Master Pools Guild – Brand Partner

We had the pleasure of speaking with Teri Wiltshire, Special Projects Manager of Master Pools Guild (MPG) and Carla Sovernigo, President/CFO of Alka Pool and past Chairwomen of MPG to learn more about their organization and commitment to providing clean water to communities in need. Master Pools Guild has partnered with The Water Project since 2015, raising more than $100,000 and helping 2000+ people gain access to clean water.

The Guild is an international network of elite custom pool builders who build the world’s finest pools and have a commitment to sharing with and educating other members. “One thing that makes this organization unique, with over 100+ member companies, is that these are companies that are primarily family businesses, some of them in their 2nd and 3rd generation and I think that brings a unique character to the group as a whole,” shares Teri. “It gives this group something special that is hard to find anywhere else.”

Current members have grown up together, creating a special community, “It is not just an organization of businesses, it’s a family. And we connect to one another like family. We don’t just care about our businesses, we care about each other,” adds Carla.

Master Pools Guild members already give back so much within their own communities, making real impact in a variety of ways, from building pools for those in need, helping Veterans, to doing other work internationally. This spirit of generosity led to The Guild deciding to do something as a network. “This transpired into what we hoped to accomplish with The Water Project,” Carla says. “We see our relationship with The Water Project as extending our family blessings. We work with water as a family and in our business and to be able to give water back is an extension of ourselves.”

“It was a joint effort. We created a committee and started kicking around ideas of ways we could give back. We knew we wanted to help those without basic water access and one of the Directors, Michael Moore, started doing a lot of research and spent a lot of time looking at organizations which led us to The Water Project.”

The Guild fundraises for The Water Project every other year at their major conference. Since 2015, their fundraising efforts have grown larger and larger with 2017 being their largest year yet with $73,000 raised. We asked Teri and Carla how they inspire the other Guild members to come together through these group efforts and the key to their success is sharing their fundraising efforts on all platforms before the kick-off night at the conference. “Through our reflection letters, emails, meetings and social media, we keep our fundraising efforts in all outlets. I share things on my business page which leads to others sharing or retweeting. Members are aware of what we are hoping to achieve before our kick-off event,” says Carla.

Casino Night – 2017 fundraiser for The Water Project

“One of the advantages that we have is that we are multi-generational and you can see that in the tools our members have used to share this information,” adds Teri. “It’s a reflection of the success. For example, Carla reached out to our vendor partners to join us and that was extremely successful because of the relationships she has with them. Then, when we were in Seattle at our last fundraising effort, we had a gentleman who took a different route. On the dinner floor, he went from table to table and formed a secret consortium that evening and they raised $31,500 over dinner – it was something to witness! We ended up raising $70,000 in one night! It’s interesting to see how different generations use the tools that they are comfortable with to make it work and it all goes into the same pot for good,” Teri says.

“It’s just amazing to me,” shares Carla, “how in the few years that we’ve been doing this, how much it has spread like wildfire. Our first year in Baltimore, the bulk of our efforts came from our family of vendors. But in 2017 in Seattle, our efforts were mostly from our members. And we constantly get questions, ‘How are we doing? Did we reach the goal?’ Everyone is invested now – it’s a beautiful thing.”

“Everyone gets the project report emails from The Water Project. We also share more information about the water projects we’ve helped through our newsletter,” says Teri. “It’s great to be able to share the impact.”

Tess, Director of Development for The Water Project and Carla, President of Alka Pool

“Our relationship with TWP is an icing on the cake type reference,” says Teri. “Our goal was to get together as a Guild and do something together for good. The fact that corporate social responsibility and organizations that have a charitable heart might be looked upon a little more favorably was something that was never on the forefront of our efforts but it’s nice that this is the climate we’re living in. Our members are gentle hearted, humble people. I don’t think there is one Guild member who is out there tooting their horn saying look what we’re doing but I will say we are in the midst of a website redesign and I have a page slated for our relationship with TWP and the work we do together.”

“For us, as pool builders, our sole purpose in life is to better people’s lives with water,” adds Carla. “And this relationship is the ultimate expression of that. It’s a natural extension of ourselves, and as our family grows, it’s part of that growth. We’re proud to be leaders in our industry and this is what leaders do.”

You can see the impact Master Pools Guild is making here. Learn more about our brand partnerships and how your organization can get involved.