PHTA Announces Builder of the Year & Volunteer of the Year


Every year, the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance’s prestigious Awards Program recognizes the best of the best in the industry. While the Awards of Excellence highlights top-notch pool projects from around the world, a handful of additional awards honor the achievements of select industry professionals. 

“The hardworking and dedicated professionals being honored this year are a true testament to the strength of the pool, spa, and hot tub industry,” says Sabeena Hickman, CAE, president and CEO of PHTA. “Each winner has gone above and beyond in their respective areas, and we could not be prouder to call them PHTA members.”

This year’s honorees represent some of the most talented, hard-working, and innovative faces in the pool and spa industry. Some are career veterans, while others are relative newcomers — all are outstanding examples of role models working to guide the industry forward. Our coverage of the 2022 award recipients begins with the PHTA Builder of the Year.

(L to R: PHTA Immediate Past Chair Andy Levinson, Kyle Chaikin, PHTA Chair Charlie Claffey.)(L to R: PHTA Immediate Past Chair Andy Levinson, Kyle Chaikin, PHTA Chair Charlie Claffey.)

Builder of the Year

This peer-nominated award is granted to a PHTA builder member who has advanced the pool building profession through outstanding achievements and dedication to the industry. This year’s recipient is Kyle Chaikin of Chaikin Ultimate Pools.

Chaikin — a Certified Builder Professional, Certified Service Professional, and Certified Pool & Spa Operator — has built a strong reputation in the industry, thanks to the quality of his complex construction projects and his commitment to excellence.

In his case, the word “involved” is an understatement: Beyond his work as a builder, Chaikin has spent countless hours teaching classes, raising drowning prevention awareness and sharing advice on everything from construction techniques to dealing with supply chain issues. He is also an active volunteer with PHTA, NESPA and LIPSA.

(L to R: PHTA Immediate Past Chair Andy Levinson, Nathan Coelho, PHTA Chair Charlie Claffey.)(L to R: PHTA Immediate Past Chair Andy Levinson, Nathan Coelho, PHTA Chair Charlie Claffey.)

Volunteer of the Year

The Volunteer of the Year Award, new for 2022, is granted to an individual striving to raise professionalism in the aquatic community through their volunteering with the PHTA. This year’s honoree is Nathan Coelho of Master Spas.

Coelho is a dedicated leader working to protect the hot tub industry, and benefit the pool and spa industry as a whole. A subject matter expert who has helped to develop or update several industry standards, he serves as the Engineering Committee Chair for the International Hot Tub Association (IHTA), as well as on the IHTA Strategic Leadership Team. . Coelho is currently leading the PHTA/IHTA Portable Spa Coalition Working Group, which is developing federal regulations for the U.S. Department of Energy.

 "Supplying the world products that improve physical and mental health, and doing a job that allows all of us to have fun working, is tough to look past. It is amazing to see the commitment to our craft that is displayed within this industry," Coelho says.

"I appreciate the recognition," he continues, "but it seems a little unfair to the rest of the committee that I rely so much on. As the Chair of the IHTA Engineering Committee, much of the hard work behind the scenes comes from me, but that shouldn’t be taken as my work alone. A lot of committed, hard workers on the committee are doing a good job of making me look good."

Stay tuned for coverage of additional PHTA award winners.

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