• Credit: PLEATCO

It’s that time of year, when the Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy and Gal are revealed, but there was a twist for 2013. This time, a Perfect Spa Guy joined the ranks of industry individuals committed to service at the highest level.

The honorees, Tommy Rayburn, Amanda Colwell and Dan Stebner, each received expense-paid trips for two to Las Vegas for the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo. They were also given $5,000 worth of Genesis 3 classes and $1,000 worth of Pleatco products.

The contest is sponsored by Pleatco, a Glen Cove, N.Y.-based manufacturer of filter cartridges.

Perfect Pool Guy Tommy Rayburn (left) came to the service sector from a career in sales. He worked in the HVAC industry for six years and, prior to that, he was national sales manager at a motorcycle company. After moving to the Houston area, Rayburn started Parrot Head Pool Service in 2007, and nowadays, he and his staff of nine handle maintenance for 400 accounts weekly. Another 200 are serviced monthly, and the company does remodeling as well.

“We’ve been the highest-rated pool service company on Angie’s List five years in a row,” Rayburn said.

Perfect Pool Gal Amanda Colwell (center) also got her start in another industry. She was working at a plant nursery when an office manager position opened at Aquatrol, a pool firm in Lubbock, Texas. Not only did she get it, but six years ago, she became co-owner.

Colwell said she’s always been mechanically inclined and even worked on a pit crew in motorsports with her brother-in-law. Colwell was the first female in Texas to get a residential appliance installer license.

“Wherever I’m needed, I’m there,” she said, whether on the route or in Aquatrol’s store. “I like to see customers’ faces when their pools go from ugly to beautiful,” she added, “or when a customer is confused, pulling out their hair over a pool problem, and how happy they are when I explain it, [and now] the pool isn’t a mystery anymore.”

Perfect Spa Guy Dan Stebner (right) came to Sun Peaks, British Columbia, Canada 17 years ago as a carpenter. It’s a skill that comes in handy when he is, say, crating a hot tub or reskirting it. His first year, he serviced eight hot tubs; now he and the seven technicians at his company, Sun Peaks Aquatics, handle 250 spas throughout central B.C., including Sun Peaks Resort.

Working in ski country has its challenges. “People save up all year to come and ski here,” Stebner said. “Things must be perfect for them — controls, jets, water chemistry. For me, it’s a very dynamic thing – you think everything is under control, then there’s a big snowfall and you must shovel out your hot tubs.” Stebner is very aware that “there are three things people will remember from their trip here: the quality of the skiing, the food and the hot tub. It must be the best that it can be, so they have [positive] memories.”

As for their winnings, Stebner and Rayburn took the Genesis 3 basic construction class, which Stebner called “top shelf.” Rayburn also applauded the course, saying his new knowledge would make him “a stronger remodeler.” (Colwell was unable to attend.)