Introducing the SR Retailer Panel

Retailer Panel

In 2014, we formed an industry group that offers advice on retailer-focused topics.

Recently we asked retailers who they sought out for business advice — and, perhaps unsurprisingly, they go to fellow hot tub retailers. So we decided to convene that brain trust right here. Each issue, we’ll pose a different topic to a few of our panelists and print their responses. This month, meet the retailers who so kindly agreed to help — and let us know what topics you’d like our panel to tackle.

 

 

 

Born and raised in San Antonio, Austin Lampkin has spent 20 years in the pool and spa industries. He started by installing liners in above-ground pools and doing pool service. During his years in the industry, he’s installed hot tubs, pool tables, kitchen islands and more.

Before joining the hot tub industry, Brian Wasik’s resume included work in concrete and wine distribution. Through a friend, he became involved with Montana-based hot tub manufacturer Mountain Springs Spas, giving him a diverse view of the industry. He worked on its manufacturing side; in service and delivery; and eventually helped run one of its local retail stores. After the manufacturer closed, it brought on D1 Spas, with Wasik eventually buying out the former owner. He says his favorite part of working in the industry is talking to people and solving problems.

With 50 years’ experience in the swimming pool and spa industry, Rita Rowlen first worked in the family pool construction business in high school and college. She developed the retail division of Ultra Modern Pool and Patio with her sister, Linda Wallace, growing it from a few thousand dollars in sales to a multimillion–dollar retailer with multiple locations. Ultra Modern has received several awards including the Outstanding Kansas Women-Owned Retail Business of the Year. She also served as the vice president of the board for NSPI before it became APSP.

Jennifer Gannon is a second-generation owner of BonaVista LeisureScapes, the outdoor living boutique division of BonaVista Pools. She has been in the pool and hot tub industry for decades. Gannon and her husband live in Toronto with their three sons.

Doug Robinson began his industry career in sales at Orlando’s Rec Warehouse in 1992, eventually becoming a regional manager and moving to Virginia Beach. As Rec Warehouse met financial difficulty, Robinson began to dream of being his own boss. He opened Virginia Leisure in Chesapeake, selling outdoor living products. His company carries six brands of hot tubs. “We want anybody who wants to take advantage of hydrotherapy and hot water wellness to be able to afford it,” Robinson says.

 

 


Interested In Joining Our Panel?

We are always looking for innovative hot tub retailers willing to share their advice and experience.  There are no meetings.  Our editorial team will reach out periodically throughout  the year with specific questions or requested feedback.  Typically,  panelists will submit responses via email or via brief interview with a member of our editorial team.  

Contact Us

Contact editorial@bigfishpublications.com to nominate yourself or a fellow colleague.