MICHAEL PHELPS is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished athletes of all time, with 28 Olympic medals, and more gold medals, world championships and world records than any other swimmer in history. Phelps’s international titles and record breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award six times and American Swimmer of the Year Award eight times. His unprecedented Olympic successes in 2008 earned Phelps, “Sports Illustrated” magazine’s Sportsman of the Year award. Michael used his $1MM performance bonus at the 2008 Olympic Games to create the Michael Phelps Foundation. His work with the Michael Phelps Foundation earned him the AAFA’s Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2012.
LENNY KRAYZELBURG is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. His first three gold medals were earned at the 2000 Olympic games, and earned his last in 2004 when he served as USA’s Olympic Team Captain. In 2005, he started the Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy to foster love for the water and teach children to be water-safe. The Academy has opened multiple locations across the United States.
MICHAEL O'HARE LYNCH
MICHAEL LYNCH is the Global Head of Consulting at Nielsen. He has been part of the Phelps “family” since 2004 when he led Visa’s Global Sponsorship Marketing and Management business, including overseeing the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Lynch was tabbed by The Sporting News magazine as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Sports”. Under Lynch’s leadership, Visa was recognized by Sports Business Journal as the “Sports Sponsor of the Year”, by Event Marketer Magazine as “The 25 Best Sponsors in America” and was heralded as “The most well-rounded sponsor around.” Brandweek Magazine ran a cover story on Visa’s Olympic Games sponsorship, calling Visa “the poster child” for effectively integrating a sponsorship and went on to say “nobody does it better.” Lynch serves on the Board of Directors for charity Athletes for Hope and other organizations.
DEBORAH S. PHELPS
DEBORAH S. PHELPS is currently the Director of the Education Foundation of Baltimore City Public Schools. Deborah worked as Principal of Windsor Middle School in Baltimore and served a long tenure in the education system. She is an advocate, committed to promoting education within the Baltimore school system and beyond. As a public speaker, Deborah addresses a range of topics related to education and childhood development. She also sits on multiple business and community-advisory boards.
BOB BOWMAN achieved great success at the international level as personal coach for the Olympic Legend Michael Phelps. Through Bowman’s contribution to swimming, he has earned the USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year and the ASCA Coach of the Year. Bob began coaching at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) in 1996 and served there until 2004. He went on to serve as the head swimming coach of the University of Michigan’s club team from 2005-2008. Bob is the current Head Coach for the 2016 USA Olympic Swimming Team and is the Swimming Head Coach for the Sun Devils at the Arizona State University.
AMBER FRIES is a long time swimming enthusiast as her two daughters are high level competitive swimmers, Isabelle having won 4 state championships in the breaststroke. She is an artist and photographer and is represented by Ice Cube Gallery in Denver. Amber has sat on several boards including Starlight Children’s Foundation, Challenge Day, and Denver Academy of Dramatic Arts. Along with her two daughters, the Fries Family has committed to the regional expansion of our programming throughout Colorado and several other states.
ALLISON SCHMITT is a six-time Olympic medalist. She has trained with both Bowman and Phelps on and off since 2008. She earned a BA in psychology with a minor in Childhood & Family Development at University of Georgia. Allison volunteers her time and experience helping with programmatic activities at the Foundation.
MARISSA FORTIER is the Deputy Director at the Michael Phelps Foundation and has been working alongside Michael Phelps since 2003. She has been with the Foundation since it was founded in 2008 and developed the Foundation’s signature im program curriculum in 2009 and piloted the program in 2010. Since then, the im program has reached over 20,000 people with its live-saving program. She has over 15 years of aquatic sports experience including program development, fundraising, marketing, and nonprofit management.
CATHY BENNETT has maintained a longstanding relationship with Phelps Family. She taught Michael Phelps how to swim and now acts as Director of the Michael Phelps Swimming. In 1994, Cathy helped found the North Baltimore Swim School, which eventually transformed into the Michael Phelps Swimming in 2009. In 2003, Cathy was a featured speaker at the American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic, and, in 2006, Cathy was recognized at the British Swimming Coaches and Teaching Association Conference. Cathy holds a master’s degree from Towson University in Early Childhood Education. She served as an educator in the school system before becoming a full-time swimming instructor. She also sits on multiple community boards.
PETER CARLISLE has been Michael’s agent for Michael’s entire career. Peter is one of only two sports agents to be inducted into Sports Business Journal’s “Forty-Under-Forty” Hall of Fame. He oversees a global business that provides career management for Octagon’s Olympics & Action Sports clients.
DIAN CHRISTENSEN HILLIS
Dian Hillis Christensen will be instrumental in expanding the im program in the United States through our partnership with Special Olympics. Dian has been instructing and coaching aquatics for Special Olympics for over 20 years. She started a local program to provide a Special Olympics sport opportunity for her daughter. The competitive program which started with eight athletes and has grown to over 35 swimmers who train year round. Her Learn-To-Swim program has reached nearly 175 athletes. In 2006, 2010 and 2014, Dian served as the Nebraska Head Aquatics Coach for the Special Olympics National Games. She was named the Assistant Coach for the 2007 Special Olympic World Games and Head Coach for the 2011 and 2015 Special Olympics World Games. Dian has been successfully using the im Program since 2010 not only with her local program athletes, but also with athletes she is training and coaching for the national and world stages.