Tom Suerth

Tom started Waterfront Restoration, which  provides lake weed removal services, in 2003 when he was still in high school. Frustrated by the weeds and invasive species preventing his family from enjoying the lake, he tried pulling them by hand instead of depending on chemicals or mechanical harvesters. The results were longer-lasting and more complete, and as his family’s property became the envy of the bay, word spread!

“The crews were always friendly and responsive, cannot say enough about the people you have been able to hire in the summer to do this work. I would be remiss if I didn’t also note that Derek has been great to work with, could not be happier with working out the service needed, timing, responsiveness to call, etc.”

— Jerry V, Lake Owasso

Over the years, Waterfront Restoration has expanded its services and service area while keeping abreast of the latest invasive species concerns and best practices. Today, over 500 regular clients rely on Waterfront Restoration to clear and maintain their lakefront properties.

Waterfront Restoration is locally owned and staffed by courteous, borderline-obsessive lake lovers. Waterfront cares about our neighbors and the lakeshores they represent because, frankly, we can’t wait to dive in for ourselves at the end of the day. Our 17-year track record and hundreds of happy clients speak volumes about our commitment to excellence. We’re about improving our lakes through our lake weed removal services —as well as helping clients enjoy their summer—one visit, one weed, one shovel at a time…and we can’t wait for you to experience the Waterfront Restoration difference for yourself!



Derek Lee

Derek began his career with Waterfront Restoration as a diver in 2008 and now serves as the sales and marketing director for the company. Derek oversees everything from customer satisfaction to marketing initiatives. His passion for the water and helping others has made his work with Waterfront Restoration a natural fit.

Derek was born and raised in Minnesota and grew up with weekend ventures to his lakeside cabin on Mille Lacs. His time spent there was the foundation of his love for the outdoors and the lakes of Minnesota.

When he's not working, Derek is also a volunteer firefighter for the city of Long Lake. In his free time, Derek loves to spend time out on the lake or near the lake with his friends and fiancé, Taryn. He even proposed to Taryn along the shores of Lake Minnetonka near the excelsior commons boardwalk in the fall of 2016. He lives in Orono and has a “fur family” consisting of a Siberian husky named Eskimo and a cat named Finnley.

“I can’t tell you how nice it is to enjoy a weed-free Lake Minnetonka experience. Thanks again for providing us with such a great service!

— Michael J, Smithtown Bay, Lake Minnetonka

Due to Derek's never-ending passion for helping people and for serving the lakefront community, he is constantly listening and learning from thousands of lake homeowners. With almost a decade of work in this field, he has earned the trust and respect of clients and gained insights into the needs of lakefront homeowners. This expertise has allowed him to best teach Waterfront Restoration's staff of highly-trained divers how to provide the best solution and best customer experience to any lake homeowner. Derek stands behind Waterfront Restoration's promise of being the highest quality cleaning option for any lakeshore property.

Ripp at Waterfront Restoration
Operations Project Manager

Ripp Baker

Ripp is the Operations Supervisor having started as a Crew Leader back in 2017. He helps with recruiting, hiring, improving training, updating policies and procedures as well as ensuring the crews have their equipment needs met.

Ripp grew up in central Minnesota spending a lot of time fishing Lake Mille Lacs and the surrounding waters. He spent a good amount of his years playing sports and spending time outside.

"Since those first days the team has been back every year making sure we have a beautifully clean beach area. We wouldn't think of starting a summer of water activities without Waterfront Restoration's schedule on our calendar! We and our grandchildren, ages 2 to 12, love jumping off the dock into completely weed free water!!!!!!"


Ripp then graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with his degree in Exercise Science. He has a passion for health and fitness as well as the waters of Minnesota. Spending his free time staying fit as well as Scuba diving and traveling.


Ben Brandt

Ben Brandt joined the Waterfront Restoration Team during the fall of 2018. After 8 years of leading operations at a big box retailer, it was time to get back to the great outdoors! Ben was born and raised in Rochester, MN (one of the only counties in MN with no natural lakes), but enjoyed spending as much time as possible at the family cabin in Wisconsin on Bone Lake. It was on Bone Lake that he developed a love of boating, skiing, tubing, and enjoying everything about the water. Ben took his passion for the water further 13 years ago when he got SCUBA certified, and has been diving ever since. As a new resident of Mound, MN, Ben, his lovely wife Lauren, and their 2 year old son Henry are happily surrounded by the many beautiful bodies of water that MN has to offer and enjoy.

