Our Leadership Team

Andy Penn
Executive Director

Andy joined our team in 2001 and was our top-ranked Swim Instructor as scored by parent evaluations. He scored 100% on nearly every evaluation form completed by the parents of his students. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Education from Arizona State University in 1993. He has completed coursework toward a Masters of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to moving to Kansas City, Andy taught Literature and Composition, Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, Theatre, Drama, Theatre Production, and Production and Performance in Arizona from 1993 to 2000. He was honored as Cibola High School’s First Year Teacher of the Year (1993-94) and Cibola High School’s Special Area Teacher of the Year (1997-98). From 2001-2006, Andy taught Speech, Theatre and Stagecraft at Chisholm Trail Junior High School in the Olathe School District where he earned the distinction of becoming a Kansas Teacher of the Year semi-finalist for the district in 2005!

After Andy's first stellar season as a Swim Instructor in 2001, he was promoted to the role of Swim Instructor Mentor from 2002-2004. During the summers of 2004-2005, he accepted additional leadership responsibilities as a Lifeguard Leader, and became the Director of Lifeguard Services in 2006.

Andy resigned his teaching position with the Olathe School District in the spring of 2006 to join Jeff Kelly inc. full-time as the Director of Education & Aquatic Facility Management Services. Serving in this multi-faceted role, Andy's responsibilities included employee recruitment and hiring, training and supervision of the Aquatic Facility Management Leadership Team and all of the associated administrative minutia. In 2008, Andy was promoted to role of Executive Director.

He is a former competitive swimmer and the father of two girls. Andy's new role with Jeff Kelly inc. has afforded him long-awaited opportunities to spend more time with his daughters and to return to work as an actor. From September through February, while attending to off-season administrative responsibilities, Andy devotes more time to fathering and to his passion for theatre. Within the next ten years, he plans to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree and a PhD.

Ann Adams
Director of Swim Instructor Training & Mentoring

Ann Adams began working with Jeff Kelly inc. in 1991 as a Swim Instructor and Water Aerobics Instructor. She was promoted to the role of Swim Instructor Mentor in 1994 and to the role of Director of Swim Instructor Mentors in 2001. This team of professional educators is responsible for the training and evaluation of our Swim Instructor Team. During her summers in high school and college, Ann worked as a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor for the YMCA. She graduated from Southwest Missouri State University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. During her 20 years as a classroom teacher, she has taught kindergarten, fourth grade and physical education (kindergarten through eighth grade). That classroom experience, along with her  24 years of swim instruction experience, has been instrumental in the continued development of our Personalized Swim Instruction curriculum.

Marlene Krakow
Swim Instructor Mentor

Marlene joined our team as a Swim Instructor in 2004. She had recently retired, but did not want to leave education altogether. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a double major in Art and Theatre. Throughout her career, she has taught preschool through sixth grade. She spent her last three years prior to retirement as the lead teacher for three-year-olds and the Pre-K classroom at Beth Shalom Nursery School. Marlene’s aquatic resume includes teaching swimming throughout high school and college as a certified Water Safety Instructor. She continued to teach private lessons as an adult in her own residential pool.

Before her career as an educator, Marlene excelled in the business world. Her positions included Account Executive and Senior Creative Product Designer for Hallmark, Retail Promotion Strategist for Ambassador Marketing, Project Manager of Custom Retail Solutions and Marketing Strategist for Wal-Mart, as well as the Director of Business Development and Campaign Marketing Manager for House of Lloyd. Marlene's widely varied experience in education and management contributes an unparalleled level of professionalism and attention to detail to her work with Jeff Kelly inc.

Melissa Schutz
Enrollment Counselor Mentor, Swim Instructor Mentor

Melissa joined our team as a Lifeguard in 1997. We trained her as a Swim Instructor and Enrollment Counselor in 2002. In addition to these main responsibilities, she trains and mentors new Enrollment Counselors. As a primary Swim Instructor during the spring program, she mentors new swim instructors during the observation phase of their training. She continues to serve as a Lead Lifeguard whenever we experience Lifeguard scheduling challenges. Melissa is not afraid to get her hands dirty. She assists the Aquatic Facility Management Team as needed with Facility Care and the winterization process of the facilities we serve. This past winter, Melissa refinished and re-assembled all of our custom-built desks and shelves; and built two new custom bookshelves for our office. She is the ultimate handy-woman! She is the mother of a boy, two girls, with another child on the way.

Lora Azzaro
Swim Instructor Mentor

Lora began with us as a Personalized Swim Instruction student in 1997. She also swam on the Raintree Lake Swim Team, which was organized and coached by Jeff Kelly inc. Lora continued to swim competitively throughout her high school years. She began with us as a Swim Instructor in 2002 and as an Enrollment Counselor in 2005. As a senior on academic scholarship at Drury College, Lora is currently completing her degree in Elementary Education with her final semester of student teaching. During the 2006 season, we began training Lora as a Swim Instructor Mentor. During the first phase of her leadership training, she assisted the Swim Instructor Mentor Team as they trained the new Swim Instructors. Ann Adams, Director of the Swim Instructor Mentor Team, has been mentoring Lora as a Swim Instructor for many years. During Lora's leadership training, Ann was immediately impressed with Lora's unique ability to mentor Swim Instructors much older than she. Lora exhibited an impressive ability to present critique to these new instructors in a gentle, non-threatening manner. We are excited about Lora's future with Jeff Kelly inc. We are proud that Lora has blossomed from an eager, young student of our program to an impressive young leader!

