Shasta Pools President Jeff Ast
Photo courtesy Shasta Pools Shasta Pools President Jeff Ast

After decades with Skip Ast at the helm, the parent company of PSN Top 50 Builder Shasta Pools now has a new president.

Jeff Ast, son of Skip and most recently vice president of construction, now serves as the company’s president, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the construction company and producers A&A Manufacturing and Xcel surfaces. He has been with the company for 30 years, including 20 as construction VP and three as VP of New Pools.

“My Dad has great vision -- he started with the company, and it grew so fast because he was bent on doing things differently and really exceeding customer expectations,” Jeff Ast said. “I’m just so glad I have the opportunity to work with all these unbelievably loyal and great people. And I love the challenge – I always have.”

Skip Ast will remain as the company’s CEO and chairman of the board.

Skip Ast will remain CEO and chairman of the board.
Credit: Photo by Nick Orabovic Skip Ast will remain CEO and chairman of the board.

“He created this [company] back in 1966, and it will always be a part of him,” said Jeff Ast of his father. “So he’ll always come into the office, and stay active. It’s just a part of him, and we love having him around. He is a great source of vast knowledge and wisdom.”

Shasta is making other changes as well. It is moving its flagship design center and has expanded its board of directors to gain more diverse perspectives in its oversight. Before, the board consisted of the two Asts and Shasta CFO Mike Wagner. The company has added four new directors, including former Shea Homes President Buddy Satterfeild; Jos Anshell of Moses Anshell Marketing; Lous Smith of K. Hovnanian Enterprises; and Shasta Controller Bob Dye.

“We have a very diversified, strong board,” Jeff Ast said. “They are no-nonsense guys who will tell us exactly what we need to do, what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong.”

With these changes, the company expects to grow more aggressively, Jeff Ast said, with A&A Manufacturing, in particular, solidifying its global presence.

Shasta is also reviving an intensive training operation that it had in place before the Great Recession, with a dedicated trainer. The program has traditionally taught not only work skills, but also leadership and life skills.

The company is also fine-tuning its culture, he said. “We’re trying not to build pools anymore -- we’re trying to build lifestyles and make a difference in people’s lives. It’s a little bit of a refocus on what drives us as a company, what’s our purpose.”

Shasta Pools was started in 1966 by Bob Ast. His brother Skip joined the following year. For his part, the elder Ast was happy to keep the company in the family. “When Bob and I founded Shasta Pools, I never dreamt that we'd be over 50 years in business with the family so involved in the day-to-day operations,” he said. “I consider it a great privilege to pass the reins to Jeff and know that the company will be in great hands."The company says it has designed and built more than 84,000 pools, remodeled more than 35,000, and run hundreds of thousands of service calls.

It has placed on the Pool & Spa News Top 50 Builders list every year since its inception in 2003. It generally ranks in the top five, most recently taking the fourth spot. It reported nearly $64 million in total revenue for 2017.