The Pleatco Search for Perfection Goes Digital


The search for the Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy and Gal has gone digital for 2020. Adjusting to new circumstances, the contest that pays tribute to service professionals in the pool and spa industry will be all-digital, including the nomination process, voting and announcement of the winners via a Virtual Online LIVE Awards Ceremony event in November as the crescendo of the contest. Major industry organizations have come together to support the new Search, including PHTA, Genesis and media partner AQUA, which will take a new role in the process by promoting the contest to the industry and hosting the digital program.

For over a decade, the annual Search for the Perfect Pool Guy and Perfect Pool Gal has evoked the industry’s most compelling stories. However, this year, the PPPGG Search, which recognizes those who overcome challenges, faced a challenge of its own: how to carry on a great tradition in a time of great uncertainty.

“We had to completely rethink the PPPGG Search this year, because of where we are now,” says Pleatco CEO Rick Von Drehle. “These are different times, and they call for a different approach. But at the same time, despite everything that’s happened, in fact, because of everything that’s happened, we wanted to amplify our commitment to honoring the backyard heroes of the pool industry.

“It’s been a year of unprecedented stress. And especially, it's been hard for people to come together and to feel connected to the larger community that we all share. We decided we had to find a way to do that.

“So it's going to be a completely different format this year, and everyone will be able to participate. Everyone can attend the award ceremony from anywhere across the country, because we’re doing the entire Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy and Gal Search digitally this year, to continue to celebrate the industry even though we're all facing this difficult situation.”

Since 2008, the pool and spa service community has come together to fuel the annual PPPGG Search by submitting new accounts of customer service dedication and excellence. From those examples of virtue and distinction, a Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy and Pool Gal are chosen.

Over the years, the Search has grown in prestige to become the “Oscars of the service industry,” with winners awarded thousands of dollars in prizes and feted in a November gala at IPSPE to formally recognize what it means to be great in pool service.

The prizes and recognition will remain part of the new Search, but the means will change and grow to reflect a new social environment. Brian Van Bower, ambassador of co-sponsor Genesis, believes the wider scope of the new PPPG Search reflects the broader goals of the program. “We celebrate two winners — one Perfect Pool Guy and one Perfect Pool Gal — but what we’re really celebrating is what they do, and what all great service men and women do, which is really apply themselves to the job,” he says.

“I started out in service, and I’ve never forgotten what it means to be a pool guy. Pool guys and gals really care about what they give their customers. That’s what we’re celebrating — caring about and doing great work.”

The chance to honor examples of meritorious service was the impetus for PHTA’s co-sponsorship this year, added CEO Sabeena Hickman. “Part of PHTA’s mission is to elevate our industry and the PPPGG search does just that. This new format provides our industry with an opportunity to showcase previously unknown diamonds who have shined bright this year regardless of circumstance," she says.

According to Von Drehle, when the principals gathered to make a plan for this year’s Search, at first the discussion was dominated by limitations, but then the focus shifted to possibilities. “We just got tired of talking about what we can’t do because of COVID,” he says, “and started talking about what we can do — we can bring people together for an event that shows the kind of heart, guts and talent we have in this industry.

“And we wanted to take the lead in a time when it’s hard, when some companies feel like hunkering down to wait this out. We want you to be there. We want you to first nominate who you think should win the award, vote for them, and come and see the winners announced live. Before this year, that opportunity was only available to certain people who could make it to the annual awards dinner at the National show. This year, everyone can be a part of it.”

Stay-tuned. The Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy and Gal launches mid-August 2020.

About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with nearly 3,500 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit

GENESIS educates, certifies and connects pool and hot tub designers, builders and pool professionals throughout the world.  Since 1998, GENESIS has taught thousands of students in best practices governing proper water vessel design, engineering, and construction.  The vast GENESIS curriculum, coupled with adherence to standards, leads to excellence in education. GENESIS is a company of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance.

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