In The News: July 2005

Region III To Split From APSP?

After announcing a split from the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals in May, the Region III Board of Directors took a step back and met June 11 to reconsider the move and explore its options. At issue: whether to move forward as an independent organization or to reopen talks with APSP National about becoming an affiliate member.

Region III, which covers Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, had been in discussion with National about becoming an affiliate, but when progress stalled, the Board took action and declared themselves independent.

"We had an affiliation petition in before the bankruptcy and NSPI's reorganization, but in light of all the other things they had going on with lawsuits they asked us to withdraw it," says Jacqui Osborn, Region III president. "So we were supposed to wait until the next year. Then the National board said it would come up at the Leadership Conference in Washington, but it didn't."

Osborn says that the Region was then assured the matter would be voted on at the IPSE show in Las Vegas last fall, and when that didn't happen, the region took action.

"Last October our Board decided that if we were not an affiliate by May 1, 2005, we'd put National on notice that we were going to start billing and collecting our own dues and we'd become a separate entity at the end of June," she says.

Representatives from APSP National were invited to attend the June 11 meeting. At press time, APSP Chairman Guy Larsen and Vice Chairman Larry Biscornet were planning to attend, according to Suzanne Barrows, senior director of communications and marketing for the APSP.

"At no time has the national board said 'no' to them," Barrows says. "The door is not closed. Both parties really have the best interest of the members at heart. The demonstration of that is that Guy and Larry want to asttend the meeting and that the Region III board invited them to come." Osborn says she's not sure what the board will choose to do at the meeting.

"Maybe they'll decide to stay independent, maybe they'll try again to form an affiliation, she says."

Merry Wise, owner of Wise Pools in Conroe, Texas, believes the region's needs are best served by a smaller, more-localized organization.

"I think it's hard to serve the whole nation adequately," she says. "We have such a strong region and I think we can promote ourselves a little better on our own."

New Industry Organization Official.

The Board of Directors for the International Aquatic Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded to develop industry standards and to provide technical education for the recreational water industry, recently gathered for the IAF's first meeting in early May. The new organization was developed during the reorganization of the National Spa & Pool Institute, which was prompted by the association's August 2002 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

The IAF's mission is to make recreational water environments healthy, safe and enjoyable, and to advance safe use and best practices in the design and construction of aquatic facilities, including pools, spas and recreational water parks, through science, standards and education for aquatic professionals, consumers and government officials.

The board of directors includes Carvin DiGiovanni, president; Nelson Fabian, executive director of the National Environmental Health Association; Don Leas, an aquatics diving consultant representing U.S. Diving; Farhad Madani, presidentelect of the aquatic branch of the National Recreation and Parks Association; Rick Root, president and executive director of the World Waterparks Association; Kevin Maher, vice president of governmental affairs for the American Hotel & Lodging Association; Maureen Williams, executive director of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance; and two independent members, Gene Wells, a retired pool builder, and Joel Grayson, a retired BioLab executive.

The board of directors will work to provide technical standards and guidelines for the design, construction and operation of aquatic facilities. It will also provide technical reports and papers and educational programs for public health officials and aquatic professionals. The IAF also seeks to create an industry forum for aquatic organizations to share information on recreational water issues and industry problems, as well as create educational campaigns to increase consumer safety awareness.

"It's essential that the pool industry and safety advocates work handin-hand to promote pool safety, and the IAF provides an ideal forum through which this can be accomplished," says Williams. "We need to collaborate to promote better educational programs and materials, focusing on layers of protection, as well as effective pool barrier legislation that bridges the concerns of the industry."

Web Site Targets Hot Tub Safety For Children.

Splash Zone USA, a new Web site program sponsored by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, is designed to teach children about hot tub, pool and sun safety through games and activities.

"The key to Splash Zone USA is talking to children on their own level," says Mike Miller, president of Miller Davis Studios, which oversees Pool People USA and Hot Tub Living USA, the parent programs of Splash Zone USA.

In 2004 Pool People USA added Pool Kids USA, a Web site created to teach children about swimming pool safety.

New Valves From TGO.

Shutdown valve systems are now available to large commercial aquatic facilities that use 150-pound cylinders of chlorine gas or 1-ton containers of chlorine gas, says TGO Technologies. The company says the new valve systems are designed to comply with the 2003 International Fire Code, the 2003 Uniform Fire Code and the 2003 National Fire Protection Agency requirements.

For more information on the proper use of these safety valves, reference the International Fire Code, the Uniform Fire Code or the National Fire Protection Agency.

Interbass A Success.

Approximately 2,500 people recently attended Interbass, a Russian aquatics trade show held March 29 to April 1, 2005, at the Sokolniki Trade Fair Centre in Moscow. The trade show included 85 exhibitors from Russia, Spain and Germany who presented new products for the Russian and Eastern European aquatics market. Interbass will be held again March 28-31, 2006.

Suntrek Relocates To Irvine.

Suntrek Industries, a manufacturer of solar pool heating systems, has relocated to Irvine, Calif. The company can be reached by calling 949/3489276 or by visiting In addition to relocating its headquarters, Suntrek has also opened a distribution center in Concord, Calif.

  • Ocean Reef Pools, a fiberglass pool manufacturer in Oak Hill, Fla., recently announced that its swimming pools now include a transferable lifetime warranty. The company says it is the first in the industry to offer this warranty. "We wanted to give our customers the peace of mind of the lifetime warranty, plus a great selling point should they ever decide to sell their home," says Flynn Edmonson, president of Ocean Reef Pools. "Now when one of our customers sells their home, the buyer gets a great pool with a lifetime warranty." For more information on Ocean Reef Pools contact Jerry Fusillo at 386/345-0267 or visit
  • Pentair Water Pool & Spa has extended its consumer rebate program for specific automatic pool cleaners through Dec. 31, 2005. When a consumer buys a PoolShark or Great White inground pool cleaner, he or she can receive a coupon for $40 back from Pentair. Consumers must simply send coupons, with a completed warranty card and a dated receipt, to Pentair by Jan. 31, 2006. Coupons are available by calling 888/755-7946 or by visiting rebate.htm.
  • Blue Falls Manufacturing, producers of the Artic Spas hot tubs, recently earned two International Business Awards for individual achievement and received finalist recognition for Best Business Turnaround, Best Support Organization and Best New Product for its Tundra Legend SE hot tub. The individual achievement awards were given to Pete Van't Hoff for developing new spa models and components and to Trevor Lonsdale for his contributions to the company's production team. "For us to be finalists or winners in all five of the categories we entered is a real honor," says James Keirstead, co-owner and vice president of marketing. "It's a nice pat on the back for 10 years of hard work." The International Business Awards, coordinated by The Stevie Awards organization, Washington, D.C., is a global, all-encompassing business awards program started in 2002 honoring great performances in the workplace. Recipients of 76 International "Stevie" Award trophies were selected from more than 600 nominations received from companies and individuals in more than 30 countries. Sponsors of the awards include business-to-business publishers and marketers.
  • Aquatherm Industries, Lakewood, N.J., has named Mark Naylor its salesman of the year. Naylor, president of Naylor Solar Specialists of San Diego, Calif., received the award for his outstanding production and mentoring work with other dealers in Southern California, the company says. This is the third time Naylor has received the award.
  • The Fort Worth (Texas) Chamber of Commerce has named Pulliam Pools its 2005 "Rising Star" Small Business of the Year in the 11-to50-employee category. The company was judged on business growth and performance, business strategies and practices, customer service strategies, business challenges and community involvement.
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