Meet Our 2020 National Lifeguard of the Year: Kiki M.

The summer of 2020 has officially come to a close! This time of year is always bittersweet as we transition from summer into fall and we say goodbye, for now, to our amazing lifeguards. We know this summer was anything but ordinary and we are so proud of our lifeguards’ accomplishments and ability to navigate such an unusual season with us. Each year, American Pool shows special appreciation to our dedicated lifeguards through our Summer to Win program. Throughout the summer, lifeguards are chosen by each office to be celebrated based on their outstanding performance and going the extra mile. We celebrate hundreds of winners throughout the summer as each office awards their lifeguard of the week, month, and year!

Every week, our best lifeguards are recognized and presented with well-deserved prizes and Guard for Life swag so that we can show our appreciation. Last but not least comes the greatest honor of all, the National Lifeguard of the Year! Nominations from all our offices throughout the country are voted upon and one exceptional guard is chosen to be crowned the National Lifeguard of the Year.

Our National Lifeguard of the Year represents the best of the best, demonstrating the qualities that embody the role of a Lifeguard better than anyone else. This year, we are very pleased to announce a winner from our Columbia, MD office! 

We are proud to announce Kiki M. as our 2020 National Lifeguard of the Year!

Kiki first started working with American Pool as a gate guard when she was just 14 years old. Since then, she has moved on to work as a lifeguard as well as assisting with staffing and managing multiple pool locations. Kiki has proven herself as a valuable asset to the American Pool team by constantly asking questions and always helping out whenever she can. Many of the other guards who work with Kiki have taken notice of her exceptional leadership and performance and have started going to her for advice.

When you picture what makes someone worthy of being the ‘Guard of the Year,’ several things come to mind, a strong work ethic, professionalism, dedication to staff and patrons, and most importantly making sure that the facility is a well-operated and safe environment. Kiki has provided a safe and friendly experience and given the lifeguards working under her an enjoyable time at the pool.

Her communication bleeds into her staff, the ‘Guard of the Year’ should not just be great in their own right they should bleed their passion and attitudes into others. Kiki has taken this idea and ran with it. She was always asking questions and always eager to help out. Many of the other guards started to notice and started to look to her for leadership on the weekends and as a result, the team became a cohesive unit.

Kiki has hopped over the hurdles and problems caused by COVID-19 like a superwoman. She has done it all while keeping her positive attitude and her smile. She’s not just the ‘Guard of the Season,’ she is most definitely ‘Guard of the YEAR!.’ She has been helping set us all up for success all throughout the totality of the year and it would have been a nightmare without her help.

Kiki’s growth has been nothing short of the model of what we should want every American Pool Lifeguard to be. She does this all while being incredibly hospitable and providing great support for her staff.” 

— Gerry Seawright & JJ McDonald

When Kiki isn’t attending to lifeguard duties, she is attending classes at Montgomery College. After working with American Pool for six years, Kiki still loves being able to work around the pool and spend time outdoors. Her growth has been nothing short of the model of what we want every American Pool Lifeguard to accomplish in their work with us.

We had so many incredible nominees for the National Lifeguard of the Year from our offices, and we appreciate ALL of you! A nomination for this award is an achievement in itself. We would like to take this time to shout out all of our 2020 National Lifeguard of the Year nominees.

Ricky M. Pennsylvania

“Ricky is one of the most reliable lifeguards we have had this whole summer. He is positive, friendly and polite to all patrons who visit his pool. His dedication to his job as a lifeguard is admirable. He is a joy to work with and his fellow lifeguards have told the Staffers how much they enjoy working with him.”

Nehemiah A. New Jersey

“Nehemiah is a hard worker who always has a great attitude. His Regional Manager describes him as the “most professional lifeguard I’ve ever worked with.” The pool was always spotless, even the day after a tropical storm. American Pool is very lucky to be represented by such a well mannered, respectful, hard-working individual.”

Taylor M. Pittsburgh

“Taylor’s lifeguarding skills are top-notch, she is always rescue ready, and she is passing those traits on to our next generation of lifeguards. Taylor’s greatest quality is her attitude. She does everything we do and don’t ask her to do, with a smile on her face and a strong work ethic. We now have three guards that have already told me they plan to return next summer in large part to Taylor’s leadership.”

Caroline D. Southern New Jersey

“Caroline is a terrific guard! She is a great person to work with when it comes to staffing and has really stepped up to the plate to take over the pool manager position at her pool. She is very responsive and always lends a hand without being asked. She has gone above and beyond many times and has even given other guards rides to work. She is always upbeat and positive! Definitely an asset to the lifeguarding team at American Pool!”

Emma K. New York

“Here, at American Pool, our core values are: Care, Honesty, and Thoughtfulness. Emma is the epitome of all of these values. In our time working, we have never met a more empathetic guard who truly cares about her job, the people she works with, and the people she works for, as much as Emma does. During these unprecedented times we are living in, the world could use more people like Emma.”

Shawn R. Georgia (Atlus AFP, OK)

“Shawn kept a fantastic attitude 100% of the time and was always happy and upbeat. This kept our customers calm and our patrons happy. Shawn, as a first-year employee, had the desire to help me with anything and everything that came up, most of the time, having to learn on the spot how to do things around the pool/pump room over the phone with me. I wish I could have a Shawn at every one of my facilities around the country!”

Sasa B. Virginia

“Sasa has worked for us in a number of roles and responsibilities over the years, but in 2020 she took her performances to another level. Throughout the entirety of the summer, the main communication that we have received from the facility management and patronage was “Sasa is the best pool manager they have EVER had”. Sasa ensured that regardless of the situation, the safety of patrons and staff members was held to the utmost degree. Sasa’s year is the definition of Above and Beyond, and she deserves to be recognized for every ounce of those efforts!”

We want to thank all of our lifeguards for a great season and we can’t wait to see what next year brings. Watch Kiki’s interview with us about winning the National Lifeguard of the Year title below!

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