The 2021 Water Artisans of the Year Awards are here and, as usual, we have a new set of experienced judges ready for your entries. Below is a little more detail on their background and pond specialities.
Eric started his design-build landscape business in Austin, Texas in 2003. He eventually followed his intuition to focus solely on water features in 2018 and brought his wife, Ana, on board to help run the show behind the scenes. Together they have successfully rebranded the business as Stonebridge Pond and Waterfall Company. He’s an artist at heart who enjoys using natural elements to their fullest potential while building water features for the whole family to enjoy. Eric won the Under $15k category in the 2020 POND Trade’s Water Artisan of the Year contest.
Russell Owen started Anything Wet in August 2004 after seeing a hole in the landscape industry for ponds and water features. Anything Wet is an Australian pond company servicing Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast of Australia and their surroundings. Russell has always had a passion for water and keeping a variety of fish, both fresh and saltwater. In December 2019, Russell became a Master Certified Aquascape Contractor (CAC) after more than a decade in the industry. As a member of Aquascape Australia’s mentoring program, he is proud to assist new and beginning CACs in creating natural, ecofriendly ponds and water features. In 2020, Russell won the Fountains and Formal Features category in POND Trade’s Water Artisan of the Year contest.
Tim Dille is the lead designer and installation foreman at Garden State Koi, a full-service retail, maintenance, installation and wholesale pond store in Warwick, New York. Tim has been installing ponds, streams and waterfalls for more than 15 years, with more than 500 water features in the ground. Tim won the Pondless category in the 2020 POND Trade’s Water Artisan of the Year contest.
I have been in outside sales for the past 30 years and in the green industry doing water features for the past 22 years. I have worked at the distributor level in sales and education and at the manufacture level in sales and education. Guest speaker at OLCA (Oregon Landscape Contractor Association show) Portland OR, GIE / Hardscape International Show Louisville KY, and Pro Green Show in Denver CO. I am currently working for Atlantic-Oase as the Director of Product Training and Systems.
Brian Helfrich started his water feature career with Aquascape, Inc. in 1995, starting out in the warehouse and working his way up to his current position as VP of Aquascape Construction. He’s designed and installed thousands of water features around the world and has trained hundreds of contractors across the country on the technical and artistic aspects of pond building. He’s a co-author of The Pond Builder’s Bible and his work has been featured in numerous trade and consumer publications. In addition, Brian has generously extended his pond artistry to several impressive, public water feature designs including Epcot® International Flower and Garden Show, Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and more.
John Schwarzlose is the owner of Freshwater Ecosystems. He lives in the Texas Hill Country and has a passion for designing and building water features that are indistinguishable from mother nature. John graduated from Texas A&M in 2004 with a bachelors degree in wildlife biology, and he still uses that degree to better design water features that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also beneficial to natural wildlife. Freshwater Ecosystems mission is to provide landowners and clients the utmost beauty and unique naturalistic designs for ponds, creeks and waterfalls, relying on the Texas Hill Country for inspiration. John won the Most Naturalistic category in the 2020 POND Trade’s Water Artisan of the Year contest.
Paul Amos is a sales representative for Kasco Marine, Inc. After 14 years as the managing member of Amos Sales Associates, Ltd, a manufacturer’s representative firm, Paul took an employment position with Kasco. Paul’s career in containment and water features goes back to 1992, when he joined Gundle Lining Systems, Inc. Paul has sold, assisted in design and installed liners and aeration for residential ponds, golf course lakes, parks and recreation features, water treatment, wastewater treatment and more.