The Aquascape Team

Who - Colleen Heitzler

Colleen Heitzler
In August of 2001, Aquascape, Inc. hit the jackpot, acquiring Colleen Heitzler to be the new Controller. It wasn't long before Colleen's knowledge and wealth of experience put her in the Corporate Finance Officer position, and most recently Chief Operating Officer. Her life is numbers, from accounting to finance, and she strives to help others understand the financial aspects of their businesses. An important characteristic of managing the day-to-day operations, Colleen values the relationships and camaraderie that exists between employees, customers, and suppliers at Aquascape, and believes that the company achieves a great balance of winning attitudes and confidence, along with humility and compassion. Colleen also enjoys relaxing at home next to her Pondless® Waterfall with a 25-foot stream, which was constructed during a 2004 Build-A-Pondless Waterfall Day training events.

Who - Ed Beaulieu

Ed Beaulieu
Chief Sustainability Officer
Ed came to Aquascape in 1993 as a construction laborer, but a little creativity and a positive outlook on life and business helped catapult Ed to the position of Vice President of Field Research. For more than a decade, Ed has been successfully building hundreds of custom-designed ponds from small backyard ponds to large lakes and commercial water features. His construction/biology background has been helpful in designing the Aquascape product line. He holds a B.S. in Zoology, with an emphasis in Limnology, and concentrated his master's studies in Marine Biology. He's passionate about the environment and hopes to one day find an effective mix of products and procedures that will be able to clean up our Earth's troubled waters. This passion led to his promotion as Chief Sustainability Officer for Aquascape. Ed's newest endeavor is educating people on how water gardens and wetlands create environmentally friendly atmospheres. Understanding the larger concepts of water quality, storage, and habitat allow unique applications to the many projects he is involved with. His work has been featured on the cover of Architectural Digest, in addition to having his water garden designs featured in the pages of Better Homes & Gardens special interest publications, Nature's Garden, Irrigation and Green Industry News, and more. For 5 years, Ed has been the project manager for water feature installation for the Flower and Garden Festival "Water Garden Wonders" highlight at Epcot Center. Ed has worked with Certified Aquascape Contractors on water feature installations for Richard Petty, Jill Rappaport, and other celebrities, and has appeared on several HGTV and DIY channel shows. He was also a contributing author for The Pond Builder's Bible, Pond Building for Hobbyists, and Succeeding and Prospering with Water Features II. Ed sums up his career in the words of Robert Mondavi, "Find a job that you love and you'll never work another day in your life."

Who - Beth Montgomery

Beth Montgomery
Chief Financial Officer
Joining Aquascape in 2004, Beth brings a comprehensive financial background to Aquascape. In her role as Controller, Beth supervises all financial activities for the company, which includes directing accounting, collection, financial reporting, budgeting, and forecasting. Prior to joining Aquascape, Beth served as Controller for Varian, Inc., for the Analytical Supplies Division in Irvine, California. At Varian, she supervised all financial activities for three manufacturing facilities and assisted in the due diligence on mergers and acquisitions. Beth was also a Senior Audit Manager at John Gerlach & Co. LLP in Columbus, Ohio. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting and finance at the University of Findlay in Ohio and is a certified public accountant. Beth is a big sports fan enjoying football, baseball, golf, and volleyball. She invests time in her community via St. Peter's Church, and the Mother's Club of Geneva. Beth resides in Geneva, Illinois with her husband David, son Nathan, and daughter Katie.

Who - Jeff Payton

Jeffrey Payton
Executive Vice President, Business Development
With 15 years of green industry experience, it's no wonder Jeffrey Payton was a great match for Aquascape, Inc. Jeffrey came to Aquascape in 1998 after working at an independent garden center with shrubs and trees, and as a landscape designer, running multiple crews. During his tenure, he held positions including: Technical Services, Customer Service Manager, Vice President of Customer Relations, and General Manager of NurseryPro, before earning his current title of Executive Vice President, Business Development. In his current position, Jeffrey manages the sales team, marketing, product development/management, customer service, and field research, while putting all potential growth opportunities within the water garden market place into place at Aquascape. The Pondless® Waterfall and a 15' stream in his backyard was installed in 2004 during a Build-A-Pond Day training event.

Who - Dave Kelly

Dave Kelly
Vice President of Product Management
Dave joined the early ranks of Aquascape in 1996, with a bachelor's degree in environmental health science from Illinois State University, with an emphasis in constructed wetlands and natural methods for wastewater treatment. Dave is able to apply a wide range of experience and expertise in the areas of water, plants, fish and water ecology. As Vice President of Product Development, Dave is instrumental in translating the product performance information and the research and development from the field into a product improvement and new product development for Aquascape. He's a member of Aquascape's Concept Ideation Team, a group whose purpose is to identify, evaluate and develop new technologies and product opportunities. Dave works closely with Aquascape's product management group, product operations, construction, and sales and marketing to synchronize all efforts to bring to market new and existing product offerings and solutions. Dave is a highly sought after presenter at Pond College and water gardening seminars across the country, and has successfully trained numerous green industry professionals. He co-authored The Pond Builder's Bible, The Pond Retailer's Bible, Succeeding & Prospering with Water Features: Volume II, and Pond Building for Hobbyists. Patented products that carry Dave's stamp of expertise include the Constructed Wetland, Pondless® Waterfalls, and the Signature Skimmer. In his spare time, Dave enjoys mountain biking, trail running and gardening. He and wife Maggie have four children: Liam, Moira, and twins Gavin and Quinn.

