Business Briefs: Late November 2013

Screen Shot 2013 11 20 At 9 16 56 AmSeaKlear Gains New LeadershipSeaKlear water treatment products announces the appointment of Timothy Joyce (pictured right) as vice president and general manager of the Americas. Joyce brings a wealth of commercial experience in consumer product, commercialization, sales and general management, including Nautilus Inc. and Adidas America, as well as nearly 20 years with Nike in various leadership positions around the world. 

Joyce will lead both the swimming pool and spa (recreational) and environmental water sales divisions and act as a key member of the company's leadership team. 

"I am confident that Tim’s expertise will help us continue to accelerate the growth plans we've put in place,” says Halosource CEO Martin Coles. “His ability to come in from outside the pool and environmental water industries and synthesize the needs of a growing business with solid leadership will support our strategic plans going forward." Joyce can be reached at [email protected]

S.R.Smith Acquires Australian CompanyS.R.Smith, LLC has acquired the assets of Anti Wave Australia. The purchase brings S.R.Smith a portfolio of competitive swimming products under the Anti Wave Brand, which the company will market and sell in Australia and the surrounding island countries.

The acquisition enables S.R.Smith to tap into the second largest pool market in the world, with approximately 900,000 commercial and residential swimming pools. Plans include expanding sales of S.R.Smith pool deck equipment into Australia to supplement Anti Wave competitive product offerings, as well as offering a complete line of residential deck equipment. “This is an exciting opportunity for S.R.Smith, one which promises to generate long term growth for our business,” says Rich Laitta, S.R.Smith president and CEO. “It also helps counter the seasonal trends in our domestic business as the Australian pool season is counter cyclical to North America and Europe.”

Anti Wave products are well known in the competitive swimming world and include starting blocks, water polo goals, racing lane lines, storage reels and complementary accessories. The business will operate out of the existing Anti Wave manufacturing and distribution facility in Ipswich, Queensland. 

Natural Chemistry Files LawsuitNatural Chemistry has announced it is taking legal action against Orenda Technologies, Inc. for patent infringement of its PHOSfree products. 

Natural Chemistry holds U.S. Patent No.6,338,800, which specifically outlines methods and compositions that use lanthanum sulfate or lanthanide compounds to remove phosphates from water in swimming pools, spas and other similar structures. According to the suit, Natural Chemistry alleges Orenda Technologies Inc. has been selling competing products that utilize the same methods and compositions defined in its patent. 

In addition, Natural Chemistry has changed Orenda Technologies with disparaging its products within the industry and interfering with the company’s business relations.

This isn’t the first time Natural Chemistry has come to blows with Orenda Technologies; the company brought a similar action against Orenda in 2009 that resulted in a confidential settlement. 

Pool Enclosure Manufacturer Launches New Website Libart North America has launched a new website for pool enthusiasts to better navigate and discover the benefits of retractable architecture, the company says. With all the searches online for “pool enclosures,” “pool domes,” and similar terms, Libart wanted to better cater to the people searching for answers about these new, somewhat undiscovered products. 

According to Marketing Director Brooke Gordon, “We wanted to give answers to the questions being asked. We wanted to provide relevant content about the benefits and curiosities of these retractable structures. One question we address that many enclosure companies don’t on their website is the price range. We think it will be very helpful for people considering a retractable pool enclosure.” 

The new website features a full project gallery of completed projects, clear next steps with forms, and an easy “Subscribe to Featured Projects” form so users can receive a monthly project feature and keep up on the newest projects.

Screen Shot 2013 11 20 At 9 16 26 AmCarvin DiGiovanni Named APSP FellowThe Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has named Carvin DiGiovanni, APSP Senior Director, Technical & Standards, as an APSP Fellow, the industry’s top recognition for contributions and thought leadership at the frontiers of the pool and spa industry, and for exceptional potential to shape the future of the industry through intellectual and inspired leadership.

The peer-nominated honor was developed by the APSP Board of Directors in 2012 to recognize industry leaders who have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to learning and development through the presentation of educational programs, technical and business publications, and industry related research.

DiGiovanni has been working in standards since the early 1970s and brought his experience working at the American National Standards Institute to APSP (then known as the National Spa & Pool Institute). Driven by his knowledge of and experience with ANSI, he was able to get the pool and spa industry’s first standards ANSI approved. Since 1983, APSP has been accredited by ANSI as the Standards Development Organization for the nation's pool and spa standards and now counts 13 American National Standards under its purview. These national consensus standards establish voluntary minimum guidelines that, when adopted by governments and agencies, have the force of law.

The International Code Council reached out to DiGiovanni about five years ago to explore incorporating the ANSI/APSP standards into the International Swimming Pool & Spa Code, which led to a memorandum of understanding between APSP and ICC and the eventual approval by the ICC Board of the ISPSC. Described by DiGiovanni as the glue that connects pool contractors and code inspectors in a closer working relationship, APSP continues to advocate adoption of the ISPSC to make pools and spas safer across the country, with many jurisdictions already adopting it.

Most recently, DiGiovanni was recognized by the FBI in 2011 with the Exceptional Service in the Public Interest Award. He has worked with the FBI for several years to increase the awareness of how chemicals used in the pool, spa and hot tub industry could be misused and threaten homeland security.

"The APSP Board of Directors congratulates Carvin on this recognition and his extraordinary work to position APSP as the go-to organization for safety and standards," says Steve Gorlin, APSP 2012-2013 chairman of the board. "There is no doubt that his efforts have positively influenced consumers’ confidence in our industry’s products."

(Photo from left to right: 2012-13 Chairman of the Board Steve Gorlin, Carvin DiGiovanni and APSP President and CEO Rich Gottwald.) 

Blue Haven Appoints New PresidentBlue Haven Pools National Management has appointed Steve Treese as president. Treese will oversee the company’s national operations from its San Diego headquarters. He will also travel to Blue Haven offices throughout the country to enhance operations with training and spearhead expansion into new markets.

Treese is an industry veteran with 40 years of experience — 32 of which have been spent running successful offices in Dallas and Las Vegas for Blue Haven.

“Steve is the consummate manager, team leader and pool builder,” says R’nelle Lazlo, Blue Haven’s vice president of national marketing. “Our offices and venders have been thrilled with news that he is now leading our organization.”

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