about us

Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmers Chris DeJong and John Lonergan to provide a measurable curriculum for students to learn an essential life skill in a comfortable and fun environment. Learn more about our big moments below.

big blue’s big moments

Kids Splashing Their Feet

2008

Chris and John meet and begin plans to teach swimming. The first lesson John ever taught was to current Big Blue board member Tim Flannery’s daughter.

2009

Big Blue Swim School officially launched out of Our Lady of Perpetual Help swimming pool.

Big Blue Swim School Exterior Sign

2012

In April, the Wilmette, Illinois location opens. Parents fund a stand-alone facility – teaching 1,500 lessons a week within a year.

2015

In January, the Buffalo Grove, Illinois location opens.

Checking In At Big Blue Swim School

2017

In February, Level 5 Investment. In October, the Hoffman Estates, Illinois location opens.

2019

In March, the Chicago Flagship/Franchisee Training location opens.

Checking In At Big Blue Swim School

2020

Big Blue Swim School opened a location in Johns Creek, GA.

2021

Big Blue Swim School has awarded 122 franchises as of January 2021.

our brand purpose + promise

Life's Big Moments Start Here
Inspire Big Moments

our mission

Big Blue Red Fish

We show kids they can do anything
by unlocking their full potential
in the water.

OUR BRAND VALUES

brand1

Show Passion
for Our Mission

be the change you want to see
brand2

Reach Beyond
Your Grasp

be better today
than you were yesterday
brand3

Embrace
Our Differences

be inclusive
brand4

Radiate Energy

be the sun
brand5

Go the
Extra Mile

be awesome
brand6

Make Teamwork
Happen

be a champion for others

Leadership

leadershipSCOTT SANDERS

SCOTT SANDERS

SCOTT SANDERS

CEO
  • More than 15 years' experience in executive roles and technology companies
  • Board member and investor in several technology businesses
  • B.S. in Finance and an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
leadershipCHRIS DEJONG

CHRIS DEJONG

CHRIS DEJONG

Founder and President
  • Five-time U.S. National Champion swimmer and American record holder in 800 freestyle relay
  • Competed for eight years as a member of the U.S. National Swim Team, with multiple All-American and All-Big Ten recognitions
  • B.A. in English from the University of Michigan
leadershipCHRISTY KENT

CHRISTY KENT

CHRISTY KENT

EVP of Operations / Chief of Staff
  • Over 10 years' experience in operations management and strategy in the consumer services industry
  • Responsible for opening, scaling, and improving 32 CorePower Yoga franchise studios across five states for Level 4 Yoga, LLC
  • B.A. in Business Sociology from the University of Michigan
leadershipCASEY MORFORD

CASEY MORFORD

CASEY MORFORD

CTO
  • Competitive swimmer for 13 years, most prominently for the University of Evansville
  • M.S. in Computer Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, with 14 years of experience in IT and web application development for both private enterprises and the public education sector
  • Original architect of Big Blue Swim School’s LessonBuddy™ platform
leadershipBROOKE MALLICK

BROOKE MALLICK

BROOKE MALLICK

CMO
  • Former Global Director at PepsiCo with brand management, consumer engagement, and innovation experience for iconic brands Gatorade and Quaker®
  • Previously a marketing strategy consultant at The Cambridge Group focused on Fortune 500 clients in CPG and Retail industries
  • B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Northwestern University
leadershipJUSTIN WALTZ

JUSTIN WALTZ

JUSTIN WALTZ

VP of Operations
  • Former VP Operations of Premium Service Brands
  • Former General Manager with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
  • Former Senior Manager of Franchise Performance with College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk & Moving
  • Franchisee for both College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk & Moving and Handyman Connection
leadershipJENNIFER FALBO

JENNIFER FALBO

JENNIFER FALBO

Director of Human Resources
  • Over 15 years in Human Resources Management for Fortune 500 organizations in Customer Service, Technology and Media
  • Previous HR leadership role with DISH Network, supporting service locations nationwide
  • Received an undergraduate degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Loyola University
leadershipMICHAEL CHIN

MICHAEL CHIN

MICHAEL CHIN

President of L5 Real Estate Services
  • Led Level 4 Yoga’s expansion to 30 studios, overseeing operations for studio opens and growth
  • Previously with Tartan Realty Group, Inc., expanding early-stage growth concepts
  • A four-year monogram winner in hockey at the University of Notre Dame, with two years of post-college play
leadershipCRISTINA MOORE

CRISTINA MOORE

CRISTINA MOORE

Director of Finance and Accounting
  • Over 10 years of experience in Finance, Planning, Analysis and Accounting for Department of Defense, AbbVie and technology startups
  • B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Davidson College and MBA in Corporate Finance from Wake Forest University
leadershipDENNIS CAMPBELL

DENNIS CAMPBELL

DENNIS CAMPBELL

VP of Franchise Development
  • Bought his first franchise in early 2008
  • Over the past 13 years, has had many cross functional roles including operations and development globally in 15 countries

BIG BLUE SWIM SCHOOL IN THE NEWS

BIG BLUE IN THE NEWS