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    Your Full-Service Lake Management Team

    Meet The Business Development Team

    Mychal Manolatos

    Vice President

    mychal-manolatos-web-newMychal Manolatos, Vice President of SOLitude Lake Management, is responsible for leading efforts to develop relationships with new clients and introduce the company’s many service offerings and products to new regions. Mychal also works to ensure that the needs of existing clients are not only met, but exceeded by the entire SOLitude sales team.

    Mychal earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Hospitality and Human Resources Management from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, in 1999. Before joining SOLitude, Mychal worked with Aramark Corporation, where he was vice president of field sales for the central North America region. At Aramark, Mychal led a team of over one hundred sales professionals and developed and implemented a refreshment services sales strategy and executional framework for his sales team. Prior to Aramark, Mychal has held several roles of progressive sales leadership in capital equipment, food service and software industries. 

    Mychal resides in Chicago with his daughter and is passionate about family, travel and sports. Though he has lived in Chicago since 2011, he remains an avid Detroit sports fan, where he spent his childhood. 

    Contact Mychal

    Jordan Meissner

    Regional Sales Manager  

    Jordan-Meissner-solitudeJordan Meissner serves as the regional sales manager for SOLitude's south, southwest, and west regions.  He is responsible for leading a team that expands SOLitude’s footprint by driving new business and developing long-lasting relationships with clients.  He Joined SOLitude Lake Management in 2016 and has since been passionately focusing on meeting the needs of our partners.  

    Jordan comes to SOLitude with over five years of experience in the successful development of new business territories. Most recently, Jordan worked for Aramark Corporation where he implemented sales strategies in several high volume territories and exceeded business goals for new client development. Originally from Chicago, Jordan graduated from Illinois State University (ISU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. During his time at ISU, he was a member of the Illinois State University football team, as well as several other mentorship and business clubs.

    Jordan spends the majority of his free time staying active by competing in CrossFit, spending time outdoors and playing recreational sports. He is also very passionate about traveling, boating and spending time with family and friends. 

    Contact Jordan 

    Mike Dillon

    Regional Sales Manager

    mike-dillon-webMichael Dillon is the Regional Sales Manager for SOLitude's South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions. He is responsible for driving growth in SOLitude’s footprint with a focus on organic growth and increased market share.  

    Mike has more than 15 years of prior experience leading sales teams to both personal and professional growth while working for companies like Hertz Car Rental, MAC Tools and, most recently, Waterlogic USA, where he helped lead the US field sales team to a period of high growth resulting in over double their productivity in the point of use water purification market.

    Originally from Philadelphia, Mike graduated from Manor College with a degree in Business Administration. He bleeds green as a lifelong fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and cheers on the other three major Philly franchises. He has lived in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Delaware, and currently resides in New Jersey. 

    Mike spends the majority of his free time traveling with his wife, Nicole, and son, Michael, to see U2 and other live music events. He likes to spend his homebound free time on his boat or exploring local trails with his dog, Slider. 

    Contact Mike 

    Dustin Vassar

    Regional Sales Manager

    Dustin_VassarDustin Vassar is a regional sales manager serving SOLitude’s clients in the Southwest. Dustin is responsible for helping the team build relationships with clients in the region as SOLitude continues to grow.

    Dustin comes to SOLitude with an extensive background in new business development. He worked with Ricoh USA, based out of Dallas, Texas, where he was a top contributor in the marketplace. Prior to coming to SOLitude, Dustin worked as a business performance advisor for Insperity in Irving, TX. At Insperity, he was responsible for determining ways to help small businesses succeed, such as reducing administrative costs, attracting and retaining top talent, and shaping company culture.

    Dustin is originally from Arlington, TX, and attended the University of Texas at Arlington where he studied Business Finance. Dustin is a member of Toastmasters International where he serves his club as VP Membership and enjoys helping new members with their public speaking skills.

    Dustin spends his free time drag racing, playing golf, being outdoors with family and friends and staying active at his CrossFit gym.  

    Contact Dustin

    Josh McGarry

    Regional Sales Manager

    Josh McGarryJosh McGarry is a Regional Sales Manager who helps oversee business development efforts across SOLitude’s Sarasota and Sun City territories. He enjoys helping and educating clients, developing his team, and speaking at industry conferences. He is passionate about supporting his colleagues and being a good steward to the environment by restoring wetlands and waterways to a natural and healthy state.

    Josh earned a Master Naturalist Certification from the University of Florida, and holds a Florida Green Best Management Practices certificate. He has more than 10 years of experience working with SOLitude.

    Josh was born-and-raised in Aurora, NY, in the Finger Lakes region.

