Meet The Team

John P. Kelly

President/General Manager

John (aka “JP”) has been in the wastewater pumping industry for nearly 30 years.  He is a graduate of the University of Iowa with his degree in Economics, Minor in Business Administration & Inaugural Graduate in International Business Certificate program.  As a partner in a family business, he, alongside his father, acquired and grew their pump business, expanded their product offerings and became one of the leading pump companies in the wastewater marketplace.  In 2008, they sold their company to Grundfos.   John remained with the new business to assist with the transition and ended up staying on for several years, overseeing the operational side of the business unit.  After leaving Grundfos, he had to get out of the pump business, but found it to be like a black hole that you can never escape from and returned to the wastewater pumping world to assist Hidrostal with the task of starting up and managing a Hidrostal entity to serve the USA & Canada market.  After much planning, preparation and challenges, the new business went ‘live’ in January 2016 and has made great strides in growth, support and responsiveness over this time. John is tasked with the leadership, management and direction of the business and oversees Sales and Operations for the North American entity.  John is quick to point out that none of this could have happened without the capable, knowledgeable and cohesive team that makes it all possible!  After years and years of reading all the business books about high performing teams, he is excited to finally be a part of one.

In the rare times when he is not thinking about screw centrifugal impellers, John and his Wife, Judy, are either watching their daughter at a Feis (she is a championship quality Irish Step Dancer) or watching their son at a hockey game (he is a talented high school varsity defenseman).

Until he can find a way to monetize his deep knowledge of 80’s music or his hand modeling career finally takes off, it appears that John will remain in the pump industry for the long haul!

Favorite motto: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”  – Wayne Gretzky

Richard Fowler

Vice President-Operations

Richard has over 25 years of Service & Operations experience in the pump industry having started his career at SPP Pumps Ltd in the UK in 1992. He has around 20 years of experience with the Hidrostal product range and joined Hidrostal in the United Kingdom in 2008. Over the years he has gained a wealth of knowledge relating to pump installations, pump failure analysis, the competition, commercial activities, pump applications, repair and servicing and operations management.  He then transferred to the newly formed Hidrostal business in the US in January of 2016, in the executive role of Vice President-Operations.

Tomas Dobrovolskis

Director-Engineering Services

After completing his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at University of Illinois at Chicago, Tomas began his career at Yeomans Chicago Corporation/Grundfos as a Project Engineer.  After 6 years in the pump industry Tomas went on to work in the industrial fan industry as a New Product Development Manager.  In 2015, the opportunity came up to be part of the foundation to build Hidrostal here in the states and he seized the opportunity.  His main focus is on overseeing the engineering and application departments.  In this role his focus is on providing support to customers, designing new products, leading projects and developing internal tools to increase efficiency and productivity.  Tomas enjoys spending time with his large family and being outdoors as much as possible.

Brent Bailey

Regional Sales Manager-West

Brent Bailey has been a Regional Sales Manager (West Region) for Hidrostal Pumps, based in Aurora, IL since 2015.  Brent spent 13 years in manufacturing prior to contractor sales of heavy equipment, pumps, and supplies.  Brent then spent 3 years as a manufacturer’s representative selling water and wastewater equipment that included pumps and process equipment.  He then became a Regional Sales Manager selling positive displacement pumps for 10 years.  Brent’s hobbies include wood and metal working and the outdoors. 

Tim Laskowski

Regional Sales Manager-Central

Tim studied at Eastern Illinois University before joining Metropolitan Industries Inc. in Romeoville, IL. In his 21+ years at Metropolitan, Tim touched many aspects of the business but was primarily involved in their distributor business where they worked with Regional Reps throughout North America to sell and support the sale of Metropolitan’s pumps, custom controls, pump packages, and custom prefabricated skid systems. Tim has spent time on both municipal and industrial markets and has worked on both water and wastewater applications during his career. Tim worked in both inside and outside sales capacities and has an established experience with pumps and controls. Most recently Tim comes to us from a fire alarm business that was supporting commercial fire alarm systems in the Chicagoland area.  Tim is an avid collegiate and professional sports fan and also enjoys golfing.

Al Dant

Regional Sales Manager-East

Al Dant has been a Regional Sales Manager (East Region) for Hidrostal Pumps LLC, based in Aurora, IL since 2015.  He works with Manufacturer’s Reps & Distributors in the Commercial, Fish, Industrial and Municipal markets to sell Hidrostal “THE ORIGINAL SCREW IMPELLER PUMP” to end users. Prior to Hidrostal Pumps he worked as a Regional Sales Manager for A.W. Chesterton introducing products to original equipment manufacturers and getting them specified into municipal and industrial capital projects.  In order to do that he called on consulting engineers, wrote master specifications for engineering firms, conducted Lunch and Learn seminars for the muni-markets, prepared pricing and offered them bids for capital projects.  From 1987 to 1999 Al worked with distributors selling pumps, pump parts and seals working with end users to improve equipment reliability and meat environmental compliancy.  Education: B.A. Spring Hill College 1986, Mobile, AL

Scott Pickert

Plant Manager

Scott’s background has been in large manufacturing for most of his life, he came from Caterpillar where he has held many positions. His last 20 years were in Planning, Manufacturing, Processing, Tool Room, Procurement, Logistics, 6-Sigma Black Belt, and Upper Management. Along with managing the shop, he also maintains the building and all the assets. Scott has been with Hidrostal since the startup in North America.  He is married with 3 sons and likes boating in his spare time.

