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Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Celebrating Their 5-Year Anniversary



Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Celebrating Their 5-Year Anniversary

As the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) marks its fifth anniversary, it’s a time not only for celebration but also reflection on the significant strides made in the pool and hot tub industry. Over the past half-decade, PHTA has stood as a beacon, tirelessly working to educate, advocate, and elevate the industry. Let’s take a closer look at some of the remarkable accomplishments achieved during this time.

Contributions in Education

Education has been a cornerstone of PHTA’s mission, and the Genesis platform stands as a testament to its commitment to excellence. Genesis, renowned for its high-quality instruction, has paved the way for certification in various aspects of pool and hot tub management. From face-to-face to virtual training, Genesis has expanded its course offerings, ensuring professionals have access to top-tier education. The creation of a unique mastermind event further underscores PHTA’s dedication to advancing knowledge within the industry.

Moreover, PHTA has democratized education through initiatives like Class Pass, offering free training to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Additionally, strategic partnerships, such as the collaboration with Cornell to provide business training for executives and emerging leaders, have empowered industry professionals with invaluable skills and knowledge.

Advocates For The Pool & Spa Industry

On the advocacy front, PHTA has been at the forefront of critical discussions surrounding energy efficiency, drought management, decarbonization, and legislative matters such as the VGB Act and summer work travel. The organization’s inaugural lobby day in 2023 marked a pivotal moment, bringing industry stakeholders together to champion key issues. Notably, PHTA’s Step Into Swim program has been a resounding success, raising over $1.5 million and introducing swimming to more than 50,000 individuals.

In terms of industry standards, PHTA’s accreditation by ANSI underscores its commitment to safety and excellence. With over 40,000 professionals certified annually, PHTA ensures rigorous standards are upheld across various domains, including pool operation, design, and service.

PHTA’s reach has also extended through consolidation efforts, bringing organizations like TPSC and CPSA under its umbrella. The alignment with Texas and California signifies a broader reach and deeper impact within the industry. Furthermore, PHTA’s emphasis on research, evidenced by annual and quarterly surveys on business operations, enables members to benchmark their performance effectively.

Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Recent Accomplishments

Not content with past achievements, PHTA has remained focused on workforce development. The launch of apprenticeship programs approved by the Department of Labor underscores its commitment to nurturing talent within the industry. Initiatives like Work In Aquatics provide a platform for job seekers to explore careers and opportunities, with over 5,000 applicants to date.

As the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance looks ahead to the next five years, the organization is poised for even greater accomplishments. With a steadfast commitment to educating, advocating, and elevating the industry, PHTA remains dedicated to excellence. It is the engagement and loyalty of its 3,900 members and counting that inspire PHTA to continue pushing boundaries and striving for excellence. Here’s to five years of success and many more to come!

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Marianne Trusty is a Press Correspondent for the pool & spa industry. A published author and social media influencer reaching over 20 million people around the world each day. Contact Marianne about publishing op-editorials, breaking pool news and press releases at [email protected].

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How to Recruit and Train Top Talent with PHTA’s Work In Aquatics Initiative




Work in Aquatics Logo PHTA Logo Man near a swimming pool

Since the pandemic, workforce development has been a main concern for many industries—and the pool and hot tub industry is no exception. The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), the industry’s leading national trade association, has regularly heard from its members that recruiting and retaining employees is one of the top business concerns.

Going back to the first quarter of 2021, 53% of PHTA members were concerned about finding qualified employees and 21% were concerned about employee performance and quality. Jump to the second quarter of 2023, and 58% were still concerned with recruiting and retaining skilled employees.

There was a huge boom in the demand for pools and hot tubs during the pandemic. Although that demand has started to slow, 61% of participants in the PHTA Quarterly Pulse Surveys in 2023 say they are still experiencing project backlogs and 54% are increasing their employee headcount.

This is why PHTA launched Work In Aquatics, a groundbreaking workforce development initiative specifically created to address hiring, training, and retaining employees in the pool, spa, and hot tub industry. Work In Aquatics utilizes a multi-pronged approach to attract jobseekers to the industry, prepare them for industry jobs, and introduce them to companies with open positions.

The public-facing Work In Aquatics website shares information on career trajectories, recommended industry certifications and trainings, testimonials from people already working in the industry, and more. There are specific sections of the website dedicated to three key audiences: military veterans, high school graduates, and career changers. Work In Aquatics covers everything from entry-level lifeguards to critically acclaimed pool designers.

For professionals already working in the industry and looking to expand their workforce, there is an accompanying Work In Aquatics online job board. PHTA member companies can post their open positions (for free!) at Since its launch six months ago, participating companies have received more than 3,300 job applicants.

PHTA is also continuously developing resources for employers, such as tips on how to write job descriptions, how to promote open positions on your company’s website and social media accounts, and simple ways to retain your best employees.

Work In Aquatics is also supported by several existing PHTA programs, including PHTA’s two U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Programs. One apprenticeship program is for maintenance and service technicians, and the second is for pool installer technicians. These are robust programs that come equipped with PHTA on-demand education courses, guidelines for creating mentor relationships, and other resources. PHTA staff are available to help at any step along the way.