    Contact Josh

    Bo Burns

    Market Development Manager

    bo-b-head-shot-1Bo Burns is a Market Development Manager at SOLitude Lake Management and Vector Disease Control International (SOLitude’s partner company). Bo is primarily responsible for business development in new markets, and has an extensive background in the lake management industry. He has worked in aquatic plant management and exotic plant management for over 30 years.

    Bo received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Hiram College in Hiram, OH and his Master of Environmental Management degree in Resource and Wetland Ecology from Duke University in Durham, NC. After earning his master’s degree, he worked for the State of North Carolina for four years as an environmental specialist with the Division of Water Resources. He then spent six years as a vegetation specialist for American Cyanamid, conducting research and sales for vegetation management in aquatics, forestry and utility rights of way management. Bo has also worked for SePRO Corporation as an aquatic specialist, BASF Corporation as aquatic specialist and Crop Production Services as the National Aquatic Sales and Marketing Manager. Before joining SOLitude, he worked as an aquatic territory manager for Valent USA Corporation and a national aquatics manager for Nufarm Americas while developing the market for Clipper Aquatic herbicide.

    Bo currently serves as vice president for the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society and as a board member for the Mid-South Aquatic Plant Management Society. He is also a member of the aquatics committee for RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment). Bo is a past president for the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society as well as the North East Aquatic Plant Management Society. He is a past board member of the Mid-West Aquatic Plant Management Society, the National Aquatic Plant Management Society and the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation.

    Bo and his wife of 32 years, Sallie, live in Raleigh, NC. They have a 24-year-old son, Bo Thomas, who also lives and works in Raleigh and a 21-year-old daughter, Cami, who is studying to be a teacher. Away from work, Bo enjoys spending time outdoors while camping, fishing and hunting.

    Contact Bo

    Katie Cabanillas

    Business Development Consultant
    Aquatic Biologist

    Katie CabanaillsKatie Cabanillas is an Aquatic Biologist and Business Development Consultant who collaborates with SOLitude’s aquatic management teams to recommend and implement lake and pond maintenance programs that promote the health and beauty of the environment.

    Katie was born in Jacksonville, FL. Katie attended Berry College in Rome, GA, where she received her bachelor’s degree in environmental science with a concentration in Biology. Her program consisted of education on aquatic biology and environmental impacts. She gained additional experience in lab and field procedures after she joined the SOLitude team several years ago.

    Contact Katie

    Jennifer Bonzani 

    Business Development Consultant

    jennifer-bonzaniJennifer Bonzani, Business Development Consultant, joined the SOLitude team in 2017. Jennifer is focused on helping expand the company’s national footprint by building relationships with business partners and new clients in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois.

    Jennifer graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining SOLitude, Jennifer worked for Aramark Refreshments for 10 years. At Aramark, she was able to grow and retain the company’s existing client base and transitioned on to new business where she exceeded her goals for new client development. She enjoyed learning the business from all aspects and was a top performer in each of her roles.

    Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends. She enjoys traveling and new experiences. She looks forward to visiting the Lake of the Ozarks each summer. Jennifer is also a big animal lover and has two dogs of her own at home. 

    Contact Jennifer

    Jimmy Taylor

    Business Development Consultant  

    Jimmy TaylorJimmy Taylor is a Business Development Consultant who helps clients who are experiencing water quality issues find sustainable solutions that enhance the health and value of their properties. He has extensive knowledge of Florida’s plant species and loves helping customers identify and manage them.

    Jimmy is a born-and-raised Floridian who grew up in Miami. He has a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Marketing from Florida International University. He also has a Restricted Pesticide Applicator License.

    Contact Jimmy

    Brendon Donnelly

    Business Development Consultant  

    brendon-donnelly-web.jpgBrendon Donnelly is a Business Development Consultant responsible for educating clients and helping the team build relationships with new partners.

    Brendon has nearly a decade of experience in successful market growth. He studied Business Management at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Before joining SOLitude in 2017, Brendon worked for a leading lawn care company, where he executed new sales growth strategies while maintaining a high yield of clients.

    Originally from Marietta, GA, Brendon still lives in the Atlanta area. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Becca, and two daughters, Aubree and Morgan, along with friends. Brendon has many hobbies, including competing in professional BBQ events, golfing, boating, and watching sports. 

    Contact Brendon 

    Joshua Jones

    Business Development Consultant 

    Josh Jones - web-1Joshua Jones is a business development consultant who serves clients throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX area, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Josh works closely with SOLitude's southwestern teams to educate clients about sustainable aquatic management strategies and ensure their long-term lake and pond goals are met. 

