The first crucial step in the process of merging two of the largest industry associations has taken place.

In April, the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals and the National Swimming Pool Foundation announced their intent to create a historic merger between the two associations - one for the pool and spa industry, the other carrying a wide range of aquatics and pool/spa professionals and experts. In addition to managing the minutiae that come with two sizable organizations, they must reconcile their different non-profit classifications.

NSPF Chairman Bruce Dunn (left); APSP Chairman Rich Garbee
NSPF Chairman Bruce Dunn (left); APSP Chairman Rich Garbee

The boards for both organizations have chosen a business management consultant firm to guide them through that process.

Mount Laurel, N.J.-based AH (for Association Headquarters) specializes in working with non-profit organizations. "This initiative will be extremely positive for the aquatics industry, and we are excited to be partnering with the APSP and the NSPF on this unification," said AH President/CEO Bob Waller, CAE, in a press release.

With the hire made, the organizations expect to have a plan in place by the first quarter of next year.

The group was hired through a unanimous vote, said NSPF Chairman Bruce Dunn.

According to the groups, they have begun the process of disclosing documentation to each other as they explore this process.