Both the apprenticeship programs and the Work In Aquatics website highlight the importance of professional certifications. PHTA offers 11 certifications across service, retail, build, and design, for people at any level in the industry. Some states require PHTA certifications as part of their licensure requirements for pool operations or construction, which is important for both employers and those just beginning their career to know.

If workforce development and employee retention are at the top of your business concerns, PHTA is here to help! Visit or contact Seth Ewing, PHTA’s Senior Director of Member Programs and Services, to learn more.

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Pool Magazine Profiles: Kevin Woodhurst



Head to Head With Pool Designer Kevin Woodhurst

For over 30 years, Kevin Woodhurst has been leaving an indelible mark on the pool industry, crafting awe-inspiring aquatic designs that have captured the hearts of countless clients. With a wealth of experience under his belt, Kevin has been directly and indirectly responsible for the design and construction of thousands of new swimming pool projects and remodels, earning him a well-deserved reputation as a visionary pool designer.

From the very outset of his career, Kevin immersed himself in every aspect of the pool business, donning various hats and acquiring an unparalleled understanding of the industry. His journey has taken him through every role imaginable, allowing him to amass a comprehensive knowledge of pool design, construction, and management. As a result, he stands tall among the industry’s experts, armed with insights that can only be garnered through years of hands-on experience.

Today, Woodhurst is a Design Consultant for Claffey Pools, one of the most prominent and highly regarded pool construction firms in the nation, where he continues to push the boundaries of contemporary pool design and construction. His multifaceted knowledge and hands-on experience in various aspects of the pool business make him an invaluable asset to the company.

Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Woodhurst on the Pool Magazine podcast. We discussed how he got his start in the pool industry and why he’s still passionate about designing pools after three decades in the game.

PM (Pool Magazine): We were hoping that you could talk about your background a bit and discuss how you first got started in the industry.

KW (Kevin Woodhurst): I fell into the industry and I kind of like to use that as an example of what happens to designers. One of the things that I say pretty regularly is you can check in any time, but you can never check out.

About 30 years ago, I purchased a home and decided that we needed to have a pool and reached out to a few pool builders in Phoenix, and lo and behold, I landed somewhere and that started it all. I had a pretty extensive construction background and an extensive mechanical background while serving in the military for about 13 years. Furthermore, I spent a lot of years drawing and just designing things, so it really came pretty natural to join the industry.

PM: We saw you mentioned once that working in the pool industry has enabled you to build a career that really reflects your truest self. Can you share what initially drew you into this industry and why you stayed passionate about it over the years?

KW: I think a big part of it is there’s a certain build-up and excitement in meeting with potential clients and helping these people visualize not only verbally, but in some sort of media, some sort of format.

Years ago, when I first started, we used a pencil and paper, onion paper, and sat at people’s dining room tables designing projects. It’s a little fascinating to me that we were able to sell pools that way because the modern technology now is so good and there are so many options for it that it seems so weird that people bought pools that way. But, yeah, it’s been a fun experience watching this industry grow and mature from what it was.

PM: You have a diverse background in design and construction and project management. How was your experience in these areas influenced your approach to designing pools?

KW: I had some good mentors along the way and one of them very early on convinced me that it was important to really apply myself to the trade and to the craft. He encouraged me to go through the certification programs and get actively involved with the industry. That’s been a big part of it.

I enjoy engaging with the industry. Whether or not it was the trade shows or the associations. I had some good experiences with NESPA very early on and had some influences from some of the “godfathers of the industry” that are no longer with us, like Al Rizzo and John Romano, both of whom were legends in the pool industry.

Certainly, that would be my suggestion to anybody that’s new in the industry – to get out there and meet some of these people. To find a mentor and the guys that are shaking it up and making it happen out there. There are a lot of truly good guys who are going to share. They want to increase the knowledge base out there and want to see our industry continue to grow and mature.

PM: Can you tell us a little bit about how collaboration has helped shape your career and the benefits it’s brought to the design and construction process you employ today?

KW: I’ve spent a lot of time out in the field working with the trades and really understanding what they were doing. I think part of that is I just have this engineer’s mindset where I need to know how stuff works before I can design it and ultimately be able to explain it in a way that homeowners can understand.

We all have to remember, they just see pretty pictures. They don’t understand what’s going on in the ground, under the ground, the piping, the structural aspects of pools, how turnover works and how filtration works, and how all these mechanical systems ultimately function.

PM: You charge for design services rather than using them solely as a sales tool. What led you to make this shift and how do you communicate the value of your design work to clients?

KW: I’ll tell you, it was a hard transition. I only say that because, at least in the market that I was in, so many people said that it was just impossible. No one’s going to pay for plans. But the reality is there are people that will.

You’ve got to be able to pick and choose who your clients are and learn when to be okay with not getting a particular job. I think people that really understand the complexity of swimming pools understand that it is a major investment in the property. They’ll pay for plans. But at the same time, you’ve got to be able to produce a set of plans that they can look at and go, well, that was worth the money.

For those out there that have gone through a lot of the training, whether it’s through Watershapes University or the Genesis program or any of the associations, you have to value your time before you can expect anyone else to.

