by PoolPro on behalf of NESPA
The Northeast Spa & Pool Association brings pool pros together
In 1958, pool and spa industry workers in the northeastern United States formed the Northeast Spa & Pool Association to address their collective needs. The organization’s goals were and continue to be to promote and protect its members, providing education for all stages of their business.
“NESPA provides a great deal to the industry,” says Sean Meyers, owner of DS Pool Service, Inc. in Royerford, Pennsylvania. “It provides an avenue for companies to network with each other as well as manufacturers and vendors. [It is] also our voice in government relations. Licensing in some states has been driving by NESPA. And the education NESPA provides is second to none.”
Kyle Chaikin, president and co-owner of Chaikin Ultimate Pools in Long Island, New York, was president of NESPA from September 2013-14, and continues to serve in a past-president capacity. He says that the organization helps to make the industry a better place to do business and succeed by providing education and camaraderie.
NESPA has education throughout the year, including various technical seminars and monthly open testing for various industry certifications at NESPA headquarters, as well as at the organization’s annual expo. “I believe that NESPA provides top notch education to the industry in an accessible and affordable way,” says Brian Siegel, owner of Northstar Pool Co. in Allendale, New Jersey.
“The courses provided through NESPA go beyond basic information, which keeps you prepared for the all-too-common unpredictability of certain pool jobs,” says Alexa Kniffin, sales and service manager for Specialized Contracting Services, Inc. in Brick, New Jersey. “The continuing education NESPA provides for its members is reason enough to recommend membership. Keeping pool professionals armed with the most current information the industry has to offer encourages members to go out into the field confidently, knowing they have a reputable organization in their corner.”
Michael Inzerillo, president, designer and project manager for Swimming Pools By Jack Anthony, which has four locations in Long Island, says he obtained his PHTA certifications through NESPA programs: Certified Building Professional, Certified Pool Operator and Certified Service Professional. “NESPA provides our industry with the tools we need to raise our standards,” he says. “[It] offers the clients reassurance that our members are high quality designers, builders and service folks.”
NESPA events give a place to network and build relationships with other professionals in the area, Siegel says. And Chaikin says that NESPA networking is unparalleled.
“Being part of the NESPA membership family is like going to a football game with like-minded football fans,” Inzerillo says. “Some of my favorite times have been spent with other ‘poolies’ at any of our meetings, seminars and, of course, the Atlantic City show.”
Inzerillo refers to The Pool & Spa Show, held at the beginning of each year. This year’s show will be January 28-30 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. “[It’s] my favorite season,” he adds. “It’s many days and nights filled with poolies and poolie chats. I enjoy getting to meet and spend time with our industry manufacturer representatives… I remember when I met [each one of them]. Where else could you have dinner and drinks with Chuck from Baystate or Andy from Jetline?”
It’s also one of Kniffin’s favorite events of the year — this year will be her sixth time attending. “For me, the January show is the perfect off-season event to reinvigorate everyone’s motivation for the upcoming season,” she says. “We get to see many of our local vendors and it’s a great time to discuss what’s ahead in the season to come, and what products to keep an eye out for to make our day-to-day in the field more efficient.”
Meyers says The Pool & Spa Show is the best show in the industry, providing education at an affordable rate and some of the best vendors. “The social atmosphere is great as well,” he says, “the Welcome Party being a premier event not to be missed.”
Siegel agrees the show is a must attend for everyone in the industry. “For the seasoned pool pro, it provides a unique opportunity to talk business with other pool pros who are not in your direct market,” he says. “From my experience, when there is a bit of distance between companies, company leaders are much more willing to open up and share.”
The Pool & Spa Show is a great place for the intermediate technician to learn new skills, get certified and gain advancement possibilities within the industry, Siegel adds. “For rookies, the show can be a motivating and eye-opening experience,” he says. “This show is the perfect opportunity to show your ‘rookies with potential’ how large the industry is and all of the different career paths that could be available to them.”
Chaikin says, with all of this to consider, it’s every pool company’s obligation to become a NESPA member. “We are fighting every day to help them be able to do business and be profitable,” he says. “We are also doing research and helping to drive the discussion about how to properly build and operate swimming pools. Whether people realize it or not, they are benefitting from the efforts of NESPA and should contribute to the cause, as it helps them to make their living. They will benefit even more by being around the industry influencers and leaders. I know it makes my business better in every way.”
“By joining like-minded professionals together, NESPA helps to raise the bar within the industry,” Siegel says, “which helps everyone grow in professionalism, respect and their bottom line.”
*This content is sponsored by NESPA