Paragon Awards Presented By
Juliene Hefter (USA)
Executive Director/CEO, Association of Aquatic Professionals
2017 Paragon Award / Recreational Swimming
Juliene Hefter has been the Deputy Director for the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association for the past eight years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Recreational Leadership from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and holds a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Quality from Marian College.
Hefter is currently the owner of Safety First Aquatics, LLC, and is the Executive Director/CEO for the Association of Aquatic Professionals. The AAP is a non-profit corporation that exclusively promotes and advocates policies, practices and procedures that contribute to safer and improved aquatic education, aquatic recreation activities, programs, and facilities; provides and supports quality aquatic education opportunities; coordinates and conducts research in the field of aquatic management and safety; promotes coordination and cooperation between established aquatic associations responsible for all aspects of aquatic programming, aquatic management, aquatic operation and maintenance and aquatic facility design, as well as providing an annual conference and educational workshops for communities on drowning prevention and education.
Juliene has a long and illustrious career in aquatics and park and recreation administration and has been the Manager of Recreation Services for the City of West Bend, Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Horicon, Supervisor of Recreation & Aquatics Director for the Fond du Lac School District, and the Park and Recreation Director for the Village of Germantown. She has served in a number of leadership positions with both state and national organizations, including being the Chairperson for the National Recreation and Park Association’s 2005 National Aquatic Conference, National Aquatic Management School for 2005 and 2006, Member and Chairperson of the Aquatic-Facility Operators Board of Directors 2004-2006, 2007 General Program Chairperson of the National Aquatic Management School and National Aquatic Conference, 2007 President of the National Aquatic Council, Chairperson of the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association’s Recreation Section, Chairperson of the Wisconsin Park and Recreation’s Aquatic Section, Chairperson of the Southeast Park and Recreation Council and Vice- Chairperson of the Washington County Park and Open Space Technical Advisory Committee.
Hefter’s distinguished career includes being the recipient of the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association’s Professional Award of Merit, the Recreation Professional of the Year, Aquatic Professional of the Year, NRPA’s R.O.S.E. Award winner in 2006. She was named to Aquatic International’s “Power 25” in 2007, and was the recipient of the Public Policy Innovation Award.
She is a renowned speaker and author on a variety of management and administrative topics, including A Hands on Approach to Corporate Sponsorships, Sexual Harassment Training for Part-Time and Seasonal Staff, Public Perception of Lifeguards, Risk Management, Staffing and Staff Manual Development for Aquatic Facilities, Marketing and Promotions, and Team Building and Special Events. Juliene is also an instructor for the National Aquatic Facility Operator Certification Course.
Recipients of the