Episode 243: From Water Polo, POOLCORP Management, Educator, to Passionate Sales Representative: A Sober Man’s Journey with AJ Grucky of Blake Sales Associates


Greg and Justin sit down with AJ Grucky, Manufacturer Representative of Blake Sales Associates, which offers pool and spa manufacturers a multi-level, multi-dimensional sales and marketing program.

AJ got his start in the swimming pool and spa industry in January 2010 as a Manager for POOLCORP. He left wholesale distribution in 2017 to pursue a sales and education career with NC Brands until he joined Blake Sales in early 2021.

Listen in as AJ takes us down memory lane, reflecting not only on his career in the pool and spa industry, but other major milestones, including his long road to sobriety and his time as a college athlete playing water polo for the Sun Devils.

AJ discusses his keys to success as a representative at BSA. Offering his thoughts on communicating effectively in times of conflict, he suggests that the most important thing to think about is that nobody is immune to making mistakes—that our focus as leaders should be on our response to those mistakes.

To AJ, this principle applies equally to discussions with team members as it does to discussions with customers. For every employee in an organization, and particularly for sales reps like himself, the top priority should be around maximizing the human connection between the product or service to the end user.


  • [01:13] About AJ Grucky
  • [05:05] Journey to sobriety
  • [16:29] Growing up around water
  • [21:03] Water polo overview
  • [35:06] How AJ got involved in the pool industry
  • [40:00] Justin and AJ meet at SCP 512A Mesa
  • [44:53] Effective communication when dealing with issues in business
  • [57:40] Leaving POOLCORP
  • [56:29] Products represented by BSA
  • [01:01:50] BSA’s ideal client
  • [01:09:36] Ideal communication
  • [01:10:45] Products that AJ is most excited about
  • [01:18:54] What BSA doesn’t do
  • [01:27:38] How sales reps add value to pool companies
  • [01:31:16] Favorite pool
  • [01:32:48] Favorite outrageous pool



  • It’s not about the mistakes you make. It’s about your response to them.
  • The number one expense that normally goes undocumented in business is the cost of hiring and firing.
  • If you can create a swimming experience that customers love, and you can repeat that process over and over again, you’re going to be very successful.