REBECCA WEAR ROBINSON, Founder & PresidentEnding the hidden global epidemic of drowning requires tenacity, strategy, and innovation.
When Rebecca began learning about the hidden global epidemic of drowning in 2007, it created a perfect storm, combining her academic background and entrepreneurial experience with her lifelong history of advocacy for children. Rebecca accepted the challenge of ending the epidemic from the unique perspective of a strategic business consultant, determined to make an impact in the sustainable, measurable manner only a successful entrepreneur can.
She developed the concept and strategy for Make the Minute Matter and has created the structure to support the organization. An acknowledged activist and expert in the field, she works with drowning prevention organizations around the world to identify and encourage innovation, connect resources, and help organizations integrate principles of social marketing into their approach. Rebecca is responsible for recruiting over 25 major organizations globally in adopting consistent messaging into their water safety communications, including WaterSafety USA and the U.S. National Park Service. A talented public speaker and columnist with a strong, knowledgeable presence on social media, Rebecca is also the author of “Start An Epidemic: Ignite Changes With Social Marketing."
Rebecca brings a strong background in both business and social psychology to the field. Her first Master’s degree is in International Management, Marketing, and Economics from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Her second Master’s degree is in Organizational and Social Psychology from the London School of Economics. She also has a B.A. in Finance from the University of Illinois and studied German at Salzburg College in Austria.
A global citizen, Rebecca has lived in Austria, France, the U.K., and the U.S. and currently resides in her native Chicago. She is fluent in English, with some knowledge of German and French. She loves to travel - 6 continents thus far and counting - and is an avid reader and regular volunteer for causes that directly impact children.
Board of Directors
Sharon Robinson — Chair
Ending the global epidemic of drowning requires proven leadership and business management ability with an emphasis on mentoring professionals, increasing profitability and managing risk.
Sharon Robinson, FCAS, MAAA, is Senior Vice President and Chief Pricing Actuary of Zurich North America Insurance Company. Sharon leads the pricing discipline for Zurich America’s $15 billion portfolio of Commercial and Specialty Lines products, overseeing 56 actuarial professionals.
She is responsible for leading profitability analysis and communication of profitability reviews, including partnering with business leaders to develop strategies leading to profitable growth. Sharon also has experience spanning the areas of Commercial Lines pricing and Medical Professional Liability with an emphasis on Large Account Pricing.
Sharon received her B.S. in Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and the past President of the International Association of Black Actuaries.
When not running marathons, Sharon flexes her creative muscles through a range of craft interests. Sharon lives in the Chicago area.
Tianne Bataille, Esq.
Ending the global epidemic of drowning requires a comprehensive understanding of global legal issues and a demonstrated ability to combat challenging social issues with pragmatic and lasting programs.
Tianne Bataille has successfully managed a dual career, combining training and experience from AMLAW 100 firms and a global legal department with extensive pro bono humanitarian work.
While working full-time as Senior Counsel and Legal Lead for the Strategic and Global Alliance group within Accenture, she also chaired the Executive Committee for a leadership academy for children in India aimed at educating and empowering beyond caste and religious boundaries; supported Nepal’s constitutional process by co-leading 40 lawyers from 4 countries to research and create a white paper on promoting access and education and inclusiveness; and founded and chaired Attorneys Tendering Legal Aid to Survivors of Trafficking. Tianne has done extensive legal work in mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, securities, and corporate governance for Fortune 500 companies. She simultaneously volunteered her time in government as an invitee to the Wisconsin Governor’s Women’s Roundtable to address key and emerging issues facing the state; and in the not-for-profit sector, charged with creating and developing a world class health education center in Wisconsin.
Tianne received her Law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School; her Certificate of Achievement in Non-Profit Management from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; and her B.S. in Business Administration, Finance, and Marketing from Marquette University.
An avid cycler, sailor, traveler, and theatre buff, Tianne enjoys the vibrant city life of her hometown, Chicago.
Ending the global epidemic of drowning requires experience in public health, international relations, and the law combined with an in-depth understanding of the research and data analysis requirements needed to make the case for program assessment and financial intervention.
Amy brings extensive research and analytic skills and 20 years combined experience in the fields of public health, international relations, and the law to the Board.
