Remember the first job you ever had? I find such stories very interesting. For example, business mogul Warren Buffett’s very first job was as a newspaper delivery boy. Oprah Winfrey, former TV talk show host, actress, producer and founder of OWN network, worked at a grocery store in her teens. Perhaps most surprisingly, Steve Ballmer, owner of the L.A. Clippers and former Microsoft CEO, once was assistant product manager for Duncan Hines’ Moist & Easy cakes and brownies.
So how about folks in the pool and spa industry? For this “View,” I contacted Brian Duncan, director of the Independent Pool & Spa Service Association’s Region 1 and president of Picture Perfect Pool Services in Martinez, Calif. I think it’s fair to say he’s one of those who is doing exactly what he was meant to do.
Born in Tucson, Ariz., Duncan moved to Walnut Creek, Calif., at a young age. “I’ve been a competitive swimmer most of my life and, as a consequence, I grew up in and around swimming pools,” he notes. Duncan’s first jobs were at a large municipal pool and ranged from lifeguard to lifesaving instructor to swim coach. “I coached every summer to put myself through college,” he says.
Duncan learned maintenance procedures at one of the community pools where he was coaching, and says he was intrigued by water chemistry. Perhaps it was an early sign that he was destined for a pool service career. Be that as it may, he graduated from California State University, Chico, where he was an All American in swimming and a team captain.
Following college, he gravitated toward the film industry, moving to Los Angeles to learn how to be a film editor. He started dating his now-wife, Nancy, a recent graduate of UCLA. After a while, the Duncans moved to Northern California so Brian could pursue documentary work. To supplement his income, he bought a pool route. Then, in 2000, son Sean was born. At that point, Duncan decided to focus on pool service as his livelihood. The rest, as they say, is history.