Paragon Aquatics, Equipment Designer and Manufacturer for the Professional Aquatic Market
2003 Paragon Award / Recreational Swimming
Paragon Aquatics, a division of Pentair Pool Products, Inc., has been a pioneer in the development of equipment for the professional aquatics market, ranging from starting platforms, diving towers and stands, to lifeguard chairs and filter systems.
The company was founded in 1956 by Leonard Berens and Philip Sperber, and was originally known as Paragon Swimming Pool Equipment Company. They provided a comprehensive line of products for swimming pools, including chemicals and paints. As the company evolved, Paragon began to focus on the design and manufacture of equipment for the commercial market and institutional pools, including underwater windows, underwater lights, starting platforms, diving towers, etc. These products provided the foundation of the company’s current product offering.
In 1969, the KDI Corporation purchased Paragon Swimming Pool Equipment, which was renamed KDI Paragon, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of KDI, including the swimming pool segment of KDI. Also included in this group were Sylvan Pools and American Products.
During the 1990s, Paragon went through a number of ownership changes. As a result of the 1997 acquisition of the company by Essef Corporation, Paragon became a division of Essef’s PacFab subsidiary. Then, in 1999, Essef was purchased by Pentair, Inc., a Minneapolis-based New York Stock Exchange holding company. Due to that acquisition and also to the acquisition of the Stark commercial filtration line, the company is now known as Paragon Aquatics, Division of Pentair Pool Products, Inc.
Since 1996, Paragon has sponsored the Annual Paragon Awards at the International Swimming Hall of Fame to honor outstanding individuals in the areas of competitive swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming, as well as contributors in the fields of aquatic safety and recreational swimming.