As the Operations Manager at Waterfront Restoration, Ben is responsible for managing all of our hard-working and passionate employees to deliver high quality results day in and day out. As someone who spent many weekends at the family cabin Ben knows how preciously short the summer lake season can be in MN, and is committed to leading our crews to do everything within our power to ensure our clients can fully enjoy every minute possible on the water.

“Overall the results were excellent. They did what they said they would do and a bit more.”

Jim E., Echo Bay, Lake Minnetonka

Ben is also an authorized Watercraft Inspector and oversees the company’s Watercraft Inspector services and staff. There is so much to do to protect and preserve the health of our water bodies that this is a vital component to Waterfront Restoration’s core values and commitment to the environment.


Ben Maki

Ben Maki is our full-time marketing and sales manager as of 2019. He graduated from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul with a degree in marketing. Since then, Ben has been responsible for planning and managing Waterfront's marketing and sales efforts such as our website and our social media platforms as well as maintaining and building relationships with our clients. He works closely with the other staff to provide the best possible service to our lakefront homeowners across the state.

Ben grew up in Elk River, Minnesota and spent most of his summers going to his aunt and uncle's cabin on Mille Lacs Lake. His passion for the lake stems from the countless memories he has with family and friends on the water. Some of his favorite lakefront activities are wakeboarding, skiing, boating, fishing, and being at the lake cabin around the 4th of July. When not at the lake, Ben spends a lot of time outdoors, mountain biking, and hunting with his dad.

“I was very happy with the job done by the team that came to my house. I would use them again. They were polite and efficient.”

Regina H.

Ben values the mission of Waterfront Restoration and wants to continue to help provide the best possible service to others who enjoy the lake as much as he does. His passion to serve others as well as his determination to continuously improve has made him a great fit at Waterfront Restoration.


Kelli Allison

My name is Kelli Allison and I was born and raised in Brainerd Minnesota. I love painting, listening to music, & being outside- especially on the lake in the summer (: I was in dance for 9 years and was a cheerleader for 2 years. I loved getting to perform for my community and representing my school at different sporting events.I also love getting to ski In the winter with my siblings at Ski Gull. I Love getting to meet new people and build connections, and especially love working with & meeting kids.

“I was very happy with the job done by the team that came to my house. I would use them again. They were polite and efficient.”

Regina H.

My dream job is to work in CPS (child protection services) and help kids get into better living situations where they feel safe, loved, and grow into amazing human beings. In her role she is looking forward to helping clients achieve a weed free lakefront.


Olivia Hogan

Olivia is the Sales and Marketing Intern for the 2022 summer season. Her job roles include communicating with clients to ensure that everyone is getting the best weed removal services and promoting the company’s principles and goals.Olivia is currently attending the University of Iowa where she is pursuing a degree in marketing and a minor in psychology. She is a part of the ski and snowboarding club on campus and enjoys spending her time outdoors as much as possible. She also enjoys spending time with her friends,family, and dog.
"They understood what I wanted and did it! They got all permitting required from the DNR and got the job done as agreed to."

Chris J.

Olivia grew up on the Mississippi river in the Dubuque, Iowa area where she goes boating with her family. She found her passion for water skiing, wake surf boarding, and enjoying the water here. Her love for the water and the opportunity to connect with new people is what brought her to this position. She is extremely excited to make sure the community can enjoy their Summer with the most high-quality lakes!

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Graham Brimmer

Graham is the Waterfront Restoration Operations Coordinator for the summer of 2021. Graham’s responsibilities include working on the day-to-day operations of our dive crews. Graham helps to ensure our teams have everything they need to run efficiently and to make our clients happy.

Graham is a lifelong resident of Minnetonka, Minnesota and a graduate of Hopkins High School. As a camper and counselor, Graham spent many summers at camp in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin where he spent his days sailing, fishing and canoeing. He developed his passion for the water at a young age and swam competitively for 13 years. Graham enjoys doing pretty much anything in, on, or near the water. In particular, Graham enjoys scuba diving and skiing, as well as golfing and traveling. In the fall, Graham will be a senior at Ole Miss, The University of Mississippi, where he is pursuing a degree in Accounting.

In 2020, Graham served as our Operations Intern and was a member of our dive crew in 2019, so he is accustomed to the Waterfront Restoration way!

"The crew did an outstanding job! Beach looks great and we appreciated Waterfront Restoration’s rapid response to our call for weed removal."

Jim R.


Jack Giddings

Jack is the Account Manager Intern for the Detroit Lakes area for this summer season. he was born and raised in Anoka Minnesota and found his passion for the water at his childhood cabin on Lake Pokegama in Grand Rapids. He decided to make the move to Pelican Rapids after falling in love with the Detroit Lakes area last summer.