Although she began her professional life as a business litigator in Chicago, today Amy works at the intersection of public health research and practice. Amy is currently the Executive Director of Unite for Sight. Previously she had a joint appointment with the Yale School of Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). At the VA’s Pain, Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities, and Education (PRIME) Center of Excellence, Amy coordinated two multi-site hybrid studies which assessed the effectiveness of clinical interventions designed to improve chronic pain management. Prior to joining the VA, Amy worked as a global health consultant. In that capacity, she worked on a wide range of projects focusing on immunization, malaria, eye diseases, neglected infectious diseases, and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child (RMNCH) health. Through this work Amy gained an understanding of the challenges, key stakeholders, and public and private organizations operating in the global health arena. Amy has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals and has contributed to a leading Global Health textbook. Amy also dedicates substantial time to not-for-profit causes. She is a Board Member for the EverWonder Children’s Museum, Co-founder of Kid Safe Heart, and previously volunteered at Kevin’s Community Center, a local free medical clinic. She is also a Board Member of the International Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology, a member of the American Public Health Association’s Epidemiology Section, and a member of the American Public Health Association’s Gun Violence PreventionWorking Group.
Amy received her Masters of Public Health from Yale School of Public Health in Chronic Disease Epidemiology: Social and Behavioral Sciences; her J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Wisconsin Law School; and her M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. Her B.A. (magna cum laude) is in Political Science, from Barnard College.
A yoga devotee and global traveler, Amy currently lives in Connecticut.
Ending the global epidemic of drowning requires hands-on expertise in aquatic training, rescue, and safety; experience coordinating international efforts within the drowning prevention community; and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Dan has extensive and hands-on knowledge of open water safety and lifeguarding; swift water rescue; first responder medical skills; and mountain rescue. He also possesses the ability to translate that knowledge effectively to a wide audience while adapting his approach to different cultures. Dan has contributed to the development of the forthcoming WHO Companion Manual to the Global Drowning Report, the RLSS Commonwealth Pool Lifeguard Manual for LMICs, the RNLI Beach Lifeguard Manual (International); the Rescue 3 Swiftwater Rescue Technician - European Manual; and two chapters in the Handbook on Drowning: Prevention, Rescue, Treatment. He has works as a Technical Rescue Instructor and volunteered as a First Responder. A widely-respected water safety consultant for a number of organizations, Dan is also Secretary for the Working Group on Disaster Operation and Civil Protection and an elected member of the Rescue Commission of the International Lifesaving Federation. He is a Trustee of the Royal Lifesaving Society UK. He is also holds the portfolio for drowning prevention on the Executive Management Committee of the Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth. Dan is the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Co-Founder of Nile Swimmers which delivers innovative water safety programs in Sudan in partnership with several Ministries and large NGOs.
Dan received his LLB (Hons) in Law with French from The Manchester Metropolitan University and A Levels in English Language, French, History and Politics from King Edward VII Community College.
When not competing in Adventure Races or traveling to far-flung locales, Dan is currently based in Leicestershire in the UK.
Mark Oliverio - Treasurer
Ending the global epidemic of drowning requires experience in finance, business development and strategic planning with a commitment to children's education and welfare and supportive communities.
Mark Oliverio applies his considerable financial and business talents to both his career and his philanthropic endeavors.
Mark is currently the Senior Sales Executive at Finastra with additional Senior Mortgage Banker experience at JPMorgan Chase and PHH Home Loans. He brings broad financial and strategic experience through his previous work as Director of Business Development, developing and executing the business development strategy for North America, and account development and account executive work for New York Community Bankcorp and United Bankers Bank.
Mark's commitment to children's welfare is evident in his prior roles as Vice-President of NAEYC Chair for Hinsdale Community Preschool, including responsibility for the successful attainment of the school's NAEYC accreditation. Mark is a 1st Degree Brother of the Knights of Columbus, a global organization dedicated to principles of charity, unity and fraternity.
Mark received his Master's degree in Banking and Financial Services Management from Boston University and his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and General Business disciplines.
The father of four young children, Mark enjoys pool time with his family and manages to sneak in the occasional round of golf.
Ending the hidden global epidemic of drowning requires expertise in marketing, branding, and global communications, and the ability to translate concepts to a diverse global audience.
Cindy is a dynamic brand communications strategist and commodity category innovator, as well as an expert facilitator.
