WatersMark is the strategic wellspring and union of proven real estate development, banking, marketing & operational experts. Founded as an answer to the prevailing inefficiencies found throughout the global real estate services industry, WatersMark has all the resources, contacts, experience, and talent found in a large firm, but with the dexterity and accessibility of a small enterprise.
Collectively, WatersMark Directors have nearly a century and billions of dollars of fiduciary executive experience in the real estate related services industry. WatersMark Corp is the answer for Global Real Estate Solutions.
WatersMark… Trusted By Those Most Trusted.
Brent B. Woodson
Founder & Senior Partner
Brent has 19 years of business development and consulting experience. Recently Brent master planned and successfully negotiated with government the billion dollar development agreement for an expansive mega resort in the Marrakech and High Atlas regions of Morocco. Brent has negotiated a multi-million dollar marketing agreements with the likes of Major League Baseball and Fox Sports. Brent has also prepared and presented comprehensive fiscal development plans to a president, queen appointed governor, The World Bank, royalty, and government ministries alike. In his younger years he was an agent to an Olympic gold medalist, attorney in fact for the King of Saudi Arabia’s brother, and prepared communication strategies and managed a mortgage bank office for Fortune 500 companies 3Com and Conseco respectively. Brent coordinated the multi-day design charrette and marketing campaign for a 16 million square meter greenfield resort development allowing the development partner to recognize significant added value (tens of millions) through the sale of ownership interests. Most recently Brent co-coordinated meetings with the Egyptian Army for a solar a multi-million dollar solar energy project throughout Egypt and has been involved in procuring finance for a mega yacht marina in Anguilla.
Within the past 36 months Brent has provided a number of consultancy services in Albania, Anguilla, Austria, The Bahamas, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Haïti, Jamaica, Italy, Morocco, Mexico, The Turks & Caicos, and the United States. Most recently Brent has been invited to sit on a keynote panel for KPMG’s 2015 Annual Infrastructure Summit in Miami.
Brent is a proud alumnus of Brigham Young University; served a two year mission in Canada for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; is an Eagle Scout recipient as well as the Church’s Cocoa Stake most winning boys basketball coach; is the stoked father of Seth, Ian, Lydia & the January 2017 new addition, Eli; and will forever be gracious that his wife, Jill, said Yes.
David R. Waite
Founder & Senior Partner
David has played prominent roles in working closely with government agencies in the financial services & banking industry, in international public & private large scale luxury real estate development (including in excess of $300 Million of luxury real estate development with his own company), and in consulting both state & federal government agencies in areas such as implementation and interface of advanced statistical computer software to improve both efficiency and productivity.
Before being recruited by the consulting arm of Deloitte, Touche and Tohmatsu, where David managed the sales and marketing pipeline for a 50 Partner team focused on Fortune 500 firms outsourcing opportunities, David was a recognized industry leader in establishing new government and corporate clientele and in the certified instruction of those clients across numerous sales management disciplines for IBM companies such as SPSS and Cognos Software. Earlier in his career, specializing at the state level in Health & Human Services and in transportation & financial agencies, David gained a deep knowledge of government operations and political processes, which he leveraged for CIBER Inc. in his sales of PeopleSoft and Lawson Enterprise Resource Planning Software Systems in statewide rollouts of Financial and Human Resources applications for several U.S. states. David left Deloitte in the fall of 2014 to join National Solar Power Partners where he oversees their global sales team and new business development.
Born in 1963, David is Married with 4 children aged 25, 22, 20 and 18. David is a life member of the Sons of the American Revolution, an organization open to those tracing their ancestry to soldiers in the American Revolution, dedicated to the preservation of the ideals of freedom and democracy and the history of our Founding Fathers and colonial beginnings of America.
Veronica O. Voronina
Veronica specializes in the provisioning of concierge travel services & business development opportunities to high net worth individuals and Global 500 companies throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Veronica is the founder of VV Consultancy and The Anonymous, concierge, business development, marketing, relocation, and event management companies catering to exclusive, portfolio rich clientele, with offices in London, Dubai, Southern France, Belgrade, and Montenegro.
