Today we’d like to introduce you to Janet Vermillion Moos, RN.
Janet, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 1997 I moved with my family to the Dallas North Estates neighborhood in Plano, Texas. Famous Texan Herbert Hunt developed the area in 1959, creating a Texas shaped swimming pool as a promotional feature. The Texas Pool opened in 1961 and enjoyed many years as an exclusive members-only swim club. 325 member families supported the pool and times were good.
Jump ahead to 2007, the fabric of society had changed, the neighborhood aged, and the Texas Pool was all but forgotten. I joined a handful of volunteers on the Dallas North Community Club Board of Directors, the managing entity for the Texas Pool, determined to save it. Memberships plummeted to a low of 50 as I began to explore new ways of promoting and preserving the Texas Pool. My vision included the development of a 501c3 charity and obtaining Historic Landmark Designation. Not everyone shared my dream for the Texas Pool’s future; it had been a private club for 50 years. Yet, I recognized this as a failed business model and was determined to recreate the Texas Pool as a community gathering place, landmark, and local attraction.
In 2012, I founded the Texas Pool Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. As CEO for the Texas Pool Foundation and Public Relations Director on the Dallas North Community Club Board, I sought out dynamic, innovative, positive energy individuals to join our team. I used social media marketing to successfully reach the public, to connect with the City of Plano and others. I redefined what the Historic Texas Pool was and could be. In January 2017, my vision came to full fruition as the Texas Pool Foundation became the sole managing entity with dissolution of the Dallas North Community Club. A unified Texas Pool Foundation Board of Directors, with leadership talent, and community engagement, has charted a new course for the Historic Texas Pool.
Saving the Texas Pool and establishing the Texas Pool Foundation is not something I’ve accomplished alone. Board Members and community volunteers have sacrificed countless hours of expertise and energy to help renovate and preserve the Texas Pool. Divine Providence has also played a role as each connected person brings a vital gift of service. Free swim events are offered for under-served and special needs populations of Collin and Dallas Counties. Opportunities for barter and volunteer service memberships exist. The Texas Pool is partnering with local and national businesses and service organizations to support the community and sustain the landmark. I want everyone to have a chance to #SwimAcrossTexas.
In the past 2 seasons, we’ve added a Little Free Library, Little Free Pantry, Cherokee Nation Certified Artist Texas Gulf Coast Murals, a Toddler Play Zone, and Community Garden. The Texas Pool was declared a local landmark by the Plano Conservancy, and has appeared in the New York Times. Texas country music star Stephen James and American Idol Josh Wright performed at the Texas Pool this summer. We are applying for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and for a Guinness World Record as the “oldest Texas shaped pool.” Celebrating 56 summer seasons this year, the Historic Texas Pool is now a membership-supported, community-centric destination.
I began this journey 10 years ago, as a Registered Nurse, wife, and homeschooling mother of 5. My children have grown up at the pool and 2 are currently lifeguards.
Just as the Texas Pool has been reinvented, I too have been transformed. I’ve learned new skills in nonprofit management and corporate law, in civic leadership, social media marketing, website design and public speaking. I’ve encountered incredible people from every walk of life and brought them together with a common bond that unites all of us: community.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not everyone shared my vision for the Texas Pool’s future. Making the change from a private club to a community-centric landmark was a radical departure from the way the organization saw itself and had practiced for over 50 years.
Research, education, coalition building, and teamwork were key to overcoming the challenges faced.
Texas Pool Foundation and The Texas Pool – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Texas Pool is a saltwater pool. Mermaid monofin swimming and floats are permitted. We feature slides, an island, community garden, Little Free Pantry, Little Free Library and Texas Gulf Coast Murals by a Cherokee Nation certified artist. You can still play “Sharks and Minnows” and enter the Cannonball contest at the Texas Pool. We’ve a chess club, yoga, water and beach volleyball. Community building, civic, and special events are hosted at the Texas Pool, many of them free to the public.
As our shared history is embraced, architecturally significant landmarks matter more. Before HOA pools, before country clubs and big city pools in Plano, the Texas Pool existed. A number of famous historical figures are associated with the Texas Pool such as developer Herbert Hunt, the McCall brothers, Plano’s Police Information Officer David Tilley and Mayor Pro Tem Lissa Smith. As a 501c3 charity, all membership, guest fees, snack sales and donations go to support the landmark. Everyone working with the Texas Pool today is a volunteer, except the lifeguards.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Cardinal Ratzinger once said “All people want to leave a mark which lasts. But what remains? Money does not. Buildings do not, nor books. After a certain amount of time, whether long or short, all these things disappear. The only thing which remains forever is the human soul, the human person created by God for eternity.”
Success for me exists in using all of my personal gifts to the fullest of my ability to touch the lives of those around me in a meaningful and positive way. It is vital to bring people together with inspiration and a sense of our life’s shared journey. Have I left the world a better place for having lived?
In business, the same parameters apply. Does the Texas Pool Foundation have the resources and talent to accomplish our mission of community outreach and landmark preservation? Does the community benefit by the work that we do to sustain the Texas Pool? Are we bringing people together and enhancing the quality of their lives by the personal connections that we make? I believe the answer is “yes.”
- Texas Pool 1 Day Guest Pass rates are $10/person or $30/family
- Address: The Texas Pool
901 Springbrook Drive, Plano, Texas 75075
- Website: http://www.texaspool.org/
- Phone: 972-881-TEXAS
- Email: Info@TexasPool.org
- Instagram: the_texas_pool
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/texaspool/
- Twitter: @texaspoolplano
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-texas-pool-plano
- Other: https://interactive.tegna-media.com/video/embed/embed.html?id=1287002611168&site=287&station=tx-dallas-WFAA-B3341&playerid=6918249996581&autoplay=true&secure=yes#amp=1