• Adolph Kiefer: A Life Aquatic

    by Eric Herman July 2017

    When Adolph Kiefer passed away at his home May 5 in Wadsworth, Ill., at age 98, the world of aquatics lost one of its most enduring icons. Among his many accolades: at the time of his death, Kiefer was America’s oldest living Olympic champion.

    He rose to fame at age 17 at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, known as “the Nazi Olympics,” where he won the gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke. Hitler shook his hand in congratulation, but Kiefer later said that if he had known what...

  • Founder of Insulated Pool Kits Passes Away at 74

    by AQUA Editors June 2017

    Richard W. Rowland, founder and former owner of Insulated Pool Kits in Calif, passed away March 31 after a long illness. He served as a military frogman from 1960-61 and is a Master Mason of 40 years. Rowland was 74 when he passed.

    “He built his first pool in the '70s in Enid, Okla., then built pools for his buddies in the oil industry,” says Rowland’s wife, Jeffrie. “From there he got in the...

  • Anthony & Sylvan Pools Mourns Founder Herman Silverman

    by AQUA Editors June 2017

    Anthony & Sylvan Pools announced that one of its founders, Herman Silverman, died at his home in Middletown, Pa., on Wednesday, May 31 at the age of 97.

    Silverman’s first foray into swimming pool building was in his own backyard. After hearing about his backyard pool – something only the wealthy enjoyed – people started...

  • NESPA Establishes Task Force to Honor Paulette Pitrak

    by AQUA Editors March 2017

    NESPA, with the help of APSP and NSPF, is establishing a task force to memorialize longtime Deputy Executive Director Paulette Pitrak — and needs your help.

    The task force, established by Steve Gorlin of Gorlin Pools and Spas (Lakehurst, N.J.) has a simple mission: To commemorate the many contributions Pitrak made over her 20-year career in the pool and spa industry.

    “We’re looking for ideas,” Gorlin says. “We’re looking for any type of an idea that would properly honor and...

  • Remembering Don Burns

    by William N. Rowley March 2017

    When Don Burns passed away in early March, the industry lost one its finest and most successful government advocates. It was wonderful reading all of the sentiments about Don; he was truly one of our very best. In the aftermath of his passing, there was, however, something missing. Not much at all was said about his specific legislative...

  • In Memoriam: Buck Hall of Lonza Water Treatment

    by AQUA Editors March 2017

    Buck Hall, who served for 13 years as senior director of sales for Lonza Water Treatment’s Pro Dealer business, passed away February 23 of cardiac arrest. He was 62.

    A 26-year pool industry veteran, Hall joined Arch Chemicals to lead the Pro Dealer sales team in 2004. (Lonza acquired Arch in 2011.) As the senior director of sales, Hall was responsible for developing and directing the implementation of the HTH Water Products sales and marketing strategy for the poolife brand in the...

  • In Memoriam: Don Burns, Former CPSA Executive Director

    by AQUA Editors March 2017

    Don Burns, former executive director of the California Pool and Spa Industry Education Council (formerly SPEC, now known as CPSA), passed away early Tuesday morning from heart complications.

    In his 30-year tenure as the head of CPSA, Burns made it his mission to advocate for industry professionals not just in California, but nationwide. He had a keen...

  • In Memoriam: NESPA’s Paulette Pitrak

    by AQUA Editors November 2016

    Paulette Pitrak, deputy executive director for the Northeast Spa & Pool Association, passed away Nov. 18 after a courageous battle with leukemia. She was 64.

    Paulette first entered the pool and spa industry in 1988 as director of education for the National Spa and Pool Institute. She joined NESPA in 1998 where she worked tirelessly across a wide range...

  • In Memoriam: John Johnson

    by AQUA Editors May 2016

    Longtime pool and spa industry veteran John Johnson has passed away after a short bout with cancer at his home in Los Alamitos, California at the age of 74.

    After leaving the Navy in the late '60's, Johnny spent his entire career in the pool and spa business. In his early years he worked for Lochinvar, American Products and The Len Gordon Company among others. In the early '90's John founded J & J Sales and over the last 25 years orchestrated sales efforts for multiple companies...

  • In Commemoration: Monica Ransom

    by AQUA Editors June 2015

    It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our good friend and co-worker Monica Ransom, after a short bout with brain cancer, in Long Beach on June 4th. Monica was an important part of the AQUA Show staff for 15 years from 1992 until its sale in 2006. 

    Monica started with AQUA in 1990, and when the AQUA Show began in 1992, she was instrumental in running the California office. After the sale of the Show,...