President of much-lauded pool business explains what makes it a stalwart

By Mac King

Mike Giovanone feels old.
The president and CEO of Concord Pools & Spas knows all the cliches of saying his company "functions like a family." But it just so happens some of those platitudes are simply true at Concord, where many of his employees share bloodlines and last names.

"My corporate attorney used to work for me when he was in high school," the 58-year-old Giovanone says. "He worked for me through college and law school. We have probably a dozen of our main employees' children who now work for us. And they've worked for us from the time they were 14 with working papers straight through college and now into the real world."

Just like a family, getting in with Concord Pools seems a lot easier than getting out. The average manager stays for more than three decades. For "the new guy" - the company's newest installer, Giovanone says - his first day on the job was 18 years ago.

In the summer of 1972, Giovanone was the new guy himself, having accepted a part-time job with a company named Imperial Pools - the same year Munch held the 20th Summer Olympiad and Roberta Flack recorded the No. 1 song in America.

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