John Pate had family in mind from the moment he founded Tropical Pools three decades ago. John, who had been employed in the petroleum industry prior to starting the company, decided that there had to be a better way to build a life for his family without having to leave his wife and young children at home while he worked offshore. He based the business out of his home at first, and steadily built the company to include additional employees, as well as his growing children. Today, Tropical Pools operates from a full-service retail location in Hammond.
Though he is still involved in the day-to-day operations, John recently passed the leadership of the business to his son, Jared. Jared Pate has already had a lifetime of experience in the swimming pool service and construction business, learning at the feet of his father:
"My earliest memories are on the jobsite with my dad. Dad started this business 30 years ago from scratch, and built Tropical Pools into one of the most respected companies on the Northshore. This is not just a pool company or a job to us, but a part of who we are. Our integrity and our livelihood were on the line with every single job my dad took on, and that drive and that fire lives on in me today.
I remember riding on the Bobcat with my dad as a little boy, and practicing my pitching skills with rocks in between running to fetch tools—a hammer here, a shovel there. When I was 13, I started working for my dad. Every summer, and every winter afternoon after school was spent on a jobsite. I worked my way up from picking up trash in the beginning to eventually overseeing the day-to-day operations of the entire company. This isn’t just a labor of love to me; it’s my dad’s dream and my whole life’s work.