years (now a life member); competition official for the Mid-Atlantic USLA; occasional delegate to the bi-annual national USLA meeting, organizing such a three day meeting in 1991 (Baltimore); organizer and head official of the Monmouth County Lifeguard “tournaments” for over 30 years; past organizer and manager of the Monmouth County Lifeguard Competition Team for the USLA Nationals, which usually places second each year. Bob was awarded the USLA “Sportsmanship Plaque” in 2003. He is still involved with the USLA on all levels, local, regional and national, as well as with the high school swim team.
He was recognized by the “Asbury Park (NJ) Press” (11/28/11) for the paper’s “2000 Millennium Countdown Project”, being selected as one of the fifteen top/legendary lifeguards of the North Jersey Shore Area for his contributions that had made an impact in this profession. He was also recognized by the Monmouth County (NJ) Parks System, for twenty-five years of leadership in the lifeguarding profession. Most recently, the Wall High School (NJ) Swim Team Parents Association, that Bob founded, have named their annual swim team scholarship after him.
Dr. Stathis Avramidis
Dr. Stathis Avramidis has been instrumental in organizing and preparing for the inaugural International Aquatic History Symposium and Film Festival (IAHS&FF), as Co-Chairman and member of the Organizing and Program Committee and editor of the proceedings. He has spent many hours reviewing and assigning abstracts for review by associates, designing the symposium website and answering communications.
He is honored for his outstanding contributions to the world of aquatics and the mission of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He promoted the work of ISHOF in Greek TV programs about ten times. He created a TV social message on drowning prevention that was approved by three Greek TV programs about ten times. He created a TV social message on drowning prevention that was approved by three Greek organizations and the Greek National Council for Radio and Television which will be aired on all the Greek TV programs. Stathis also helped with the organization and operation of several events that took place at ISHOF since 2001. He takes pride in competing on who is going to work more hours with ISHOF’s President/CEO, Bruce Wigo. Although he always loses in this competition, he manages to work daily between 12 to 16 hours.
38 years of age, Stathis, from Greece, has been involved in the aquatics since he was six years old. He has served and popularized aquatics and water safety nationally and internationally as athlete, safety professional, academic, author, researcher, and media professional.
He holds a Bachelor in Sport Science and Physical Education, graduating with the highest mark among 105 graduates, and a Diploma in Physical Education for persons with disabilities from Athens University. He also holds a Master in Sport and Exercise Science and a PhD in lifesaving and drowning from Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. Stathis has more than 150 certifications in aquatic safety, first aid, swimming and lifesaving as a tutor, instructor and professional from organizations in 13 countries.
Stathis works in the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, in Leeds Metropolitan University and the National School of Public Health. He was recently appointed as the National Director of Sport Lifesaving from the Hellenic Federation of Underwater Activity and Sport Fishing. He conducts research and teaches various aspects of aquatic accident prevention and safety promotion. As a lifeguard and first-aider, he initiated over 80 rescues. As academic and teacher, he has taught about 9,000 people from 15 countries of all age groups, academic background and abilities/disabilities.
Stathis has a rich background as an athlete and author. He has placed five times in the top three rankings of the Pan-Hellenic Water Polo Championship and four times as a competitive life-saver or coach in lifesaving competitions in various countries. Possibly one of the world’s most prolific water safety authors, he has written 14 books and over 250 articles in peer reviewed journals and technical magazines, conference proceedings and book chapters. He has created two educational DVD’s on lifeguarding and recently directed the documentary film “Ode to (Lifesaving) Joy” that was endorsed by the Hellenic Red Cross and the three Greek organizations in which he works.
He is frequently asked to appear on TV programs to talk on water safety. For his contribution to the world of aquatics and water safety, he has been honored over 30 times from organizations in seven countries, including two Diploma Awards from the Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth whose Patron is Queen Elizabeth and President Prince Michael of Kent.
In 2009, he became the first non-American and the youngest recipient of the Paragon Aquatic Safety Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
For the past twelve months, John Spannuth has been organizing and formalizing advisory committees for the International Swimming Hall of Fame whose purposes are to serve and offer suggestions and improvements to ISHOF operations. With the help of his associate Marion Frega, John has formed 13 committees which include: Adapted Aquatics, Aquatic Programs for Wounded Warriors, Every Child a Swimmer, Education, Fund Raising (includes Special Events), Future Visions, Honoree Alumni Committee, Library, Museum (includes Memorabilia, Public Relations, Security, International, and Constitution and By-Laws.
He has played an active role on each committee by choosing each committee’s chairperson and helping to organize an agenda.
John has been associated with the International Swimming Hall of Fame from its first year in 1965. He has been involved in aquatics for over 50 years in many capacities, currently as CEO of United States Water Fitness Association.
