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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Bay Area – Swimming Pool & Spa, Service & Supplies CATEGORY

John Pittman is a 31-year veteran of the pool service industry and owner of Roger’s Pool & Spa Service, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2004. He can be reached at (707) 676-3984 or by email.

John Pittman

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

John Pittman: Swimming With the Tide

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SEBASTOPOL – Just prior to entering the swimming pool business, John Pittman found himself at a crossroads, both professionally and personally. “I was in between careers and had recently gone through a divorce, and I didn’t really know which direction to go next,” he remembers. A relatively recent Bay Area transplant, John had been provisionally working as a carpenter after spending more than a decade building yachts in Southern California. It wasn’t long, however, before a fateful meeting altered his course for good. “I met a fellow named Roger Shipley who owned a swimming pool maintenance business. We hit it off and became friends, and he actually hired me as a service technician. That was back in 1986. In 2001, Roger decided to retire, so I bought the business with another partner, and we’ve been running Roger’s Pool & Spa Service ever since.”

John grew up in the hills of Tennessee (“literally in a house with a dirt floor,” he says), but he’s spent the last three decades in Northern California, and he says he still has a deep appreciation for the aesthetic appeal of his adopted locale. “The Bay Area is a beautiful place to live and work, and I’ve really grown accustomed to the Mediterranean climate here.”

When he’s not working on pools and spas, John enjoys venturing out on extensive road trips with his wife, Donna, a retired school administrator and Sebastopol native. “So far, we’ve gone on three 7,500-plus mile trips in our class B motorhome,” he says. “My schedule isn’t as tight these days, so we like to seize the opportunity to just take off and explore America.” John also adheres to a strictly regimented golf routine. “Everybody who knows me knows I play golf on Thursdays,” he laughs.

Looking back on his life and career, John says one of the most valuable things he’s learned is to not get hung up on unresolvable issues. “I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about things I can’t change. Of course I try to resolve issues whenever possible, but experience has taught me that it’s pointless to dwell on things that are outside of my control. In some cases, it’s best to just let it go and move on.”

When asked what his retirement might look like, John says he’ll have to take a page from his wife’s book. “Donna is completely retired, but she still manages to stay busy all the time. I think it’ll have to be the same for me, because I’m the kind of person who always has to have something going on. Who knows—maybe I’ll take up painting!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Do you have a favorite sports team?
A: I’m a big fan of the Giants and 49ers.

Q: Did you play sports in high school?
A: I played football and basketball. In football, I was an offensive lineman.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I would definitely go to the past. I’m an early American history enthusiast, and I’ve spent the last 27 years escorting eighth graders on trips to Washington, D.C., so I’d definitely be interested in going back to that period.

Q: What’s your favorite smell?
A: Vanilla

Q: Who makes you laugh?
A: Steve Martin.

Q: What’s your favorite fruit?
A: Cantaloupe.

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Preparing your Pool for Summer

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SEBASTOPOL — Following its winter dormancy, you’ll need to spend a little time getting your swimming pool ready for summer use. Preparing your pool primarily consists of two aspects: cleaning and sanitation. Cleaning Use a vacuum and/or handheld net to remove stray… Read more

The Three C’s of Swimming Pool Maintenance

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SEBASTOPOL — Proper swimming pool maintenance consists of three primary aspects, which is why it’s important to remember the “three C’s”: consistency, chlorine and cleaning. Consistency Examine your pool at least once a week to make sure all systems are functioning… Read more

The Pros and Cons of Salt 
Water Chlorination

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SEBASTOPOL − Most pool owners use chlorine to keep their pools germ-free, but many are also interested in alternative sanitation options such as ozone, ionizers and copper-based algaecides. The reality is, unlike chlorine—which acts as both a sanitizer and an… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: How to Maintain Your Pool

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SEBASTOPOL — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you have in your backyard, you'll need to know the three C's of pool maintenance. Today we're in Sebastopol with Diamond… Read more

Tim Lindelli is Project Manager of Herb’s Pool Service, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 938-6913 or by email.

Tim Lindelli

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Tim Lindelli: Family Ties

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL — As a third-generation employee at his family’s business, Tim Lindelli’s roots in the swimming pool industry go deeper than most. “My grandfather started Herb’s Pool Service about 58 years ago, and it’s been a family business ever since,” he says. “I started helping out during the summers as a kid, whether at the shop or on different jobsites, and following high school it just seemed natural for me to work here full-time and learn about other aspects of the business.” After 18 years, Tim says he continues to enjoy working alongside his family. “I’ve had friends who’ve worked for their family businesses, and most of them talked about how hard it was, but my own experience has been really positive. We don’t have any problems working together; rather, it actually brings us closer together, so I guess I’m pretty fortunate.”

