Set to begin official operation April 1, the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance began to develop stances on codes and programs, and elected its board executives.
At a two-day meeting in March, the Board of Directors for the newly formed Pool and Hot Tub Alliance began to sort out what will amount to months, and potentially years, of details to iron out.
In January, it was announced that the PHTA would be formed by the merging of two industry organizations: the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals and the National Swimming Pool Foundation.
With this merger, the same organization will serve the pool/spa industry and the aquatics industry.
It will serve as an umbrella for two groups. At the meeting, APSP and NSPF changed their names to convert into these two sub-organizations — a membership trade association called the Pool & Hot Tub Professionals Association, and a non-profit foundation called the Pool & Hot Tub Foundation.
The PHTA has a board of 10 members, half taken each from APSP and NSPF’s boards. At the meeting, the board voted on its first set of officers. The chairs of APSP and NSPF took themselves out of the running, said Lawrence Caniglia, interim CEO of the PHTA. The group voted for APSP Past Chairman Chris Curcio as chair. Franceen Gonzales, who came from NSPF’s board, was chosen as chair-elect; Karl Frykman, who served on NSPF’s board, is treasurer; while Andrew Levinson, who served on APSP’s board, is the new secretary.
In addition to addressing finances, the group began setting priorities. It met with the recruiter who will help find PHTA’s permanent CEO. The board also addressed some organizations that were operating as divisions of NSPF, namely the education group Genesis and the California Pool & Spa Association. For now, they plan to keep Genesis as is, Caniglia said, with the board merely exploring ways to market the programs for better attendance. No definitive plans have been made regarding the CPSA, however the board did resolve to boost its support for the Golden State.
Codes and standards also ranked highly on the priorities list, specifically the coexistence of two codes, one created with APSP, the other with NSPF — the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) and the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC). Representatives from both have worked for more than a year to unify the language and remove inconsistencies. The PHTA board provided some guiding principles: First the committee needs to approach the unification as one group, rather than two. Secondly, it must base the language on scientific evidence, engineering evidence, and best industry practices, the latter of which was included in the APSP code but not the MAHC.
“It’s not about what’s in the best interest of the MAHC or the ISPSC or the ICC or the CDC,” Caniglia said. “What’s in the best interest of the industry is to have ... one consistent set of standards and codes.”