Team Horner has always believed that the success of the business is a reflection of the company culture. For this reason, in 2016 Team Horner became an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The ESOP contributes Team Horner stock to employees each year to use as additional income for retirement. We believe all employees should have a “shared fate” with the ownership of the company.
For over 50 years, HornerXpress has been the premier independent distributor to pool and spa professionals in Florida. Not only does HornerXpress provide an extensive range of swimming pool products to satisfy every project, but also offers complete business solutions to help our customers grow and prosper.
HornerXpress Worldwide is the largest independent pool and spa equipment distributor in more than 110 countries. Our team of diverse professionals are committed to creating value and efficiencies for our customers. We provide research, marketing, design and logistics assistance as well as everyday support for their business needs.
AquaCal® has been the leading swimming pool heat pump manufacturer since 1981, offering a full range of units to meet any heating need. AquaCal® can maintain anything from small above ground pools up to very large commercial facilities. The chillers, as well as the heat and cool units, can be used to create cold plunge pools for therapy as well.
AutoPilot® has been the leading swimming pool salt chlorine generator manufacturer since 1976, offering a full range of units to meet any chlorine need. AutoPilot® can maintain anything from small above ground pools up to very large commercial facilities. AutoPilot’s industry leading salt water pool systems turn ordinary salt into a self-regenerating supply of pure chlorine for pool and spa water that’s clean, clear and luxuriously soft.
J.B. Fittings, a Team Horner company, specializes in the production and sale of injection molded fittings for Pool/Spa, Irrigation, Turf, Plumbing, Industrial and Retail markets. A technical leader with over 40 years’ experience, J.B. Fittings is relied upon worldwide to provide the confidence users desire.
Lo-Chlor® Specialty Chemicals are specifically designed to target the pool water problems that maintenance chemicals alone cannot resolve. Our unique formulations consistently excel in the toughest year-round environment for pool maintenance and they have been doing so for over 35 years. A trusted name in performance pool chemicals, Lo-Chlor® premium pool products are highly effective, rigorously lab tested and all competitively priced. We create and optimize our formulas while being kind to the environment.
For over 45 years in the swimming pool products industry, TropiClear® chemicals and maintenance equipment is widely known as the expert in the quality treatment of pool and spa water. TropiClear® chemicals are the finest, purest pool and spa chemicals available in the United States and only sold through authorized professional pool and spa retailers or service companies. Its concentrated formula is designed to provide the pool owner with excellent value year after year.
StoneHardscapes is one of the nation’s leading importers of the finest hand selected natural stone ideal for exterior sand-set applications as well as traditional interior settings. As a company, we strive to provide only the highest quality products and exceedingly superior client service. Our current distribution network includes a vast array of businesses and consumers throughout the country and internationally.
The BackyardXpo Outdoor Living Xperience helps our dealers to think OUTSIDE THE POOL. It includes a full line of outdoor kitchens, fire and water features, furniture, decking, pergolas and more. BackyardXpo is your one-stop shop for all outdoor accessory needs.
TileXpressions offers a full line of quality swimming pool tiles including over 200 styles of glass tile, mosaics from esteemed lines such as Custom Mosaics and Artistry in Mosaics, cap tile and hand holds, hundreds of concrete and natural stone coping options, and both smooth and non-skid options of depth markers.
2000 - 2009
In September 2000, AquaCal® opened a field sales office in Phoenix, Arizona; in early 2002, a full time field service technician was added. There are currently two Teammates in this location
In November 2000, AquaCal Europe re-opened a field sales office in Paris, France. This office was closed in November 2001.
HornerXpress, Inc. was formed in late 2000 to sell franchises of our wholesale distribution business. The first HornerXpress® franchise opened in February 2001 in West Palm Beach, Florida and continues to operate successfully.
In May 2001, Horner Consulting Engineering became a joint venture Company with half ownership belonging to Mr. John Carroll and Mr. Gerry Cataldo, owners of Twenty First Century Engineering, a well known South Florida company.