Veronica developed Discover Montenegro, a lifestyle, travel, and concierge services to Porto Montenegro, the World’s largest super yacht marina, and the same for Orascom’s largest property development, Lustica Bay, where she also personally provided event management services. She is also the CEO of Luxury travel businesses, Bluestar Jets (Balkans) and Montenegro Water Taxi (MWT Ribs Doo).
Veronica has provided an array of services for the Cannes Film Festival, Monte Carlo Fashion Forum (Monaco), Jean Paul Gaultier, MTV, BBC Worldwide, Planet Fashion TV, and Fashion TV. She has also orchestrated notable events for De Grisogono (Swiss luxury jeweler), Damiani (Italian luxury jeweler), Orascom, Four Seasons, The National Golf Club (Antalya, Turkey), Nikki Beach Fashion Show (Cannes & Miami), and Aman Resorts.
Veronica has also provided extensive concierge and events management services for the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Goldie Hawn, Team Lotus F1, Naomi Campbell and the Guggenheim Private Family Office. Accordingly, in deference to the circles she runs in, she is a much sought after TV personality who has appeared on multiple television series such as Fashion TV and the New York Times critically acclaimed British reality TV show Meet The Russians. Veronica has been featured on interviews with the BBC, CNN, NBC and Forbes.
Veronica attended Heathfield School (Ascot The Merit of One is The Honour of All) and studied fashion and business management at the University of the Arts London.
Erin K. Shaffer
Erin has been influential in the marketing and brand communications industries for more than 12 years. For Starwood Hotels Worldwide she was on a team of four tasked with and credited for growing the W brand into a pop culture phenomenon. Erin added the St. Regis and Luxury Collection Hotels brands to her portfolio soon after where she was tasked with the global expansion of the brands via marketing, partnerships, promotions and corporate events. An industry trends expert, she also managed global event programming for all three of the Starwood Brands.
On the merits of her success with Starwood, Erin was recruited to head the Communications, Partnerships, and Event Department for Hilton Hotels Corporation’s Global Luxury and Lifestyle Brands. While overseeing global communications, partnerships and events for Conrad Hotels Worldwide, the Waldorf Astoria, and the Waldorf Astoria Collection brands, Hilton asked Erin to join the core development team to launch its new lifestyle brand, Denizen Hotels.
Remaining close to the fashion industry, since her collegiate years at The Fashion Institute of Technology, Erin was recruited back to the business of fashion in by legendary luxury retailer Neiman Marcus. As Public Relations Manager at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, Erin enjoyed her curiosity and commitment to pop culture and trends globally throughout the world of fashion.
Erin is actively involved in many board positions such as After School All Stars, Looking Beyond, and Just Imagine It.
Paul was recently appointed to the JP Morgan Private Wealth Advisory Council in February, a position he also holds with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Earlier this year he was also appointed by the Government of Anguilla as a Goodwill Ambassador of Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory in the British West Indies (Caribbean). Prior to assuming the Chief Executive position of Viollis Group International, Paul’s professional business resume includes: CEO of Risk Control Strategies; President & CEO of Corporate Risk Consulting; Senior Managing Director for Citigate Global Intelligence & Security; and Vice President at Kroll, where he served on their post September 11th Threat Assessment Team.
Over Paul’s storied career in both law enforcement and security, he developed a diverse base of skills in various areas of the criminal justice system, ranging from his position as supervisor for the New York County’s District Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Court Unit, Security Specialist/Supervisor under the United States Space Command, and CO of a Florida State Police Academy. He is a renowned public speaker and has served as a subject matter expert in private client security, workplace violence, behavioral analysis, workplace security and counter terrorism threat assessment.
