Now Accepting Nominations for the 2021 Award!

The Paulette Pitrak “Above & Beyond” Award is NESPA’s highest volunteer recognition honoring members who have demonstrated an exceptional dedication to our association through their volunteer service.  

To be considered for the Above & Beyond Volunteer Recognition Award, the nominee must be a NESPA member in good standing who has exhibited extraordinary volunteer work during the current year.  The volunteer work can be done at either or both the Chapter or Region level. 

To be considered, nominations must be submitted by December 8th.
Download the Nomination form here

Nomination forms can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the attention of Kelly McKelvey at

An independent panel of judges will review all nominations at the close of the nomination process. The awardee(s) will be recognized at the 2022 Pool & Spa Show in Atlantic City (January 24-27, 2022). More details will be announced shortly.

Congratulations to the 2020 Awardee - Sheryl Heather

Sheryl Heather
Spring & Summer Activities | Hampton Bay, New York
Chair, NESPA Membership Services Committee
Executive Committee Member, Long Island Pool & Spa Association

During the pandemic, Sheryl was a tremendous asset to the association. She helped connect LIPSA and NESPA to government officials to ensure that pool & spa work was allowed to continue throughout 2020.  She worked day and night to make the connections needed to get us critical information so that we could move forward as an industry. Without her knowledge and know-how, it would have taken us longer and wasted precious working weeks.

Sheryl has been instrumental in moving workforce development forward in the Boards of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) of New York State. Her perseverance has enabled LIPSA and NESPA to develop courses for the Adult Education BOCES program in eastern Suffolk County.  Once complete, these courses can then be utilized through New York state and our region.  

Get to know more about Sheryl by reading her Member Spotlight Profile here.

NESPA would like to extend a thank you to Sheryl for all that she has done and continues to do for the association and the pool & spa industry.  

Past Awardees:
  • 2019:  Roberto Romano
  • 2018:  George Kazdin & Ron Falcioni
  • 2017:  Raymond Rescildo

Paulette began her work in the pool and spa industry in 1988 as Manager of Education for the National Spa and Pool Institute.  Four years later she was recruited to join NESPA to spearhead our education program. 

Over the next twenty-four years, Paulette did more than develop and deliver essential education to the industry.  She built a culture where continued education and innovation was valued.  She brought boundless energy, tenacity and compassion to each project she worked on from solving a code question for a member to launching an industry wide education initiative.  Everything and everyone was important.

She was a resource for answers to the toughest questions on topics few others took the time to understand. More than anything she was happy to share that knowledge with others.   

Beyond technical learning, Paulette was simply passionate about the pool and spa industry.  From association members to volunteer leaders and from fellow staff to industry peers, she cared deeply about what mattered most to each person she spoke with on any given day.  Because of who she was and how much she cared about the industry, so many of those she worked with became true friends. 

Paulette passed away in the fall of 2016 while serving as Deputy Executive Director of NESPA.