Leadership

Encompassing many years of experience across a diverse set of disciplines, Planet Water Foundation’s leadership team plays a key role in ensuring the organization continues to make a key impact in the fight against water poverty.

Leadership

Mark Steele

Founder & CEO

Kristen Steele

President

May Heyamoto

Chief Financial Officer

John Deotrakul

Chief Development Officer

Mark Steele

Founder & CEO

Before establishing Planet Water Foundation in 2009, Mark resided in the Asia-Pacific region for 18 years where he worked to establish the operational footprint and regional business for two global companies – most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia-Pacific – the digital mapping subsidiary of leading navigation systems provider TomTom, and prior to that as President, ITT China – a global leader in water and wastewater products and services.

During his time in Asia, Mark also led ITT’s emergency response efforts in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and as Chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Mark holds a degree in International Studies (Business) and Japanese from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (USA) during which time he also studied at Shizuoka University in Japan.

Kristen Steele

President

Education has been a big part of Kristen’s life for the past 16 years. With a degree in Education from Creighton University, her career path has led to teaching elementary school, developing corporate training programs, and then operating her own company while residing in Scottsdale, Arizona. Taking a dive into Planet Water as our Director of Education was a natural move. Her passion for education has enabled her to develop and implement our Water-Health & Hygiene Education Program into elementary schools in rural villages across nine countries in the developing world.

May Heyamoto

Chief Financial Officer

May joined us in June 2021 with over ten years of experience in various financial capacities in previous roles as Assistant Director of Finance and Financial Controller. May holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Whitworth University (US), and a Master’s degree in Accountancy from Gonzaga University (US).

John Deotrakul

Chief Development Officer

John joined Planet Water Foundation in July 2020 and brings over 15 years of experience in senior marketing roles, having worked most recently in regional and global roles at Expedia and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. John holds a Bachelors degree with honors from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London.

Regional Leadership

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Sergio Frias

General Manager, Latin America

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Before establishing Planet Water Foundation in 2009, Mark resided in the Asia-Pacific region for 18 years where he worked to establish the operational footprint and regional business for two global companies – most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia-Pacific – the digital mapping subsidiary of leading navigation systems provider TomTom, and prior to that as President, ITT China – a global leader in water and wastewater products and services.

During his time in Asia, Mark also led ITT’s emergency response efforts in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and as Chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Mark holds a degree in International Studies (Business) and Japanese from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (USA) during which time he also studied at Shizuoka University in Japan.

Tieu Duc Cuong

General Manager, Southeast Asia

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Before establishing Planet Water Foundation in 2009, Mark resided in the Asia-Pacific region for 18 years where he worked to establish the operational footprint and regional business for two global companies – most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia-Pacific – the digital mapping subsidiary of leading navigation systems provider TomTom, and prior to that as President, ITT China – a global leader in water and wastewater products and services.

During his time in Asia, Mark also led ITT’s emergency response efforts in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and as Chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Mark holds a degree in International Studies (Business) and Japanese from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (USA) during which time he also studied at Shizuoka University in Japan.

Penghorn Chheang

Cambodia, Thailand, Laos

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Before establishing Planet Water Foundation in 2009, Mark resided in the Asia-Pacific region for 18 years where he worked to establish the operational footprint and regional business for two global companies – most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia-Pacific – the digital mapping subsidiary of leading navigation systems provider TomTom, and prior to that as President, ITT China – a global leader in water and wastewater products and services.

During his time in Asia, Mark also led ITT’s emergency response efforts in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and as Chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Mark holds a degree in International Studies (Business) and Japanese from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (USA) during which time he also studied at Shizuoka University in Japan.

King Melchor Sison

Philippines and Global Disaster Response

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Before establishing Planet Water Foundation in 2009, Mark resided in the Asia-Pacific region for 18 years where he worked to establish the operational footprint and regional business for two global companies – most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia-Pacific – the digital mapping subsidiary of leading navigation systems provider TomTom, and prior to that as President, ITT China – a global leader in water and wastewater products and services.

