Joe Andrews has spent most of his career in commercial aquatics operations, with a focus on facility maintenance and teaching. After working for commercial facilities across Oregon, Andrews felt his career would flatline if he didn’t move into an administrative role. It was a tough place to be for “an operator who likes to be in pump rooms and getting projects done,” as he puts it.
He joined the team at Strong Refuge Pool as a sales and service advisor, allowing him to leverage his extensive operations experience and as a certified pool/spa operator instructor and a lifeguard instructor/trainer.
For Andrews, the allure of the pool industry is its ability to foster play and healing in communities. From enabling childhood enjoyment to nurturing growth, he likes to see how his work creates positivity. “The industry serves youth through all cycles of their life, from early play to entry into the working world,” he says. “It has been a pleasure to support staff from their first job and watch them launch into careers as doctors, teachers, film producers and aquatics professionals.”
Seeing the importance of aquatics facilities, Andrews is determined to help the industry sustainably thrive, continually raising the bar of water quality, safety and supervision. “I am a strong believer that a rising tide lifts all boats,” he says. “I want us to get to a future where we have the best technology and science giving [us] the healthiest and safest pools.”
Andrews is working toward improving indoor air quality in aquatics facilities. “I grew up swimming competitively and have worked in facilities that have had issues controlling indoor air quality, which resulted in people I know having long-term breathing issues,” he explains. “It is my goal that when I leave the industry, that will be a thing of the past.”