Congratulations to 2023 Awardee
Chas Bogardus

As a longtime member of the PennJersey Board and past President of NESPA, Chas is always engaged in the association's efforts and puts much thought into his contributions. He takes the time to know what is happening in our industry and is passionate about elevating the pool and spa industry.  Read more below.

About the Award

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.

2024 Nominations

Nominations can be made by current members of NESPA, Chapter Administrators, and NESPA Staff.  You may nominate an individual(s) by completing the form below.  Nominations are accepted throughout the year and must be received by December 9, 2024, to be considered for this year’s award.  Nomination forms will be available in the fall.  If you have any questions, reach out to Kelly McKelvey at

Congratulations to the 2023 Awardee - Chas Bogardus

Chas Bogardus
Budd's Pool Company | Deptford, N
Past-President, NESPA
Director, Penn Jersey Pool & Spa Association

Chas has long been an active volunteer for his local chapter, PennJersey, and at the regional level with NESPA. He just completed a five-year term on NESPA's executive committee, including a term as president of NESPA's Board of Directors.

Chas has taken on a key role in the execution and evolution of one of Paulette Pitrak's last educational programs, The Training Wall at The Pool & Spa Show. Due to the efforts of Chas, along with additional volunteers and in partnership with many vendors, the Training Wall continues to be a destination for thousands during each Show. There is no doubt Paulette would be thrilled with the Training Wall's success and would be pleased to see Chas continue to grow this program.

Read more about Chas's volunteer service here.

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

Past Awardees:
  • 2022: Ed Cohen
  • 2021: Kyle Chaikin
  • 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.