Andrew Kaner, MLA, SWD Master
Andrew Jay Kaner, President at Aquatic Consultants Inc. has a diverse background of education and life experience. At Florida International University in which Andrew has earned a Master of Landscape Architecture Degree, Andrew worked through a well rounded program of study in site design, regional design, urban design and created several projects focusing on ecology, landscape theory, history, and technique. Andrew completed his course work with a thesis and design proposal for the re-development of the Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, Florida. The site plan included a wetland restoration area, a museum and environmental research laboratories. The design also incorporated a hotel to target eco tourism. With the site being centrally located between both the Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, the program called for sustainable design practices to restore native conditions and generate funding through tourism to help support research.
While studying, Andrew gained hands on experience as a landscape designer and gardener working for Palm Springs General Hospital in Hialeah, Florida.
His knowledge of landscape and gardening led him to a supervisory position of the "Roots in The City" project, a publicly funded community garden project in Miami's urban core. Upon graduation, Andrew engaged in work as a landscape architect intern at Geomantic Designs Inc. in Miami, Florida where he worked on college campus landscape and hardscape designs for the University of Miami as well as various upscale residential and commercial projects throughout the Miami area.
Understanding how people like to spend their free time is important to the types of projects and clients Aquatic Consultants deal with on a daily basis. With an Associate's Degree in Food and Beverage Management and a Bachelors degree in Hotel/Restaurant Institutional Management from Johnson and Wales University, Andrew has gained real world experience and exposure to high quality leisure environments while working in Hotels and Country Clubs throughout South Florida. This work experience and education is advantageous in communicating with clients and designing environments that are unique, beautiful, functional, and that set the stage for people to enjoy life and their free time.
While studying how people spend their vacations, free time and leisure activities, Andrew developed an interest in working with water as a medium and decided to expand on the idea of using water in a creative fashion to enhance natural and built environments. This idea has led to his current work and dedication in creating unique water environments for the clientele of Aquatic Consultants Inc. With Andrew's background in landscape architecture he has integrated landscape designs on many water related projects with Aquatic Consultants, including several residential and commercial sites at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida and on various residential projects throughout south Florida and internationally.
At Aquatic Consultants Inc., Andrew works with assisting homeowners, landscape architects, architects, developers, builders, property owners, managers and contractors worldwide, in realizing their visions of creating unique environments centered on water. Projects include water walls, swimming pools, fountains, spas, cascades, therapy pools, ponds and waterfalls.
Andrew engages in continuing education through the Genesis 3 Design Group and attends various industry educational conferences in which he participates in a multitude of design-build seminars focused on progressive ideas, technologies, methods, and techniques. He is one of only 35 people worldwide that have achieved the Society of Watershape Designer (SWD) certification through Genesis 3.
Andrew has worked on several award winning design projects at Aquatic Consultants Inc., including the most recent 2008 FSPA gold award for a vanishing edge pool.
Andrew gains inspiration by spending time with his wife, son, and daughter. Whether playing drums in his band The Fit, creating culinary inspirations, or designing outdoor environments, Andrew has a passion for both life and work.
Brian Van Bower, SWD Master
Brian Van Bower has nearly 5 decades of professional experience in the swimming pool and spa industry. He is currently active with two companies: He is CEO of "Aquatic Consultants Inc." a Miami, Florida based international consulting / design firm specializing in upscale and unusual pool and waterscape designs; Brian Van Bower is also President and co-founder, with partner Skip Phillips, of "Genesis 3 Design Group", an international company specializing in instructional and educational progressive schooling for those involved in the design, engineering and construction of swimming pools, spas, water features and outdoor living areas. He has been a contributing editor for Watershapes Magazine since 1999 in the US and is Senior Contributing Editor for WAVES Magazine in India. He is one of only 16 pool designers worldwide that have achieved the SWD Master certification through Genesis.
Brian holds a Florida State Commercial Pool Contractors license. He has served the National Spa and Pool Institute (NSPI) in various capacities since 1979 including President of Region VII (Florida), NSPI National Vice President, Region VII and he was inducted into the NSPI, Region VII "Hall of Fame" in 1994. He chaired the NSPI International Design Award Committee from 1997-1999.
