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The Great Franchisee: Jim Stepnoski, Pool Scouts, Florida

The former aviation executive has signed on to open three territories with the fast-growing pool maintenance franchise.

By Emily Gay1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 4:16PM 02/23/22

Aviation expert Jim Stepnoski is leaving behind a 36-year career in aviation to start a new career chapter as one of the newest franchise owners with Pool Scouts*, the 100-plus-unit pool maintenance franchise. 

We spoke with Stepnoski, who plans to open his first territory with Pool Scouts in Merritt Island in March, to learn more about his path to franchising and his experience with the fast-growing pool brand.

1851 Franchise: What did you do before franchising?

Jim Stepnoski: I grew up in New York until I decided to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. Upon graduation, I spent 36 years in aviation, 22 years with airlines and then I spent 14 years in government contracting until I decided it was time to work for myself. I started researching various franchises specific to the Space Coast of Florida because this was the best choice from a market perspective, and I knew this was where I wanted to retire. 

1851: How long from the first time you learned about franchising until you inquired on the franchisor’s website?

Stepnoski: I did research for three months on three different franchises specifically before choosing Pool Scouts. 

1851: How did you perform your research?

Stepnoski: I worked with a franchise consultant. 

1851: How many brands did you look at? 

Stepnoski: I looked into three different franchises for three months before investing with Pool Scouts. 

1851: What made you say yes to Pool Scouts?

Stepnoski: I said yes to Pool Scouts because of the industry, the location and the team. I met with the Pool Scouts team and realized the business model is very differentiated. They already adapted to the uniqueness of the Florida market. In addition, I wanted a franchise where the corporate team listens to their franchisees and I spoke with numerous owners from Pool Scouts that could confidently say corporate takes all their thoughts into consideration and adapts to make sure their needs are met. There was also only one other major competitor in the area.

1851: What makes you stand out as a unique business owner in the local community?

Stepnoski: I am a very metrics-driven person. I like to track what marketing works and what doesn’t and this can relate to my background in aviation which is also very stringent with standard performance metrics. These analytics and metrics tell me how to perform better for my customers. I enjoy being able to monitor business performance and listening to customer feedback to improve. My neighbor once said, “it is hard to find anyone reliable in the pool service industry” and I want to bring that professionalism to the community. 

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? 

Stepnoski: I hope to become a brand recognized for quality pool service in this region. I hope to target at least 10% of households in the area with our services.

1851: What do you do in your personal time?

Stepnoski: I enjoy ball games, specifically baseball and football. I like hockey as well but haven’t been around it recently. I also enjoy going to concerts. I would like to get back into scuba diving and take up kayaking. In the future, I think it would also be great to have the opportunity to be involved with the space program here utilizing my aviation background and expertise. I may even do some aviation consulting on the side. 

About Pool Scouts:

Virginia Beach, VA-based Pool Scouts is a premier pool service franchise focused on delivering a quality, consistent brand experience while providing pool cleaning, maintenance and minor repair services at residential properties. Technicians are trained in testing, monitoring, treating and servicing pools and can provide ongoing service as well as help at the beginning and end of the summer season. With 110 territories across 18 states, Pool Scouts offers a great opportunity as a low-cost franchise in the pool services industry with available territories across the United States. For more information or franchising opportunities, visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.