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.
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.
Chief Operating Officer
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.
Director of People & Culture
Born and raised in Southern California. Amber joined Premier Aquatics in March of 2023. She came from an extensive background in retail leadership and throughout the years, discovered she had a true passion for people. Her tenure in leadership supported in paving the way for a newfound passion for Human Resources with people first. One of Ambers strengths is her natural ability to connect with people and coach them to bring out the best in themselves. Amber is focused, engaged, and excited to spend time in the field building the culture of Premier.
In her spare time, you can find her at weekend sporting events with her family, relaxing poolside or lakeside, or anything outdoors.
Regional Manager, Orange County
Nicole came to us from Wisconsin in May 2018 to work for Premier full time. She is our Orange County Program Manager and is in charge of making sure all of our Orange County facilities are staffed, operational, and running smoothly. She was a competitive swimmer in high school and currently swim for the Mission Viejo Nadadores Master’s Program. Previously in the aquatics field, she has worked at Naval Station Great Lakes, her local YMCA, and various triathlons. Nicole has her Bachelor’s Degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in Secondary Education and French and her Master’s Degree in Facility, Sport and Event Management from Western Kentucky University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming, crafting, spending time on the beach, and training for triathlons.
Chelsea Cannon (aka Smiles OR Cannon Ball)
Regional Health and Safety/ Aquatics Manager, San Diego
Born and raised in the Inland Empire, I was in the pool at a young age! As a kid, the beach was my favorite place, and when we went, I insisted we go to the pool when we got home so we could “rinse off”! I have lived all over to include Sicily, Italy, South Carolina, New York, Las Vegas, and San Diego.
In high school I fell in love with Water Polo and went on to play a semester at Mesa College in San Diego. This was also when I became a Lifeguard and taught swim lessons. Life took me (and my beloved dog Hurley) on a little journey after that and I found myself in Sicily! Being in a foreign place, naturally I looked for the one thing I knew which was the pool! I coached the EFSL Sigonella Swordfish Swim Team and eventually became the MWR Aquatics Director running two facilities complete with water slides and a dive tank. Coming back to the states, I found myself back in Aquatics working at a lake in South Carolina, with the YMCAs in New York, and some of the largest Resorts in Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, I was faced with many challenges within the hospitality industry and grew some tough skin (blubber maybe?)! While drinking from a fire hose, I learned not only what it truly meant to have a solid training program for Lifeguards, but also what it meant to be a leader and how rewarding it was to grow leaders on my team.
I was introduced to StarGuard Elite while in Las Vegas, just before the world seemed to come to a halt. I was instantly sucked in to the SGE way which is how Premier was introduced to me! Currently, I am attending Arizona State University to obtain my Bachelors in Health Education and Health Promotion. I am stoked to spread our mission of creating safer experiences in and around the water across the San Diego area!
Manager, Training and Quality Assurance
I was born to do exactly what I’m doing today!
Michael Scott has had a passion for aquatic safety for nearly 30 years now. After being coerced into finishing his first summer swim team experience in the 3rd grade, the toil twisted to zeal and he never looked back. Following 12 years of competitive swimming and becoming the Captain of his high school water polo team, he decided to take the natural path into the world of lifeguarding where he found his true calling. He dove straight into ocean lifeguarding with the City of Laguna Beach Marine Safety Lifeguards. He 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 his time with Laguna, he accepted a full-time Lifeguard Lieutenant position with the Lake Mission Viejo Patrol & Rescue Department where he continued to broaden his skills in a flat-water environment. During his 13-year career with Lake Mission Viejo, training and mentoring rapidly became his focus. He 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 he enjoyed for nearly a decade.
Always looking for a new challenge in aquatic safety, he was incredibly fortunate enough to discover Premier Aquatic Services and offered a full-time position. Working with Premier has provided him the opportunity to, once again, further his scope of knowledge in aquatic safety, train and inspire literally hundreds of aspiring lifeguards as well as thrive in his primary role of training Premier’s management team!
Outside of the work environment, surprise….he enjoys spending as much time as possible surfing, bodysurfing, volleyball and spending time with his wife and 2 amazing young girls who have embraced their dad’s love for all things H2O.
Aquatics Program Director
Tristan’s journey into the aquatics world started at age eight with competitive swimming. This carried on into a love for all things water from endurance open water swimming, to surfing, coaching and collegiate triathlons.
She first began with Premier in 2019 as a swim instructor, and is now the Aquatics Programs Director. She is passionate about cultivating a fun learning experience, mentoring, leaning into Premier’s community-focused culture, and is excited to continue coordinating swim programs.
Aside from aquatics, you can get Tristan talking about mastering the art of a good meal prep, hiking, wrapping up her her degree in Sports and Performance Psychology, and meeting new people.
Catch her on deck!
Talent Acquisition and Onboarding Manager
Growing up, Jessica was an Irish dancer and traveled all over the country and overseas for competitions. In high school and through college, she taught at her dance studio helping the new generation of Irish dancers. In college, she worked at a police department as a cadet, where she gained experience training new hires and key skills of how to work with the public. After graduating from California State University-Fullerton with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, she decided to take her experience and pursue work in the recreation department at the City of Mission Viejo. During her time with the city, she became lifeguard certified and gained a great appreciation for all things aquatics and began helping with the aquatics programing. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, movies, sports, and hanging out with friends.
