The International Franchise Association (IFA) has named Bobbi and Mark Howard, owners of six Poolwerx stores in the Phoenix, Ariz., area as a 2023 "Franchisee of the Year." Bobbi and Mark were honored at the 63rd IFA Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nev., for being outstanding franchise establishment owner-operators.
“Franchisee of the Year recipients represent the best in franchising,” says Matthew Haller, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “This is the highest honor IFA awards to individual franchisees, and local business owners like the Howards exemplify the power of franchising and its positive contributions to communities around the world.”
The Franchisee of the Year Award, sponsored by IFA’s partner Paychex, recognizes leading franchise owners from IFA member brands whose outstanding performance and contributions help protect, enhance and promote the franchise business model. Nominated by their parent company, individuals are selected for their service to their communities, fostering a strong and vibrant workforce, opening the doors for career growth and entrepreneurship, and supporting their fellow franchisees.
Mark and Bobbi started their pool business upon returning from their honeymoon 38 years ago. They started with one customer (who they still have to this day) and broke through all barriers to steadily grow their residential pool service, commercial service, repair and remodel business valley-wide. Since joining Poolwerx in 2015, they grew their business exponentially, expanding to five times their original size, and growing from one retail location to six in just over two years.
“Mark and Bobbi truly demonstrate the power in what partnering with a franchise can do,” says Andrew Kidd, CEO at Poolwerx. “Through offering competitive pay, paid time off, medical and 401k, they have become an employer of choice. Along with their family and non-family members, they have created an upbeat, friendly and caring culture that spreads to the community.”
“With their amazing caring team, Bobbi and Mark engage with the community through programs like Learn2Swim month, partnering with local swim schools yearly in the month of April to provide a free swim lesson to every child, and during COVID in 2020, they delivered food or supplies for families who had to quarantine. They continue to assist and lead all U.S. Poolwerx partners in training, business best practices and following the franchise model to succeed.”