Zodiac Honors Jandy Founder and Industry Great Andrew L. Pansini
Andrew L. Pansini, the founder of Jandy pool products, passed away on November 4 at the age of 93. He was a dedicated family man, a creative innovator, and cherished friend to so many, including hundreds at Zodiac Pool Systems. In remembrance of his many contributions to our lives, our company, and the pool industry, we honor our friend and mentor with this tribute to his creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication.
Mr. Pansini was known as a man who looked at things differently than most people – often turning observation into invention. It was Mr. Pansini’s creative eye that turned an accident into the invention that started it all for Jandy. Back in the late 1950's, pool owners had to manually scrub and clean their pools as automatic pool cleaners didn’t exist yet. During an afternoon of cleaning, Pansini’s garden hose accidentally fell into his pool and started snaking along the surface of the pool spraying clean water as it went. Instead of pulling the hose out of the water, he watched and noticed the hose was driving dirt toward the outlet drain. It was cleaning! This triggered his inventor spirit to grab some pipes and connect them to the hose to more effectively direct the flow – and that simple contraption was the basis for the world’s first automatic pool cleaner.
"He was a visionary. 99.9% of us would take the hose out of the pool and not give it another thought. But he looked at things differently. He was a visionary," said Vance Gillette, Zodiac’s vice president of business development and early Jandy employee.
Inspired by his invention, Mr. Pansini founded Jandy Products in 1958. He chose “Jandy” from a blend of two names: his wife Jane and his own, Andy. Under the Jandy name, Pansini improved his original concept and created a submersible cleaner next. This eventually led to the Jandy LeafMaster, one of the most widely used cleaners in the pool trade.
As Mr. Pansini created, the inventions and patents kept coming and Jandy kept growing. "My dad was a true entrepreneur and inventor at heart, "says his son, Andrew A. Pansini. "He never lost the drive to invent. Even in his 80’s and suffering from Post Polio Syndrome, from the disease he contracted in his teens, my dad continued inventing pool products. He never lost his passion, innovation or creativity."
In the mid 1980’s the company outgrew its original San Rafael facilities and moved to a 50,000 square foot facility in Novato. In the early 1990’s Jandy had grown to more than 100 employees with sales over $20 million. Mr. Pansini was a natural entrepreneur who believed in supporting his employees and business partners. According to Gillette, it was Mr. Pansini’s charisma that attracted people to him. "People wanted to work with him," he said. "And once you did, you couldn’t help but believe in his vision. He was a great individual who believed in trust, honesty and that a handshake was everything."
Pansini grew Jandy into one of the most well known pool product manufacturers in the country. Jandy manufactured and marketed pool cleaners, valves, pumps and heaters – and built an unparalleled reputation for producing the highest quality pool products on the market. It was this combination that made it a right fit for Zodiac, and in September, 2010 Zodiac Pool Care merged with Jandy to become Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. Jandy employees joined alongside Zodiac and Polaris Pool employees to ultimately form the Zodiac family of brands.
This dream team now provides the pool industry with the most advanced products needed for a pool – or what we call “the complete Zodiac pool.” Now, thanks to Jandy and the rest of the Zodiac family, millions of people around the world enjoy the experience of owning a pool like never before.
Mr. Pansini is survived by his wife of 20 years, Constance; seven children by his first marriage to the late Jane Raue; his sister, and 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. All of us here at Zodiac, and millions of pool owners who benefit from automatic pool cleaners, and state-of-the-art pool heaters and pumps, are thankful to Andrew L. Pansini for the creativity, passion, and business ethics he brought to the pool products industry. Our lives are better because of the impact he made, and we will continue his legacy by bringing a better life to pool owners for decades to come.