Our leadership team has received consistently high marks for being approachable, transparent, and ethical. Here’s who they are, and what they have to say:

Steve Hammock
Steve HammockPresident

Most of my experience was acquired right here as I have been with Watkins since 1982.

Over that time, I have held a variety of positions. My various roles have been Marketing Assistant, Marketing/Advertising Manager, National Sales Manager, Director of Sales and Marketing, General Manager, Executive Vice-President, and now President.

Watkins has always done a lot of things well, but one of the things it has done best of all is focus on the customer. I have always believed that if you take care of your customers, they will take care of you. I try to see things through their eyes, put myself in their shoes. That said, the customers are not always right. As a part of our organization by extension, like most groups, our customers are looking to be led. By this I mean they want to know that someone here is looking ahead, trying to be innovative, and has the wherewithal to take appropriate risks at the appropriate time. So to sum it all up, our goals are to do right by our customers and employees, but also to focus on the future– what’s next–and whenever possible be the first to get there.

People choose to work here because we actually “walk the walk” here. We post our values and do our very best to live by them. Also, there is nothing boring here. We try things here, we push the envelope, we’re never standing still.

Mike Dunn
Mike DunnExecutive Vice President

As Executive Vice President I am responsible for strategic planning and leading the sales and marketing teams.

I have been in the hot tub business thirty-five years of which twenty have been with Watkins. The majority of this time has been spent in sales, marketing, and senior management roles at both the retail and manufacturing levels. This experience gives me perspective from both the customer’s and Watkins’ perspectives, which allows me to share insights with our employees on the industry and the customer experience.

One of the key responsibilities of my role is to guide the strategic direction of our company and brands. This involves casting a vision so others can execute our strategy. As they do so, I am able to provide coaching and feedback to help our people accomplish their objectives.

Watkins feels like a “family” business. I believe this is one of our number one strengths. Who you work with is as important, if not more so, than the work you do. That, coupled with quality working conditions—which includes getting the right tools and resources to get the job done—creates workplace excellence. We are also the industry leader with a proven track record of growth, which provides stability in both good times and bad.

Sandra Shuda
Sandra ShudaVice President of People Strategy & Services

I’ve always worked in a service-oriented job. When I was 16, one of my first jobs was as a child social worker where I helped children cope with parents who were drug addicts. I knew then that working in a people services role was my passion. I spent several years in the Finance/Banking industry where I held positions as a Compensation Manager, Sales and Management Trainer, and a Computer-Based Training Analyst.

I joined Watkins in 1992 as the Human Resources Manager, was promoted a few years later to Director, and became Vice President of Human Resources in 1999. As the current Vice President of the People Strategy and Services Group, my responsibilities include overseeing everything from recruitment and employee training to benefit administration, compensation and payroll, and employee safety and wellness. One of my team’s main objectives is to create programs that make a difference in the lives of our employees and those whom they support.

It’s important to me to support a work environment where people enjoy coming in each day. We all need to work, so why not have fun doing it? Just as important are treating each other with respect, being open and honest, and genuinely caring for one another. Watkins received a 97% favorable score in our most recent company survey with 91.4% of employees participating. So I’m not the only one who enjoys working here; many others do too!

On a more personal note, I am a native San Diegan who loves to fish, spend time with my family and friends, and volunteer with charitable organizations. I’ve been on the Board of Directors for the Vista Boys and Girls Club and served on the Board of Directors for North County Solutions for Change, a homeless shelter. Charitable giving is important to me and a Watkins core value.

Tom Seymour
Tom SeymourVice President of Operations

As a Vice President of Operations for Watkins, I am responsible for manufacturing operations in California and Mexico, as well as all import-export, supply chain, continuous improvement, and quality assurance functions. I have a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Pepperdine.

Prior to joining Watkins in 2015, I was the Director of Operations for Owens Corning, where I oversaw facilities in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Brazil. I also served previously at Watkins from 1990–1996 in various capacities, including Materials Manager, Plant Manager, and Vice President of Manufacturing. Having worked at Watkins in the past, I am familiar with the honest and open leadership, the friendly culture, the company’s commitment to employee safety, and the impressive quality and value of the products we produce. All are “best in class,” which creates an exciting and dynamic environment.

One of the reasons I am so thrilled to re-join the Watkins team is that employees here are encouraged to develop their full potential and are empowered to bring their best game to work each day. While Watkins has enjoyed phenomenal success over the years, I’m convinced the best is yet to come, and I’m very excited to be a part of it.

Robin French
Robin FrenchVice President of Engineering

I have a very diverse career background in all disciplines of engineering: electro-mechanical, chemical, manufacturing, and civil.

My main areas of focus have been on the innovation and product development sides of Defense, Aerospace, Bio-Med, and Consumer goods. I also have a strong and diverse history in concept-to-grave product management, research, testing, and qualification of products, processes, and material science. I bring all of these to my job at Watkins every day.

The openness and transparency at Watkins clearly establishes the needs of our team effort and how that is translating to the overall business fitness. Expectations are always clearly defined, feedback is always available, and successes are always recognized by the whole team as a contribution to the overall organization. One person’s successes benefit everybody—and that’s how we look at it.

