Janel Jorgensen Addresses Swim Across America Family In Letter; Stepping Down As CEO In January


Olympian Janel Jorgensen is stepping down as CEO and President of Swim Across America after helping the organization grow exponentially since she took the job in 2005. Through Jorgensen’s leadership, Swim Across America helped raise millions of dollars for cancer research.

Jorgensen’s last day as CEO will be December 31, though she will stay with the organization in a different role. The new year will bring Rob Butcher as her replacement. Butcher is leaving his post as executive director of U.S. Masters Swimming, where he was successful in growing membership and helping increase exposure to a wide variety of people.

With today’s announcement of the change in leadership, Jorgensen has sent a letter to the Swim Across America family to thank her staff and supporters. She also details her future with Swim Across America.

To the Entire Swim Across America Family,
It is with strong mixed emotions that I write to let you know I will be stepping down as President and CEO, effective January 1, 2016. I have loved being a part of this special organization and this was an incredibly difficult decision for my family and me.

From the moment I stepped off the boat to participate in my first Nantucket swim over 25 years ago, I knew that Swim Across America was something unique. There was a “magic” to the people, their passion and their ability to have fun while doing something amazingly impactful. Since then, I have looked forward to every summer’s swim series; and I haven’t looked back.

Janel Jorgensen McArdle Swim Across America

Photo Courtesy: Janel Jorgensen McArdle

Thank you for trusting me with our amazing non-profit! It has been the most rewarding ten years of my life. I truly feel blessed to have leveraged the sport I love, worked with the most unbelievable people, and made a significant difference in the world of cancer care.

To the Board of Directors, thank you for all the years of supporting my ideas and believing in me every step of the way. To all of the Event Directors, you are in a league of your own. Your dedication and commitment to what we are doing is unparalleled and I am so thankful to SAA for bringing you into my life. To all of the dedicated swimmers, volunteers and donors, lives are being saved with your contributions and I hope we have done a good job of sharing the direct impact you make. To all of the doctors, cancer patients, survivors, and those we have lost, you’ve inspired me each and every day to be a better person and work a little harder…Lastly, to my incredible team that has been by my side over the years, Blake, Craig, Kay and Maggie, words cannot express my gratitude and love for each of you. Without you, SAA would certainly not have grown and impacted as many lives. I am truly going to miss the daily laughs, the inspiration, and the love you have given me.

We are incredibly fortunate to have Rob Butcher join us January 1st as our new CEO. I have known Rob for over ten years and there is no one in the industry that is better suited to take SAA to the next level. He has been the Executive Director of U.S. Masters Swimming for the past seven years, is a well respected leader and we are elated to have him join our team. While most of my time will now be spent with my family, I will remain involved in an executive position within SAA, assisting with its strategic direction. Click here to read the official press release.
Please join me in welcoming Rob to this inspirational and amazing organization! And again, thank you for all of your support over the years. I love forward to seeing many of you at SAA swims and events for many years to come.

With Gratitude,
Janel Jorgensen McArdle
President & CEO