In The News: February 2005

Reorganization Unveiled In Vegas

The organization formerly known as NSPI has officially emerged from bankruptcy; in its place are two new, separate entities that will seek to fulfill many of the functions of the nowdefunct NSPI. Jack Cergol, NSPI's chief staff executive — who will serve the new organization in the same capacity — presented information on the new Association of Pool & Spa Professionals at the International Pool & Spa Expo in Las Vegas in December 2004.

Forced into reorganization by crippling judgments from liability lawsuits, NSPI hired outside consultants to help craft a more effective and less vulnerable entity. The result is two organizations; the APSP and the International Aquatic Foundation. The APSP, in its first members' newsletter, states its mission is to "enhance the business success of members" by focusing on four areas deemed most important by membership. They are: education and certification; promotion of industry products; lobbying at federal, state and local levels; and development of business-forecasting data.

The nonprofit IAF will take over the code- and standards-writing work previously handled by NSPI.

The APSP structure will include eight segment advisory councils to represent the interests of different parts of the industry. In addition to the seven councils that were part of the NSPI structure (manufacturers, manufacturers' agents, builders, service, retailers, distributors and hot tub), APSP will include a commercial council. Regional service centers with professional staff will service the former NSPI regions.

The IAF will function as a standards and technical information body, areas that exposed NSPI to lawsuits. According to a pamphlet distributed at the IPSE, the IAF's mission is to "make the recreational water environment healthy, safe and enjoyable, by advancing safety and best practices in the design and construction of aquatic facilities for pools, spas and recreational water parks through science, standards and public-safety education for aquatic professionals, government officials, consumers and others interested in the recreational water environment."

The pamphlet states that the IAF has applied for nonprofit status under 501(c)3 of the tax code, and will be governed by a board of directors that will oversee fundraising and a professional staff. At press time, the IAF Web site, was not yet functional.

Current NSPI members will automatically become charter APSP members.

APSP Web site: Member services: 703/838-0083, ext 301 E-mail: [email protected]

APSP Board Meets, Adopts New Name

On Dec. 7, 2004, with little fanfare other than a unanimous show of hands by the board of directors, NSPI officially ceased to exist and was replaced by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, or APSP (see related story on page 105).

The board, which met during the International Pool & Spa Expo, introduced Guy Larsen of All Seasons Pools & Spas as the new Chairman of the Board, Penny Johnson of Johnson Pools & Spas as Secretary/Treasurer and Larry Biscornet of Larry Biscornet Swimming Pool as Chairman-Elect; and adopted a new strategic business plan and a code of conduct for board members.

Additionally, a new Consumer Awareness Subcommittee was formed, with initiatives to include producing a series of safety bulletins and door hangers for dealers and builders to pass on to homeowners.

"We want to make APSP visible, and we need to be proactive," said Larsen. "And education of pool owners is a priority."

After dissolving a Region II chapter in Del Marva, Md., due to lack of membership and inactivity of elected officials, Jack Cergol gave the Chief Staff Executive Report, which included the announcement of a new Charter Member Kit, consisting of a new member card and window stickers.

Among the most pressing concerns for the new association, according to Cergol, is spreading the word about the new name and what he calls an attractive package of member benefits. APSP hosted two town hall meetings during the IPSE to educate the industry about the association's new name and direction, and announced plans to hold similar meetings at regional shows and large chapter meetings.

In other news, the board announced that it will form a Commercial Council, which will send a representative to sit on the Board of Directors, and a financial oversight committee aimed at creating financial accountability among APSP's segment councils.

Council Puts Retailer Of Excellence On Hold

The Retailers Council met on Dec. 6, and 2004 Chairman Mark Berns passed the gavel to Chris Callanan of North Shore Pool & Spa, who will serve in the position for 2005.

The council voted unanimously to discontinue its Retailer of Excellence Program until it can be "reevaluated." Among the changes council members would like to see are a better-defined purpose for the program and the addition of a third-party evaluator.

Also, the council voted to explore the possibility of joining forces with the National Retail Federation, a Washington, D.C.-based association comprising more than 1.4 million retailers nationwide. Council members cited access to NRF's retail training programs and louder voice with lawmakers as reasons for exploring an alliance.

