People behind WATERAX
Our Management TEAM
Raffaele Gerbasi, President
Fréderic Lefrançois, VP of Product Development
Marcello Iacovella, VP Sales & Business Development
The three John Molson School of Business EMBA students, Raffaele Gerbasi, Marcello Iacovella and Frédéric Lefrançois, met in 2006 and are now at the head of WATERAX, a fire pump manufacturing company they snapped up from Tyco in a management buy-out in 2010. One of the fundamental reasons the three partners are now together are good core values and shared beliefs, they were very ambitious people who liked to work hard and play hard.
Iacovella is a WATERAX veteran. He joined the outfit in 1995, the year Montreal-based WAJAX sold its North American fire-control business to newly formed Wildfire Fire Equipment. Today, he is VP of Sales & Business Development of WATERAX, which has operations across Canada and in the U.S. Iacovella, Lefrançois, who left game giant Ubisoft to join WATERAX and Gerbasi, who has a pedigree of beefing up technology companies, began targeting companies to acquire. In 2009, Marcello called Raffaele and said WATERAX was on the block and asked him if he would be interested in looking at this together. He was. By then Gerbasi and Lefrançois had intimate knowledge of WATERAX — Iacovella had frequently made it a focus of his case studies.
The three EMBA graduates grasped the concept of the business model, customer base and different obstacles the company faced and always said what a waste of talent it would be not to get together and form a company one day.
They have not looked back since and this has sealed their friendship, partnership and fate.
Our engineering team
Frederic leads efforts to research and develop innovative and durable pumps that can move water for generations. An engineer by trade, Frederic has led multidisciplinary teams and successfully managed ambitious projects for more than 15 years.
Jeff joined WATERAX as Chief Product Engineer and he is leading our pump development initiatives. He brings with him over 20 years of industry experience. Before joining the organization, Jeff spent the last 15 years at Hale Products Inc. and spent another 5 years prior with National Foam (Fire Truck Division). All OEM’s who have worked with Jeff in the past know that he delivers first class customer support. His drive and know-how have led to successful project implementations with truck OEM’s, fire departments, and fire boat manufacturers.
Norith has been with the company since 2005 and possesses an in-depth knowledge of every WATERAX product. As a mechanical engineer, he has developed a solid expertise in design, combustion engines, powertrain, and fluid dynamics. Norith’s passion is to create solutions to the real world challenges that firefighters face every day and to delight them with exceptional products.
Rabih has been with the team since 2012 and brings mechanical design expertise. As a mechanical engineer he is responsible for the development of the WATERAX components used by OEM’s for their vehicle mounted applications. Rabih is continuously looking for new ways to improve WATERAX design with the greatest and latest SolidworksTM has to offer.
Jonathan joined the WATERAX team in 2010. As a mechanical engineer he is responsible for establishing and improving our manufacturing and assembly processes. In short, he is the bridge between the development team and the production. He ensures that we are manufacturing at the right cost and that our products meet or exceed our stringent quality standards.
Steve has been with the company since 1994. He has an Aerospace machining degree and he is familiar with Six SigmaTM and Lean ManufacturingTM methodologies. As Production Manager, he is responsible for the planning and the production of all WATERAX products. With a solid background in metrology he is also in charge of our quality control.
Our Sales Team
Marcello joined the Company under WAJAX Manufacturing in 1995 and pursued a strategic roadmap within the organization which led him to grow on the sales and marketing side of the business. Being responsible for all sales and business development, including international, Marcello’s aim is to ensure that customer needs are matched with targeted WATERAX solutions.
Mario is responsible for all WATERAX key accounts in Eastern Canada. Having spent 10 years in the Royal Canadian Navy as a Marine Engineering Technician, Mario acquired expertise in many types of systems from steam propulsion to gas turbine and all auxiliary including LP, HP air. Although his background is outside the fire industry, he’s a natural when it comes to ‘moving water’.
Stefania is our latest inside sales team member and responsible for developing excellent customer relationships with all existing and potential customers through informative, efficient and friendly service. She has extensive experience in various sales and marketing roles having held similar position in the broadband industry. Stefania is a team oriented person and also donates a portion of her spare time to various charitable organizations.