Bill Gaias started working summers in a family friend’s pool store when he was 12. He stocked shelves and tested water, moving on to pool maintenance, construction helper and service technician as he got older. After high school, he worked as a service technician by day and took community college classes at night.
After completing his two-year degree, Gaias says he felt at a crossroads. When he had an opportunity to become service manager at J. Tortorella Swimming Pools in Southampton, New York, he put pursuing his bachelors degree on hold and dived into a pool industry career.
While Gaias already had technical knowledge, J. Tortorella taught him about management, customer service and how to run a business efficiently. “Those skills have been some of the most valuable to me long term,” Gaias says.
He spent eight years at J. Tortorella, working mostly on high-end pools. When he started working for Zodiac Pool Systems as its territory service manager for Florida, it exposed him to a different side of the pool industry. “The Florida market has a large portion of normal, everyday pools,” Gaias says, of which he hadn’t experienced many.
Gaias grew at Fluidra/Zodiac, recently becoming the company’s national service director, overseeing its U.S. field service department.
“I hope I can use my success and my story to motivate others in the industry to grow in their careers,” Gaias says. “I am a firm believer that if you work hard and focus on being the best at what you do, success will follow. Sometimes it takes longer than you would like, but it will come.”