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Feature Story

November 2019


PHTA Recognizes Achievements in Aquatics

By Dave Ramont

Earlier this year, the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) joined forces with the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) to form the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), with a mission to "Celebrate the Water." And recently, the PHTA announced the winners of the 2019 Awards Program, which recognizes outstanding achievements and performers in the pool, spa and hot tub industry. The award winners were honored at the PHTA Awards Reception, held on Nov. 4 in New Orleans.

The PHTA Fellow honors individuals who have made distinguished contributions to the aquatic industry through teaching, research or exemplary service to others. This year, the Fellow Award winners are George Kazdin, CEO and president of Kazdin Pools in South Hampton, N.Y., and Angelo Pugliese, senior engineer at Georgia-based Custom Molded Products. The 2019 PHTA Retailer of the Year honor went to Michael and Steven Mertz of Central Jersey Pools.

The 2019 PHTA Young Professionals Award is bestowed upon industry leaders under the age of 40 who will be the voice of pool and hot tub professionals going forward. This year those winners are Justin Ivey, Blue Wave Pool Service and Supplies Inc., Hamden, Conn.; Reid Schindler, Schindler Design Co., Edmund, Okla.; and Travis Thompson, Cascade Custom Pools, Austin, Texas.

Each year, hundreds of entries are received from member firms across the United States and other countries hoping to snag a PHTA International Award of Excellence. This year, the program recognized 74 exemplary pools, spas, hot tubs and water feature installations. Members were able to vote for their favorite submissions and share them on social media. Fan Favorite voting ran from Sept. 1 through Nov. 1, 2019.

Gold, silver and bronze status is bestowed in the International Award of Excellence program in various categories. For instance in the Commercial Pools category, Robertson Pools of Coppell, Texas, received gold status for Recreation/Leisure Pools, and High Tech Pools Inc. of North Olmsted, Ohio, was awarded gold for Multi-Use Pools in the same category.

Sabeena Hickman, PHTA president & CEO, said that the industry is fortunate to have such talented professionals and members. "We are excited to recognize and award the top achievers among us. It is an honor to be able to showcase their talent and dedication, and to acknowledge their hard work."

The award-winning companies and their installations can be viewed at APSP.org by searching Fan Favorite.


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