As project manager for Herb’s Pool Service, Tim says he enjoys the process of working with customers to achieve their visions for their swimming pools. “I like going out to people’s homes, talking with them to get a feeling of what they’re looking for and then building the perfect pools for them. I love seeing how happy our customers are with the end results of our work.”

A lifetime North Bay resident, Tim grew up in Novato before later settling in Petaluma, where he lives today with his wife, Cindy, and their two daughters, Kayley and Ashley. “Both of my daughters are very involved in dance, so my wife and I spend a lot of time driving them to rehearsals and attending recitals,” he says. In his free time, Tim enjoys outdoor activities like golfing at the Petaluma Golf and Country Club and boating with friends and family at Lake Shasta.

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Tim says he’d take a long vacation. “I’d probably take my family on a trip and go visit some places we’ve never seen. We’ve been to a few of the tropical islands, but other than that, we haven’t gone too far outside of the United States, so we’d start checking some of those destinations off the list.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Cucina Paradiso in Petaluma.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: As a kid growing up in Novato, there was this big hill near my house. My mom used to bring home cardboard boxes from pool filters and we’d use them to slide down the hill, which was always a lot of fun.

Q: Have you ever had a conversation with a famous person?
A: Working in the pool business in Marin, I’ve had the opportunity to meet quite a few famous people. One in particular who stands out is Chris Isaac, just because he seemed like such a nice, down-to-earth guy when I talked with him.

Q: What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?
A: “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Q: What’s your favorite dessert?
A: Crème brûlée.

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Planning Ahead for a New Swimming Pool

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SAN RAFAEL — When a homeowner decides to install a swimming pool, the goal is typically for it to be ready in time for the upcoming summer season. However, many people fail to realize that building a new pool is… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Scheduling in Advance for a Swimming Pool Installation

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SAN RAFAEL — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning on installing a pool, you’ll want to be sure to plan right so that you’re swimming by… Read more

Gary Heath is a veteran of the swimming pool and spa industry and owner of The Pool Doctor, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 223-7537 or by email.

Gary Heath

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Gary Heath: Diving into a New Business

By James Florence, Senior Writer

EL SOBRANTE — Gary Heath was selling construction and mining equipment when the Great Recession hit in the late 2000s. “It was my fourth time going through a major building dip, and I realized I didn’t want to keep working in a sector that was going up or down 80 percent every few years,” he says. Gary decided to step away from the rollercoaster of heavy equipment sales and started searching for a service-oriented company to purchase, which would have a more regular revenue stream. In 2010, he bought The Pool Doctor, which he currently runs with his wife, Kelly.
Gary says his background in sales gives him a unique perspective on how he operates his business. “Kelly spent years working in pharmaceutical sales, so we both have a lot of experience in professional sales and customer service. Compared to the average person who comes and cleans your pool, we’re much more focused on customer satisfaction.” Gary takes pride in helping his clients make the most of their outdoor spaces, and he also enjoys developing strong relationships with his employees. “It’s been great watching the growth and cohesion of my team over the years and seeing the strides they’ve made both personally and professionally.”
Gary grew up in Pinole and currently lives in Danville with Kelly and their daughter, Ashlan. “After going away to college, I never thought in a million years I’d be living and working back here in the East Bay, but my office is actually only a few miles from my childhood home,” he says. “It’s been like a homecoming. I’ll run into people I grew up with and now they’re our clients.” Outside of work, Gary enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his daughter’s softball team and traveling to his vacation home in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Gary and his team treat each pool they care for as if it were part of their own home. “That’s our business philosophy,” he affirms. “Taking this approach means we’re providing the same advice and level of service that we’d give to our own families.”
Dedicating so much time to his business and family has had one negative consequence for Gary. “I can never find time to play golf anymore!” he says. “I used to play competitively in high school. Now, I’m lucky if I can play four times a year.” If he could retire tomorrow, Gary says the first thing he would do is book a tee time.
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Sakura Japanese Cuisine in San Ramon.
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird.

Q: Do you prefer the city or the country?
A: The country.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Wine. My favorite winery is Merryvale Vineyards in St. Helena.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: When the sun shines, I’m usually not in the office, so on rainy days I finally get to clean my desk and catch up with office work.

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The Dangers of Letting an Unlicensed Contractor Work on Your Pool

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EL SOBRANTE — I strongly urge homeowners to hire licensed companies to work on their pools or hot tubs—the safety of your family is at stake. Modern pools incorporate a variety of heating and lighting systems for our enjoyment and comfort.… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Hiring a Licensed Pool Professional

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EL SOBRANTE — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to servicing a pool or spa, it’s always best to hire a licensed professional. Today we’re in El Sobrante… Read more

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