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Dr. R. Neil Lowry $5,000 Grant Awarded – PHTA

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(ALEXANDRIA, VA)—The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) has awarded the 2021 Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant to the City of North Richland Hills in Texas. The winner was announced during the National Environmental Health Association’s (NEHA) 2021 Virtual Annual Education Conference (AEC) awards ceremony.  

Given in the memory of Dr. Robert Neil Lowry, a long-time member of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and the Recreational Water Quality Committee (RWQC), this $5,000 grant honors a public health official or department who has made outstanding contributions to advance the public’s health and safe use of recreational water in pools, spas, and waterparks through educational, safety, operational, and technical programs.

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(L to R: Meagan Fendley with NRH Neighborhood Services, Marcus Hodges with NRH Fire, Captain Paxton [The NRH Water Safety 365 superhero in memory of Paxton Wages], and Sarah Hageman with NRH Parks and Recreation.)

The award was accepted virtually by Meagan Fendley, Neighborhood Services, City of North Richland Hills. Jody O’Grady, Director of Product Management and Customer Programs, Taylor Technologies, Inc., and Chair of the PHTA RWQC, presented the award via video.

The City of North Richland Hills created the NRH Water Safety 365 drowning prevention program after two North Richland Hills residents, 15-year-old Connor Gage and 4-year-old Paxton Wages, fatally drowned. Seven City departments and numerous community partners worked together to develop resources that reach a variety of audiences, including a color-and-learn storybook about water safety for children, a handbook for residential pool and spa owners, water safety curriculum for childcare providers and teachers, and an annual preseason safety class for public aquatic facility operators.

With the Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant, the City of North Richland Hills will create a mobile and interactive display about the layers of protection that would be used at community events, school outreach events, and local aquatic facilities. The City will also purchase additional educational materials to distribute throughout the community.

“The City of North Richland Hills really stood out among this year’s nominees,” says Terry Snow, Owner of TLS Pool Service in Upland, CA, and PHTA RWQC Awards Subcommittee Chair. “The fact that they already have a water safety outreach program in place and are already working with community partners to raise awareness of drowning prevention makes us confident that they will continue to do great work with the grant funds. We congratulate the City of North Richland Hills on what they have accomplished and are proud to help them reach an even wider community through the Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant.” 

Past winners of the Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant include: Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, 2019; Arizona Department of Health Services, 2018; Quechan Parks & Recreation, 2017; Riverside County California Department of Health, 2016; Columbus Public Health, 2015; Middlesex-London Health Unit of London, Ontario, 2014; Brevard County Environmental Health Services Department, 2013; Sacramento County Environmental Management Department, 2012; Alexandria Health Department, 2011; City of Houston, 2010; and City of Plano, 2009. 

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For more information about the Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant, visit https://www.phta.org/membership/promote-your-business/phta-awards-of-excellence/dr-r-neil-lowry-grant/.

About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with nearly 3,500 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit www.phta.org

About PHTA’s Recreational Water Quality Committee (RWQC)
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance’s RWQC develops and maintains verifiable science-based information regarding sanitization technology and chemical products, for use in pools, spas and hot tubs. The committee also writes the chemical and sanitation sections for American National Standards Institute (ANSI) PHTA standards, including the ANSI/PHTA-11 Standard for Water Quality in Public Pools and Spas. For a current listing of Committee members or more information, email Genevieve Lynn in the PHTA Standards Department at standards@phta.org.

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Marianne Trusty is a Press Correspondent for the pool & spa industry. A published author and social media influencer reaching over 20 million people around the world each day. Contact Marianne about publishing op-editorials, breaking pool news and press releases at mtrusty@poolmagazine.com.

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INTRODUCING VONDOM IN-POOL FURNITURE

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AquaBlu Mosaics Logo

AquaBlu Brings VONDOM In-Pool & Outdoor Luxury Furniture to the
US Pool Market!


TAMPA, Florida, August 2022 – AquaBlu Mosaics is excited to announce the addition of a specially curated VONDOM in-pool and outdoor furniture collection to their online catalog. VONDOM is a world-renowned manufacturer of luxury outdoor and pool furniture, and the entire collection is perfect for both commercial and residential use.

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VONDOM is an innovative leader in the industry combining the latest in manufacturing technologies and sophisticated style to create the most durable and stylish outdoor furniture consumers can buy. Produced using both rotomolding and gas-assisted injection molding techniques, and made from polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer that is versatile, eco-friendly, and durable, consumers are guaranteed quality luxury outdoor furniture free of imperfections.


AquaBlu is a proud supporter of the VONDOM Revolution, a philosophy based on the creation
of unique and timeless pieces with recycled polypropylene materials like plastics and fishnets collected from our oceans. This eco-friendly initiative reflects the company’s concern for sustainable development, which they believe is essential to achieving a better quality of life. VONDOM also offers other environmental solutions such as solar panels and LED lighting to create more efficient and sustainable products. With these practices, AquaBlu and VONDOM are not only demonstrating their commitment to the environment but also setting an example for other companies to follow.


“We’re extremely excited about our new partnership with VONDOM, not only for their amazing line of in pool furniture products, but also because of their mission and focus on ocean conservation. Having quality, unique products with a purpose is a win-win,” says Frank Vitori, president of AquaBlu.


Since 2013, AquaBlu Mosaics mission has been to create an online shopping experience that was unbeatable in its selection of specialty products for pools and outdoor environments, its user-friendly appeal, and its competitive pricing – all while providing a superior level of customer service. AquaBlu Mosaics is committed to protecting the environment and has pledged to donate a portion of proceeds from every purchase to ocean conservation efforts.


