Stewart C. Vernon is the Founder and CEO of America’s Swimming Pool Company (ASP), the nation’s largest swimming pool cleaning, repair, and renovation franchise system. Vernon, as the company CEO, is responsible for the day to day operations of the franchise company, which include Public Relations, brand management, vendor relationships, financial planning and strategic oversight of his staff. Vernon also serves currently as the CFO of the company.
Founded in Macon Georgia in 2002, the business was born out of the need to provide a higher quality swimming pool company to customers in Vernon’s hometown. Upon launching the business and experiencing rapid growth at the flagship location in Macon, Ga., Vernon looked for a way to expand both the business model and the ASP brand.
In 2005 ASP Franchising, Inc. was formed, and the company had its first two franchise owners in place. Vernon and his company quickly began to fill a void in the swimming pool service sector. The model for franchise expansion was built by partnering with business minded individuals who wanted to start their own venture, needing a business road map to follow. As the franchise model expanded its training, its support, and its brand, the reach of the company expanded and the Southeast was no longer its boundary. Currently, ASP has 98 franchise partners who own and operate more than 245 franchise territories in 23 states.
ASP has become a leader in the swimming pool arena, while also rising in the ranks of the national franchise spotlight. ASP’s success has been recognized by its inclusion in the rankings of Entrepreneur Magazine’s prestigious Top 500 Franchise List. Most recently, recognized again with the Entrepreneur 500 list ranking number 113 for 2017.
In addition to the leadership role, Mr. Vernon plays as CEO of ASP Franchising, LLC he has also spoken at various business venues during his career, emphasizing the power of entrepreneurship. Specifically featured: Wesleyan College, College of Charleston, Georgia Tech Business School, Mercer University – as well as delivering the keynote at the annual ASP Owners Meeting for the previous ten years.
Aside from his business activities, Mr. Vernon also devotes his time to serving the community. In 2016 Vernon served on the boards of The Macon Rescue Mission, the College of Charleston Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, the Mercer University Innovation Center Advisory Board, and Stratford Academy (his high school alma mater).
Vernon also has a passion for helping drive real-world innovation. In 2013 Vernon formed a 501-C(4) called 478BibbFund, Inc. A non-profit entity which provides micro-grants for new ideas in the Bibb County area, for nothing in return other than the hope that a new business is born. In 2015 Vernon accepted the role of Entrepreneur in Residence at the Mercer University School of Business, and teaches a class yearly, called Seminar in Entrepreneurship. Further, Mercer has empowered Vernon to help launch the Mercer Innovation Center, which will provide hopeful entrepreneurs and innovators a place to develop ideas and businesses. Vernon is also a founding partner of Classic Overland, KUDU Outdoor Grills, as well as Central Piedmont Investment Group, an Angel Investment Firm.
He is married to Shannon Vernon, and they have two children: Stewart Jr, and Sloan.