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Leadership Announcements: Executive Director for WAVE

Dear WAVE Community

As many of you know, we have been searching for a new Executive Director for a number of months. We concluded our search and extended an offer to a candidate, Steven Freygang, in early March. The plan was for Steven to start full time this week, but as the impact of COVID-19 started to shut things down, Steven and the Board took a step back and evaluated our approach. The shutdown has obviously had a major impact on our revenue and we have had to make some difficult decisions to reduce hours and furlough some of our employees. The Board’s approach is to retain portion of our employees and be ready to open as soon as the restrictions are lifted. As a group of volunteers the Board is doing its best to keep on top of the situation and to understand all of our financial options, however we strongly believe that WAVE needs someone specifically focused on navigating this situation. With that in mind, we have decided to have Steven join us, however in a much reduced capacity for now.

Steven will evaluate the various financial aid and incentive programs provided by the government and other agencies, and will then lead our applications, and help to prepare WAVE for a quick and full rebound once the shutdown is lifted. Steven brings a wealth of experience to WAVE, having previously worked as the Executive Director of the Sammamish Rowing Team where he built a highly accomplished sports organization, while successfully partnering with the community, local and state governments, and other organizations to create inclusive rowing programs for all ages and abilities, with great facilities and sound financials.

Here is more about Steven by his own words:

Steven is a coach, educator, and non-profit leader with 15 years of experience helping people improve their lives through sports. Growing up Steven was a competitive water skier and rower, and in 2005 he was recruited to row for the University of Washington. Steven joins Wave Aquatics following a seven-year stint at Sammamish Rowing Association, including three years as executive director. During Steven’s tenure SRA grew into one of the largest and most successful community rowing programs in the country. Steven has a master’s degree in athletic administration from the University of Washington and lives in Issaquah with his wife Whitney and daughter Stella.

Chad Winkle (Wave Swim Team Head Coach), Michael Montgomery (WAVE Aquatics Director), Julia Shmutser (WAVE Water Polo Coach), Wade Praeger (Lake Washington Masters Coach) and Kim Dang (WAVE Accountant) will report to Steven.

Best regards,

Kfir Ami-ad

President, Wave Aquatics Governing Board