Global Water Farms' five founding partners serve as the executive officers and staff and have self-financed the company to date.
Jonathan Becker, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Inventor
Jon has more than 40 years of business experience and has launched three successful corporate ventures that cut across multiple sectors. Working with investors such as Henry Kravis of KKR, the companies that Jon has founded have generated tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
Jon has managed numerous construction and contracting companies. He has deep experience delivering multiple, simultaneous, large-scale and technically complex projects. Jon also has experience with emerging technologies in the HVAC and engineering sectors, as well as particularized knowledge of applications for technical systems controls, programmable logic controllers, air handlers and heat exchangers.
In 1987 with the financial backing of Henry Kravis of KKR, Jon invented a new concept and technology of ski boot drying system and ultimately brought Air Dry Systems to international market. Over the next decade, Air Dry Systems sales reached global sales in North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Selling within the retail and trade markets, Air Dry Systems manufactured its fifty-plus products in Colorado factories designed and operated by Jon. In the mid 1990s the company was sold, however many of the products remain in use 25 years later.
All of Jon's work and experience culminated in the invention of GWF ZLD-AEC Water Farm System. Starting ten years ago, Jon and his son Colton began to develop what became the Water Farm concept. Nearly three years ago, Jon approached Graham Browstein, a family friend, about the concept and the two partnered to develop the plans that ultimately led to the incorporation of GWF in the spring of 2015.
Graham Brownstein, Chief Operating Officer
Graham is an attorney with more than two decades of executive experience working for NGOs and with attorneys, government, and the private sector on infrastructure planning and development, water systems, utilities, land use and environmental conservation.
Graham has successfully developed and spearheaded numerous policy and planning initiatives across a range of issue areas. He majored in Environmental Studies and American Studies and received his BA from Yale University in 1996 and his JD from the UC Davis School of Law in 2005.
Graham worked from 1997 through 2002 as Director of Community Organizing and Outreach for The Utility Reform Network (TURN), a California statewide utility consumer advocacy group. He established and directed TURN's consumer outreach and organizing operations, helping communities, businesses and individuals navigate the California energy crisis as well as numerous other utility issues. During his tenure at TURN, Graham hired and managed multiple staffers and reported directly to the Executive Director.
Graham left TURN in 2002 to pursue a JD at the University of California at Davis School of Law (King Hall), with a particular focus on administrative , regulatory, water and environmental law and policy. During his time in law school, he served as editor-in-chief for two years of King Hall's environmental law journal, Environs, and received the Downey Brand Seymour and Rohwer LLP Environmental Law Scholarship Award.
Colton Becker, Engineering Consultant & Co-Inventor
The GWF ZLD-AEC system and technology was initially born out of discussions between Colton and his father, Jon Becker, GWF CEO. While in middle school, Colton became interested in solar still distillation and developed a concept for a new approach to distill and desalinate large volumes of water quickly and efficiently. He brought his questions and ideas to his father, who worked with Colton to build a small-scale model to demonstrate the concept.
In high school, Colton continued to work with his father in refining the various components of their distillation/desalination system. During this time, Colton and Jon came to better understand the potential impact of the idea if fully developed. They both realized that a highly efficient, modular, scalable and environmentally sustainable approach to distillation and desalination could be transformative in meeting a number of global challenges. This interest in solving large-scale problems was a significant driver of Colton's decision to pursue a degree in engineering.
Colton attended college at Colorado School of Mines. He graduated in 2014 with a Degree in Engineering with Environmental Specialty and a Commission into the United States Army. Colton produced the extensive documentation used to file the provisional patent application for GWF. Colton also worked with his father and the other GWF founders to refine the technology and develop plans for securing investor financing to build a prototype and transition into market rollout.
Wendy Becker, Chief Financial officer/ Controller
Wendy's corporate career began in 1980, with a job in Aspen, Colorado at Sport Obermeyer. She quickly rose to the position of VP of Operations. Wendy's responsibilities included overseeing inventories, shipping and receiving, customer service, and supervising the national sales team. She compiled budgets, forecasts, supervised trade marketing and trade shows as well as organizing national sales meetings.
In 1986, Wendy joined her husband Jon in launching a new company: Air Dry Systems. Air Dry Systems developed and manufactured the first ski boot drying systems. Wendy became President of Air Dry Systems, supervising and managing all office operations. Wendy studied the Macola Corporation software, with components to track all manufacturing and accounting functions, and supervised installation of computerized system to track bills of material, labor burden, raw goods inventory, WIP inventory, finished goods inventory, purchase orders, sales orders, shipping and invoicing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, forecasting and payroll. Several hundred components were used in the production of roughly fifty finished products. Wendy was recognized as a ski industry leader in 1993 and invited to join the Ski Industries of America Board of Directors, the trade association representing all ski industry companies.
From 1995 through 2005, Wendy worked for a number of different businesses and as a teacher's assistant. She was elected to the Eagle County School Board and after one year was elected President of the Board. She oversaw the addition of five new schools, selection of a new school superintendent, integration of a charter school into the district, the beginning of the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy and the Gore Range Natural Science School.
In 2005 Wendy again partnered with her husband and started Stonewillow Corporation and within a year founded a new entity, "My Office". My Office was established to help construction subcontractors with all aspects of running their businesses, from conference room rental, computer usage, blueprint printing, accounting and bookkeeping services, business cards and letterhead. My Office replaced the need for clients to have their own office space or staff.
In 2010, Wendy became an owner liaison associate at Peak Properties, a property management company, coordinating work and billings for over 25 properties. For the past three years Wendy has assisted in the development of the Water Farm concept into a realistic business plan while establishing and overseeing proper accounting and financial management for the new company.
Margarita H. Colmenares, Chief Development Officer
Margarita has over thirty years of leadership experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors. She graduated from Stanford University in 1981 with a degree from the school of engineering. Upon graduation she was recruited by Chevron where she spent the next decade in positions of increasing responsibility in manufacturing, marketing, operations, chemicals, and human resources in nine different states and later international assignment.
Margarita also served as a senior political appointee for two presidential administrations within the Department of Education, where her portfolio included inter-agency collaboration and support of math and science education. As the Secretary of Education's representative to the business community, Margarita developed strategic partnerships in support of the Department's mission.
Bridging her private and public sector experience, Margarita founded Think Verde, a sustainability consultant agency focused on accelerating adoption of energy efficiency solutions and alternative transportation choices.