MAKING A SPLASH: Tim Murphy, Owner of Presidential Pools & Spas


Michelle Micalizzi, Artist
All Rights Reserved


10% of the proceeds from the sale of this work benefits The Arizona Consortium for the Arts


My muse this week is Tim Murphy. Tim is the founder and owner of Presidential Pools & Spas, Pebble Radiance and Blue Square™ Manufacturing, LLC.

Presidential Pools has been in business for more than two decades since 1991 and is among the largest pool builders in Arizona. They have maintained an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau since 1998, which is truly commendable. Tim also founded and operates two other companies Pebble Radiance and Blue Square™ Manufacturing, LLC. Clearly, Tim has created a way to be highly successful in the pool and pool product business.


I met Tim for the first time the day that we met for the Fearless Thirteen interview. He gave me a full tour of his corporate offices and introduced me to many of his staff members and vendors. Tim was highly recommended for this interview so I knew that he was someone special before I interviewed him but meeting him was truly inspirational. The energy in which he told me his story genuinely affected me.

This man is truly on fire for his business. He has the envious combination of humility and confidence that I see in many self-starters. Even as he told his own story, he was in awe at how he was able to turn several lemons into lemonade repeatedly in his career. Tim is a staunch entrepreneur; he sees every experience as an opportunity to either grow or learn. His sense of purpose is very clear but he also leaves room for the unexpected. For example, he was able to launch a new product and solve a yet unknown problem from several of those unexpected experiences.

When Tim was a kid, his Dad who was a successful insurance man, told him that he would not be paying for college and that if he wanted to make it in this life he would have to figure that out how to pay for it on his own. Tim did not wait until his senior year to investigate what his options were. He took the initiative and started where he was by handing out flyers for a pool company. He then began cleaning pools himself. From there he built routes of 40-50 pools that he then sold to senior citizens, all while he was still in high school. Tim did not use youth as an excuse to not be ready to excel. He took advantage of this time in his life where he had limited responsibilities and used his youth to his advantage! By the time he graduated high school, college no longer factored into his next steps – he was ready to launch his pool building empire.

The four biggest things that impress me the most about Tim are:

1. How generous he was with his time and his story.
2. His incredibly strong relationships with employees, vendors and distributors.
3. His consistent “go after it” attitude.
4. His uncanny ability to not just tolerate risk but to turn risk into innovation.

In a nutshell….

Tim is a quintessential entrepreneur and the real deal. He is the kind of guy you just can’t help but cheer on. His passion for what he does and his relentless entrepreneurial spirit is inspiring!


Tim took a few minutes to answer the five Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Questions. You will not be surprised to hear that Tim believes that going after your dreams without back pedaling is the only way to conquer fear.


1. Passion + Need = Success

Presidential Pools tag line is “Build a Life.” How appropriate! Tim Murphy has definitely not only helped his customers build a life, he has built one for himself and his family as well, including everyone that works for and with him. He is able to do this because he truly feels passionate about building pools. He sees a need in the industry for an innovative quality pool builder and he jumps on that need with everything he has.

2. Balanced Growth

Tim is also a realist. As insurance sales professionals, his parents instilled in him the need to be levelheaded at a very young age. They consciously taught him how to balance risk with opportunity. He intrinsically knew that he had to balance the capitol needs of his business so that he could take care of his employees. He knew that happy, stable, and safe employees provide excellent customer service and a quality product.

As Tim walked me around his impressive pool park and corporate office, he told me that he grew the company only to the degree that the capitol growth allowed. He never took out a loan. That level of responsible control is very impressive. Knowing how to push forward with vigor and yet allow growth as you are able is a distinct indicator of an entrepreneur who is aspiring to be an industry leader.

During the corporate tour, I met many of Tim’s employees and one of his long-term vendors. Universally, they love Tim. It is clear that he appreciates them and that he recognizes them not only with great compensation and benefits but with a sense of adventure and fun as well. Many of his employees and the vendors he works with have been with him since the beginning. His staff love what they do and stand behind both Tim and the company. They were all engaged in what they were doing and were equally generous with their time when they met me.

