The CEO Publication: Littlehampton man gets global recognition for forward-thinking approach at STA

A forward-thinking approach has earned Littlehampton man Dave Candler global recognition for his work in the leisure industry.

As chief executive of the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA), Dave was selected as one of the Top 20 Dynamic CEOs of 2021 by The CEO Publication, a global business magazine.

The only chief executive on the list from the UK leisure industry, he was nominated in recognition of the work he has done to support the aquatics sector throughout the pandemic.

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Dave said: “I was truly shocked when The CEO Publication contacted me out of the blue and then invited me to be a part of this Top 20 feature.

Dave Candler, chief executive of STA, the Swimming Teachers' Association

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“Leisure, let alone swimming, is rarely featured in business accolades of this type, so it is a great honour for me personally, and for the STA and swimming in general, to be recognised in this way.”

Dave joined STA, a national governing body for swimming, in 2016, having previously worked at Littlehampton Swimming and Sports Centre, working his way up from an assistant and receptionist to centre manager.

The magazine aims to showcase some of the most prominent CEOs in the world, people who have not only transformed their lives but also the organisations they are leading and the lives of all those that surround them.

In the feature, published in the October edition, Dave said: “I believe STA’s key strength is that we are forward-thinking - we also listen, and are very responsive. Plus, all of our senior team members live and breathe leisure and they all have extensive experience of working in the industry.”

Having been involved in teaching swimming and leisure management for more than 25 years, Dave became STA’s youngest and longest-serving president. This allowed him to share his practical experience and influence the development of STA’s educational programmes.

He changed perceptions and forged partnerships that would help transform the future of the leisure industry.

Dave Lewis, STA president, said: “Dave’s commitment, drive and passion to the role and industry radiates through his work. His can do, upbeat attitude shines through daily and has had a positive impact on work ethic across the organisation.

“His superb communication skills have led to the organisation partnering with an array of organisations across the industry. In addition, I can honestly say he has inspired the company’s employees to work more effectively as a team.

“Dave is an innovator, someone who wants to lead the industry. He is not afraid of change or speaking out if it is for the greater good of the industry. He listens and cares.”