CPSA Executive Director John Norwood
CPSA Executive Director John Norwood

The California Pool & Spa Association has undergone several foundational changes meant to broaden its scope.

CPSA adjusted its business model to that of a straightforward association, restructured its board and elected a new chairman. In addition, it signed affiliation agreements with several industry organizations in a broad campaign to gain cooperation within the field. The group also will introduce a novel new fundraising effort.

This follows on the heels of actions late last year, when the group finalized new bylaws that turned the group into a chapter-based organization.

Since its founding, CPSA (and its predecessor SPEC) had been a non-profit organization technically owned by its management company, Sacramento-based Norwood and Associates (and, before that, founding manager Don Burns and OMI Government Relations). The group now has converted to a trade association.

This will result in some role changes. The Board of Governors, which previously served in a strictly advisory capacity, now functions as an operational Board of Directors that produces the mandates for the organization. The board now will include nine to 11 individuals, plus a few spots for representatives from other organizations, down from a 24-person body. Each board member and officer serves three-year terms, with options for renewal.

This also means that Norwood and Associates’ head, John Norwood, has changed titles from CEO to executive director, as his company is charged with implementing plans set forth by the BOD.

“Now the association reflects the will of the people,” Norwood said. “I think it’s something we needed to do as a matter of transparency.”

In March, Chairman Mike Geremia stepped down after more than seven years at the helm. He now will serve as the organization’s immediate past chair. Taking the position is Jerry Wallace, president of Swim Chem of Sacramento, Calif., who was elected in March. Wallace served on the Board of Governors for more than 25 years and has headed the group’s Legislative Committee and served as vice chairman of legislative affairs.

“It’s clearly moving in the right direction,” Wallace said. “Going forward with the plans that CPSA has for the future, we needed a mobile board able to react quickly. The old Board of Governors was a great group with a wealth of knowledge, but to try to conduct business with that large a group was difficult. This gives us a lot more flexibility.”

From Geremia’s perspective, the changes mark another important milestone since YEAR, when the group changed its name from SPEC and broadened its mission from being strictly a lobbying organization.

As had other associations, CPSA had to work hard to get through the recession.

“When we decided to convert to a full-blown association, we started to see some light at the end of the tunnel,” Geremia said. “I felt at that point in time, it would be good to bring in new blood, new ideas, new energy, and by changing the board to the style of board we have now and passing our reins over to Jerry Wallace, I feel like the association is in really good hands and in a really good position to represent the industry here in California.”

CPSA also signed affiliation agreements with other organizations, including the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, the National Swimming Pool Foundation, the Western Pool and Spa Show, and the Foundation for Pool & Spa Industry Education. Through these agreements, the organizations will exchange funds, promotions and resources. Additionally, the organizations will have representation on the CPSA board.

“Now we’re really making it official that we’re bringing the industry together to support CPSA and all our efforts,” Norwood said. “It’s a real positive for the industry that we’re all trying to get on board and push in the same direction.”

In April, the organization will kick off a fundraising drive, with the magic number 24. On April 24, for a 24-hour period, individuals will be asked to contribute $24. Donations can be made directly on the organization’s website.