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Heritage Pool Supply Group Announces 7 New Greenfield Locations

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McKinney, TX – November 1, 2022 – Heritage Pool Supply Group, Inc. (“Heritage”) announced today that it opened 7 greenfield locations in the 2022 fiscal year, enhancing its growing national network of independent distributors. The 7 locations are:

  • Chandler, Arizona – Pool & Electrical Products
  • Modesto, California – Pool & Electrical Products
  • Rancho Cordova, California – Pool & Electrical Products
  • Lee’s Summit, Missouri – Aqua-Gon
  • Lakewood, New Jersey – Bel-Aqua Pool Supply
  • Katy, Texas – Texas Pool Supply
  • Frisco, Texas – Texas Pool Supply

The opening of new locations in high-growth markets reflects the Company’s continued focus on expanding its national footprint and mission to be the preferred supplier to its customers. The locations include additional presence in existing markets as well as entry into new geographies that allow Heritage to enhance service to more customers. Greenfields play an integral role in the Company’s path to building the strongest national network of independent distributor brands in the industry.

Matt McDermott, President of Heritage, commented, “We are pleased to cap off a foundational year of growth across the pool industry. Heritage continues to assemble a world-class team at all levels that is ready to provide the best customer service in the industry. Our greenfield expansion pipeline remains full and this is only the beginning. We continue to work diligently to support the growth of our customer and supplier partners across our markets.”

About Heritage Pool Supply Group

Heritage Pool Supply Group’s vision is to grow by forming a network of the best independent distributors to provide exceptional customer service while increasing our value as a trusted growth partner to top manufacturers in the industry. Our mission is to help our family of companies achieve new heights and provide opportunities for all employees to grow, thrive, and advance with the company for decades to come. Heritage currently operates under a family of 17 local brands encompassing more than 100 locations across 26 states. Heritage Pool Supply Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of SRS Distribution Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing privately held wholesale distributors in the United States.

Source: https://www.heritagepoolsupplygroup.com/

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Alise Everton has been working in the pool industry for the past decade and is an experienced press correspondent and contributor for numerous trade publications and web portals including PoolMagazine.com and PoolContractor.com among others. Contact her for guest posting opportunities, press releases, and pool equipment related news.

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KIK Consumer Products Celebrates Grand Reopening of BioLab Lake Charles Facility

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Biolab reopening

New state-of-the-art $250M trichlor facility reopens with significantly increased production flexibility and enhanced safety features, in readiness for 2023 pool season

LAKE CHARLES, La., November 2, 2022 –KIK Consumer Products (“KIK” or the “Company”), a global leader in pool, household cleaning, and automotive products, today marked the successful rebuilding of its subsidiary BioLab’s state-of-the-art trichlor production facility located in Westlake, Louisiana, outside of Lake Charles, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Senator Bill Cassidy, Congressman Clay Higgins, and Don Pierson, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development joined BioLab employees, retail partners, construction and other local partners including the Lake Charles Metal Trades Council, as well as other members of the community in the celebration of the event.

“Today marks a new beginning for BioLab and is the culmination of over 26 months of planning, engineering, construction, and commissioning,” said Jeff Schmitt, COO of KIK Consumer Products. “Our plant stands here today as a demonstration of the resiliency of our workforce and the people of Louisiana who have made this project possible. With the support of the people, businesses, and institutions across Lake Charles, including the Louisiana State Police and local fire department and law enforcement, we have delivered on our promise of rebuilding and reinvesting in the future of not only this facility – but the future of this community.”

Following the unprecedented impact of Hurricane Laura in 2020, the Company invested over $250 million in rebuilding and reopening its damaged facility. The new facility will employ nearly 80 high-paying, local union jobs and reflects BioLab’s commitment to building on its deep-rooted legacy in Louisiana, where it has operated for decades. Importantly, the facility is reconstructed with improved production flexibility, which will enable BioLab to more effectively meet the demand for pool cleaning products. The facility will also operate with numerous enhanced safety features, including improved structural ratings, an elevated control room and ride out shelter, and improved fire detection and extinguishing systems.

“We are delighted to reopen our BioLab facility in time to support the 2023 pool season and to meet our promise to the Lake Charles community to rebuild,” said Michael Sload, CEO of KIK Consumer Products. “Our thanks go to our valued stakeholders who have made this milestone possible – from our dedicated employees, to our trusted retail partners, to the entire community at large. We look forward to furthering our more than 40-year history in Lake Charles for years to come, bringing products to millions of American families that help keep their spas and swimming pools safe and clean.”

