(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.
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.
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.”
Evoqua Honored with Frost & Sullivan’s Global Company of the Year Award for Sustainability in the Water Technology Market
PITTSBURGH, November 30, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evoqua Water Technologies (NYSE: AQUA), an industry leader in mission-critical water treatment solutions, today announced that it received the Frost & Sullivan’s 2021 Global Company of the Year Award for sustainability in the water technology market. The company was honored because of its next-generation technologies and pragmatic approach to sustainability, which are supported by its commitment to innovate and support environmental and social impact.
In selecting Evoqua for this award, Frost & Sullivan’s global team of analysts evaluated growth opportunities across multiple industries, technologies, and regions to identify companies that consistently develop new growth strategies based on a visionary understanding of the future, and, thus, more effectively address new challenges and opportunities.
Fredrick Royan, Vice President at Frost & Sullivan, states that “Over the past century, Evoqua has carefully built a reputable brand that embodies quality, safety, and reliability. Renowned for its expertise in removing impurities from water, it collaborates with customers to deliver industry-first innovations, tailored solutions, and sophisticated services to address full lifecycle customer needs related to SDG 6.”
Frost & Sullivan highlighted Evoqua’s implementation of sustainable processes throughout its corporate governance structure and into its business model, differentiating itself through its strategies, operations, and water sector impact. Additionally, Frost & Sullivan cited Evoqua’s ability to “grow its leadership position by continuously innovating and creating new products and solutions that serve ever-evolving customer sustainability goals.”
“Our dedication to sustainability and our promise for a better tomorrow is deeply rooted in Evoqua. Enabling a more sustainable water system for future generations is both our opportunity and our responsibility,” said Ron Keating, Evoqua’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to be recognized by Frost & Sullivan for the positive impact we make for our customers each day and deliver on our brand promise of Transforming Water. Enriching Life.”
About Frost & Sullivan
For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders, and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models, and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success. To learn more, visit www.frost.com.
About Evoqua Water Technologies
Evoqua Water Technologies is a leading provider of mission-critical water and wastewater treatment solutions, offering a broad portfolio of products, services, and expertise to support industrial, municipal, and recreational customers who value water. Evoqua has worked to protect water, the environment, and its employees for more than 100 years, earning a reputation for quality, safety, and reliability around the world. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company operates in more than 150 locations across ten countries. Serving more than 38,000 customers and 200,000 installations worldwide, our employees are united by a common purpose: Transforming Water. Enriching Life.® To learn more, visit www.evoqua.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211130005155/en/
Evoqua Water Technologies
Sarah Brown, 506-454-5495 (office)
Dan Brailer, 724-720-1605 (office)
PHTA Announces 2021 Award Recipients
(Alexandria, Va.)—The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance is proud to announce the winners of its 2021 Awards, including Builder of the Year, Certified Service Professional of the Year, Retailer of the Year, and Young Professional of the Year.
This year’s award winners are as follows:
Builder of the Year
Joseph Vassallo, Jr., Paragon Pools
The Builder of the Year Award is a peer-nominated award. It is awarded to a CBP who has advanced the pool building profession through outstanding achievements and dedication to the industry.
Joseph Vassallo, Jr. has influenced the advancement of the industry through his commitment to providing pools and spas that exceed the industry and state standards, earning him and the company a multitude of industry and professional awards. These awards and recognitions credit his extensive knowledge of design and building of superior pools/spas as well as acknowledges his integrity as a professional businessman. Beyond that, he has been involved both personally and through his company Paragon Pools in a variety of charity programs and activism over the years. He has provided finances, resources, given of his time, and recruited others to support worthy causes in the community. His involvement shows the residents, fellow businesses, and media how devoted he (and the company) are to the building a sustainable community bringing positive awareness of pool industry professionals.
Certified Service Professional of the Year
Noel Conley, Miracle Pool Service, Inc.
The Certified Service Professional of the Year Award is a peer-nominated award. Each year, it is awarded to one CSP who has advanced the service profession through outstanding achievements and dedication to the industry.
Noel Conley served for nine years as a subject matter expert for the industry and was instrumental in creating the North Texas Chapter’s Dive into Recovery program to help disabled veterans. He also teaches PHTA’s certification courses and helps develop testing and training material. He has served on the Texas Pool and Spa Coalition, the North Texas Chapter Board of Directors, the PHTA Service Council, the PHTA Education Committee, and was named a PHTA Fellow in 2016.
Retailer of the Year
Crystal Pools, Elizabethtown, PA
The Retailer of the Year Award recognizes one outstanding retailer that has advanced the retail profession through outstanding achievements and dedication to the industry.
This company’s success is due to the focus it has on training its employees. Each employee working in the store must go through extensive product training so that they can answer questions and assist in product selection based upon their customers’ needs. Beyond that, they are active within their community. They are engaged with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and annually provide and install aboveground pools for very ill children.
