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 at Watkins Wellness. I joined Watkins Manufacturing in 1982. Since that time, I have held a variety of positions, including Marketing Assistant, Marketing/Advertising Manager, National Sales Manager, Director of Sales and Marketing, General Manager, Executive Vice-President and now President.

Watkins has done many things well, but one thing it has done exceptionally well is focus on the customer. I believe that if you take care of your customers, they will take care of you. I try to see things through their eyes, and 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. They want to know that someone here at Watkins is looking ahead, innovating 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.” We post our values and do our very best to live by them. Also, nothing is boring at Watkins. We try new things. We push the envelope. We are 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 joined Watkins Manufacturing-now Watkins Wellness- back in 1993, after being in the hot tub business for about 15 years prior.

I’ve spent the majority of my time in sales, marketing and senior management roles, at the retail and manufacturing levels. This experience gives me perspective from the customer and company viewpoints, which allows me to share insights with our employees on the industry and the customer experience.

A key responsibility for me 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 our No. 1 strength. Who you work with is as important, if not more so, than the work you do. That, coupled with quality working conditions—including getting the right tools and resources to get the job done—creates workplace excellence. We are also the industry leader, with a proven record of growth that provides stability in good times as well as tough times.

Sandra Shuda
Sandra ShudaVP People Services and Culture

I’ve always worked in a service-oriented job. When I was 16, one of my first jobs was as a child social worker. I helped children cope with parents who were drug addicts. I knew then that my passion was working in a people services role. 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 the Watkins family in 1992 as the Human Resources Manager. I was promoted a few years later to Director, and became Vice President of Human Resources in 1999. As the Vice President of the People Strategy and Services group, I oversee 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 they support.

It is important to me to support an environment where people enjoy coming to work each day. We all need to work, so why not have fun doing it? Treating each other with respect, being open and honest and genuinely caring for one another are equally important. Watkins received a 97% favorable score in our recent company survey, with a 91.4% employee response rate. So I’m not the only one who enjoys working here—many others do, too!

On a 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 it is a Watkins core value.

Tom Seymour
Tom SeymourVice President of Operations

As a Vice President of Operations for Watkins Wellness, 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 at Watkins from 1990 to 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 reason I was so thrilled to re-join the Watkins team? 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 am convinced the best is yet to come. I am very excited to be part of it.

Robin French
Robin FrenchSenior Vice President, Engineering

I have a diverse career background in all disciplines of engineering: electro-mechanical, chemical, manufacturing and civil. My focus has 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 skills to my job at Watkins Wellness every day.

The openness and transparency at Watkins clearly establishes the needs of our team effort and how that translates 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 the company encourages 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 work environment.

Venkat Mallela
Venkat MallelaVice President of Engineering

On a personal note, I grew up in India and have traveled to many places around the world. I moved to the United States in 1997 and since then, I have lived in Michigan, Arizona, and now California. As far as my academic background goes, I have a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Trichy, India, and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan.

Prior to joining Watkins Wellness, I spent many years gaining valuable experience in both the automotive and irrigation industries, which is where I became passionate about advanced engineering technology and developed a strong focus on project management.

When I joined Watkins Wellness in July 2017, I was struck by how special the culture is here. This team operates with a refreshing level of openness and honesty as we work towards solutions every day. In my role as Vice President of Engineering, I oversee New Product Development, R&D, Creative Design, Tooling, Quality Improvement, Test Lab, and Product Compliance.

When I’m not at Watkins Wellness, you will find me spending time with my family, reading, or practicing Karate and Krav Maga.

Chris Peavey
Chris PeaveyVice President of Finance, CFO

Prior to joining Watkins Wellness, I gained manufacturing experience in industries including specialty chemicals, process filtration, ultra-filtration and electronics. This 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. This gives me 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, 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? 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 also their families.

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 Wellness as the International Service Specialist, with a focus on coordinating international tech support, service training, warranty procedures and customer service.

I transferred to Watkins Europe in Belgium as International Customer Service Manager and then was selected for the position of European Sales Manager in 2003. In that role, I was responsible for business development, managing regional sales managers and the European marketing team.

I transferred back to Vista, Calif. as Director of Sales & Marketing–Europe and in 2012, I took on the challenge of VP of International Sales & Marketing. I am 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.

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 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 defines who we are and what we do, and it positions us as an employer of choice. It is a clearly defined and well-communicated code. These key beliefs guide our actions and show that we value our employees highly. This consistent integration of beliefs and behavior, over a long period, sets us apart from other companies.

These beliefs are important to the success of each employee, and the organization as a whole, because they are a clear and concise code by which we conduct ourselves individually and collectively. When in doubt, The Watkins Way 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 the Watkins family not long after finishing college, so I gained most of my experience 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 in the Service team. Experience in all of these areas has provided me with a broad range of knowledge in both products and processes, and that helps me 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.