Paul is the author and lead editor for Jane’s Publishing’s book”Workplace Security’: Contributing Editor for Jane’s “School Safety Handbook”, “Teachers Safety Guide” and “Crisis Communications Handbook” and most recently co-authored his marquee book, “Silent Safety – Best Practices for Protecting the Affluent’: In addition, he tours yearly on the speaking circuit, presenting on issues ranging from workplace violence, private client security and workplace security. Paul is a regular contributor on FOX Business’ Neal Cavuto Show and has appeared and been quoted in media outlets, including CNN, INSIDE ADDITION FOX NEWS, MSNBC, Reuters, ABC, CNBC, CBS, ESPN, Wall Street Journal, The NewYork Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Wall StreetJournal Radio, National Public Radio, CSO, Forbes, Robb Report, Worth, Business Insurance and CFO magazine. Paul is the host of the TV Show ” The Security Brief With Paul Viollis” and the CBS podcast of the same name.
His professional affiliations include the Florida Police Chiefs Association, lnfraGard, Business Executives for National Security. Paul holds the distinction of Honorary Assistant Attorney General for the State of Louisiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, a Master of Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy.
Mark A. Walton
Senior Partner & General Counsel
A former British Army Captain, Mark is also the former Global Head of Operations Consulting for PriceWaterhouseCoopers where he directed $26 Billion in turnover. Previous PWC, Mark spent four years as COO of KPMG International (turnover $15 Billion) and another four years as a senior partner with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Turnover $16 Billion).
Mark has 21 years of dynamic, results-driven, international senior executive experience in turnaround & restructuring, compliance & regulatory control, tax efficiency & global sales, M&As, implementation & execution of business development strategies in highly regulated arenas, et al.
Mark is also currently CEO of Bentley Legal Trust, providing international compliance administration and fiduciary services to high net worth individuals, trusts, and corporations. He is also a Member of the Board at both Hudson Dean AG and PharmaCapture Inc.
Mark has an MBA in Business Finance & Law (Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh (1991)) and his MSc Manufacturing Management from Open University (1997). Mark speaks English, German, and Hungarian fluently and is conversant in Spanish and French. Mark is married with children.
Miguel D. Lausell
Senior Partner & General Counsel
Miguel has a diverse background in international trade, environmental issues, politics and telecommunications. A respected advisor to political leaders both in the United States and abroad, Miguel was President and CEO of the Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Chairman of the $1 billion PonceBank, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Telephone Authority, a member of the Governor of Puerto Rico’s Economic Strategic Council, President of the Export Policy Commission of Puerto Rico, and Undersecretary of the Department of the Treasury of Puerto Rico. Currently Chairman of the influential National Puerto Rican Coalition, Miguel serves on a number of civic and corporate boards and committees, including the Export Policy Commission of the Economic Development Council of Puerto Rico, the National Business and Industry Advisory Council of the Emergency Broadcast System, the United States Telephone Association, and formerly the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. Since 2005, he has served as Chairman of the Board of The Taco Maker, Inc.
Miguel was the first (and so far only) Hispanic to serve on the Board of Directors for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), appointed by the President of The United States (POTUS). Active in national and local politics. Miguel served on the National Finance Board of the Gore 2000 Committee, the Democratic National Committee’s Leadership 2000 Board, and in the Clinton Global Initiative. He has been a senior U.S. Presidential Election advisor and co-chaired the Board of Directors of Hispanic PAC USA, Inc. He is also on the Board of Directors for the National Governor’s Association.
Miguel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University and degrees in Law from the University of Puerto Rico Law School (Magna Cum Laude) and Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Sheymar Lausell (neé Ortiz-Archilla) are the proud parents of four daughters, Matilde, Frances, Maxinne and Sheymar Marisol.
Samuel P. Hügli
Member of the Board
Sam is a dual Swiss & US citizen with 30 plus years of hospitality experience. Sam has served in senior positions for such renowned companies as Hilton, Hyatt, and Starwood, as well as for large, lesser known mega resorts operators, in exotic destinations such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, France, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates.
Sam has been involved in every process of hotel operations, from initial conception; creation, implementation, and managerial oversight of resort strategic capital expenditure pro forma; site identification; design; and construction up through FF&E procurement; interior decorating; staff training; resort openings; and ongoing operations. Collectively, Sam has hired, trained, and managed over 30 hotel and resort managers and over 1,400 associates, all while driving and managing tens of millions in revenues at highly successful de luxe resort & convention hotels featuring casino, golf & country club, master planned community, hotel condominium, marina, time share, and/or vacation club operations.