Cindy is currently Director of Marketing Capabilities at Tyson Foods. She has honed her skills at such firms as Leo Burnett, DDB, and The Keystone Group. A successful entrepreneur, Cindy has also run her own successful consulting firms developing breakthrough communication ideas for over 40 brands. She has led over 80 brand/agency teams in 25 countries in integrated marketing communication strategy development and has trained over 1,000 marketing professionals in over 25 countries. Her focus is on enabling strong partnership between marketers and their communication agencies and her areas of specialization include: integrated marketing communications, brand DNA, consumer insight and targeting; coaching; leadership development; and prioritized consumer targeting and insight. She has worked with some of the best known brands in the world, including: Kraft Heinz; Altria; Mars; SJ Johnson; McDonald’s Samsung; LinkedIn; Motorola; Yahoo and more. Cindy’s work has been honored by Cannes, the Effies, and countless Marketing Excellence committees for her clients.
Cindy received her B.A. in Marketing from the University of Illinois.
Cindy has traveled to over 40 countries, frequently incorporating such activities as climbing to the base camp of Mount Everest, scuba diving, and marathon running into her travels. Cindy maintains close proximity to an international air hub from her home in the Chicago area.
Dr. Julie Gilchrist— Secretary
Ending the global epidemic of drowning requires expertise in planning and directing studies of public health problems, including collecting and analyzing data through observations, interviews, surveys and samples.
Captain Julie Gilchrist, M.D., a pediatrician, was most recently the Medical Epidemiologist in the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Julie was responsible for research and programs in drowning prevention and water safety promotion, sports and recreation-related injury prevention, and other issues that primarily affect children, including choking, suffocation, ingestions and playground injuries. She also led efforts to educate clinicians regarding effective strategies to prevent falls among older adults. Dr. Gilchrist represented the Center for Disease Control at WaterSafety USA.
Dr. Gilchrist received her B.A. in Human Physiology and Sports Medicine from Rice University and her M.D. from UT Southwestern Medical School. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an epidemiology fellowship at the Center for Disease Control. She completed her career at the Center for Disease Control as a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service.
As global consistency in messaging, education and program delivery is critical to ending the epidemic of drowning, we have successfully recruited the cooperation of a worldwide network of experts. Make the Minute Matter’s Advisory Board brings together a diverse group of international water safety professionals who complement each other in their regional, cultural and practical knowledge. The fruitful collaboration of each advisor sharing their own insight and angle on the problem is the key to worldwide progress and success.
Denmark: Erik Bech, Danish Swimming Federation
Greece: Dr. Stathis Avramidis, Hellenic Center of Disease Control and Prevention
Ireland: John Connolly and Brendan Donohoe, The Lifesaving Foundation
Ireland: Roger Sweeney, Water Safety Ireland
Monaco: Xavier Archimbault, Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation
Norway: Torill Hindmarch, Norwegian Life Saving Society
Portugal: Ana Catarina Queiroga, Phd., Public Health Institute, University of Porto
Spain: Luis Miguel Pascual Gómez, Segovia Lifesaving
Spain: Prudencio Rojo, Spanish Association of Professional Lifesavers
UK: Tom Mecrow, Nile Swimmers
UK: Debbie Anne Turnbull, River and Sea Sense
Australia and Oceania
Australia: Dianne Montalto, Royal Lifesaving Society Australia
Ghana: Kwami Kpodoh, Ghana Lifesaving
Kenya: Job Kania, Kenya Lifesaving Federation
Mauritius: Viraj Ramharai, Surf Life Saving Mauritius
South Africa: Dyaya Sewduth and Dylan Tommy, Lifesaving South Africa
Uganda: Austin Dralega, Royal Life Saving Society Uganda
Bangladesh: Dr. Fazlur Rahman, Centre for Injury Prevention Bangladesh
India: Pradipta Ghosal, Life Saving Society of India
Sri Lanka: Christina Fonfé BEM, Worldwide Women’s Swimming Project
Sri Lanka: Wing Commander Michael DC Fonfe MBE, Swimlish International Float-and-Breathe Aquatic Survival Program
Thailand: Andrew Stenning, Swimsafe Sharks Thailand
Vietnam: Joanne Steward, Swim Vietnam
China: Anita Sharma, China International Swimming Teachers Association
Brazil and USA: Gabrielle Rose, Olympic Swimmer
Brazil: Dr. David Szpilman, Sociedade Brasiliera de Salvamento Aqua
Canada: Barbara Byers, Lifesaving Society
USA: Henry Reyes, ISLA
USA: Nadina Riggsbee, Drowning Prevention Network
USA: Chris Avila, Peublo of Isleta