Winners of the National Swimming Pool Foundation’s (NSPF’s) annual Instructor Awards were recently presented to active instructors whose diligence over the previous year marked a significant contribution to advancing the foundation’s mission.
Among the portfolio of programs taught by NSPF Instructors is the Certified Pool Operator® (CPO®) certification, one of the industry’s leading verifiable pool and spa training credential.
“NSPF instructors are responsible not just for extending the reach of the NSPF’s mission and brand, but for bringing a measure of reliability and safety to the local communities they service,” said Tom Lachocki, who recently retired as CEO of the NSPF. “They’re ambassadors of a message of safety in pool operation, and it’s our pleasure to honour their high standards and hard work.”
The following instructors and companies were recognized in 2018:
Most certified individuals in first year as an instructor
Brian Alexander Stewart of Pool Training Academy received the award after certifying 508 new students in his first year. Roberto J. Marquez and Scott A. McElroy of Leslie’s Poolmart Inc.—who certified 152 and 130 new students, respectively—were also recognized in this category.
Most certified individuals by a company
Two companies were recognized for their outstanding work in the past year. Pool Operation Management, which certified 1712 people, and Leslie’s Poolmart Inc., which certified 1018 people. Founded in 1980, Pool Operation Management offers consulting, training, education, and management services for residential and commercial pool clients. Leslie’s Poolmart was founded in 1963 and, in addition to certifying pool operators, operates more than 900 retail centres and five distribution centres throughout the United States.
Most certified individuals in a blended format
Receiving this award for a second consecutive year was Ecolab Inc., which certified 374 students in an online format, more than doubling the number of students they taught the previous year. Ecolab’s pool and spa solutions include a wide range of support services and programs, as well as products and equipment for safe pool operation.
Most certified individuals by a company in Spanish
Asociación de Profesionales de la Piscina (APPAC) of Mexico certified more students in Spanish (372) than any other company outside the U.S. APPAC has been using NSPF educational programs since 2011, elevating the aquatic field in Mexico by teaching CPO certification courses.
Additionally, two U.S. instructors were recognized for their many Spanish-language certifications. José Miguel Torres—owner of Paraiso Pools in Debary, Fla.—certified 273 students and Josep M. Veciana of Miami’s Dadeland Pool Plus certified 204 students.
The Milestone Awards
NSPF’s Milestone Awards honour active instructors with the highest total number of certifications during the year. Steve Scheuer of Certified Pool Trainers Inc., topped the list for certifying 804 students. Instructors who certified more than 200 students were also recognized by NSPF with a honourary Milestone plaque. The top 10 instructors all certified more than 500 students in 2018:
- Steve Scheuer (Certified Pool Trainers Inc.) 804
- Tim Auerhahn (Aquatic Council LLC) 710
- Rick Stewart (Pool Training Academy LLC) 702
- Scott W. Ford (Tropical Aquatics Pool Education Inc.) 682
- Robert R. Freligh (Nationwide Aquatic Consulting) 678
- Armando Esparza (Aquatics by Armando) 652
- David L. Turnage (Turnage & Associates) 611
- Trevor A. Sherwood II (Pool Operation Management) 604
- Rudy Stankowitz (Aquatic Facility Training & Consultants) 523
- Chad G. Storley (Horizon Pool Supply) 509
NSPF instructors certified 34,270 students worldwide during the awards period. To date, instructors from the organization have certified more than half a million students.