Judges Selected for 2023 Water Artisans of the Year Contest

Published on October 12, 2023


Top row, left to right: Landon Malave, Jake Bradley, Jonathan Marston. Bottom row, left to right: Eric Arnston, Sean Bell, Jennifer Zuri.

POND Trade magazine has selected an esteemed panel of six industry experts to judge entries in the 2023 Water Artisans of the Year contest. With the Nov 30, 2023 deadline approaching, it’s time to select your best photos and projects to enter.

Known informally as the “Supreme Stream Court,” this year’s judges represent a unique, well rounded cross section of the industry, featuring three past contest winners, several master pond builders, a wholesale distributor and koi farmer.

“Our judges take their roles seriously,” says POND Trade publisher, Lora Lee Gelles. “For this year’s contest, they will review the blind entries and select a winner and runner-up in each of four categories — Best Pondless, Most Naturalistic, Best Water Feature Under $20,000, and Fountains and Formal Features.”

Landon Malave is the owner of LCM Waterfalls & Ponds, previously known as LCM Landscape & Design. Operating out of Elbert, Colorado, he services the front range and is taking his efforts nationwide. He grew up on a farm in Eastern Colorado, earning his associate’s degree in horticulture and a certificate in landscape design. He has been in business for more than 10 years and is excited about the future of building multiple businesses, honing in on his skills in the water feature industry. Landon lives on a tree farm with his wife and three children.

Eric Arntson founded Stonebridge Landscape in 2003, with the goal of creating breathtaking outdoor spaces that make a lasting impression. His dedication to craftsmanship, simple flowing lines and use of natural material informed his unique organic style of landscape design for many years. He switched his business focus to exclusively water features in 2018, and together with his wife Ana, they have built a successful business, bringing the magic of flowing water to countless families throughout the years.

Sean Bell is the Eastern Regional Sales Manager for Atlantic-Oase. A true fish geek and water feature professional, he has spent the last 20 years training, educating and supporting contractors, distributors, and retailers in the green industry. Sean previously managed one of the largest aquarium stores in the Southeast that specialized in fish from all around the globe, including imported Japanese koi. When Sean is not working, he enjoys studying waterfall design while backpacking and camping.

Jennifer Zuri is the marketing communications manager for Aquascape, Inc. where she began her career in water features in 2002. She authored Pond Builder’s Guide to Break Even, serves as editor-in-chief for the Aquascape Lifestyles magazine and has written several water gardening articles for a variety of trade publications. A former president of the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society (IWGS), Jennifer enjoys choosing waterlilies and aquatic plants for her 11’x17’ pond.

Jake Bradley grew up in rural Michigan learning to appreciate nature from an early age. He worked in landscaping as well in his family’s business before finding new challenges at EasyPro in 2006. Jake works on the sales team as the project coordinator, and among other things, is responsible for analyzing landscape plans and blueprints to determine project needs and what equipment and features will give the best possible results for landscape contractors, pond builders and their customers.

Jonathan Marston built his first water feature at the age of 18 for his grandparents in Massachusetts. After high school, he moved to British Columbia for a unique undergraduate opportunity that allowed him to study water features in one of the most scenic parts of North America. Upon graduating, he moved back to Boston and officially opened FallingWater Scapes in 2017, which has since become a Master Certified Aquascape Contractor and an award-winning water-feature company.

A $25 fee is required with each entry, with all proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Eligible projects must be completed between Nov. 1, 2022, and Nov. 1, 2023. Contractors may submit as many entries as they would like; however, each project may only be submitted in one category. Winners will be featured in the March/April 2024 issue of POND Trade magazine.

For more information or to enter, visit www.pondtrademag.com/entry-form-2023-water-artisans-of-the-year-awards/

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