About the Creators of this Program

Craig Sears is President and Owner of Sears Pool Management Consultants, a 25-year-old firm specializing in the operation and management of commercial swimming pool facilities in the Metro Atlanta area.  Growing up in Atlanta, Craig swam competitively year-round from the age of 9 through college. Craig received a degree in Biology from Washington and Lee University and an MBA in Management from Georgia State University. With over 30 years’ experience in the aquatics industry, Craig has been a lifeguard, a swim coach, swim lesson instructor, pool manager, sales manager, and even a bartender before founding Sears Pool Management in 1997. Craig served as President of the GA Chapter of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (now the PHTA) from 2012-2013, and continues to serve on the state Board of Directors.  In March 2012, Craig founded the non-profit Greater Atlanta Water Safety Alliance, a chapter of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.  Its mission is to reduce drowning and the spread of RWIs by increasing water safety awareness through community seminars and events, and to be an advocate for recreational swimming and the sport of competitive swimming. Craig has achieved various aquatic designations and certifications including a PHTA Certified Service Professional, PHTA Certified Building Professional, Certified Pool Operator, American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor Trainer, and an PHTA course instructor. Craig received the prestigious APSP Fellows designation in 2018, and was awarded PHTA’s Certified Service Professional of the year for 2020. Craig is passionate about aquatics and seeks to better the industry in the areas of safety, professionalism, and minimizing environmental impact. 

James Meyers became a lifeguard at the age of 16 and never left, even when he tried.  In his late teens, he managed a seasonal, summer swimming pool.  In his early 20s, he became the Aquatics Director at the Jewish Community Center in Omaha, Nebraska.  There he tripled the number of people using aquatic programs in less than a year while quadrupling the revenue.  James moved on to become an Emergency Medical Technician for a few years before taking flight training and acquired his commercial pilot license.  From 2006 to 2009, he worked for the Red Cross in Omaha running the Health and Safety programs.  While at the Red Cross, he developed a non-certified program called CPR Made Simple (which was adopted nationally for a short period of time).  In over 25 as a lifeguard instructor with multiple programs, he certified over 1,000 lifeguards and over 10,000 people in first aid and CPR.

James no longer works full-time in aquatics; however, he continues to train people in first aid, CPR and as lifeguards.  He was the co-chairperson of the pool operations committee for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials-Swimming and chairman of the lifeguard committee in 2012, 2016 and 2020.  He has also served as an expert witness and developed a lifeguard training certification program approved in Nebraska.  He is passionate about water safety and the teaching kids how to be safe (and have fun) around a pool. 

Professionally James earned an MBA from Bellevue University and has a wide range of business experience.  Besides aquatics, James worked in his family-owned logistics companies, eventually purchasing the businesses and served as CFO for all the various business entities and CEO of two of them.  In 2022, he sold his stake in the logistics companies, and continues to own commercial real estate and develop industrial buildings.  He is still active in teaching new lifeguards, and chooses projects that are compelling to him.  Being a part of this program is a way for him to give back to an institution (aquatics) that has been good to him for 30 years.