CEO, Swimming Pool Services Inc.
W220 N1563 Jericho Court, Waukesha
Employees: 32 full-time, five seasonal
Family: Married with three children (ages 13, 12 and 8)
What was the smartest thing Swimming Pool Services did in the past year?
“Established a leadership team and began implementing the ‘traction process.’ It has further enhanced our company culture and given all members of the team more ownership in their roles in our organization.”
What’s new at your company?
“Our company has evolved over the years, and we now spend a lot of time working with clients to design the perfect outdoor room, which may or may not include a swimming pool. Many of these spaces include fire features and water features as well as structures to screen users from sun, rain and anything else that mother nature can throw at them.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“We are always looking for great people that love to help people and plan to hire at least three more people for the construction and service sides of our business in 2015.”
What are your business goals in the year ahead?
“Ours is a relationship business so our goal is always to build some new relationships and continue to take care of our existing clients.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“Finding people to add to our outstanding team as we grow.”
Why is Swimming Pool Services based in Waukesha instead of in a city with a warmer year-round climate? How do you stay busy during the winter months?
“Our founder, Ron Thompson (my dad), started in our industry in 1967, and we love to help our clients have fun no matter the season. In the winter, we are able to build some projects but also have a holiday lighting business that helps keep some of our team productive.”
What is the most interesting project your company has tackled?
“We have been blessed to be involved in many unique projects over the years. One that stands out was when we helped a client turn the basement of his coach house into an indoor entertainment area featuring an indoor pool. What made this project especially challenging was the access because it was located on the East Side of Milwaukee and most of the materials to build the project had to go through a 2-foot diameter floor drain to enter the space.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“In our office, we have a quote from Sam Walton that reads: ‘There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.’ I think that this states well what everyone in any business needs to be focused on.”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“Take care of your clients, and they will take care of you. This was my dad’s mantra and following it has led to a great word of mouth business via client referrals.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“All types of outdoor activities, including family recreation, camping, hunting, fishing and skiing.”