In November 2001, AquaCal® purchased a third building (7,500 square feet) increasing the total factory building space to 61,000 square feet (6,100 square meters).
In April 2002, owner Bill Kent celebrated 30 years of service with a party attracting over 500 employees and friends. His theme was “The Best is Yet to Come”.
In August/September 2002, six Company-owned Branches were opened throughout Florida, making our Whole Distribution business truly “State Wide”. Branches were opened in Naples, Manasota, Tampa, Orlando, St. Augustine, and Ft. Pierce. Later, new locations have been added to increase the total to 18 locations. Our three manufactured product lines, AquaCal®, AutoPilot® and Lo-Chlor®, are now exclusively being sold in Florida through these branches, called HornerXpress®.
In December 2002, our original Company in Fort Lauderdale was renamed HornerXpress® South Florida, creating a consistent brand image for our wholesale distribution business.
In December 2002, AquaCal® began manufacturing heat pumps as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for other companies. The first OEM customer was Aquatherm Industries, Inc. Subsequent OEM relationships have included Hayward, Jandy, AquaPro, Pool Calor (Portugal), and many others.
In January 2003, AquaCal® purchased a fully computerized machine for cutting, shaping and bending the internal copper tubing inside its Heat Pumps.
In February 2003, a HornerXpress® branch opened in Nashville, Tennessee. This branch was closed in November 2004.
In September 2003, HornerXpress® Financial Services, a full service mortgage brokerage business, was formed to offer First and Second mortgages to pool buyers via HX customers, here in Florida. In early 2004, HFS expanded to provide mortgage brokerage services in Arizona. Arizona was discontinued in 2005. HornerXpress® Financial Services was closed in 2007 when the mortgage industry evaporated.
In November 2003, Bill Kent became President and Chairman of the Board of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, with headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. NSPF operates as a non-profit foundation that focuses on health, education and safety issues in the pool and spa industry. Bill was re-elected to this post in November 2004, 2005, and 2006. Currently Bill serves as Chairman to the NSPF Audit, Grant, and Scholarship Committees.
In January 2004, Horner Discus was re-named HornerXpress® Worldwide, Inc.
In January 2004, HornerXpress® Worldwide hired Ms. Barbara Scheuer to open an office in Germany with a focus on AquaCal® & AutoPilot® sales. In mid 2005, we initiated an inventory in Köln to support European sales. In September 2006 the office was closed; later, the Köln warehouse was closed and moved to Lyon, France.
In March 2004, the Engineering partnership with Mr. Carroll and Mr. Cataldo was dissolved; Horner Consulting Engineers became 100% common ownership with the rest of the Team HornerTM Companies. Horner Consulting Engineers closed in September 2006.
In August 2004, AquaCal® purchased a 2-acre piece of raw land adjacent to one of its current properties for expansion at a future date.
In October 2004, the first e-college class was held at Keiser University in a joint venture degree program called “Aquatic Engineering Technology”. This joint venture program with Keiser University offers an accredited 2-year “Associates of Science” degree, focused on the technology of the swimming pool and spa Industry. In January 2006, the first person graduated with this degree. Ms. Connie Sue Centrella was the Professor operating this program; in 2014, Mr. Rick Myers replaced Ms. Centrella. During 2015, it was agreed to phase out this degree program.
In November 2004, in concert with the closing of the Nashville branch, Lo-Chlor® opened a regional sales office in Nashville, with Connie Sue Centrella as the Regional Sales Manager. In early 2005, Connie Sue became “Director of Education” for Team HornerTM, discontinuing the Lo-Chlor® assignment.
In May 2005, HornerXpress® purchased a 2 acre site in Jacksonville, Florida, and built a 25,000 sq. ft. building to relocate the HX First Coast branch. This new location opened mid 2007 and now serves as a regional storage facility for some proprietary products.
