Innovating, advocating, and elevating the aquatics industry through service.
To stay at the forefront of aquatics advancements, E&A team members hold certifications and ongoing designations that require frequent professional development and continuing education. Members of the team contribute to the aquatic industry’s bank of science-based, technically-driven resources by serving on industry committees and volunteering their expertise by presenting at various industry conferences.
Most importantly, E&A shares the collective experience not only of the E&A team but hundreds of E&A Clients and Associates around the globe.
Richard "RAC" Carroll
Richard A. Carroll, or better known as RAC, is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Ellis & Associates, Inc. RAC manages the day-to-day operations of the consulting and risk management programs for the firm’s 600 plus clients. RAC also provides oversight of the company’s legal and insurance needs/partnerships. He is active in CMAHC, World Waterpark Association and IAAPA where he currently serves on the Board of Directors.
Starting in 2001, RAC served as the Director of Water Parks and Vice President of Client Management. He also served as the Director of Operations, when he joined the Splish Splash Water Park in Long Island, NY, where he was responsible for the facility operations and management of 500+ staff, along with an annual attendance of 500,000 attendees during a 90-day summer season. Over the years, he has spoke at many seminars around the world, including the IAPPA Safety Institute and has used his platform to showcase his support of the aquatic safety industry and has been involved in the opening of multiple international water parks and resorts. This has elevated the fostering of E&A’s international client growth that currently spans out to more than 12 international countries and to 10 of the Top 20 waterparks worldwide and 17 of the Top 20 waterparks in the United States.
Rac received his Bachelor of Science degree from Shippensburg University. He was the recipient of the Al Turner Commitment to Excellence Award from WWA in 2008.
Rac and his wife Julianne recently relocated to Wilmington, NC. He has two children and enjoys spending his time with family at the beach or on the water.
Joe Stefanyak is a Director with Jeff Ellis & Associates, Inc., where he brings over 30 years of aquatic industry experience. In his current role, Joe is responsible for client relationships, which includes 600 municipalities, corporate and private waterparks, and water resorts throughout the United States and in various countries abroad. He works with each to continue the evaluation and implementation of the standard operating procedure in relation to the Comprehensive Aquatic Risk Management Program.
In addition to his Director role, Joe also serves as the Director of the Ron Rhinehart International Aquatic Safety School and contributes to the International Lifeguard Training Program course curriculum.
His previous responsibilities within the firm, include the lead development of vanguard, an aquatic supervisor training program, as well, Joe has helped oversee the firm’s learning initiatives and is an active participant in various state and regional committees and is a current member of the CMAHC Technical Review Committee. He has contributed many articles to textbooks published by Jeff Ellis & Associates, Inc and other leading industry publications.
In 2014, he was the recipient of the World Waterpark Association’s Kelly Ogle Memorial Safety Award. Joe has been married to his wife Robyn for 24 years and is a proud father of his twins, Joey and Becky.
As a director for Ellis & Associates, Inc., Steve Miller oversees the southeast region of the United States working with clients ranging from small municipalities to large waterpark resorts, as well, several corporate client groups. With 23 years of experience, Steve brings a well-verse of training expertise with programs offered by E&A and assists with the review of textbook content including the current and past editions of the International Lifeguard Training Program,
International Lifeguard Training Program Instructor Resource Manual, as well, assisting with the development of the firm’s curriculum for Train the Trainer, vanguard Aquatic Leadership, and Waterslide Dispatch Operator Training programs.
Steve is an active member of the CDC’s Council for the Model Aquatic Health and is a member of the CMACHC Technical Support Committee for Lifeguard Bather Supervisor. He also provides assistance in oversight of the operational aquatic safety audit program. He also is responsible for supervision and training of auditor staff and coordination of audit travel.
In his most recent role, Steve served as the Director of Aquatics for Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells, WI. From 1995-2005, Steve worked at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark as an operations manager. He returned to the Schlitterbahn Waterpark located in South Padre, TX, where he served as the Director of Operations.
