As the new editor in chief of Pool & Spa News, I can’t think of a better issue to begin my tenure with than this year’s Masters of Design. The exquisite projects featured in these pages reflect the talent, creativity and craftsmanship of an industry that I am proud to now be a part of.

As a newcomer to the industry, I have a lot of things to learn about pools and spas, but appreciation is not one of them. When I was a kid growing up by the beach in Southern California, there was only one family on the block — the Wilsons — who had a pool. Their backyard was a magical place. We could go to the beach anytime. But a chance to swim in the pool — and jump off the diving board — that was something special.

I thought of that modest pool when I was looking over the pages of this edition. The amazing projects profiled are worlds away from the neighborhood pool of my childhood, but the feeling I got looking at them was just the same. I was reminded of that unbridled excitement for the fun that only a pool and spa can provide. The pictures and descriptions made me want to jump right in.

And now, as a middle-aged adult, I also had the added reaction of, “Boy, I would love to fall asleep with a book in my hand on a lounge chair next to that pool.”

As for my professional background, I have many years of experience reporting and editing for community newspapers. From my first news beat, I have reported on the challenges and successes of local small businesses. I covered countless planning commission and city council meetings where building regulations and standards were hotly debated. I also served on the board of directors for the local chamber of commerce where I helped merchants attract customers and keep the city’s business district vibrant.

In addition to community journalism, my career also has included corporate communications for two Fortune 500 companies and marketing for two hospitals. All of this experience has given me a deep respect for industry — the endeavor of serving consumers and building and maintaining a successful business.

I am excited for the opportunity to cover an industry that brings so much joy to life, and that has so many interesting challenges in making that pleasure a reality. I have big shoes to fill. A bookcase in our office overflows with business journalism awards won by Pool & Spa News and the name of my predecessor — Erika Taylor — is on most of them.

I am very fortunate that Erika has taken on a new role at Hanley Wood, as editor in chief of our sister publication, Aquatics International. I will certainly count on her counsel as I learn this business, and I will always take her legacy of excellence as the standard to reach for in all the work we do.

I also ask that you — our readers — let me know how we are doing. For 52 years, Pool & Spa News has been dedicated to giving industry professionals the information they need to compete and succeed.

As I dive in, serving you remains our mission.