Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Connecticut House honors industry's own

The Connecticut House of Representatives recently presented John Romano, owner of All American Pools & Spas in Norwalk, Conn., and national director of the Northeast Spa and Pool Association Region I, with a special proclamation recognizing him for his dedication to the pool and spa industry and for having been named Member of the Year in 2007 by NESPA. Connecticut House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero presented Romano with the award.

"This was a great honor for me and one that took me completely by surprise," says Romano. "It is a personal honor for me, but also a great honor for the pool and spa industry and for our efforts to bring licensing to the state of Connecticut."

Going To The Chapel, Er, Pool?

Couple takes the plunge (literally)

Forget walking down an aisle lined with roses. One couple slid down a 136-foot waterslide in Nikiski, Alaska, to greet the pastor who would marry them.

"I always would tell my students if I ever got married in Alaska, I was going to get married at the Nikiski pool," bride Joanne Wainwright told the Associated Press. Both Wainwright and her husband, Mark Confer, are dedicated to physical fitness. Wainwright, once a competitive swimmer, now coaches high school swimming.

The couple had a pool-shaped cake topped with a tiny bride and groom joined on a diving board, ready to jump in.

A Perfect '10'

Pleatco looking for the Perfect Pool Guy

Do you think you have what it takes to be the perfect pool guy? This March, Pleatco launched a nationwide search for "the one" who embodies perfection in many ways.

"We know the perfect pool guy exists," Pleatco CEO Howard Smith said in a statement. "We're looking for the perfect mix of pool maintenance expertise, flair for client service and engaging personality. The Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy knows maintaining pools for [his] clients is, in most cases, more than meets the eye."

Entries can be submitted online at www.pleatco.com or mailed in, and must be completed by July 1. Entries must include a photograph and 50-word testimonial, or a two-minute "imaginative" video showing why the nominee should be the winner.

The Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy will win a trip for two to Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas for the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo, Nov. 18-20, as well as Pleatco products and gifts worth more than $2,000.

Out and About

Western Pool and Spa Show, Long Beach, Calif.

"I hadn't been to the Western Show before, and I was really impressed. I think this was the best-attended show I've been to!" Kirstin Pires, editor.

"It was great to see the last show of the season so well-attended. I think both exhibitors and attendees left feeling that the event was a real positive experience. It'll never be the same, though, with Li'l Algy retiring. He'll be missed." Stan Chambers, west coast sales

Building A Better Tomorrow

Company surveys customers, raises awareness for safety

B&B Pool and Spa Center, Rockland, N.Y., conducted a survey late last year that revealed troubling results. Many area pool and spa owners were failing to meet New York and New Jersey state requirements for alarms and other safety equipment. Others didn't know if they were meeting the requirements or not.

The survey included questions about fences, gates, alarms, drains and drain covers. More than 68 percent of respondents reported that their doors were not equipped with ASTM-approved alarms, a New York State requirement. More than 55 percent reported having no alarms, and nearly 45 percent answered that they did not have ASTM-approved safety covers for their pools and spas.

"Safety should always be any owner's No. 1 concern, just as it is ours," says Bruce Bagin, co-owner of B&B. "Our survey made some owners newly aware of safety issues they had, while reminding others that they were overdue in attending to them." B&B plans to ramp up its consumer-education efforts based on the results of the survey, noting that "owners need to keep up with new requirements regarding pool equipment, such as the recent legislation in the state of New York requiring alarms," says Bagin. "These alarms are mandatory in new pools and spas, but for maximum safety, should also be installed in existing ones."

The company launched another survey this April focusing on educating customers about the layers of protection for pools and spas in an effort to get them better acquainted with the concept.

Warm Fuzzies

Olympic Hot Tub Company and the Seattle Humane Society recently joined forces to make pet adoption easier for the local community.

The Humane Society's MaxMobile parked all fours at Olympic this past winter and in April in an effort to give some furry critters a loving new home.

"Our customers loved the MaxMobile and we are looking forward to hosting them again," says Patty Fitzgerald Taylor, showroom manager. "We are grateful for the opportunity."

The MaxMobile is a bright yellow, 33-foot-long, custom-built mobile adoption and education center. "Max" is loaded with dogs, cats, and even rabbits, ready for on-the-spot adoption.

Going For Gold

Olympic trials pool a hot commodity

Every four years the opportunity presents itself to take part in Olympic history. As technology advances, big swim meets are no longer hampered by the locations of regular pools. Temporary competition pools, like the one AQUA wrote about in August 2004, are making it possible to bring world-class swimming competitions to virtually any arena. But once the crowds go home, what happens to the pool?

Swimming clubs are able to place a bid on the Olympic trials pool and bring a piece of the nation's best swimmers into their own neighborhood. With the 2008 Summer Games right around the corner, the bidding wars have begun, but only one can take home Olympic gold.

Earlier this year, AQUA spoke with Coach Steve Lochte of Daytona Beach Swimming in Florida about his plans to raise the money needed to purchase the warm-up pool. Lochte was excited about the potential to purchase the pool and turn his club into a world-class facility "at sea-level for international and national competition." But on April 25, the Poseidon Swimming Foundation in Richmond, Va., announced it purchased the pools manufactured by Myrtha Pools U.S.A./A&T Europe S.p.a.

After the trials are complete, the pools - a 50-meter competition pool and a 50-meter plus 25-meter warm-up pool - will be transported from Omaha, Neb., and installed at the new complex developed by Poseidon and the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club. The complex features four lighted turf soccer fields, two lighted natural fields and a state-of-the-art, full-scale aquatics center.

"The acquisition of these special pools brings our vision of a community sports complex closer to reality," Mary Doswell, president of Poseidon, told the Richmond Times Dispatch. "This complex, which will include world-class swimming and soccer facilities, will provide a place for our area youth to extend the development of the mind, body and spirit." The pools are made of stainless steel and PVC.