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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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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INTRODUCING VONDOM IN-POOL FURNITURE

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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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