2023 Pool Nation Award Winners Announced

On Nov. 14, Pool Nation held its third annual Pool Nation Awards ceremony as part of the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo. The event honored the most exceptional talents and innovative products in the pool industry.

The award recipients included Danielle Bahr, owner of Swimming Pool Pro Alliance in Temecula, California, and Dustin Anderson, owner of Precision Aquatics in San Diego, California. Bahr and Anderson were awarded the 2023 PoolPro 30 Under 40 Female of the Year and Male of the Year awards. Bahr was chosen among five other 30 Under 40 recipients: Mallory Bjekich-Wachowski, Marcia Gyles, Kimberly Langley, Sabrina Salem and Jessica Werner. Meanwhile, Anderson secured his win from a category that featured Jacob Grozier, Robert Naranjo, Omar Plasencia and Rocky Wisley.

Anderson’s team from Precision Aquatics was on hand to celebrate his win.  

“As a business owner, I feel validated in my work over the years building and maintaining relationships with industry colleagues,” Anderson says. “For my team, I hope they were inspired. The pool industry legends who shared their stories [at the awards] provided a glimpse of what the future could hold for those who continue on this path.” 

Just as Anderson hopes to inspire his team, Bahr hopes her win can inspire other women in the industry. 

“Being recognized as Female of the Year in a male-dominated industry is an incredibly empowering and validating feeling,” she shares. “By paving the way and showing that women can thrive in the pool industry, I feel like my success and determination will encourage more women to take the chance and pursue their dreams in their careers. By recognizing and supporting each other, we can create a strong network of empowered women who can collectively bring about positive change to the pool industry.” 

Beyond celebrating their wins, both Bahr and Anderson reflected on another special segment of the evening — the induction of Terry Arko and Steve Barnes into the Pool Nation Hall of Fame. 

“You could see the impact Terry [Arko] has made on the industry,” Bahr says. “Terry’s award and the outpouring of love and admiration from others are a testament to the strength of this community. It’s heartwarming to know that the pool industry goes beyond mere business transactions and truly embraces the concept of a supportive family.”

Anderson also points to the impact the award recipients have made in the industry. 

“Steve Barnes’ speech has been running on repeat in my head since that night,” he says. “Steve said, ‘I’ve been an employee for 40 years, and it’s clear proof that [business] ownership is not a prerequisite to influence a company, a brand and a culture.’ It was a clear message that our employees are the ones we owe it to for making our companies great, and they are the ones who will allow us to make a positive impact for the future of the pool industry.

Winners of the 2023 Pool Nation Awards:

Automation of the Year 

Jandy AquaLink RS 

Heat Pump of the Year

Hayward HeatPro

Variable-speed Pump of the Year 

Pentair Intelliflo3

Best Value Automation

Jandy iAquaLink IQ904

Innovative Product of the Year

AquaStar PureStar Ozone

Zac, John and Edgar Award 

Stan Basowski

Best Residential Filter of the Year

AquaStar Pipeline 

Heater of the Year

Raypak AVIA

Cleaner of the Year — Suction Side 

Hayward The Pool Cleaner 

- Sponsor -

Salt System of the Year

Hayward AquaRite S3 

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Rick English

Pool Nation Hall of Fame

Terry Arko

Steve Barnes 

Best Truck Wrap

Cali Pool Techs, Covina, California 

Builder of the Year 

J. Caldwell Custom Pools, Fort Worth, Texas 

Distributor of the Year 

Heritage Pool Supply

Trainer of the Year

Alicia Stephens, BioLab 

Sales Rep of the Year 

Abel de Loera, POOLCORP

PoolPro’s 30 Under 40 Male of the Year

Dustin Anderson, Precision Aquatics, San Diego, California 

PoolPro’s 30 Under 40 Female of the Year

Danielle Bahr, Swimming Pool Pro Alliance, Temecula, California 

Retailer of the Year 

Academy Pool & Spa, Riverside, California 

Woman Trailblazer of the Year

Casey McGovern, Every Child a Swimmer

Pool Guy of the Year

Aden Dunne, Classic Pools and Spas, Carlsbad, California 

Pool Girl of the Year 

Abigail Crosby, Preserve Pools, Charleston, South Carolina

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