Why SAI

The Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) family of brands transform the way the risk of drowning is reduced, through innovation in the way lifeguards are trained and supervised, people of all ages are taught to swim, and aquatics facilities operated.

 

Since 1998, the SAI has been a thought leader and provider of aquatic safety solutions. With an expansive national and global reach, SAI is prepared to deliver exceptional learning experiences and support customized to whichever area of the diverse aquatics industry you belong.

 

If you are looking for a comprehensive operational risk prevention system, or to outsource all or part of your operations, those options are available through our expanded family of brands including StarGuard Elite (SGE) and Innovative Attraction Management (IAM).

Vision, Values, Impact

Meet Our Founders

Operations Team

Affiliations

Vision, Values, Impact

Vision - What we Aspire to Do

To be the premier aquatic training and safety services organization worldwide.

Mission - Why We Exist

To reduce drowning and save lives by providing reputable and responsive aquatic safety training programs and services delivered to the public through a network of friendly, knowledgeable aquatic professionals who serve as independent training providers.

Values - Principles that Guide our Actions

Partnerships (vs. competition)

Leadership (vs. complacency)

Integration (vs. segmentation)

Innovation (vs. stagnation)

Responsiveness (vs. bureaucracy)

Accountability (vs. irresponsibility)

Experiential learning (vs. rote learning)

Independence (vs. dependency)

Service value (vs. profit)

Practicality (vs. complexity)

Integrity (vs. dishonesty)

Mentor relationships (vs. dictatorial relationships)

Affirmation (vs. discouragement)

Social impact (vs. self-serving)

Impact - How our value-guided actions will help us make a difference for you. We pledge to:

 

Seek to eliminate complacency and irresponsibility toward reducing drowning, develop leaders who can make an impact, and in the process earn the right to be considered a leader.

Develop training that is concise, practical, and relevant in real-life situations.

Create innovative rather than “me-too” products. Using an evidence-based approach when possible, we’ll help establish sound best practices rather than simply repackage how things have always been done.

Be responsive and limit bureaucratic inefficiencies by focusing on one thing – aquatics – and having training providers work directly with the headquarters office.

Encourage accountability as the foundation to saving lives, and seek to change the behavior of those who are complacent or irresponsible.

When relevant, develop training programs based on experiential education principles and methods adapted to aquatics, to create competence and confidence in those who attend.

Provide aquatic professionals with a framework of best practice guidelines, rather than prescribe rigid procedures. In our relationships we will seek to serve as a mentor rather than a dictator, and encourage educated decision-making.

Seek to provide value when determining pricing, keeping in mind that fees must be reasonable to remain a viable organization, yet be mindful of the economic reality of those we serve.

Develop a long-term sustainable organization that does not rely on “other people’s money” such as government subsidies, grants, tax dollars or donations to operate.

View integrity as the foundation of all we do and seek to earn respect through respectful relationships, honesty, and reliability.

Encourage and reward quality and competence in people and realize it is their actions that determine excellence within a program or at an aquatic facility.

Seek to serve others in our leadership role and truly change behavior, rather than simply disseminate information.

Seek to partner rather than compete with others who share our vision, and understand that together we can all achieve more.

“Achieving good performance is a journey, not a destination” Kenneth H. Blanchard

Meet our Founders

Since the late 1970’s my entire professional career has been spent seeking the best path to take on the journey towards not only good, but best performance for myself, and create ways to help others do the same.

Because good performance in our profession results in saving lives, the journey has been a passionate one, and has led down many unexpected paths – including that of starting and growing the Starfish Aquatics Institute, and more recently StarGuard Elite.

Before starting SAI, I built broad experience across many years and areas of aquatics – from Guard Club in high school through working with national organizations while serving on the Board of the Council for National Cooperation in Aquatics. Along that journey I was fortunate to have mentors who inspired and encouraged me, and built relationships I still cherish to this day.

