Team Horner Management
William A. Kent, CEO
Bill Kent, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, holds a Doctorate degree in Global Business from Keiser University (2015), a Master of Business Administration degree from Xavier University (1967), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Cincinnati (1964). Bill worked in Ohio for 6 years at General Electric, designing and manufacturing rocket motor components and cases, including work on attack missiles and Saturn 5 moon rocket. Bill has three grown children, all college graduates. In 1972, Bill moved with his family to South Florida area and identifying the swimming pool business as a growing industry, started a pool service company.
Shortly thereafter, he bought a part ownership position in a then-fledgling wholesale distribution company in the swimming pool industry, HornerXpress®, started by Mr. Earl Horner. Earl sold his share of business to Bill in 1975. Bill was the sole owner from 1975 through 2015. In January 2016, Bill transitioned ownership of Team Horner® to the employees as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and has continued on as Chief Executive Officer.
Bill has been extremely active in the industry associations, including the National Swimming Pool Foundation, the Florida Swimming Pool Association, the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and the national trade association, now called A.P.S.P., including National President in 1996.
Mike Dooley, President/COO
As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mike is responsible for the performance of all of the companies that fall under the Team Horner® Group of Companies umbrella. Mike started in 1979, fresh out of high school, unloading trucks in Team Horner’s original building. By way of an ROTC Scholarship, Mike graduated from the University of Miami in 1986, with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree, majoring in Finance. Upon graduation Mike was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army and left Team Horner®. He served as a Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot with most of his duty overseas. He left the Army as a Captain in 1991. Mike returned to Team Horner® and held sales positions domestically in West Palm Beach, FL and internationally as Regional Sales Manager in the Middle East. He was promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing for AquaCal® / AutoPilot® Manufacturing.
After a break in service with Team Horner®, Mike returned to the Team in 2011, as Area Manager for HornerXpress® Central Florida. He was promoted to Vice President of HornerXpress® Branches in 2013 and became President of Team Horner® in April of 2015. Mike is hands on, and believes in leading by example. “When they think it can’t be done, SHOW them that it can be done”. Mike loves the company culture and truly understands what a unique and special place Team Horner® is.
Gary Chisling, Vice President - Administration
As a member of Team Horner® since 1978, Gary has experienced the Team’s growth from a “handful” of employees and two companies to over 400 employees and 17 companies. Since 1983, Gary has held various management / leadership positions. With his appointment to VP Administration in 1992, he is responsible for the common administrative functions of the Team (Finance, Accounting, Human resources, Risk Management, IT and Legal matters).
Gary is passionate about the company Culture, which is founded on the principles of our Value System, with Teamwork being a common thread. The Mission Statement of Working Together, Growing Together and Winning Together summarizes these values and is consistent with the partnerships we strive to create with our employees, customers and suppliers.
Gary is also passionate about striving for excellence and has similar expectations for his Teammates. Recognizing people are our most important asset, it is his desire to build a Team of winners. This explains his continuous efforts of effective human capital practices, especially optimizing the process of employee selection. To quote Jim Collins in a bestseller business book, “Good to Great”; get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats and we will figure out how to take it someplace great.”
“It is my wish that each employee find their respective role productive and rewarding with their unique contribution to the success of the Team.”
Linda Carroll, Vice President - International Sales
Originally from the UK, Linda started her swimming pool career in the Caribbean, working with two companies who offered everything from pool construction, to retail and service - both of whom were customers of Team Horner®! Learning from these “hands on” experiences proved invaluable. After moving to the USA, Linda joined Team Horner® in 1993 as an Administrative Assistant in Horner Discus International, which later became HornerXpress® Worldwide - the international distribution part of the Team. Linda quickly moved into a sales role and traveled for the company to the Caribbean islands and the UK until 2000 when she relocated back to England.
Linda returned to the USA, rejoining Team Horner® in 2003 as Vice President of HornerXpress® Worldwide. As what we call a ‘boomerang’ employee, Linda fully appreciates the opportunities we are given to grow and improve at Team Horner®. “This is a very special place to work, with a spirit that is rare to find. Working within the international side of our business has provided a uniquely rewarding experience that I thoroughly enjoy. I am passionate about spreading the Team Horner® philosophy to our customers, as we are not only selling them product, we are entrusted with helping them grow their businesses for long term profitability.”
The HX Worldwide team is made up of many different cultures and backgrounds with experience in international sales, logistics, marketing and finance. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make the customer feel that we are right beside them, even when they are thousands of miles away.
Darren Goldstein, Vice President - Branches
Since joining HornerXpress® South Florida in 1993, straight from the University of Florida, Darren has quickly become an effective leader for the team. Prior to becoming Vice President, he had been serving as Director of New Business Development and Branch Manager of HornerXpress® Treasure Coast.
From a technical perspective, Darren is excited about working efficiently. He embraces new technology and pushes the envelope in terms of its use. How we utilize technology and bridge the gap so that our customers’ businesses are better off, is our ultimate goal. “Working Together… Growing Together…Winning Together…” is our mission and it’s stronger than ever at HornerXpress® South Florida.
Jeff Tawney, Vice President - AquaCal AutoPilot, Inc.-Manufacturing
Since 1981, as an employee and part owner of AquaCal®, Jeff, with his experience and training in the HVAC industry, has been one of the pioneers of the pool heat pump industry. With the acquisition of AquaCal® by Team Horner® in 1992, Jeff was appointed Vice President, AquaCal®.
Working at every level from the production floor to the VP’s office, Jeff has an in-depth understanding of the products as well as the marketplace Team Horner® serves. He is committed to providing the highest quality product backed by a level of service that is known as the industry standard.
Jeff continues to work in a leadership role in the emerging markets that represent AquaCal® and AutoPilot® products. Jeff believes that your ability to learn faster than your competition is key to winning in business today. True to that belief, he has remained actively involved in the learning and teaching of “new” business practices and the re-assessment of “old” business knowledge. He is involved in ongoing Continuous Education training and the development of qualified Service technicians and Sales representatives in our industry.
Jeff has a very strong commitment to the Culture that marks all Team Horner® companies as something special and unique in the business community. This commitment shows itself in the Team based approach that always looks for a win-win solution to all business issues.
He couples this commitment to smart work, high quality and fair play with a “we’re going to have fun doing it as well” attitude.
Don Detwiler, Vice President - AquaCal AutoPilot, Inc.-Sales
Don joined Team Horner® as the Eastern Region Sales Manager for AquaCal® and AutoPilot® in August of 2003. He was promoted to National Sales Manager in July of 2005 and then to Vice President in December of 2005. Prior to Team Horner®, Don was the Pool Market Manager for A.O. Smith Electrical Products Company.
Don is originally from the Philadelphia area. He holds his B.A. in Communication Arts from Villanova University and his M.B.A. in Marketing from St. Joseph's University.
Don most enjoys team culture at Team Horner® and recognizes that team's real strength is in its people. For this reason Don relishes his role in recruiting new teammates and helping current teammates develop.