The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) is announcing the appointment of the Standard Writing Committee of the ANSI/APSP/ICC-1 American National Standard for Public Swimming Pools and is requesting input and participation from all interested parties. The APSP-1 standard will be redesignated as the PHTA/ICC-1 Standard for Public Pool and Spa Design, Construction, and Installation. Members of the PHTA-1 Standard Writing Committee are: Chair: Dennis Berkshire, Aquatic Design Group, Carlsbad, California Richard Anderson, International Code Council, Country Club Hills, Illinois Bruce Carney, American Pools & Spas, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Dewey Case, CMAHC, Hattiesburg, Mississippi Jonathan Dongell, Pebble Technologies, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona John Garner, Sr., Pools by John Garner, Jacksonville, Florida Ken Green, Fresh & Clear Pool Service, Henderson, Nevada Ken Gregory, Pentair, Washington, Utah Scott Heusser, Idaho Pool Remodeling, Meridian, Idaho Bill Irvin, Preferred Pool Corp, Kaufman, Texas John Mason, Deschutes County Environmental Health Department, Bend, Oregon Trevor Sherwood II, Pool Operation Management, Brick, New Jersey Graeme Thomson, Splash Inc., Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands Stephen Votta, Fluidra, Carlsbad, California Michael Weinbaum, Martin Aquatic Design and Engineering, Winter Garden, Florida See also The PHTA-1 Standard Writing Committee will revise the standard establishing provisions which apply to the construction, alteration, movement, renovation, replacement, repair and maintenance of aquatic venues, public pools and public spas. The Standard Writing Committee is reviewing and considering revisions to the standard for consideration by PHTA’s American National Standards Institute consensus voting body, the Standards Consensus Committee. Interested parties are welcome to attend meetings as observers throughout the revision process. Any individual can also submit change request forms to the Standard Writing Committee for consideration. Those who would like to be informed of the activities and events relating to the standard can visit www.phta.org/standards or sign up to receive email updates. Change request forms are due to PHTA by Aug. 14. For more information, visit the participate in the process webpage, phta.org/standards or email Blake Pavlik at email@example.com.
Superior Wellness has announced the appointment of James Orton as its new finance director. With over 20 years of experience across a range of sectors, Orton brings financial expertise and strategic leadership to his new position. “I am very excited to join the team here at Superior Wellness,” Orton says. “The business is extremely well placed for further significant growth, building upon the strong foundations in place due to the quality of its partner relationships, product offerings and its people.” Before joining Superior Wellness, Orton was the chief financial officer of Nuvias UC Limited, a specialist IT distributor operating across Europe. See also As the finance director, Orton will play a pivotal role in shaping Superior Wellness’ financial strategy and driving sustainable growth. He will oversee all financial operations, working closely with the senior management team to support the company’s expansion plans and long-term vision. “We are confident that James will contribute significantly to our continued success as we continue to grow globally,” says Rob Carlin, managing director at Superior Wellness. Based in Chesterfield, United Kingdom, Superior Wellness is one of the world’s fastest-growing hot tub manufacturers with a network of global partners, distributing several brands including Platinum Spas, Thermals Spas, Be Well, Chill Tubs and Hekla Saunas.
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance has launched the PHTA Registered Pool Installer Technician Apprenticeship Program, with support from the U.S. Department of Labor, to help build a more skilled and diverse workforce. The program is designed to reskill displaced workers, upskill incumbent workers and attract and develop new entrants, including those from untapped talent pools such as veterans and military spouses. It comes amid increasing interest in registered apprenticeships and their proven success in meeting the needs of employers and will help close the skills gap in the pool industry by allowing individuals to earn wages while receiving hands-on training and filling the need for skilled pool installer and builder professionals. “Pool construction and installation is a critical sector of our industry and one that requires broad knowledge of concrete, soils, hydraulics and so many other subjects,” says Charlie Claffey, president of Claffey Pools and PHTA chairman of the board. “The new PHTA Pool Installer Technician Apprenticeship Program gives employers the tools they need to properly train their staff and helps future members of the workforce develop the skills they need to be successful in our industry.” See also The program leverages the PHTA’s signature educational programming and aligns it with ANSI Standards and certification guidelines. Upon completion of the program, apprentices will be eligible to take the exam for PHTA certifications and achieve the Department of Labor apprenticeship credential. From a workforce perspective, apprentices will be able to take their training credentials anywhere in the country and be recognized for graduating as a PHTA Pool Installer Technician Apprentice. For more information and resources on both PHTA Apprenticeship Programs, visit https://apprenticeship.phta.org/.
