Board Members
Advisory Council Members


Board Members


Melissa K. Sutton, DPCA President

An alumni of the University of Utah, having studied pre-med biology with an emphasis in exercise and sport science, and holding a two- year post-graduate certificate in non-profit management from Arizona State University, Melissa is the President of Active Kids Global and the Vice President of Water Smart Babies.  Ms. Sutton has also owned her own consulting and event planning business for nearly 20 years. Melissa has been involved in aquatics and child development nearly her ...
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Jay Arthur, DPCA Co-Vice President
Phoenix Fire Department (Retired)

Jay Arthur retired from the Phoenix Fire Department in May 2011. He worked for 37 plus years as a Firefighter, Engineer and Captain. He was hired at 18 years old and the first Chinese American. Jay was one of the 10 original “Learn Not To Burn” instructors in Arizona in 1976.  He has been a CPR instructor/trainer since 1978. He was also co-creator of the original PFD Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program.  Jay was also involved ...
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Jessica Curtis, DPCA Co-Vice President

Jessica Curtis and her family started the Barbara Parker Foundation in memory of her 22-month-old son who drowned in their backyard pool. The family had just moved to Arizona and were getting settled in their new home. Landscapers left the gate open to the pool and Parker slipped through. Jessica is very involved in speaking to families about maintaining barriers. Their family established the Foundation to help raise money for families who need financial assistance ...
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Tracey Fejt,
Cardon Children’s Medical Center

Tracey was an emergency room nurse for more than 20 years, and for many of those years she specialized in pediatrics. Treating drowning victim after drowning victim in the ER all those years, and having to be with the doctor as he told loved ones there was nothing else we could do, was devastating. She realized she wanted to be on the proactive side of drowning instead of reactive and work towards preventing this tragic ...
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Michele Long,
Mesa Fire and Medical Department

Serving as Vice President of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, Michele is passionate about educating parents and caregivers on drowning prevention. She believes our biggest challenge in drowning prevention is educating families that this can indeed happen to them. No one is immune to a drowning at any age. Once someone recognizes the threat, supervision increases and layers of protection become a part of daily life. Michele has spent the last 15 years working with ...
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Tracy Herbst, DPCA Treasurer
Infant Swimming Resource

In 2006, Tracy embarked on a new career, teaching infant and toddler aquatic self-rescue lessons as a Certified Infant Swimming Resource instructor. Prior to that she had spent her career in golf marketing and sales and admittedly, knew little about drowning or water safety. Becoming an instructor changed all that and she quickly became educated and engaged.
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Traci Tenkely, DPCA Secretary
Chandler Aquatics

As an Arizona native, Traci was born and raised in the East Valley moving around between Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert. She attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, met the love of her life and finally called Tempe home. She and her husband have four beautiful pugs, a cranky iguana and several fish. Traci has been a lifelong swimmer and made the progression from wading in her backyard pool, to swim team, then lifeguarding where she eventually ...
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Shannon Liebrock,
Ryan Thomas Foundation

A native of Arizona, Shannon was born and raised in Tucson.  She moved to the Valley of the Sun on 1987 to attend Arizona State University and fell in love with the Valley. She has have been blessed with a wonderful husband and three beautiful children ages 24, 22, and 14. Working as a Realtor and networking with other Realtors has given Shannon the opportunity to get water safety information into the hands of many homeowners ...
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John Harrington Jr.

John Harrington,
John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital

John L. Harrington Jr., FACHE, joined the John C. Lincoln Health Network in May 2012 as the CEO of John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital after more than 33 years in executive leadership positions in Valley hospitals, most recently as CEO of Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City.
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Sierra Kamela,
Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations Hacienda HealthCare

Sierra serves as Hacienda HealthCare’s vice president of marketing and public relations. Her responsibilities include team leadership for the marketing, public relations, philanthropic development, strategic partnerships, and fund raising for the organization. Sierra received her BS degree in marketing from ASU’s W P Carey School of Business. Sierra started her career with Merrill Lynch as a financial consultant, retired to become a full-time mom, started her own nonprofit for parents, and went back to work ...
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Lori Schmidt
Scottsdale Fire Department

Lori is the president of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona and has led the group for 8 years. She is also the vice president of Arizona Fire and Burn Educators Association and member of SafeKids of Maricopa County. Lori has appreciated the open door collaboration that public educators have in sharing time, resources and ideas to bring valuable safety programs to the public.
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Tina Gerola,
Superstition Fire and Medical District