    Josh has nearly 15 years of account management experience, and began his career serving clients in the auto industry. Josh's love for lakes and ponds began when his great grandfather told him stories about all of the giant fish at their farm pond.

    Josh is married with two daughters and one more due in October. He's a relentless bass angler who also enjoys training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and watching UFC.

    Contact Joshua 

    Gary Hoover

    Business Development Consultant 

    gary-hoover-webGary Hoover is a business development consultant serving clients in SOLitude’s California market. With more than three decades of experience in the aquatics industry, Gary is extremely knowledgeable about the sustainable solutions available to his clients, including lake, pond, fountain and water feature design, waterbody construction and maintenance operations, aquatic vegetation management, mechanical harvesting, and dredging.  

    Gary primarily focuses on managing relationships with high-profile clients, including many municipal agencies and world headquarter locations for leading energy and computer technology corporations throughout Northern California.

    Gary earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing & Finance from Sacramento State University. Prior to taking on his current role, Gary excelled as Division Manager, Major Account Manager, and Business Development Coordinator.

    In his spare time, Gary is a family man who takes pride in serving his wife, kids and friends. He enjoys spending time outdoors and is an avid daily hiker and swimmer. For fun, he likes to ride dirt bikes, snow ski and hang out by the river.

    Contact Gary

    Shannon Junior

    Aquatic Ecologist and Senior Business Development Consultant

    shannon-junior-web-newShannon Junior is an aquatic ecologist who serves as the senior business development consultant responsible for northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, western Pennsylvania and beyond.

    Shannon has worked in the lake and pond management industry since 2000. She has been a Virginia Certified Pesticide applicator since 2001 and is currently licensed and certified in West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. She has extensive experience with Integrated Pest Management strategies for nuisance vegetation control and is a certified Stormwater Inspector. Shannon has managed projects involving all facets of lake management, including ecological assessment, fisheries enhancement, aeration, aquatic landscaping, structural inspection/repairs, and dredging. She passed the Virginia Class A Contractor exam and is experienced with feasibility studies, design, regulatory permitting and construction of new ponds.

    In addition to her extensive qualifications, Shannon also maintains her AquaMaster, Otterbine and Aqua Control Service Certifications and SePRO Preferred Applicator status. In 2013, Shannon received the SePRO Applicator of the Year Award. This award recognizes an individual who shows leadership in advancing the science of aquatic plant management, has demonstrated environmental and product stewardship throughout their career, continues to express a high level of professionalism in aquatic plant management, and has a drive to expand their knowledge of aquatic plant management.

    Shannon received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from George Mason University in 1995. She returned to GMU in 1998 for graduate studies in Environmental Science and Public Policy, and performed her thesis research on the ecological effects of an open water dredge material deposition site in the Potomac River under a grant from the US Army Corps of Engineers. She also participated as a research assistant in projects involving pyrite mine reclamation, nutrient enrichment of the Potomac River and its tributaries, coral reef diseases and wood turtle ecology.

    Shannon has a deep appreciation for aquatic habitats and has spent much of her life in and around the water. She has spent several summers on a live-aboard sailboat in the Bahamas, scuba diving on a different reef every day. She has lived out west, and enjoyed extended rafting and kayaking trips on dozens of whitewater and desert rivers. Shannon is a wildlife enthusiast, and loves that her job provides frequent opportunities to view many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and other animals.

    Shannon has a great passion for animal rescue and is an avid volunteer at her local animal shelter. She runs a Facebook page for the shelter and takes dogs to PetSmart on weekends for adoption events. She also makes tie-dyed t-shirts and dog bandanas, which she sells on Etsy (DogDayzDyes) and donates 100 percent of the proceeds to the shelter. Shannon lives in a log cabin with her husband and four dogs, and spends her spare time hiking, gardening, cooking and touring wineries. 

    Contact Shannon

    Cole Kabella

    Business Development Consultant 


    Cole Kabella is a business development consultant with nearly a decade of experience developing relationships with clients across Texas and educating them on the importance of sustainable and proactive lake, pond and fisheries management solutions.

    Cole has a special interest in fish stockings, fish transporting and acclimating fish into clients’ lakes and ponds. He also has an extensive background in the control of aquatic vegetation growth and maintaining and enhancing the aesthetics of the habitat.

    Prior to joining SOLitude, Cole graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor's degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Services. During his time at A&M, he traveled to South Africa where he was able to spend a semester of his studies. On this trip, he met the woman that he would later call his wife. They both returned home and continued learning until they graduated in 2013.

    Cole grew up in Liberty Hill, TX, where he participated in the Boy Scouts of America and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. In his free time, Cole enjoys spending time outdoors. His hobbies include hiking, backpacking, camping, swimming and shooting.