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance is pleased to announce that its first cohort of the PHTA Leadership Certificate Program Powered by Cornell University has graduated. Ten industry professionals earned the executive leader certificate and fourteen earned the emerging leader certificate. This certification is the culmination of a three-month program, led by Cornell University professors, that teaches skills a successful leader needs to communicate strategy, negotiate skillfully, influence team behaviors and deliver results. Executive leader graduates: Amanda Annis, Ohio Pools & Spas Dan Bakotic, Mid America Sales Don Bontrager, Bontrager Pools, Inc. Jen Boyce, Atlantic Solutions Jeannie Daugherty, Ohio Pools & Spas TJ Ewuell, NSPFI, CPO, AST Robert Fickes, Ohio Pools & Spas Peter Friis, Gib-San Pools Ltd. Ed Gibbs, Gib-San Pools Ltd. Sabeena Hickman, Pool & Hot Tub Alliance See also Emerging leader graduates: Gavin Chaze, Raypak John Cooper, Outdoor Spaces 360 Brandon Diaz, Berry Pool Caley Gibbs, Gib-San Pools Ltd. Connor Gibbs, Gib-San Pools Ltd. Christine Harrell, Aquienta Pools and Landscaping Alan Makepeace, Ohio Pools & Spas Lance Irby, Premier Pools & Spas – Sacramento Jeanne Mendelson, Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Zack Oberster, Ohio Pools & Spas Amanda Riebel, Venture Custom Pools Matthew Ryther, Acqua Pura Pool Services Brandon Snyder, Premier Pools & Spas – Sacramento Erik Vukovich, Premier Pools Registration is now open for the second cohort of the PHTA Leadership Certificate Program Powered by Cornell University. To learn more phta.org/cornell.
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) is now accepting nominations for both the 2023 Greg Garrett Scholarship Award and the 2023 Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant. The winners will be honored at the PHTA Awards of Excellence Reception at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in Las Vegas this November. Greg Garrett Scholarship Award This prestigious award was developed by the PHTA Recreational Water & Air Quality Committee in memory of Greg Garrett, a former PHTA member. The award provides a $5,000 scholarship to two PHTA members in the builder or service sectors to use toward PHTA education or certification fees. The PHTA is pleased to announce Periodic Products, Inc. is sponsoring one of the two scholarships awarded this year. “Greg Garrett and I served together on the Recreational Water & Air Quality Committee for almost a decade,” says Dr. Joseph Laurino, president and CEO of Periodic Products, Inc. “Being able to continue sharing that passion through the Greg Garrett Scholarship Award means so much to me and Greg’s other industry peers.” To be considered for the Greg Garrett Scholarship Award, an application form and two recommendations need to be submitted. PHTA members can self-nominate or nominate a fellow member, and the nomination deadline is Sept. 15. For more information about the scholarship and to submit a nomination form, visit www.phta.org/garrett-award. See also Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant Given in the memory of Dr. Robert Neil Lowry, a long-time member of the PHTA and the Recreational Water & Air Quality Committee, this $5,000 grant honors a public health official or department that has made outstanding contributions to advance the public’s health and safe use of recreational water in pools, spas and waterparks through educational, safety, operational and technical programs. “Public health officials and their organizations play a key role in ensuring our pools, waterparks and other aquatic venues are safe and enjoyable for all,” says Jody O’Grady, director of customer technical support for Taylor Water Technologies LLC and Recreational Water & Air Quality Committee chair. “Dr. Lowry would be pleased to know that he is still having a positive impact on the recreational water safety community through this grant, more than a decade after his passing.” To be considered for the Lowry Grant, the public health official or department must describe their planned or proposed program, the service provided and how it benefits public health and safety, the impact of the expected results and how the grant funds will be used. The nomination deadline is Sept. 8. For more information about the grant and to submit a nomination form, visit www.phta.org/lowry-grant.
Superior Wellness is delighted to announce it has won two awards in the prestigious “What Swim Spa?” Best Buy Awards 2023. The Best Buy Awards are published in the 2023/24 edition of “What Swim Spa?” magazine, which is one of the U.K.’s leading consumer swim spa buyer’s guides and has informed thousands of swim spa buyers across the U.K. for over 10 years. The Lusso by Thermals Spas swim spa was successful in obtaining the “What Swim Spa?” Best Buy Award, and the Aquark Mr. Silence 11Kw heat pump won the “What Swim Spa?” Heat Pump Best Buy Award. See also The Thermals Spas Lusso is the largest in the range of swim spas and can seat four adults with 45 jets and two large underwater LED lights. The Aquark Mr. Silence 11 Kw uses Inverpad technology created by Aquark and combines a unique pad appearance, Stepless DC inverter and noise-canceling technology. “I am delighted that we have been awarded two Best Buy Awards once again,” says Graham Message, business development manager at Superior Wellness. “The ‘What Swim Spa?’ magazine and website are very important tools for the end customer to use when finding their perfect swim spa. It is also great for our partner network to proudly say they are selling an award-winning swim spa or heat pump.”
