Kurt Schuster was an accountant approximately 15 years, first in Wisconsin, then Texas and finally Arizona. As he put it, he was “between opportunities” when a chance meeting with a fellow Green Bay Packer fan at a Phoenix gas station changed his life.
“We started talking and I found out that he was from the same town,” Schuster recalled. That conversation eventually led to a job offer, and he went to work for Darryl Gehrig at Best Pool Service.
“It was a great gig,” Schuster said of his 1.5 years there.
In 1999, he started his own firm, Badger Pool Service, choosing the distinctive name because of his roots in Wisconsin, the Badger State.
Nowadays, he services mostly residential and some commercial pools. He used to have more accounts and two technicians on staff, but the economy necessitated downsizing. Currently, it’s a one-man operation, and he has 55 clients. He said he’s still good friends with his former mentor and when he has a “situation” and needs an opinion, he knows who to call.
To say Schuster is active in the service industry is putting it mildly.
As sole proprietor of a service business, he saw the benefits of membership in the Independent Pool & Spa Service Association so he joined. They needed officers and he became treasurer immediately. He’s served in other positions, including chief financial officer of the entire association.
These days, he’s president of the local IPSSA Scottsdale chapter.
Schuster’s leisure time also is taken up with church work, such as teaching Sunday school classes; hiking on the many local trails; target shooting; and hanging out at his home pool with wife Jeri, who is a manager at Honeywell. He used to coach baseball and soccer teams, but his son and two daughters are grown now.
Reflecting on his pool service career, Schuster said, “It’s a fantastic business! It’s been very good to me. I’d never go back to an office.”