Meet Andrew George

Andrew George

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools

An introduction: Aqua-Tots Swim Schools is the world leader in swim instruction, with over 100 locations in 12 countries. I have been a franchisee for eight years, and our partnership owns 10 locations in Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta. Cary was our first location! I’ve held every role — instructor, front desk team, aquatic manager, general manager — but currently my role is overseeing construction and development of new locations.

Inspiration: My passion comes from seeing children grow and develop as they gain confidence in and around the water. I love kids (my wife and I have 6 of them!), and I love teaching. Every time I take my children in for lessons, I miss being in the water working with our families.

Biggest risk: When we took out our first loan om 2013, we put our livelihood and home on the line. It was intimidating, but we were confident that it would be a great investment in the Cary community.

Core values: It was the core values of Aqua-Tots that initially drew me to this company. Never before had I seen a company so proudly boast of values such as “Seek to Understand before being Understood,” “Choose Relationships over Profit,” “Praise in Public and Correct in Private,” etc. As a Christian who wants to show Jesus in everything I do, these values aligned perfectly with my heart’s desire in how I wanted to live and do business.

Greatest challenge: We had a contractor go belly-up on us halfway through a project. I had to bail him out of jail in the hope that he would get back to work. I ended up having to take over the build-out as contractor, which I had no experience in.

Working with people (contractors, teammates, families, etc.) can always be challenging, as relationships are hard, but I consider it a privilege to work through various issues, as we all come out stronger and better for it.

On success: The most important lesson on success is that planning is a must. At the same time, being willing to roll up your sleeves and do every job within your company at the drop of a hat is important too. And never complain — attitude is everything!

Fun fact: I was a cheerleader all four years at N.C. State.

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