Steve received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Southwest Texas State University. He currently resides in New Braunfels, TX with his wife Toni and daughter Brynnleigh, along with his beloved pets. Steve plays guitar and is active in sports, especially soccer, where he coaches the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School middle school soccer team.
Ellis & Associates Client Director Keith Fontenot is an ILTP Instructor Trainer, Senior Associate and served as an Advisory Board member prior to joining the E&A Team. Beginning his career as a lifeguard in 1994, Fontenot worked with Schlitterbahn Waterparks, one of E&A's earliest clients, for 27 seasons. Fontenot is a certified EMT, Chair of the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions Water Park Committee, serves on the Education Committee for AIMS, is a NAARSO Certified Amusement Ride Safety Inspector Level II, and member of the ASTM F24 Committee.
Jennifer Barber is a Client Manager for Ellis and Associates. In her role, she provides support to the Client Director team and assists in daily client needs. Jennifer has more than 14 years of aquatics experience in theme park, hotel water park and YMCA facilities. In her most recent roles, she has served as the Director of Aquatics for Great Wolf Lodge – Traverse City and for the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA. Jenny was also part of the E&A auditor team in 2012.
Darlene Reese-Sittig serves as the Education and Operations Manager for Ellis & Associates. She began her aquatics industry career more than 25 years ago as a water slide dispatcher and lifeguard. Since then, she has held numerous leadership positions with Six Flags where she advised the company’s water park standards committee and piloted corporate brand extension initiatives. As a consultant, Darlene played a key role in helping AIMS International launch their digital learning platform and supported E&A by helping to design and develop educational programming and leading the company’s IACET accreditation. As a fulltime member of the E&A staff, Darlene will ensure Clients have access to the most advanced educational and operational programs in the industry.
Dr. Larry Newell
Dr. Larry Newell is Vice President of Education Services. Larry has 30 years of experience in aquatics, emergency care, program development, publishing, and business management. He most recently came from Jones and Bartlett Learning/Ascend Learning, where he served as the Executive Vice President and National Executive Director or the Emergency Care & Safety Institute.
Larry continues to pave the way for new development in education services provided by Ellis & Associates Inc. and Jeff Ellis Management, LLC. He is responsible for the global education strategy including the growth and delivery of traditional classroom-based learning, as well as, e-learning. Larry earned his Bachelor of Science in education at the University of Pittsburgh, Master of Science in education at Baylor University, and his Doctoral Degree in education from Texas A&M University.
Larry currently resides in Ashburn, VA. He enjoys many outdoor activities. He also remains actively involved in the emergency responder sector, with 27 years as a National Registry Paramedic and Critical Care Transport Paramedic.
Luke Martinez is a Client Manager for Ellis & Associates, Inc. In his role, Luke provides oversight in services delivered to nearly 100 E&A client organizations in the mountain and central region of the United States, along with 50+ authorized provider facilities located throughout the U.S. He also provides oversight of the International Lifeguard Training Program Instructor Training courses, which take place around the world each year.
He assists with the design, creation, and/or maintenance of program presentations, instructional talks, statistical information, proposals, media, artwork, documents and other E&A intellectual properties. Luke has been a key researcher, editor and writer/contributor of the various E&A course textbooks. He provides a supporting role in all E&A activities, both domestic and internationally.
With 27 years of industry experience, Luke has worked in the aquatics/recreational field for several facilities located in Colorado. Luke has a Bachelor of Science in business administration and an Associate’s degree in management. He holds certifications in adult learning and eLearning creation and has attended many professional enrichment workshops and training over the years to further bolster his professional development. He is the recipient of E&A Senior Associate award in 2007 the E&A Legacy award in 2017.
Luke resides in Denver, Colorado with his wife and two young children. His interests include outdoor activities, national parks, and museums all around the country, as well, is a homebrewing and craft beer enthusiast and enjoys reading, science fiction, and pop culture.