POOLCORP Celebrates a Rich History
POOLCORP has a long and distinguished history of offering excellent customer service, dealer support, and offering the right product mix. The world’s largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool supplies, equipment, and related outdoor living and irrigation products, the company currently trades on the NASDAQ stock market under the ticker symbol "POOL".
The company was incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1993 as SCP Holding Corp. In 1995, the company changed its name to SCP Pool Corporation and on May 16, 2006, it became Pool Corporation (POOLCORP). Corporate headquarters are based in the New Orleans suburb of Covington, Louisiana.
The company grew from the entrepreneurial dreams of its founder Frank St. Romain who began his career in the pool distribution industry as a warehouse manager. In 1981, he and his partner Richard Smith took a leap of faith and went out on their own. Based in New Orleans, they called their new company South Central Pool Supply.
Quickly gaining a stellar reputation for service, support and having the right products, the company successfully opened a network of Sales Centers in Baton Rouge, Oklahoma City, Jackson, MS, Little Rock, Nashville and Houston. Industry veteran Wilson B. “Rusty” Sexton joined the company as a consultant in 1990 and helped guide the network into the computer age to prepare for continued growth.
A New Era
With an eye on future expansion across the country and overseas, the company joined forces with private equity investment firm Code Hennessy & Simmons in 1993 and a new company, SCP Pool Corporation, emerged. Sexton was named Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, while Frank St. Romain ran day-to-day operations as President and Chief Operating Officer.
In 1995, SCP Pool became a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock exchange, trading under the symbol “POOL.” Manuel Perez de la Mesa, a distribution executive with strong investor relations skills and vast experience in building successful companies, joined the company as C.O.O. Manny was eventually named President and C.E.O. and Rusty stayed on as Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 2017.
Under Manny’s leadership, the company grew and expanded at home and abroad. Throughout the decades, many well-respected companies in the pool industry with similar histories as South Central Pool have become part of the Pool Corporation family – although most of the company’s growth has been realized through internal initiatives, founded on the company’s investments in its people, its distribution networks, technology, and marketing tools & resources, as well as the gradual broadening of its product offering to further its value proposition to customers and the market at large. At the end of 2018 after 20 years of leadership, Manny retired as President and C.E.O. and was named Vice Chairman of the Board.
Peter D. Arvan joined the company in 2017 as Executive Vice President. He was promoted to C.O.O. six months later and named President and C.E.O. upon Manny’s retirement. Pete’s 20+ years of distribution experience and keen focus on operations enables POOLCORP to grow stronger and operate more effectively with Safety, Growth, Profitability, and Employer of Choice as the company’s guiding principles.
Today, POOLCORP has Sales Centers in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. The company has broadened its scope through the years with the acquisition of Horizon Distributors Inc, a major player in the “green” industry of lawn management and irrigation.
Over the years, hundreds of employees have grown along with the company. Many senior managers began their careers in the warehouse or behind the sales counter and worked their way up. To encourage personal and professional growth throughout the company, each year POOLCORP’s MIT Program (Managers in Training) cultivates a group of employees through a program of well-rounded, real-world training and support.
The POOLCORP family has grown to include thousands of dedicated employees who serve the needs of small business people in the pool and irrigation industries – helping them realize success while helping homeowners realize their dreams of a better outdoor home life.