Paragon Awards                           Presented By

Ron Van Pool (USA)

Past President, USA Swimming

2017 Paragon Award / Competitive Swimming


A native of Seattle, Washington, Ron Van Pool received his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Washington, followed by his Masters in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. He worked as a National Sales Manager for the Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands that was rated one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2016-2017.


Ron Van Pool is being honored for his dedication and tireless hours of service to the sport of competitive swimming. Ron has been involved with USA Swimming for over 30 years, serving as an official in capacities from age group meets to being Meet Referee for Sectional, Grand Prix, Arena Pro, Winter Nationals, Masters Nationals, Open Water Nationals, Pac 12 Championships and World Championship Trials Meets. He has officiated at every Olympic Team Trials since 1996 and continues to be active at both the LSC and the national level.


Van Pool has also served USA Swimming in many leadership roles including; International Relations (Chair), Rules and Regulations Committee (Member, Program Operations (Vice-President) and Governance Review Task Force (Chair) and most recently, the USA Swimming CEO Search (Chair). He has also served as the USA Swimming representative to the USOC and the National Governing Body Council for over ten years. He reached the pinnacle of offices in 2002, when he was elected President of USA Swimming, a role he held through 2006.


Van Pool served on the initial FINA Disciplinary Panel (2005-2009) and represented USA Swimming as a delegate to FINA General and the FINA Technical Congresses from 2004-2009. He is a Founding Director and Secretary of the USA Swimming Foundation, and was a Board of Director for the United States Sports Insurance, 2002-2015, and served as Secretary 2006-2015. Ron has also been a speaker at numerous seminars, clinics and conventions on the local, national and international level, speaking about officiating, meet directing, refereeing, as well as all aspects of running a successful event.


In 2013, Van Pool was the recipient of the USA Swimming Award, given to an individual or organization with the most outstanding contribution to the sport, an honor given to only a handful of individuals. When Ron Van Pool is not traveling to cities to officiate swim meets, he and his wife live in the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington.

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