Owner of pool-service company credits success to involvement in APSP
When Noel Conley, Jr., went to college, he took a job working for a swimming pool company. He says he graduated, moved away and got a “real job.” But it wasn’t long until Conley found himself back in north Texas, back in the swimming pool business and giving back to his community.
“I had worked retail and other jobs, and that’s not what I wanted to do,” Conley says. “But I knew that I wanted to work for myself.”
In 1995, Conley started Miracle Pool Service in Garland, Texas — a suburb northeast of Dallas. He had a truck and ran his office out of his home.
“It was a challenge,” he says. “You rip a page out of the phone book and start calling.”
Conley had 15 to 20 weekly customers in Dallas County by the end of his first year. He did everything from weekly and one-time cleaning, to equipment repair/replacement and inspections to after-care services for new construction. Nearly 20 years later, the business has grown, but it hasn’t changed much. Conley has about 1,200 annual customers, operates three trucks and a handful of employees, and his wife, Joyce, is his office manager — the home office that’s simply in a bigger house.
Conley says he prefers to use Hayward equipment, and he uses Jet Line and SCP products “for just about everything else.” He says the quality of these companies’ products has remained consistent over the years. But the work itself, he says, has changed dramatically.
“In ’95, no one had chlorine generators, but now 50 percent of our pools have them,” Conley estimates. “There were basically no computers when I started, and now about 95 percent are built with computerized systems. Every year a manufacturer makes changes to its products. We have to keep up with those changes.”
One way Conley has kept up is by joining the North Texas chapter of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and becoming the chapter’s president.
“If you’re not constantly taking classes and learning, there’s no way you can do this job correctly,” he says. “APSP trains and educates, and it helps grow the industry.”
Conley has taken much of what he’s learned back to his customers, and he offers a pool school to teach them how to use pool equipment and how to manage pool maintenance.
Being part of APSP has also allowed Conley to do even more for the people of his community. Members decided they wanted to help people who needed a pool for therapy, especially those who give of themselves every day for others — like war veterans, firefighters and police officers.
Conley resigned his post as president in January 2014 so he could found and head up Dive Into Recovery, the charity organization sponsored by the North Texas APSP chapter. Working with the Plano, Texas, VFW post, the organization helped its first local hero, Sgt. Mario Torres, this past summer.
Sgt. Torres joined the Army in 2004, and sustained physical and mental injuries while serving in Kuwait and Iraq. He was admitted to a Wounded War Unit in 2008 and received an honorable discharge with a medical retirement in January 2010. Dive Into Recovery learned about Torres’ water-therapy needs, and had a pool and spa designed specifically for him. It was constructed under the direction of an APSP Certified Building Professional.
“No one member can go out and build a pool like this on their own,” Conley says. “But as a group, we can make that happen.”
Conley is proud to use his expertise and his involvement in APSP to make his community a better one. You won’t see the Miracle Pool Service name associated with the Dive Into Recovery project, however.
“We’re not using this as a promotion,” Conley says. “I’ve always felt that those who can give back should do so — whether it’s a little or a lot.”