Don Brunette, BioLab’s Plant Manager, echoed this sentiment: “Our BioLab employees are excited to get back to work and honored to celebrate this moment together with all our stakeholders. We are pleased to be welcoming our team back to our newly rebuilt facility, which is one of the most advanced trichlor production facilities in the world and even stronger and safer than before.”

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About KIK Consumer Products

Since 1993, KIK has successfully grown from a single-plant operator in store-branded (private label) bleach to the leading North American independent marketer and manufacturer in household cleaning products and a global leader in pool and spa treatment and automotive products, with brands including BioGuard®, Clorox® Pool&Spa™ (under license), Prestone™, Spic and Span™, and Comet™. In entering these segments, KIK capitalized on an opportunity to leverage its core manufacturing and marketing competencies to drive scale in fragmented industries. KIK has transformed its businesses through a combination of organic growth initiatives and strategic add-on acquisitions and has continued to experience strong growth in all categories. For more information, visit www.kikcorp.com.

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Coverings 2023 Announces Event Registration, Preferred Hotel Options and Annual Award Programs

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Nov. 2, 2022 – ARLINGTON, Va. – Coverings (www.coverings.com), North America’s premier ceramic tile and natural stone event, announced this week the official commencement for event registration, special-rate hotel reservations and award program submissions for Coverings 2023, scheduled to take place April 18-21, 2023, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Professionals from all segments of the tile and stone industry can now easily register to attend Coverings 2023 at Coverings.com. Registering prior to the end of 2022 to attend the international tradeshow and exposition will provide access to event and program notifications, special promotions and product sneak peeks.

“From the enthusiastic feedback we have already received from tile and stone professionals around the globe, Coverings 2023 is expected to be one of the most energetic and well attended shows in many years,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the event management company for Coverings. “Attendees will be able to make valuable industry connections through productive networking; gain cutting-edge knowledge and insights; experience hands-on installations; and peruse the newest, most innovative and trend-setting products the worldwide tile and stone industry has to offer.”

Aqua Blue Mosaics Aqua Blue Mosaics Aqua Blu Mosaics Pool Tile Mosaics Tile Grout Hardscapes & Pavers Outdoor Living Accessories

Hoff and her event team are also planning a creative and diverse lineup of live demonstrations, panel discussions, active podcasts, engaging activations, and one-on-one experiences from which eventgoers can benefit and interact with peers and new contacts. The four show tenets back by popular demand – “Health & Wellness,” “Sustainability,” “Outdoor Spaces,” and “Timeless Luxury” – will be highlighted in the Coverings Lounge and throughout the learning opportunities and exhibits.

Coverings 2023 Official Hotels

Coverings 2023 official hotels are accepting reservations through the event’s exclusive hotel provider, onPeak. Attendees and exhibitors of Coverings 2023 can secure rooms at discounted rates from a curated selection of Orlando hotels. The list of participating hotels offers convenient and affordable options, which can be booked with no risks, restrictions or deposits. Room reservations can be canceled with no penalties three-to-seven days prior to arrival.

Individuals and business groups are encouraged to reserve hotel rooms only through onPeak, avoid other third-party companies offering hotel assistance, and check individual hotels for their specific cancellation policies. Rooms can be booked through onPeak via the Coverings website at Coverings.com/hotel.

The opening of Coverings 2023 event registration and hotel bookings also includes the official call for submissions and nominations for the 2023 Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards and the 2023 Rock Star Awards programs. The submission deadline for both popular award programs is December 16, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards

The CID Awards will celebrate outstanding achievements in the design and installation of ceramic tile and stone in residential, commercial and institutional projects. Architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, installers, and other industry professionals may submit their projects through the CID project submittal portal by the December 16, 2022, deadline.

Projects will be judged and awarded based upon eight categorical designations: Residential Ceramic Tile Installation, Residential Ceramic Tile Design, Residential Stone Installation, Residential Stone Design, Commercial Ceramic Tile Installation, Commercial Ceramic Tile Design, Commercial Stone Installation, and Commercial Stone Design. Multiple national and international projects may be submitted free of charge via separate forms, and all projects must have been completed between January 2021 and December 2022 for review eligibility.

CID Award winners will be chosen by a vetted panel of judges, using a blind format based on “Excellence in Execution,” “Inspiring + Original Use” and “Overall Purpose.” Winning projects will be celebrated onsite at Coverings 2023; in various publications; and on Coverings’ website, blog and social media channels. Winners will also receive a complimentary one-night stay or an equivalent gift card at Coverings 2023 and recognition at the CID Awards Reception during the show.