    Contact Cole

    Devin McGuire

    Business Development Consultant

    devin-mcguire-web-newDevin McGuire is a business development consultant focused on educating and supporting clients throughout the Richmond, VA, region. Devin has extensive sales and account management experience in a variety of markets, including healthcare, IT and the industrial equipment industry. Most recently, he worked for a pesticide supply company and covered the state of Virginia as well as southern Maryland.

    Devin also has experience working in the golf industry and spent many years as an assistant golf professional with Hermitage Country Club, a private club outside of Richmond.

    Devin’s interest in aquatic resource management stems from a childhood spent with his grandparents on a lake in Southwest Virginia. Devin is a Richmond native and married his high-school sweetheart. He spends most his time with his two young children, but when he’s not chasing them around, you can find him outdoors enjoying the saltwater. 

    Contact Devin 

    Jeff Moding

    Senior Business Development Consultant

    Jeff ModingJeff Moding is a senior business development consultant with more than 30 years of industry experience. Jeff has an extensive background in the management of lakes, ponds and wetlands, and specializes in aeration solutions and invasive species eradication.

    Invaluable on-the-job experiences have allowed Jeff to play an integral role on thousands of aquatics projects. Jeff helps clients identify aquatic plant and algae species found on their properties and helps them develop sustainable management plans that encourage a healthy ecosystem.

    Prior to joining the SOLitude team in 2009, Jeff worked in sales, where he grew his division from 2 to 30 employees and developed his expertise in foundation and aeration products.

    Jeff is a United States Airforce Veteran. Outside of work, Jeff is an avid bow hunter and fisherman. He also enjoys playing golf and tennis, and spending time with his family.  

    Contact Jeff

    Kim Niesel, CMCA

    Senior Business Development Consultant

    kim-niesel-web-newKimberly Niesel is responsible for helping to introduce the company's many products and services to new clients as well as working with existing clients. Kim genuinely enjoys being around people, which makes her well-suited for her work.

    Kim has extensive marketing and sales experience as well as a strong background in property management. The early part of Kim's career was spent in property management working first with a property developer and then transitioning to the management team of a large-scale community. Eventually, she found her way back to her field of study, marketing, when she began working in the banking industry under a national sales platform which marketed primarily to the HOA industry. This afforded her many opportunities and eventually led her to SOLitude Lake Management.

    The combination of marketing and property management experience has allowed Kim to become well known in the industry. She holds her CMCA (certified manager of community associations) designation, as administered by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board and is involved in several industry-related organizations, including the Southeastern Virginia and Central Virginia chapters of Community Associations Institute (CAI). She has served as a board member and president for both of these associations. Kim is also one of the founders of the Virginia Leadership Retreat and has been recognized several times for her volunteer involvement. She currently serves on the Board for the Virginia Leadership Retreat and is the Chairperson for the Communications Committee of the Southeastern VA CAI..

    Kim is a native of southeastern Virginia and could never think of living anywhere but the coast. The US Navy has been a big part of her family for quite a few years as her husband has been serving his country on active duty. Kim even "joined in" for over two years serving as command ombudsman for the USS Cole during her husband's service on that ship. When taking a moment to pause, Kim enjoys traveling, baseball, socializing with friends and is her daughter's #1 fan on the soccer field. 

    Contact Kim 

    Trent Nelson

    Business Development Consultant


    Trent Nelson is a business development consultant serving clients in SOLitude’s Southern market. Trent focuses on helping clients maintain a balance between healthy aquatic ecosystems and has a special interest in the management of algae and aquatic weeds in private ponds, stormwater systems and golf course lakes. He also enjoys interacting with his clients and educating them on sustainable management techniques. Trent worked as an Aquatic Specialist for three years and has developed valuable field knowledge on treating and maintaining a wide array of aquatic ecosystems across North and South Carolina. Trent also has more than a dozen years of experience working with the golf course industry and spent four years as an assistant superintendent managing the day-to-day challenges of two top clubs in the Triad of North Carolina.

    Trent is a 2009 graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Turfgrass Science with a minor in Biological Sciences. He is a certified North Carolina pesticide applicator for aquatics, turf and ornamentals, "Right of Ways," forest pest control, and public health and is a licensed aquatic pesticide applicator in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. Trent is also a certified stormwater BMP inspector through NC State University and a certified turfgrass professional through the Turfgrass Council of North Carolina.

    Trent has a strong passion for the outdoors and spends much of his spare time training his bird dog, fishing and hunting. Trent is an avid duck hunter and has been a volunteer for Ducks Unlimited since 2005.

