Postorino Pool Service and Repair has morphed from mom-and-pop pool service company to well-known local business
photos by Bella Foto Photography
More than 30 year ago, Tom Postorino realized he was tired of cold Wisconsin winters. After a trip to Arizona for a wedding, Tom began to ponder relocating to the sunny state. So he planned a vacation to Phoenix with his two young daughters, who were accomplished swimmers, in tow.
During their stay, they met with a local swim coach, who mentioned he had a friend who needed help with his swimming pool business. Almost immediately, Postorino decided to move his family to the Phoenix metropolitan area and begin working for the pool service company.
It didn’t take long for Postorino to realize he could do the work well enough to open his own store. In 1979, he started Postorino Pool Service.
Postorino and his wife, Barb, ran their mom-and-pop-style company with the help of their four children. Their daughter Andrea helped out the most, accompanying her mom on a service route.
Andrea’s husband, Doug Sydenham, had experience, too. He’d learned about pools — layout, excavation, plumbing and laying steel — during a summer construction job. In 1993, he became the company’s first payroll employee.
After Sydenham was hired, the company began to grow rapidly. Over the next decade, the business added customers and staff. Around 1996, the business expanded to the construction and remodeling market.
“When I started in the business with the maintenance aspect, it came very easy to me since I had a good
understanding of how a pool worked,” Sydenham says.
“I just needed to learn the chemistry portion, and the diagnostic and repair side. With our commitment to
continuing education, it is a constant work in progress with each day bringing an opportunity to learn
something new. With the constant leaps in technology in the past 15 years, that has not been difficult.”
Sydenham, who is now minority owner as well as vice president and general manager, says the company now has two entities: Postorino Pool Service and Repair, Inc., and Postorino Custom Pools and Spas, Inc.
“Essentially we are a full-service maintenance operation, inclusive of repairs on virtually all areas of pool/spa operations and accompanying water features,” Sydenham says, adding that the Custom Pools division offers new pool construction and remodeling.
“Our weekly service business is primarily in the Northeast Valley,” Sydenham says. “The repair and Custom Pools business serves most of the greater Phoenix metro area. Since we have the two divisions of our company, we can design, build, maintain and warranty — a one-stop shop.”
The company has become increasingly active with manufacturers’ warranties, Sydenham says. Employees are able to service nearly all major companies in the industry. Further, as a byproduct of the warranty business and its relationships with other pool companies, those companies often count on Postorino to handle aspects of business they don’t have the time or equipment to handle. “It’s a customer base with an expanded customer base,” Sydenham says.
Its staff has also grown steadily over the years: Seven servicemen work in the field doing various jobs, and two administrative employees work in the office.
Barb is in the office three days a week, primarily handling legal matters, Sydenham says; his father in law, Tom, retired 15 months ago but still participates in the company’s public relations. The greatest challenge, Sydenham says, has been staffing the production side.
“Much of the work we do in this region is not easy and is only harder with our summer temperatures,” he says. “Not everyone is cut out for this type of work, so when you find good guys, you do everything you can to keep them — primarily with fair compensation and a good working environment. We also try to promote from within and do most of the training ourselves.”