Michael Phelps is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. He captured 28 medals, including a record-setting 23 gold medals, and set 39 world records over the course of his career. Phelps utilized his performance bonus for winning eight gold medals in 2008 to establish the Michael Phelps Foundation, which promotes water safety, healthy living, and the pursuit of dreams. The Foundation’s signature program – IM – is a learn to swim, healthy living and goal-setting curriculum based on the principles and tools Phelps utilized in his swimming career, which is available through the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics International. His advocacy for water safety and mental health have earned the recognition of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (Champion of Youth), American Image Awards (Humanitarian Award), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Special Recognition Award), The Ruderman Family Foundation (Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion) and PR Week (Health Influencer 50) among others. Phelps has published two autobiographies – No Limits: The Will to Succeed and Beneath the Surface – that were New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, as well as published one children’s book – How to Train with a T-Rex and Win Eight Gold Medals.
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.
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.
FRANCISCO “PACO” FUENTES started his Boys & Girls Club career in 2000. After a 20 year stint in the U.S. Air Force (1978-1998), Fuentes decided to go home to Omaha, Nebraska. In 2000 Paco applied for a Club Director position at the South Omaha Mammel Unit and has been there ever since. That Club also happens to be the Club that Paco grew up in as a member (1967-1977). Paco’s South Club was one of the 6 inaugural Clubs selected to be part of the Michael Phelps Foundation IM Program. This will be Paco’s 11th year of hosting the IM Program at his Club. Incidentally, Paco actually learned how to swim at the Boys Club in the late 60s and he still enjoys the water. Shortly after accepting the position as Club director, Fuentes became a Red Cross certified lifeguard – a certification he kept while in his 60s!
Fuentes has a wife (Dorothy) and a daughter (Kristina). Dorothy is a high school paraprofessional and Kristina is a kindergarten teacher. Kristina and her husband Daniel have 3 grandchildren (Bella, Nico, and
Ago). They are all South Club members. Daniel is a sports & fitness director at the South Club.
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.
Noelle Singleton, affectionately known as “Coach with the Fro”, boldly challenges the narrative “Black people don’t swim”. As a swim coach, motivational speaker, diversity consultant, social media strategist and founder of Afroswimmers Aquatics, LLC , Noelle has proven that representation matters. The #Afroswimmers movement was created to combat the negative stereotypes society places on black swimmers and in turn celebrates the accomplishments of swimmers all over the world. In 2018, Noelle launched her first international partnership as she coached water safety to 80+ children in the Caribbean island of Montserrat and was featured in the BBC documentary “Black Girls Don’t Swim”. In 2020, Noelle became the recipient of the Community Lifesaver of the Year award from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and was honored with the 40 Under 40 Award from her Alma Mater, Georgia Southern University. Noelle empowers others with her personal triumph over a degenerative disc disease and uses the #Afroswimmers platform to prioritize swimming and aquatic therapy in underrepresented communities.
MARISSA FORTIER is the Managing 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. Marissa lives in Maine with her two daughters and husband.
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.
STACY BEADLE will be leading the charge to expand our im program reach in Arizona through partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs, Recreation Departments and School Districts. Stacy has been in aquatics for over 20 years, most recently as the Recreation Superintendent for the City of Peoria. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, volunteers for numerous other aquatics and recreation committees, and is a proud supporter of Team Benoit and Swim Across America. Stacy and her husband Mike live in Arizona with their two daughters, Emily and Lindsey.
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. Peter was a Founding Member of MPF.
NICOLE PHELPS is a philanthropist who volunteers her time with the Michael Phelps Foundation. The proud mom of three young boys and supportive wife, Nicole is a former marketing professional and Miss California (2010). She and her family, including two French Bulldogs, reside in Arizona.
DIAN CHRISTENSEN HILLIS
DIAN CHRISTENSEN HILLIS 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.