Andrea Wells

Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications
December 7, 2017 
Industry Veteran Will Extend Current Momentum and Grow Education and Relationship Initiatives  

(ALEXANDRIA, VA) – The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously selected industry veteran Lawrence S. Caniglia to serve as its new President & CEO.  For nearly 14 years, Mr. Caniglia has served as Executive Director of the Northeast Spa & Pool Association, providing benefits and services to nearly 850-member companies, while also directing activities of the NESPA Foundation.  Earlier this year, he announced his plans to step down at NESPA to pursue the next phase of his association-focused career. 

Caniglia distinguished himself at NESPA by building relationships across the industry, advancing professionalism and licensing in the northeast region, growing the association’s membership, and championing a culture where members actively engaged in planning and executing key programs and activities.  He succeeds APSP’s departing President & CEO, Rich Gottwald, who has been credited with rebuilding the organization’s financial position, increasing its membership by over 20%, establishing APSP as the industry’s leading government advocacy voice nationwide, growing its exceptional educational offerings, and expanding its industry affiliations in the U.S. and internationally.    

“Larry Caniglia is the ideal leader to build on the incredible foundation and momentum that Rich Gottwald and our outstanding staff have built in recent years,” said APSP Board Chair Chris Curcio.  “He comes from a member-driven culture that is focused on providing excellent education, he is an established and respected leader, and his relationships within the industry are second to none.”  

Caniglia will be charged with advancing APSP’s strategic goals, including creating a world-class industry educational system, developing uniform codes and standards to benefit the industry and serve consumers, and continuing to provide industry-wide government relations leadership.  His proven relationship building and networking skills are particularly well-suited for growing the association’s influence and advancing key initiatives, such as the recently launched PPSO Professional Pool & Spa Operator Course and APSP University’s other expansive course offerings.  He also brings a track record of proactive government relations advocacy across the gamut of licensing, design, construction and safety issues.

Caniglia, a Certified Association Executive, has been active in a variety of national and state association executive groups, and was honored in 2016 as the Distinguished Member of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives.  In addition to his regional leadership, Caniglia has extensive experience collaborating with APSP and other industry organizations, through participation in summits and conferences, and work on national government relations action committees and a variety of state initiatives.  The addition of Caniglia to APSP will help strengthen and grow the special and mutually-beneficial relationship between NESPA and APSP.

“This opportunity is the absolute perfect-fit for me, because it extends my passion for association work, while leveraging my deep relationships and experience in this industry,” said Caniglia.  “I have long respected the leadership and staff at APSP, and am beyond excited to be working with them going forward to promote and protect the industry and help grow members’ businesses.”

Caniglia will officially assume his new position at APSP in February, and will work closely with Rich Gottwald, who has agreed to stay at APSP for several months in an advisory position, to assist with the transition and continue to advance the outstanding APSP University education programs and foundation initiatives.


About APSP

The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) is the world’s oldest and largest association representing swimming pool, hot tub, and spa manufacturers, distributors, manufacturers’ agents, designers, builders, installers, suppliers, retailers, and service professionals. Dedicated to the growth and development of its members’ businesses and to promoting the enjoyment and safety of pools and spas, APSP offers a range of services, from professional development to advancing key legislation and regulation at the federal and local levels, to consumer outreach and public safety. APSP is the only industry organization recognized by the American National Standards Institute to develop and promote national standards for pools, hot tubs, and spas. For more information, visit

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