“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.

Natalie Collinge
communications intern

Natalie Collinge

Natalie Collinge is the summer 2024 communications intern for Waterfront restoration. She is a rising senior at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she is majoring in Consumer Behavior and Marketplace Studies. She is also earning a minor in Business and in Entrepreneurship. Natalie spent her spring semester in Florence, Italy, and enjoyed traveling Europe. She is looking forward to being home this Summer and spending the summer working with Waterfront Restoration.

Natalie is from Wayzata, Minnesota, and loves to spend her summers outdoors with her friends and family. Her favorite time of the year is the summer because she grew up spending time up north on the lakes in the beautiful summer months. Her family cabin is a place she has always loved to go for a calm weekend away. When she has free time, she likes to go for walks, spend time with her dog, and surround herself with family and friends. She is excited to build relationships while providing excellent service to help others enjoy their lakeshores this summer.

Tommy Shaw
twin cities sales intern

Tommy Shaw

Tommy is a sales intern for the 2024 summer. He is a rising senior at the University of Minnesota Duluth and is pursuing a major in marketing and a minor in entrepreneurship. He is passionate about forming connections with others and attempting to understand what makes a business successful.

Tommy is from Minnetrista and loves to spend his free time outdoors. He makes the most of the winters by snowboarding whenever he can, but is always excited for summer and to spend time near the lake. He enjoys spending time at his family cabin on Lake Superior, where he and his family fish, kayak, and swim whenever given the chance. He was drawn to intern at Waterfront Restoration due to his belief in their services and what they represent.

Lily Donelan
marketing intern

Lily Donelan

Lily Donelan is our marketing intern for Summer 2024 here at Waterfront Restoration. She is a rising senior at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, where she is majoring in Global Business Leadership and minoring in communication. Lily just returned from her four month study abroad program in London where she had the opportunity to learn about new cultures and travel around Europe.

Lily is from Mound, Minnesota and grew up fishing on many of the lakes in the area. Some of her favorite memories are the trips she takes to her family cabin every summer in Battle Lake, Minnesota. She enjoys boating with her family, wakeboarding, and swimming with her friends in her free time.

Brendan Carlson
brainerd sales intern

Brendan Carlson

Brendan grew up in the Brainerd lakes area and is now a rising senior at Gustavus Adolphus College with a major in Business Management. He is on the Track and Field team, in the Wind Symphony Band, and participates in multiple clubs on campus. In his spare time at Gustavus, he likes to workout, go to the park to play basketball with his friends when it’s nice out, and in the wintertime, he loves to go downhill skiing and snowboarding.

When school is out Brendan loves spending time with his family (and seeing his dogs), and being at his family’s cabin on Lake Roosevelt, where he gets to water ski, wake board, go tubing with his little cousins, and take relaxing pontoon rides around the lake. During the summer Brendan also enjoys playing sand volleyball and going mountain biking in Crosby.

Nate Archambault
operations intern

Nate Archambault

Nate is our Dive Crew Operations Intern. He is a Sophomore at the University of St. Thomas. Nate handles day to day operations, scheduling, assists with training and conducts reviews for efficiency improvements.

Nate grew up in St. Louis Park, Minnesota and joined the Army in 2016. While serving, Nate deployed to Afghanistan in 2020 with the 10th Mountain Division. Outside of work, Nate enjoys spending time with family, traveling, playing rugby and watching Minnesota sports.

Jasper Hanke
watercraft inspections intern

Jasper Hanke

Jasper is our Watercraft Inspections Operations Intern. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the inspectors to ensure all boats are thoroughly checked for aquatic invasive species. He has a passion for the conservation and protection of Minnesota's lakes.

Jasper is from Eden Prairie and is a student at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, majoring in Environmental Science Policy and Management. He enjoys paddleboarding, going on camping trips with his dog Rosie, and exploring new places around Minnesota.

detroit lakes sales intern

Jack Courneya

Jack is our Sales Intern for the Detroit Lakes Area. He is a Senior at Minnesota State University-Moorhead majoring in Business Marketing. Jack is responsible for connecting and building relationships with lake homeowners as a part of the sales team. His goal is to understand the homeowner's needs and present them with our services and solutions.

Jack grew up in the lakes area of Frazee, Minnesota, and loves to spend time with his family on the lake, enjoying the outdoors. He played basketball in College and is an avid outdoorsman, including golf, fishing, and water sports.

Let's Get Started


Schedule your FREE Weed Removal Analysis

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Watch our divers make your weeds disappear

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Enjoy your worry-free summer by the lake!

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Ready to make this your best summer ever?