Pool Reflections …
A day in the life of a Florida public pool inspector
By Lauren Broom
After the year of COVID-19, the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) had a very successful annual trade show. In February, 2021, COVID precautions allowed for in-person attendance. Mid-year, the vacancy for their Executive Director position was made known. In early September, FSPA announced that Elizabeth McMurray, their new Executive Director, would join their Florida office in Sarasota. After an extensive search by the FSPA Board of Directors, it was determined that she was the perfect fit to spearhead their organization.
“I am thrilled to be here and so thankful for the opportunity,” McMurray said.
About the New FSPA Executive Director
McMurray is a Florida native and has robust experience in the Florida pool industry. Having served for seven years as the Director of Operations at Jack’s Magic Products, Inc., she will bring a great and varied background to the FSPA. Her areas of expertise include customer service operations, manufacturing, inventory management, purchasing, EPA regulations, trademark registration, finance, and human resources management. Over the years, she has cultivated internal and external relationships with customers and vendors. “I want to continue to build these kinds of relationships in our industry,” McMurray said. In addition, she has previous experience with a non-profit organization along with event management and many other skills gained from her most recent position as the Chief Operating Officer at the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Our members are so important to us,” McMurray said. She wants to continue to grow positive membership experiences for existing members and also to encourage others to join the association.
Over the years, the annual trade show has become an important part of the identity of the FSPA. “I saw the trade show as an exhibitor, but I am really excited to develop into tradeshow management. It will be a really great opportunity,” McMurray said. The annual trade show is vital in displaying new products in the pool industry and also for offering educational opportunities to attendees.
Visions for FSPA in the future
The annual trade show has always been an important part of the FSPA.
“I am excited about the future of the trade show,” McMurray said. “This year is the 50th anniversary of the show. There will be many exhibitors returning, and we expect attendance to be back to 2019 numbers. Please come attend and see us at the 2022 show on
Lauren Broom is a Certified Pool Operator Course, CPO ® , instructor and a former health inspector for the Florida Department of Health. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and is a registered sanitarian.
She has 16-years of experience in commercial pool inspections and waterborne disease outbreak investigations.
Lauren lives in Palm Bay, Florida with her husband of 17 years and their 3 children. Lauren can be reached at [email protected]
FSPA Executive Director, Elizabeth McMurray
Lauren Broom March 4-5, 2022, in Orlando, Florida. We would love to see all our current members and new members too.”
Within the pool and spa industry, it can be challenging to find educational opportunities. Especially with the current labor challenges in the industry, an apprenticeship program is something that would help to address that education need. “Education is really important to the FSPA. We are looking forward to offering more education to our industry,” McMurray said. The future of education will include a Florida state-approved curriculum already developed for a state college program. The FSPA intends to expand this throughout the state.
FSPA is the first to have an approved pool apprenticeship program, as of early 2020, and there are grant opportunities in the pipeline for this initiative. “I am really encouraged to get the apprenticeship program off the ground,” McMurray said. “It will allow us to touch more people across the state, engage more members, and focus on workforce development and growing our industry labor force.”
Another sector the FSPA participates in with other partners is government relations. This includes meetings with state regulatory agencies and other political figures to ensure that the organization meets the best interests of its members. “I am excited to listen and learn from our robust FSPA team,” McMurray said. “We also need to make sure the interests of our members are met.”
Drowning prevention is yet another integral part of the identity of the FSPA. The swim lesson initiative is the organization’s program to battle childhood drowning. Each year, the FSPA has provided funds for swim lessons across the state of Florida to those families in need through its Florida Swims Foundation. “Very soon, there will be more opportunities for swim lessons in our state, and nationwide, that FSPA will be partnered in,” McMurray said. “I am very proud of this particular FSPA initiative. Very big things are coming soon.”