Bill Paulus is Chief Executive Officer of Cerahelix, where he oversees plans to accelerate the company’s growth and firmly establish its leadership in the expanding market for ceramic nanofiltration. He joined the company in early 2020 as Chief Operating Officer, with more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing and global operations. Prior to becoming part of the Cerahelix team, he was Vice President of Global Operations at Celgard, a global leader in the development and manufacturing of high-performance membrane separators, where he also served as Vice President of Product Development and Director-Intellectual Property and Corporate Strategy. He also served as Vice President of Manufacturing & Supply Chain at Blackmore Sensors & Analytics, and Vice President of Manufacturing at Pittsburgh Glass Works. He also held senior management positions at Delphi (now global technology company Aptiv) including Director of Business Planning and Business Development & Ventures Director for various operating units. Mr. Paulus began his career as Senior Manufacturing Engineer at General Motors.
Mr. Paulus has earned three Masters Degrees – two from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Finance and Strategic Management, and another, in Solid State Science, from Pennsylvania State University. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University.
Chief Strategy Officer John Chahbandour has 25 years of operational and technical expertise in the water sector. In addition to serving on Cerahelix’s leadership team, he is a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Earlier in his career, Mr. Chahbandour was Director of the Strategic Water Management practice for MWH Global (now Stantec). Before joining MWH, he was a Managing Director of Water Management Consultants, an international hydrological consulting firm specializing in water resource engineering, where he served in various capacities including Operations Manager in Santiago, Chile, and Vice President of North America. He was part of the Executive Team that led the sales of Water Management Consultants to Schlumberger, and following the sale, he served as President of North America for Schlumberger Water Services until joining MWH.
Mr. Chahbandour received a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Alabama and a Master of Science in Hydrology from the University of Arizona.
Tyler Kirkmann has been part of the Cerahelix team since 2010 and is a key player in development of the company’s breakthrough ceramic nanofiltration membranes that are now being used for a wide range of filtration and separation applications across numerous industries. Prior to joining Cerahelix, he was an Engineer with Zeomatrix, which designs and manufactures materials for a cleaner environment.
Mr. Kirkmann received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics, with a Mechanical Engineering focus, from the University of Maine.
Jutta Von Dirke, CFA, is Chief Financial Officer of Cerahelix. A bilingual Chartered Financial Analyst®, she possesses an extensive background in business development, financial modeling, market research and commercialization strategy. She has been part of the Cerahelix team since 2011, when she joined the company as its CFO. In addition to this responsibility, she also served as Vice President of Business Development – Europe. Earlier in her career, she was a Financial Analyst for Deutsche Bank, where she focused on identifying high value biotech and IT start-up companies, structured capital market transactions, and developed products to meet early stage financial needs.
Ms. Von Dirke holds a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Frankfurt and a Bachelors Degree in Economics from the University of Heidelberg.
Highly respected in the water and wastewater industry, Fred Wiesler brings more than 30 years of experience to his role as Vice President of Sales at Cerahelix. Prior to joining the company, he was Global Commercial Manager at DuPont Water Solutions, where he directed the global sales team for water treatment equipment. Earlier, he served as Global Director of Sales for Membrana, part of 3M and a manufacturer of microporous membranes, and Director of Sales for QUA, a developer and manufacturer of advanced membrane products. Wiesler’s deep experience also includes consulting for membrane companies to help expand market opportunities for their products.
Mr. Wiesler, who holds a patent related to membrane design, served on the Board of the American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA), and his papers have been published in numerous water industry trade and technical journals. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Board of Directors and Strategic Advisors
A member of the Cerahelix Board of Directors, Alexander Crowell has more than 25 years of experience in delivering water and waste water treatment technologies. Managing Director of PureTerra Ventures, he specializes in commercialization initiatives of highly disruptive technologies by developing sales channels and establishing strategic relationships with end users and business partners across the globe. His experience includes serving as Vice President and Managing Director of Launch Factory 88, Vice President, Global Commercial Development for Voltea, and Regional Manager – North American and Caribbean of newterra ltd.
Martin Groman is a member of the Cerahelix Board of Directors. Highly respected for his business acumen and longtime focus on sustainability, he is Executive Director of the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech), Maine’s foremost energy, environmental and clean technology business and economic development organization. He is a former member of the Maine State House of Representatives, where he served on the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. Earlier, Mr. Grohman co-founded DuraLife Decking, a composite decking manufacturing company that was acquired by GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, and served as GAF’s Director of Sustainability following the acquisition. Mr. Grohman holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Water Foundry, Will Sarni is a member of the Cerahelix Board of Directors. He is a trusted advisor to global public and private sector enterprises, non-governmental organizations and technology providers in solving water related challenges. He has been a sustainability and water strategy advisor to multinationals, water technology companies, investors and non-governmental organizations for his entire career. Prior to establishing Water Foundry, Mr. Sarni was a Managing Director at Deloitte Consulting and founded and led the water strategy practice. Earlier, he was the Founder and CEO of DOMANI, a sustainability strategy firm. He holds both Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Queens College, CUNY, New York.
Co-founder and Science Advisor of Cerahelix, Karl Bishop is Associate Professor of Chemistry at Husson University and a member of Graduate Faculty in the Chemistry Department at the University of Maine. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biophysics from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry and Physics from Western State Colorado University.
A shareholder at Eaton Peabody, Jeff Spaulding advises companies in all stages of development, through angel/venture capital financings, securities offerings, strategic partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions. He also works with investors and investment funds on fund formation/operation, regulatory compliance, and investments. He received his J.D. from New England Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Finance at Gordon College.