I love working at Watkins because they encourage work-life balance. There is also a focus on each employee’s safety and fulfillment within the work environment, as well as encouragement and support for the well-being of the employee, his or her family, and life outside of the work environment.

Chris Peavey
Chris PeaveyVice President of Finance, CFO

Prior to joining Watkins, I gained experience with manufacturing entities in industries including specialty chemicals, process filtration, ultra-filtration, and electronics. This has turned out to be beneficial, as all of these materials and processes come together in my job at Watkins when building and enjoying a portable spa.

I have extensive experience implementing, converting, and upgrading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, which has given me the knowledge and expertise in leading the IT function, as well as, an appreciation for all key systems and processes that keep the company running effectively and efficiently.

I spent two years living and working in the UK, and two years as a Materials Manager and one year as Project Director of a major ERP system implementation. This temporary deviation from a traditional finance and accounting career path was a great learning experience for me.

Some of the best things about working here are that Watkins provides an excellent benefits package, is passionate about providing a safe work environment, and runs a best-in-class wellness program that benefits not only employees, but their families as well.

Leo Hamacher
Leo HamacherVice President, International Sales & Marketing

I grew up in Europe and graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in International Business and International Economics. I started with Watkins as the International Service Specialist to be a dedicated resource to help coordinate international tech support, service training, warranty procedures, and customer service.

I transferred to Watkins Europe in Belgium as International Customer Service Manager. After that, I applied and was selected for the position of European Sales Manager, in charge of business development, regional sales managers, and our European marketing team.

After that, I transferred back to Vista, CA, as Director of Sales & Marketing– Europe. In 2012, I took on the challenge of VP of International Sales & Marketing. I am currently responsible for the sales and marketing initiatives outside North America working with a talented group of team members and dealer partners in more than 70 countries.

I love working at Watkins because the average tenure of our employees is 10+ years. That is testimony to a great company where people like to work. The management team truly cares about every team member.

Brian Ricci
Brian RicciVice President of Marketing, North America

As the Vice President of Marketing at Watkins, I am responsible for directing all North American marketing activities—including brand management, digital marketing, product management, and local (dealer) marketing—and managing the marketing creative and communications teams.

Prior to joining Watkins, I spent nearly 20 years in marketing and sales, including 12+ years at Del Monte Foods and four years at The Walt Disney Company. I have a broad‐based consumer goods marketing background, and I use that experience every day to continually improve the contributions and capability of our marketing organization.

I believe that there are three essential ingredients for marketing and business success: a relentless focus on improving the customer experience, an empowering and energizing work culture, and, most importantly, a smart, passionate, and dedicated team of employees. Watkins is strong in all three of these areas, which makes the company an exceptional place to work and positions us for robust and sustainable business growth.

Steve Stigers
Steve StigersVice President of Sales, North America

I graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Political Science. I joined Watkins Wellness in 2006, after a few years of working as General Manager for a pool and spa company. I recognized right away that Watkins would allow me to use my education and skills while continuing to challenge myself and grow in my career. Since that time, I’ve held multiple positions on the North American and International Sales teams.

I began my Watkins career as a Regional Sales Manager in Pennsylvania. Even while working in a regional capacity, I always felt supported and connected—Watkins really does have a “family” feel. The company then promoted me to Business Development Manager, with a sole focus on growing our dealer base. I became Senior International Sales Manager in 2011 and moved my family to beautiful North San Diego County, near our Vista headquarters.

In May 2017, I became Vice President of Sales, North America. In this position, I lead both the field and internal sales teams, develop and execute our strategic sales plans and manage performance to achieve our objectives. I have the pleasure of working with accomplished, high-performing team members who provide exceptional value to our outstanding network of dealer partners in the United States and Canada.

My life outside of Watkins remains lively with my wife and our two children. They are both very active in sports, so most weekends you can usually find me on a baseball diamond or soccer field somewhere in sunny San Diego!

Mike Growe
Mike GroweDirector of International Finance & Operations

I have several years of experience in leading international teams all around the world, including living and working in Europe twice for about a year each time. Being aware of cultural differences has enhanced my ability to communicate effectively across borders and time zones.

The Watkins Way positions us as an employer of choice. It is clearly defined and well communicated. These key beliefs guide our actions and show that we value our employees highly. It is this consistent integration of beliefs and behavior over a long period of time that sets us apart from most other companies.

It is important to the success of each employee and the organization as a whole because it is a clear and concise code by which we conduct ourselves individually and collectively. When in doubt it provides unambiguous guidance to make the right decision and take the proper action, which helps us all to be successful.

Mark Bettner
Mark BettnerDirector of Customer Service

I joined Watkins not long after finishing college, so most of my experience has been gained while working here.

I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work in multiple capacities at Watkins, starting in the Engineering team, followed by Operations, and now currently in the Service team. Experience in all of these areas has provided me with a broad range of knowledge in both products and processes to be able to effectively lead my teams.

Watkins has a great working environment and truly cares about its employees. For a long time, we’ve viewed ourselves as a family, and we all treat each other that way. Without a doubt, the biggest strength of this company is its culture (the Watkins Way), and our employees have always made this company what it is today.