Coach Charlie Kennedy

During Charlie’s 35 years as Head Coach, the program has grown from 25 swimmers to over 200 swimmers. In 2019 Charlie was voted NCSA Coach of the Year. He was voted “Age Group Coach of the Year” by the American Swim Coaches Association and also “Age Group Coach of the Year” by Speedo.  Within the Mid-Atlantic region, Charlie was awarded "Senior Coach of the Year" and "Age Group Coach of the Year."

A nationally ranked swimmer at Suburban Swim Center and the University of Iowa, Charlie uses his first-hand experience to help swimmers meet the challenges of this demanding sport. His emphasis on proper technique permeates the entire program.

During the last 35 years, many of his swimmers have achieved numerous rankings and championships: High School Champions, Jr. National’s qualifiers and champions, Sr. National qualifiers and champions, U.S. Open champions, World Rankings, World Champions, Olympic Trials qualifiers, World record holders, and Olympics Champions.

Tara Bolivar, Team Manager

Tara grew up swimming in New England for Shawmut Aquatic Club based in Framingham, Massachusetts, Framingham South High School and Northeastern University. During her career she competed at a national level, was New England age group and senior level champion, and record holder, Bay State Games champion, and record holder and was a 4-time MIAA state champion, and state record holder. She was awarded to the Boston Herald high school all-scholastic team and Boston Globe high school all-scholastic team for the 4 years she competed for Framingham South High School. Attending Northeastern University, she competed as an Academic All-American and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training.

Upon graduating from Northeastern, Tara became a Certified Athletic Trainer, working as an outreach Athletic Trainer at Upper Merion High School and various semi-professional sports teams in the Philadelphia area. Tara has been coaching at a USA swim club level for 20 years and prior to that time coached for a summer club in Massachusetts. In addition to coaching, Tara has been a swim instructor for all ages and ability levels for a variety of swim school facilities in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Currently she coaches at SSC primarily working with the Silver, Senior and National training groups.

Ray Horn 

Ray Horn swam for Charlie Kennedy at Suburban. A graduate of Interboro High School and well known swimmer in the Delaware Valley, Ray comes from a family of swimmers. Ray assists Coach Charlie with the Senior level swimmers and has worked for Suburban for nearly two decades.

Svetlana Panayotova

Svetlana has coached at the club level and high school level for the past 30 years. For the last 19 years she has coached at Suburban with a focus on the mini teams and younger swimmers.

She earned her Masters in Physical Education from The National Sport Academy of Bulgaria. While in Bulgaria, Svetlana earned many national titles, which qualified her for the “Master of the Sport” degree. She is also a coach at Saint Albans Swim and Tennis Club since 2000.

Andrew Austria

Andrew Austria is a proud alumnus of the Dover Dolphins YMCA. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Sports Management and has been coaching at Suburban for five years. Andrew is our in-house Meet Director and focuses on running successful events. Coach Andrew is an Assistant Coach for the Academy of Notre Dame High School swim team.  In his free time he can be found working at an insurance company.

Mira Fessl

Mira was born and raised in Austria and just recently moved to the United States. She comes from a family of 8 and spent most of her time growing up at the pool deck. Her parents run a swim team back in Austria, where Mira had been coaching from 2010 to 2019. What started as a high school summer job, grew into a true profession and soon, she had worked herself up to being the Head Coach of the age group swimmers. Her philosophy: Swimming is a school for life. During the day she is a passionate Early Childhood Education Teacher and, in the evening, you can find her on the SSC pool deck.

Anne Gavin

Coach Anne is a graduate of Princeton University and has 19 years of coaching experience. Anne is the Head Coach of Martins Damn in the summer and works with our senior level swimmers throughout the winter.

