Ana Manning Co-owner and COO Manning Pool Service Houston, Texas
Ana Manning started at Manning Pool Service in 2012, four years after her husband, David Manning, joined the company. She says it was chaotic until she came on. One of the first things she tackled was restructuring the pool routes.
Manning worked at Manning Pool Service part time, learning operations while getting a business degree at the University of Houston. Upon graduation, she stayed at MPS full time. She used to dream of starting a restaurant, “but my knowledge in the pool industry was so valuable, and I loved it so much,” Ana says. “I just could not leave. I’m a pool lady for life now.”
Ana is now chief operating officer at MPS. She, her husband David and his brother Jeffrey Manning took ownership of the company in January of 2020, when David and Jeffrey’s parents and company founders retired.
MPS has nearly 650 weekly maintenance accounts and 30 vehicles on the road with 34 employees. It fields regular repair calls from outside the weekly customer base and is the largest Pentair warranty station in Houston. With a cadre of young employees from 21 to 32 years old, MPS has a distinct perspective on the industry and ambition to make changes to the status quo. Culture and providing educational opportunities to staff are top priorities.
Chris Cavanaugh Owner Cavanaugh Pool Owensboro and Madisonville, Kentucky
Chris Cavanaugh is part of the third generation in his family’s pool business. His grandfather started building pools in the ’70s, and carrying pool chemicals and supplies in the family’s hardware store, Dugger Hardware in Nortonville, Kentucky. In 1987, the family opened Parkway Pools retail store in Madisonville, Kentucky. Cavanaugh started helping in the family business when he was a teenager, installing pools, helping in the store and doing service calls. He returned home after college, starting back at the business as general manager in 2007. Along with brothers Jeremy and Shane, Cavanaugh bought the business in 2015, expanded it and renamed it Cavanaugh Pool, Spa & Patio. Opening a new retail location in 2018 in Owensboro, Kentucky, the company expanded the reach for service and installs. Cavanaugh serves as president and general manager of the business, overseeing both stores and service. He also serves on the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance’s WAVE Young Professionals Network steering committee.
Tracy Bond Owner Great Valley Pool Frazer, Pennsylvania
Tracy Bond purchased Great Valley Pool Service in 2014 and came into the industry with her only experience being her own backyard pool. She has an undergraduate degree in finance from Georgetown University, an MBA in finance from the Wharton School of Business and 25 years of corporate experience in budgeting and financial analysis in big pharma Fortune 500 companies. Tracy runs the business alongside her brother, Cecil Bond.
Great Valley Pool Service is one of the largest service companies in its area with about 24 trucks on the road and over 400 recurring service customers. It also has a retail store; an awning company that has experienced exponential growth under her leadership; and she acquired a Christmas light decorating business in 2015. Bond just started serving her term on the board of directors for the Penn Jersey Pool and Spa Association, and her company has received numerous regional, local and national awards.
David Penton Owner Fluid Dynamics Pool & Spa Fullerton, California
David Penton founded Fluid Dynamics (previously Krystal Klear Pools) in 1992 as a sole proprietor performing pool and spa maintenance and repair services. He quickly became known as one of the premier service providers in the North Orange County area for both his residential and commercial work. In 2002, Penton received his California state contractor’s license in pool maintenance and repairs. As the company continued to grow, demand increased for construction-related projects, and Penton got his C-53 pool construction license in 2003. Eventually he sold the service business to focus on building. Fluid Dynamics Pool & Spa Inc., has been involved in numerous high-profile watershape construction projects in Los Angeles and Orange County, including the recent restoration of the main fountain at The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, and restoration of the fountain at the historic Century Towers property in Century City. His projects have been featured in The Robb Report, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Luxury Pools, as well as countless industry trade magazines. Penton is on faculty for Watershape University and one of the members of the International Watershape Institute. He regularly mentors pool professionals across the United States and internationally through the podcast, Ask The Masters.
Frank Disher Franchise partner/owner Poolwerx Keller; Alpha Pool & Spa North Richland Hills, Texas
Frank Disher, an electrician by trade, and his wife Jacque own Alpha Pool & Spa and a Poolwerx franchise. While repairing a customer’s pool light, that customer asked Disher if he could perform regular maintenance on her pool as well. After investigating the idea, Disher dived right in, getting training from manufacturers, taking seminars and earning certifications to improve his pool knowledge. In 1997, Aloha Pools merged with Crystal Pool Chemical, expanding reach and scope of service. In 2018, Disher joined the Poolwerx franchise network, expanding the company’s retail and service reach even further.
Jules Johnson Operations manager Mission Pool & Spa Supplies Mission Viejo, California
Jules Johnson has been in retail for 20 years. She landed in the pool business when she moved to California and started managing a pool store. She had a knack for it and says she found her calling. She is often called The Water Doctor because of her ability to solve obscure pool chemistry issues. About a year ago, the oldest swimming pool supply and service store in Orange County and Los Angeles County recruited Johnson, and she has since made her mark at Mission Pool & Spa Supplies as operations manager. Johnson oversees the pool service route, repairs, commercial accounts and helps customers in the retail store. She has dubbed herself Jules the Pool Girl and has a weekly column for Pool Operator Talk News about issues important in the swimming pool industry. She constantly attends seminars and various trainings to continue her education. She is a CPO and looking to get her contractor’s license. Mission Pool & Spa Supplies has been in business for more than 65 years and focuses on outstanding service with a family feel. It is also known for commandeering hard-to-find parts.
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