Heather Linton co-owner Swim Carefree, LLC Carrollton, Texas Residential Pool Cleaning, Repair and Maintenance Renovations, Remodels and Inspections Employees: 9 Accounts: 150 Heather Linton’s husband, Chris, was tired of working for other pool businesses, so while they both worked other jobs, she got Swim Carefree off the ground. After a year, Linton quit her job in the automotive industry to work at Swim Carefree full time. According to Linton, Chris taught her everything she knows, and had to come bail her out several times while she learned. Once there were enough clients to cover their bills, Chris joined her full time. Now the company has nine employees and a showroom, and does everything but build pools.
Mike Tellegen owner The Pool & Spa Medic Molalla, Oregon
Residential/Commercial Maintenance, Repair, Service Employees: 4 Accounts: 65-80
In 1984, Mike Tellegen started in the pool industry in Southern California. He was working as a buyer for the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company, but a good friend was looking to offload some of the maintenance work for his pool business. Eventually, Tellegen bought his friend out. But Tellegen was coming home with an aching chest and coughing due to the Los Angeles smog. Frustrated with the fast pace of the city and wanting to be closer to family, he sold his business and relocated his family to the Portland, Oregon, area. He thought he was done with the pool industry as he struggled to find the office job he was looking for. To his surprise, a local pool company was looking for a repair technician and hired Tellegen, where he became service manager before going out on his own again in 1997. He has a small retail store and office in Molalla, Oregon, but The Pool & Spa Medic covers the entire Portland metro area.
Kenneth M. Howard PHTA / CBP, PPSO, TRAINER / CSLB, C-53, C-8, C-10, C-27, C-61 owner/CEO, Ultimate-Pool.com Solana Beach, California Residential/Commercial Service, Repair, Inspections, Remodeling Employees: 3 Accounts: 142 San Diego native Ken Howard is owner and CEO of Ultimate-Pool.com. Howard has more than 20 years of experience servicing, repairing and building residential and commercial swimming pools. He’s active in his local PHTA chapter, where he serves as vice president, and has taught several seminars at various industry events. Howard runs the business with his daughter and business partner, Sara.
Dick Abare CPC, owner Algae Busters Pool Service, Inc. Tampa Bay, Florida
Residential Installation, Warranty and Repair Employees: 2
Dick Abare is founder and owner of Algae Busters Pool Service, specializing in residential swimming pool repair. Abare has been involved in the swimming pool industry for more than 46 years. He started in pool construction in the early ’70s, spent time in retail and finally realized installation and repairs were his passion. Abare actively beta tests, consults and teaches. He won the Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy award in 2018. Abare is also a member of the Tampa Group, which proudly promotes and refers pool professionals with the goal of strengthening the industry.
CPO, CST, owner
JPS Pool Services
North Scituate, Rhode Island
Pool Cleaning, Repair and Maintenance
Joshua Mattey had a short-lived culinary career before his future father-in-law encouraged him to join the pool industry. He went to work for an established pool company and started from the bottom, answering the phones, selling chemicals, vacuuming pools and visiting construction sites. When the economy tanked, the 50-year-old company went out of business and Mattey saw an opportunity. Since the old company’s customers already knew and trusted him, he started JPS Pool Services. It was rough in the beginning; Mattey was newly married with a baby, and he took any jobs he could to keep things going. Now JPS is servicing about 100 weekly accounts and does a handful of renovations a year.