The Southwest Pool and Spa Association recently shared several pieces of important news impacting industry members in its region.

First, the association sadly reported that Gene Erickson died on March 18. Erikson, who worked for multiple firms including Hawaiian Pools and Paddock Pools, was remembered as “Mr. Fix It” who always “lived for the moment” and who had the ability to make people laugh.

He is survived by his parents, two sisters, two daughters, four grandchildren, and a fiancée, JoAnne Davis. A service was held in his honor March 28.

In more celebratory news, SPSA said it is nearing completion of its Veteran’s Pool Project, which is being constructed for Steven Stewart and his family. A concrete donation currently is being coordinated, and the final phases of the project include wrapping up the deck work, installation of the tile, inspection and interior finishing. The association said it anticipates a finish date of April 25.

In the spirit of helping others, SPSA announced it is the first in the nation to offer an instant universal web credit application that will provide families interested in purchasing pools a more streamlined approach to obtaining financing. The association outlined the process as the following: After selecting an association member to work with, the prospective customer fills out the online credit application. Within seconds the application will retrieve credit bureau information, apply the preprogram credit parameters of the lender and supply the prospect with an approval. According to the association, no one is turned down. However, a very small number of applications will be sent for review and the prospective customer will be contacted the following day. In an effort to increase its members’ share of the market, SPSA said it is optimizing its website to attract more prospective pool and spa buyers.

While the association is gearing up for more anticipated pool and spa purchases, it also is helping to prepare industry members with the latest education offerings. On March 11, approximately 80 professionals attended the latest seminar “Pool Surface Forensics 201,” led by the National Plasterers Council technical Advisor Greg Garrett at the Phoenix Public Library. Garrett also will be teaching the NPC Start-Up Technician Certification Class on May 10. The cost is $295 and includes all handouts, books beverages and lunch. Those interested in attending the class in Mesa, Arizona, can request information or RSVP by emailing greggarrett@hotmail.com.

One week earlier, on May 3, the association will celebrate the coming pool season with a family picnic, potluck, salsa contest and bingo at Chandler Folley Park in Chandler, Arizona. For information about the picnic, contest, volunteering to set up or to RSVP, contact Barb Eaton at 602-267-8059 ext. 105 or e-mail newpools@calplastering.com.