Members enjoy the Casino Royale event, from which all proceeds were earmarked for The Water Project, which sends water to African communities.
Members enjoy the Casino Royale event, from which all proceeds were earmarked for The Water Project, which sends water to African communities.

At its Fall Meeting, the Master Pools Guild introduced a new slate of awards and raised money for its Water Project program.

Held in Baltimore October 21 to 24, the meeting included several educational presentations, as well as a tabletop show, awards dinner and fundraising event. Seventy-five of the member companies were represented, with approximately 200 people, including vendor partner staff, in attendance.

Sonya Giffin of MAXED Leadership held a half-day presentation on how to improve leadership skills through vision, alignment and execution. Genesis held courses on demonstrating use of the Pool Studio design program, showing how to job cost for profit, and discussing high-end project profiles. Josh Henderson of Memphis Pools shared his method for managing his company’s service division for profit and efficiency.

At its closing night, the Guild hosted a James Bond-themed Casino Royale Night, whose entire proceeds were earmarked for The Water Project, a nonprofit organization that brings clean water to communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Master Pools' goal of raising $16,000 in order to completely fund a well was surpassed: At press time, the organization had raised approximately $20,000 but was expecting more and hoping to raise enough to fund a second well. The unexpected surge came in part from a challenge issued by retired Master Pools member Bill Palmer, who said he would give $5,000 if at least 50 industry members donated at least $100 each. Contributions from members and non-members alike still are being taken on the organization's Water Project Page.

Master Pools also rolled out the new Edge Marketing Awards to recognize companies within the organization that have employed innovative and effective programs. Judged by an outside marketing firm, the program recognized 15 companies for efforts in various categories, including videos, blogs, social media, integrated programs and event marketing.

The awards were developed in response to the increasing importance of marketing to a company’s success, said Master Pools Executive Director Dick Covert.

New Master Pools Chairman of the Board Carla Sovernigo-Pawella of Alka Pool Construction in Vancouver, British Columbia, appears with former Chairman Brad Cotton of Mission Pools, Escondido, Calif.
Photos courtesy Master Pools Guild New Master Pools Chairman of the Board Carla Sovernigo-Pawella of Alka Pool Construction in Vancouver, British Columbia, appears with former Chairman Brad Cotton of Mission Pools, Escondido, Calif.

To help members in their marketing pursuits, the organization has created another video this year to be shown on certain American Airlines flights. The group and its work also will be included in an annual book produced by Rolls Royce and Bentley. Full of information about various ultra-high-end products and services, the leather-bound editions are hand-delivered to Rolls Royce and Bentley owners, and will be displayed at dealerships. As a contributor to the volume, Master Pools also will exhibit at a three-day show put on by the carmaker.

With education programs and inter-communication systems well established, Covert said, Master Pools Guild has placed marketing fully in its crosshair. “The biggest service we can offer is help marketing their product and our name,” he said.