In addition to the Awards of Excellence, APSP honors individuals who have made great strides to help better their communities and the industry at large. These awards include Certified Pool Builder of the Year, Certified Service Professional of the Year, industry Fellows, Young Professionals of the Year, Chapter of the Year and, for the first time, the Retailer of the Year.
CBP of the Year
Guy Larsen, President,
Mid America Pool & Spa Show
To say Guy Larsen has left a mark on the pool and spa industry would be an understatement. His service dates back to NSPI, and since then, he has been continuously involved with APSP, SPEC, CPSA and FPSIE — between them, he's held a collective 28 distinct positions, some for multiple terms.
Since the early '90s, Larsen has been a speaker for various education tracks, including CSP and CBP courses, Builders Institute courses as well as manufacturer training for Pentair, Zodiac, Polaris, Hayward, PoolCorp and many more. As the owner of Mid America Pool & Spa Shows, he's held a powerful role in shaping the careers of thousands of industry pros by providing industry education, APSP education and networking opportunities for 16 years and counting.
CSP of the Year
Rebecca Smith, CEO,
Splash Pool Management Company, Dallas, Ga.
Rebecca Smith of Splash Pool Management Co. in Dallas, Ga., has been named the Certified Service Professional of the year. Smith is a longtime APSP member and has maintained an active presence in the association on both national and local levels. One of the highlights of her service with APSP's Georgia Chapter is helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfill more wishes from children in need.
Retailer of the Year
Pla-Mor Pools, Mechanicsville, Va.
For more than 30 years, Jennifer Clements of Pla-Mor Pools has made it her mission to do her best by her business, her local community and the industry at large. When she joined Pla-Mor in 1985, the company was rooted in construction — but Clements had been "bitten by the retail bug," says Lonza's North Region Sales Manager Luke Stautzenbach, who nominated her for the award. By developing a sales approach that emphasized customer education, Clements helped Pla-Mor quickly develop a reputation as a top retailer in the Mechanicsville area.
Clements and her family have a long history of working with local charities and causes. Among them are the Salvation Army's Holiday Cheer & Gear program, which provides sports equipment to young boys and girls; The Robinson Center, which supports families in Richmond, Va.; and TheLink, an organization that sends aid to Niger, the poorest country in the world. Clements and her husband are also active in their church, and served as marriage mentors for more than a decade.
Clements is a recognized voice in the industry. She has served on Lonza's Dealer Council and currently serves as vice chairman of the APSP Retail Council.
Chapter of the Year:
Arizona may be a year-round swim state, which certainly keeps its pool and spa professionals busy, but the members of the Central Arizona chapter of APSP have nevertheless worked tirelessly behind the scenes on standards, legislation, water safety and more.
The spirit of collaboration is one of the chapter's founding principles. In addition to a strong relationship with IPSSA, chapter leaders have forged connections with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the Ceramic Tile and Stone Association of Arizona. Central Arizona has partnered with both on events, education and a mutually beneficial referral program.
Among the chapter's crowning achievements is the "Buy a Heart. It's a Start. Swimming Lessons Save Lives" program, which has raised $4,098 for the YMCA. The funding covered the cost of swimming lessons for 81 children.
The Central Arizona chapter is also investing in the future of the industry by actively promoting the profession to high school juniors and seniors and serving on an advisory board at a local technical college. The next step: developing an adult education curriculum to train current and future pool pros.
APSP Fellows are peer-nominated leaders whose efforts have shaped the pool and spa industry for the better.
Dick Dal Pino, CBP,
Dal Pino Quality Pools
Dick Dal Pino has had a long, illustrious career in the pool and spa industry. After opening his business in 1985, he joined NSPI and started taking an active role in the Sacramento chapter. He would climb the ranks of NSPI, heading the Sacramento chapter as its president for three terms and serving on other councils and boards, including the NSPI Reorganization Committee. Among his proudest achievements, however, is raising his daughter Alexa, who has since taken the helm at the family business — and is one of this year's Young Professionals of the Year, too.
Senior Chemical Engineer,
Michael McCague is a tremendous advocate of safety and education in the hot water industry. In his role as chairperson for the IHTA Engineering Committee, he has played an essential role in writing standards, updating education and maintaining safety and regulatory items for the hot tub industry. Most recently, McCague worked with the British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association to write its standard, and he also worked with a team to assist on the rewrite of IEC 60335.
Vice President — Engineering, Master Spas
For 15 years, Nathan Coelho has worked diligently to support, protect and educate the hot water industry. When the IHTA formed in 2008, Coelho was a founding member of the Engineering Committee and served as its chairperson for eight years. He's known for his instrumental part in writing numerous standards, including ANSI/APSP/ICC 6 and ANSI/APSP/ICC 14. "He is unselfish with his time and unwavering in his commitment to promote a safe hot water industry," writes Kristin Woiteshek, general manager of Nordic Hot Tubs and IHTA chairperson.
Young Professionals of the Year
APSP's Young Professionals of the Year are honored for their commitment to the industry and exemplify excellence in the next generation of pool and spa professionals.