Dick Abare embodies the "love what you do" mentality — even after an impressive 45 years in the...
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Veteran pool and spa pros have survived the Great Recession, successfully battled online competition and kept pace with the rapidly evolving technological landscape. The next hurdle, however, is especially steep: finding young leaders to replace them.
Fortunately, APSP has identified a budding class of young professionals who have proven the future of the industry is in capable hands. Take a look at the winners of the 2018 Young Professionals award below — these are the names you’re sure to see more of in the future.
RELATED: Finding the Next Generation
Erik TaylorChlorine King Pool ServiceSeminole, Fla.
With just three years under his belt, Erik Taylor is quickly becoming a household name in the pool and spa industry. Through his YouTube channel, podcast and article contributions to AQUA, he has helped thousands of industry professionals sharpen their management skills and make their businesses more lucrative. In his work as an unofficial ambassador to the pool and spa industry, Taylor has made it his personal mission to help his fellow professionals (even his direct competition) and elevate our industry's profile in the eyes of the public.
Mallory WachowskiDesRochers Backyard Pools and SpasWilmington, Ill.
Since joining DesRochers in 2006, Wachowski has quickly established herself as a standout in the retail industry. Her reputation as a creative, passionate leader is evidenced not only by her efforts at DesRochers — marketing, sales, social media, management and more, she does it all — but also on the national level. As vice chair of APSP's Retail Council, she collaborates with fellow retailers and manufacturers to create programs and opportunities for pool and spa retailers nationwide. Supporting the future of the industry is also a priority for Wachowski; she mentors fellow up-and-coming millennials and writes about the subject on her blog, Mindful Millennial Manager.
Stephen Neville CBP, CSP, PPSOIsland Construction CorporationDel Mar, Calif.
For more than 17 years, Neville has been highly active in the industry, primarily in the commercial segment. With APSP, he serves as chair of the Builders Council, sits on the Commercial Council, is a voting member of the Technical Committee and serves as vice president of APSP's Southern California Chapter. Educationally, he boasts a well-rounded background of certifications, including CBP, CSP and PPSO through APSP; a B.S degree in criminal justice; and CPO, AFO and NPC startup certifications. As former APSP President and CEO Rich Gottwald writes, "Stephen is the model of an engaged and active member, and the future of APSP depends on members like him."
George BarnettKB Custom PoolsBee Cave, Texas
George Barnett has been a part of the pool and spa industry for 14 years, rising from a designer with Blue Haven Pools to owning his own successful company, KB Custom Pools, for 10 years running. His crowning achievement has been taking KB Custom Pools from a grassroots, "knocking on doors" beginning and turning it into a $2.5 million company in under 10 years. He is also dedicated to giving back and is working on developing a nonprofit to help children learn to swim at a young age.
The rank of APSP Fellow is an honor bestowed on prominent individuals who have made distinguished contributions that raise professionalism in the aquatic community through teaching, research and/or exemplary service to others. Nominees for the rank of APSP Fellow are also evaluated on their professional accomplishments and their commitment to the values honored by the APSP Fellows Program.
The Awards of Excellence is just one component of APSP's awards program. Additionally, the organization offers special honors for individuals who have made their mark on the industry. These honors include CBP of the year, CSP of the Year, Retailer of the Year, Chapter of the Year, Young Professionals of the Year and APSP Fellows. The winners below were nominated by their peers and represent the best of the best our industry has to offer. Bravo!
Each year, hundreds of accomplished pool designers and builders enter their best projects into APSP's Awards of Excellence competition. In the past two weeks, we've shown you dozens of amazing examples of this work with the Bronze- and Silver-winning entries. Now, we're revealing the Gold winners.
Among the 15 winners below you'll find several vanishing edges on precipitous perches, a pool with a concrete grotto crowned with fire effects, a glass-tiled...
At last year's PSP Expo in Orlando, APSP met to gauge interest in developing a group that would focus on the commercial side of the pool and spa industry.
The response was overwhelming. The event played out to a standing-room-only crowd, with a vigorous exchange of ideas among all assembled.
“As we continued on in that meeting and asked questions of what people were interested in, we found a great alignment within the entire industry,” says Donna Williams, chief marketing...