Mission-driven, Watersmark CEO Brent B. Woodson pledges to deliver social impact solutions, protect indigenous property rights, and ensure ecological stewardship.
The CEO of infrastructure developer WatersMark, Brent Woodson, is reshaping the narrative of socioeconomic development, one community at a time, with his pioneering approach that melds profitability with purpose, solidifying his status as a transformative force in the world of infrastructure development.
Brent Woodson’s journey into catalytic investment was, in many ways, an inevitability. His career trajectory, peppered with stints managing assets valued at over $500 million, advising the House of Saud on assets north of $120 million, and counselling heads of state, ministers, and even sea and airport authorities, honed his acumen for strategic investment on a global scale.
Yet, it was his profound belief in making a positive societal impact that ultimately steered him towards scouring developing nations for infrastructure projects that transform landscapes and change livelihoods. WatersMark, under his stewardship, embodies this mission. As he puts it, “Our goal is to create a seismic socioeconomic impact, leaving a legacy of positive change for generations to come.”
The WatersMark approach stands in stark contrast to the traditional infrastructure development paradigm. Here, the balance sheet is not the sole arbiter of success. Instead, it’s about fostering a synergy between financial returns, social impact, and environmental stewardship. In essence, it’s about cultivating a catalytic effect where physical infrastructure acts as a powerful agent for change.
At the heart of WatersMark’s ethos lies an unwavering commitment to good governance and the protection of indigenous property rights. For Woodson, these principles are non-negotiable. Every project is meticulously scrutinised to ensure alignment with local regulations and community values. This dedication to principled engagement has not only fortified indigenous interests but has also acted as a blueprint for responsible investing in regions with diverse regulatory landscapes.
WatersMark’s initiatives unfold within seven pivotal market sectors, from health and leisure to blue and green economies as well as bankable assets. These aren’t just investment opportunities; they are catalysts for social transformation. By focusing on these key sectors, WatersMark creates a web of activity and enterprise that nurtures social outreach, generating nearly 29.6 supporting jobs for every single job in the aviation and aviation-supported tourism industries.
One of the remarkable facets of Woodson’s approach is his unwavering belief in the potential of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and emerging markets. These often-overlooked regions bear immense promise for catalytic investment. The Caribbean, in particular, has emerged as a prime canvas for WatersMark’s visionary initiatives.
The Caribbean’s breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cultures, and strategic geographic location have long beckoned tourists. However, beneath the azure waters and pristine shores, there exists an untapped well of investment opportunities. Woodson’s vision for the region extends beyond traditional tourism. It encompasses holistic social, environmental, and infrastructure initiatives that lay the foundation for sustainable growth.
Infrastructure, often the foundation of sustainable economic development, is a linchpin in WatersMark’s strategy. Efficient road networks, modern airports, resorts, and well-connected ports are pivotal for the region’s prosperity. Ports, in particular, stand out as opportune investments. Beyond facilitating increased trade volumes, they elevate living standards, enhance tourist experiences, and generate diverse employment opportunities. The power of catalytic investment lies in its ability to transform entire communities.
For Woodson, the Caribbean is more than a picturesque backdrop. It’s a canvas upon which he paints a future where luxury tourism isn’t just about extravagance but also about enriching local communities. WatersMark champions the maturation of tourism by emphasising high-value, culturally rich experiences that benefit both visitors and local residents. Inclusive development practices that engage communities in the tourism value chain are vital for reducing economic disparities and fostering social cohesion.
Anguilla, a British overseas territory, epitomises Woodson’s vision. The island, with its spectacular beaches and shimmering sands, is poised to become the Caribbean’s foremost destination, thanks to catalytic hero investors like Richard Schulze. Schulze’s investment in updating a five-star resort and golf club is not just about profitability; it’s about transforming the island’s economic cycle into a year-round “open for business” model.
As Brent Woodson and WatersMark continue to chart their transformative course through the Caribbean and beyond, their journey epitomises the fusion of profit and purpose. In an era where the world grapples with complex societal challenges, they stand as beacons of hope, proving that catalytic investment isn’t just a financial strategy; it’s a catalyst for lasting change.
by Lyndon-Marc Adade, a WAWW contributor