Who - Michelle Kurschner

Michelle Kurschner
Director of Marketing
Michelle Kurschner is no stranger to marketing because she's worked her way up through the ranks throughout the last 13 years. She was a fitting addition to the Aquascape team, already known as a marketing machine, in 2001. As the Director of marketing, she oversees advertising, videography, websites, public relations, publishing, creative services, and marketing communications, of course. One of the things Michelle loves about Aquascape is the team environment that has been created and is always encouraged. Michelle and her husband, Bruce, have a 13'x 16' pond, complete with two waterfalls and love the outdoor lifestyle that it creates.

Who - Sue Soderberg

Sue Soderberg
National Sales Director
Sue has been with Aquascape since March of 2002, when she started in the position of Distributor Development Specialist. A year after Aquascape acquired Water Creations/NurseryPro, she was promoted to Customer Relations Manager. Now, as director of Channel and Program Management, Sue oversees the Authorized AquascapePRO™ Distributor network, the Water Garden Excellence Program, and the Certified Aquascape Contractor Program. Sue believes that one of the keys to Aquascape's success is the intelligent, passionate work force, whose forward-thinking style is awarded in Aquascape's fast-paced environment. She also credits Aquascape's ability to move and change with industry growth and trends as a huge factor in Aquascape's continued success.

Who - Roberto Cosme

Roberto Cosme
Director of Warehouse Operations
The summer of 2001 brought Roberto to the front doors of Aquascape, Inc. when he accepted the position of Director of Warehouse Operations. Roberto schedules all warehouse staffing and training, and oversees the day-to-day operations of both the receiving and shipping areas. He's responsible for order accuracy, productivity levels, and facility maintenance. In addition, Roberto acts as Facilities Manager for Aqualand, the LEED silver-certified corporate headquarters that sports the largest sloping green roof in North America. Roberto played a major role in coordinating the execution of Aqualand's construction. He also assisted in the project management of the company's move to the new location in St. Charles, Illinois. In his spare time, Roberto enjoys vacationing and spending time with wife Shaunta, and his four children: Roberto II, Nicholas, Raven, and Joshua.

Who - Ross Pyne

Ross Pyne
Canadian Director of Operations
Ross is Director of Operations at Aquascape's Canadian location. He manages the operations for accounting, budgets, logistics, warehousing, purchasing, forecasting, information technology, technical support, and customer service. He's even been known to change a light bulb or two. Ross earned a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Ryerson University. Ross has a wide range of experience in warehousing, logistics, multi-site operations for international companies, engineering, large scale project management, manufacturing, food processing, and product design and development. In his spare time, Ross enjoys spending time with his wife, two children, and two golden retrievers by their ecosystem pond.

Who - Scott Rhodes

Scott Rhodes
Director of Product Marketing
Scott Rhodes joined Aquascape, Inc. in 2008 as Director of Product Marketing. Rhodes has over 17 years of sales, marketing, management and product development experience in the aquarist and water gardening industries, having most recently served as Global Category Manager - Water Gardening at Rolf C. Hagen, Inc., an international manufacturer and distributor of quality pet supplies and water gardening products.

Rhodes is responsible for developing and implementing strategic product plans for Aquascape, including the management of products and services through their lifecycles. Rhodes identifies target markets, performs competitive analysis, and identifies product service, benefits, and positioning in the marketplace.

In addition to his product development and marketing background, Rhodes has served as a public speaker and technical trainer. He's the author of numerous articles that appeared in publications including Plant & Garden and Harrowsmith. Rhodes has also appeared as technical expert for numerous radio and television interviews.

Who - Blake Berry

Blake Barry
National Sales Manager
Blake Barry was appointed National Sales Manager for Aquascape in 2008. Blake has over 15 years of consumer pet product industry sales experience, having most recently served as National Sales Manager for a major pet supply manufacturer and prior to that was Business Development Manager and Field Sales Trainer for a major pet nutrition company.  Blake is responsible for managing Aquascape’s nationwide sales force and programs, working with retailers and the sales team to continually improve the way Aquascape brings product to market.  He continually focuses on developing business programs to help the retailer with merchandising and promotional programs for consumers.  Blake had an Aquascape MicroPond installed in his yard 4 years after meeting The Pond Guy at a local fitness center.  The two would discuss their retail challenges and soon became fast friends.  Blake was intrigued with the Aquascape culture and when the timing was right, joined the team at Aqualand.  Blake enjoys fishing, loves sports – especially football, and his favorite food is Tex Mex.  He and wife Donna have four children: Alicia (19), Bryce (17), Erienne (14), and Brannon (13).

Who - Ellen Beaulieu

Ellen Beaulieu
Personnel Manager
Ellen is one of Aquascape's longer-standing employees, having joined the company in February of 1999. She initially served as the Construction Coordinator, but her passion for water gardening quickly led to her assignment of President for the North American Water Garden Society (NAWGS), a non-profit organization founded by Aquascape. After successfully launching NAWGS, Ellen was recruited to serve as the company's Employee Development Coach while maintaining her position as President for the board of NAWGS. In addition to managing the construction process from sales through installation to billing, Ellen organized the annual Parade of Ponds tours for Aquascape. Ellen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from Eastern Illinois University. She's the wife of Ed Beaulieu, Vice President of Field Research at Aquascape and together they have 2 sons. The entire family enjoys exploring their ecosystem pond and waterfalls. Ellen is an avid reader of fiction and enjoys scuba diving and snorkeling.

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