In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma hit full blast in Fort Lauderdale. All of the roofs at the main campus were replaced as a result. No one was injured.
During 2005, Darren Goldstein and Don Detwiler were promoted to Vice President
In late 2005, new distribution centers were opened in Ft. Myers and Largo, Florida.
In January 2006, Lo-Chlor® business partner, Andrew Simons, died in Sydney, Australia. His shares of Lo-Chlor® have been purchased by Bill Kent.
In March 2006, a corporate aircraft, King Air 90B, was purchased with two other partners for business use. The plane was sold in March 2007.
In March 2006, AquaCal® created a bonded warehouse stocking point, under the management of Mr. David Skipper, in Brisbane, Australia. In December 2006, Mrs. Caroline Skipper joined our Australian business. In March 2007, AquaCal Australia was closed. Distribution rights were transferred to Clevaquip, Pty Ltd, a Melbourne based distributor of pool equipment. Nearby New Zealand distributor for AquaCal® was Filtermaster NZ Ltd. Both Clevaquip and Filtermaster were discontinued in 2009. Poolrite Australia replaced both companies. Poolrite closed later and distribution to Australia was transferred to another company; later this relationship was discontinued.
AutoPilot® manufacturing moved to St. Petersburg factory under the leadership of Jeff Tawney in July 2006.
During 2006 and early 2007, additional HornerXpress® Branches were opened in Ormond Beach, Melbourne, Lakeland, and Ocala, and the branch in Largo was closed.
HornerXpress® Jacksonville moved into their 25,000 sq. ft. building In October of 2007.
In January 2008, AquaCal® introduced a revolutionary new heat pump named “SuperQuiet” and the “BackyardXpo” product line extensions were completed in HornerXpress® South Florida. BackyardXpo features outdoor kitchens, fire pits, new decks and many other non-pool related products for our customers to sell.
In April of 2008, HornerXpress® purchased a 12,000 sq. ft. building that sits on 1.3 acres to relocate the HornerXpress® Naples Branch. The grand opening was held in June 2008.
AquaCal® began making the Angelfire Heat Pump as an OEM in December 2008. During October of 2008 the Ocala and Melbourne branches were closed.
In September 2009, HornerXpress® St. Petersburg opened at AquaCal AutoPilot factory.
During December of 2009, Lakeland and Oldsmar Branches were closed and a new location in Tampa was opened.
2010 - Present
During the spring of 2010, the AutoPilot® “NANO” was introduced. Further, AquaCal® began making the “AquaPro” Heat Pump as an OEM in March of 2010.
In October 2010, HornerXpress® Stuart purchased a 7,000 sq. ft. building as a permanent distribution location.
In February 2011, HornerXpress® purchased the assets and North American distribution rights for the Portobello pool tile products line; as such, we are now functioning as a direct importer of tile and have a distributor system beyond HornerXpress®.
In April 2011, AquaCal® purchased the assets of Lion Pool Products®, a manufacturer of leaf skimmers, telescopic poles, other accessories, and 12 volt transformers. Production began in June 2011 at the St. Petersburg factory.
In May 2011, AquaCal® purchased another adjacent 6,400 sq. ft. building to its main factory complex in St. Petersburg.
In January 2012, Owner Bill Kent began a Doctorate program at Keiser University with a concentration in global Business.
In February 2012, AquaCal® purchased an additional building adjacent to the building purchased in May, 2011. This building #7 is intended as the location of large injection molding machines for making subassembly parts currently purchased from outside vendors.
In April 2012, AquaCal® purchased large injection molding equipment for use in making subassembly components. Production of components for AquaCal® and AutoPilot® began in early 2013.
In April 2012, Owner Bill Kent celebrated 40 years at Team HornerTM.
In May 2012, HornerXpress® Central Florida opened a sub-branch in Kissimmee, Southwest Orlando, to service our Central Florida customers’ base better.
