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Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Congratulates Pool Industry Professionals Who Earned Leadership Certificate through Cornell University

  • Aug 9, 2023

August 9, 2023

Media Contact:
Amy Willer
Associate Director, Marketing and Communications
703-838-0083, ext. 121 |


(Alexandria, Va.) — The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), the trade association representing the swimming pool, hot tub, and spa industry, is pleased to announce that its first cohort of the PHTA Leadership Certificate Program Powered by Cornell University has graduated. Ten industry professionals earned the Executive Leader Certificate, and fourteen earned the Emerging Leader Certificate.

This certification is the culmination of a three-month program, led by Cornell University professors, that taught the necessary leadership and management skills that can set a company apart from its competition. The Executive Leaders program focused on developing the soft skills and strategic mindset that a successful leader needs in order to communicate strategy, negotiate skillfully, influence team behaviors, and deliver results. The Emerging Leaders program led participants to discover their leadership style and hone interpersonal skills to help their team reach its fullest potential.

Executive Leader Graduates:

  • Amanda Annis, Ohio Pools & Spas
  • Dan Bakotic, Mid America Sales
  • Don Bontrager, Bontrager Pools, Inc.
  • Jen Boyce, Atlantic Solutions
  • Jeannie Daugherty, Ohio Pools & Spas
  • TJ Ewuell, NSPFI, CPO, AST
  • Robert Fickes, Ohio Pools & Spas
  • Peter Friis, Gib-San Pools Ltd.
  • Ed Gibbs, Gib-San Pools Ltd.
  • Sabeena Hickman, Pool & Hot Tub Alliance

Emerging Leader Graduates:

  • Gavin Chaze, Raypak
  • John Cooper, Outdoor Spaces 360
  • Brandon Diaz, Berry Pool
  • Caley Gibbs, Gib-San Pools Ltd.
  • Connor Gibbs, Gib-San Pools Ltd.
  • Christine Harrell, Aquienta Pools and Landscaping
  • Lance Irby, Premier Pools & Spas – Sacramento
  • Alan Makepeace, Ohio Pools & Spas
  • Jeanne Mendelson, Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
  • Zack Oberster, Ohio Pools & Spas
  • Amanda Riebel, Venture Custom Pools
  • Matthew Ryther, Acqua Pura Pool Services
  • Brandon Snyder, Premier Pools & Spas – Sacramento
  • Erik Vukovich, Premier Pools

Registration is now open for the second cohort of the PHTA Leadership Certificate Program Powered by Cornell University. To learn more about the program and to register, visit


About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with more than 3,700 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 initiatives to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. Additionally, PHTA promotes the use of pools by expanding 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

About Cornell University
eCornell, Cornell University’s external education unit, provides executive development and online certificate programs to students around the world. Programs are personally developed by Cornell faculty with expertise in a wide range of topics, including leadership and management, marketing and technology, human resources, healthcare, hospitality and more. Students learn in an interactive, small cohort format to gain skills they can immediately apply in their organizations and earn a certificate from Cornell University. Learn more at



Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Strategic Partners:

  • Biolab
  • Fluidra
  • Hayward
  • Heritage Pool Supply Group
  • Lou
  • Lyon Financial
  • Pentair
  • WatkinsWellness
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