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Pioneer Joe Vassallo Celebrating Paragon Pools 20th Anniversary

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Paragone Pools celebrates its 20th anniversary

(Las Vegas, NV) July 15, 2021. In July 2001, a thriving economy and a longing desire to take
control of his own destiny in business, Joseph Michael Vassallo parlayed his 13 years’
experience in the pool industry to open Paragon Pools, a custom in-ground pool and spa design and construction company. Twenty years later, Paragon Pools’ list of accomplishments has even surpassed its founder’s expectations.

Joseph Vassallo is a pool industry leader is celebrating Pargon Pools 20th anniversary.

Working side-by-side with Vassallo is his son, Joseph Jr.; both hold the state required Qualified
Expert (QE) rating, as well as the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance- PHTA (Formally the APSP)
Certified Building Professional (CBP) credentials, the association’s top scholastic honors.
Vassallo’s company has beat the odds according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for private
sector establishments. Data indicates- of companies that opened in 2001 (between April 2001-
March 2002) 54.8% survived to year 5 and only 22.9% have a survival rate at year 19. (BLSannual opening-year ended March 2002). Vassallo believes the key to success for a small
business is to be adaptable to the market and economic climates.

Vassallo Sr. passes the torch of excellence to his son Joe Vassallo Jr. – Vice President of Paragon Pools

Today, the family-owned business is known locally as well as internationally for their innovative design concepts, industry involvement, consumer awareness, safety activism and community service.

The Vassallo’s established the design principle of “AquaTekture™”: the discipline of designing,
engineering and erecting of water environments and ancillary components, in a harmonious
nature with consideration to function, space and aesthetics. Innovative concepts such as the signature WetFlame ™, combination water and fire feature were instrumental in igniting a major trend in the pool industry, as well as obtaining a feature segment on HGTV.

Taking an active role in the PHTA was a natural step for Vassallo Sr. “I initially became
involved with the PHTA because of numerous regulations being introduced at the local, state and national levels. I knew it was important to have a say in the regulations that directly impacted our industry and the consumer. In each situation, through my involvement as a representative of the PHTA we were successful in developing reasonable and economical solutions that allowed the industry to prosper as well as protect the consumer.”

Both Vassallo’s served on PHTA’s Builders Education Committee and were contributors to the
3rd & 4th editions of the PHTA Builders Manual- the industry’s leading technical publication.
And, as a noted educator, Vassallo Sr. has presented higher-level seminars for international
expositions. Joseph Sr. served on the PHTA National Board of Directors and is a Past-President
of the Builder’s Council, he continues to serve on the Builders Council and Education
Committee. His work with the PHTA earned him the 2012 CBP of the Year Award and in 2014
he was named to the Fellows Program.

He shares his expertise with consumers as well as with industry professionals. A former
contributing columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal (RJ)– Home section, his pools and spa
column ran for two years (2006-2008). The column resulted in Vassallo penning an awardwinning, coffee table book, The Al Fresco Life: Pools, Spas, Bars & Kitchens featuring Paragon Pools’ projects across the Las Vegas valley. He continued to be a featured writer for the RJ for the next 10 years.

He was also contributing author for the international publication, Waves: India’s Pool, Spa and
Bath Magazine from 2011-2013. His extensive credentials make him the “go to” expert for the media where he is tapped for advice and commentary on a range of issues from design trends to safety applications, how to select a reputable contractor and the do and don’ts of remodeling.

A stalwart water safety activist, Vassallo Sr. launched “Float Like A Duck” in 2003, a water
safety initiative with a mission of “Educating the public on the importance of SAFETY while
celebrating the joys of water sports!” The initiative has developed into a multi-faceted, awardwinning program. Paragon Pools partners with major supporters including first responders, local media, industry vendors and the YMCA to provide a variety of programs free to the public.

The multitude of design, business and philanthropic awards that line the walls and shelves of the office remind the Vassallos of the importance of delivering high-quality projects to every client, as well as giving back to community.

A collection of international design awards includes numerous PHTA- Awards of Excellence,
Pool and Spa News- Masters of Design Awards, Signature Pool & Spa- Design Awards, ADASBest Pool Award, PebbleTec- World’s Greatest Pools, AQUA Choice Awards, and an HD
Magazine- HEIDI Award, and Las Vegas Parade of Homes- Best Pool Award.

As for business accolades, Paragon Pools was named to the Aqua 100 Hall of Fame, after
receiving the Aqua 100 Award, five years consecutively, presented to Top pool industry
businesses in the US. Paragon Pools is the only builder in the state of Nevada to attain the Aqua 100 status. In 2009, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce honored Vassallo Sr. as Entrepreneur of the Year. Vassallo Jr was named to the Vegas, Inc (formally InBusiness) 2011 40-Under-40. Both were named Distinguished Men of Southern Nevada for 2012 & 2015. And Paragon Pools was a finalist in the Nevada Business Magazine Family-Owned Businesses 2011.