Based on those experiences, I saw an opportunity to create a service-based organization to fill a void in the aquatic industry and SAI was born. Since then I've been fortunate to be involved in the creative side of authoring and developing educational resources as well as travel the world speaking, training, and learning from new friends and colleagues.

I have been honored to be recognized as one of the Top 100 Leaders in the aquatic profession for 2003 and 2004, as featured in Aquatics International magazine, and consistently honored as one of the “25 most powerful people in the world of aquatics”, along with awards presented by the World Waterpark Association (Hall of Fame, Al Turner Commitment to Excellence) and USA Swimming (Adolph Kiefer Safety Award). Along with this recognition comes responsibility, and I currently serve as a member of the WWA Board of Directors.

Achieving good performance isn’t possible without balance in all aspects of life. When I’m not traveling you can find me in Savannah, GA where I enjoy kayaking, hiking, and being with family – especially now that we have a third generation of little ones who are learning to love aquatics and always brighten my day.

“I am easily satisfied with the best” Winston Churchill

Robbin White

                                                         I have been a coach throughout my career, mentoring swimmers and triathletes of all ages and abilities to be their best. And I’ve realized that I fit the description of “once a coach, always a coach”.

My area of focus within SAI is not much different than what I do from the pool deck: identify talent, motivate, cultivate, and recognize personal best effort, and create a plan for achieving the next goal. Coaching others on how to improve operations and be leaders, has been just as rewarding and I value the relationships I’ve made where colleagues and clients become friends and members of our extended family.

As for family, they are my pride and joy. For over 42 years of marriage to Jill, the opportunity to work daily together and share a common goal,  has truly been amazing.

ONE SERVICE: AQUATICS

 

ONE MISSION: REDUCING DROWNING AND SAVING LIVES

Copyright © 2017 - Starfish Aquatics Institute. All Rights Reserved

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Since the late 1970’s my entire professional career has been spent seeking the best path to take on the journey towards not only good, but best performance for myself, and create ways to help others do the same.

Because good performance in our profession results in saving lives, the journey has been a passionate one, and has led down many unexpected paths – including that of starting and growing the Starfish Aquatics Institute, and more recently StarGuard Elite.

Before starting SAI, I built broad experience across many years and areas of aquatics – from Guard Club in high school through working with national organizations while serving on the Board of the Council for National Cooperation in Aquatics. Along that journey I was fortunate to have mentors who inspired and encouraged me, and built relationships I still cherish to this day.  Based on those experiences, I saw an opportunity to create a service-based organization to fill a void in the aquatic industry and SAI was born. Since then I've been fortunate to be involved in the creative side of authoring and developing educational resources as well as travel the world speaking, training, and learning from new friends and colleagues.

I have been honored to be recognized as one of the Top 100 Leaders in the aquatic profession for 2003 and 2004, as featured in Aquatics International magazine, and consistently honored as one of the “25 most powerful people in the world of aquatics”, along with awards presented by the World Waterpark Association (Hall of Fame, Al Turner Commitment to Excellence) and USA Swimming (Adolph Kiefer Safety Award). Along with this recognition comes responsibility, and I currently serve as a member of the WWA Board of Directors.

Achieving good performance isn’t possible without balance in all aspects of life. When I’m not traveling you can find me in Savannah, GA where I enjoy kayaking, hiking, and being with family – especially now that we have a third generation of little ones who are learning to love aquatics and always brighten my day.

I have been a coach throughout my career, mentoring swimmers and triathletes of all ages and abilities to be their best. And I’ve realized that I fit the description of “once a coach, always a coach”.

My area of focus within SAI is not much different than what I do from the pool deck: identify talent, motivate, cultivate, and recognize personal best effort, and create a plan for achieving the next goal. Coaching others on how to improve operations and be leaders, has been just as rewarding and I value the relationships I’ve made where colleagues and clients become friends and members of our extended family.

As for family, they are my pride and joy. For over 42 years of marriage to Jill, the opportunity to work daily together and share a common goal,  has truly been amazing.

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