e traded a cushy bank job for a
down-and-dirty pool construction gig, but Randy Mendioroz never
forgot the basics of business. Today, the aquatics designer is
known for making clients understand a project’s bottom line
— even if it means losing them in the
Mendioroz, principal of the Aquatic Design Group in Carlsbad,
Calif., wasn’t always calling the shots. He began his
aquatics career excavating and guniting pools.
combined his experience as a stock boy with his studies in business
and accounting, and became the operations manager at California
Pools. He then moved to the company’s commercial division,
where he specialized in 50-meter pools at universities and high
schools. Not long after, he was named head estimator and project
In 1984, he
started his own business designing waterparks, with his first
project being Wild Waves Waterpark in Federal Way, Wash. Four years
later, he formed Aquatic Design Group.
Mendioroz’s focus is designing, he never forgets the business
angle. “We started our practice in the private sector
… so we’re used to designing for clients who make
money,” he says.
than 2,000 projects in 25 years, some of his clients include
Disney, Six Flags and Universal Studios. Over the years, he also
designed and built a $35 million waterpark in South Africa called
the Lost City, which he considers one of his biggest
it’s designing for profitability and cost recovery that
he’s most proud of.
think that’s what’s unique about what I do for my
clients … to make sure their facility not only gets built,
but is operated and maintained as close to break-even as possible
in the public sector,” he says.
focus is improving the quality of his work and constantly studying
hydraulics, structures, hazardous materials, environmental health
issues and water chemistry. He tries to implement
“green” building into his work and constantly
researches what’s best for his clients.
who celebrated his 50th birthday with his three grandchildren, is
still in awe of his career. “If you had told me 25 years ago
I’d be doing what I do today, I’d think you were
nuts,” he says. — Rin-rin Yu