Martin Silver (photo courtesy of the Silver family)
Martin Silver (photo courtesy of the Silver family)

Industry leader Martin “Marty” Silver, 72, passed away on Sept. 8 due to complications from heart surgery.

Silver was president of Northeast distributor Bel-Aqua Pool Supply, based in New Rochelle, N.Y. His parents, Murray and Nettie Silver, founded the company in 1955.

Before joining the family business, Martin Silver graduated from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and became a CPA. In 1970, he joined Bel-Aqua, where, along with his sister and business partner, Susan Wisan, he proceeded to grow the company into one of the East Coast’s top pool and spa distributors.

Silver also was active in pool and spa trade associations on the local, regional and national levels for years. Most recently, in 2013, he served as a member of the CEO Search Committee for the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals.

“He was totally dedicated to the swimming pool industry,” said John Romano, Silver’s friend for more than four decades and the president of All American Custom Pools & Spas in Norwalk, Conn.

Silver used his expertise to benefit others in the industry, including staffers and customers, Romano added. “On a personal level, he was sincere, kind, understanding,” Romano said. “As a CPA, he helped and encouraged many people. He was my mentor and I could bounce ideas off him, but he was that way with everyone.”

He applied that dedication in other ways, said his son, Scott Silver, vice president of operations at Bel-Aqua. “He was also known to be a problem solver, finding old, obsolete parts customers needed. ... This is how Marty defined a true distributor,” Scott said.

“He’ll be remembered for his integrity and willingness to listen and provide counsel if asked,” his son added, “as well as his intelligent and creative problem solving, friendliness, warm smile and [the way he was] always reaching out a helping hand.”

To be able to assist and interact with others, Martin Silver even tended to details such as the proximity of his office to the warehouse. “... He made sure his office was near the counter, not hidden away in the back,” Romano said.

As dedicated as Silver was to the industry, his primary focus was always the family business. Scott Silver said his father still came into the office regularly and was available to offer advice and lend his experience to family and staff.

In recent years, Martin Silver transitioned the day-to-day management to the family’s third generation, making it possible for him to travel and spend time in Florida. To say Silver liked travel is putting it mildly. He loved to go on cruises and traveled every year, visiting countries as widespread as Australia, Austria, Cambodia, China, Egypt and Israel.

Another favorite pastime was golfing. Silver belonged to the Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., and Ballen Isles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. According to his son, he played golf three to four times a week — and his favorite courses were in Hawaii.

Longtime friend John Romano expressed admiration for Silver’s dedication and vision, saying, “He did a phenomenal job in the industry and, even more so, to bring up his own children and niece and nephew to be leaders of the company. I don’t think they’ll skip a beat.”

Martin Silver is survived by his wife, Linda; son Scott Silver and wife Bonnie; daughter Shanna Leuchter and husband Bruce; sister Susan Wisan and husband Robert; and grandchildren Trey, Allison, Remy and Ross.