Erica Meissner

Erica started swimming at age 7 after showing a general lack of interest in sports requiring hand-eye coordination. She readily embraced her new life in the water and quickly grew to see success at the local, regional, national, and collegiate levels under the tutelage of world-renowned coaches such as Richard Quick, Brett Hawke, and Don Lemieux. Erica competed in her first Olympic Trials in 2004 and was a finalist in the 200 backstroke. Later that year she won the US Open in the same event and represented the United States on the National Junior Team. Erica finished her career at Auburn University (Auburn, AL) and served as a captain of the team in her senior year. During her time at Auburn, Erica was a semi-finalist at the 2008 Olympic Trials and a finalist and semi-finalist at the 2008 and 2009 NCAA championships. As a student-athlete, Erica was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship and received post-graduate scholarships from Auburn University, the SEC, and the NCAA. These scholarships funded her post-graduate work at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, United Kingdom).

Erica found herself coaching poolside while a graduate student and has held various coaching positions since then. Her most recent coaching experience was as a program coach with The Capital Sea Devils (Washington, D.C.). Her expertise primarily lies in coaching swimmers on posture, line, and body awareness, and teaching athletes in positive self-talk and in tapping their “next gear”. She is thrilled to join SSC and to continue to learn about the evolving sport of swimming under SSC’s seasoned coaching staff.

When not on deck, you can find her working as a multifamily affordable housing developer up and down the east coast. Her fiancé, Chris, and her cat and dog otherwise keep her busy with laughs, adventures, and messes to clean up after. 


Alyssa Myers

Alyssa starting coaching at SSC in 2016. She first began coaching at Rose Tree Woods Swim Club and Knowlton Swim Club. She swam at Suburban for 7 years and continued to swim at Widener University for 2 years. Alyssa is currently at Widener for Physical Therapy.  Alyssa is looking forward to another great year at Suburban!

Kristin Nelson

At the age of six, Kristin began swimming at a local summer swim club in Maryland. Taking to the sport, her summer coach suggested she swim over the winter at a nearby YMCA. The recommendation was a natural transition and she quickly became a year round swimmer. As Kristin continued swimming she grew in the sport. By age 13 she was representing her team at YMCA nationals and junior nationals.

Summer going into her freshman year of high school, Kristin and her family moved to Pennsylvania where she began swimming for a local YMCA and West Chester East High school. While swimming for East, Kristin had notable achievements which included competing and placing at both the PIAA District 1 and State level. She was a member of the District 1 championship team in both 1998 & 1999 and named Daily Local News athlete of the year in 1999, her senior year. Kristin also continued her YMCA swimming career, qualifying and placing at YMCA nationals her freshman through junior year. During her senior year of high school Kristin decided to switch clubs and swim for Suburban. Under coach Charlie, Kristin continued to excel reaching junior national standards. With Charlie’s coaching and guidance she was able to go on to swim at the Division One level. Throughout the duration of her college career Kristin returned to SSC to swim under Charlie during school breaks and summers. Since competitively swimming, Kristin has coached at a number of summer and US clubs bringing diverse experience. 

Coach Alex

Coach Alex grew up swimming under Coach Charlie's direction. She was an Olympic trial qualifier in the 2016 Olympics and holds many records throughout the region. 

Missy Turner

Missy grew up in Delaware County swimming at Lansdowne Pool in the summers and at age 11 joined Suburban Seahawks. Soon to become a Charlie Kennedy favorite, Missy excelled quickly and earned a spot on the National Team. Missy went on to shine at West Virginia University, winning the 200 Butterfly as a freshman in the Big East Conference Championship Meet. Loved by all her teammates, Missy was team Captain her Senior Year and graduated with a BA in Communications.

After graduation, Missy worked in Corporate Recruiting and Human Resources, but she couldn’t resist returning to swimming as a full time coach. Missy is still involved with Lansdowne Pool during the summers, where she coaches and inspires all swimmers to have fun and enjoy the sport. Suburban was lucky to welcome back Missy in 2018 to coach Bronze, Developmental and the Mini Team. She is thrilled to be back on deck with Charlie and working with amazing co-workers. In her spare time Missy enjoys family time with her husband Brian, three boys Brady, Colten and Peyton, and their lovely daughter Blake.