Jackie Beane

Operations Coordinator

Jackie has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and is an APIC’s Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).  She worked for Caterpillar for 10+ years and has a very strong background in material requirements and inventory optimization.  During her time at CAT, Jackie spent 4 ½ years as a Project Lead for Caterpillar’s Supplier Collaboration Team, leading system integration projects and training Suppliers and Cat employees in Europe, Asia and North America.  She has two children and enjoys spending time outdoors.

Dee Gurnig

Financial Controller

Dee has a degree in Accounting from Illinois State University. She is new to Hidrostal and the pump industry, having just joined the company recently.  Prior to that she has spent the last 20 years as a Controller in the Wind Energy industry.  In her spare time she enjoys equestrian sports, especially dressage training on her horse Boudewijn (“Bo”).

Erik DeWaard

Manager Aftermarket and Services

Erik graduated as a Maritime Officer and started his career on a dredger with Boskalis Westminister.  For the next 18 years, he worked with a Hidrostal distributor, Eekels Pumps, and worked his way up to the position of Service Manager.  As Manager, he focused on the commercial and technical part for applications for Hidrostal Pumps.  When Hidrostal acquired the Eekels Company, they opened their Netherlands’s direct office in 2014, Erik joined the team and was given an opportunity to help start-up Hidrostal in the United States. In April 2016, Erik received his work visa, packed his suitcase and left the Netherlands for America.  Erik is currently the Manager of Aftermarket and Services and is focused on field support, service, start-ups, and technical support.  Erik’s motto is:  It ain’t much if it ain’t Dutch!

Mickey Hyland

Mechanical Engineer

Mickey has been a Mechanical Engineer with Hidrostal North America since six months after opening. He focuses on designing installations, testing of pumps, maintaining our product database, and providing engineering support to our applications and sales teams. Mickey has dual degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). 

Outside of work, he enjoys playing and watching sports and attending concerts.

Bryan Johnson

Project Manager

Bryan has 15+ years of Project Management experience within the manufacturing, industrial controls, and quality assurance industries.  Responsibilities include working with all departments to manage projects from Quotation through installation.  Bryan has been a Project Manager with Hidrostal USA since April 2018.  In his free time, Bryan enjoys many different outdoor activities like biking and hiking.   He also likes traveling and spending time with his children.

Paul Hanelt

Application Engineer

After completion of his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Southern Illinois University, Paul has over 30 years of experience in various roles within the Engineering field, starting out as a Mechanical Draftsman, then Mechanical Design Engineer, Engineering Manager.  Now he is an Application Engineering at Hidrostal Pumps where he quotes the various pumping applications for industries which include Waste Water for Municipalities, Fish Friendly, Industrial, and Food Transfer pumps.  Paul and his wife enjoy spending time with their two adult girls and he enjoys fishing on weekends with his stepfather and brother.

Patti Hoffmann

Application Engineer

Patti’s has an academic background in Mechanical engineering from Northern Illinois University. She has worked in the Utility Industry for the last six years with a concentration in internal corrosion monitoring, coating inspecting and piping design. In the latter half of 2018, she joined Hidrostal as an Application Engineer.  Patti has two young children and two dogs, which keeps her extremely busy! She also enjoys spending time with her family and jogging.

Kevin Cemeno

Mechanical Engineer

Kevin recently graduated from Purdue University Northwest with a bachelors of science in Mechanical Engineering.  For his senior design project Kevin designed, tested and built a Formula SAE chassis.  At Hidrostal his focus will be on design and bills of materials.  

Kevin loves watching football and is a big Bears fan.  In his free time he enjoys playing basketball, baseball and football.

Mario Sanchez

Lead Assembler

Mario has a wealth of experience in pumps and motors.  He began his career at Yeoman’s Chicago Corporation where he was the master assembler.  Mario’s attention to detail and quality are the attributes that made him an ideal fit for the highly complex jobs and large-scale project jobs.  Mario brought over 31 years of experience when he came to Hidrostal in 2016.  Mario enjoys running having logged 30 miles a week for the last 40 years and 9 marathons.  He also enjoys playing guitar, getting involved in his church and spending time with his family.  Mario enjoys celebrating his birthday.

Chris DeFreece


Chris has been in the pump industry for five years. He was at Grundfos for four years and has been at Hidrostal Pumps for over a year.  Chris has experience in balancing impellers and he currently assembles, tests pumps and helps out in shipping.  Chris’s hobbies are camping, hiking and motorcycles.