The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance officially launched April 1, unifying the former NSPF and APSP. While crucial details of the merger — who will lead the Alliance as permanent CEO, where the new headquarters will be located, what staff will be retained, how the two organizations will mesh their respective programs, etc. — have not been worked out, the paperwork of the historic union has been signed and the new organization is operating under PHTA as the umbrella.

In the months to come, the PHTA board expects to work through the details of unification and announce decisions as they are made.

Under the PHTA structure, trade and foundation activities are conducted separately for procedural and legal purposes, under the banners of The Pool & Hot Tub Professionals Association and The Pool & Hot Tub Foundation, respectively, all under a single Board of Directors to ensure sustained unity of mission and vision.

"Our industry has continued to evolve and grow. With the combined resources of the trade association and foundation, PHTA is poised to maximize our investments and talents for the greater good," says Lawrence Caniglia, interim CEO of PHTA. "Members will benefit from the full array of education, training, certification, advocacy, promotion, research, grantmaking and support services previously delivered by APSP and NSPF separately. But now, we have combined infrastructures, networks, affiliations and resources to provide the greatest value and impact."

"Through PHTA, we are seizing the opportunity to have a greater impact on the industry," says Jim Mock, interim executive director of the Pool & Hot Tub Foundation. "PHTA speaks with a single, united advocacy voice and is better positioned to protect the interests of the industry through an unprecedented and expanded network that includes both nationwide and international alliances and relationships."

The groups announced plans for the merger in January 2019, and on April 1, plans were solidified. With the mission to "Celebrate the Water," PHTA offers greater community benefits by facilitating the expansion of swimming, water safety, and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer, and keeping pools open to serve communities.

The PHTA Board of Directors held its first organizational meeting in mid-March to begin the longer-term process of integration, start the search for a permanent CEO, and determine staffing requirements and locations for core services and programs. Integration efforts will continue through 2019.

The Pool & Hot Tub Professionals Association is the 501(c)(6) trade organization managing certifications, standards, volunteer workforce opportunities, awards and member services, while The Pool & Hot Tub Foundation is the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization managing education, publications, research, fundraising and grantmaking.

Tags: PHTA news
Scott Webb is Executive Editor of AQUA Magazine.