The theme was “Getting Better Together” at Pondemonium, Aquascape’s annual, premier training event for the water gardening industry. Classroom and networking sessions focused on industry standards and innovative applications, available for the hundreds of contractors, retailers and distributors who attended from around the world.
Held at the beautiful Q Center campus in St. Charles, Illinois, Pondemonium kicked off on Wednesday evening with a special dinner and beer garden to recognize Aquascape’s top 100 customers, also known as the “Top Frogs.” Thursday, Friday and Saturday began with a morning hike/run, followed by roundtable “Cup of Coffee” sessions led by industry peers on a variety of pond and business topics.
Thursday continued with an all-day boot camp for business owners, highlighting industry standards and business success formulas. At the same time, hands-on training sessions were available for foremen and construction crew members. Everyone came together at the end of the day for an inspiring message from internationally recognized keynote speaker Brad Barton.
“Deep Dive” sessions were held on Saturday by Friday’s presenters, allowing attendees to ask questions and dig deeper into the previous day’s topics. The Incredible Dr. Pol was an added bonus to this year’s Pondemonium, as he spoke to everyone and thanked the Certified Aquascape Contractors who installed the waterfall last year at his Michigan home. Keynote speaker Mike Powell heartened the audience with his personal story of challenge and success, followed by Aquascape’s annual awards presentation.
This year’s award recipients were:
- Businessman of the Year: Tom Smith of Garden State Koi & Aquatic Center; Warwick, New York
- Certified Aquascape Contractor of the Year: Chris Ostrander of Living Water Landscape Service; Battle Creek, Michigan
- Artist of the Year: Joe Genovese of Genoscape Inc; Markham, Ontario, Canada
Conservationist of the Year: Bill Renter of The Deck and Patio Company; Huntington Station, New York
- Top Aquascape Contractor of the Year: Steve Martin of Tussey Landscaping; Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania
- Top Aquascape Retailer of the Year: Ted Greiner of TJB-Inc; Hamden, Connecticut
- In addition, awards were presented to the Top 20 Contractors and Top 20 Retailers.
Pondemonium 2015 closed with its annual Blow-Out Bash featuring a steel drum band, games, contests and plenty of food and beverages. Next year’s Pondemonium is slated for early August, 2016. More information is available at www.pondemonium.com. For more information on Aquascape products and services, visit www.aquascapeinc.com.