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White sand beaches. Palm trees. Resort destinations across the world. Among these relaxing details are crystalline lagoons, developed and implemented through groundbreaking sustainable technology by Crystal Lagoons, with the help of Vice President Eric Cherasia.
Cherasia leads the multinational innovation company by synthesizing his passion for environmentally conscious design and creating community value. He discovered his passion in construction when he was just a child—his father worked in road construction and instilled in him a strong work ethic and responsibility to the community. “I was drawn to environmental engineering because I could apply the math and science that I liked in a way that could impact sustainability,” the VP recalls. “I wanted to create impact through engineering, and I knew that we need to build things in a sustainable fashion so future generations can enjoy the world.”
To make this dream a reality, he decided to pursue a degree in civil and environmental engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University before getting his master’s degree at University of Texas at Austin, where he specialized in water treatment technology.
Cherasia later gained experience as lead engineer at Carollo Engineers, a specialized water treatment engineering firm, where he obtained his professional engineering license. Then, his career took a major shift from engineering to Procore Technologies, a software-as-a-service company that builds cloud-based construction project management software.
“It was a unique opportunity to leave detailed engineering and join a hyper-growth start-up that allowed me to work on many interdisciplinary teams and groundbreaking new initiatives—it was like drinking from a fire hose, but the personal and professional growth was astounding,” the VP says. “We did a large US expansion and then the company emerged into international markets, which was really exciting to be a part of.”
In his current role, Cherasia exercises his love and knowledge of water treatment by leading a company that licenses cutting-edge water treatment technology to developers with the idea of implementing a sustainable ecosystem for large projects by bringing beach-life virtually anywhere. He also utilizes the expertise in growing and scaling a new company that he gained at Procore. “Now Crystal Lagoons serves as the nexus of my interests, passions, and experiences,” affirms Cherasia, who has found his place at only 31 years old.
Crystal Lagoons has a portfolio of over 2,000 patents in more than 190 countries and is the only company of its kind that offers eco-friendly technology that use less than 1 percent of the chemicals and 2 percent of the energy required by traditional swimming pool filtration systems. It’s currently involved in over 1,000 projects in 5 different continents, 220 of which are in various stages of development across the US.
One of Cherasia’s major initiatives is spearheading Crystal Lagoons’ partnership with Epic Venue Development, which allows more of its Public Access Lagoons (PAL) projects to become a reality through a master licensing opportunity. The first project will be in Glendale, Arizona.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, one PAL project opened outside of Houston, Texas, in summer 2020 with a 30 percent capacity restriction and social distancing measures. “It’s open to the public and had daily sellouts,” Cherasia remarks. “PALs offer year-round entertainment including water sports, concerts, weddings, events, trade shows, day clubs, restaurants, retail, and even an amphitheater. They are the meeting place of the 21st century and can be used by everyone.”
The lagoons use a completely closed loop system, which means that absolutely zero water goes to waste. Its technology uses 50 percent of the water needed for a typical park of the same size. The lagoons even use less water than a golf course in the long run.
Crystal Lagoons, being a unique venture, enjoys the benefit of having no major competitors. But at the same time, as a true pioneer in the market, it faces the challenge of demonstrating its value to an audience that is not always well versed in the science behind the technology.
A fundamental part of Cherasia’s role is to bridge that gap of understanding among potential developers and proving both the economic and environmental benefits the lagoons offer. “I have worked deeply in the technical side over my career, but my role now is primarily on the commercial and business development side,” Cherasia says. “One of the key pieces here is taking these highly technical designs and then relating them in a way that can be understood and conceptualized for each unique project. The technology is a springboard for creativity and can be applied in countless ways to create truly iconic projects.”
Another advantage of Crystal Lagoons’ innovation is that as a technology company, it is always investing into research and development to improve and expand the product. As the company follows the path it paved itself, it uses an iterative process to learn and grow from its experiences.
For example, Crystal Lagoons recently introduced its new Hot Reef technology that can be used all year round, even in cold weather climates. “I think that’s just an example of what’s very remarkable about the company,” Cherasia says. “The ability to innovate—to be able to look at an issue and to continue to advance and put resources back into the development of improving and expanding the technology.”