FSPA President Brian Kelly, Shamrock Pools | firstname.lastname@example.org
As the year winds down and the dust clears from another summer, I thought it would be good opportunity to review some of the progress that this association has made in the recent past. Often times, we as pool people, look for instant gratification and results. But typically the items of greatest value and importance often take time to develop. Ideas must be thought of, and then planned, and then implemented. Relationships must be started and then cultivated before being fruitful. Situations must present themselves before one can act or take advantage of them. And change, while often times difficult, is sometimes necessary for the opportunity for growth.
This past year has seen this association move forward on many fronts. Some have been the culmination of years of effort and partnerships, while others simply appeared.
The beginning of the year began with one of the best attended Everything Under the Sunsm Expos in years. Many of our partners at the show returned and expanded space on the showroom floor while new educational classes were unveiled. Also at the beginning of the year, it was announced that our endorsed sponsorship and affinity partners Insurance by Ken Brown and Amerisure Insurance more than doubled their contribution to our association and we have extended our agreement for three more years.
The purchase of the adjacent building to our home office at the end of last year is going to allow us to expand our working space and most importantly, enable us to create a learning center that can be used by our members and industry partners to further promote education and knowledge in the pool industry.
Our education staff has been working on the introduction of online seminars to be used as a teaching tool for members and their employees and hopefully culminate in our version of “CE Sally.” While these goals are being chased, the FSPA is still actively pursuing the creation of an accredited program at the state college level for swimming pool and spa degrees.
The government relations initiative has been reworked to include a dedicated position to concentrate on state regulatory issues and re- established a staff person as a point of contact for our members. The plan is to give the membership greater access to answers internally while having diverse views and dedicated responsibilities on important issues.
The annual FSPA swim meet has continued to grow and has received its largest financial support in recent memory. It is rapidly becoming one of, if not the most prestigious high school swim meets in the state.
The PIPAC initiative has refocused its contribution efforts to target leadership positions and ascending legislators that can help promote the objectives of our association. By supporting our government leaders, we are able to create willing and sympathetic lawmakers to causes that have a direct impact on the industry that we make our livelihoods in.
The FSPA and its Board of Directors and Executive Committee members have worked hard to re-establish lines of communication with other industry partners such as APSP and The International Swimming Hall of Fame. These relationships had diminished over the years and by creating new lines of communication with these other players in our industry, the hope is to co-brand ourselves with natural partners for the betterment of our industry.
The FSPA Scholarship Program has been able to partner with the Bill Kent Family Foundation to double our support of our young people in their quest for higher education. This partnership has been a natural fit for our association, and helping our children achieve higher educational goals is in the best interest of all involved in such a wonderful program.
As you can see, our association has been busy with many items and goals that help make us an industry leader. These fresh ideas and successes often take time to come to bear fruit. But once they do, we all share in its sweet taste of success!