Learn more about AquaBlu Mosaics at www.aquablumosaics.com

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PRESS CONTACT:

Danielle Major
Director of Digital Marketing AquaBlu Mosaics
marketing@aquablumosaics.com

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PHTA Launches New $5,000 Greg Garrett Scholarship Award

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Annual scholarship supports continuing education and certification

(Alexandria, Va.) — The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) is pleased to announce the launch of the new Greg Garrett Scholarship Award. Developed by the PHTA Recreational Water Quality Committee (RWQC), this $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to one PHTA member in the builder or service sector each year to use for PHTA educational or certification fees. The application deadline for the 2022 scholarship is Friday, September 16.

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This scholarship was developed as a tribute to Greg Garrett, who dedicated 45 years to the pool, spa, and hot tub industry and served in many leadership roles in the RWQC, Builders Council, and Standard Writing Committees. He held the highest honor within PHTA as an Industry Fellow and was a great advocate for education and standards. His enthusiasm was shared at committee meetings and all the places he traveled around the country to teach for various trade organizations. Garrett passed away in 2019.

To be considered for the Greg Garrett Scholarship Award, an application form and two recommendations need to be provided. PHTA members can self-nominate or nominate a fellow member. After receiving the scholarship, the recipient must provide a written report of what was learned and how that new knowledge will advance their career in the pool, spa, and hot tub industry.

The winner will be honored at the PHTA Awards of Excellence Reception as part of the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo (PSP/Deck Expo) in Las Vegas, NV, on November 14, 2022.

“Greg Garrett was an educator and mentor to many, and his sudden passing impacted all who knew him. This scholarship created in his memory has been many months in the making,” says Genevieve Lynn, PHTA Director of Standards and Technical Services. “By financially supporting the continuing education and certification of our members, the Greg Garrett Scholarship Award helps PHTA further its mission to educate and elevate the industry.”

For more information about the Greg Garrett Scholarship Award and to submit an application form, visit the PHTA website. Please send any questions to standards@phta.org.

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About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with more than 3,600 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub, and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety, and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer, and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit www.phta.org.  

About PHTA’s Recreational Water Quality Committee (RWQC)
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance’s RWQC develops and maintains verifiable science-based information regarding sanitization technology and chemical products, for use in pools, spas and hot tubs. The committee also helps develop the chemical and sanitation sections for American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved PHTA standards, including the ANSI/APSP/ICC-11 American National Standard for Water Quality in Public Pools and Spas. For a current listing of Committee members or more information, email Genevieve Lynn, Director of Standards and Technical Services, at standards@phta.org.

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RIVERBEND SANDLER ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF CRYSTAL CLEAR CUSTOM POOLS

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Riverbend Sandler Pools Acquired Crystal Clear Custom Pools

Plano, TX. (August 10, 2021) – Riverbend Sandler Pools (“Riverbend”), the leading residential pool construction, service, and maintenance provider in the Dallas – Ft. Worth metroplex, and a portfolio company of Concentric Equity Partners (“CEP”), announced the acquisition of Crystal Clear Custom Pools (“Crystal Clear” or the “Company”), a Midlothian, TX-based provider of residential swimming pool service, maintenance, repair, and renovation services. Riverbend has acquired Crystal Clear from longtime owner and leader Tom Sheehy, a multi-decade operator and leader in the pool industry, who will remain with the Company in his current leadership role and join the service and maintenance leadership team at Riverbend.


Crystal Clear is a trusted residential pool service provider serving customers across 19 cities in three counties in the southern DFW metroplex. Founded more than 20 years ago by Tom Sheehy, Crystal Clear emphasizes finding, training, and utilizing the best talent to deliver a top customer experience. All Crystal Clear technicians and employees will continue in their current roles with the Company. Crystal Clear represents an ideal partnership for Riverbend Sandler as a part of the platform’s aggressive organic and acquisition growth goals within the DFW metroplex and throughout the state of Texas.

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“I wasn’t looking to sell my company and was admittedly apprehensive at first after hearing about some other founders’ mixed feelings following an exit.” said Tom Sheehy. “However, the entire Riverbend team quickly put my fears to rest and were great to work with throughout the process. I want to see my legacy thrive and have my employees continue to call their jobs home, and this partnership with Riverbend Sandler will provide benefits to my employees that I wouldn’t be able to provide in the near future.”


“Tom Sheehy’s knowledge and experience across the pool industry will be invaluable to the growth of the Riverbend Sandler platform overall and specifically our service and maintenance businesses” said Riverbend Sandler CEO Bruce Mungiguerra. “I’m thrilled to add Tom to our team and believe he will be a big driver of value for our business moving forward”.


“Crystal Clear has a well-known reputation in the Dallas pool market for service, quality, and
commitment to technician training” said Charles Barnes, Founder and Chairman of Riverbend Sandler. “Our businesses will both greatly benefit from shared insights, and our overall platform customer experience and service delivery will further advance”.
Adam Lucas of CEP adds: “Tom Sheehy is a true entrepreneur and leader who has developed an
impressive organic growth engine for Crystal Clear that will be invaluable for our platform moving forward. This represents our first pool service company acquisition and demonstrates our commitment to an aggressive growth strategy through acquisitions”.

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About Crystal Clear Custom Pools:
Headquartered in Midlothian, TX, and serving the southern parts of the DFW Metroplex, Crystal Clear is a leading residential pool service and renovation company. Founded in 2002 by Tom Sheehy Crystal Clear has differentiated itself in the market by its dedication to its customers and focus on providing the most skilled and highly trained technicians in the market.
For more information on Crystal Clear, visit www.cccpools.com

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