In The News: July 29, 2010

A Clearer Alternative

A Clearer AlternativeIn speaking with some of the industry's top cellulose fiber distributors, one fact is touted more often than others: its biodegradable and non-toxic makeup mark cellulose fiber filter media as a finer filter alternative. They believe that when given a choice between cellulose and the more common players - DE, sand and cartridge - cellulose will always prove to be the best bet, not only for clear, pristine water, but for the environment.

Read more about cellulose fiber filters.

Meeting At The Summit

Meeting At The SummitThis past June, more than 120 industry insiders met in Arlington, Va., at the APSP Industry Summit, a reinvention and renewal of the leadership conferences of the late '90s and early 2000s, says Richard Garbee, vice president of sales and marketing for GLI Pool Products.

"As important as anything," says Garbee, "we really wanted to bring industry leaders together to begin, I stress begin, a collaborative discussion as to how our industry can grow coming out of these challenging economic times. In addition, with the pace of change occurring as quickly as it is, we felt that it would be valuable to expose the group to a variety of key topics of the day."

According to Garbee, the Summit goals included gaining insight and understanding of how external changes will affect our industry; developing plans as individual companies and as a trade association to deal with the changes; providing a forum for industry leaders to learn from each other and other experts; and encouraging industry participation in APSP activities.

"I personally was very pleased with how engaged these senior-level executives were at all levels of the summit," adds Garbee. "We have a lot of great brain power in this industry. The challenge is harnessing it to help the industry as a whole, not as decentralized entities focused on each individual business, but driven to enhance an industry that is generational in all channel segments."

The future looks bright for another Summit, says Lauren Stack, APSP staff liason.

"The event was so well received that another summit is definitely being considered by the event's sponsor, the APSP Manufacturers Council. The Council feels that the optimal frequency for this type of event is every 18 to 24 months. However, given that sales of new pools and hot tubs remain severely depressed, and the pace of the economy appears to be slowing, we may look to reconvene the industry in late 2011."

In case you missed the Summit, the APSP will be posting videos of the presentations on www.apsp.org in the coming weeks. Attendees can view them for free, while those who did not attend can purchase the videos for a fee yet to be determined. Presentation slides will also be available.

Business Briefs

A.O. Smith's IG-MEX plant in Juarez, Mexico, recently earned the Lloyd B. Smith Safety Award. The award has been given annually since 1954 to the company facility that compiles the best year-over-year improvement in workplace safety.

Terrapin Communications' Safety Turtle was the topic of conversation recently on Animal Radio this past July. The show's veterinarian, Dr. Debbie, discussed the product after a client's elderly dog was saved while wearing the collar in a Las Vegas pool. Download the podcast by visiting animalradio.com/555podcast.mp3.

Signs Of Improvement

State of the IndustryWith signs of an incipient recovery popping up like crocuses, many in the industry feel that the year that stretches before us will be better than the last. A full 56.7 percent of service respondents expect an increase in revenues, compared with only 5 percent that expect them to drop.

Read more about signs of recovery in our State of the Industry issue.

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