In 1982, the year Brooke Rossi was born, her parents Mike and Michelle DesRochers started DesRochers Pools. She spent her adolescent and teen years heavily involved with the business and has since taken over as second-generation owner, alongside her brother Brian DesRochers.
After graduating from Illinois State University in 2005 with a degree in kinesiology, Rossi became the retail general manager of all three DesRochers locations. She and Brian purchased the company from their parents in 2016.
Rossi says the biggest challenge thus far has been the initial transition to ownership, specifically building trust with customers after their parents ran the business for 35 years.
“Winning over the customers again was something we had to overcome — that we were going to treat them the same way our parents did, but it might be different policies and procedures,” Rossi says.
Rossi is CPO certified. She was part of PHTA’s WAVE steering committee from 2013 to 2018 and received the PHTA Retailer of the Year award in 2018.
Regarding the future of the industry, Rossi acknowledges the importance of new faces. “I am hoping more young professionals see the huge opportunity to make this industry a career,” she says, “and not just a summer job.”