David Hawes started his company in 1971 — but he’d been around the swimming pool industry his entire life. His parents cleaned up after gunite crews, loading sand and cement into dump trucks and hauling it off. When he was 12, Hawes started his first pool company, Dave’s Chemical Service, where he would ride his bike and add chemicals. He has a degree from the Menlo School of Business Administration. Hawes is an active IPSSA member and is currently the group’s president and region 1 director. He is also a member of the APSP and a board member of the FPSIE. He teaches and speaks at industry events nationwide.

Derrick Todd got his start in the swimming pool industry in 2002 working for a large pool company in Columbia, South Carolina. He and his wife Suzanne started Aquanut Pool Care in 2008. In addition to the robust service business, the couple opened a retail store in 2016.

Terry Clason grew up doing auto repair — the family business for 40 years. He got his start in pools by helping friends with heater repairs since, at the time, not many were doing diagnostics with multimeters, something he was comfortable with. Ten years ago, he started Coral Pools and says there is a great group of pool company owners in his area who help each other out.

Brian Diglio purchased Blue Wave Pool Service & Supplies from its original founder in 1985. Diglio didn’t have a background in the pool industry, but he sought out education to get up to speed, which introduced him to industry associations. Diglio has been extremely involved in the local and national associations, serving as the president and education chairman for the Connecticut Spa & Pool Association and as an instructor for the National Swimming Pool Foundation. Blue Wave strives to provide the service of a large company while keeping the feel of a family operation.

Craig Sears is president and owner of Sears Pool Management Consultants, a 21-year old firm specializing in the operation and management of commercial swimming pool facilities in the Atlanta metro. He received a degree in biology from Washington and Lee University and an MBA in management from Georgia State University. With more than 25 years’ experience in the aquatics industry, Sears has been a lifeguard, swim coach, swim lesson instructor, pool manager, sales manager and even a bartender before founding Sears Pool Management in 1997. Sears served as president of the GA Chapter of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and continues to serve on the state board of directors. In 2012, Sears founded the nonprofit Greater Atlanta Water Safety Alliance, a chapter of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. Sears received the APSP Fellows designation in 2018. He is passionate about aquatics and seeks to better the industry in the areas of safety, professionalism and minimizing environmental impact.