In April, the hot tub industry lost two-longstanding members, including Mark Henderson
Born March 6, 1960, Mark Henderson died April 25 from injuries sustained in a biking accident. He was the general manager of his family business, Pool World Inc., in Spokane, Washington, the business his parents, Kerry and Lyla Henderson, started in 1976. Kerry died in 2000, but Lyla continues to work at Pool World; Henderson would text her every morning and call her every night.
Mike Genova, owner of Leisure Concepts, had known Henderson since they were teenagers. Genova worked at Pool World while he and Henderson attended Eastern Washington University. The two carpooled to classes and formed a friendship; Henderson was the best man in Genova’s wedding.
“He was an intellect,” Genova says. “Mark was not shy in the brains department.”
Henderson was devoted to Pool World, often working at the store until late at night. “When Mark and I needed to talk, often he would say, ‘The best time to call me in the office tonight is at 9. I go play soccer, and then I’ll go to the office until about midnight,’ ” says Brian Quint, president of Aqua Quip in Seattle. Quint and Henderson connected when Quint hired Genova (before he started Leisure Concepts), and over the years developed their own friendship. “Mark was pretty fierce, serious and intense,” Quint says. “He was professional, above board, focused on the customer and always did the right thing. We shared those values and priorities, and were collaborative in helping each other grow our businesses.”
In addition to Pool World, Henderson’s other passion was extreme sports. He was an avid skydiver and biker. “He always had a shirt and tie on,” Quint says, “but he did have another side and it’s not what met the eye. You peel his white shirt off, and he’s got tattoos all over.”
According to his obituary, Henderson had well over 2,500 skydive jumps.
“He truly is a role model as a business guy,” Genova says, adding that Henderson would do anything for anyone.
Sue Rogers, president of Oregon Hot Tubs, a division of Leslie’s, recalls that Henderson reached out to her and offered assistance when she purchased Oregon Hot Spring Spa in 2008: “We were brief acquaintances as Hot Spring dealers but not friends at that point. He called frequently to make sure I was watching my cash flow and staying afloat in a difficult time in the hot tub business. A true entrepreneur. I am grateful for his kindness.”
Genova says Henderson was an incredibly hard worker: “His primary focus was absolutely his company and the people who were underneath him. Mark had a huge element of responsibility toward caring for those employees.”
Henderson is survived by his mother, Lyla Henderson, and sister Kariann Albert.