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Patrick McEwen: The Man Behind The Myth

by Cynthia Kiernan

As Kip’s son, Patrick has been around Seasonal Specialty Stores and swimming pools since he was four years old. In March of 1997, he officially came to work for us when we were still located in the old building, in Merrimack. Starting at the bottom, he first worked in the warehouse stocking shelves and on the floor doing water tests and cashiering. Today, he is the most well-rounded employee on staff, having worked in allof our departments and he has become a knowledgeable and well-respected team member who spends his days here working on resolving issues with your pools and/or spas. Known not only for his wealth of information, but, also for his courteous and respectful attitude with customers and team members alike, Patrick always maintains a professional demeanor while not being afraid to display his sense of humor and infectious smile for everyone. Due to all these wonderful characteristics, Patrick has just been promoted to Store Supervisor, reporting directly to the Store Manager, Kip.
Most of you would most likely remember Patrick as “the voice that can be heard throughout the store”. When Patrick speaks, people listen. According to Jeanne, people not only listen to Patrick because he speaks loudly, but also because Patrick is extremely knowledgeable. His knowledge and experience has led to him becoming one of our “teachers” in the Pool Schools; one who does not require a microphone to be heard!

All of Patrick’s team members have nothing but good things to say about him. From the owners to the younger team members, all are in agreement that Patrick is a wonderful person to know and work with. He is as patient when working with the younger staff and answering their questions, as he is with you, our customers, when resolving your problems. He is well-liked among the older staff as well, who view Patrick as someone who is not afraid of a challenge and is always ready to learn things when the opportunity presents itself. He even won a pen at a Dale Carnegie seminar he attended, a challenging accomplishment in itself, and something Patrick should be very proud of.
You have probably noticed the changing music themes that occur throughout the day. Thanks to Patrick, who has had a love of country music since he was about 10, we get country music from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM played in the store. While not the favorite of most team members, it is growing on some of them enough that you hear them singing along to some of the more popular tunes. Ironically, this is how Patrick came to enjoy this type of music, saying, “It just grew on me.”

His favorite part of the job is the changing seasons. “My job changes as the year goes by, so I’m always doing different things.” He says it is always nice meeting new people and to be able to help them with their pools. Patrick enjoys the interaction with you, the customers and says it is “the best” part of his job.

Getting started in his own pool business was a direct result of his training received here and the encouragement of other staff members. He started working with Tod Blanchard helping him with his own business of opening and closing pools. He saw that there were not a lot of businesses that performed that sort of service on above ground pools, which is what Patrick does primarily in his business. Starting with a handful of customers,Pat’s Pool Service has grown from there to be successful on his own, while still maintaining his employment through Seasonal Specialty Stores.

Patrick does not take credit for his accomplishments on his own. He is very humble about his progress and experience stating that he owes a great deal to Dennis and Jeanne for allowing him to learn and grow in this company for so long and to Tod and Kip for giving him the right training. He also says that Joe Corriveau, the warehouse manager, and his first “boss” was instrumental in getting him started and heading in the right direction within the company.

In April of 2000, Patrick met Sarah at a birthday party for a friend he went to school with. On May 18, 2002, they were married.

Two years ago, Jeanne and Dennis sent them both to the Virgin Islands as a reward for a great job. They recently also took a trip to Ireland for the first time in January of this year, and Patrick reports that it was a wonderful experience for the two of them. They are planning on definitely returning in the future.

Aside from spending time with his family, in his free time, Patrick is dedicated to keeping himself busy by bowling in two leagues during the winter months and also playing soccer a couple of nights a week all year long, both of which he has been doing since he was about six years old. Being competitive by nature, Patrick enjoys soccer just for the fun of the game, as well as being a good form of exercise. His bowling career is remarkable, as he has won 3 Rings for his efforts in his league. Patrick has two 300 Series rings, which signify bowling a perfect game, as well as one 800 Series ring. The latter of which was more of a challenge to earn, as he had to be more consistent since that one is the total score of three games won in a row.