Myra Valdez
Swim Instructor Mentor, Enrollment Counselor Mentor

Since joining our team in 1999, Myra has served as a Swim Instructor, Swim Team Coach, Enrollment Counselor and Swim Instructor Mentor. During her tenure with us, Myra has also served as the Director of Swim Instruction Services. During the time she served in this capacity, she performed many responsibilities including but not limited to the recruitment, hiring, training and mentorship of the Swim Instructor Team. Her ability to efficiently execute these tasks allowed Jeff to train for and race in triathlons in South America and New Zealand for three months during our busy spring season!

Myra worked as a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor for the YMCA during the summers while in high school and college. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Her time as an educator with Jeff Kelly inc. inspired her to return to school to obtain her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Kansas, which she completed in 2004. In October of that year, Myra became the mother of her first child. With a baby girl at home and a new child on the way, her involvement with Jeff Kelly inc. is now primarily administrative, though she continues to teach specialized swim clinics in the winter and spring. Our IT Team has enabled Myra to work from home by connecting to our main computer-server via VPN technology.

Lori Garrison
Swim Instructor Mentor

Lori joined our team as a Swim Instructor in 2004. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Family & Consumer Science from Iowa State University in 1997, and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Kansas in 2001. She currently serves as a School Social Worker for the Olathe School District. Prior to her current position, her experience with children includes serving as an Elementary School Counselor for the Kansas City, Kansas School District; an Elementary School Social Worker for the Odessa School District; and a Childcare Worker with La Petite Academy. As a primary Swim Instructor during our spring program, she mentors new swim instructors during the observation phase of their training. After three excellent years with us as a Swim Instructor, Lori earned a position on our summer Swim Instructor Mentor Team. She will join this elite group of professional educators who train and evaluate our Swim Instructor Team this summer.

Aimee Rieck
Lifeguard Leader, Lifeguard Instructor, Swim Instructor Mentor

Aimee joined our Swim Instructor Team in 2003. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1996 and a Masters Degree in Industrial \ Organizational Psychology in 2002 from Kansas State University. Prior to joining Jeff Kelly inc., her background in aquatics included eight years of experience as a Swim Instructor and Lifeguard for the American Red Cross and one year as an Aquatic Coordinator for the YMCA.

Aimee's skills as an educator and communicator have been valuable assets to our team. As one of our Lifeguard Instructors, she has conducted pre-season review training and ongoing in-service training for our Lifeguard Team. As a Lifeguard Leader, Aimee participated in the supervision and evaluation of the Lifeguard Team. In her current role of Competitive Swimming Instructor, Aimee's primary responsibility is preparing our older students for successful swim team seasons.
In this role, she also mentors new swim instructors during the observation phase of their training.

Kari Fitzer
Lifeguard Leader & Lifeguard Instructor

Kari joined our team with an extensive background in the aquatics industry. She became one of the top Swim Instructors during her first season with us in 2006. After graduating from Drake University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she worked as an Office Administrator and as a Director of Finances and Event Planning. Returning to school in 2004, Kari concurrently taught fourth grade in Kansas City, Kansas while she earned a Master of Science in Teaching from Pittsburg State University.

During high school and college, Kari earned certifications as a Lifeguard, Lifeguard Instructor, and Water Safety Instructor. She spent seven summers working at Cedar Camps in Lebanon, Missouri where she earned the position of Program Director. Kari's vast experience with aquatics made her a natural choice for our Lifeguard Leadership Team. As a Lifeguard Leader, Kari has taken on the primary responsibilities of training, mentoring, and evaluating our Lifeguard Team. Her expertise has heightened the level of quality service upon which Jeff Kelly inc. has built its reputation.

John Hepford
Lifeguard Leader & Lifeguard Instructor

John joined our team as a Swim Instructor and Lifeguard Leader in 2005. Since graduating from the University of Kansas in 1998 with a Bachelor of Music Education, he has served as a Junior High and High School Band and Choir Director. John's experience in the aquatic industry extends back to 1990, when he first became certified through the American Red Cross as a Lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor. Since then, he has earned a plethora of certifications including: Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor, Ellis and Associates Lifeguard Instructor and National Swimming Pool Foundation - Certified Pool Operator. Prior to serving as a Swim Instructor and Lifeguard Leader with Jeff Kelly inc., his aquatic industry experience includes: seven years as a Swim Instructor and Aquatic Facility Manager for communities in Topeka and Kansas City, and 10 years as an Aquatic Facility Manager and Swim Instructor for the City of Overland Park; during which he coached his Lifeguard Team to a second-place finish at the 1996 and 1997 Ellis and Associates National Lifeguard Competitions.

Becky Forman
Swim Instructor Mentor

Becky joined our Swim Instructor Team in 2005. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in Human Development and Family Studies from Kansas State University in 1998. She went on to earn a Masters of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from the same university in 2002. During her masters program, she also obtained an English as a Second Language Endorsement. Prior to her current position as a First Grade teacher in the Kansas City, Kansas School District, she taught seven years of Kindergarten and one year of First Grade. As a classroom teacher with Kansas City, Kansas, Becky also serves as a mentor to encourage and nurture new teachers in the district. We want to tap into this strength for the mentorship of our Swim Instructor Team. Therefore, while Becky's primary responsibilities are as a Swim Instructor and Enrollment Counselor, she will begin Leadership Training this summer to prepare her for a role as a Swim Instructor Mentor.

816-942-SWIM (7946) | 800-641-SWIM (7946) | Email us | 10540 Washington, Suite 302, Kansas City, Missouri 64114