Our Team

Designing and building pools and outdoor living spaces is a skilled trade and an art. What we create requires craftsmanship and a real knowledge of design, color, texture, architecture, technology, geology, engineering and construction. Our local team has years of experience, passion and the skill set needed for this unique business environment. Our experience, integrity and commitment is the common thread throughout our team.

 Mark Wise, President Austin Water Designs

Mark Wise


Mark is not only the heartbeat of Austin Water Designs, he is also the brain child. He reviews and studies every design and quickly problem solves those with the most challenging aspects.  He has worked in pool design and construction for over 30 years and has earned the respect of his colleagues, vendors and clients through his hard work, dedication and inspiring pool designs.

Mark began his evolution into one of Austin's premier water designers at an early age. "I was drawn to the water and the use of architecture to capture and enhance its look, feel, color and sound." Mark spent his childhood living abroad in Europe and Central America, where his continued exposure to unusual scenery, architecture and art nurtured and stimulated his growing appreciation for design.

Mark attended the University of Texas, majoring in business with additional courses in architecture and geology. During the last decade Mark has continued to develop and expand his expertise, combining harmony and synergy into more holistic and environmentally conscious designs. Mark continues his education by attending national and international design technical seminars presented by world class experts specializing in architectural and structural design, pool design, fluid dynamics and chemical use.

Mark enjoys traveling, bicycling and enjoying time in his own backyard paradise.


Lori E. Hatter

Marketing Director / Business Manager

 “A little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll”, that’s how Lori describes herself. From her music, to food and design (contemporary vs traditional) she has very diverse tastes. Her role at Austin Water Designs fits that description too as she is the Business Manager and the Marketing Director.  Lori's tireless hard-work and dedication is a key element to the Austin Water Designs brand and experience, her creativity and expertise strengthens every aspect of our company from marketing and business to endless team spirit!

Lori moved to Austin right after graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She spent most of her career in advertising and marketing. She designed and built major exhibits for Lockheed, helped launch K-EYE TV and owned and operated her own studio. She has a son Logan who shares her love of music and is pursuing an audio engineering degree. As a fine artist she not only likes to paint but applies her art to many facets in her life to include her cooking, gardening and interior design. Lori also loves to entertain and is looking forward to the Austin Water Designs Gallery & Pool.

 Lori Hatter

 Lauren Ehlers

Lauren Ehlers

Business / Marketing Assistant

We were so happy when Lauren joined our team. She juggles a hundred balls while changing the many hats she wears! As the Marketing & Business Assistant, she is handling all the details that make a difference in our work day from social media to our detailed project management system. As a licensed real estate agent, she is able to readily support our local relationships with builders, real estate agents and brokers. 

We’re not sure any of the team can hold a candle to Lauren’s love of water! Talk about “Where Water Meets Wonder", Lauren is the reigning Barefoot Women’s 1 Overall National Champion two years in a row and going for her third title in Florida this summer, as well as competing in the World Barefoot Championships in Canada. She also lives on Lake Travis in a houseboat and is the Treasurer of the Austin Barefoot Ski Club.

Lauren graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Minor in Sociology. While a member of the Texas A&M Water Ski Team she met her husband, Landen, who shares her love of the sport and passion for the water! Lauren and her husband will embark on a journey this spring to travel the world and end up in Australia at the 2020 World Barefoot Championships.



Jeff Vassaur

Operations Manager

Like a lot of companies, we like to think we work like a fine-oiled machine, well Jeff is the machine. Overseeing operations of multiple complex projects, Jeff makes it look easy, having spent his career in the fast paced home building business. He has not only owned and operated his own successful home building company, he was also a Project Manager for Meritage Homes managing ten Constructions Managers that routinely closed 30 to 50 houses a month in fourteen of the most high-profile neighborhoods in the area. Jeff spearheads our "whatever-it-takes" attitude and commitment to quality and service through every step of our process.

Born in Pine Bluff Arkansas to an Army father, he lived 8 different places before graduating High School in Stuttgart, West Germany. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Kansas State University. He and his wife Cynthia enjoy their 3 children, Felicia, Mario, and Olivia. Jeff is an avid outdoorsman, with a primary passion for duck hunting, especially in the flooded timber regions of SE Arkansas. He particularly loves the "retriever" aspect of it, and has two black Labradors, Jolene and Julio to support his adventurous nature and passion.                        

 Jeff Vassaur

 Ned Druart

Ned Druart

Senior Technical Manager / Landscape Designer

Ned has managed all aspects of pool construction and landscaping with nearly 30 years in the industry, and 25 of those years in Austin, TX. As our technical guru he prepares complex plans for pool systems, water features, elevations, lighting and irrigation systems. He is also an expert on Central Texas native and adapted plants. But don’t let that technical expertise fool you, he is as creative as he is technical, designing beautiful landscaping and outdoor living spaces utilizing 3D software or drawing by hand.

Ned couldn’t have made up a better last name “Druart” (pronounced Drew-Art) as he IS an Artist having attended the Lacoste School of Art in Lacoste, France and receiving a bachelor of Arts with a major in Studio Art from University of Arkansas. Ned is married to Ginny and has 3 children James, Haley and Delaney. He enjoys cycling, and photography, owns his own Ebay Store, “Ned’s Effects”, is a Softball Coach and Personal Softball Trainer.


 Jack Hopkins, Austin pool designer

Jack Hopkins

Senior Designer / Client Consultant

We are all seasoned professionals, but Jack may get the “Most-Seasoned Award”. Jack’s pool building experience spans over 30 years and with many years in plumbing, electrical and home building, he truly understands our client’s unique project needs. He has earned many levels of credentials from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) including his Certified Builders Certificate.

Jack is very involved with APSP, from teaching to Board level positions that include Treasurer of the APSP Regional Chapter. As a seasoned designer, he has an eye for backyard possibilities earning him many APSP Design Awards. His technical knowledge of pools, pool equipment and water features is second to none. His specialty is energy efficient and self-sufficient waterscapes. 

He is a "born and raised" Texan and studied at Stephen F. Austin State University. He and his wife, Anna, are building a new home in beautiful Wimberley, TX. Jack enjoys construction, hunting and fishing.