Haviland Pool and Spa Products launched a podcast series designed for and by "pool legends" called "Unfiltered Legends."
The goal of the podcast is to highlight the pool and spa industry and all the fun and funny stories that come with building, servicing and selling pools and spas.
Hosted by John "The Legend" Bokor, director of sales at Haviland, a 30-year pool veteran who teamed up with John Bereza to create some fun and unfiltered podcasts about the people in and around the pool and spa industry.
In Episode 10, the guest was Kathi Belcourt, retail manager of Aqua-Tech Pools in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
"I've been in the pool industry since 1994. But don't think that I'm an old lady by any stretch of the imagination," Belcourt joked. "I've been in the business a super long time, but I'm a spunky, gray-haired knowledge master."
She said that unlike other women in the industry, she wasn't born or married into it.
"For me, it started off as a summer job doing water testing," Belcourt recalled. "I was working probably 30 hours a week [delivering food] while going to university."
Her friend worked at the company and suggested Belcourt apply.
She was offered the job—and accepted—while studying forensic science.
"I wanted to be a pathologist," Belcourt said. "And then I was like no, no, there's too much school like, 'oh, no, I can't do this.'"
Aqua-Tech "was a summer gig to pay for school," she noted. "I sell fun for a living and I loved it so much. . . .and it turned into an amazing career. . ."
And despite considering a career in corrections, Belcourt remained with Aqua-Tech.
"I don't think I could work in retail for as long as I have because retail will suck your soul dry," Belcourt lamented. "But there's something about pool and the hearts of customers that fill your bucket as fast as you empty it.
"I don't think I could work in any other industry in retail without getting arrested," she joked.
Water testing and chemistry is her passion, she told the hosts.
"In high school, I loved doing the experiments but I hated doing the math," Belcourt said. "I love the chemistry part of it. I love the actual science. . . and so when I started doing this as a summer job, I could take my expensive university education and put it into action every day."
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