On Tuesday night, October 26, we decided to suddenly change course and go to the International-Pool-Spa-Patio-Expo in Las Vegas, so that we could audit a 2.5 day CPO class that started on Sunday, October 31! This was no small decision and definitely no small feat in itself! In order to do this, we had to:
- re-arrange schedules to ensure that all our pools were cleaned
- go up to Santa Ana to vote (since we would be out of town on voting day),
- run down to San Diego to retrieve our 6 narrow conference tables
- take them to Riverside for our sold out class immediately following our trip to the Las Vegas trade show
- make car/hotel/show reservations
—whew! I don’t know how we did it—but WE DID IT!—and we made it to Las Vegas in time for the first evening portion of the CPO class, held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
This CPO class of 21 students was taught by (3) three 20+ year veteran CPO instructors: Dr. Fontaine Piper, Steve Lintz, and Phil Reynolds, all of whom serve on the National Swimming Pool Foundation’s Education Committee.
This “CPO Trio-Instructor” Team had lots of FUN teaching together and here is a brief bio about them:
Dr. Fontaine Piper: Chairman of NSPF Education Committee, retired Professor from Truman State University, in Missouri. Read about the Piper Legacy here. He teaches many CPO classes nationwide, along with CPO Instructor courses. Dr. Piper is a highly-recognized and distinguished educator and industry source. If you have an opportunity to sit in his class, you will definitely be learning from one of the best CPO instructors in the country!
Steve Lintz: retired Sports Coordinator for the City of Reno, NV. As an active competitive swimmer on the Sierra Nevada Masters Swim Team, he is a very fit and lean individual. He also a very articulate, humorous CPO instructor with many years in the pool industry (and with many stories to share). He understands aquatic facilities very well, is a CPR, and is passionate about aquatic safety, both in and around the pool.
Phil Reynolds: A soft spoken Southern gentleman from North Carolina that has worked in the retail pool/spa industry for many years. He has developed industry pool products, analyzed application rates and chemical compounds for the industry, and currently helps teach a minimum of 5 CPO classes a year, plus CPO instructor classes.
We thoroughly enjoyed watching these instructors “tag-team-teach” and listening to them inject lots of humor along with basic water chemistry, math formulas and swimming pool maintenance information. (Formula: FUN + CPO EDUCATION = HEALTHY POOL) :0)
These guys very graciously spent time with us, answered our many questions, and shared their knowledge about the industry. We came away with many good tips, good contacts and resources, and ways to improve our own CPO classes.
On Wednesday, we packed up, checked out of our hotel and then stopped by the Las Vegas Trade Show to say hello to Tom Lachocki, Michelle Kavanaugh, and Silvia Uribe at the National Swimming Pool Foundation’s booth, and then visited briefly with the guys at the IPSSA booth before heading out of town to Riverside.
The Las Vegas trip was well worth the time and effort, and we’re considering a return trip next year. The weather was wonderful there in Las Vegas, too—how does 85 degrees sound in the desert?—sounds pretty good to me…and pretty beautiful in November!