In The News: November 5, 2009

A Perfect Pair

Pleatco 110509Congratulations to Pamela Del Secco, Diamond Pool Service, San Carlos, Calif., and Gene Catrini, Lasting Impressions Pool and Spa, Royal Palm Beach, Fla., for being dubbed the 2009 Pleatco Perfect Pool Gal and Guy.

Winning the Perfect Pool Guy has confirmed for Catrini that he's doing what he should be in life, he says. "When I started in the business, I had a job, then I had a business, and now I have a passion."

Del Secco, who joined the industry a little later in life, says she loves the business and wishes she had started a bit earlier. "I take great pride in my work and go above and beyond in all I do. I would like to see more women in the industry, and I hope that seeing my story would help encourage other women to get into the business."

While more than 300 entries flooded the Pleatco offices, only two could be chosen to take the reigns from last year's king and queen. Other winners included: Jonathan Sexton, Big Heart Award; Sam Ionna, Lifetime Achievement; Bill Watson, Industry Leadership; and Joshua McPherson, Most Creative Entry. Pleatco also announced the Runner-Up Finalists: Paul Labella, Matthew Meredith, Les Greenfield, Matt Walraven, Mari Lange, MJ Pritchett, Zac Ackerman, Jennifer Angevine, Elle Boomfield, Larry Sniezek, Rico Soria and Todd Grealy.

"From all of us here at Pleatco, thank you to everyone who entered, nominated and voted in the [contest]," says Howard Smith, Pleatco's chief executive officer. "We have been truly overwhelmed by the quality of the hundreds of nominated entrants and the thousands of votes cast. The entries were extremely powerful and heartfelt from across the nation."

Del Secco and Catrini will receive a trip for two to Las Vegas for the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo later this month where they will receive their awards and be the guests of honor at the Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy/Gal dinner. They also will receive $1,000 in Pleatco Premium Filter Cartridges with REEMAY Microban anti-microbial protection, and they will star in the company's nationwide follow-up campaign. Pleatco will also fly the other winners to Las Vegas for the show and awards dinner.

Entries for the 2010 contest will start being accepted early next year. Contestants can enter themselves or be nominated. Applications must include a photograph, a 50-word testimonial or a two-minute "imaginative" video showing why they are worth the crown. Visit www.pleatco.com for more information.

MAAX Spas Acquires DM Industries And Vita Spas

Vita Spa Logo 110509MAAX Spas Industry Corporation has recently acquired the assets of DM Industries and the Vita Spas brand.

The consolidation is a positive move, says Emil Nygard, vice president of sales and marketing for MAAX. "At the peak of the marketplace, North American manufacturers made somewhere around 450,000 units. And depending on who you are talking to this year, whether it's suppliers or retailers, we made somewhere between 120,000 and 160,000 units.

"So we are thinking that many of the manufacturers that were in business aren't going to be able to sustain themselves. And we think that the industry is probably going to be going through some consolidation."

Nygard points out that consolidation has already affected the likes of electronic suppliers, pump manufacturers, jet companies and retailers, so it's only inevitable that hot tub manufacturers would be the next ones in line.

"Hopefully you'll see more of this," says Nygard. "The stated objective of our parent company, Brookfield Assets, is to be one of the lead consolidators of this industry, if they can. We still have the manufacturing capacity and are still looking at what other deals can be made.

Maax Spas 2 C Logo 110509"Hopefully other manufacturers that are in a position to do so will look at the opportunities to consolidate. We don't need all the buildings and plants anymore, but hopefully we can sustain the business through the brands and selling activities."

Vita has a successful history in the industry, says Nygard, so it's only fitting that MAAX keeps the Vita brand going for the customers who'd still like to buy it, as they've invested in it and believe in it.

In an effort to maximize efficiency on the operations end, Vita Spas will be manufactured in the Chadler, Ariz., facility MAAX Spas already owns.

"The plant here in Arizona is underutilized in terms of capacity," says John Johnson, president and general manager of MAAX. "Financially, it makes more sense for us to do business here, to run production here and to get the volumes through the plant and better utilization of this plant before we start looking to expand to other plants."

Johnson hopes to have Vita up and running out of the Arizona plant on or before Jan. 1, 2010.

Industry Happenings

APi, a specialty chemical company in Jupiter, Fla., has hired Michael Moore to join the company's management team to lead the sales and marketing efforts. Moore brings more than 20 years of experience in the industry, most recently as the vice president of marketing for Advantis Technologies, which supplies some of the industry's leading chemical brands, including Leisure Time, GLB Pool & Spa, Super Blue and Ultima.

"We are very excited to have Michael on board and look forward to his immediate impact on our organization," says Jim Stuart, president of APi.

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