Ronald S. Lauder, Chairman and Founder
Ronald S. Lauder founded RWL Water, LLC to help meet the increasing demand for clean water throughout the world. As Chairman, Mr. Lauder leads RWL Water in recruiting talented managers, negotiating large international sales and establishing joint ventures in support of the company’s mission to be the leading water, wastewater treatment and waste-to-energy solutions provider serving the middle market segment.
Mr. Lauder currently serves as Chairman of Clinique Laboratories, a division of The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies, and a member of the Visiting Committee of the Wharton School, both at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Lauder also created the Central European Media Enterprises, Ltd. (NASDAQ: CETV), a leading commercial television company that reaches 95 million people in seven countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe. In June 2007, Mr. Lauder was elected to lead the World Jewish Congress.
Mr. Lauder was appointed Ambassador to Austria by President Ronald Reagan after serving several years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO policy. Upon his return from Vienna in 1987, he established the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. He also created an International Student Exchange Program between Jewish high school students in New York City and Vienna.
A patron of the arts and a noted collector, Mr. Lauder was Chairman of the Museum of Modern Art from 1995 to 2005 and now serves as the museum’s Honorary Chairman. In 2001 he established the Neue Galerie New York, of which he is President. The museum is dedicated to German and Austrian art.
Mr. Lauder holds a Bachelors degree in International Business from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He studied at the University of Paris and received a Certificate in International Business from the University of Brussels.
Fred Langhammer, Vice Chairman & Director
Fred H. Langhammer, is Chairman, Global Affairs, of The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of cosmetics products. Prior to being named Chairman, Global Affairs, Mr. Langhammer was Chief Executive Officer of The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. from 2000 to 2004, President from 1995 to 2004 and Chief Operating Officer from 1985 through 1999. Mr. Langhammer joined The Estee Lauder Companies in 1975 as President of its operations in Japan. In 1982, he was appointed managing director of its operations in Germany. He has been a director of The Walt Disney Company since 2005 and a director of Central European Media Enterprises, Ltd. since December 2009. Mr. Langhammer was also a director of the Shinsei Bank Limited from 2005 to 2009, a director of AIG from 2006 to 2008 and is Chairman Emeritus of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Richard Parsons, Vice Chairman & Director
Richard Parsons is a Senior Advisor at Providence Equity Partners, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm specializing in media, communications and information companies. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc., and the former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Time Warner, Inc. Institutional Investor magazine named Mr. Parsons the top CEO in the entertainment industry in 2005.
Before joining Time Warner, in 1995, Mr. Parsons was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dime Bancorp, Inc., one of the largest thrift institutions in the United States. Previously, he was the managing partner of the New York law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler. Prior to that, he held various positions in state and federal government, as counsel for Nelson Rockefeller and as a senior White House aide under President Gerald Ford.
In 2008, Mr. Parsons served as a member of then President-Elect Barack Obama’s Economic Transition Team. More recently, he serves as a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. At present he is the Chairman of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New NY Education Reform Commission. His other civic and non-profit commitments include Chairman Emeritus of the Partnership for New York City; Chairman of the Apollo Theater Foundation and of the Jazz Foundation of America. He also serves on the boards of the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History and the Rockefeller Foundation. Mr. Parsons is also a member of the boards of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Lazard Frères, and Madison Square Garden, Inc.
Mr. Parsons received his undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii and his legal training at Union University’s Albany Law School.
Dr. Rengarajan Ramesh, Director & Technical Advisor
Dr. Rengarajan Ramesh brings over 30 years of global operating, acquisition and technology experience to RWL Water, LLC. In his advisory role, Dr. Ramesh supports RWL Water’s efforts to evaluate the best water treatment technologies and companies around the world.
Previously, Dr. Ramesh held senior management positions at GE Water & Process Technologies, including Chief Technology Officer, a role which he held for more than four years. As CTO, Dr. Ramesh played a key role in the development and implementation of the strategy that led to the creation of GE’s $2.5 billion global water platform. Prior to joining GE, Dr. Ramesh served in numerous senior management roles over a two-decade career with A. Schulman, Inc., a global multi-billion dollar specialty chemicals manufacturer. Dr. Ramesh was a member of the International Advisory Board to the Ministry of Environment and Water for the Government of Singapore from 2006 to 2009. He also served on the Executive Board of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, the Department of Homeland Security-supported university-based research center. He currently serves on the Board of Imagine H2O, a non-profit organization based in Silicon Valley that supports entrepreneurs. Dr. Ramesh earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Akron.
Gideon Argov, Director
Gideon Argov serves as a director of RWL Water, LLC. Mr. Argov is an advisory Director of Berkshire Partners, a private equity firm based in Boston. Prior to that, Mr. Argov served as President and CEO of Entegris (NASDAQ: ENTG), a provider of critical products and materials used in semiconductor and advanced high-technology manufacturing from 2004 through 2012. From 2001 to 2004 he was a Managing Director of Parthenon Capital, a private equity partnership based in Boston. From 1991 to 2000 he was Chairman, President and CEO of Kollmorgen Corporation, a supplier of high performance electronic motion control products. From 1988 to 1991 he was CEO of High Voltage Engineering Corporation.