Sam received his Hotel Management degree with honors from the distinguished Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, Switzerland. Sam is also a trained chef, fluent in five languages, and currently involved in the development of a renewable energy and industrial park Treuenbrietzen, in Berlin, Germany.
Senior Partner: Media Productions
In 1995 Colin founded the first motion picture previsualization studio in the world, Pixel Liberation Front, which became the pioneering force of previs for many of the most technically sophisticated effects films for the next 17 years, for studios such as Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Disney, and 20th Century Fox, to name a few. Colin has also overseen major design visualization projects with the likes of Morphosis Architects, HRL Laboratories, Microsoft Studios, and Project White.
Colin has worked as a hands-on previs supervisor and artist on dozens of feature film projects, collaborating with David Fincher, the Wachowskis, Bryan Singer and other top Hollywood storytellers and their crews to map out complex visual effects sequences in advance of shooting and help make previs a true director’s tool. This technology will now be utilized to revolutionize the way Arambys conceptualizes, designs, and markets its real estate components.
Colin holds a bachelor’s degree from the Yale School of Architecture and studied graduate architecture and design at Harvard and MIT.
Sherif Fakhry Younes (MEAD Fund)
Member of the Board & General Counsel
Sherif is an Egyptian citizen with Canadian residency and has resided in the United Arab Emirates for 20 years where he has served in capacities of corporate governance, financial control, fiscal consulting, and compliance, with fiduciary responsibility over billions of dollars through the years for government entities. Notably Sherif was Director of Internal Audit & Risk Management: H.H. The Rulers Court – Dubai Government, as well as a Director for the UAE Federal Government. He has worked closely with both the United Nations and The World Bank to fund large initiatives. Sherif is also a private adviser and consultant to multiple members of the Royal Family, large corporations, and other high net-worth individuals as well. He is distinguished as the only non-US citizen authorized as an instructor for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He is also currently Senior Vice-President of MEAD Fund USA & Canada.
MEAD Fund (Middle-East American Development Fund) is an interdisciplinary consulting firm with an advantageous socioeconomical & geopolitical perspective of the MENA region. This insight allows MEAD Fund to pinpoint socioeconomic project demand, to assist in development & implementation of policies & business models to meet project demand, to identify strategic private & private-public business alliances best suited to feasibly and innovatively fulfill project demand, and, as need, to assist in the identification of funding sources and/or financing alternatives.
Sherif earned his law degree at Cairo University, where he also holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a postgraduate diploma in Economics & Political Systems.
Lionel V.P. Correa
Senior Partner & General Counsel
Lionel has spent over two decades advising private entities, public companies, and both local and national governments on matters of international trade, acquisition, contractual rights, and real estate development. During his 23 years of real estate law Lionel has been instrumental in establishing joint ventures, land acquisitions, arranging financing, and assisting in resort developments for such noted projects as Cadaques Caribe, Cayuco, and Puerto Baní.
Lionel specializes in Real Estate Law & Property Litigation, and has again and again protected his clients’ interests in complex property transactions.
Lionel has a doctorate in Labor Law, a post graduate degree in Real Estate Law, and studied criminal law in Salamanca, Spain. Lionel is fluent in English and Spanish.
Senior Advisor: Construction Management
Markay, a designer builder, is a general contractor with over 30 years of experience in the commercial, retail, and custom high-end residential construction. During his two decade tenure as vice president, for the then Fortune 500 company American Stores Company, Markay managed an annual budget of $1.1 Billion, overseeing and orchestrating all construction, engineering, architectural design, cost management, fixture procurement, growth & development, non-retail purchasing, manufacturing, and environmental remediation efforts of this company generating over $15 Billion in annual revenues in 36 states.
After a successful tenure at American Stores, Markay established Markay Johnson Construction, where for the past 15 years he has been behind the conception, design, and construction of some of the most luxurious and exclusive modern day residential palaces and commercial edifices, built for some of the countries most noted and distinguished innovators, captain’s of industry and tycoons, including the likes of National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise owners, Google founders, and other such executives.