Josh Culp accepted the award on behalf of Crystal Pools.
Young Professional of the Year
Allen Jerabeck, Tarson Pools & Spas
The Young Professionals of the Year Award recognizes forward-thinking leaders under the age of 40 who will be the voice and next generation of pool and spa professionals.
Allen Jerabeck is a pool and spa specialist for Tarson Pools & Spas in North Syracuse, NY. Allen is a CPO and a member of WAVE and has received numerous awards of excellence for his service and skill over the past 6 years. Originally from California, Allen spent the past two years elevating his company by not only using better components in his builds, but also focusing on creating better processes and applying new technologies.
“We are proud to honor each of these outstanding pool and spa professionals,” says PHTA President and CEO Sabeena Hickman, CAE. “Thanks to the incredible work of these dedicated leaders, our industry continues to grow, evolve, and flourish. Congratulations to all of our 2021 winners!”
For more information, please contact Janay Rickwalder, PHTA’s Vice President of Communications and Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.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.
Latham Announces Acquisition of Radiant Pools
LATHAM, N.Y., Nov. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Latham Group, Inc. (“Latham” or “the Company”), the largest designer, manufacturer, and marketer of in-ground residential swimming pools in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, today announced that it has acquired Radiant Pools for approximately $90 million. The acquisition expands Latham’s product portfolio into vinyl-lined, aluminum-walled swimming pools, which are an affordable option that allow consumers to create the ultimate backyard experience, and which provide solutions for a variety of backyard pool applications.
Based in Albany, NY, Radiant Pools was formed in 2005 following its acquisition of Trojan Pools, who invented the vinyl-lined, aluminum-walled category in 1957. Radiant Pools uses patented technology, derived from aerospace engineering, to make structurally insulated wall panels, which makes its products a durable and aesthetically pleasing option for homeowners. Vinyl-lined, aluminum-walled pools can be installed fully in-ground or fully above-ground, depending on homeowner needs. They can also be installed on slopes and be partially in-ground and partially above-ground.
“Radiant Pools is an excellent addition to Latham’s product portfolio since it complements our existing business and enables us to expand our addressable market,” said Scott Rajeski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Latham. “Radiant Pools primarily serves the Northeastern U.S., giving us the opportunity to roll its outstanding products across North America in partnership with Latham’s industry-leading dealer network. We are excited to welcome Radiant Pools to the Latham family and look forward to working with Tony Sirco, Radiant Pools’ prior owner, who will stay on as a partner and oversee its integration into Latham.”
“Radiant Pools pioneered the vinyl-lined, aluminum-walled swimming pools category with a premium quality product. Latham has been a long-standing partner of ours, and we share a dedication to providing superior products to dealers and homeowners,” said Tony Sirco, President of Radiant Pools. “As part of the Latham family, we believe that we can accelerate our strong growth, and we look forward to a bright future together.”
Radiant Pools generates approximately $35 million in annual sales. The acquisition was funded through a combination of Latham’s existing cash and incremental borrowing under the Company’s revolving credit facility, which was amended to provide for incremental term loans in an aggregate principal amount of $50 million. The acquisition is expected to have no material impact on Latham’s fiscal 2021 outlook.
About Latham Group, Inc.
Latham Group, Inc., headquartered in Latham, NY, is the largest designer, manufacturer and marketer of in-ground residential swimming pools in North America, Australia and New Zealand. Latham has a coast-to-coast operations platform consisting of over 2,000 employees across 32 facilities.
About Radiant Pools
Headquartered in Albany, NY, Radiant Pools is the market leading manufacturer of vinyl liner aluminum swimming pools that can be built completely in-ground, semi-in-ground, or above ground. Radiant Pools products are sold directly to swimming pool dealers throughout North America.
Some of the statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are generally identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and, in each case, their negative or other various or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements reflect our views with respect to future events as of the date of this release and are based on our management’s current expectations, estimates, forecasts, projections, assumptions, beliefs and information. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. All such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of our control, and could cause future events or results to be materially different from those stated or implied in this document. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks. These risks include, but are not limited to: secular shifts in consumer demand for swimming pools and spending on outdoor living spaces; slow pace of material conversion from concrete pools to fiberglass pools in the pool industry; general economic conditions and uncertainties affecting markets in which we operate and economic volatility that could adversely impact the Company’s business, including the COVID-19 pandemic; the Company’s ability to integrate Radiant Pools effectively and exposure to unforeseen or undisclosed liabilities of Radiant Pools, the ability of the Company’s suppliers to continue to deliver the quantity or quality of materials sufficient to meet the Company’s needs to manufacture the Company’s products and other risks, uncertainties and factors described under the section titled “Risk Factors” in the registration statement on Form S-1 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) by the Company, as well as other filings that the Company will make, or has made, with the SEC, such as Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this press release and in other filings. We expressly disclaim any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
Edelman for Latham
Crista Leigh Wunsch
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