What happens when a couple of pool people with years of experience, countless hours of training, and great big personalities walk into a bar? Sounds like the lead up to a joke. And there were jokes, loads and loads of laughs, and the punchline? They hatched a plan to solve all the world’s problems… Well, not all of the problems. Maybe just some problems in the pool and spa industry.
Toolbox for Excellence is the company born that night and it is the answer to one of the biggest problems people in the pool industry face: training. The solution: offer structured trainings that give pool dealers an opportunity to start their new hires on a path for success with guidance and support. It doesn’t stop there. Management and ownership trainings will also be available. These trainings are not stagnant. They are constantly changing and being updated to keep up with new developments and changes in the industry.
Natural drive for success, constant focus on improvement, over the top work ethic, and years of experience have earned Mallory Bjekich-Wachowski quite a reputation in the pool industry. During the course of her career, she has been recognized as APSP Young Professional of the Year, was named one of seven a pool industry influencers, and lead her team to win the Aqua 100 award, presented dozens of trainings and courses, to name just a few.
Not bad for a summer job! You see, Mallory did not embark on a career in the pool and spa industry…
Once upon a time, a young Mallory dreamed of a career in Education. During summer breaks from college, she landed a summer job at DesRochers Backyard Pools and Spas. That job would change her life and inspire a shift in direction. She graduated with a degree in Sales and Sales Management, continued in the industry where she worked her way up from Retail Sales Associate, to store manager, to managing a second store, to Retail Operations Manager of three very busy stores, all while working toward her Master’s Degree. And that original dream to teach? It’s still very much part of who she is. Utilizing a combination of her education, experience, and hours of Industry training, Mallory developed systems and procedures to successfully train hundreds of employees over the course of her career. She is an inspiration to each and every one.
Mal’s hobbies include spending time with her husband and daughter, family and friends, a couple crazy dogs, and traveling, where she has been known to test the water and clear up a pool even on vacation. You can take the girl out of the pool store, but you can’t take the pool store out of Mallory.
Jane Merritt is the epitome of a creative, passionate, and influential leader in the pool and spa industry. Evidence of her influence is her countless connections in the industry, her many leadership roles on a national and regional level, and above all her connection with her team at Anchor Pools and Spas.
Jane is an expert at most everything related to running a pool and spa business, but if given the opportunity to pick her brain about team building and company culture, take it. She has created a one of a kind atmosphere within her company, Anchor Pools and Spas of Easley, South Carolina.
She grew up in the pool industry when her father, J.B. Merritt started Anchor Pools and Spas the year Jane was born. Jane worked full time at her store while earning her degree in Business from Lander University. Another testament to her dedication to her team.
Jane has worked in, managed, and grown every section of her business. Anchor Pools and Spas has a retail store, delivery service, maintenance routes, service department, and builds custom gunite inground pools. She does it all. She credits her success to networking and attending trainings in the pool and spa industry.
If you know Jane, you know she is a huge Tennessee fan – her blood runneth orange – her other hobbies include traveling, American History, and spending time with her family.