Global water treatment and pool equipment manufacturer Waterco Limited has cemented its position as the largest Australian-owned and -operated entity in the water industry by acquiring Davey Water Products, a subsidiary of GUD Holdings Limited. The transaction is expected to be completed on Aug. 31 with a sale price of $64.9 million. “The acquisition aligns with Waterco’s long-term strategic vision of becoming a global leader in the water technology industry,” says Waterco founder, executive chairman and chief executive officer, Soon Sinn Goh. “It positions the company for sustainable growth and enables it to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the market.” Waterco, established in 1981 with a single pool pump store in Sydney, Australia, has since become a global brand recognized for designing and manufacturing filtration and sanitization innovations for the swimming pool, spa, aquaculture and water purification sectors.
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance is pleased to announce Kate Perry and Kaitlyn Hamacher as the recipients of the 2023 PHTA Scholarship. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must be a PHTA-certified pool professional or an immediate family member and must submit an application package for the PHTA board to review. This year’s essay prompt was, “If you had $100,000 to develop a water safety program in your community, what program would you develop and how would the program give children the ability to feel confident, inspired, and empowered in and around the water?” Perry, who attends Georgia Southern University, received the $2,000 scholarship. She is a PHTA-certified pool & spa operator and has earned several certifications from the American Red Cross for lifeguarding and first aid. Her previous jobs in the aquatics industry include swim instructor, lifeguard, service technician and aquatics manager. Perry’s essay focused on generational barriers resulting in fear of the water and developing a learn-to-swim program for both children and their primary guardian. She highlighted the importance of ensuring swim instructors are properly trained and certified in water safety. Hamacher, who attends Western Michigan University, received the $1,000 scholarship. Hamacher is the daughter of a PHTA CPO Instructor, has earned an associate degree in studio art and is now double-majoring in studio art and psychology. Her essay explained how layers of protection, including pool covers and swim safety education, can decrease the drowning rate. Her suggested program would help residential pool owners equip their pools with safety covers as well as provide additional learn-to-swim programs through initiatives such as PHTA’s Step Into Swim. Formal recognition of this year’s recipients will occur at the World Aquatic Health Conference in Las Vegas during the CPO 50th Anniversary Luncheon on Nov. 13. To learn more about the PHTA Scholarship Program, visit phta.org/education-and-events/grants-and-scholarships/scholarships/.
Acquisition moves hot tub manufacturer into new wellness category Vista, Calif., July 31, 2023 — Watkins Wellness, a leader in hot tubs and aquatic fitness systems, announced the expansion of its portfolio of personal well-being products and entry into the sauna category as a result of the pending acquisition of Sauna360 by Watkins Wellness’ parent company, Masco Corporation. Sauna360 is a leading global manufacturer of sauna solutions, and its portfolio of products includes traditional, infrared and wood-burning saunas as well as steam showers, rooms and generators. These products are sold primarily in the United States, Europe and throughout the rest of the world under the Tylö, Helo, Kastor, Finnleo and Amerec brands. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to regulatory approval. “We are thrilled to welcome Sauna360 to our organization and to expand our portfolio of industry-leading products aimed at promoting wellness and helping our customers feel good and live well,” says Vijaikrishna (VJ) Teenarsipur, president of Watkins Wellness. “Sauna360 brings a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to our business. We look forward to leveraging the synergies between our businesses, which will allow us to better serve our dealer partners, consumers and, ultimately, the growing wellness market.” See also “I am very pleased for Sauna360 to become part of Watkins Wellness,” says Pekka Lettijeff, president and CEO of Sauna360 Group. “Sauna360’s business has grown in recent years, and becoming part of Watkins Wellness will further strengthen our capability and ambition to be a leading sauna player. The dealer distribution strategy, common focus on wellness and similar company cultures makes this a true strategic fit.” Founded in 2008 as a merger between two leading sauna companies, Helo and Tylö, Sauna360 brings decades of industry knowledge and experience resulting from a strong history, with Helo’s origin dating back to 1919 and Tylö’s to 1949. The company is headquartered in Finland and has approximately 180 employees located in Finland, Sweden, the United States and England.
Backyard Leisure, a leading retailer in premium hot tubs and swim spas, launched its fourth store in Peoria, Illinois, on July 28. Backyard Leisure currently operates four showrooms; three located in Illinois — Springfield, Champaign and Peoria — and one in Terre Haute, Indiana. For more information about Backyard Leisure and its newest hot tub store, visit backyardleisure.com.
For a limited time, Natural Chemistry will offer a retail display rack for its line of high-end spa water treatment products. The rack, with sleek graphics and modern wooden shelving, is available to those purchasing 12 cases of any mix of Natural Chemistry spa products, from maintenance and remedy to balancing and sanitizing. For more information, contact your local NC Brands district sales manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Viking Spas has announced Jerry Hyland as its new director of sales. Hyland brings over 30 years of pool and spa industry experience, working with OEMs, distribution, retail and suppliers. “I’m proud to be part of an organization celebrating its 25th year of family ownership with products that are American-built,” Hyland says. “The industry continues to evolve, and we will make strategic decisions about the growth of our brand and the continued quality and evolution of our products while ensuring we maintain the values and traditions that have made Viking Spas a respected brand.