Customer Service Representative
Hermes was born in Mexico and raised in Santa Ana CA. From an early age Hermes gained a love for the water. At the first chance he got, Hermes joined his high school’s water polo and swim team for all 4 years. After high school Hermes earned an associate degree in art and animation while continuing to pursue a bachelor’s degree. During college he worked as a life insurance agent and teacher’s assistant where he found a second passion for working with kids and assisting the public. While searching for a job that would accommodate his college schedule and fulfill his second passion Hermes took on the position of an Admin for Premier Aquatics. At Premier Hermes is responsible for swim lesson billing, phone calls, customer service, graphics/designs for facility needs and more. While on his free time Hermes enjoys hiking, drawing, swimming, and spending time with friends and family.
Regional Aquatics Manager – Liberty
Torrey found a passion for aquatics at a young age. She swam competitively throughout middle and high school on both club and school teams. At age sixteen, she began working for the City of Yuma as a lifeguard and swim lesson instructor. In addition, she spent summers lifeguarding at a water park. In 2021, Torrey began working for Premier as a Lifeguard Manager in Arizona. She has since relocated to Orange County as the Aquatics Regional Manager for Liberty/Military contracts. In her free time, she loves reading, swimming, golfing, and playing tennis with friends.
Despite growing up in Illinois, Sophia has had a strong love for aquatics throughout her life, beginning with being thrown into the pool at the age of 2. Although she’s always been active – from Tennis to Basketball, to running in Track – she never swam for sport. Fast forward to her junior year of high school, Sophia began lifeguarding for her local community pool and never looked back. After moving to Orange County in 2020, she applied for one job, lifeguarding at Premier Aquatics, and within the first few shifts, she knew Premier was special. She has since moved through the ranks where she is currently a Lifeguard Instructor and Assistant Regional Manager for Orange County. One of Sophia’s favorite parts of working with Premier is connecting with not only lifeguards but patrons, where sharing her love of aquatics and people have become two of the most rewarding parts of her job. Outside of work, Sophia is studying Criminology, Law, and Society in university. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym, playing sports with friends, trying new restaurants and coffee shops, and sometimes dabbles in Jiu-Jitsu.
Melody is passionate about helping and leading her community. With her previous experience as a leader at the American Red Cross, she organized numerous volunteer events throughout Southern California.
As the marketing director at Premier Aquatics, Melody enjoys creating and communicating content while collaborating with an amazing team. Being part of a community centered culture that changes countless lives is one of her favorite aspects of her work.
During her free time, Melody likes to read, do Pilates, and bake.
Aquatics Director, Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center
Eric joined Premier in January and took on the role of managing our Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center. He started working with kids at a young age as a summer camp counselor and found his love for recreation management. Eric believes a strong united Culture is the key to any successful business.
Eric lives for his family. He is a hard-working loyal friend and never stops giving it his all. His friends and family would describe him as a loyal family man who LOVES sports! He is an avid Dodgers and Rams fan and can be found repping gear on the regular. In his spare time, he devotes his time to his wife and family through coaching baseball, playing at a park, or hanging together in the comfort of their backyard.
He hopes getting to know him will bring you a smile.
Nia was born in Los Angeles, CA and attended UC Irvine for Psychology and Social Behavior. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, camping, or searching for new food to try! As an Executive Assistant, she works closely with Premier’s amazing managers, talent acquisition team, and administration departments to deliver exceptional customer satisfaction, promote water safety, and provide support for essential operational tasks within the office.
Regional Manager, Anaheim
Irie was born and raised in the Coachella Valley. Her passion for water started out as a little girl. Living in a scorching desert, Irie was drawn to water and at every pool party she was the last one out (not by choice- Lol).This love for being in the water flourished when she joined La Quinta High School Women’s Swim Team her freshman year. Without having previous swimming experience, she worked hard and swam varsity all 4 years. Irie had then broadened her athletic appetite to running Cross Country and playing Water Polo. This resulted in Irie being a Varsity Tri-athlete; a rare and dying breed in athletics.
Water Polo became Irie’s main sport but couldn’t continue until she transferred from College of the Desert to UC Irvine. At UCI ( #ZOTZOTZOT), she joined the Women’s Water Polo Club and started lifeguarding at the university’s recreation pool until graduating in 2019 with a Bachelors in Public Health Policy.
During that time, Irie decided to combined two of her passions, Aquatics & Public Health, and obtained her Lifeguard Instructor Certification through Premier Aquatics in 2020. In April 2021, after a year of “the thing that shall not be named “, she decided to join Premier Aquatics as an instructor. As her passion grew, her positions did the same. Now she is the Anaheim Regional Manager at our newest location, Howard Johnson (aka HOJO). She hopes to bring a RIZ-tastic culture at HOJO that aspires others to be kind, fun, and safe.
On her spare time, you’ll find Irie eating Chick-fil-a, listening to country, snowboarding, kayaking, and playing board games with friends. #Yeehaw
Lifeguard Manager, Anaheim
Joey, a true Southern Californian, has been immersed in the world of pools since childhood. Following in the footsteps of his dad and grandpa, who built pools together, Joey developed a deep connection to the water that led him to competitive swimming in high school. His passion for helping others eventually steered him towards becoming a lifeguard in 2021, a role he instantly fell in love with.
Driven by a desire to share his expertise, Joey proudly became a StarGuard Instructor in February 2023. His diverse background, which includes previous occupations as a cook, restaurant supervisor, and plumber, has equipped him with valuable skills and experiences that he now applies to his lifeguarding and instructing. Always looking to grow, Joey is currently studying to become a paramedic, with aspirations to enter the EMS field. When he’s not saving lives or pursuing his career goals, you can find Joey exercising, hiking, cooking, or simply enjoying the great outdoors!