04 Oct

As the year draws to a close, two books come out chronicling the journeys of industry professional’s past and present

Secrets of the Pink House

Jack Manilla

The outgoing chairman of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals came into the industry as a third career after facing a turning point. Having worked as a high-level executive at Westinghouse, Manilla entered his first entrepreneurial endeavor with a partner. When it came to light that his associate was engaging in fraudulent activity, he chose to leave.

Not only did he walk away from the business, but from the financial security he and his wife enjoyed.

After losing their three homes, the Manillas moved into a cracker bungalow in an orange grove, after which the book is named. The book focuses on the next 18 months in the home, where they tried to find their footing. Finally, Manilla had the opportunity to work for a pool builder who, in preparing to retire, offered Manilla a generous arrangement to eventually purchase the company.

“I wanted to provide inspiration, and get the word out that God is good and will take care of us,” Manilla said. “This industry welcomed me when I was down and out. They afforded me an opportunity to start a new life and career, and to rebuild my own self-worth. This is my opportunity to give back to others.”

Secrets of the Pink House is sold through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and jackmanilla.com. Manilla will sell and sign copies at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo, in APSP’s booth Wednesday 10:30 to 12:30, and Friday 11:00 to 2:00. A portion of every sale will go to YMCA’s drowning prevention program, “Safety Around Water.”

Fathers of Invention

Andrew A. Pansini

Pansini’s work follows the life and industry influence of his father, Andrew L. Pansini, founder of Jandy Industries, the brand eventually acquired by Zodiac Pool Systems.

Not only did the elder Pansini establish one of the most renowned brands in pool and spa automation, but he invented the first automatic pool cleaner, his son contends. This is disputed in the industry, he said, because people don’t understand the true unfolding of events. Some believe that Howard Arneson of Arneson Products created the first auto cleaner, his version being a surface cleaner. But Andrew L. Pansini actually invented that product, his son said, then granted Arneson a license to market it. Pansini went on to invent the submersible automatic cleaner that became Jandy’s first offering.

The automatic-cleaner concept came when the elder Pansini accidentally dropped a simple garden hose in his pool and noticed how it stirred up dirt and debris.

“To me it’s a great story of success, driven by one individual who really is a pioneer in the pool industry,” said his son. “The success story of Jandy was one that I wanted to share with the pool industry.”

He said his father had a dynamic personality and impact. “His honesty and integrity were phenomenal,” he said. “And his ability to inspire other people. He was one of those guys who had a vision, and people who were around him … all wanted to be part of the story. He was so passionate for what he was doing and he was so creative.

“He led by example and inspired others. I think he was a great example for everybody to learn from.”

Andrew L. Pansini continued creating pool-related products through his 90s. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 93. “I knew that at some point I had to write a book telling the story,” his son said.

Fathers of Invention is available on websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as select bookstores.