Mr. Argov is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He serves on the international council of the Belfer Center at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University. He graduated from Harvard University (Economics, Magna Cum Laude) and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Andrew Gaspar, Director
Andrew Gaspar serves as a director of RWL Water. He is responsible for helping to establish the Company’s strategy as well as overseeing the preparation and establishment of the company’s project finance affiliate. Mr. Gaspar is the principal of Gaspar Global Ventures, an angel investment fund. In 1998 he founded the Schroder Ventures U.S. Fund, a private equity fund that focused on investments in technology, media and business services. Mr. Gaspar has spent more than 30 years in private equity investing and has conducted business in 31 countries. From 1991 through 1998, he was the co-founder of the Lauder Gaspar Funds, where he and Ronald S. Lauder invested in global telecom companies and media in Eastern Europe. Earlier, he was a partner of Warburg Pincus & Co., specializing in technology and media investing. Mr. Gaspar has served on the Boards of Directors of 26 public and private companies.
Mr. Gaspar started his career as a digital design engineer at Raytheon and spent 10 years with RCA Corporation and its operating divisions in various finance, planning, new business development and operating positions. Mr. Gaspar graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, received an M.S. in Computer Science from Northeastern University and holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
David Gerson, Director
David Gerson serves as a director of RWL Water LLC. He is an attorney and a certified public accountant. Mr. Gerson is the Chief Financial Officer of RSL Management Corporation and the President of RSL Capital LLC and RSL Investments Corporation. Mr. Gerson began his career at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, a major New York Law firm. He was with the national accounting firm of Ernst & Young for over 20 years where he served as a tax partner.
Mr. Gerson was the Northeast Regional Director of Estate Planning for Ernst & Young and was a member of the firm’s National Estate Tax Planning Committee. David Gerson has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Gerson is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School where he received a J.D. degree, cum laude, and was a member of the Law Review. He is also a graduate of Queens College where he received a B.S. degree in accounting and a graduate of Long Island University where he received an MBA.
Henry J. Charrabé, President & CEO, Global Operations
Henry J. Charrabé serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of RWL Water, LLC. He brings more than a decade of experience in developing water management and investment solutions to his role at the company. Mr. Charrabé has been instrumental to the growth of RWL Water, more than doubling its revenue in less than a year through strategic acquisitions and organic growth. He is also responsible for creating the integrated sales structure in North and South America, Australia and Europe, as well as the establishment of partnership agreements in other strategic territories and industries.
Prior to his leadership role at RWL Water, Mr. Charrabé was a senior executive at RSL Investments Corp. in the United States and Europe. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Charrabé served as Chief Operating Officer of W2W, an electrocoagulation wastewater technology company. Mr. Charrabé received a B.A. from the Freie Universität in Berlin and Tel Aviv University. He earned an M.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Economics and Finance, both from Brandeis University, as well as an M.A. in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Karl-Heinz Zorn, CFO, Global Operations
Karl-Heinz Zorn is the Chief Financial Officer of RWL Water, LLC. He is responsible for all aspects of the company’s financial operations, in addition to the development of the Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) competence within the company. He brings more than 30 years of technical, financial and commercial leadership experience to his role.
Prior to joining RWL Water, Mr. Zorn worked for more than 10 years at the Berlinwasser-Group in Germany in a number of key leadership positions, including Director of Operations and Director of Corporate Finance for Berlinwasser International AG, Berlin. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Zorn served as the managing director of Asia Operations for the Asia Pacific Power Corp., the investment arm of a public company based in Calgary, Canada. Prior to that, Mr. Zorn held leadership positions in engineering, project management and sales at the Lurgi Group in Frankfurt. His key area of responsibility included leading the Group’s overseas activities, among them serving as president of Far East Lurgi (Taipei) Environmental Engineering Ltd., an EPC company in the field of wastewater treatment; and CEO of Lentjes Asia Pte. Ltd. in Singapore, an active player in the power plant sector. Mr. Zorn has also served as a member of the Board and Chairman in Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. Mr. Zorn received a Diplom-Ingenieur Degree in Process Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.
Philippe Laval, COO, Global Operations
Philippe Laval has been appointed Chief Operating Officer, Global Operations for RWL Water and is primarily responsible for the Company’s global business and operational development. He has over 24 years of leadership experience in operations and technology companies in the environmental industry in Europe, the UK, Australia, North- and Latin America. Mr. Laval has worked more than 20 years for Veolia Water and has extensive experience in the global water and wastewater industry.
In 2002, Mr. Laval served as Managing Director of United Water International, a joint venture between Veolia, Thames Water and KBR, based in Adelaide, Australia. In 2005, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Veolia Water North America, based in Houston, TX where he was responsible for 3,000 employees and a $600 million municipal and industrial business in the USA and Canada. In 2007, Mr. Laval served as Veolia’s Chief Executive Officer of Industrial Solutions in North and Latin America. In particular, he led the implementation and development of the industrial solutions activities in North America with the acquisition, integration and development of Crown Solutions in Dayton, OH. In his most recent position, Mr. Laval was appointed Managing Director of Industrial Outsourcing in Europe and Turkey to lead the growth and transformation of the industrial outsourcing activities.
Philippe Laval earned his Master of Science in Fluid Mechanics at the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse and his Master in Business Administration at the University of Economics, also in Toulouse.