Web Site For Vinyl Works Dealers

Imperial Pools has created a new dealer Web site for its pool-liner division, Vinyl Works. The Web site provides Vinyl Works dealers with information on pattern choices, step specifications, measuring and installing guidelines and troubleshooting. The Web site also offers order forms and a "news and updates" section to keep dealers upto-date on the latest products available from Vinyl Works. For more information, visit

APSP Council Meetings In Las Vegas

At the most recent meeting of The Association of Pool & Spa Professional's Builders Council, held on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas, the council announced its newest appointments. Tommy Johnson of Johnson Pools & Spas in Huntsville, Ala., is the new chairman of the council, and Janet Jordan of American Pools in Clearwater, Fla., is the new vice chairman. Additionally, Bob Baron was re-elected secretary.

Al Rizzo, chairman of the Builders Education Committee and president of Rizzo Pools in Newington, Conn., told the council about a presentation he recently did for local building inspectors. He used a CDROM about the Certified Building Professional Program created by the APSP and the Builders Council Education Committee. The CD-ROM is designed to educate building officials and builders about pool and spa building processes, as well as the standards and codes that apply to pools and spas. Rizzo encouraged other builders to use the CD-ROM to educate their local inspectors or as a tool to promote the Certified Builder's Program at an APSP chapter meeting. To get a copy of the CD-ROM, contact Ken Suzuki with the APSP at 703-838-0083 or e-mail ksuzuki@theapsp.

The APSP Hot Tub Council also met on Dec. 2 in Las Vegas during the IPSE and welcomed its new leaders. Past chairman Chris Robinson of Lucite International passed the gavel to the council's new chairman, Diane Leider of GE Consumer Finance; and Dirk Caudill, president of Aqua-Flo, passed the responsibilities of division director to Jim McClure, COO of Dimension One Spas.

The well-attended meeting addressed the council's continuing marketing efforts and the plans to expand those efforts. In 2005, the council plans to enhance its ABC (Awareness, Benefits and Complete Your Retreat) Program with Meredith Media. The program's current sponsors will first be offered the opportunity to participate again before sponsorship opportunities are extended to the rest of industry. The council also wants to expand the program to six sponsors and six issues of Garden, Deck & Landscape magazine. In addition, the council will be exploring new ways to distribute leads generated through, and, "so that the customers who request information get it as quickly as possible, and as a result, we maximize our opportunity to increase industry sales," says Leider.

IFAM Cancels July Show

Organizers of the International Furniture & Accessories Marketplace/Outdoor Living Expo have cancelled the upcoming July 18-22 show.

The IFAM/OLE Show was to coincide with the opening of the World Market Center, scheduled to also take place July 18-22 in Las Vegas. However, the World Market Center recently changed its dates to July 25–29 and "the Las Vegas Convention Center could not accommodate IFAM with dates to hold our event during the same time frame," says Shane O'Sheeran, show manager.

Show managers say the next IFAM/OLE will be held in 2006.

For more information, contact IFAM/OLE at 800/859-9247.

Pentair Pool Products Changes Name

Pentair Pool Products is now Pentair Water Pool & Spa. This name change was made to reflect the company's widening scope of business, management officials say.

Pentair Pool Products will now be a brand name for the company's pumps, filters and heaters. The recently acquired Sta-Rite pump, filter and heater product lines will remain Sta-Rite brand products also under Pentair Water Pool & Spa's corporate name.

Pentair is a manufacturer of pumps, filters, heaters, controls, lighting systems, cleaners and maintenance products for residential and commercial swimming pools and spas. It is based in Sanford, N.C.

"The name Pentair Water Pool & Spa was chosen because it differentiates us within Pentair's three water operating groups — comprised of many companies in differing industries — who manufacture systems for the movement, treatment, storage and enjoyment of water," says Scott Levin, president of Pentair Water Pool & Spa.

These groups manufacture pump systems for residential, commercial and municipal applications, pool and spa products for residential and commercial markets, and filtration and purification systems for residential, commercial, industrial and municipal users.