PM: How does being selective with the projects that you take on contribute to a better client experience and outcome?

KW: Well, you have to know your limits. You have to know what you’re capable of. I find that to be a very valued trait of someone is knowing when a job is too big to tackle on their own.

Knowing your limitations is a big part of it. But also consider, there are plenty of other people out there in the industry that can help you. You may pay for their time, but that’s just part of that learning process many years ago. Almost 20 years ago, I took on a million-dollar project, and we ended up doing a cost plus on it because it just didn’t make sense for me to put us in that sort of position.

I got some help from within the industry on that project. Building out the hydraulics, et cetera. But knowing your limitations is a really good thing and it just sets a bar for you and a point of reference. ‘Okay, here’s where I’m at and I want to continue to get better, so I can move forward and get to do some of those bigger projects.’ There’s nothing wrong with that.

PM: During the construction process, how do you ensure that your clients are well-informed about the ins and outs of pool ownership and what that process is going to be like?

KW: It’s a lot of information for a homeowner to try to digest. I think to some degree you’ve got to be able to pare your presentation back to the mindset or the level of knowledge that they do have.

Meeting with a homeowner in their space on their property and spending time asking questions is going to give you a little bit of background of what they’re looking for. It’s not a canned speech for everybody. It’s just a process to understand where they’re at, where they’re coming from because you kind of have to meet them there; and then modify your presentation and your information to digestible pieces that they can comprehend along the way.

PM: Looking back on your own career, what has been one of the most rewarding aspects of being a professional pool design consultant?

KW: Well, I still love it. I’ve been involved in the design and construction of thousands of pool projects. I just still love meeting people and seeing the excitement, especially on a young family with kids and you can see the excitement in their faces over the probability of having a swimming pool in the backyard. When you can make the connection with people where they get really engaged with the process, that’s a lot of fun.

Of course, I get excited when I go to a multimillion-dollar home and we’re looking at a very high-end, very exotic swimming pool. But most of the satisfaction really comes from taking that design and taking it from conception to completion.

I have a project going on right now out in Possum Kingdom, which is a big lake here in Texas that is a pretty awesome job. It’s a big vanishing edge pool near a cliff and it’s just that kind of stuff that gets exciting.

I’ve spent half my adult life now in the pool industry, and it’s kind of weird when I think back on it, because I’ll be 61 this year and, man, the years fly by. It’s fun. It has definitely had its moments, but when all is said and done – after three decades, it’s been really good.

Listen to our entire conversation with Kevin Woodhurst on the Pool Magazine podcast.

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A New Era for Ledge Lounger : Chris Scherzinger Succeeds Founder Christopher Anderson




Katy, Texas – Ledge Lounger Inc. (“Ledge” or the “Company”), an industry leader in outdoor & in-pool furniture, is excited to announce a significant leadership transition, as Chris Scherzinger takes the reins as the incoming CEO, succeeding the Founder and outgoing CEO, Christopher Anderson. This transition, effective September 5, 2023, marks a pivotal moment in the Company’s journey, setting the stage for continued growth and innovation.

Incoming CEO, Chris Scherzinger, is a seasoned executive with more than 30 years of experience, previously serving as CEO of Weber Inc. and prior to that holding various executive and leadership positions at Jarden Corporation, Johnson and Johnson, Procter & Gamble and General Electric. Scherzinger brings a track record of disruptive growth, iconic brand building and creative product innovation, and he brings impressive strategic insight to the Ledge team. Scherzinger’s experience and his dedication to team-building and organizational development position him well to guide Ledge into its next phase of growth.

“I am thrilled to join the Ledge team” said Scherzinger. “Chris Anderson and his team have built an impressive business that has been on the leading edge of innovation and design in the industry. I am excited to embrace that legacy and continue to focus on new product innovation and growth across all our direct-to-consumer, wholesale and B2B channels.”

As the Founder and CEO of Ledge, Anderson leaves an indelible mark on the Company and industry. Under his leadership, the Company created a new product category of in-pool furniture and elevated Ledge to a leading position within the industry. Anderson’s dedication to Ledge’s customers and team members and his commitment to innovation has laid the groundwork for future success.

“I founded Ledge with a vision to bring innovative products to the swimming pool and backyard industry. We have done that and so much more,” remarked Anderson. “As I transition from my role as CEO, I have full confidence in Chris Scherzinger’s ability to steer the Company towards new heights.”

The transition represents a seamless shift of leadership at Ledge as the Company embraces its history while looking forward to an exciting future of growth, innovation, and continued excellence. Anderson will remain on the Board and assist with key company growth initiatives.

About Ledge Lounger Inc.:

Founded by Christopher Anderson in 2011, Ledge Lounger Inc. created the in-pool furniture category with its iconic Signature Chaise and has since expanded the product set to include outdoor furniture, games, and floats. Ledge operates an omni-channel go-to market strategy leading with direct-to-consumer and maintaining strong relationships with the trade, commercial and specialty retail channels. Ledge has experienced rapid growth since inception and is poised to continue to gain traction as a leader in outdoor furnishings and entertainment.

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