The NESPA Outstanding Achievement Awards recognize Northeast Spa and Pool Association members who have provided stellar service.
GOLD DS Pool Service Royersford, PA Sean Meyers began working in the pool industry in 2000 as seasonal summer help for a pool retail store. He worked his way up within that company and in 2013 started his own business, DS Pool Service.
“When we started our own company, we knew that the highest level
of customer service would be what would set us apart from our competition, and
keep our customers coming back year after year,” Meyers says. “So we decided
everything we would do would be customer focused, the way we wanted it to be —
the way it should be. We are constantly
impressing on our employees that the highest level of customer service is what
we are striving towards every day. We have also maintained that having educated
and well-trained employees is a huge benefit to our customers and our company,
so we have worked very hard to provide quality training to all of our employees
no matter their skill level.”
BRONZE East End Pool King Southold, NY Owner C.J. Del Vaglio graduated from Post University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After a four-year apprenticeship under his uncle at South County Pool Service in Massachusetts, he moved to Long Island in 2006 and purchased East End Pool King.
“We try to stress that the customer is the life-blood of our
business,” says Jennifer Del Vaglio, manager for East End Pool King. “Our goal
is to treat them as we would like to be treated by other service professionals
that do work for us around our home. We live in a fairly rural area, so
everybody knows everybody. As such, it becomes easier to see your customers as
an extended family, which helps in creating a deeper relationship.”
GOLD Swimming Pools By Jack Anthony Huntington, NY Swimming Pools By Jack Anthony is a family owned/operated swimming pool company, now in its second generation. It has been designing, building, renovating and servicing gunite and vinyl swimming pools for over 45 years.
“Swimming Pools by Jack Anthony went from one office of a
few good men with a few good trucks to having multiple offices and showrooms,
over 45 vehicles, heavy machinery and 75 team members,” says Michael Inzerillo,
president, designer and project manager for the company.
“Nowadays I spend most of my time working with my team to
provide unparalleled satisfaction to each of our clients during the process of
new design and construction and later in service,” Inzerillo says. “I believe
the clients’ satisfaction is our job, and to achieve that we must commit to the
highest level of industry professionalism.”
BRONZE Northstar Pool Co. Allendale, NJ As second-generation owner of Northstar Pool Co., Brian Siegel says that, since acquiring the business in 2007, he’s been building a team of outstanding individuals who deliver professional, quality and honest service. Everything he’s striving for is based upon the company’s core values: We are professionals. We give and get respect. We see things from the customer’s perspective and offer honest solutions for all our customers’ needs. We are a team — we fail and succeed together.
“All of these steps help us grow together, deal with
difficult situations, work more efficiently, maintain a healthier workplace and
consistently improve our service to our clients,” Siegel says. “I also believe
in training all of our staff to become the best they can be not only professionally
but also personally.”
BRONZE NeJame Pools Verbank, NY Established in 1954 by Edward NeJame, NeJame Pools has been building and servicing pools for 66 years. His son, Chris NeJame, along with his wife and partner, Shelly NeJame, took over the company in the late ’80s.
“We are constantly working on increasing our client
satisfaction,” says service manager Michael NeJame. “Understanding our clients
and addressing their needs is paramount. We do our best to build a rapport with
them. Clear, precise and direct communication with clients goes a long way. All
of our clients have access to key personnel, including me, and we advise them
to call, email or text whenever they have questions or concerns. If we can’t
answer them immediately, we always do our best to respond within 24 hours, even
if it’s a holiday. We make it known that we are always there for them, and that
goes a long way.”
SILVER Aqua Pool & Patio East Windsor, CT When Michael Giannamore joined his father’s business in the early ’90s his task was making the service department profitable. “It was a small service department,” Giannamore says of the four-person team at the time, including himself as manager. “It was a required part of being a pool builder, but it was not a profit center nor was it legitimate.”
Giannamore has grown the department to 18 to 20 in-season
service technicians and five office staff. “We are a greater part of the
business today,” Giannamore says. “Every year it’s less and less about new
pools, and more about service.”
Giannamore bought the service arm of the company from his
father in 2014 and the construction part of the business in 2018.
“There’s a lot in people’s lives that revolve around the
swimming pool,” Giannamore says. “We take it seriously. It’s a neat industry
and a good career.”
SILVER Pool & Water People of CT Cheshire, CT Pool & Water People of CT was founded in 1969 by Peter Habetz, and David and Valerie Pinette took over as owners in 2019.
“Hot tub rentals and providing just about around-the-clock customer
service to [pool owners] made Peter and [the company] a very well known name in
the area,” David Pinette says. “Peter has always done whatever he could to make
the customer happy.”
In 2016, Pinette was working full time as manager, and
Habetz made a number of updates to the company including updating vehicles,
office billing, new hires and efforts toward providing even better service to
customers. The business was growing, Pinette says. “In 2019, Peter was
convinced that the business would be in good hands with Valerie and me, so he
turned the business over to us so that we can continue to flourish and make
Pete’s dreams and visions a reality,” he says.
Customer demand has already led the Pinettes to open a new
storefront/warehouse in Cheshire, Connecticut, which is currently in the
build-out phase, with a grand opening set for March 2020.
SILVER Specialized Pools Brick, NJ Specialized Pools was founded in 1995 by Bob and Cathy Kniffin after some frustration over the construction of a pool in their own backyard and a desire to give homeowners exactly what they dream of as long as it is within code regulations.
In 2011, the Kniffin children, Alexa and Robert, began
servicing pools when the customer base reached a number that Alexa Kniffin says
demanded a dedicated service division. In 2015, after graduating from Rutgers
University, Alexa became the company’s service manager. The company now has
over 100 weekly clients and six employees in the service department.
“I think the reason our company has gotten to where it is
today is because of the maximum effort that all of our employees give,” Alexa
Kniffin says. “We as a team strive for the least amount of complications
throughout the season so our clients can really get the most out of their pools
and spas. We want to understand how best to achieve and maintain a happy client
base. We all want to see projects turn out exactly as clients hope and, beyond
that, we want them to see their pool as a fun and beautiful addition to their