Invite Fresh Air In

April 24, 2013

Steve Gorlin’s second article in AQ Magazine can be found below and at

When asked about Pope Francis, the Catholic Church and religion’s race for relevance, New York Cardinal Dolan said, “Pope Francis will reverse the church’s trend of looking inside itself. He will open the windows, look outside and invite fresh air in.”

For oh so long, our industry has been breathing stale air, healing wounds, righting our ship, and reflecting upon ourselves while focusing most of our attention inward. In preparation for transitioning to a new CEO at the end of the year, last month, APSP uncovered and announced a new vision, opened our windows and took a deep breath of fresh air. The board of directors in one major act of leadership, outreach and courage transformed the APSP governance and leadership to be totally inclusive of and relevant to you and all industry members. Transformational in nature and scope, our resources, staff and volunteer leaders have already begun to focus and work on your needs at your local level and beyond the boundaries of the recreational water industry.


Why do I believe APSP today is a relevant, essential and strategic partner for every industry company? Because of shared core values, needs and benefits; APSP is strategically positioned to speak to the consumer, government and industry with one collective voice.
This winter, while traveling around the country, I attended almost every pool and spa show and convention. I initiated conversations and in-depth talks focused on collaboration and teamwork with leaders of all industry partners including:
•    Northeast Spa & Pool Association (NESPA)
•    Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA)
•    California Spa & Pool Industry Education Council (SPEC)
•    National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF)
•    Independent Pool & Spa Service Association, Inc. (IPPSA)
•    Aquatic Professionals Education Council (APEC)
•    National Plasterers Council (NPC)
•    International Hot Tub Association (IHTA)
•    Foundation for Pool & Spa Industry Education (FPSIE), and more.

Each association, foundation and group provides services to its niche and segment.
For years, these independent vital organizations have for the most part acknowledged one another’s value. However, in many articles, trade magazines have reminded us over and over again that there are too many multiple independent voices, which result in mixed messages. On most issues that affect you and the industry on national, regional and state levels, multiple voices confuse the target audience while diluting the message and our strength. I call it “IMPD – industry multiple personality disorder.” The longer our industry remains fractured, the more it hurts your ability to grow your business. Who should consumers listen to? Who should federal government officials listen to? Who should state and local officials and code enforcers listen to?


As a result of being a collective entity, APSP delivers the resources, knowledge, connections and education to enable you and the industry to be stronger, smarter, safer and therefore more successful. APSP is poised to lead your way as THE national umbrella association unifying your voice and our industry. Under one roof, we collectively focus industry energy, resources and passion to resonate with one loud, strong voice. Our windows are open. We’re looking at you, and looking out for you.

Join me, the APSP leadership and all our members in a courageous journey to unite our industry. Your membership will assure a healthy industry wide marketplace today and for generations to come. Join us for your expansion, growth and effective development. Contact APSP member services or e-mail me at

Together We Can Make a Difference

April 24, 2013

Steve Gorlin is the new APSP Chairman of the Board and is writing monthly articles in AQ Magazine, a quarterly magazine published by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. The below article is his first article about his future vision for APSP and can be found at:

With humility, pride and deepest respect for our past and an optimistic vision for our future, I thank you for giving me this opportunity along with my fellow directors, to lead APSP into the future.


I attended my first NSPI chapter meeting in 1991. One night, after working all day, I drove 45 minutes up the New Jersey Garden State Parkway in the pouring rain. I sat in my car in the parking lot debating whether to go in to meet people I didn’t really know. After listening to Springsteen and Bon Jovi, I got up the courage to go in. I entered a meeting in the middle of yelling and fists pounding on tables. I went into the corner of the room and sat alone.

The issue being discussed was whether to hire a band or DJ for the holiday party. The rest of the night digressed from there. I spoke to no one. Driving back down the coast in the rain I decided this wasn’t for me, but I wanted to learn about my industry, how to better educate myself, serve my clients and grow a successful business.


The following month I returned and set a goal to become national chairman. I later became president of the chapter, president of the Northeast Spa and Pool Association, chairman of the Atlantic City Pool and Spa show, twice chairman of the APSP hot tub council and numerous other positions and accomplishments which has become the foundation for my chairmanship.

My role is:
•    To have your best interest at heart.
•    To explore your aims and aspirations.
•    To listen to you and listen well.
•    To appreciate your hopes and dreams.

My aim is:
•    To integrate diverse viewpoints and affirm unifying themes. Shared values make a significant difference in the health of persons, organizations and communities;
•    To find common ground, build community and resolve conflicts on the basis of principles not positions;
•    To continually develop the capacity of APSP to put values into practice by educating, offering choices, information, fostering self-confidence, and creating a climate for lifelong learning;
•    To liberate the leader in everyone—everyone can and should take responsibility for continuous improvement;
•    To always remember that you do not serve me—I serve you;
•    To demonstrate my commitment and passion to the shared values and visions of APSP; and
•    To stay in touch with you frequently;
•    To spend time on the important values, teach others, and hold myself accountable for the promises I make;
•    To sustain hope by taking charge and demonstrating the courage of my convictions, by arousing positive thoughts and images, and by seeking and giving support;
•    To keep hope alive for others. This is critical since, in the end, only people with hope will achieve greatness;
•    To identify excesses of leadership and of expectations;
•    To understand I am human. I make mistakes. Perfection is not the ideal; rather, I strive for humility and continuous learning.
•    To have fun, cultivate friends and be credible.

Lastly, I leave you with my fundamental imperatives.
•    Trust
•    Credibility
•    Communication
•    Teamwork
•    Leadership

APSP exists to enhance the business success of its members. Together we can make a difference. I am looking for a few of you to step us as leaders and become more active in the expansion, growth and effective development of APSP.