Highland Meadows Pool Director retires after 50 years

Mark Geha, left, presents his dad with the ‘Bill Geha Pool’ plaque, which will be installed at the pool in his hoonor.

In 1973, the United States ended its involvement in the Vietnam War after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords; Secretariat became the first horse since Citation in 1948 to win the Triple Crown; the Alaska Oil Pipeline bill was passed allowing construction of the pipeline to access oil from the North Slope of Alaska; a Three-Day Weekend was put in place in the UK;  Queen Elizabeth opened the Sydney Opera House AND, even more important to many in Sylvania, Bill Geha began his 50-year-long career managing the Highland Meadows pool, making a significant impact on generations of children and adults.

“Fifty years ago, I was actually managing a pool across the street when Highland Meadows member Bob Bigelow approached me and asked if I would be interested in this job. I was and now, here it is, 50 years of great memories! Over the years the members have been wonderful! My whole family has worked at Highland and the relationships we have made are awesome and grew stronger every summer,” Geha said.

Those relationships Geha formed and the significance of his influence on “pool kids” and parents alike was evidenced by the large number of people from all five decades who gathered to celebrate Geha’s career and retirement on Aug. 19.
To commemorate this half-century career, Highland Meadows member McKenna Troyan Reitz, and committee members Jenni Hires Briggs and Sue Frain Crandall, along with Geha’s four children, Nikki, Matthew, Mark, and Ani Geha, organized the gathering. Guests who came to offer well wishes included swim team and water ballet participants and parents along with the more casual pool visitors.
Briggs and other committee members created a book for the guest of honor filled with photos and memories through the years reflecting the strong feelings of admiration and respect felt by members for pool manager Geha.
He was also informed that the Highland Meadows Golf Club pool has been renamed the “Bill Geha Pool,” with a bronze plaque to be placed in the pool area.
“Bill Geha has touched the lives of so many people in our community! He created such a positive and welcoming culture at HMGC, making it such a great place to be. I grew up at the Highland Meadows pool in the 1980s and loved every second of it! That time was so important for me that when my kids were old enough, we joined so they could have some of the amazing experiences I did, from swim and dive team to water ballet to just swimming and hanging out with friends. Through all of those years, Bill played a major role and memories we have from summers at HMGC are priceless,” Briggs stated.

In addition to managing the Highland Meadows pool, Geha has been the intervention and prevention specialist for Sylvania and Springfield Schools. He was also instrumental in the founding of America’s Pride Prevention Team and is the Director of the P.E.A.C.E. project, which mentors kids who are struggling. “My PEACE kids are changing this world! Participants from Sylvania, Springfield, and the University of Toledo are touching the hearts of kids every day,” Geha said.
Highland Meadows Golf Club Manager Andy Masten summarized, “Bill Geha is truly an amazing man.  His dedication to work, family, and community will never be forgotten or matched!”

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