“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

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!

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 e1495733851869

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.

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.

“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

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.

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.

"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!!!!!!"



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.

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.

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

Jim E., Echo Bay, Lake Minnetonka

A young man standing in front of a lake.

Nick Lee

Nick is our Sales Manager as of 2023. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Marketing. Nick is responsible for providing accurate and fair estimates for existing and new clients. Nick’s focus is building strong relationships between clients and the company. Before coming to Waterfront Restoration, Nick was the Regional Manager for Wheel Fun Rentals in Milwaukee and Chicago, a popular bike and boat rental company.

Nick grew up in Burnsville, Minnesota, and for as long as he can remember, he has spent his free time at his cabin up in Barnes, Wisconsin, on Middle Eau Claire Lake. Nick’s cabin has been in his family for over 60 years and is a special place to him and his family. His passion for the outdoors stemmed from all his time at his cabin. While up north, Nick enjoys swimming, boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, and creating roaring bonfires. When not at the lake, Nick enjoys ice skating and snowboarding during the winter and golfing during the summer.

“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.

A woman in a blue shirt standing by a lake.
Marketing Coordinator

Taylor Buehler

Taylor Buehler is our Marketing Coordinator here at Waterfront Restoration. She recently graduated from the University of Minnesota- Duluth, where she majored in Marketing and minored in Entrepreneurship. She loves to be outside and thinks the outdoor life in Duluth is beautiful, except for the winters…The North Shore parks and trails are a must-see. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and family, trying new things, and traveling. She studied abroad in Italy for four months and is now a pasta addict 🙂 Taylor also has an outgoing personality and loves to meet new people!

Taylor is from Eden Prairie and has a passion for the summertime on lakes. What drew her to Waterfront Restoration is their love and care for Minnesota lakes. She has a family cabin on Thunder Lake in Remer, MN, that she looks forward to going to every summer. Boating and being with her friends and family is one of her favorite summer activities.

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

Jennifer D.

Sue Zobel headshot
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.


A young man in a blue shirt standing next to a river, possibly interested in lake weed removal services.
Administrative Manager

Hieu Pham

Hieu has been with us for over eight years and has made significant contributions in administration, IT, and finance. Hieu is all about precision and efficiency, and he’s helped us make our operations run better. He’s also great at handling data and reports that we need for smart business decisions.

In his free time, Hieu loves to travel and has been to lots of different places, learning about various cultures. This enriches his global perspective and makes him a more well-rounded problem solver. These qualities definitely help him succeed at Waterfront Restoration.

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

Mark R.

A man providing lake weed removal services near a lake.
routing & field operations coordinator

Aaron Stoltman

Aaron joined the team in May 2023 as the Routing & Field Operations Coordinator.  He is responsible for ensuring our diving crews are effectively and efficiently scheduled to meet our customers' needs.  With a background as an Operations Manager in the seasonal bike share industry, he is familiar with the increased demand that comes with our sometimes limited (and all-too-short) summer lake season.  He also has a degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of St. Thomas.

Aaron was born and raised in Winona, MN and spent much of his childhood boating on the Mississippi river backwaters, and appreciating the view from the family's boat house nearby.  He enjoys camping, hiking, gardening, cooking/grilling, bonfires, and generally being outdoors.

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

Carol L.

Let's Get Started


Schedule your FREE Weed Removal Analysis

An icon of a phone with an attached speaker.

Watch our divers make your weeds disappear

White scuba mask and goggles for root removal of aquatic weeds, on a green background.

Enjoy your worry-free summer by the lake!

A pair of white flip flops on a green background with aquatic weeds in the background that require root removal.

Ready to make this your best summer ever?