Tina is the Fire and Life Safety Specialist for Superstition Fire and Medical District.  She has been working the fire district since April 12, 2004, after a 14-year career at the General Motors Desert Proving Grounds in Mesa.  Tina joined the DPCA in 2011 and has been active with water safety efforts for years in her work with the SFMD.  She has been instrumental in planning an extensive April Pools Day event in her community that requires attendees to complete activities to ...
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Kathy Till,
La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery

Kathy A. Till has 25+ years of professional business experience and is currently the Vice President of Human Resources and Personnel Development for La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries of Arizona. Her career focus has been about the personal development of people and enhancing their professional skills for the achievement of their organizational goals. Kathy is continuously seeking strategic & creative ways to foster a dynamic learning environment and in promoting a heightened awareness of continuous improvement.
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shelly smith

Shelly Smith
Glendale/ Peoria Family YMCA

Shelly is the Operations Director for the Glendale/ Peoria Family YMCA. She is an Arizona Native. In 2000 Shelly received her first lifeguard certification while attending an inner city youth program through the City of Phoenix. Shelly began lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons for the City and the YMCA as a teen. Shelly became the Aquatic Director at the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA in 2006. During her 15 year career with the Valley of the ...
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Advisory Council


Ed Swift,
Swift Office Solutions

Ed Swift joined the DPCA in 2002 and served as Treasurer between 2006 and 2015. Ed is the President of Swift Office Solutions, which has been a distributor of office and IT products since 1990. He is also the founder of the Children’s Safety Zone, a web site that collaborates with local fire departments, hospitals and media to gather statistics and stories on water related incidents in Arizona. As a native Phoenician, he developed an early interest ...
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Dr. Tim Flood,
Arizona Department of Health Services

Past Board Member Dr. Tim Flood is one of the pioneers of drowning prevention for Arizona. In 1986, Tim started tracking pediatric drowning events.  There was no state mandate, no public education campaign, no discussion of any kind of barrier ordinance.  Out of absolute concern, Tim kept track of the pertinent factors that contributed to kids drowning in any source of water.  Tim developed a data incident collection form that each fire department uses to submit ...
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Tina Royer

Tina Royer,
Eldorado Aquatic and Fitness Center

Tina Royer, an eighteen year veteran in the aquatics industry, is the community services aquatics coordinator for the City of Tempe. She comes to the City of Tempe from the City of Scottsdale, where she served as recreation coordinator since 2006. At the City of Scottsdale, Tina was responsible for organizing and planning recreation activities, including April Pools Day, Hawaiian Luau, Water Safety Day and Critical Incident Training.  Tina used her leadership and teamwork skills to ...
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Linda Kirby

Linda Kirby,
Phoenix Fire Department (retired)

Linda’s first involvement with water safety started in 1988 as manager of a drowning prevention project with the Maricopa Department of Health Services. As time progressed, she met wonderful people who were truly committed to all things water safety.  Two groups stood out, their concerns and pleas for help could not be ignored:  the parents of children who drowned and the first responders/medical personnel who treated and transported these children.   To this day, their stories, ...
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Tracy Koslowski,
Drexel Heights Fire District

Tracy Koslowski moved from New York City to Tucson with her family as a child. Her Tucson home had a backyard in-ground swimming pool. So as soon as summer hit, her parents enrolled her and her siblings in swim lessons. Tracy and her younger sister loved to swim so much that their parents continued to enroll them in swim programs every summer. This led to competitive synchronized swimming, lifeguarding school and coaching. Pool safety and swim ...
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Druann Letter,
Kyrene School District

Druann Letter from Gilbert, Arizona, established Water Watchers in 1998 after her only son, Weston, drowned in the family’s backyard swimming pool.  The non-profit program educates children and adults about how to be safe around water. Druann has been involved in multiple community efforts to stop drownings.  She was the Drowning Prevention Coordinator for Water Watchers at PCH from 2001 to 2004.  She was also the co-chair of the Gilbert Water Safety Coalition, and has served ...
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Cody Thomson

Cody Thomson,
McKenzie Appraisals Inc.

Cody Thomson joined the Advisory Council in 2012 to help bring awareness to drowning hazards other than pools.   He lost his son Brenan to drowning in a canal close to his home in Gilbert.  The event shook his family to its core.  Since then, Cody has been active in highlighting safety needs around canals.  He hopes his efforts will drive home builders to make changes to access points to canal banks. He also hopes that ...
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