Lisa Ballantine

Lisa grew up in the Chicago area. She married young, and after a fulfilling life as mother to four great kids and 20 years of marriage to a wonderful man, she returned to Northern Illinois University to study art.  As a woman of faith, she looked for a way to express herself while bringing help to the world of suffering.  Ha
ving lived in the Dominican Republic as a missionary, she was aware of the issues of water contamination in that country and that it is one of the leading causes of death in children. Lisa had learned about ceramic water filtration and was very interested in learning the technology.   Lisa saw the need in the Dominican Republic for a project such as this, and having contacts in the country from past mission experiences, she felt the project could be sustainable. 

Lisa consulted with Manny Hernandez, Technical Advisor for Potters for Peace and her professor at NIU at that time, and he agreed to advise the project.  She studied under his direction for three years and then moved with her family to the Dominican Republic, where she began AguaPure. Lisa re-engineered the ceramic water filter and manufacturing processes for increased effectiveness and sustainability with the help of Rahdames Carela, Prof. Hernandez, a major commercial ceramic water filter company, financial support from Insituform Technologies, and many local supporters and volunteers. Lisa has learned a lot from her years of experience developing AguaPure and is now ready to launch FilterPure, an internationally focused enterprise. Lisa hopes to relieve the need for clean and safe drinking water in the Dominican Republic, and eventually in other countries.

Radhames Carela

Rahdames was born on March 2nd, 1959, and even from a young age was deeply passionate about art. His mother was a traditional potter and also worked with fibres such as anea, pachuli, cabuya, coconut and others to make rugs, purses, and more. He began his studies of wheel-thrown ceramics in 1974 in a program directed and coordinated by a Dominican development foundation, Plan Nacional de Artesania” (National Craftsmanship Plan) or PLANARTE. He learned to make a variety o
f glazed ceramics, process the prime materials, and make his own gas kilns. In the early 80s, Rahdames participated in the creation of the faceless dolls. This product was widely accepted throughout the national and international markets, so he transformed his workshop into a school where he taught any young person who wanted to learn wheel-thrown pottery and the art of faceless dolls. This experience allowed him to be one of the first fifteen instructors of Instituto de Formacion Tecnico Profecional (Institute of the Formation of Technical Professions), or INFOTEP, in the region of Cibao. For two years he taught ceramics in Santiago, Puerta Plata, Samana, Cotui, and Espaillat, always practicing his vocation to improve his skills and to share his knowledge with all.
Rahdames has explored and worked in many forms of pottery, using both high and low temperature methods to make both functional and decorative objects. He has participated in and organized many events related to his craft. The most important exposition he organized was the 1999 art fair in the Hotel Embajador in Santo Domingo. He was given the opportunity to show his country the maximum creation of his ability by firing at high temperature, winning him national recognition and a mention of Best National Product of Craftsmanship. As a result he was invited and participated in:

• “Hand-Made” - New York - 2000
• International Fair of “Bressuire en Francia” - France - 2002
• Vienal of Ceramics - Belgium - 2002? – his donated artwork is displayed in the Ceramic Museum of the Andenne
• Ceramics Art Encounter associated with the 50th anniversary of the Hilton Hotel of Jamaica – Jamaica - 2003
• World Culture Expo - Puerto Plata – 2005 - expositor, curator and exhibitor; collaborated with plastic artists interested in integrating ceramics
• Fair of Santiago - Dominican Republic – 2005 - received a recognition for his contribution and development of art in the Dominican Republic.

Radhames joined AguaPure, in 2006?, as The ceramic technician.

Tracy Hawkins

Tracy is a single mother living in Atlanta, Georgia who, in 2005, took a volunteer vacation to Tanzania, Africa while her children where away at summer camp. During her visit, she heard the story of a potter who tried to start a pottery training program at Sing'isi Vocational School, but failed due to lack of resources. Tracy decided to use her skills as an accomplished project manager (Bachelor of Industrial Engineering – Georgia Tech - 1995) and a hobbyist potter to revisit the opportunity. She formed a team of local Tanzanians to develop a plan, and discovered that a well-placed gesture could make a huge impact in the lives of these people. She was moved by the fact that these people were boxed into their poverty due to lack of knowledge, limited access to resour
ces, and their need to focus on basic survival. Tracy could envision what they could not imagine. She could open the door to new income-generating opportunities by updating their traditional pottery skills and showing them what types of ceramics are attractive in the western marketplace.

While accomplishing research for the original project, Tracy learned about ceramic water filtration and shared the safe drinking water solution with her Tanzanian staff. She discovered that contaminated drinking water was a serious problem in Tanzania, and, with her staff's resolute support, began the development of a sustainable ceramic water filter enterprise in Tanzania called Safe Water Ceramics of East Africa (SWCEA). Tracy called upon Professor Manny Hernandez for help and he volunteered his consultation and technical support to the project. Manny visited Tanzania in the summer of 2007 and developed an implementation plan with Tracy and the local staff, as well as lead the fabrication of the needed CWF manufacturing equipment. It is through Manny that Tracy met Lisa Ballantine of AguaPure, Domincan Republic. Tracy and Lisa began working together and discovered by combining their knowledge and skill sets, they could effectively create and manage an international organization focused on solving the problem of contaminated drinking water world-wide. Tracy and Lisa officially joined forces in 2008, forming FilterPure. Tracy continues to lead the development of SWCEA by bringing resources, consultation, and encouragement to the local project team..

