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Meet Poolwerx’s Rookie of the Year Franchisees

Kevin Linsley and Steven Kay, who have spent the past decade offering landscaping services to northern Utah, are excited to fill a new gap in the market for comprehensive pool repair, maintenance and retail.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 4:16PM 04/16/24

Kevin Linsley and Steven Kay, the owners of Poolwerx in northern Utah, bring a combined entrepreneurial spirit and dedication that has already earned them the prestigious title of Rookies of the Year. This recognition marks a significant milestone in their journey with the world-renowned swimming pool repair, maintenance and retail franchise.

Linsley was born and bred in Utah, and has a rich background in construction and landscape architecture. 

“I started my own outdoor living company, Valley Design Build, back in 2015,” he said. “I specialized in unique, fun projects like building skateparks, splash pads, bike trails, water features, etc. As we got deeper and deeper down that rabbit hole, swimming pools and spas naturally became a part of it. We saw a huge need for somebody to take care of all these bodies of water that were going in the ground.”

Around this time, Linsley crossed paths with Kay, a horticulture expert who hails from the Seattle area. 

“Over the last eight years, we have been doing landscaping together,” Linsley said. “But we have both always been entrepreneurial-minded.”

Fueled by this shared passion and a desire to fill a need within their community, the duo started looking into various franchise concepts within the booming pool industry

“I had started multiple businesses in the past, and I had a perception that franchising was for those who couldn’t do it on their own,” said Linsley. “But the more I looked into it, the more I realized that a franchise is inviting you to collaborate with all your expertise and knowledge. Not only are you joining in name, but you are now in network with a team all across the nation. My mind changed drastically.”

Eventually, they came across the Poolwerx name at a convention. “We came in and met everybody and they were very genuine,” said Kay. “With Poolwerx, you have to do things a certain way, but they also give you the freedom and liberty to do things your own way. It's not a cookie-cutter position. We decided to pull the trigger.” 

Founded in 1992, Poolwerx is one of the world’s largest swimming pool repair, maintenance and retail franchises. The brand offers a range of pool services, from residential and commercial pool cleaning to retail equipment sales and repair. This diversity ensures that franchisees have a multitude of revenue streams to explore within the pool industry, catering to various customer needs. 

And with the backing of their existing landscaping business, Linsley and Kay had no issue finding customers. 

“The nice thing is that we already have clients, so we can build a pool and then we can come in and help take care of it,” said Linsley. “It is amazing to have that type of service in our back pocket. A lot of pool owners who have pools and properties need different things, and that means we can refer them back to our landscaping company as well.” 

Since joining Poolwerx a year ago, the duo has been hard at work: “We’ve really been grinding and working our butts off,” Kay said. “But that is what has allowed us to achieve everything we’ve achieved so far.”

The hard work isn’t going unnoticed. Not only were the pair recently recognized on PoolPro's Top 30 Under 40 list, but they also won the Rookie of the Year award at Poolwerx’s 2024 conference. 

Linley and Kay's commitment to excellence and community service is evident in their ambitious plans for the future. 

"Our big goal is to really make Poolwerx a household name in Utah," Linsley said. "We want to give everybody the chance to be within minutes of a Poolwerx retail store so all the DIYers can service their own pool, and also have enough service trucks in our territory so we can service anybody who needs help, both on the commercial and residential side. We don’t know where that ends, but we hope to have five to seven stores in Utah.”

As they reflect on their achievements and the road ahead, both Kay and Linsley are grateful for the support and recognition they've received.

Remember, building a business is not easy,” Linsley said. “It's not for everybody, but for a good amount of people, it is exactly what they need in their life to challenge and push them to grow. When you finally do hit your stride, there is such a sense of accomplishment, it's amazing.”  

This year, Poolwerx is looking for qualified and passionate Franchise Partners to help achieve U.S expansion to 120+ stores by adding 30 new franchises annually in the U.S. The team has identified several markets primed for growth, including Texas (Houston, San Antonio and Austin), North Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

For more information on the cost to buy a Poolwerx franchise, please visit