The Home Stretch: Who Will be Crowned Pleatco Royalty?

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After months of sorting through online entries, casting votes and deliberation, the finalists for the Pleatco Perfect PoolGuy and PoolGal Award have been announced. The finalists will be on hand for the virtual awards ceremony that begins at 7 p.m. ET on Nov. 19, broadcasted live from Pleatco's brand new production facility in Louisville, Ky. Register for the event here.

Leading up to the event, AQUA will be featuring each finalist in its e-newsletter. Let’s get started with the industry professionals below.

To view the other list of finalists, click here.


Michael Baker made a big move from Michigan to Arizona to start Ambiance Pool Service. Fifteen years later, he’s grown the company into a 16-person operation and remains increasingly active in the industry. He also owns Life Saver Pool Fence of Tucson, Tucson Pool Water Recycling and is co-owner of Omni Pool Builders. Michael treats his employees exactly how he would want to be treated and is committed to creating a great working culture with happy people.


Pleatco Ana ManningANA MANNING
Ana Manning has been called “the perfect boss,” an impressive feat considering all of the responsibilities on her plate. She runs her own company in the sprawling, pool-dense city of Houston, cleaning over 650 pools weekly and managing 32 employees. A firm believer in the power of circulation and filtration over chemicals, Ana knows the importance of a clean filter and will tell you all about it. She has a true passion for pools, and it shines through in her kindness toward employees and customers.

Pleatco Jesse GistJESSE GIST
Jesse Gist started as a crew helper with Gallagher Pools and Spas 20 years ago. From there, he rose through the ranks to become the senior service technician he is today. He’s the recognized source of knowledge for any issue — and if he somehow doesn’t have an answer, he works tirelessly to find one. A family man, Jesse balances his time wisely while still showing the dedication and commitment required during the peak season. Beyond being a key to business operations, Jesse is a personable, recognized and trusted face with his clientele.


Pattywhittington1PATTY WHITTINGTON
Patty Whittington takes the stress out of owning a pool. Consistently going above and beyond to help her customers, she strives to do what’s best and correct problems at the least cost. At her Ohio-based family business, there is “no job she cannot do,” according to her sister.  Whether it be openings, closings, plumbing, liners, builds or cleanings, Patty can do it all — and she always makes sure her customers have the best experience possible.


Brad Williams’ story is that of an industry vagabond finding home. After working countless “nets and jets” for 20 different pool companies over the course of six years — and leaving the industry a few times — he eventually realized pools were his true passion and stuck it out with one company for three years. During that time, Brad fell in love with installs and perfected his craft. He eventually decided to start his own company and now has 100 pools, averaging five to eight installs per week, all while maintaining five-star reviews across every platform.  


At age 18, Ashley entered the industry working as a cashier for Orange County Pools and Spas in New York. She is now managing her location’s store. Ashley does everything she possibly can to meet her personal goal of 100% customer satisfaction, and she’s become the go-to person for customer questions. Over the course of her 13 years with the company, Ashley’s expertise and gentleness with customers has helped take business to the next level.


Four years ago, Ken Post dove into the pool industry. Since then, he’s worked hard every day to soak up as much knowledge as possible. Eager to learn and improve, Ken makes time to attend every seminar he can and does his best to share what he knows with other pool pros. He’s a wholehearted proponent of elevating the profession from “pool guy” to “pool professional” and runs his California-based company accordingly.



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