For more information, contact Pentair at 800/831-7133 or visit

Zodiac Group Acquires Polaris

The Zodiac Group recently acquired Vista, Calif.-based Polaris Pool Systems, as well as its European and Australian subsidiaries, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will be effective early this year.

Once acquired, Polaris, a manufacturer of pool and spa equipment, will become part of the Pool Care sector of the Zodiac Group, which is represented in the United States through Zodiac Pool Care, a company based in Pompano Beach, Fla.

"Polaris is a perfect fit with Zodiac's strategy of being innovative market leaders," says Jean-Marc Daillance, chief executive officer of the Marine segment for Zodiac. "We welcome Polaris to the Zodiac Pool Care sector and believe this acquisition provides us with many exciting opportunities."

Zodiac is a publicly listed company headquartered in Paris and a supplier to the aeronautical, airline, marine and pool industries.

APSP Doubles Instructor Credit Hours

The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals recently announced that instructors of APSP-accredited educational programs can now receive two hours of education credit for each hour of instruction. Previously, instructors received one hour of credit for each hour of instruction.

"The new policy helps to take some of the instructors' preparation, coordination and follow-up time into account," says Ken Suzuki, director of education for APSP. The organization also says this new policy makes it more manageable for instructors to fulfill teaching obligations while working to meet the requirements needed to maintain APSP certification.

For more information, contact Bird Dawson of APSP at 703/838-0083, ext. 152, or e-mail [email protected]

Paramount Sponsors Insurance Options

Paramount Pool & Spa Systems is sponsoring the creation of the new Paramount Capital Insurance Program to provide a source of insurance options to Paramount Authorized Builders.

The company says the objective of the insurance program, which is managed by AIMS Insurance Program Managers and underwritten by Arch Insurance Group, is to reduce the cost of claims through aggressive loss-prevention programs and claims management.

The program requires a $50,000 minimum annual premium for general liability, workers' compensation and automobile liability. The insurance program also offers property insurance, excess/umbrella liability limits and special programs designed to meet the needs of pool builders.

For more information, contact Peter Godfrey at 800/359-2041.

Certified Stain Specialist Program

Jack's Magic Products, Largo, Fla., has launched the Jack's Magic Certified Stain Specialist program, which provides training in the identification, removal and prevention of stains and discoloration in pools. The program also teaches enrollees how to reduce staining in pool start-ups.

To receive the certification, stain-specialist candidates must attend a one-day training program and pass an examination.

For more information call 727/456-2784.

Genesis Meets Canadian Criteria

Pioneer H20 Technologies' Genesis Device, a bromine generator for portable spas, has met criteria set by Health Canada, a Canadian registration equivalent to U.S. EPA registration.

For more information, contact Denver-based Pioneer H2O Technologies at 877/569-4377. In Canada contact Alpine Spa Covers at 250/545-7779.

A Joint Effort

Spa Parts Plus and Optimus are now warehousing and shipping products for one another, allowing each company to mail products by ground to clients within approximately two days.

Spa Parts Plus, Prescott Valley, Ariz., a distributor of after-market spa parts, equipment and backyard leisure products, and Memphis, Tenn.-based Optimus, a pool parts distributor, will remain independent firms.

Spa Parts Plus began shipping from the Optimus warehouse in December 2004, and Optimus says it will begin shipping from Spa Parts Plus' warehouse this month.

Reflective Expressions Licensee Of Lassen International

Reflective Expressions, the Pool Tile and Art division of Largo, Fla.-based Tilesque, now holds a license for Lassen International, a company owned by Christian Reese Lassen, an artist who does marine and seascape paintings.

Reflective Expressions produces images on glass tile for indoor and outdoor applications, such as waterline tiles, pool murals and waterfall backdrops. Tilesque is distributed nationally by Noble Tile Supply.

For more information, call 866/ 908-2345 or visit

Downes Purchases New Headquarters

Downes Swimming Pool Company recently purchased a 17,000-square-foot facility at 725 W. University Dr. in Arlington Heights, Ill.

The company's new headquarters features a 5,500-square-foot, two-story showroom that will be used as a residential pool and spa builders' design center. The remaining 11,500 square feet will be used for warehousing and pool construction and service operations.

For more information, contact Downes Swimming Pool at 847/3987665 or visit

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