Our mission is to educate, train, and provide networking opportunities to aquatic professionals in the public sector with a focus on reducing drownings and other water related emergencies.
Our vision is to be a comprehensive resource for the aquatic professional.
The Florida Aquatics Council is a non-profit organization founded to bring the Aquatics Community together by providing educational opportunities and engagement.
The Florida Aquatics Council was formed in 2006 as a grassroots organization of local aquatics professionals in Pinellas County, Florida formerly known as the Pinellas Aquatics Council. Professionals from all areas of the swimming pool industry including parks & recreation, Y branches, private clubs, and support industries came together to form the Council. From Managers and lifeguards, coaches and instructors, suppliers and manufacturers, the Council strives to represent the industry as a whole. Each year, volunteer Council Board Members organize and implement quality educational and networking seminars and events. The Council also brings together professionals from all around the nation by supporting the resources on this website and organizing workshops and seminars throughout the year.
Meet the Board Members
Mark Abdo – Founder & Past President
Mark Abdo has been involved in the aquatics field for 35 plus years and holds a Bachelor degree in Leisure Services from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg and a Masters in Public Administration from USF in Tampa. Since 2004, Mark has worked for the City of Largo Recreation, Parks and Arts Department as the Aquatics Supervisor and recently as the Community Outreach Liaison. During his career, he has worked for the Cities of St Petersburg and Sarasota. Mark also spent 14 years as the Executive Director for the Long Center in Clearwater, a unique, public-private partnership offering recreation, sports and educational programming and facilities. He has been a Certified Park & Recreation Professional since 1981 and presents at regional, state and national level conferences. Mark is a Past-President of FRPA and the FRPA Foundation. Mark founded the Florida Aquatics Council to offer a high level of quality, low cost training that is representative of the work knowledge and challenges that aquatic professionals are responsible for.
Marc Solomon – President
Marc Solomon has been an Aquatics professional for over 30 years. Marc is an American Red Cross Instructor and Instructor Trainer who has trained hundreds of Instructors from Palm Beach to Key West. He is currently serving on the National Recreation and Park Association Aquatic Facility Operator certification committee and has facilitated numerous training sessions and presentations at the regional and state level.
Leslie Adams – Treasurer
Leslie Adams has been with the Tallahassee Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Affairs Department for over 19 years. The last 14 of those years she’s been the Aquatics Supervisor where she has led and directed all aquatics operations for the Department. She supervises and manages 3 year-round facilities and 5 seasonal facilities, and her staff is comprised of 6 full-time employees and an excess of 150 part-time and seasonal employees. Leslie’s experience in aquatics comes from many perspectives, including coaching, teaching, programming, and managing. She has always had a passion for teaching. Early in her career, that passion was focused on swimming lessons and lifeguard classes. While she still enjoys those, her focus has progressed to training instructors, managers and leaders – hopefully broadening her overall impact.
Tiffany Beltran – Secretary
Employment: City of Temple Terrace
Position: Aquatic Supervisor
Certifications: Lifeguard Instructor Certified (American Red Cross), Certified Pool Operator, Water Safety Instructor, National Water Fitness Instructor
Fun Fact: I currently teach at a facility where I learned how to swim. Bio: I love spending time around the water, but my greatest passion is getting to invest in swimmers and staff that give back to the community through water safety.
Jimmy Davis – Board of Trustees
Jimmy Davis currently works for Palm Beach County as the Director of Aquatics. He has worked in the Aquatics Industry since 2002. Jimmy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. He is passionate about serving his community and improving the lives of others.
Elizabeth Milkas – Board of Trustees
Lizzie Milkas works for Florida State University as the Coordinator of Aquatics for Campus Recreation. Her first job was in 2008, where she lifeguarded at a state park, and she has been in the field ever since. Lizzie enjoys exercising, spending time with friends, and working on DIY projects around her home.