Coverings Rock Star Awards

The Coverings Rock Star Awards, the popular and annual “Emerging Leaders Program,” will recognize the best and brightest young talent in the tile and stone industry from the past year. Rock Stars are nominated by industry leaders, and the program underscores Coverings’ ongoing mission to support the growth and success of the industry by recognizing top-notch talent and fostering networking and educational opportunities. Nominations may be submitted through the Coverings Rock Stars nomination portal by the December 16, 2022, deadline.

Eligible nominees must be 35 years of age or younger and employed within one of the following professions to qualify: Architect, designer, distributor, retailer, contractor/installer, fabricator, specifier, trade association, or manufacturer.

A committee of industry leaders will assess each nominee’s experience levels; professional certifications or affiliations; previous awards or accolades; prior speaking engagements at industry events; quantity of published works; impact in the tile and stone industry; and traits that set them apart as emerging leaders in the industry.

Winners of the Coverings 2023 Rock Star Awards will be honored onsite at Coverings 2023; included in a Coverings 2023 press release distributed to dozens of industry and consumer media outlets; and recognized on Coverings’ website, blog and social media channels throughout the year following the event.

Learn more about Coverings 2023 and register to attend at no cost at Coverings.com.

Prospective exhibitors may gather information about the benefits of exhibiting and request booths through the Coverings 2023 Exhibitor webpages.

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Coverings’ Social Media:

Facebook: facebook.com/CoveringsShow

Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2023

Instagram: instagram.com/CoveringsShow

Vimeo: Watch Coverings videos

LinkedIn: Coverings LinkedIn showcase page

Blog: coverings.com/blog

About Coverings: Coverings is the largest and preeminent ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and exposition in the United States and North America. It features exhibitors from more than 30 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition and conference, with more than 30 years of successful history, serve as a valuable and complimentary continuing education resource for all segments of the industry, with dozens of educational opportunities throughout the show. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders, real estate developers, as well as journalists, reporters and bloggers who cover the vital tile and stone industry.

Key sponsors of the show are Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain (ASCER)/Tile of Spain, Tile Council of North America (TCNA), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), and Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA).

The show is managed by Taffy Event Strategies, LLC.

For more information about attending, sponsoring or exhibiting at Coverings 2023, contact Taffy Event Strategies at 571-313-5801 or [email protected].

For press registration, photos, content, and interviews, contact Eberly & Collard Public Relations at 404-574-2900 or the email addresses at the top of this release.

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Drowning Facts – Have We Hit a Crisis Point in America?

Drowning rates increased during the pandemic and experts agree we may have hit a crisis point.

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Drowning Facts - We May Have Hit a Crisis Point in America

The issue of drowning prevention and mitigating pool-related fatalities go hand-in-hand. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) annual drowning report, fatal child drownings and nonfatal drowning injuries in children under the age of 15 remain high and nonfatal drownings spiked by 17% in 2021.

Inground pools constitute the highest percentage of drowning fatalities in children at a residence. - Pool Safely
Inground pools constitute the highest percentage of drowning fatalities in children at a residence. – Pool Safely

The Facts About Drowning-Related Deaths

The World Health Organization says that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional deaths worldwide, with over 372,000 deaths reported each year. 140,000 of those deaths were children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 4,000 people die in the United States yearly from drowning. Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children after birth defects. An average of three children die each day from drowning, and it is the second leading cause of accidental deaths in children aged 1-14, right behind motor vehicle-related deaths.

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Swimming pool-related drowning deaths were highest among the 1-14 age group in children. Source: CDC

Swimming Pool-Related Drowning Facts

An average of 379 children under age 15 die in reported drownings linked to pools or spas each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the statistic has been climbing in the United States.

During 2018–2019, unintentional drowning deaths totaled 73 for those under age 1 year, 821 for ages 1–4, 390 for ages 5–13, and 270 for ages 14–17, (CDC). Most drownings in residential swimming pools happen among children ages 1–4. 74% of fatal pool accidents occurred at residential locations.

Texas leads the nation in childhood drownings. 67% of swimming pool drowning deaths involved children younger than 3 years old. In swimming pools, black children ages 10-14 years drown at rates 7.6 times higher than white children. Black children are more likely to drown in public pools, and white children are more likely to drown in residential pools according to the CDC.