As a High School All American in basketball, Markay was among the Top 100 Players in US. Markay was also a collegiate academic standout, graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in Physics and Chemistry, and has received numerous Scouting and Scout Master awards from the Boy Scouts of America.
Markay’s 30 years and of retail and custom residential construction management from the ground up is a testament and legacy of experience matched by few. Markay’s diverse background in structural engineering, design, construction best practices, and a flair for the finest of details make him one of America’s most sought after commercial and private estate contractors. Markay holds to the timeless mantra, When we build, let us think that we build forever.
Senior Advisor: Environmental Sciences
Sandy’s three decades of environmental engineering and technical mapping highlights cutting edge technology combined with old-fashioned investigative methods. As a result, Sandy is sought after by sovereign governments and eccentric billionaire developers alike, all who recognize him for his expertise in solving geologic problems, hydrology & water supply issues, and in his ability to generate comprehensive and harmoniously mitigating solutions to development’s impact on nature.
Sandy is currently working with National Geographic in an upcoming environmental television production in Florida. With nearly 40 years of experience as an environmental engineer, Sandy specializes in hydro-geology, subsidence investigations, geotechnical evaluations, environmental site assessments, marine ecology, and coastal hydrodynamics.
Sandy specializes in water supply development via electrical resistivity and MASW mapping for locating groundwater resources and addressing geotechnical site conditions for for both fresh and saline sources in the Caribbean, Central America, and abroad. He also specializes in coastal hydrodynamic studies, modeling, and marine ecology mapping for major resort projects.
Most recently Sandy has been the lead environmental engineer on such resort projects as Temenos Estates Golf Resort, the Rendezvous Bay Resort, Etesian Resort, Ethos Little Bay resort developments (all in Anguilla), the Drax Hall project in Jamaica, the Sheraton property in Bermuda, Moskito Island in the British Virgin Islands for Sir Richard Branson, a project in St. Bart for Roman Abramovich, and many other projects in Costa Rica, St. Kitts, Curacao, Barbados, Barbuda, Antigua, Grand Bahama, St. Marten, Antigua, the Grand Turk, and the USA for both private and government developers alike.
Senior Adviser: Communications
Jeff is also Vice President of Method Communications and is currently responsible for elevating brand awareness and implementing communication strategies of technology giants such as California based Adobe and and Utah based Vivint, which was just acquired by Blackstone for in excess of $2 Billion and recognized by Forbes magazine as one of America’s most promising companies.
Jeff also works closely with many major Universities in execution of their communication action plans and has managed accounts for clients such as LG Electronics, AT&T, and IBM, to name a few.
As a professional adviser Jeff was an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University and was the Manager of BYU’s Rulon L. Bradley Public Relations Agency, recognized as one of the nation’s premier PR agencies of its kind, often winning awards of recognition from long standing no-student, PR firms.
Jeff is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, speaks and writes Korean fluently after having served a two year mission in Korea for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and has been actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America.
Matthew Norton (K&L Gates)
Outside Legal Counsel
Matthew has close to 20 years of legal experience in the resort development and hospitality industry and is the newest partner at the international law firm of K&L Gates. He is the team lead in their global Resort, Hospitality, and Planned Development practice.
Matthew has represented real estate lenders in over 200 financing transactions including senior, participated, syndicated and mezzanine debt structures and loan workouts.
Before joining K&L Gates he was a Senior Partner and leader of the Resort, Hospitality, and Planned Development practice group at Parker Poe Adams and Bernstein LLP. Mr. Norton maintains an international practice, and assists clients who focus on real estate, resort and hospitality development and operations and project capitalization and restructurings.
Matthew represented a public real estate investment trust for over 10 years and supervised over 60 golf course transactions throughout the United States and the Caribbean. He routinely assists clients with sourcing capital and strategic and business planning. Matt recently or is currently assisting clients in the sale, acquisition, development, repositioning, and/or financing of projects in the United States, Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
K&L Gates is honored to be a Law360 (a LexisNexis® Company) Global 20 law firm.
Additional Team WatersMark member uploads forthcoming.