At Premier Aquatic Services, we believe that the quality of our programs depends on the collaboration of an incredible management team and amazing part-time and full-time team members. As part of our mission, we believe in constant education and training, and we know those two pieces are the keys to our success.

Management Team

Dan Berzansky

Owner & President

Dan Berzansky founded Premier Aquatic Services in 2011. As a competitive swimmer, Dan taught swim lessons every summer throughout high school and college. In college, he swam on scholarship for Division I Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York. He was captain of the men’s college team his junior and senior year and is a five-time conference champion. After college, Dan was hired to open the aquatics program at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Orange County in Irvine. While there, he built a vibrant learn-to-swim program and started the OC Waves Club Swim Team, a USA Swimming sanctioned (USS) club program, which has produced scores of highly successful swimmers. In 2011, Dan graduated with his MBA from Pepperdine University and proceeded to leave the JCC.

In all, Dan has over 20 years of coaching and teaching experience, as well as over 14 years of experience in the recreation field with a focus on project management. In addition, he has over 17 years of experience as an instructor for the American Red Cross where he has taught classes ranging from CPR/AED classes, Professional Rescuer, instructor courses and lifeguarding and First Aid classes. In his free time, Dan is a Director for Stop Drowning Now, a drowning prevention education program which provides free drowning prevention education programs for children.

Dan currently lives in Laguna Niguel, CA with his wife and three young children.

LinkedIn

swim instructor with toddler in water

Ryan Larson

Operations Manager

Ryan started swimming when he was 4 years old for Hillside Aquatics. After swimming for over 15 years, Ryan was offered an athletic scholarship to Concordia University Irvine. There he obtained his Bachelors in Communications and his MBA. While attending school in Irvine Ryan fell in love with coaching and teaching swim lessons again. This led Ryan to pursue a career with Premier Aquatics in 2011. Ryan has now been teaching and coaching for over 15 years.

In his free time, Ryan likes to hang out with his friends & family, go camping, and travel.

Sami Leonis

Marketing, Communication, and Planning Director

Hi everyone! I grew up in San Jose, CA and started swimming competitively when I was 4 years old. I joined a year-round club team at the age of 12 and dedicated most of my time from then on to making the Sectional team. At the age of 17, I decided to hang up my swimsuit to go earn a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology at San Francisco State University. After graduating and deciding that SoCal was my calling, I accepted a full-time job with Premier Aquatics and left the Bay Area. At Premier, I am responsible for all things marketing, company communication, planning, and more! I enjoy the beach, rooting for Bay Area sports, food, music and adventures. I am excited about continuing to contribute to the growth of Premier Aquatics!

Erica Funk

Aquatics Program Coordinator

Hi, I’m the aquatics program coordinator for Premier Aquatics. I’ve been in the aquatic industry since I was in college. I’ve worked for city aquatics, competitive swim team, masters swim, parks and recreations and private swim schools. Teaching and working near the water is natural for me; water being my favorite place to be, you’ll catch me fishing in Dana Point with my husband on our kayak or snorkeling in Laguna with the sea lions. I also swam and played water polo growing up and am thankful I played the best sports in the world in high school and in college. I still have an amazing pop shot!

Stephanie Wilson

Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center Facility Manager

My name is Stephanie and I was born and raised in Missouri. While there weren’t any Aquatics Programs offered at the schools I attended, I did cultivate a love of the water growing up on a National Scenic Riverway in the Ozarks. After I graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Finance, I bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii where I snorkeled, kayaked, surfed, hiked, skydived, traveled, learned to golf and all around had an adventurous two years. I moved back to mainland and settled in Southern California in 2013. I still enjoy being active and exploring in my free time and want to forever live within walking distance to the beach. My passion for a dynamic environment with opportunities for growth with a connection to the outdoors is what brought me to Premier. I started managing lifeguards on Camp Pendleton and was lucky enough to be brought onboard full-time to manage the Aquatics Center at Aliso Viejo. I am always looking to learn and adapt to find new ways to excel personally and professionally!

Nicole Kloet

Orange County Program Manager

My name is Nicole and I moved here from Wisconsin in May 2018 to work for Premier full time. I am the Orange County Program Manager for Premier Aquatics and I am in charge of making sure all of our Orange County facilities are staffed, operational, and running smoothly. I was a competitive swimmer in high school and currently swim for the Mission Viejo Nadadores Master’s Program. Previously in the aquatics field, I have worked at Naval Station Great Lakes, my local YMCA, and various triathlons. I have my Bachelor’s Degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in Secondary Education and French and my Master’s Degree in Facility, Sport and Event Management from Western Kentucky University. In my free time, I enjoy reading, swimming, crafting, spending time on the beach, and training for triathlons.

Missy Estrada

Regional Manager

Hi, I’m Missy, I started my first lifeguard job in 2013 and immediately fell in love with it. An outdoor and dynamic work environment, building life-long friendships with like-minded coworkers, and an amazing tan are just a few of the luxuries that come with the job. From there, the rest is history. I have worn many hats during my time in the aquatic’s world, but the one I get the most fulfillment from is developing a team and mentoring new employees.

I have been with Premier Aquatics for 3 years now and I absolutely love the company’s culture and team! I was born and raised in Joshua Tree, Ca but I have always gravitated towards the ocean. Eventually, my family and I decided to relocate to Orange County. Thus far, being a mom has been the most precious and important accomplishment in my life. Some of my favorite things to do are spending time with my family and friends, being outdoors, and traveling.

Mike Scott

OC Lifeguard Manager

I was born to do exactly what I’m doing today!

Hello all, my name is Michael Scott and aquatic safety has been my passion for nearly 30 years now. After being coerced into finishing my first summer swim team experience in the 3rd grade, the toil twisted to zeal and I never looked back. Following 12 years of competitive swimming and becoming the Captain of my high school water polo team, I decided to take the natural path into the world of lifeguarding where I found my true calling. I dove straight into ocean lifeguarding with the City of Laguna Beach Marine Safety Lifeguards. I quickly obtained an EMT certification, was promoted to a unit operator position and relished an exciting 23-year tenure filled with a multitude of aquatic and land-based emergencies.

Roughly 10 years into to my time with Laguna, I accepted a full-time Lifeguard Lieutenant position with the Lake Mission Viejo Patrol & Rescue Department where I continued to broaden my skills in a flat-water environment.  During my 13-year career with Lake Mission Viejo, training and mentoring rapidly became my focus.  I soon became the department’s training officer, President of the Orange County Training Officer’s Association, and the Training & Operations Chair for the California Lifesaving Association, which I enjoyed for nearly a decade.

Always looking for a new challenge in aquatic safety, I was incredibly fortunate enough to discover Premier Aquatic Services and offered a full-time position.  Working with Premier has provided me the opportunity to, once again, further my scope of knowledge in aquatic safety, train and inspire literally hundreds of aspiring lifeguards as well as thrive in my primary role of training Premier’s management team!

Outside of the work environment, surprise….I enjoy spending as much time as possible surfing, bodysurfing, volleyball and spending time with my wife and 2 amazing young girls who have embraced their dad’s love for all things H2O.