Where Are They Now: Wendy Deacon Segrest

May 16, 2012

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Wendy Deacon Segrest
Swimming • 1985-89

Former Vanderbilt swimmer Wendy Deacon Segrest won the 100-yard backstroke in 1987 and was selected to the All-SEC team that same year. After graduating from Vanderbilt in 1989, Segrest earned her master's degree in exercise physiology from South Carolina in 1992.

Segrest has spent the last nine years residing in Dallas, where she resides with her husband and works for the American Heart Association. VUCommodores.com caught up with Segrest, who still follows the Commodores from afar.
VUCommodores.com: What is your current career?
Wendy Deacon Segrest: This is my ninth year working for the American Heart Association and I am currently the affiliate vice president of quality and systems improvement. I worked at the national office for five years and then moved into what is called a regional affiliate position three years ago.

This current role covers six states and we work to get our guidelines into practice with hospitals, EMS providers, physician medical organizations and the department of health.

Where did you work before the American Heart Association?
Before coming to the American Heart Association, a business partner and I had a consulting company for four years. Before that I worked in hospitals on cardiac preventative services and rehabilitative services.

How often do you travel with your job?
My region includes six states and I'm probably on the road 30-40 percent of the time with my job.

Do you still stay active despite all of your traveling?
I actually did the triathlon thing a couple of years back and was going and swimming and working regularly. But my travel schedule picked up in the last few months so I'm not swimming nearly as much as I used to.

I do run and bike a bit more just because it is a little bit easier, when you are traveling, to throw on your tennis shoes and run for 30 minutes. The travel has forced me into what I refer to as land-sport activity.

Do you ever make it back to Nashville?
I have been back twice. The last time was probably two years ago. One of my favorite things to do, even though I live in Texas, is to go to San Antonio Taco Company.

We had a regional meeting (in Nashville) with some of my peers coming in from across the U.S. and I told everyone to go to SATCO for lunch that day and it was great. I don't feel like it was really long ago when I was there as a student.

How much did your experience at Vanderbilt help you become the person you are today?
Life at Vanderbilt as a swimmer taught me so much with the development of all my time management skills. I still remember being able to balance my time to find a way to get my English paper done at 2 a.m. and still get up and practice the next day.

I learned a lot at Vandy, including a lot of lifelong habits that swimming helped foster. I'm just very grateful for my experience there.



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