Marketing director and design consultant, Gib-San Pool & Landscape Creations in Toronto
Caley Gibbs says the office of Gib-San Pool & Landscape Creations felt like home to her at an early age. She recalls being in the office on weekends with her father, Ed Gibbs, who was the company president, when she and her brother were very young. Gibbs’ own work with the company started in elementary school, delivering incentive postcards to customers mailboxes and doors. In 2008, before she started high school, Gibbs took a summer position in the retail store testing pool and hot tub water, selling chemicals and assisting customers. That summer, she says, she fell in love with the industry.
While pursuing a degree in sociology and business, Gibbs continued to work summers at Gib-San. Upon graduation, she took a position at Zodiac Pool Systems (now Fluidra) as an incentives coordinator. After seven months there, she knew she wanted a career in the aquatics industry; she moved back to Toronto and enrolled in a post-graduate program in marketing management.
Grew up in the industry; officially employed in 2008
Gibbs is now the full-time marketing director at Gib-San, has completed Crestcom International’s leadership development course and has almost finished her SWD with Genesis 3 University. She also serves as co-chair on the PHTA WAVE Young Network steering committee.
Gibbs believes women have a strong place in the industry. “As a female employee in a male-dominated industry, the key [to success] is education,” Gibbs says. “I have experienced firsthand male customers not wanting to deal with me because I’m female. There is a perception that, based upon my gender, I may not have the knowledge, however, by constantly learning and educating myself, I have been able to demonstrate my abilities.”
She also sees more women entering the industry, with seven of eight summer employees at Gib-San over the last three years being women. “I plan to continue to learn, grow and develop skills to keep progressing in my career,” she says. “I’m third generation in this business, and it is my responsibility to ensure this organization moves toward the fourth generation.”