The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has announced a plan to bring industry organizations together in an attempt to create focus and, perhaps, combine resources.
The association expects to host a meeting in the first half of 2015 to discuss the proposal.
“This is a fairly small industry, and it’s really amazing how many different groups are out there trying to represent it from some aspect,” APSP President Rich Gottwald said. “I don’t see a lot of collaboration and discussion between the groups. My goal is to begin to do that, and get people talking to each other and moving in the same direction.”
This may be seen as an opportunity to pool financial resources. Gottwald examined IRS forms of approximately a dozen industry groups to get an idea of available funds. “It came to a little bit over $13 million,” he said. “I think … if we were all to get together, we could focus those resources to be more effective on behalf of the industry.”
While he said APSP doesn’t have a clear-cut idea of ways the various groups could join forces, he said perhaps some areas of overlap could be addressed.
“There might be some areas where we say, ‘Why don’t we do this and you guys do that? Let’s not both do it,’” Gottwald explained.
One example he cited was the number of model pool and spa codes currently available. “We don’t need multiple codes out there, so I think we can all say, ‘Let’s get behind this code, and let’s push it across the country.’ We don’t need five codes out there; we can have one code.”
The plan was announced at the APSP Industry Summit, held Aug. 18-20 in Fort Worth, Texas.
In addition to a speech from Gottwald, which outlined the proposal, the summit also included educational sessions on a range of topics, from economic trends to using technology for business.
One of the more popular sessions was presented by David Nelsen, a social media entrepreneur, who led a workshop tailored to the pool/spa industry. Comic Louie An-derson, a participant in the “Splash!” reality TV show, opened the event by sharing how swimming has improved his life.