From his first, full-time job in aquatics in 1956 as Aquatics Director of Reading, PA, YMCA, he has developed outstanding programs. He has been the Aquatics Director and Head Swimming coach for Phillips Petroleum Co. in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where in seven years he developed one of the best age group swim teams in the country. He was the National Aquatics Administrator for the AAU where, on a national level, he guided all four disciplines plus long distance and Masters swimming. He was the International Director of the Special Olympics in Washington D.C. where he guided the growth of Special Olympics for Eunice Shriver and helped to build it into an internationally recognized program for persons with mental disabilities. He served four years in the Middle East as Aquatics, Sports and Recreation Administrator in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, while teaching swimming on all levels, including competitive swimming, to native children of the region.
John, is the creator and founder of many innovative programs and conferences including: The World Swimming Coaches Clinic 1969, which has grown into the largest international coaches conferences in the world and is run by the American Swimming Coaches Association; Masters Swimming (1970) where he implemented Ransom Arthur’s ideas and decrees to begin a competitive fitness program for adults; Masters Synchronized Swimming (1975); National YMCA Masters Aquatics Championship (1976); Water Walking as a program (1986), which began a water fitness program for individuals who were not great swimmers or who needed water therapy work; National Aquatics Director Certification (1996); National Programs Awards (recognizing the top programs in the country), Top Water Fitness Programs (1990), Top Aquatic Programs (1997); Who’s Who in the Country Aquatics(1997) and Water Exercise (1998); and National and State leadership Awards (1990)
Other national leadership positions have included: Chairperson of the 1998 National Aquatics Summit; President of the American Swimming Coaches Association; Member of the Board of Directors, International Swimming Hall of Fame; NRPA Aquatics Council; Charter member of the AAHPERD Aquatics Council (1968); Chairperson of the National Forum for the Advancement Of Aquatics; Advisory Board, Disability International Foundation.
He has lectured extensively in Egypt, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Germany and throughout the United States at conferences for over 20 organizations. As the CEO of U. S. Water Fitness, Inc. he has set the guidelines which have developed this organization to be the authority in developing and maintaining standards from which to teach water aerobics and fitness on a recreational level. Our thanks go out to John for his dedication to ISHOF and his commitment toward keeping it strong.
Computer Wiz, Marcus Koch, has been keeping ISHOF’s antiquated computer system alive and most of the time, well. Computer crashes, email failures or internet malfunctions, Marcus is on-call to retrieve information and ease ISHOF’s concerned staff. He also helps with ISHOF’s special events and activities.
When not volunteering at ISHOF Marcus represents the interests of investors in building corporations in diverse industries and various countries around the globe. He has gained an extensive experience in international commerce and a vast understanding of intercultural communications by actively representing the international business development interests of clients in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. His career also includes experience in the establishment of international marketing programs, public relations, consulting on economic development projects for private sector clients and governments, and the establishment of business incubator programs to facilitate new market entry strategies and tactics.
Marcus majored in International Business and graduated magna cum laude with numerous awards for outstanding academic achievements. In 2008, he was awarded the Chairman of the Year Award by Greater Fort Lauderdale Sister Cities International.
Brent Rutemiller is the Chief Executive Officer of Sports Publications International and Publisher of Swimming World Magazine, SWIM Magazine and Swimming Technique Magazine. Under his tenure, Brent re-branded each media vehicle under one print title, Swimming World Magazine and then re-launched all three magazines as separate digital downloads. Shortly thereafter, he launched Swimming World Radio and Swimming World TV as online properties. The Morning Swim Show is SwimmingWorld TV’s flagship program, which streams weekday mornings. For the last two and a half years, Brent has used his publications and other media to help raise the visibility of ISHOF and show that the history and legacy of the swimming sports are worth preserving.
In addition to regular articles in SwimmingWorldMagazine, Brent regularly streams segments originating from ISHOF,
featuring Bob Duenkel and BruceWigo on SwimmingWorld TV™. Brent and his Sports Publications International have
played an important role in increasing ISHOF’s membership by over 300 percent in the past two years. We appreciate
Brent’s hard work and dedication to swimming.
A native of south Florida, Jarret Streiner learned to swim as a baby, but did not start to compete until age 15, when he joined the the team at Nova High School. He went on to swim for Matt Liddy at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. After graduating from college, Jarret worked on Cruise Ships, as a Computer Network Administrator, before taking a position with the Broward County Public Schools in 2001. Jarret is currently District Webmaster, photographer and videographer for the Broward County Public Schools. He has also developed websites for some of South Florida’s premier businesses.
It was a chance meeting with Fort Lauderdale Aquatics Head Coach, Duffy Dillon at a School Board function that got him back in the pool after a 9 year lay off and another chance meeting during a masters practice that connected him with Bruce Wigo and ISHOF. As ISHOF volunteer webmaster, Jarret completely changed the look of www.ishof.org by adding photo galleries, a video archive and will soon air a new series of podcasts entitled “INSIDE ISHOF.” Thanks to Jarret, ISHOF can now share portions of its’ unique collection of aquatic knowledge and memorabilia throughout the world via the internet.
Jarret and his wife Jessica have two children Alyssa, 4 and Ethan, 2.
Harry Holiday III
Charles "Chick" Wigo