    Trent is married and has one daughter. He spends any available free time with family and friends at the beach.

    Contact Trent

    Joe Onorato

    Business Development Consultant  

    joe-onorato-web-new-1Joe Onorato is a business development specialist at SOLitude. He is responsible for building new relationships with potential clients, as well as maintaining already existing relationships with current customers.

    Joe earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies from Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. Immediately after graduating, Joe took a chance on his dream and traveled the country as a touring musician. While touring, Joe realized his strong business acumen and would eventually go on to utilize his talents in a sales role. Prior to joining the SOLitude team, he spent six years as a top performing sales representative for PepsiCo/Frito Lay. In addition to bringing in new clients, he also trained and mentored new talent during his time with PepsiCo.

    Joe grew up in Massachusetts, where he currently resides with his wife, daughter and step-daughter. Outside of work, Joe enjoys spending quality time with his family and visiting his parents' cottage on Cape Cod.  

    Contact Joe

    John Phelps

    Environmental Scientist & Senior Business Development Consultant  

    john-phelps-web-newJohn Phelps is an environmental scientist with over a decade of experience in water and land management throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

    After graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in environmental planning, John went on to serve as the environmental wetland specialist for Mercer County New Jersey's Mosquito Control Division. While there, John managed the division's water-management program undertaking multiple stormwater management enhancement projects, including fish stocking and beaver-control projects with NJDEP Fish and Wildlife and working with various homeowners associations to resolve poor drainage issues.

    In 2006, John moved on from his civil servant duties to become an environmental scientist with the Pennsylvania Sewage Enforcement Office in the private sector. John furthered his professional training by completing the Rutgers University Wetland Delineation Program and the Penn State hydric and advanced soil courses. John worked on major land-development projects involving stream realignments, which required United States Army Corps of Engineer joint permits, macro invertebrate studies and wetland mitigation. John has also been a team member for rare, threatened and endangered species surveys, like the bog turtle and spadefoot toad, and has conducted many wetland delineations as well as local, state and federal environmental-impact permit applications.

    Just prior to joining SOLitude, John managed stormwater facility compliance programs for JCM Environmental and then for Landmark Engineering, two leading environmental and engineering companies in Delaware. John's ability to facilitate remediation, enhancement and retrofitting needs for stormwater facilities is a valuable asset to clients. Coordinating with local and state agencies, teaming with expert engineers and relationships with experienced contractors reduces project costs, simplifies the process for clients and provides superior results. Spotlight projects include sediment forebay installation to modify an existing basin, sand filter and bio-retention basin remediation and two-acre mitigation installation.

    John is a devoted father and enjoys spending any spare time hiking the Appalachian Trail, canoeing the Potomac and fishing his favorite honey hole. John is an active community leader in London Grove Township in Pennsylvania where he lives with his family, chairing the township's environmental advisory council and serving as president of his own homeowners association. John's passion for the outdoors combined with his professional experience improving water quality creates a synergy of invaluable proportions.

    Contact John

    Bethany Thompson

    Business Development Consultant 

    Bethany ThompsonBethany Thompson is a business development consultant who has worked in the commercial sales industry for more than 15 years. Bethany regularly educates clients about sustainable lake, pond and wetland management strategies. Her in-depth understanding of customer service and the need to put the customer first has led to a long list of dedicated clients.

    Bethany graduated from Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale with a degree in Business Management. Before joining SOLitude, she gained extensive knowledge of turf management best practices and nuisance pest control, and frequently relates her thorough expertise to client properties across the state of Florida.

    Outside of work, Bethany enjoys spending time outdoors with her friends and family, especially if she’s in her jeep or on her Harley.  

    Contact Bethany

    Marti Veatch

    Business Development Consultant 

    Marti-Veatch-web3Marti Veatch is a business development consultant based in Central and North Florida. Marti joined SOLitude in 2018 to help support the team’s territory growth across the region and educate property owners about sustainable lake, pond and wetland management solutions.

    Marti graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia. Before joining SOLitude, Marti worked for a modular robotics systems manufacturer where she initiated and closed sales for Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), modular robotic systems and cameras for use in confined spaces and hazardous environments. She built relationships with key decision makers and matched customers with the right solutions for their needs while providing ongoing customer assistance and support.

    Outside of work, Marti enjoys spending time with her husband and her two dogs. She enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, birding, boating, snowboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, going to concerts and festivals, and riding her Triumph Bonneville.  

    Contact Marti

    Nick Viles

    Business Development Consultant 

    nick-viles-web-newNick Viles joined the SOLitude team in January 2019 as a Business Development Consultant serving local clients in Tampa and Orlando. He focuses on cultivating lasting relationships with clients and partners throughout the region.

