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Meet our wonderful team!

Ready, Set, Swim Foundation

Rishona Hyman - Founder

Rishona Hyman, MA, MSW, is the founder of the Ready, Set, Swim! Foundation. She is the owner and founder of Aqua Essence Swim Academy, which she started 16 years ago in response to the demand she saw in her community for high quality swimming lessons. Today, Aqua Essence is a one-stop business for swimming, lifesaving, first aid, babysitting, and leadership courses. Prior to the full-time swimming business, Rishona worked in the area of mental health for 12 years in both the non-profit and private sectors. Rishona has always loved the water and the benefits that come from being in and around water. Rishona volunteers on a number of other non-profit boards and various committees, and is the president of the parent council at her children’s school.

Board Members

Lauren Hope is a high school teacher from Winnipeg and mother to two school-aged children. She is an enthusiastic volunteer and a passionate voice for social justice issues in her community and beyond. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Canadian Blood Services, the United Way, and with newcomers to our city.

Cristina Patterson is a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy and the University of Manitoba, where she earned a Bachelor of Commerce Honors degree in finance. She has lived and worked in Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary and St. Louis. She started her own bookkeeping business in 2005 and has a diverse, international client base. She has served as treasurer on a few non-profit organizations and enjoys volunteering her time. She is the proud mother of her four children.

Susan Riley manages a local real estate business and is a long time community volunteer with organizations as diverse as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC). She is the mother of two daughters, both of whom are strong swimmers thanks to formal lessons in their childhood. Giving back is a core personal value for Susan.

Maya Kotecha was born and raised in Winnipeg and is the cofounder and COO of Hoot Reading, an enterprising Manitoba startup. Previously, Maya was a senior executive at 24-7 Intouch and brings over 15 years of experience in marketing, sales and strategy. Maya holds a B.Sc from University of Manitoba and a B.B.A from Simon Fraser University. She has lived in Vancouver and Toronto and calls Winnipeg home where she lives, works and plays with her family and two children. She is passionate about paying it forward and giving back to her local community.

It takes a lot of people to keep Ready, Set, Swim – Foundation afloat.


We say a big THANK YOU to…

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Red River College – Creative Communication program
through which we accessed the skill and time of a senior student who guided our initial communication and marketing materials, and our online presence.

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Amanda Le Rougetel,
who helped us shape our key messaging
and our website content.


Trista Lachuta-Henzel,
who embraced our vision through the  creation of our visual identity, and put
the final touches to our website. 

Please Donate Today!

You have the ability to ensure that Ready, Set, Swim – Foundation continues to offer swimming lessons to children in your community. Please donate today!