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  • Kfir Ami-ad

Wave Leadership Announcement

I am writing to let you know of some developments with the leadership of WAVE Aquatics. Steven Freygang, who worked as the WAVE Executive Director during the last few months, has decided to pursue another opportunity. Steven's departure, while unfortunate, was entirely amicable and we wish him all the best. With COVID still affecting us, most notably only allowing a partial operation of our programs and a tighter financial environment, the Board has decided to promote Chad Winkle to the position of Acting Executive Director of WAVE Aquatics. Chad is a long-time WAVE veteran who joined the team over 6 years ago. In the last two years he has done an excellent job as the WAVE Swim Team Head Coach, running this complex program with over 200 athletes. Moreover, Chad has demonstrated creativity and flexibility during these challenging times keeping athletes and parents engaged and motivated during the shutdown, and helping prepare an operational plan that has allowed us to safely re-start operations. In this new capacity, Chad will help to continue navigate the evolving COVID environment, both through adjusting our programs and operations as rules and restrictions change, and also navigating the finances of the programs. We also have partnerships to maintain and foster, and we are getting ready to open the Redmond Pool, expected to open later this year (COVID situation permitting), providing a great service to the community with a high standard of operations.

Thank you, Chad for stepping up to fill this critical role during these challenging times!

Chad will continue in his role as the 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 now report to Chad, in addition to the existing Swim Team coaches.

Here is more about Chad by his own words:

I have spent my whole life around the pool deck. I started swimming when I was 5 years old for my neighborhood swim team (in Cincinnati, OH) and swam competitively all the way through high school. I started lifeguarding in the summers at the age of 15 for a summer job in High School, moving up to managing the local pool through college. I started coaching part time during college as a side job, and when I learned that this was something that I could do full time, I quickly worked to make that a reality, becoming the Head Age Group Coach for the Cincinnati Marlins North Satellite. After one full season as Age Group Coach, I was promoted to the Head Site Coach and spent the next few years coaching for the Marlins. After several years with the Marlins, I ventured to the great northwest in Alaska, and was the Head Coach for the Ketchikan Killer Whales Swim Club. I spent three years building the team and coaching the HS and Master’s Programs in town.

I reached my fill of island life, and moved south to Seattle where I took over as WAVE’s Head Age Group Coach. I have spent the last 6.5 years moving up through the team and taking on more responsibilities. I am in my third season as the Head Coach for WAVE Aquatics. And I am excited to take on the new role as Interim Executive Director for the whole program.

I hope to provide consistency, direction, and leadership through COVID, as we work to reopen the Redmond Pool, and as we continue to grow and develop all of our Aquatics Programs.

In my personal time, I am happy to be hanging out with my wife, Amy and my dog, Rowdy. We enjoy walking around Redmond, looking for fun places to eat, and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest.

Best regards,

Kfir Ami-ad

President, Wave Aquatics Governing Board


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