U.S. Falling Behind Developed Nations When It Comes To Water Safety

In 2015, a study conducted by the National Safety Council showed most states were significantly behind in their grading scale.

Drowning Prevention: A 2015 study conducted by the National Safety Council said that most states were significantly behind on their grading scale.
Drowning Prevention: A 2015 study conducted by the National Safety Council said that most states were significantly behind on their grading scale.

The NSC study made specific recommendations on what states needed to do. They provided recommendations to make the grade:

  • States update public pools and water facility regulations to conform with Model Aquatic Health Code.
  • High school students be required to know CPR in order to graduate.
  • Regulations require barriers be installed around all residential swimming pools.

States Pressed To Adopt Higher Water Safety Measures

The media in 2015 called on states to reduce the number of drowning fatalities. To date, most of the country still has not adopted the recommended guidelines set forth by the NSC. Experts like Dr. Katchmarchi, Executor Director of the NDPA (National Drowning Prevention Alliance), believe we’ve hit a crisis point. “Starting in 2020 we saw a very significant increase. The scary part is when we just look at the numbers, it’s hard to say if that’s a new trend we’re seeing because of the pandemic.”

Katchmarchi is sounding the alarm because a spike in drownings may have a direct provable correlation with current events. “In 2020 we saw drowning rates increase significantly for the first time in a very long time,” said Katchmarchi, “Some of the initial data we’re getting for 2021, has me even more scared.”

Public health experts say water safety should be a priority since nearly all drowning deaths are preventable. “These deaths do not have to occur. It really is something we should be ashamed of and be energized to address,” said Shannon Frattaroli, Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. 

“Most state and local health departments are chronically underfunded for accident prevention in general and many have no expertise in drowning prevention,” said Richard Hamburg, Executive Director of Safe States Alliance.

As it pertains to drowning prevention, laws are slowly being passed to help establish better standards. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA) is law of the land in the United States. This was a major achievement for federal intervention.

Organizations Appeal To Congress For Action

It’s a fact that drowning remains a leading killer in children and young adults. In most cases, states lack the laws and regulations that experts in the field of drowning prevention say are necessary. Experts say more effort from states is required to effectively reduce the rate of fatalities. Existing laws on the books tend to be inconsistent even within neighboring jurisdictions.

More than two hundred national and local groups and state agencies, including the American Red Cross, the YMCA, and the California Highway Patrol, wrote to Congress in March. They called the increase in drownings a “silent crisis” that needed government leadership and funding.

Additional research on drowning prevention measures is needed in order to make a serious impact according to Dr. Katchmarchi, “There’s not a lot that is evidence-based. We’ve been saying to use barriers and alarms. We have some data to support that we know barriers are effective at reducing drowning. Some studies have suggested that it’s up to a 50% decrease with young children but we need better data. When it comes to alarms, we have pretty much no data to support how effective alarms are. We think they are but so far as being able to say adding an alarm will decrease the potential of drowning by X%, we simply don’t have that data.”

Katchmarchi says more focus is needed on developing the National Water Safety Action Plan. “This is designed to impact the community, county, state, and federal level when it comes to water safety. This was in response to a call from the World Health Organization for nations to have a national plan addressing drowning, ” said Katchmarchi.

Drowning Prevention & Water Safety

Drowning prevention studies are essential to our water safety goals in this country. A number of unquantified factors in recent years may have contributed to an increase in drowning fatalities. Drowning prevention is clearly a moving target where the numbers equate to American lives, not just statistics.

Closing public pools and eliminating J1 visas for lifeguards may have contributed to drowning fatalities in 2020 and 2021.

A Moving Target That Equates To Human Lives

What is perhaps most unsettling about all of this data is that change doesn’t appear to be happening quickly enough. It’s disconcerting that given the recent rise in drowning deaths, public pools continue to close at an alarming rate. It’s alarming that a lack of funding for research, lifeguards, and public pools may be erasing the gains our nation has made in previous decades. That we’re struggling to keep up with other developed nations should be a national embarrassment according to water safety experts.

“I was part of the U.S. delegation in 2017 that attended the world conference on drowning prevention, what was quite embarrassing was that the United States was the only developed nation that did not have a water safety action plan,” explained Dr. Katchmarchi, “We hadn’t even started developing it at that point. When you look at other developed nations, we’re compared to Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and Canada but the biggest difference is their federal governments take a much more active role in water safety.”

Listen to our entire conversation with Dr. Katchmarchi | Executive Director – NDPA

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