In August 2012, a new Wellness program called “Color Me Healthy” was introduced to all employees. The focus of this program is employee focused education and programming to improve health and wellness. The program is being designed and implemented by an employee committee, rather than management.
In August 2012, Jerry Mason became the Area Manager for the Manasota Region: Cape Coral and Sarasota Branches.
In the fall of 2012, the Color Me Healthy (CMH) employeed wellness program was started under the leadership of Kim Kent. A few months later, Diane McMillan joined Kim to coordinate activities for the AquaCal® factory in St. Petersburg.
In November 2012, Barkan Hot Yoga, located in Boca Raton was opened. Bill Kent is joint venture partner in this new business.In April 2019, Bill sold his half of this business to Mr. Barkan.
In December 2012, first production occurred at the Injection Molding Facility at AquaCal®.
In January 2013, Mike Dooley replaced Eric Levine as Vice President in charge of the HornerXpress® branch division. Eric changed roles to provide an ongoing coaching program for the Florida based sales team.
In January 2013, Tom Williams became the Area Manager for the Gulf Coast Region: Fort Myers and Naples Branches.
In April 2013, the Lake Mary Branch was moved to a new location and larger facility in Longwood, Florida.
In April 2013, a new division named StoneHardscapes was formed with partners David & James Bond focused on the importation of various kinds of natural stone. In April 2014, the partnership ended and StoneHardscapes became 100% part of Team HornerTM; the business was also relocated to an office and backyard storage facility at the Team headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale.
In May 2013, AquaCal® began producing heat pumps for Jandy, a division of Zodiac, one of the top producers of swimming pool equipment in the world.
In August 2013, HornerXpress® opened a branch in Miami with veteran Rosa Cortes as the Branch Manager.
In August 2013, the St. Petersburg “twig” of HornerXpress® located at the AquaCal® factory was closed to make room for AquaCal® expansion.
In September 2013, the BackyardXpo Sales Team was created under the Leadership of Chris Piercy to focus on sales of hardscape and construction products.
In October 2013, Jerry Fenner became the Area Manager for Central Florida Region: Longwood and Kissimmee Branches.
In November 2013, the Ormond Beach branch of HornerXpress® was moved to larger quarters, more than double its previous size to 10,000 sq. ft. under the leadership of Bryant Ewing.
In March 2014, the StoneHardscapes division was placed under the leadership of Mike Dooley, VP Branches.
In April 2014, Pamela Luciani was appointed General Manager StoneHardscapes.
In June 2014, StoneHardscapes was relocated to the South Florida Corporate Headquarters.
In September 2014, The Sarasota branch was relocated to a new 12,000 sq. ft. facility, twice the size of its previous location. Kelley Kordon became the Branch Manager for the Tampa Branch, Mark Kordon became the manager for the Sarasota Branch, and Jerry Mason became the Area Manager for the West Coast Region: Cape Coral, Sarasota, and Tampa Branches.
In December 2014, J.B. Plastics, a PVC fitting manufacturer, was purchased; the plan was to consolidate this injection molding business at the Aquacal injection molding facility in St. Petersburg during 2015. Consolidation of the manufacturing was completed in July 2015.
In January 2015, owner Bill Kent announced the plan to convert the company from private ownership to an employee-owned company (ESOP) and that next generation leader Michael Dooley would become President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) in April 2015.
In January 2015, AquaCal® purchased building #8, a 16,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and office building contiguous with other AquaCal® properties in St. Petersburg.
In February 2015, the J.B. Plastics manufacturing facility, 22,800 sq. ft., located approximately one mile from the Mothership facility in Ft. Lauderdale, was purchased to provide additional storage for StoneHardscapes and HornerXpress®.
In April 2015, Mike Dooley became President and Chief Operating Officer of Team HornerTM. Bill Kent assumed the title of Chief Executive Officer.