    Previously, Nick gained extensive business development experience with Cintas Corporation, where he educated and assisted clients as an outside sales representative for three years. During this time, he developed skills in contract negotiation, sales process and prospecting. Nick joined Cintas in his hometown of Springfield, MO where he also graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business.

    Nick and his family relocated to the St. Petersburg/Tampa area in April 2018. Outside of work, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, Michelle, and daughter, Ella. He enjoys staying physically active and being outdoors. Nick and his wife also use free time to advocate for Rett Syndrome, which is a condition their daughter suffers from.

    Contact Nick

    Gary Wilhelm

    Business Development Consultant 

    Gary Wilhelm

    Gary Wilhelm is a Senior Business Development Consultant with more than 25 years of experience providing sustainable solutions for lake, pond and wetland challenges. He focuses on cultivating relationships with clients to exceed their property goals and has extensive knowledge on all aspects of freshwater management. Gary has valuable experience working with homeowners associations, property management companies and private property owners. He also has an extensive background working with golf course superintendents, general managers, golf course architects and golf pros, and has served as a member of the Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association for more than 25 years.

    Gary enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and watching sports. He’s an avid Dolphins and Miami Hurricane fan, as well as a competitive golfer. In fact, he carries a +2 handicap and has played in many qualifiers for PGA tour events throughout the years.  

    Contact Gary 

    Chris Oliva

    Business Development Consultant

    Chris OlivaChris Oliva is a Business Development Consultant serving clients throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Chris works closely with SOLitude’s Mid-Atlantic teams to support clients and design customized aquatic management plans for struggling lakes, stormwater ponds and wetlands throughout the region.

    Chris attended West Virginia University. He then gained several years of Business Development experience in the software industry before joining SOLitude in June 2019.

    Chris enjoys spending time outdoors. Depending on the season, he can be found skiing or golfing. He’s also a car enthusiast. Chris has lived in Washington, NJ for the last five years and grew up in Hunterdon County, so he's a bit of a local. He currently lives with his girlfriend, Jessica, and his two dogs, Khione and Arrow.

    Contact Chris 

    ​Chris Byrne

    Business Development Consultant

    Chris ByrneChris Byrne is a Business Development Consultant who helps clients identify and achieve their aquatic management goals for lakes, ponds and waterways throughout the west coast of Florida. He is extremely knowledgeable about the many sustainable management tools and solutions available to homeowners and property managers.

    Chris joined the SOLitude team in May 1998. For 20 years, he worked as a service manager before moving into business development. In addition to his science degree from Florida Keys Community College, Chris earned his license in Aquatics and Natural Areas Weed Control and has completed an array of safety training courses. Likewise, he’s an experienced charter boat captain and a member of the Florida Lake Management Society.

    In his spare time, Chris enjoys sailing, fishing and snorkeling. He’s also spent time restoring the cypress woods on his 1-acre property in Naples.

    Contact Chris

    Liz Rocque

    Business Development Consultant

    Liz Rocque

    Liz Rocque is an Environmental Scientist and Business Development Consultant. She helps clients identify their water quality problems and develop sustainable solutions for the long-term health and beauty of their lakes and waterways. She especially enjoys educating clients about maintaining effective stormwater systems.

    Liz graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy. She is knowledgeable about algae identification, common aquatic plants and sustainable solutions to manage nuisance growth.

    Liz is very involved in the lake management industry. She received her Green Industries Best Management Practices certificate for the enhancement of Water Quality on Florida Golf Courses and is on the Board of the Suncoast CISMA (Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area).

    Contact Liz

    Heather Afford

    Business Development Consultant

    Heather AffordHeather Afford is a Business Development Consultant based out of SOLitude’s Manassas, VA office. She uses her well-rounded industry experience to help educate clients and help them identify and execute aquatic management programs that fit their unique budget and goals.

    Heather earned her Master of Environmental Management degree with a concentration in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University. She earned her undergraduate degree in Marine Science with a concentration in Biology and Environmental Policy from Rutgers. She joined the SOLitude team in December 2019 after gaining extensive experience in many aspects of the biological sciences.

    Previously, Heather spent time working with the National Park Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Gulf Islands National Seashore, during which she performed data collection, scientific communications, geospatial analysis and volunteer management. Likewise, she is an experienced conference presenter, fish observer, biological science technician, and research assistant in many aspects of plant management and freshwater ecology.

