Don “Dawg” Danley, III
Name: Donald R. Danley, III
Position: Pool Service and Construction Manager
Education: Graduated from Farmington High School in 1989. Attended Illinois Central College and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Business Management in 1992, Bachelors Degree in Business Management in 2004 through University of Phoenix.
My Journey in the Industry: Well it all started for me back when I was a young boy. My father was a partner in a swimming pool and fencing business. He and his partner lived next to each other in a duplex. They decided to put an in-ground swimming pool in. My sister and I were so excited. We watched the pool go in from start to finish, and it was amazing to me as a seven year old. All our days, when not in school, were spent with friends in the backyard, as not too many people had in-ground pools back then. I remember the enjoyment we had during summer days, and reckon mom and dad enjoyed my sister and I going to bed early, exhausted from all the swimming. Of course my parents taught me how to test, vacuum, and put the chlorine sticks in the skimmer. Well in 1988, a sophomore in high school, I decided that I really enjoyed driving, going on dates, and music. All of that required money, and that required having a job. So I started my career as a stock boy, water tester, and even to the dubious honor of loading 50 pound bags of sand for people. It was only $5.00 per hour, but hey, it was money, and I was ecstatic. Eventually through chemical training and just by listening, I became a counter person and got to help customers with their water chemistry and purchases. In 1992, jealousy got the better of me and I wanted to be tan like the service guys, but we had a fencing crew that needed assistance instead. I worked on the fencing crew and in two years was the foreman of the fence crew. GREAT – a tan, better money, but still not pool service and construction (maybe a pool or two a year). After 3 years doing fencing, the company decided to streamline business and just deal with pools and spas. Finally, I was a pool service tech. I was a service tech for my father’s company for ten years, but wanted more. I was “stuck” in the food chain, and even though I enjoyed working there, I had the opportunity to join another pool company that concentrated on building new pools as well as service. So I hired on as the Service and Construction manager, with my father’s permission and understanding of where I wanted to be. I really got the feel for pool construction and loved it from day one. My father split from his partner, and formed his own pool company, D & L Pools, Inc., along with my mother. After two years of making someone else money, I decided to open up my own business, utilize my degree, and became Absolute Pools. My father let me have a little office space and some storage place at his facility. My business took off as I built 8 new pools my first year, plus did 150 openings and 200 or so closings, as well as 12 or so liner replacements, all with one crew. Economic times shifted business and while I still was building, new builds were cut in half. Well I decided to close Absolute Pools and join back with my father to make things more streamlined as I didn’t have a retail store, and he didn’t build in-ground pools. Although my company name was “cooler” I joined D & L Pools, Inc. Now D & L Pools, Inc. is a complete pool company, dealing with all facets of the pool and spa industry, as well as ornamental aluminum fencing. Been quite a journey, but I must admit, I am very glad where I ended up and look forward to working in the family business again.
Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my fiancee Jessica, my kids and grandkids. Everthing I do, I do for them. I also enjoy playing in dart leagues and playing bass guitar at open mics and with friends in a band. I enjoy watching the Cubs, the Bears, and long walks on the beach.
Person I look up to the most: MY FATHER. I know now where we were financially when I was a toddler. I also know now what sacrifices he made for our family to give us the things we needed. It really used to bother me when he wouldn’t be at a baseball or basketball game of mine, but now that I am older, I understand why. He was working to put food on the table. He did a wonderful job of being a dad, without any mentor, as his father passed away when he was young. He has made me a better father and a better person. I hope he understands how much I love him and value our relationship.