Watkins President Reaches Milestone
Watkins Manufacturing Corp., maker of Hot Spring Spas, Caldera Spas and Advanced Hydrotherapy Systems, honored its president, Steven Hammock, for his 30th anniversary with the company. The milestone was commemorated on Nov. 6 in the Watkins booth at the 2012 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in New Orleans.
Hammock has served as president since the company’s remaining founder, Jeff Watkins, retired in 1997. He joined the firm as promotions manager in 1982, handling marketing and advertising for the then-5-year-old manufacturer of Hot Spring Spas. In the next five years, he was promoted to marketing manager, national sales manager and director of sales and marketing before being named general manager in 1987.
In 1999, Hammock oversaw the purchase of Caldera Spas as a complement to its flagship line, Hot Spring Spas. In 2012, Watkins acquired American Hydrotherapy Systems and its brands Freeflow Spas and Fantasy Spas.
Since their acquisitions, Caldera and AHS annual sales and dealership networks have grown significantly even in the face of a challenging economy. Watkins celebrated the production of its one millionth hot tub in 2011.
During Hammock’s tenure, Watkins developed many innovations that are now hot tub industry standards, including fully insulated, energy-efficient spas; integration of 24-hour circulation; multiple jet pumps; moving jets; underwater lighting; titanium heaters; and locking spa covers, according to company officials. Other proprietary technological developments include a
100 percent no-bypass filtration system and ACE saltwater sanitizing system.
Yet Hammock doesn’t measure success solely by sales. Instead, he sees employee, dealer and customer satisfaction as key.
“The hallmark of our business is relationships,” Hammock said. “Sometimes I stand in a room full of people at one of our dealer events, hundreds of members of our Watkins family, and I am overwhelmed by the realization that we’ve really built something special here. It feels good.”
Watkins Manufacturing is a division of Masco Corp., a Fortune 500 company. The company was founded in 1977, and has dealers in all 50 states, as well as more than 60 countries. n
APi Lends Support to Children’s Charity
APi, a specialty chemical company based in Jupiter, Fla., has announced the sponsorship of its eighth child through ChildFund International, an organization that provides assistance such as health care, education and basic living utilities such as electricity and water to more than 13.5 million children in 31 countries worldwide. “This initiative has been important to the company since we began sponsoring children in 2007,” said APi President Michael Moore. “Several APi employees have adopted a child to personally correspond with so that they can experience firsthand the difference the ChildFund International program makes.” APi plans to continue to support ChildFund and add more children to the family in the years ahead.
Maker of AquaFinesse Opens U.S. Facility
Netherlands-based Special Water, LLC, maker of the AquaFinesse brand of water treatment products, has opened its first U.S. production facility in Statesville, N.C. Special Water USA’s new offices and plant will house sales support staff, management and plant personnel serving the firm’s retail customers and distributors. “We were lucky enough to get a facility in this value-priced market that is sized for at least five years of forecasted growth,” said Steve Sweeney, U.S. national account manager.