Laura Hamel, Director, Publications and Communications
Under her direction as editor-in-chief, SWIMMER was transformed from an outsourced association publication to one of the most cherished member benefits and a respected industry read, now published in-house at significant cost savings to the organization. Her team of talented editors, writers, designers, and photographers provide current health, fitness, and technique information to readers and bring to light fascinating stories within the diverse USMS membership.
In late 2009 Laura gathered several fledgling electronic newsletters under the STREAMLINES umbrella and has transformed them into must-read communication vehicles that connect members, coaches, volunteers, and staff. She works closely with USMS national committees to facilitate the exchange of information between the active volunteer network and the greater membership. From special communications for National Championship meet participants to maintaining editorial calendars that assist committees in prioritizing and publicizing their efforts, improved internal communications have increased functionality across the board for the organization.
Laura also oversees USMS social media and public relations campaigns, including our national April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month campaign, and works with outside media entities to promote Masters Swimming nationally. She is an integral part of building the USMS brand through video storytelling and social media platforms.
Laura’s previous experience includes writing, editing, and organizational consulting in a variety of industries, and a decade-long career in law enforcement. She has a bachelor of arts degree in organizational studies from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Originally from Northern California, Laura swam competitively until age 12, and then didn’t return to the pool until age 42. She’s been active with the Sarasota YMCA Sharks and Sharks Masters swim teams for more than a decade as a parent volunteer, USA Swimming official, swimmer, assistant coach, webmaster, and safety coordinator at open water events and triathlons. She is also a USMS-certified Level 3 coach and adult learn-to-swim instructor. Laura enjoys adventure swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, SCUBA diving, backpacking, dance, and music.