Ray Kurilavicius isn’t a stranger
to blue collar work, he’s done it all. He
started off as an automotive technician and eventually worked as a marine
repairman, diesel mechanic, propane technician and then a CDL driver.
That experience Ray was
accumulating in his professional life would lead him to an opportunity to work
on pools early on in the 90s.
“I was working as a CDL driver
delivering propane,” said Ray. “One day
they asked me if I could lend a hand to work on a pool, I said yes.”
After his day of working on the
pool, Ray’s supervisor went back to the office and told the rest of the workers
that Ray knew more about pools than he did!
Ray wouldn’t know it at the time, but this moment would serve as a
catapult into his next big career move.
A few years later, his wife,
Donna, started up a family, pool-servicing company. They named it DART Pool
Solutions, which is an acronym that was formed from the first initials of
everyone in the family.
After a few months, Ray realized
he had made a smart choice moving away from commercial gas, servicing RVs and
restaurants, and moving into the pool industry.
“The work is a lot easier. It’s easier hours, as you don’t have to work
on weekends if you don’t want to and you’re not on call 24-7,” said Ray. “No one was tripping over you at restaurants
and spilling fryer grease all over you.”
Ray’s biggest challenge as a
business owner and first major test as a pool pro was something he had absolutely
no control over.
“Hurricane Charlie hit and I lost
over half of my employees because they lost their homes,” said Ray. “I even housed two of my employees and their
families for several months.”
Ray would eventually overcome
this challenge and see his business succeed.
Fast forward to today and DART Pool Solutions is thriving. He previously served 18 counties but made the
decision to downsize to three (Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte) and has
actually allowed him to generate more revenue and has rewarded him with more
time to do whatever he pleases.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” says