By BRIAN SMITH
For some companies, a lifetime achievement is a true once-ever milestone. Except in the case of Claffey Pools in Weatherford, which receive not one, but two of them in a single week.
The accolades began on Monday, November 5, when owners and siblings Charlie Claffey, Brian Claffey, and Shelly Claffey-Broder, traveled to New Orleans to receive not one, but four international awards at the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) conference. This is the most prestigious recognition program in the entire industry based upon pool and water feature design.
Claffey Pools had garnered 13 regional awards from APSP in the spring, a staggering number for any company in the pool industry. This fall they received word that the company would receive a total of four awards in the highly competitive International Awards of Excellence competition.
Of these, one was the rare Gold Award, the symbol of the highest achievement in the industry. “We have received six gold awards at the international level, and each one is the equivalent of an Academy Award in our industry --- the ultimate recognition that any pool company can ever receive,” added Charlie Claffey, President of Claffey Pools.
The four international awards recognized pool and outdoor living projects that Claffey designed and constructed for customers in the Southlake area, with the gold award recognizing a pool and outdoor living project created at a home in Westlake.
After returning home on Wednesday, November 7, the trio drove to Waco to receive the Family Business of the Year Award from the Baylor University Institute for Family Business.
The judges were impressed with the depth of family participation (24 members over the years, 18 currently), the relentless pursuit of excellence (Claffey is one of the 12 largest pool builders in the United States) and the high marks that the company received from customers for both innovation and extraordinary customer service.
Charlie Claffey was humbled. “I had to catch my breath when I received the call from Baylor. This Family Business of the Year Award is the pinnacle for excellence because we competed not just against construction companies, but against every kind of business.”
Claffey Pools is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and the company has come a long way since 1987, when Paul Claffey opened his pool business and was turned down 24 times before hearing a “Yes” on his 25th sales call. A brick mason from Wisconsin by trade, he moved his family to Texas for a brighter future.
Three Claffeys own and manage the company: Charlie Claffey is President and both Brian Claffey and Shelly Claffey Broder are Vice-Presidents.
Earlier this year, Claffey Pools celebrated its 6,000th constructed pool, an unheard-of milestone in their industry.
This “Year of Accolades” began in the spring, when Claffey Pools was inducted into the Master Pools Guild, an exclusive organization that recognizes 90 of the elite pool builders in the United States and only 110 in the entire world. Claffey Pools is the only Guild member in the Fort Worth-Dallas area.
About Claffey Pools: Brick mason Paul Claffey moved from Wisconsin to Texas in 1982 to find a better life in the construction business. Five years later he founded Pools by Paul Claffey, and he gradually brought his wife and then three children into the business. In December of 2004 he sold the company to his three children, which led to a time of new technology and innovation that has doubled the company’s volume in the past eight years. A two-time winner of the Better Business Bureau’s Golden Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, Claffey Pools is recognized for doing good business in an honorable manner.