    In her free time, Heather is a very active traveler and history buff. She enjoys roads trips, swimming in the ocean, boating and visiting aquariums. Originally from New Jersey, Heather looks forward to spending more time in Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway to see what hiking trails, camping spots, and waterbodies it has to offer. Heather also spends as much time as possible with loved ones, including her cat, Magellan, and her family dogs, Kody and Callie.

    Contact Heather

    Maria Gaid

    Inside Sales Representative

    Maria GaidMaria Gaid is an Inside Sales Representative who helps serve clients in Pompano, FL. She joined the team in October 2019 to support SOLitude’s Business Development Consultants and ensure clients and prospects receive prompt, courteous communication.

    Maria earned her Bachelor’s degree in Project Management and has over a decade of account and branch management experience. Prior to joining SOLitude, Maria excelled as leader in the retail industry, where she exceeded performance expectations for four years straight and was ranked in the top 100 employees among 600 business locations. She also has a real estate license, giving her a deep understanding of the ways in which homeowners utilize their properties and value their freshwater resources.

    Maria was born in Egypt, raised in Massachusetts and now resides in Florida. She is married with a two-year-old son named Giovanni. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to Europe each year, playing sports, cheering for the Patriots, and meditating.

    Contact Maria


    Laurie Ethridge

    Sales Support Lead

    Laurie EthridgeLaurie Ethridge is a Sales Support Lead with more than 10 years of experience in the aquatic management industry. She helps coordinate customer support activities for SOLitude, ensuring company leaders, business development consultants and scientific professionals work together efficiently to achieve client goals. She is a valuable resource for the team and is extremely knowledgeable about permitting, proposals, account management and more.

    Laurie’s background is in the administrative field with a strong emphasis in sales. She takes pride in being able to assist the field staff on new projects, conducting research and providing excellent customer service to our customers.

    Contact Laurie

    Sallie Burns

    Sales Support Administrator

    sallie_burns_web bio pic

    Sallie Burns is a sales support administrator for SOLitude Lake Management and supports the southern region out of SOLitude’s Raleigh, NC, office. Sallie is one of the first points of contact for clients and also performs an array of administrative duties to support leadership and staff. Her customer service and organizational skills, combined with her upbeat and friendly personality, make her a valued asset to the SOLitude team and its clients.

    Sallie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Kent State University in Kent, OH. Before joining SOLitude, she worked with American Greetings for 14 years and Bank of America 10 years, where she prided herself in the relationships she was able to build with customers, vendors and management.
    Sallie has called Raleigh, NC, home since 1998. She spent many years as a PTA officer in the Raleigh school system and managed various sports teams as her children were growing up. Today, she continues to pursue local volunteer opportunities.

    Sallie loves spending time with her husband, Bo, her son and daughter and their rescue dog, Lucky. In her free time, Sallie enjoys exercising at the local YMCA, cooking, reading, watching Duke basketball and taking trips to the beach and mountains.   

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    Karyn Ekstrom

    Sales Support Administrator

    karyn-ekstrom-web.jpgKaryn Ekstrom is a sales support administrator based in SOLitude’s Fort Myers, FL, office. She provides daily support for sales, field and operations teams, along with clients and prospective customers. Karyn also manages inventory reporting for 8 warehouses.

    During her 25-year career, Karyn has occupied many administrative positions supporting upper management and executives from different industries. Karyn attended the prestigious Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in Boston, MA, and began her administrative career in the Financial District of downtown Boston. She’s also served in the executive role herself, co-owning a landscape business with her husband for several years. Before joining the SOLitude team, she studied accounting at Lee County Tech in Cape Coral, FL.

    Originally from San Francisco, CA, Karyn grew up in a suburb just north of Boston. Her life was centered around family, sports and education. Today, she enjoys raising her teenage daughter, watching professional New England sports teams, attending concerts, reading and lounging by the pool.  

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    Steven Gniadek

    Sales Support Administrator

    steven-gniadek-head-shot-newSteven Gniadek is a sales support administrator for SOLitude’s Shrewsbury, MA office. He provides a wide range of administrative duties to support SOLitude’s team of industry scientists and help ensure the expectations of each client are exceeded. 

    Steven attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD as a Fine Arts student. In addition to his formal collegiate studies, Steven also studied migratory birds, aquatic life, and the invertebrate communities near the Missouri River. This location is a natural checkpoint in the main migration patterns of most Canadian geese, herons, hawks, and eagles. This location allowed Steven to experience the connections and balance of aquatic life both in and out of the water. He was involved in many of the river’s watershed and aquatic clean-up projects for numerous Native American reservations including the Lower Brule, Crow Creek, Yankton, and Santee Sioux. He also studied in the Vermillion River, Big Sioux River, Lewis and Clark Lake, and the Black Hills National Forest.

