Dan Nisly - 2009
Dan Nisly, who sadly passed away later in 2009, had been a member of IPSSA since 2000. He set a standard of professionalism and ethics in his daily activities, always pursuing ways to improve his professional knowledge.
During Dan's tenure in IPSSA, he served as chapter president and as Region 8 director. His work on the The IPSSAN is notable. Dan also worked to bring the dream of the Desert Pool and Spa Show to reality.
Dan always was there to lend a hand. He had the ability to bring out the best in our membership by encouraging others to volunteer their efforts for IPSSA.
Dan always promoted swimming pool safety, including donating his time at community Water Safety days, handing out Water Watcher tags and water safety brochures.
Most notable was Dan's passion for the charity Heart for Africa, a faith-based not-for-profit 501c3 charity that works with partners in Africa to provide self sustainable homes for orphans and vulnerable children through long term programs and short term service trips that deliver quality care, shelter, food, water, clothing, health care, social work, mentoring and education. Dan was an inspiration, with his devotion to help the underprivileged in Africa.
Here are excerpts from Dan’s remarks upon receiving the award.
"Since becoming an IPSSA member, my life has been a series of events that could easily be labeled as shock and awe! After being a chapter member for several years, out of the blue, I found myself as president of the chapter. Shock and awe, and what a great experience. In the second year of that term, several IPSSA buddies began talking to me regarding a future term as regional director. To my surprise, it happened, more shock and awe, and an even higher level of a wonderful experience. About a year ago, at our chapter's year-end dinner and party night, the group bestowed an award to me that will bear my name in future years, as it will be awarded annually to another chapter member for meritorious service. Talk about shock and awe; after a year, it's still hard to believe.
"Now this! This award is beyond all expectations, shock and awe to a level that will take a really long time to soak in. To be standing here with this plaque in my hand, is something I could never have imagined, never in my wildest dreams. To be judged by a jury of my own peers, and looked on with such favor, not just once, but twice, is truly an experience beyond mere words, and please know it is also very humbling.
"I have never had the privilege of meeting Terry Cowles, but from what I've learned about the man, the kind of life he lived, the contribution he made to his family, his community, to IPSSA, and to our chosen profession at large, it is certainly a genuine distinction to have my name on the same hardware, and to be mentioned in the same breath as Terry Cowles.
"Now, I'm going to leave you with a few lines from scripture. 'Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.' This is a principle by which I have endeavored to live my life, and I encourage each of us to live it and use it every day of our lives. This idea, stated another way would be this. We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
"If the decision makers have voted to bestow this honor to me because of something I may have done, I can tell you for certain, I have received far more than I possibly could have given. I was simply doing what I loved to be doing, as I walked my path of life. My life with IPSSA is living proof that the principles that we just looked at from the scriptures are for real, they work, just as prescribed! Witness the fact that all the support, the camaraderie, the affirmation, and the encouragement, that I have received from you, my IPSSA friends, particularly in the last 18 months while engaged in a cancer battle; what I have received from you, is far out weighed by anything that I may have been able to give. So you see, you have positioned yourselves, you have given freely, you may now expect rich blessings in your life. It's a promise. It's a certainty.
"So I want you to know how very much you are appreciated and loved, and I humbly say thank you. I love you one and all, and I wish God's very best for each of you."
Mike Shear - 2008
Mike Shear, a member of the IPSSA Palm Desert chapter, was presented with the 2008 IPSSA Terry Cowles Memorial Award at the February 2 leadership banquet in Newport Beach, California. Mike Shear has been a member of IPSSA for ten years. His fellow chapter members describe him as a mentor, always willing to help out on technical matters
regarding pool and spa service. He is a past president of the Palm Desert chapter, serves on the Region 6 Trade Show committee, has served as Regional Director on the IPSSA BORD, and is very active on safety issues. Each year Mike collects food and toys for distribution to military families stationed at nearby 29 Palms. Recently Mike donated time and equipment to help build a swim spa for a needy member of the community who suffers from severe arthritis.
IPSSA members are often called to cover pools when a fellow chapter member is ill. Mike went beyond the spirit of sick route coverage when he stepped up to take care of most of the route of fellow member John Nance when John needed to be on the East coast to take care of his injured mother for many weeks. “Mike was a godsend. He always goes out of his way to help people. He is a friend and a mentor,” said Nance.
Mike was instrumental in bringing to IPSSA’s attention a potential safety hazard on a certain brand of pool lights. He documented cases of leaking and brought to the attention of IPSSA and the manufacturer, which resulted in a change in the design in the cord grommet, correcting the problem and increasing pool safety. Ray Arouesty, president of Arrow Insurance Services, surprised the audience at the IPSSA leadership banquet by presenting Mike Shear with an additional $1,000 to recognize Mike’s dedication in identifying and achieving a solution to this potentially life-threatening problem.