PERFORMANCE. PASSION. EXCELLENCE. TRADITION.

Coach Charlie Kennedy, Head Coach

During Charlie’s 39 years as Head Coach, the program has grown from 25 swimmers to over 250 swimmers. Charlie is one of three coaches being inducted into the 2021 ASCA Hall of Fame. 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 and Assistant to Head Coach

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.

Tara is our Team Manager and supports and oversees Coach Charlie's programming and applies coach management. Currently Tara coaches the Senior Silver and Senior Gold training groups.

Joanna Murphy, Director

Joanna Murphy joined Suburban in 2019. Having swam for Coach Charlie in her younger years she returned "home" to work with the organization with her twenty years of experience in Non Profit Management and Accounting. Joanna was raised as a "pool rat" being the youngest of a multi-generational family involved with swimming. She coached both summer and winter programs during college. Joanna works with the facility, board, coaches, swim team and programming to continue Suburban's mission of producing good swimmers and good people. Joanna is a graduate of Neumann University, Drexel University and the proud mother of 6 children. Joanna coaches the Pre-Team and teaches private lessons. In her spare time she can be found cheering for everyone!

Coaching Staff

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 or on the golf course.

Stefanie Coladonato

Stefanie began her swimming career at Hidden Hollow Swim Club in elementary school when her family first moved to the Media area. Stefanie swam for SSC for nearly 10 years under the direction of Charlie Kennedy, while swimming, coaching, and lifeguarding for Hidden Hollow Swim Club. She was also the co-captain for the Penncrest High School Swim Team. After graduating Penncrest, Stefanie went to Penn State where she obtained her masters degree in accounting and obtained her CPA license shortly after. She now works at PwC within their assurance practice with a focus on financial statement auditing within the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry. In her spare time, she continues to remain active whether it be biking, swimming, running, going to the gym, or walking her dog, Faith. As Stefanie remains passionate about swimming and is grateful for all that she's gotten out of SSC's program, she hopes to have those individuals currently in the program feel the same.

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.

Ed Hanway

Ed Hanway grew up swimming for Coach Charlie and Cardinal O'Hara High School. He is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland with a BBA in Accounting. Ed operates State Farm Insurance in Media. [email protected] Coach Ed met the love of his life, Coach Missy Feehery and together they have four children. In his spare time Coach Ed enjoys golfing and beach. Ed is our Bronze level age group coach but also coaches within other groups. His detail for technique but strong presence on deck provides an outstanding role model for these young swimmers.

Melissa Hanway

Missy Hanway grew up swimming at Springfield Swim Club, Cardinal O'Hara and with the YMCA programs. Missy's best childhood memories were made through swimming. Coach Missy met some of her closest friends and appreciates every coach who developed her love of swimming. Missy met a handsome young man who swam for Coach Charlie at Suburban named Ed Hanway. They married and have 4 children named Brian, Jon, Tim and Cassie. When not coaching, Missy enjoys being a Mom and attending her kids Baseball, Football and Basketball games. She enjoys horse shows, golf matches, and swim meets! 

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.

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 started 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 a graduate of Widener University and works as a Physical Therapist.  Coach Alyssa is a key part of the team working with many of our tweens and teens as they prepare to advance on to more challenging levels. 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.  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 named Daily Local News athlete of the year in 1999, her senior year. Kristin qualifyied and placed at YMCA nationals her freshman through junior year. During her senior year of high school Kristin switched to 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. 

Ashley Suchecki

Coach Ashley has a passion for swimming and swam competitively for 14 years.  Ashley was the Swim Team Captain for Gettysburg College and used her skills in the water to help drive her career in digital advertising. Prior to joining the Suburban Seahawks Swim Club, Ashley spent 10 years at Comcast creating, developing, and managing sales teams as the Senior Director of Digital Advertising Sales.  Ashley applied the skills, she had learned in the pool of discipline, perseverance and team comradery to help drive her career at Comcast.  After having 4 children, she decided to turn back to the pool and focus on helping youth swimmers continue to develop and find their passion. Ashley holds a BA in psychology from Gettysburg College, an MA in Communication from Villanova University and an Executive Leadership Degree from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. 

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.