3. Mistakes Lead to Innovation

Over the years, Tim made some calculated guesses that did not go as he had hoped. He made some purchases that were not as seamless as he thought. He backed the innovation of products that took longer than expected to develop, and had ideas that failed. He created crews to solve a problem to only have to dismantle those same crews to solve another problem.

Amid these seeming setbacks, another thing that strikes me about Tim is: He never tells you a story about how something did not go his way, without telling you what he learned from it and how he turned that experience into a big win. However, he is humble about the outcome of his wins. He appreciates how the tides changed in his favor with a situation and how things could have just as easily gone the other way. He understands that he has been able to reap the rewards of a combination of both “bad” and “good” luck. Undeniably, Tim has a tenacious hunger and a relentless work ethic that never allowed him to regard a failure as just a failure. His nature is such that he has to turn things around no matter what the situation.

I must mention that Tim has not only embraces technology,he commands it!

4. Create Multiple Streams of Income

By creating multiple streams of income with Presidential Pools & Spas, Pebble Radiance and Blue Square Manufacturing Tim is not only increasing his ability to earn a living for himself and others, he is also mitigating risk. By not putting all his eggs in one basket, he leaves plenty of room for one part of his business to adjust to industry fluctuation while another area takes the lead. Tim is wildly successful in the pool business because he knows how to add and create products and services so that he can reap industry rewards from multiple sales channels during varying economic times.

5. Give it your All and DO NOT Back Pedal!!

When I was considering the illustration for this interview, the cannonball came to me because no one ever does a half-hearted cannonball. A cannonball is achieved with all of your effort and with a full resolve to make the biggest splash possible. Tim Murphy has been doing cannonballs his entire career. He jumped in over and over again with all his might and made the biggest splash possible. Yes, there were some cannonballs that did not make the splash he had hoped for, and others where he took an unexpected or unintended smack that smarted. One thing is certain–when Tim Murphy came up for air there was always a smile on his face and the determination to try again. There are pools all over Arizona that kids and adults alike are cannonballing into because Tim has not only built his own life – he has helped others to build theirs!

Thank you so much Tim for taking the time to be one of the Fearless 13!

Note from the Artist:

 In Tim’s interview he states that in order to be fearless you have to just go after it. You cannot back peddle. You just have to go for it. The cannonball symbolizes that concept. You have to be fully committed to a cannonball. It cannot be done half way. In this scene, the character is cannon balling into a pool built by Presidential Pools & Spas.

Tim has had many opportunities to turn a seemingly challenging situation into a big win. The arrows symbolize that sometimes one has to go down to come back up.

The four cacti symbolize his four offices, which are also noted in the pool water: Gilbert, Tucson/Marana, Scottsdale and Surprise. The foundations under each office/cacti are raving fan testimonials. In the water you will also find fortune cookies symbolizing good luck and inspiration that are relevant to Tim’s interview.


Work was shown from December 18, 2015 – January 04, 2016  at {9} The Gallery

Thank you to our 2015 Partners:  Peg Quinn | The Arizona Consortium of the Arts | Photos by Elena & Jim | Bradford JonesBradford Jones Photography Jackie Wszalek, Splash Print & MarketingDennis Frazier, Cater Phoenix | Tony Medlock, PJ’s Florists

#Fearless #AoFDB #Entrepreneurship #VisualJournalism #Art #OneThing #Artizona #SocialPracticeArt


Entrepreneurs and inspiring stories of all kinds are Fearlessly Deliver’s muse and focus. As an artist, a business woman and a visual journalist Michelle Micalizzi paints with a purpose. The Fearless Art Projects are collaborative social practice art engagements that connect art + business + community.

THE ART OF FEARLESSLY DONG BUSINESS is an unprecedented and unique project celebrates the fearless entrepreneurial spirit by highlighting thirteen unique and fearless business leaders.

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