During his time in Asia, Mark also led ITT’s emergency response efforts in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and as Chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Mark holds a degree in International Studies (Business) and Japanese from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (USA) during which time he also studied at Shizuoka University in Japan.

Ishak Kasum

Indonesia

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Before establishing Planet Water Foundation in 2009, Mark resided in the Asia-Pacific region for 18 years where he worked to establish the operational footprint and regional business for two global companies – most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia-Pacific – the digital mapping subsidiary of leading navigation systems provider TomTom, and prior to that as President, ITT China – a global leader in water and wastewater products and services.

During his time in Asia, Mark also led ITT’s emergency response efforts in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and as Chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Mark holds a degree in International Studies (Business) and Japanese from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (USA) during which time he also studied at Shizuoka University in Japan.

Prashant Deshpande

India

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Before establishing Planet Water Foundation in 2009, Mark resided in the Asia-Pacific region for 18 years where he worked to establish the operational footprint and regional business for two global companies – most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia-Pacific – the digital mapping subsidiary of leading navigation systems provider TomTom, and prior to that as President, ITT China – a global leader in water and wastewater products and services.

During his time in Asia, Mark also led ITT’s emergency response efforts in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and as Chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Mark holds a degree in International Studies (Business) and Japanese from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (USA) during which time he also studied at Shizuoka University in Japan.

Board of Directors

Mark Steele

Chairman and CEO

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Before establishing Planet Water Foundation in 2009, Mark resided in the Asia-Pacific region for 18 years where he worked to establish the operational footprint and regional business for two global companies – most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia-Pacific – the digital mapping subsidiary of leading navigation systems provider TomTom, and prior to that as President, ITT China – a global leader in water and wastewater products and services.

During his time in Asia, Mark also led ITT’s emergency response efforts in Sri Lanka in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and as Chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Mark holds a degree in International Studies (Business) and Japanese from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (USA) during which time he also studied at Shizuoka University in Japan.

Nick Hill

Vice Chairman

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Nick is a native of the UK and has resided in the United States for the last 10 years where he most recently was President of ITT Corporation’s Motion and Flow Group and Senior Vice President of ITT Corp. Prior to this, Nick headed up a number of businesses within ITT where he first became aware of the crisis around water quality and its affect on underdeveloped countries. Nick was the initiator for ITT’s successful philanthropy program Watermark which has pledged millions of dollars to support NPO’s in their struggle to bring clean water to those most in need. Nick also headed ITT’s Emergency Relief Program designed to respond quickly to natural disasters where ITT’s equipment and expertise can rapidly bring much needed help to the affected areas. Nick is a graduate of the Farnborough Institute of Technology.

Kristen Steele

President and Secretary

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Education has been a big part of Kristen’s life for the past 16 years. With a degree in Education from Creighton University, her career path has led to teaching elementary school, developing corporate training programs, and then operating her own company while residing in Scottsdale, Arizona. Taking a dive into Planet Water as our Director of Education was a natural move. Her passion for education has enabled her to develop and implement our Water-Health & Hygiene Education Program into elementary schools in rural villages across nine countries in the developing world.

Mainor Vega

Director

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Mainor is a native of Costa Rica and moved to the US at an early age. Mainor has over 35 years experience in consultative water treatment sales, engineering, and design. He is currently the Director of Water Treatment for Water Equipment Technologies, a brand of Motor Controls Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Mainor has also worked as the Special Projects Sales Manager for Doosan Hydro Technologies, directing multi-discipline water treatment solutions. In addition, Mainor has held several key positions with Xylem’s water treatment groups as Treatment Sales Manager, Latin America Northern Region for Filtration, Biological, and Disinfection engineering solutions. Mainor has also participated in several voluntary missions to assist Planet Water Foundation through Xylem’s Watermark program. Mainor was on the ground in Puerto Rico directing relief efforts after Hurricane Maria and also traveled to Lombok, Indonesia, after the 2018 earthquake to assist Planet Water’s disaster relief efforts.