Jerry Pasley didn’t know much about hot tubs until he bought one for his young family to enjoy in 1986. Back then, he had no idea that the simple backyard vessel would translate not only into a career, but also an enduring passion.

“I came from the RV industry originally, so I understood [the value of recreation],” Pasley said. “The spa took away a lot of the distraction and distresses. It really changed my life.”

In late February of this year, Pasley joined Bullfrog Spas, based in Bluffdale, Utah, as its chief executive officer. The firm’s founder and former CEO, David Ludlow, will remain on-board as president, and the two will work closely together.

Before moving to Bullfrog, Pasley had firmly established himself in the hot tub industry as executive vice president of sales for Jacuzzi Hot Tubs and Sundance Spas, where he served for more than 18 years.

“It was a tough decision to leave, but a great opportunity for me personally and professionally,” Pasley said.

But his work with Jacuzzi/Sundance wasn’t even Pasley’s first foray into the spa market. Shortly after falling in love with his own hot tub, he switched industries and, from the ground up, launched a pool and spa retail firm in Idaho Falls, Idaho, called Leisure Time.

In 1993, he joined Jacuzzi/Sundance as a regional manager in his native Rocky Mountain area, working his way up the ladder in a variety of positions until reaching his most recent role with the manufacturer.

Today, Pasley feels that paying his dues this way helped educate him on what’s involved at each level of the hot tub product category. “What prepares me for the role with Bullfrog is that I understand all aspects of our channels, from the retailer’s perspective and that of the consumer.”

He plans to put those skills to good use at the company, first focusing on the introduction of a new product development cycle while cultivating an even larger network of dealers.

“Dealers are the heart of this industry,” he says. “They need to continue to provide feedback to make sure manufacturers are offering the products, features and services their customers need. I plan to seek out that dealer response.”

His past work as a retailer aside, Pasley’s position at Bullfrog brings him full circle to where his interest in hot tubs began. His daughters, who as children splashed in the first spa he bought, currently live in the Salt Lake City area, where Pasley recently moved.

“Family is the most important part of what I do,” he says.