Vassallo Sr’s community work with water safety, the CCSD Title-1 HOPE homeless education
program, the Salvation Army Food Bank and other non-profits has been recognized by many
entities including proclamations from the Mayor, as well as congressional citations from the state and national level. He has been presented with the Citizens of Distinction, The Jefferson Award, the Golden Hands Service Award, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance- Community Lifesaver Award, the National Water Safety Congress- Award of Merit, American Country Countdown w/Kix Brooks- Kidde Hero of the Week, and the President’s Council on Sports Fitness & Nutrition-Community Leadership Award.

That leap of faith to open his business has been presented with challenges over the years,
especially when the housing industry went bust (2007-2009), but the tenacious Vassallo met
those challenges head-on, even altering the business model to accommodate an alternative client base. When the company opened in 2001, its clients consisted of residential projects more specifically new home construction. In 2007, the company’s client list became a combination of residential and commercial projects with an increased focus on remodeling and renovations of existing pools, and spas. Advanced education, experience and crucial industry contacts gave Vassallo and his team the credentials and capability to take on problematic and difficult projects.

As the economy slowly improved so too was the growth of new construction in both the
commercial and residential sectors. The desire for new pools grew with fewer requests for remodels. Then, the Pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, and the demand for a backyard pool exploded. “It seemed like everyone in the city was calling us for a pool. And they wanted it NOW,” explains Vassallo. “We have always prided ourselves on being very responsive to our clients. However, the industry climate in Vegas and across the nation is making it difficult to operate in a manner that meets our strict standards. There is a decrease in the labor force and a shortage of products. This makes it challenging to complete projects and it also means an increase in prices for the consumer. We have worked through challenges in the past, and this is just another phase for our company to conquer.”

“When I look back at the last twenty years I think, “Did we really accomplish all that”, exclaims
Vassallo Sr. “But when you’re passionate about what you do, it’s not difficult to share it with
others. I believe that passion has been evident to our clients over the years, and they have
allowed our visions to become part of their lives. For that we are grateful.”

Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email info@poolmagazine.com or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to submissions@poolmagazine.com

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Press Releases

Pool & Hot Tub Alliance President & CEO Sabeena Hickman Elected to National Drowning Prevention Alliance Board

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Sabeena Hickman, CEO of Pool & Hot Tub Alliance was elected to National Drowning Prevention Alliance Board

(Alexandria, Va.) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) is pleased to announce that its president and CEO, Sabeena Hickman, CAE, has been elected to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) Board of Directors.

NDPA’s mission statement is, “United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning.” Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1–4, and number two for children up to age 14. NDPA says, “Not one more drowning.” It works closely with families who have lost loved ones to advocate for safer aquatic practices and provides a wide range of resources on drowning prevention.

Hickman joins seven other outstanding individuals on the NDPA Board of Directors who work in different parts of the pool industry, healthcare, and emergency services. Together, this group is committed to expanding and promoting NDPA’s lifesaving work.

Hickman was selected in part due to her work in expanding the Step Into Swim initiative and her belief that those working in the pool and hot tub industry should take a lead in drowning prevention efforts.

“As an alliance, we want to make sure that all facets of the pool and hot tub industry are included in the discussions about water safety,” explains Dr. Adam Katchmarchi, Executive Director, NDPA. “There is a close connection between NDPA and PHTA and what we’re both trying to achieve with water safety. We are pleased to have Hickman’s voice on our board to represent the industry. Also, on an individual level, Hickman’s nonprofit and association management experience will be incredibly valuable to our organization.”

“I am honored to serve on the NDPA Board of Directors,” says Hickman. “Drowning prevention should be top of mind for everyone in the pool and hot tub industry. We have a commitment to not just manufacture, build, or service pools and hot tubs, but to educate the public on using them safely. We can all play a role in preventing drownings and saving lives.”

To learn more about NDPA, visit ndpa.org.

For more information, please contact Janay Rickwalder, PHTA’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, at jrickwalder@phta.org or 703.357.3918.

###

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.

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Press Releases

Float Like A Duck, Water Safety Initiative Receives Step Into Swim Grant

YMCA of Southern Nevada- Safety Around Water Program to benefit from Grant Funds

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Float Like a Duck Received $5000 grant from PHTA's Step Into Swim Program

(LAS VEGAS, NV) September 14, 2021 – Float Like A Duck™, a water safety initiative presented by Paragon Pools in Las Vegas, NV received a grant from Step Into Swim, the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) drowning prevention initiative.  The grant funds of $5,000, will be utilized in a collaboration with Float Like a Duck and the YMCA of Southern Nevada’s Safety Around Water Program.

