Home › About GENESIS® › Introduction from the Co-Founders › HistoryA Message from the Chairman › Back

Introduction from the Co-Founders:

The growth and impact that the GENESIS® programs have achieved over the last 15 years has exceeded our most optimistic expectations, and the potential of the current offerings promises to surpass yours! GENESIS® is, collectively, more excited and passionate about our educational programs and our student participant’s growth than ever before. We are continually amazed by the advances that participants in the GENESIS® system make, and the sharing of information among those that seek a higher level is truly inspiring.

We hope that you will find the GENESIS® Website & University Catalog a bold step up in our ever-expanding quest for improving our design, construction, and service abilities. We retain the best possible instructors and delve into the topics most needed by those seeking greatness.

We will continue to make positive steps, including the industry’s finest in leadership roles, while engaging our many sponsors and supporters to advance the GENESIS® mission. On behalf of our dedicated team we welcome the opportunity to include you in the GENESIS® family.


Brian Van Bower, SWD
President and Co-founder
Brian Van Bower, SWD Master, GENESIS® Ambassador & Co-Founder

Skip Phillips, SWD
Vice President and Co-founder Skip Phillips, SWD Master, GENESIS® Ambassador & Co-Founder


The History of GENESIS® :

Throughout its history, the pool and spa industry has struggled to create credible education and certification. Due to its reluctance to advance a viable program, Skip Phillips, David Tisherman, and Brian Van Bower created the GENESIS® educational system to fill that void.

Since 1998 GENESIS® has set the standard for quality programs, offering hundreds of educational venues internationally for thousands of students, ultimately creating the Society of Watershape Designers and Platinum Certification. As the only third-party accredited education in our industry, we’ve embraced the opportunity to fulfill the quest of like-minded professionals to have true credibility.

Our educational programs have been in demand far and wide by those that recognize the quest for excellence and passion of the GENESIS® leaders, instructors, students, and members. Classes have been given in Australia, Germany, Italy, France, Bali, Canada, and, of course, the United States. This furthers the GENESIS® mission to create a global sharing of industry knowledge.

Beginning in 2012, we shifted into high gear, launching into our newly created “Genesis University™.” Due to Education Board Chair David Peterson’s leadership, Brian and Skip’s desire for fundamental improvements within GENESIS® , and a fresh attitude, the University provides unequaled opportunities for insuring the advancement of higher education. Coupled with our international stature and benchmark projects, our members set the global standard for watershape design and construction.

  • The Construction classes are the basic foundation for many, while the advanced hydraulics and engineering courses stretch even long-time builders to push themselves higher.
  • Design classes begin with fundamental pencil drawing, evolve into sketching, and culminate with Computer Aided Design.
  • Artistic classes cover not just sophisticated materials and how to apply them; but how differing materials, textures and colors can come together to create one-of-a-kind looks that separate GENESIS® Designers and Watershapers from their competitors.


A Message from the Chairman:

In 2012, we restructured our educational system in preparation for anticipated growth. We offered more classes, new programs, and additional venues, all culminating in our strongest year ever. Students attended from countries that include Australia, Antigua, Canada, and Kuwait. We also presented multiple programs in Germany and we are returning there this year with new material for an even larger group.

Our momentum has resulted in even more class offerings and venues this year. We now have over 120 programs and an unprecedented spread of 12 venues including the Mid America Pool & Spa Show near Chicago, the Orlando Pool & Spa Show, Southeast Pool and Spa Show, and the World Aquatic Health Conference. We will also have a huge presence at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in Las Vegas where we are hosting 24 events including our highly acclaimed 3-day basic construction school, and 2-day hydraulics, color theory, and AutoCAD programs as well as fresh general track seminars and our traditional Winemaker Dinner. Altogether we are hosting about 75 events and over 325 hours of education – that’s over 8 weeks of training!

GENESIS® remains committed to the values and high standards that have distinguished the group as the premier leader in watershape education, design, and construction since 1998. We are working harder than ever to meet our students’ needs with new innovative programs, additional best-in-class faculty, more venues, and a calendar of events that will enable students to achieve success faster than ever. This year’s schedule gives students that opportunity and we anticipate strong attendance.

Our flagship certification, the Society of Watershape Designers , has new members and several more that are close to graduation despite the higher number of classroom hours required of the certification by last year’s restructuring. This year we are also venturing into new territory with a certification for the retailers. This will be rolled out for the whole industry at the Carecraft Annual Meeting in Rancho Palos Verdes, California in February – if you want to design your store for better product placement, increased customer dwell time, and ultimately improved bottom line via increased sales, this in-depth multi-disciplinary program is unlike anything else in the industry.

We believe that our values, high standards, and core educational philosophy will make anyone at any level better. GENESIS® is synonymous with “superior quality” but that does not mean that the lessons learned only apply to high-end builders, service professionals, and retailers. Anyone that wants to get better will experience the value of our programs.

As our industry crawls out of the devastating economic recession, we know how important our educational system will be to the success of our students. We witnessed countless pool industry professionals vanish during the last four years while members of our GENESIS® family survived quite well due to their prior investment in education. Now, more than ever, it is time to prepare yourself and we will continue to work hard for you in that endeavor.

The strength of our GENESIS® family originates with our excellent faculty, staff, and sponsors, but it rests squarely on the shoulders of our students and alumni. It is the students that make GENESIS® what it is and we welcome you to the family.

David J. Peterson, P.E., SWD Master
Education Board Chairman
David J. Peterson, P.E., SWD Master