Advocacy, Public Policy & Codes to Serve Water Safety

Presenters: Megan Ferraro; Adam Katchmarchi, Ph.D.; Alan Korn, J.D.; Justin Wiley

Tuesday, November 14, 9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
1 Hour | 1 PHTA CEU | 0.1 IACET CEU


Presented by 



For some reason, advocacy, standards & codes, and "lobbying" strike fear in many water safety stakeholders. That fear is misplaced. This session is an entertaining and informative expert panel discussion that will review the basic framework for federal/state laws, federal/state regulations, and building/product codes and how they are used to promote child safety. The discussion will include how water safety public policy efforts fit into the water safety landscape and review the major legislative and code efforts that are now going on at both the state and federal levels, including discussions on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (VGBA) and its re-authorization now pending in Congress; the Consumer Product Safety Commission; the International Swimming Pool & Spa Code; and existing ANSI product codes, just to name a few. WAHC attendees can play a very important role in influencing safety policy and this session will educate and motivate you to get involved in doing just that. 


Learning Objectives

  • Understand the difference in state and federal efforts that directly influence water safety, including information about state & federal level advocacy, Agency public policy efforts, and the Code process, and how it is used to positively affect the safety marketplace environment.
  • Learn the basic tips on how a stakeholder (no matter what type of stakeholder) can initially get involved in the policymaking process at both the state and federal level. The presentation will include some of the existing resources that will help a novice get involved immediately and effectively without "reinventing the wheel."
  • Be informed about public policy efforts that are going on right now that may provide an opportunity for involvement (i.e., the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act Re-Authorization, Code updates that are in progress, pending state bills that address drowning and water safety at the local level). The panelist will also educate attendees about existing coalitions, alliances, and partnerships that are engaging in policy work throughout the year. 


Presenter Bios

Megan Ferraro is the Executive Director of The ZAC Foundation, where she oversees programs, directs philanthropic partnerships, and represents the nonprofit as a subject matter expert in aquatic sector initiatives, and at industry events, with both legislators and the media throughout the country. Megan is also a Steering Committee member of the National Water Safety Action Plan, Co-Chair of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance Advisory Board, and founding member and Steering Committee member of Families United to Prevent Drowning.

Adam Katchmarchi, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) and also serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Sciences at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Adam completed his Ph.D. in Coaching and Teaching Studies with a cognate specialization in Sport Management from West Virginia University. He received his M.S. in Sport Management from IUP and completed his B.S.Ed. in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Aquatics from Slippery Rock University. Adam currently serves as a steering committee member for the forthcoming U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan, as an organizational representative to Water Safety USA and the Aquatics Coalition, represents NDPA in the planning for National Water Safety Month, and serves on numerous industry committees and councils. Adam holds provider, instructor, and trainer certifications from multiple safety and aquatic organizations and is a licensed teacher in the state of Pennsylvania for grades K-12. He received a National Swimming Pool Foundation Fellowship Award in 2014 and has been recognized twice by Aquatic International as a Power Award recipient, first in 2012 as a “Next Generation Leader in the Field of Aquatics” and again in 2017 as one of the “Most Influential People in the Aquatic Industry.” Most recently, Katchmarchi received a Recent Alumni Award from Slippery Rock University in 2019 and the NDPA President's Award in 2020.

Alan Korn, J.D., is the executive director of the Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation, where he assists the organization in its management, public policy, marketing, and public relations efforts. Before joining AHCF, he was the executive director and general counsel for Safe Kids USA, a member of Safe Kids Worldwide’s global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. He is a member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance governing board and its General Counsel.

Alan makes presentations around the country on government’s role in child injury prevention, nonprofit management, and governance and liability issues associated with community-based safety programs. He has testified many times before Congress, federal agencies, and state legislatures on issues of injury prevention and has appeared as a child safety expert on the Today Show, Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show, Fox News, CNN, and NPR, as well as in dozens of magazines and newspapers.

Alan is an attorney and a member of the Missouri and District of Columbia Bar. Prior to his work for many non-profits in both Washington, DC, and Minneapolis, MN, he practiced law for five years in St. Louis, MO, specializing in health law, consumer protection, and litigation. Alan received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He is married, has one child, and resides in Washington, DC.

Justin Wiley has been with the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) since February 2022 and serves as Vice President of Government Relations, Standards, and Codes. In his role, Justin leads advocacy efforts for the pool and hot tub industry on federal, state, and local levels. He is also responsible for the development and maintenance of PHTA’s safety and performance standards and their adoption into codes and regulations across the nation.

Prior to joining PHTA, Justin served as Vice President of Government Relations at the International Code Council, a leading source of model building codes and building safety solutions. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Technology Management from Westminster College and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Southern Utah University. Justin resides in Washington, DC, where he and his wife Melissa are parents to a six-year-old.

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