    Prior to joining SOLitude, Steven expanded his expertise and experience in client relations. He was selected to spearhead and orchestrate a brand-new division of musician services for a major music retailer. When the division was created and dedicated to serving musicians through workshops, community classes and education, Steven formed and coordinated musical/instrumental lessons for the program. He became the program’s president as a customer experience leader, operations manager, informational source and educational coordinator.

    Steven was born and raised in Northbridge, MA and spent his entire childhood immersed in many aviary and aquatic projects. He spent a lot of time participating in and learning the various freshwater fishing techniques, aquatic life, and various ecosystems.

    In addition to being an artist, musician and horseback trainer and rider, Steven is an avid aviary and invertebrate environmentalist. He has housed, raised and kept hundreds of aquatic and invertebrate species, including freshwater reptiles, amphibians, and insects with a special passion for watershed invertebrates, aquatic arachnids, and praying mantises.

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    Ellen Stace

    Sales Support Administrator 

    ellen-stace-web-newEllen Stace is a sales support administrator who makes sure that everything in the office operates smoothly each day. As part of her daily duties, Ellen acts as a liaison between the office and field staff to coordinate communications. Ellen is usually described as the "voice" of SOLitude Lake Management because of the cheerful voice she has when answering our many incoming calls. She handles most of our supply orders and shipments and is an integral part of customer communications every day. Ellen's knowledge of lake management has developed over the years through formal and on-the-job training. This, coupled with her extensive set of administrative skills, makes her a valued employee of SOLitude Lake Management and an asset to the industry.

    Ellen retired from the US Air Force where she served in command and control. She holds an associate degree in science from Thomas Nelson Community College and was previously employed by Auto Haus in Yorktown, VA. She enjoys making a difference in her community by coordinating many team volunteering events with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and other Hampton Roads organizations that are in need. Ellen is a wife and mom and enjoys hiking, camping, rollerblading and trying to stay fit.  

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    Lisa Marie Strawser

    Sales Support Administrator 

    Lisa Marie StrawserLisa Marie Strawser is a Sales Support Administrator who assists the business development team by providing daily operational support and organization. She helps ensure the client experience is efficient and enjoyable.

    Lisa Marie joined the SOLitude team in 2013. Outside of work, she spends much of her time with family. She enjoys exercise and loves animals.

    Contact Lisa Marie

    Gabriela Uviles

    Sales Support Administrator

    Gaby UvilesGabriela Uviles is a Sales Support Administrator who provides ongoing administrative and operational support for SOLitude’s business development team. She helps ensure clients receive the upmost care during their time working with SOLitude by fielding communications, gathering site information, responding to questions, and creating custom proposals.

    Gaby earned her degree in Business Administration from Mercy College. She joined the SOLitude team in 2008 after working as an executive administrative assistant for Pantonni Development in Fort Lauderdale.

    Outside of work, Gaby enjoys spending time with her children and family, either going to the park, movies or going on family trips. She also loves shopping and is obsessed with shoes.

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    Elizabeth Newman

    Sales Support Administrator 

    Elizabeth-Newman_webElizabeth Newman is a Sales Support Administrator who joined the SOLitude team in 2019. She supports her local Business Development Team from the Pompano, FL office by assisting with proposals, account management and more. She is eager to help her team in any way that she can and enjoys learning about all aspects of the freshwater management industry.

    Throughout her career, Elizabeth has worked in many fields. She spent over a decade in inside sales and support roles in the hair industry. Her positions helped cater to individuals suffering from hair loss due to chemotherapy, hormonal issues, extreme weight loss and more.

    Outside of work, Elizabeth spends as much time as possible with her mother, two sisters, and her nieces and nephews. She has many hobbies, including hiking, camping, bike riding, snorkeling, boating and visiting dog parks with her two boxer mixes, Lacey and Brooklyn. In addition to regularly volunteering with her church, Elizabeth is a licensed Therapeutic Foster parent and stays very active in the Foster community.

    Contact Elizabeth

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    Sustainability Pledge

    sustainability pledge

    In support of our belief that lakes and ponds are a precious natural resource requiring protection, SOLitude is committed to providing sustainable and renewable solutions that maintain ecological balance in the workplace and beyond.


    Depth Of Expertise

    depth expertise

    When you partner with SOLitude, a dedicated field technician visits your lake or pond twice a month, leveraging extensive knowledge and training to carefully maintain ecological balance and preserve the appearance of your aquatic property.




    Utilizing the latest GPS aquatic mapping technology and our own proprietary lake and pond management software, the experts at SOLitude collect all the data necessary to provide comprehensive analysis and in-depth solutions.