Award-winning Jacksonville Swimming Pool Company Selected to Participate in State’s GrowFL Economic Gardening Program
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 6, 2011)– Portofino Pools, a 55-year-old award-winning Jacksonville-based pool and spa company, has been selected to participate in GrowFL, a state-funded program that is part of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute (FEGI).
Founded in 1956 as Al Jackson Pools, the business was acquired by Portofino Pools in 1996, according to Jack Manilla, president and owner.
“We are humbled by this designation as it recognizes our strength in achieving second-stage growth during the difficult economic recession,” he said.
Manilla is an active member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, a regional FEGI GrowFL partner. He responded to Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton’s Champion Letter calling for growth companies to apply to GrowFL.
Created in 2009 by the Florida Legislature, GrowFL is based at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. When selecting businesses the institute looks for ones with the potential for success, according to Dr. Tom O’Neal, executive director of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute.
“Portofino Pools has shown that it has potential by becoming a second-stage company during a downturned economy,” said O’Neal, who also is associate vice president for the University of Central Florida’s Office of Research and Commercialization. “And, it’s consistency in being named the ‘Best of Jacksonville’ Award winner for pools for the third consecutive year by the U.S. Commerce Association also shows the company’s strengths.”
GrowFL will support the company through a number of services, including access to market research and technology, strategy analysis, CEO roundtables and forums, database research and website optimization.
“The secret to being in business for more than 55 years is that we have a passion and love for helping our customers save money while increasing their water enjoyment,” said Manilla, who now oversees a staff of 20 full-time and 45 part-time employees. “The designation confirms our success is due to commitment to core values, employee selection and continuing education/training.”
With assistance from GrowFL, Manilla said Portofino Pools has been shown “new windows of opportunity by a team of the best and brightest economic development consultants in Florida.”
“Our minds have been re-energized and shown new ways to think by these experts,” he said. “We are strategically preparing for continued growth to third stage.”
About Portofino Pools:
Portofino’s, customers have peace-of-mind knowing their word is the best guarantee. Armed with knowledge and innovative green technologies, Portofino’s technical team has years of business know-how, and aquatic facility expertise as they maintain more than 20 million gallons of water every week. The company also helps clients reduce operating costs and increase sustainability through lower energy use, while reducing carbon emissions and equipment repairs, and increasing pool surface life. For details, visit www.PortofinoPools.com
About the Florida Economic Gardening Institute:
The Florida Economic Gardening Institute was created by the 2009 Florida Legislature as the Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Program to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy by providing technical assistance for expanding businesses in the state. Qualified companies must be engaged in the following sectors to receive no-cost technical assistance: Manufacturing; Finance and Insurance Services; Wholesale Trade; Information Industries; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Management Services and Administrative and Support Services. Additional information is available at www.GrowFL.com.