After nearly 15 years, Jeff Fausett, the longtime CEO of United Aqua Group, has retired from his post.
“It was the crowning success of my career,” Fausett said. “It was the best job I’ve ever had — the fulfillment of skills and opportunities I’d developed through my life.”
Fausett plans on spending the next several months redeveloping himself and starting up a consulting firm called TLC Strategy. He will remain in Las Vegas.
As for the immediate future, Fausett’s UAG exit coincides with the start of his tenure as chairman of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, a year-long position. He also will continue to participate in the California Pool & Spa Association.
“We’re really excited for him,” said Tracy Miguel, UAG’s vice president of sales and marketing. “I think it’s a great opportunity. I was personally very saddened by his decision to retire, but I fully support him as chairman of APSP, and I think he’ll lead our industry into the future.”
Former CFO Lee Rincon now takes the helm as the organization’s COO.
This change follows the exits earlier this year of Executive Vice President Thomas Brown and Director of Education and Events Sharon Moser.
Fausett joined UAG, then known as Aquatech Corp., at the end of 1999.
Under his leadership, the group went from approximately 70 residential pool and spa builders to its current membership of 280 firms that run the gamut from construction to retail to service and include builders of large-scale commercial venues.
In addition to its membership, the organization diversified its services under Fausett’s watch. While the earlier version of UAG was strictly a buying group, it began providing insurance under the AquaGuardian name, which served members at a time when insurance was hard to acquire. Through the years, the organization also greatly enhanced its business and marketing support and expanded its education.
“All those things made it more stable and diverse,” Fausett said. “When you looked at an organization that didn’t have diversification, you always worried about its ability to survive a downturn. And while the pool industry was in a massive growth period, you knew at some point there was going to be a downturn.”
In the past two years, UAG underwent two of its largest changes. In 2012, it moved its headquarters from Costa Mesa, Calif., to Las Vegas, citing the lower costs of doing business and easier travel access.
Then last year, the name of the umbrella corporation was changed to United Aqua Group, with the building arm continuing as Aquatech, the retail segment called Aqua Value and Aqua Commercial designated for contractors of that sector.
“He served this organization very well for 15 years and helped it grow into the business that it is today,” Miguel said. “He is very loved and endeared across this organization and the membership.”
Fausett said he’d been considering retirement for some time, hoping to spend more time with his family and travel, in addition to starting TLC Strategy.
“I have great admiration and appreciation for [UAG],” he said. “It was a great ride. You think about being given the opportunity to take something that had a lot of potential and grow it and develop it — and not only that, but have great wonderful relationships with dealers, members and the industry. What more could you want?”
United Aqua Group was founded in 1958. It incorporated as Aquatech Corp. in 1962 in Arizona, before moving to Orange County, Calif., in 1982.