Nominations for 2022 will open in the fall!

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. 

An independent panel of judges will review all nominations at the close of the nomination process. The awardee(s) are recognized at The Pool & Spa Show.


Congratulations to the 2021 Awardee - Kyle Chaikin

Kyle Chaikin
Ultimate in Pool Care/Chaikin Ultimate Pools | Deer Park, NY
Treasurer, NESPA Board of Directors
Chair, NESPA Policy & Governance Committee
Director, Long Island Pool & Spa Association

Kyle’s commitment to volunteering on behalf of our industry is of course ongoing and tireless. In addition to his regular volunteer commitments, he offered added assistance in two key areas that took a lot of extra time but had huge benefits on a statewide and regional level.

Workforce development is arguably the biggest challenge facing our industry. Over the past several years, Kyle has been very involved in discussions with our local technical/trade school system Eastern Suffolk BOCES, to start a Pool Tech program as part of their building trades degree programs.

While it was a team effort, Kyle stepped up immediately as an accredited instructor to give the talks the credibility they needed. Ultimately, we succeeded in getting a Pool Tech class into the Spring 2021 Adult Education lineup. This class follows the PHTA CMS curriculum very closely.

Read more about Kyle's volunteer service here.

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

Past Awardees:
  • 2020: Sheryl Heather
  • 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.