“We would like to thank the Step Into Swim Champions Board for recognizing the value of our Float Like A Duck- water safety initiative and our partnership with the YMCA of Southern Nevada – Safety Around Water swimming program,” states Joseph Vassallo, CBP president of Paragon Pools and founder of Float Like A Duck. “We are very excited to receive the grant of $5,000.00. Many at-risk youths in the community will benefit from the grant funding by participating in the program at no-cost to the students.”

Since 2016, Float Like a Duck and Paragon Pools has supported the YMCA’s Safety Around Water with funding to provide support for the program that provides no-cost swimming classes to the Las Vegas community.  To date close to 1,200 children have been enrolled in the program.

“Paragon Pools’ commitment to drowning prevention and water safety education with the Float Like a Duck program is inspiring,” said PHTA Vice President of Partnerships and Development Rowdy Gaines. “Through programs like this, Step Into Swim can get closer to achieving its mission of creating one million more swimmers!”

The Y’s Safety Around Water Program teaches children of all ages and from all backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared. It is designed to reach children at-risk of drowning and teach them basic water safety skills.  The 8-session course takes children through a series of swimming and safety classes to prepare them for fun and safe water activity. The program is provided at no-cost to the participants.

Families interested in learning more about the YMCA of Southern Nevada– Safety Around Water program may contact the YMCA at (702) 877-9622. Step Into Swim, an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), has recently distributed $99,590 in grant funds to 22 facilities across the country, reaching 6,297 children.

About Float Like A Duck™

Founded in 2003, Float Like A Duck™ is an award-winning public service water safety initiative created by Paragon Pools of Las Vegas with a mission of “Educating the public on the importance of safety while celebrating the joys of water sports.” The initiative focuses on ENFORCING the ABC&D’s of water safety, with a BIG emphasis on A-adult supervision. This program has been recognized by the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, Nevada Governor’s Points of Light Awards, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, and the National Water Safety Congress. Paragon Pools is a partner with Pool Safely, National Water Safety Month and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and is a member of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA). FMI go to https://www.paragonpoolslv.com/float-like-a-duck

About the YMCA of Southern Nevada

Established locally in 1944, the YMCA of Southern Nevada is a 501c3 nonprofit and is one of the longest-serving and most-respected organizations of its kind in Las Vegas. The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. https://www.lasvegasymca.org/  .

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Press Releases

Water Safety PSA wins 2021 International VIDDY Award

PSA Focuses on Water Safety Tips for Children 1-4 years of age.

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Water Safety PSA - Float Like A Duck Wins Viddy Award

About Float Like A Duck™ 

Founded in 2003, Float Like A Duck™ is an award-winning public service water safety initiative created by Paragon Pools of Las Vegas with a mission of “Educating the public on the importance of safety while celebrating the joys of water sports.” The initiative focuses on ENFORCING the ABC&D’s of water safety, with a BIG emphasis on A-adult supervision. Paragon Pools is a partner with Pool Safely, National Water Safety Month and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and is a member of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA). FMI go to https://www.paragonpoolslv.com/float-like-a-duck 

About UMC Children’s Hospital 

UMC Children’s Hospital offers Nevada’s highest level of pediatric care, providing a wide range of exclusive and highly specialized services to the community’s youngest patients. UMC Children’s Hospital is home to Nevada’s only designated pediatric trauma center. UMC Children’s Hospital serves as the state’s only hospital to be recognized and accepted as an associate member of the Children’s Hospital Association. UMC Children’s Hospital is staffed around the clock by board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric emergency medicine and pediatric critical care physicians to provide young patients with the high-quality, specialized care they deserve. For more information, please visit www.chnv.org

About the YMCA of Southern Nevada 

Established locally in 1944, the YMCA of Southern Nevada is a 501c3 nonprofit and is one of the longest-serving and most-respected organizations of its kind in Las Vegas. The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. https://www.lasvegasymca.org/

About Mary B Vail, MBA Publicist 

Mary Vail, MBA is an award-winning Las Vegas based publicist known for her innovative PR and marketing campaigns as well as her philanthropic efforts that extend across the globe. She is the author of “What’s Your Philanthropic Footprint?”. Vail earned a BS from the University of Hawaii, an MBA from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Lee Business School Executive MBA program, and a Certificate in Social Sector Leadership from Berkeley University-Berkeley Haas School of Business: Philanthropy University. https://www.maryvailpublicist.com/ 

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