Brian Van Bower has won over 100 industry design awards. He and his company's work have been featured in many national periodicals, magazines and television shows including Bob Vila's Home Again television show, Florida Home and Garden magazine, CNN News, Florida Lifestyles TV show, NBC News, CBS News Sunday Morning Show 8/2007, CNBC On The Money 2006, PBS National Television "Spotlight on Safety" segment, Homebuilding Digest show on Home & Garden Television, Architectural Digest, Florida Architecture (front cover), Tycoon Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Miami Herald, The Orlando Sentinel, Millionaire Magazine, Pool and Spa Living and Florida Trend Magazine. His expertise and projects are regularly featured in the industry trade publications, Home Magazine's TV show, Ambiance Piscines Magazine (France) and Aqua Magazine. He has contributed to SPLASH magazine in Australia. His work was prominently featured in the tabletop book, "Dream Pools" by Deborah Dietsch in 2002. For four years Brian was host of his own weekly radio show, "All About Pools and Spas" in South Florida.
Van Bower is known for his public speaking ability and as a popular seminar leader for many organizations and has given seminars and keynote speeches around the country and abroad. In 1998 he was a speaker at the International Pool Show in Lyon, France. In 2000 he was the keynote speaker for the Pool Industry Show in Australia and a featured speaker for the SPLASH Pool Industry Conference in Bali, Indonesia in 2001. Van Bower gave the keynote presentation for NSPI Region III in Houston, Texas in 2003. He delivered the keynote address to the Texas Pool and Spa Show in Ft. Worth, Texas in January 2008. He is an accredited Continuing Education instructor for the State of Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board. Brian and Genesis 3 are responsible for the design/build educational programs for the International Pool Spa Patio Expo show annually each November. Brian and Genesis 3 are members of BSW, the German Pool Association, and will be the featured presenters in Germany this year for the third time. His passion for his life's work and dedication to elevating the level of performance of the industry are matched only by his gusto for life.
Miguel Hastings, MLA
Miguel Hastings, Design Associate, earned his master's in landscape architecture at Florida International University in 2006. Miguel worked as an intern and later as Landscape Designer at the Miami office of AECOM Design + Planning. During the next few years Miguel gained experience working on large scale projects planning urban environments, regional land use and resorts throughout the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. While he was part of the landscape architecture studio, Miguel helped design urban streetscapes, community recreational and residential spaces locally.
Miguel joined Aquatic Consultants in 2010. Since then he has worked with the award winning team creating premier water feature, pool and patio designs that incorporate proprietary design innovations and advanced features. He contributes a broad knowledge of design, drafting and graphics to the team's work.
Jonathan Nalepa, Design Associate, is a second-generation swimming pool and spa professional. His family has owned and operated a swimming pool service and repair company out of North Miami for over 35 years. So, he’s been working on pools one way or another his entire life.
Over the course of his career, Jonathan has serviced residential and commercial properties ranging from 800 gal spas to 200,000 gal. aquatic facilities. He also met the requirements as a reliable contractor for some of the largest swimming pool equipment manufacturers including Pentair and Autopilot.
His field of work also included luxury residential properties from Miami Beach, Golden Beach, and Hibiscus Isle to 5-star Hotels in Sunny Isles and South Beach. Jonathan’s extensive hands-on experience allowed him to understand the complexities involved in swimming pool functionality.
Throughout Jonathan’s work career, his studies consisted of general business courses until he decided to pursue his passion for design. He earned an Associates of Arts in Architecture, a Computer Aided Design Certificate and an Associates of Science in Aquatic Engineering, graduating with honors.
After Consolidating his attributes, with the help of a friend, Jonathan developed an interest in swimming pool design and the intricacies involved in fusing form with function. He began to sketch his own ideas and designs at night while trying to find a suitable outlet for his concepts.
This endeavor led to his current dedication when Jonathan joined the team at Aquatic Consultants in 2015. Jonathans background in swimming pools, dexterity in computer programs and creativity allows him to assist the team in the creative process of design, developing detailed construction documents and producing 3D models and renderings.
At Aquatic Consultants, Inc. Jonathan also works with homeowners, architects, landscape architects, pool contractors, developers and design professionals all over the world on award winning and innovate outdoor environments and water elements of all kinds.
He has since personally designed his parents a new swimming pool and is now working towards pursuing his (SWD) Society of Watershape Designers Master Certification through the Genesis 3 Design Group. This certification is reserved for the upper echelon and elite designers, builders and engineers in the swimming pool industry.
As part of his passion for design and enthusiasm to continue to learn, Jonathan is also attending an exclusive Masterclass with world renowned architect, Frank Gehry who will be teaching his unconventional philosophy on architecture, design and art.
Jonathans passion for design and affinity for water throughout his life have become his inspiration for his work. His creativity and vision flow from his natural affection of these elements in life.