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Industry Inspiration and Vance Gillette

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.
Last Thursday was a very special day for at least TWO people you know and love – myself and Vance Gillette. (Just go with me on the “love” thing for a minute, okay?)

On Thursday, September 20, I had the distinct pleasure of announcing Vance Gillette as the winner of GAVA’s 2012 “Inspire” award. (GAVA is the Global AquaTekture Visionary Awards program, founded in 2009 by 3V Enterprises. As an advisor to the GAVA program, I’ve talked about this program before.)

Without a doubt, choosing Vance as “a source of pool industry inspiration” had to be the easiest, most slam-dunk “no-brainer” decision we ever made. He’s spent 35 years trotting all over the globe (and now, all manner of Social Media) professing “It’s all about the experience!” The only hard part was limiting the number of people who had great things to say about this pool industry icon.

So what does this have to do with you and me and “love” and “marketing for pool builders”? Quite a bit, in fact:

First, I LOVE beautiful pools. The things you pool builders do to transform an ordinary backyard into a stunning “paradise at home” simply amazes me. From my vantage point, I see that one by one, every day, each one of you is slowly but steadily making this world a more beautiful place. (And, I trust, making a tidy profit while you’re at it.)

Second, I LOVE it when when people in our industry win awards. Not only does it make it easier for guys like me to help market your company, but the accolades can generate a positive upward spiral of enthusiasm for MORE people to do MORE good things in our industry. In this particular case, I truly hope that Vance winning the “Inspire” award will “inspire” you to push the envelope, and build ever greater, more beautiful and more challenging waterscapes and water features in the future.

Third, I LOVE cheerleaders. After all, cheerleading is just another form of marketing. And in our industry, we could use a lot more cheerleading – especially right now, when the economy is soft. (Has anyone ever met a better pool industry cheerleader than Vance?)

While we’re on the subject of “cheerleading” and “inspiration,” let me share a few other statistics from Thursday night’s GAVA awards program, in the hope that this might inspire some competition from some of the “under-represented” areas in the world:

  • TEXAS: 18 GAVA awards
  • CALIFORNIA: 13 GAVA awards
  • AUSTRALIA: 12 GAVA awards
  • NEW YORK: 6 GAVA awards
  • ARIZONA, CONNECTICUT and VENEZUELA each got 2 awards
  • GEORGIA, NEVADA, and PORTUGAL each got 1 award

So if you’re a pool builder in Europe, Asia, Africa or the southeastern United States, I suggest you get inspired, and make plans to get involved in the 2013 GAVA awards program. A GAVA award is an outstanding feather in your cap, ESPECIALLY if you land on the cover!

To your success,


PS – I thought you might appreciate Vance’s response after winning the “Inspire” award:

“Thank you for your kind words. Last night’s GAVA awards was the best event and experience in my life!!!”

No, the industry thanks YOU, Vance!

2013 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin, Inc. May not be used without permission.

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One Response to “Industry Inspiration and Vance Gillette”

  1. Although I didn’t attend the event I have to say that there isn’t a finer gentlemen, cheerleader, professional salesman and just all round great guy than Vance Gillette and surely the most deserving of this award this year and many other years. Vance has been the most consistant POSITIVE CHEERLEADER our industry has had for years. He has always wanted to take us in the direction of selling “The Experience” of enjoying the “Backyard Environment” instead of how much better our products are over our competition or how many regulations we have to make our products safer. Vance has been telling all of us (for those that will listen) that we are so lucky to be in an industry that everyone loves our product and that we all need to promote the experience of enjoying our product. I’m happy for Vance to be recognized for the beacon of light he has been for years in showing other the right path to travel. All my best to Vance and thank you Brett and GAVA for giving recognition to such a deserving Icon in our industry…. “Three Cheers to our good friend VANCE GILLETTE”

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