David Tisherman, one of the co-founders of Genesis 3 Design Group, is selling his stock in the organization to the other principals.

The founders include Tisherman and fellow pool designers Skip Phillips and Brian Van Bower.

Genesis 3 began in 1998, when the founders sought to create industry education that was more intensive and included instructors from areas other than pool construction. It started with a three-day course covering soils issues, vanishing-edge design, perspective drawing and advanced hydraulics.

“We were only planning to do one class,” said Phillips, who is president of Questar Pools and Spas in Escondido, Calif. “But after that first class, 22 of 25 students called us and said, ‘What are we doing next?’”

Genesis 3’s classes have attracted professionals from inside and outside the industry, with more than 400 people graduating from the group’s various programs to date. In 2005, the organization began holding classes in conjunction with the AQUA Show. Two years later, Hanley Wood, LLC (also parent company to Pool & Spa News) purchased the AQUA event and incorporated the Genesis 3 program into the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo’s educational offerings. The group also has held programs in Europe, Australia and Canada.

Tisherman played a key role in developing the group’s curriculum and finding instructors, some of them university professors, from fields such as engineering and landscape architecture. He also introduced new topics including color theory and the history of aquatic design dating back to antiquity. His course on perspective drawing was one of the benchmarks of the program.

Many have been in awe of Tisherman’s design skill. He has been heavily featured in the mainstream media, including publications such as Architectural Digest and The Robb Report.

However, Tisherman has long had a reputation for a brusque personality, a quality that factored into the group’s split, said Phillips and Van Bower.

“David’s background gave us the ability to create a credible certification program and line up instructors that Brian and I wouldn’t have been able to do on our own,” Phillips said. “We want to retain that without the negativity.”

For his part, Tisherman stands by his approach. “I have based everything I’ve done on love of this industry,” he said. “I don’t believe in patting people on the back, I believe in telling the truth. Beautiful is beautiful, and there’s a reason things are beautiful.” Tisherman is principal in David Tisherman’s Visuals in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and a partner in Liquid Design in Cherry Hill, N.J.

Going forward, Phillips and Van Bower said they would like the organization to become more inclusive by collaborating with a greater number of industry groups, becoming accessible to a larger variety of professionals, and incorporating more input from members, sponsors and instructors.

“We’re embracing a wider spectrum,” said Van Bower, who is president of Aquatic Consultants in Miami. “We believe that everybody can improve from whatever level they are now to wherever they want to go.”

Additionally, they plan to broaden the organization’s course offerings. “We have a great network of quality instructors [who] all have passion like we do,” Van Bower said. “We’re going to increase the workload for some of the existing instructors, and we have some potential new instructors from the educational arena, outside the pool industry. Now we have other people in the organization who want to pick up that ball and run with it.”

The new direction also is meant to make Genesis a self-sustaining entity that can continue after the founders retire, Phillips said. As such, instructors, senior members and students will all provide input on the program.

“This is going to be about moving an entire group ahead, not continuing to push the partners or founders out in front,” Phillips said. “We realize that as founders we have a responsibility to get this organization up to a point, but then after that, you have to let the momentum of the educational process take over.

“We’re thrilled with the progress we’ve made, and we believe that with a more inclusive future we will continue to fundamentally change an entire industry,” he added.