Wendy Parker has been tapped to head the Florida Swimming Pool Association, a move that the organization hopes will end the merry-go-round of executive directors.

The FSPA Board of Directors selected Parker, the trade association’s director of marketing, for the group’s top position at its June 30 meeting by a vote of 79-1. Parker is the fourth person to lead FSPA since December 2005.

The group has changed the title of its top position from executive director to office operations manager, though the duties remain the same.

The board eschewed the normal search procedure that brought in executive directors from other industries — but ultimately proved unsuccessful — and instead promoted from within.

Staffers at FSPA have described Parker as “the glue” that kept the office together while executive directors came and went over the past few years.

“I think it’s a great move and she’s doing a fantastic job,” said Jennifer Hatfield, FSPA’s director of government and public affairs. “The office is running very smoothly.”

Board member Steve Bludsworth, who has chaired FSPA’s Search Committee, said Parker was a natural choice, and the board has heard nothing but good things about her during her FSPA tenure.

“In all the turmoil we’ve had with executive directors, she’s kind of been running the place anyway,” said Bludsworth. “So now it’s a formal agreement instead of an informal one.”

Parker has been with FSPA since March 2001. As marketing director, she helped grow the group’s annual trade show by more than 100 percent, and raised the profile of the organization.

Parker will coordinate the organization’s 16 chapters in Florida, and gear up for FSPA’s Pool & Spa Show on Feb. 22-23, 2008, in Orlando.