Nearly 200 of Master Spas' top dealers from across the globe, along with special guest Michael Phelps, converged for the company's Dealer Meeting and to mark the retirement of founder Bob Lauter. The 2022 International Dealer Meeting, recently held at the J.W. Marriott Resort in Marco Island, Florida, gave dealers an opportunity to see the new products up close, try out new features and hear about Master Spas' commitment to the future.
The event showcased Master Spas innovative approach to the spa industry, a path that was paved with successes and led by Lauter. He has been a leader in the spa industry for more than 40 years and has been CEO of Master Spas for over 25 years.
Lauter will retire from the company at the end of 2022 and will remain on as Chairman of the Board.
As Master Spas CEO, Lauter has sat on several boards and received numerous honors for his contribution to the industry including the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals INSPIRE Award, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics and in 2018 he was inducted into the Greater Fort Wayne Business Hall of Fame. He also served as president of the International Hot Tub Association.
The company has enjoyed strong growth under Lauter's leadership, becoming the largest manufacturer of hot tubs that are made in the USA, and the largest manufacturer of swim spas globally.
"I feel very blessed to have worked with Bob Lauter for over 25 years at Master Spas," says Terry Valmassoi, president of Master Spas. "It has been a fun journey together to see the company grow beyond expectations, and to have such an amazing team and dealers that make up the Master Spas family. Master Spas would not exist without Bob, and I am thankful for his vision, leadership, and friendship."
Master Spas serves customers worldwide through their network of dealers throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. The company produces high-quality hot tubs and swim spas, including Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas. This swim spa line was designed with input from 23-time gold medalist Phelps.
Lauter says the highlight of his career was the partnership between Master Spas and Phelps, which began in 2010. The 23-time Gold medalist attended the 2022 Master Spas Dealer Meeting to help celebrate Lauter's career and contributions.
"For me, looking back, the partnership is almost like a dream come true," Phelps said at the Dealer Meeting event. "I was able to use the swim spa as part of my training, and it helped me develop the best freestyle stroke I ever had in my career."
But the partnership was more than just performance for the legendary swimmer.
"It's the passion. It's the dream. It's the dedication," Phelps said. "I saw it then and I see it even more now."
Kevin Richards, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Master Spas, led a discussion between Lauter and Phelps at the final celebration.
As part of the discussion, Richards asked Phelps to share his advice on retirement.
"I would say fill your time with things that you are passionate about but he's retiring to spend more time with his family," Phelps says. "You see how much passion and love he has for his family."
Lauter has been married to his wife Sherry for nearly 50 years and they have three grown children and 16 grandchildren.
For more information about Master Spas, go to MasterSpas.com. Follow the manufacturer on social media at @masterspas.
Master Spas is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 90 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Operating out of a state-of-the-art, 583,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on a 50-acre manufacturing campus, Master Spas is the largest portable spa, hot tub and swim spa manufacturer in the world with all products built in the U.S.A. The company's executive team boasts more than 200 years of spa manufacturing success and one of the strongest track records in the industry. For more information, please visit: www.MasterSpas.com