Brian Lee Miller, CEO of Hilltop Pools and Spas and a PSN Top Builder, passed away on Dec. 19. He was 63.

Founded in 1976, Hilltop Pools became one of the largest builders serving the greater Atlanta area. In recent years, it steadily climbed the PSN Top 50 Builders List, ranking as high as No. 19 in 2015.

The firm was on the forefront of many industry trends, including grottos and custom slides, helping garner more than 60 national and international design awards.

It started as a side project to supplement Miller’s income as a teacher. After earning his teaching degree in upstate New York, Miller moved to Georgia, where he worked for the Clayton County Public School System. During summers, he built pools, saw that he had a knack for it, and established Hilltop Pools and Spas.

The business became self-sufficient, and Miller continued to teach, rising through the ranks to become chief operating officer of the one of the largest school districts in the state. All the while, he remained active in the pool and spa industry. Miller served on the advisory board of vinyl-liner manufacturer Pacific Pools, helping the vendor develop and lead an instructional program for installers throughout the region. He also was on the board of the APSP Georgia chapter, writing chapter guidelines and assisting in advocacy efforts.

In 2011, Miller retired from the school district and focused on his business full-time. He instilled in his employees — including daughter Kelly Erjavec and son Matt Miller, both of whom have prominent roles in the company today — a strong desire to conduct business with honor and integrity. That effort did not go unnoticed. In 2014, PSN honored the company with a customer service award.

“My standard line after 38 years is that perfection still eludes us,” Miller said at the time, “but we’re getting really, really close!”

In addition to his daughter and son, Miller is survived by his wife of 41 years, Karen; daughter-in-law Cassandra Miller; son-in-law Matthew Erjavec and two grandchildren, Ellis and Savannah.