Manuel Hernandez

Manny has been serving as a volunteer chief technical advisor for FilterPure since 2006. Previously, he served as a board member and technical advisor for Potters for Peace (PFP)for more than ten years. He currently provides free consultation to projects by invitation of international NGO’s.(see attached list of these Organizations). Manny’s educational background in Industrial Design (BFA University of Illinois) and Ceramics (MFA, Northern Illinois University), plus his professional background as a designer, qualifies him to provide needed technical assistance to potters (90% of whom are mostly women) in underdeveloped areas of the world. His technical assistance is used to improve production skills and techn
ology so their local pottery can be exported, regionally and to the first world nations.After Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras and Nicaragua in the latter part of 1998, PFP and other NGO’s funded projects for which he voluntarily held technical transfer workshops for local potters demonstrating how to make an affordable, low cost, appropriate technology ceramic water filter (CWF). PFP established the first filter producing facility in Ciudad Sandino (just outside Managua, Nicaragua) and since 2001 this CWF producing facility, now known as Filtron, has been incorporated as a worker-owned cooperative with PFP acting as consultant. Since then, CWF producing facilities have been established in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cuba, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Sudan and Thailand. Because the demand for CWFs has been so great, and the original method of handbuilding constrained output volumes, Manny devised a faster method of producing them. In January 1999, he designed the first filter press. It is still functioning and produces about 60 to 75 filters per day. The filter press is continuously re-engineered by Manny and today can be completely fabricated within the developing countries FitlerPure works in.
Manny has also been involved with deforestation issues in various developing countries, especially where there is a severe wood shortage. He has introduced firing kilns that use alternative fuels (agricultural waste such as sawdust, rice and/or coffee husks, used oil, etc.). These kilns reduce potters’ reliance on wood by about 50%. Since 1998, Manny has focused on providing people in developing countries with potable water by interfacing appropriate technology equipment that he designed, to achieve the goal set forth by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This Committee has recognized water as a human fundamental right and is providing a human rights framework for the Millennium Declaration Goal of halving the proportion of people unable to reach or afford safe drinking water by the year 2015. Achieving this goal would require that an estimated 125,000 unserved and underserved people be connected to safe water supplies each day before the 2015 target year.

Daniele Latagne

Daniele is an Environmental Engineer (MIT BS ’96, MIT M.Eng. ’01, PE ’03) currently pursuing her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and working half-time at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . Upon finishing her undergraduate degree, she worked for five years at the Ipswich Ri
ver Watershed Association ( and teaching at the Edgerton Center at MIT. She began working in household water treatment in developing countries during her Master’s and continued teaching in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT and doing private consulting ( until 2003. She moved full-time to CDC in May 2003. In her 3 years at MIT and 4 years with CDC, she has worked to implement and study chlorination, filtration, and combined treatment household water treatment implementations in over 30 countries. She is a member of the board of directors for Potters for Peace ( She counts as hobbies hiking, lindy hop dancing, reading, and highpointing (reaching the highest point in each US state).
On Feb 28, 2008, at 3:32 PM, Lantagne, Daniele (CDC/CCID/NCZVED) wrote:"Based on the in-country results, the technology is promising, and independent research ongoing at Lehigh University and Emory University (in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating efficacy and social acceptability.” Results from these studies will be available Summer 2008."Danele Lantagne

Thomas Rooney

Thomas Rooney is a managing partner at RCI Consulting, where he advises clients on all facets of the global water crisis with a particular emphasis on critical water infrastructure iss

Prior to joining RCI Consulting, Mr. Rooney was the President and CEO of Insituform Technologies, Inc., a plastics technology company that has become the world’s largest water, sewer and oil pipeline rehabilitation company. During his tenure the company expanded its operations to include sewer, oil and drinking water technologies, while also expanding the company into Eastern Europe, Australia, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico and various other countries, ultimately operating in 45 countries around the world.

Mr. Rooney currently serves on the board of directors of the International Centre for Democratic Transition (ICDT based in Budapest, Hungary. Through his involvement with the ICDT, Mr. Rooney advises democratic governments around the world on the difficult challenges associated with critical water shortages and failing water infrastructure.

Mr. Rooney holds a civil engineering degree from Cornell University and an MBA, with a specialization in finance, from The University of Chicago.

Mr. Rooney is the author of numerous water and infrastructure-related business commentaries in several major publications including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Times as well as frequent appearances on national news programs including NBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, FOX News and NPR Radio.