SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Bob and Connie Sutherland have been in the swimming pool business for 53 years, and it all started from an ad in the newspaper.
“They were looking for dealers,” Connie said. “We made an appointment and a salesman came out to the house and we decide to sell pools.”
“A salesman about five to ten times told me, ‘This is your cup of tea now,’” Bob added.
The family-based business Shawnee Pools was originally behind the family’s home. Customers could come and get a water sample tested, buy the necessary chemicals and garner some pool knowledge. Their middle daughter Deanna Roush, who has been working with her parents for 28 years, ran the retail and service teams when the business expanded to a new building and a much larger facility. This allowed Bob to concentrate on the installation side of the business.
“We have loved being a part of our customers lives and helping them create family memories in their backyard,” Roush, who will also be retiring, said. “We have the best customers that have been with us, many 20-plus years, that feel like family to us We have also been blessed with loyal, hard-working employees that have helped us through the years, and they a definitely like family to us, too.”
With 926 residential pools, 134 commercial pools and over 1,984 customers in the books, it is time to pass the torch to new leadership. Shawnee Pools has touched so many families, a fact shown by the steady stream of well-wishing customers, friends and family who were wishing Bob and Connie a wonderful time in retirement during a celebration Saturday.
At the same time, many people were meeting the new owner Chad Stall, Bob’s nephew. Stall worked for his uncle a few summers while in college. Stall earned a degree in engineering which allowed him to design for NASA and defense contractors.
“We’re looking forward to continuing to service Lima and surrounding communities with superior pool care and installation,” Stall said. “We loved that Shawnee Pools was family-run and we will be continuing that tradition. My wife and four sons will all be a part of the business and we’re grateful to the existing employees for staying on to help us plan for the future.”
Located at 4580 Spencerville Road, Bob and Connie Sutherland have made innumerable memories at Shawnee Pools, but now they are looking forward to enjoying their own backyard and spending time with their three daughters, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409.