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 memorialize the type of contribution that Paulette made to our community.”

Pitrak started her career in the pool and spa industry as the director of education with NSPI in 1988. In 1998, she joined NESPA. During her tenure, she was known as a pioneer in industry education, as well as a friend to many. She passed away in November 2016 at age 64.

“She was behind all the educational programs that came out of NESPA,” Gorlin says. This includes all the educational offerings NSPA held at its headquarters in Hamilton, N.J., as well as the more than 70 courses taught at The Pool and Spa Show in Atlantic City, N.J.

“She knew how to connect with people,” Gorlin says. “Not just communicate with people, but how to connect.”

To start, the task force is looking into several preliminary ideas, including potentially building a dog park in Pitrak’s honor.

For more information, or to contribute your thoughts and ideas, please contact Gorlin at sgorlin@gorlinpools.com.