Admiring his accomplishments is not what drives Charles Neuman to succeed again and again. “I don’t have a lot of time to reflect,” says the CEO of Water Technology in Beaver Dam, Wis. “I’m always looking forward — I don’t sit and gloat about what I’ve done.”
The 55-year-old Neuman started his aquatics design company in 1983 with three people, working on early waterparks such as Noah’s Ark in the Wisconsin Dells and Magic Waters in Rockford, Ill. Today, his company has expanded to 40 employees, entering different fronts of the waterpark industry as it, too, continues to grow.
“We’ve grown into a master-planning, concept and theme design along with technical design,” Neuman says. “All of those areas have grown as we have responded to the industry.”
Neuman grew up in Beaver Dam and graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his college years he was drafted into the army. After graduation, he started his first swimming pool building company in 1973. He saw a need for engineers and designers in the industry, and grabbed hold with the founding of Water Technology. His company’s work spans the aquatics industry, from waterparks to community centers and high schools and YMCAs.
A wealth of accolades and awards illustrate the company’s success. But Neuman says its best accomplishment is being nimble enough to work on both very small and extremely large projects in the public and private markets.
“It doesn’t seem like a very profound statement,” he says, “but it takes a very diverse group of people who can think and respond to that.”