Watershape University

BUSINESS 1611: Essential Business Administration

Operating a construction, service, and/or retail business can be a rewarding experience but it also comes with great responsibility and potential liability. Quality watershaping firms need to be on top of their games in both their external client-facing efforts, and also internally on corporate / personnel-facing operations. This 8-hour lecture introduces students to a broad range of important management topics and provides tools to help them apply basic best practices to their business.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify key facets of running a business, including general and administrative issues, human resources, information technology, legal concerns, marketing, advertising, and sales.
  • Describe contracts, insurance, liability, and dealing with difficult clients.
  • Explore how to establish a healthy company culture, including hiring practices and how to retain and retrain employees to reflect that culture.
  • Develop strategies for growth, from marketing and sales techniques, through construction and finally seamless hand-offs to ensure positive referrals.


  • Duration: 8 hours
  • IACET CEUs: 0.8
  • All students who complete the course and evaluation form receive a Certificate of Completion documenting 0.8 IACET CEUs even if they do not continue with the Certified Watershape Builder (CWB) certification.


There is one option:

Live In-Person

  • See schedule for upcoming classes
  • A typical course runs 8-hours in a single day
  • Complete attendance is required
  • Ask questions as they come up
  • Manual is provided in class
  • Instructors are available for questions during the lectures
  • Travel, lodging and meals are the responsibility of the student
  • Watershape University provides lunch


Check back soon — our schedule may update at any time.

Live In-Person


Watershape University’s BUSINESS 1611: Essential Business Administration is the start of a lifelong journey of education in practical business applications for builders, service professionals and retailers in the watershaping industry. Watershape University requires this course or an equivalent 8-hour business course in order to apply for the Certified Watershape Builder (CWB) certification.

BUSINESS 1611: Essential Business Administration supports the following certifications:

International Watershape Institute (IWI)
International Watershape Institute (IWI)
Certified Watershape Professional (CWP)
Certified Watershape Professional (CWP)
Certified Watershape Builder (CWB)
Certified Watershape Builder (CWB)

Licensing and CEUs

The Certified Watershape Builder (CWB) certification may be used for contractor licensing and required continuing education in certain jurisdictions. The CWB certification builds upon the CWF certification; therefore, all Certified Watershape Builders (CWBs) are also CWFs which support licensing in the following jurisdictions:


BUSINESS 1611: Essential Business Administration is intended for and attended by architects, landscape architects, designers, builders, installers, consultants, contractors, subcontractors, and service and maintenance professionals — particularly those looking to drive their marketing and basic business management skills into ever-changing markets.

Level: 1 – Freshman / Introduction / Basic Knowledge

There are no prerequisites for BUSINESS 1611: Essential Business Administration

BUSINESS 1611: Essential Business Administration, or approved equal, is a prerequisite for the following programs:

  • None

Manual Table of Contents

  • Legal
  • Insurance
  • Contracts
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Branding
  • Culture
  • Advertising
BUSINESS 1611: Essential Business Administration

Authorized Faculty

Julie Kazdin-Boucher

Julie Kazdin-Boucher

Vice President/Partner — Kazdin Pools & Spas

The pool industry runs in the family for Julie. Having grown up in the industry, Julie brings a unique perspective to the industry that combines an understanding of where the industry has been with a keen focus on where it needs to be going. She currently holds Executive Committee positions for the Northeast Spa & Pool Association (NESPA) and the Long Island Pool & Spa Association (LIPSA) and is a dedicated volunteer for The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA).

A believer in collaboration, getting to work with professionals from across the pool and spa industry has been an invaluable resource for Julie. Sharing new ideas and building diverse relationships has helped her develop innovative solutions to industry challenges. Julie holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus on management from Bryant University. She holds several industry certifications. She recently received the honor of Young Professional of the Year by PHTA; and 30 Under 40 by Pool Pro.

Chris A. Volk, IWI

Chris A. Volk, IWI

General Manager — Budd’s Pools and Spas

Chris Volk is General Manager of Budd’s Pools and Spas. Located in the Philadelphia area, the company serves the Delaware-Pennsylvania-New Jersey region with installations stretching from the Jersey Shore to the Philadelphia and Wilmington metro areas and northern NJ.

Chris graduated from Rutgers University in 2004, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Accounting, and a minor in Corporate Finance. He has continued his education, completing rigorous courses in pool design, engineering, construction, and business operations. He earned the IWI professional certification from Watershape University.

Chris started in 1997 as an Associate Technician. He’s worked with all aspects of the pool business: design, engineering, planning, installation, service, sales, and retail. Upon becoming manager of business operations, he developed metrics and systems to ensure the company meets its business goals and meets or exceeds industry quality standards.

As General Manager Chris runs one of the largest pool companies in the United States. He manages many different departments and divisions, overseeing operations ranging from business development to construction, renovation, service, and retail. He has become an industry leader in logistics in response to supply chain interruptions and shipping issues that have added to the challenge of planning for timely shipping of hot tubs, equipment, parts, and chemicals.

Just getting started?

Most students begin with our 3-day pool construction course.

Online On-Demand

Watershape University’s Certified Watershape Foreman (CWF) certification is recognized by the following jurisdictions for continuing education and licensing purposes:

Core Class Refresh

Would you like free access to our core online classes, including our 3-day Essential Pool Construction, 2-day Essential Fluid Engineering Workshop (with the latest worksheets!), Color Theory, Principles of Design, and others?

Watershape University provides free access to individuals that have already completed equivalent courses with other institutions. We recognize that our students often want to refresh their knowledge in specific subjects but it doesn’t make sense to repeat a paid class when there are so many other new opportunities to expand knowledge through advanced classes, our webinars, our magazine, etc.

Our Core Class Refresh program is available to authorized employees of Certified Watershape Companies (CWC). To get authorized, simply upload your complete transcript(s) from other institutions so that we can verify which courses you are eligible for. You may upload transcripts through the Portal. Please contact Charlie with any questions.