"Responsive, professional, and high quality work time and time again!"

Jennifer D.

He enjoys spending his time playing men’s league hockey, fishing, hunting, surfing, and doing anything outdoors. During the off season you can find Jack hunting waterfowl and deer up until the lakes freeze over, then you will find him hitting the ice trying to find that next trophy catch. Jack attended college at Finlandia University in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan before transferring to the University of North Dakota in 2020. He is pursuing a Major in Business Management and a Minor in Leadership. Jack is currently in his Senior year and will graduate in August 2022. He plans to own his own business someday and is excited to learn what it takes to do so at Waterfront Restoration!

Marketing and Communications Intern

Ingrid Sund

Ingrid is the Marketing and Communications Intern for the 2022 summer season. At WFR,Ingrid works with the sales and marketing department to communicate with clients, maintain lasting relationships, and provide exceptional service.Ingrid is from Wayzata, Minnesota.

She will be a junior studying Environmental Science and Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota. On campus, Ingrid is involved with Environmental Student Association, Vocal-U A Capella, Ski and Snowboard Club, and Greek Life. In her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar, spending time outdoors, skiing, hiking, and,of course, being out on the water!

"The workers are great! They pay attention to detail and have always done a great job."

Carol L.

Ever since Ingrid was young she was drawn to the lake. Whether she is water skiing, swimming,kayaking, or going for a sunset boat ride, Ingrid understands the importance of an accessible lakefront. Because of her love for the lake and connecting with others, Ingrid is excited to be working with Waterfront Restoration!

customer service liaison

Sue Zobel

Sue joined Waterfront Restoration in 2022 and now serves as a customer service liaison building past and future relationships.She loves building relationships and believes in Waterfront Restoration’s purpose- making clients happy, bringing joy, and living a better life. With the understanding that time is precious- parents,grandparents and friends can enjoy and play in the lake, swim around, take their kids on the raft,and float on the water right in their own yard with and not have to be concerned about weeds.

Sue is passionate about boating, jet skiing, kayaking and being on the water. She has spent her whole life on the water- the day she came home from the hospital, her Dad took her for a boat ride. In addition, she grew up on a small lake infested with lake weeds, so she is familiar with our clients' challenges with weeds.

"Waterfront Restoration lives up to its name...my shoreline and beach are look fantastic! Thank you!"

Sandy R.


Marketing Intern

Anya Roberts

Anya is the summer Marketing Intern. She helps to create and implement marketing material via print, post, and online media. She works to build and maintain client relationships to help achieve their lakefront goals year after year. Anya is a Minnesota local and is originally from Minnetonka. She will be a junior at the University of Minnesota where she is majoring in marketing with a minor in retail merchandising. She is involved in several student organizations, with her favorite being Alpha Gamma Delta, where she is the current Vice President of Philanthropy.

When not busy with work or school, Anya enjoys hiking, traveling, dancing, and thrifting. Anya’s passion for the outdoors and love of lakes stems from spending summers up north on Wettles Lake in Frazee, MN where she would make lasting memories that surround swimming,fishing, and canoeing. Her passion for the outdoors and impacting her local community led her to this position as the Marketing Intern at Waterfront Restoration. She is excited to help the lake community enjoy weed-free shorelines through the environmentally friendly approach that Waterfront Restoration has to offer.

"Good work, friendly crew. Job was done as agreed to."

Mark R.


operations intern

Leah Sattler

Leah is the operations intern for the watercraft inspectors this season. She works with the inspectors to help ensure boat launches are prepared to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Keep our lakes clean!

Leah is currently a senior at Benedictine College in Kansas, studying biology with a concentration in aquatic restoration. Her research has centered on the effects of human pollution in the freshwater environment, so she is thrilled to be working with aquatic invasive species prevention this summer. On campus, Leah competes in the heptathlon for the track team, is involved with the marine biology and theology clubs, and is a part of the Honors and STEM Research programs.Growing up minutes from Lake Minnetonka, Leah's love for all things marine-biology started with beach trips and swims at Libb's Lake beach. She loves fishing, snorkeling, and enjoying the unbeatable Minnesota Summers.

"Great people.great service. great clean up!😊"

Carol L.


sales intern

Ally Mattson

Ally is the sales intern for the 2022 summer season. She values building lasting relationships and enjoys helping each client love their lakefront. Ally was born and raised in Minnetonka, Minnesota and is a rising Sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is studying business with minors in Data Science and PPE. On campus, Ally is involved in the Scale and Coin business society, Marketing club, and CWIB.

