The search for a new CEO of the Association of Pool & Spa
Professionals has begun.
For only the seventh time in its 56-year history, a new leader
will sit at the helm of the Alexandria, Va.-based organization
after Bill Weber retires in November 2013.
“We’re seeking a visionary, a consensus builder,
somebody who can build bridges among the various organizations and
segments of the industry,” said Lauren Stack, APSP director
of industry relations.
In late October, the APSP Board of Directors announced it had
established a selection committee chaired by Bruce Fisher, vice
president of International at Hayward Pool Products and former
chairman of the APSP Manufacturers Council.
The committee members, recruited by Fisher in August, include
Joe Amato, owner, Amato Industries; Lawrence Caniglia, executive
director, Northeast Spa & Pool Association; Mike Dunn,
executive vice president, Watkins Manufacturing; Mike Giovanone,
president/CEO, Concord Pools & Spas; Steve Gorlin,
president/CEO, Gorlin Pools & Spas; Greg Howard, CEO,
Carecraft; Mark Laven, president, Latham International; Michael
Miller, president, Miller Pools; Martin Silver, president, Bel-Aqua
Pool Supply; and Stack.
“The committee had to be representative of all
constituencies, and we found a strong team to help us in this
process,” Fisher said. “There is tremendous respect for
One of the group’s primary objectives is to identify and
hire a search firm with a strong track record of recruiting
candidates for high-ranking positions within an association, he
This is familiar territory for APSP, which utilized a
firm’s service to ultimately hire Weber. “The committee
in 2005 did a great job identifying a search firm partner and
creating a job description,” Stack said. “We have a
strong blueprint for the process, and I’m confident that it
will be successful.”
To streamline the effort, Caniglia has been selected to lead a
search firm subcommittee that will identify companies equipped to
handle the task. The subcommittee is anticipated to appoint a
search firm by the beginning of 2013, Stack explained.
A subcommittee in charge of budgets and one to oversee revising
the job description also have been established.
Silver will lead the budget subcommittee, which will be
responsible for overseeing costs associated with the recruitment
process, including establishing the compensation package,
determining any necessary relocation expenses and approving fees
for the search firm.
Howard will chair the subcommittee responsible for writing a new
job description for the CEO. The ideal candidate will have trade
association experience, strong strategic planning and marketing
skills, development strategies and communications expertise, Fisher
A new job description is necessary because the role of the CEO
has evolved along with the industry, he added.
When Weber joined APSP in 2005, the organization was facing
lawsuits and undergoing bankruptcy, so his legal background and
government relations experience served the group well during a
However, the subsequent recession, the emphasis on remodeling
and challenges from online competitors have transformed the
environment in which the organization operates. To combat these
issues, officials want a new CEO who will lead the association in
talks regarding value-added services, dealer networks and the
structure of main street dealers. The individual also will
recognize the needs of APSP’s multiple constituencies and
understand the differences between them from state to state.
“All organizations need to evolve to stay healthy. This is
a unique time for the industry and the association because there
have been some fundamental changes in the last five years,”
Once the firm has been selected and a job description approved
by the board of directors, the call for candidates will commence in
late winter or early spring.
The search committee then will narrow down the candidates to two
or three finalists, who will give presentations to the APSP board.
The committee will make recommendations, but the APSP board will
have the ultimate decision, Fisher said. The board plans to select
a new CEO no later than its annual summer meeting.
“The association has an opportunity to bring in an
individual who will hopefully have the skill set to take us through
the next 10 years,” Fisher said.