In April 2015, the company signed an exclusive agreement with Water Works Technology Group to distribute their new invention, the FireFX LED light bowls, to all markets worldwide. This relationship was terminated in September, 2016.
In June 2015, the 3 acre /13,000 sq. ft. building property immediately behind the Mothership property was purchased; it is currently being leased to Sunbelt Rentals, but provides long-term space expansion capabilities for the Mothership entities.
In June 2015, Bill Kent graduated from Keiser University Graduate School with a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), including a concentration in Global Business.
In mid-2015, Team Horner™ was recognized by the American Psychological Association, Florida division, for having a Psychologically Healthy Workplace.
In June 2015, Lo-Chlor® completed a significant upgrade of its production facilities from an automation perspective, including automatic filling and packaging stations.
In January 1, 2016, Team Horner Group, Inc, a new employee-owned corporation (ESOP), became the 100% owner of the team of companies; in addition, all real estate holdings transferred ownership to an employee-owned real estate holding company, completing the ownership transfer of the business as planned.
In March 2016, AquaCal® opened a stock warehouse in Long Island, NY, to better support the customer base in the local area. During late 2016, this location was converted to a HornerXpress® branch and began stocking a full line of proprietary-only products..
In early 2016, Team Horner™ was honored to receive a national award by the American Psychological Association for having a Psychologically Healthy Workplace. The entire Vice Presidents group flew to Washington, D.C. to receive this award.
In April, 2016, a new branch of HornerXpress® was opened in Vero Beach, Florida.
In May, 2016, HornerXpress® Worldwide closed their office in France. A new sales office was opened in India; a stocking warehouse was opened in Pune, India, in late 2017.
In September, 2016 AutoPilot® Chief Engineer Lars Hagen changed responsibilities, forming a new product development department for Team Horner™, focused on creating new products for manufacture of sale via the existing consumer base.
In October, 2016, the Color Me Healthy program expanded its offering by building a new fitness center on the fort Lauderdalde campus. In addition to the numerous and ongoing educational opportunities, employees now have a convenient way to improve their physical well-being at our facilities
In December, 2016, the Team Horner™ Group set a new all-time sales record, eclipsing the $200M mark.
In January, 2017, AquaCal® began producing an updated heat pump line featuring the Industry’s first injection-molded cabinet.
In August, 2017, Bill Kent was elected Chairman of the Borad of the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale.
During 2017, new branch locations were opened in Pasco Country and Riviera Beach, Florida.
During late 2017, HornerXpress® Worldwide (HXW) opened a fully-owned subsidiary in Pune, India under the name HornerXpress® India. Manager Sachin Naik was chosen to lead the new business startup.
In February, 2018, Bill Kent and Team Horner™ formed a strategic partnership with PoolConnect, LLC., headed by Kevin Doyle and Rakesh Reddy, experienced inventors of new products for the swimming pool and spa industry.
In August, 2018, AquaCal® purchased its 9th building at the St. Petersburg facility.
In September, 2018, AquaCal® went live with a new ERP software package, modernizing its ability to grow the business.
In January, 2019, Dr. Bill Kent was appointed a Commissioner by the Council on Occupational Education, the national accrediting agency for vocational schools in the United States.
In March, 2019, AquaCal® purchased its 10th building at the St. Petersburg facility.
In April, 2019, the company purchased an import distribution business, called Pool Calor, located in the Algarve region of Portugal. Former owner José Duraes is providing leadership for the new division of THG, called AquaCalor, during the transition period; the primary product is the Angelfire brand of heat pumps, manufactured by AquaCal AutoPilot, Inc.
April 15, 2019, was declared Dr. Bill Kent and Team Horner™ day by the City of fort Lauderdale. There were formal ceremonies during the annual pool school cruise (in March) as well as at all Team Horner™ locations on that day. The focus of the celebration was the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the company in 1969 by Mr. Earl Horner.