In The News: February 17, 2010

Knowledge Is Power

Knowledge Is PowerIf ever there were a time to invest in industry education, it'd be now. And that's just what pool and spa professionals are doing, according to the National Swimming Pool Foundation. NSPF reports a 3.7 percent increase in CPO certifications in 2009, as well as 1,340 scheduled CPO certification courses for the coming year - a record number of enrollments.

"More minds are open to education as the key to turn around their economic conditions," says Tom Lachocki, NSPF CEO. "This is true for people around the world who wish to thrive as service pros, retailers, builders or aquatic facility professionals. The record number of scheduled CPO certification classes is a big step to making learning accessible. And online training is a giant leap to making training more available."

Genesis 3 recently expanded its education to include a pool renovations track, a trend more and more builders are embracing to offset the decrease in new builds. The new renovation class is geared toward service and building professionals, a move Skip Phillips, co-founder, thinks will not only increase industry knowledge, but also help the industry move away from big-box competitors.

"We have the opportunity to be able to have the intellectual property that none of the big box people have, which is the design and execution capability of this remodel process," he says.

For more information about NSPF CPO certification, visit, and for more information about Genesis 3, visit

Former Be-Lite Owner Launches Manufacturer Rep Company

Former Be-Lite Owner Launches Manufacturer Rep CompanyBen Gargle, the former owner of Be-Lite, has started BHG Sales, a new manufacturer's rep company, to service pool and spa dealer networks in California, Arizona and Nevada, and eventually Oregon and Washington.

"BHG sales will fill the gap for small to medium-sized businesses that want to sell not only to distributors but dealers, too," says Gargle. "We will be making dealer and pool builder calls so our manufacturers get the representation they need without sacrificing profit by selling only through distribution. This is a need that I had when I owned Be-Lite Spa Covers and never could find reps to make the necessary dealer calls.

"Building loyalty to the manufacturer at the dealer, pool man and pool builder level will allow us to pull it through the distributors or go direct if the distributors change products or decide to import them direct under their own label, which is becoming a trend in our industry."

Gargle says BHG Sales has already secured a pool and spa chemical line and specialty pool products, and is looking for companies in need of new representation. For more information, call (714) 982-8856.

In Memoriam

Tom SeechukIndustry veteran Tom Seechuk passed away this past January, leaving behind many colleagues and friends. Seechuk most recently held the position of marketing manager at the LaMotte Company, as well as serving on various committees, including many in the APSP. The LaMotte Company has established a trust fund for Seechuk's daughter Julie. Donations can be made to the Julie Seechuk Trust, care of M&T Bank, 1201 Agora Drive, Bel Air, MD 21014.

Marie Colley, CEO and co-founder of Colley's Pools & Spas in Hamburg, N.Y., passed away in early January. Marie and her husband Bruce established Colley's, an AQUA 100 Hall of Fame Company, in 1963 and over the years have opened an additional two stores. A scholarship fund has been established in her name at Nardin Academy in Buffalo, N.Y.

Industry Happenings

Pool Water ProductsPool Water Products' All Clear Professional Storefront dealers were rewarded with a trip for two on a Southern Caribbean cruise this past January. The dealers and their guests enjoyed St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Kitts, Dominica and Barbados. For more information about the 2010 All Clear program, call (949) 756-1666.

Marquis Spas has recognized its top hot tub distributors and dealers, as well as individual salespeople. Congratulations to: The Spa Brokers, Marquis Cup; Energy Alternative Systems, Quest for Excellence and Top Regional Award; Prestige Siding & Windows, Top New Dealer; Pool & Spa Depot, Top New Dealer; Rapid Spa, Top Sales Nationally, Single Retail Location Award and SpaBoutique Award; Golden Coast, Top International Distributor; Het Buitenhuis, Top International Dealer; Kawartha Home & Property, Top Canadian Dealer; Bill Long, Retail Salesman of the Year; and SpaScapes, Top Regional Award.

GAVA Award entries are being accepted until April 15. GAVA acknowledges designers of all disciplines with the most innovative concepts, designs, materials and applications of water-inspired environments from across the globe. For more information, visit

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