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.

E&A Team


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 850 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.

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Joe Stefanyak

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.

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Steve Miller

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 as, 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.

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Keith Fontenot

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.

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Jennifer Barber

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

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.



Shelly Rucinski

Client Manager Shelly Rucinski supports E&A Clients on a daily basis. Shelly began her aquatics industry career in 1990 after working as an intern at Noah’s Ark Waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells. Her work at the iconic water park included recruiting, training, supervising and mentoring nearly 8,000 lifeguards during her tenure. Shelly’s strategic planning and efficiency helped maintain Noah’s Ark’s stellar reputation as America’s Largest Waterpark.

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