Growing up Ally has always loved being outside on the lake. Summer is her favorite season and she enjoys tubing, waterskiing, and swimming. She also likes downhill skiing, gymnastics, and spending time with friends, family and her dog. Ally loves meeting new people and hearing their stories, which has helped make Waterfront Restoration a great fit for her.

"Guys did a great job; got more than they planned on :). Cleanup was very good as well."

Michael P.



Erin O’Brien

Erin is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where she studied business, marketing, and leadership. She was the kid who never stopped asking questions and will use that characteristic combined with her problem-solving skills as the Operations Intern for Waterfront Restoration this summer.

Though she is new to Waterfront Restoration, it will be her fourth consecutive summer working near lakes. She has also worked as a watercraft inspector and rented out canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards.

On a day off you can find Erin baking, reading, training for her first marathon, playing with her German Shorthair Pointer, Ellie, spending time with family and friends or doing anything active and outdoors. She especially likes anything on the water; she is notoriously the first one swimming across the lake at her family’s lakeside cabin in Wisconsin every summer.

Her passion for the water stems from her weekends spent at the cabin and on the lake growing up. Her love of lakes has only grown, making her a great fit for Waterfront Restoration. She understands the importance of a weed-free lake and works behind-the-scenes to help provide that as quickly and efficiently as possible.


Jess Harrington

Jess joined the team in May 2017 as our Marketing Intern. Jess handles several different tasks at Waterfront. One of her main duties is answering calls from customers and talking with them about our services. She cares very deeply about customer satisfaction and will go above and beyond to make sure a customer is happy with their results.

Jess is going to be a senior at the University of St. Thomas in the fall and is majoring in Business Communications. She grew up in Minnetonka where she was very active in the sports community. She continues to be active in college playing intramural sports, participating in the Women in Business club, and doing fun things with her friends.

Jess currently lives in Minnetonka with her mom, dad, brother, cat, and two dogs. Her brother is a junior at Boulder, Colorado.

On the weekend, Jess tries to get up to her family cabin on Lake Vermilion. She has been going up to her cabin since she was a little girl. Jess loves water skiing, wake boarding, and being on the lake. Her cousins are from Duluth and they also go up to their cabin. Jess believes her cabin is why she is so close with her extended family.

“We’ve been a customer of Waterfront Restoration for 4 years now. These guys are great to work with. Their work is fantastic and thorough. Their employees are prompt and professional in all aspects. After every site visit they follow up to see if we have any questions or concerns. Having weed-free areas for our grandchildren to swim in has made our experience on the lake much more enjoyable. Thanks to Waterfront Restoration for making this possible!”

Bryan F, Prior Lake

Jess was drawn to Waterfront Restoration because of her own personal experience with the lake. She feels that one of the best parts about Minnesota is the lakes, and the summer should be spent on it. She is so thankful her family has a cabin-- it is where her favorite memories have been made. She believes the best days are when you wake up and put your suit on and don't take it off until sunset. She hopes that working with Waterfront she will be able to help others make memories like she has.

Jess is excited to put her St. Thomas education to use at Waterfront. She looks forward to learning more about marketing and sales. She is enthusiastic and has a strong work ethic. She is willing and ready to take on any project or challenge (with a smile) that comes her way!


Dylan Andrew

Dylan is beginning his time at Waterfront Restoration as a Sales and Business Development intern. As part of his tasks, he will communicate directly with customers and build a plan for them that will ensure a weed-free shore that is ready for the summer.

Dylan was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois and developed a love and appreciation for being out on the lake. Growing up, he and his family would frequently make trips to Michigan or Tennessee to visit the lake houses of family and friends. Since coming to Minnesota for school, Dylan has developed a love for fishing and loves spending his weekends on the water whenever he can.

"The crew did an outstanding job! Beach looks great and we appreciated Waterfront Restoration’s rapid response to our call for weed removal."

—Jim R, Lake Minnetonka, Gray’s Bay

Dylan currently studies Marketing at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Outside of work and school, Dylan is currently a member of the St. Thomas football team as an outside linebacker. Football, among many other sports, are a huge passion of Dylan’s.

Naturally, Dylan's love for meeting and interacting with new people, combined with his love for being on the water, made Waterfront Restoration the perfect summer internship.

Dylan is extremely excited to join the Waterfront Restoration team and he hopes to be an integral part of the continued growth and development of the company this summer.