Bruce Dunn, chairman, National Swimming Pool Foundation
Photo courtesy Mission Pools Bruce Dunn, chairman, National Swimming Pool Foundation

Bruce Dunn is loath to take credit for recent accomplishments of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, but for three years, he has steered the ship.

The first pool builder to serve as chairman of NSPF, historically seen as serving commercial aquatics constituents, he has guided the group’s expansion into the residential and pool/spa-industry realm.

“You can’t have a two-legged stool,” Dunn says. “If you talk about aquatics ... and the pool industry, you’re talking about swimming, the benefits of water ... family values and health. I think you need to look at the entire spectrum of an industry, not just a particular segment of it.”

In 2015, NSPF took under its umbrella Genesis, an educational group for pool and spa designers and builders, with an emphasis on residential projects. Last year, NSPF launched a certification program for residential pool and spa service technicians. It also brought on board California’s government advocacy group for the industry to form the Pool, Spa & Aquatics Alliance.

Bruce Dunn representing the National Swimming Pool Foundation at an industry presentation
Photo courtesy NSPF Bruce Dunn representing the National Swimming Pool Foundation at an industry presentation

“So in this three-year period, we’ve kind of put all the legs on the stool,” Dunn says.

And partly through Dunn’s ambassadorship, the pool/spa industry has become more involved with traditional NSPF programs, such as Step Into Swim, which has seen donations come in from groups such as the Master Pools Guild and the National Plasterers Council.

“Strategically, Bruce sees the big picture and has a bright vision for the future,” says NSPF CEO Thomas Lachocki, Ph.D.

“Tactically, he has a philanthropic heart and an analytical mind. Combining those traits, he has the ability to bring people and organizations together.”

In October, Dunn will step down from the board of directors, having served the maximum allowable nine years. When he began serving, he came with solid corporate credentials: With a bachelors degree in business administration, he purchased Escondido, Calif.-based Mission Pools with his brother, Jeff, in 1978 and became a leader in the pool/spa industry. He’d served 10 years as chairman of the aforementioned lobbying organization, the California Spa & Pool Association. He sat on the boards of various banks and charities, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program.

“Bruce brings a unique combination of philanthropic consciousness and business sense,” Lachocki says.