We all remember where we were on the morning of September 11, 2001. Pete Wackman was getting ready to install his first Endless Pool® in Denver, 80 miles from home. “I got up early and was drinking coffee, watching the Today show. They thought it was a little private Cessna or something. By the time I got to Denver, both towers were down.”
What did he do? “There was nothing else to do” – he installed the pool, all the while getting updates from his client, who happened to work for a government defense contractor. “She was very helpful and gave me all kinds of information,” he recalls. And he waited for a return phone call from his brother, who sometimes worked at One World Trade Center; fortunately, he happened to be operating from another location that day.
Since then, under drastically less stressful circumstances, Pete (d/b/a PWE, Inc.) has completed over 200 permanent Endless Pool installations, as well as numerous temporary ones for IRONMAN and other events.
While he recognizes that he’s done some “amazingly gorgeous” and “photogenic” installations on some high-end real estate, those aren’t the ones that stand out in his memory. “The majority of my favorite installations aren’t about the locations; it’s the people,” he reflects. He recalls his favorite installation as “one that’s down in a basement. It’s not lavish or anything, but the daughter has a brittle bone disease. She’d broken over 100 bones in her body just walking or rolling over in bed. Swimming was really the only way she could exercise. It was a deal that I’d helped put together, and I discounted a good portion of the install. Her mom was in tears.”
Another standout is the installation he did for an episode of Extreme Makeover – Home Edition. He was contracted by ABC, who gutted and renovated a family’s home, including the addition of an Endless Pool for their wheel-chair bound son. “Severe rain turned the site into a mud bath,” he laughs. Everybody got “down and dirty” under the “insane” circumstances of working alongside three different crews on round-the-clock eight-hour shifts!
Still, it was another job well done by Pete. Since transitioning from his own carpentry practice to become one of Endless Pools’ first Factory-Trained Installers, Pete has earned glowing testimonials and boasts a 98% approval rating from his customers.
To help him stay on top of his game, he has one guiding principle: “organize, organize, organize.” That includes reaching out to clients to schedule maintenance calls over the winter, which keeps his schedule flexible for new installations during the peak summer season. His approach helps him navigate even the busiest periods, such as this spring; he calls it “a good problem to have.”
At this point, Pete doesn’t do other contract work; even as he raises two kids – a ten-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy – he finds his dedication to one product “sustainable.” “My goal is to have Endless Pools do well. As long as Endless Pools is doing well, I’m doing well.”