Paul Ciesiun grew up in Blue Island, Illinois a southern suburb of Chicago. He has worked in the paintball industry for 10 years and has spent 18 years as an avid player. His first playing experience occurred at the age of 14 after a friend’s father purchased paintball passes to Challenge Park just outside of Chicago.
Paul played paintball frequently until the age of 18 when he enlisted into the U.S. Air Force. There he served four honorable years as a C-130 Loadmaster at Pope AFB, accumulating hundreds of flight hours and logging combat time in “Desert Fox”, a low intensity conflict with Iraq. While in the Air Force Paul distinguished himself by earning eight ribbons and medals, including three Aerial Achievement Medals. Despite his life long love of flight, when met with the option to reenlist Paul decided to part ways and pursue a career in his hobby, paintball.
In 2000 Paul returned to Chicago and found work as a paintball referee at Challenge Park, the field he had played at as a teenager. As a referee he gained first hand knowledge on the game, field management, and operation. He would later help Forest Brown close Challenge Park and build the multi-million dollar Challenge Park Extreme in Joliet, Illinois. During this time he continued to play paintball and began to develop product ideas such as the glow-in-the-dark paintball.
In 2001 Paul worked with System X to introduce “Kryptonite Glow-In-the-Dark Paintballs” and would later go on to invent the U.V. Loader to charge the night paintball as well as “Dark Legion Paintballs”. In order to progress his inventions, Paul chose to study business management and enrolled full time at Illinois State University. While there, he joined the I.S.U. paintball club. During his four years in school he actively competed in tournaments through the National Collegiate Paintball Association, PSP, and the NPPL.
In 2003, Paul and his family reopened the original Challenge Park location as Realms of Ruin Paintball Park. The field still operates today as an 80-acre outdoor field. Between 2002 and 2006 Paul worked in various aspects of the industry. During this time he introduced music featuring major music talents to the International Amateur Open, assisted in event production for the NPPL Super 7, and continued to be a field owner, referee, scenario producer, tournament player, and paintball product inventor. Today, Paul has three U.S. Patents and several Patents Pending, all of which are related to paintball.
Paul met Ronnie in 2004 when he was seeking technical help related to improving the glow-in-the-dark paintball formulation. Despite the original intent, Paul’s creative ability and concepts combined with Ronnie’s technical prowess helped facilitate a new goal. They would spend the next six years working together on an alternate method to manufacture paintballs using new materials more suited for the playing environment.
Paul graduated from Illinois State University in 2006 with a B.S. Degree in Business Management. In his last semester he drafted an award winning business plan to help acquire funding that would lead to the formation of HydroTec®. In 2009 Paul’s efforts were recognized by Illinois State University’s College of Business with an Early Career Achievement Award.
After nearly seven years of hard work and effort, HydroTec® is ready to become the new standard in paintball quality and promises to move the sport into a new era.
Ronnie Bayless has more than 30 years experience in Research and Development and manufacturing including 15 years in the paintball industry. After growing up and graduating High School in Birmingham, Alabama, Ronnie attended a local junior college, majoring in biology. Ronnie began his scientific career at Southern Research Institute, in Birmingham, doing advanced applied research for government and industrial sponsors in diverse areas including biomedical polymer synthesis, radioactive polymer synthesis, microencapsulation and other drug delivery systems, chemical warfare agent research, and in-vivo medical device testing. Working with some of the top chemists of the time made Ronnie realize he should finish his degree so he worked full time and attended the University of Alabama in Birmingham part time pursuing a degree in Chemistry and Biology. After seeing what Biologist actually did in their jobs and tiring of school, Ronnie completed his bachelor’s degree in chemistry, with a specialty in polymer chemistry, and minor in biology.
Soon after graduation, Ronnie accepted an R&D position with Critikon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, in Tampa, Florida doing product development for IV Catheters and Cardiac Catheters. At Critikon, Ronnie learned a great deal about the corporate world and all the aspects involved in taking new products from concept to stable manufacturing. During the ten years at Critikon, Ronnie rose to mid management, supervising scientists and engineers, until the company was divested and closed. After a few months of unemployment, Ronnie was fortunate to find a position with a small specialty products company in Largo, Florida where he was responsible for formulations and scale-up of industrial cleaners, personal care products, and cosmetics. This job yielded six patents and important knowledge of thickener systems, color formulation, and surfactants that would be of later benefit in paintballs.
In 1993, Ronnie accepted a position at RP Scherer, in St. Petersburg, Florida, as the only scientist assigned to the new dedicated paintball facility. During these early years of the paintball industry, Ronnie was able to apply his background in polymer chemistry, Quality Management, and formulation experience to help the company improve its technology, manufacturing efficiency, and cost containment. Over the next several years, RP Scherer became the leader in paintball quality and innovation with products such as Marballizer, Evil Paintballs, Polar Ice, and recreational paintballs made from all recycled gelatin. Ronnie was granted a U.S. and International Patent for a no-heat fill formulation, which is still in use. After 5 years in the paintball division, and because of his pharmaceuticals background, Ronnie moved to the pharmaceutical Technical Services department at, then, Cardinal Health. In 2000, Ronnie left Cardinal to begin an independent consulting company assisting paintball, oral softgel, and medical devices clients worldwide. As a consultant, Ronnie worked with many major softgel manufacturers, continued to advance softgel technology, developed many industry contacts, and built a reputation as a prominent scientist.
In 2004, coming from different backgrounds but each working to advance paintball technologies and with a love of the sport, Ronnie and Paul met. They knew paintball was suffering from neglect from paintball manufacturers, foreign competition, and a general disregard for players’ needs, so they decided to combine their talents to develop the next generation of paintballs and bring excitement back to the sport. Their dedication, effort, and collaboration resulted in HydroTec™.
Chuck Hendsch - Has 26 years experience in the Paintball Industry. Starting his career in 1984 as a paintball referee in Northern California, Chuck has developed a passion for the sport like no other. As a San Jose State University graduate with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, Chuck put his degree to work with several Paintball Industry leaders such as RP Scherer, JT Racing, JT USA, National Paintball Supply, Kingman, National Professional Paintball League. Chuck is also a renowned paintball player having played on some of the most prestigious teams in the world.
Chuck Hendsch “I have always worked for companies that are innovative and market leaders, HydroTec is no different. This new process for manufacturing paintballs will change the game as we know and I am very excited about using my experience to create a new future for the sport.”
Chuck Hendsch - Vice President of Sales and Marketing will be in charge of World Wide Sales and Marketing for HydroTec.
Stacy Majka is the Brand & Marketing Manager for HydroTec®. She grew up in Palos Heights, a south suburb of Chicago with her close knit family. Over the past few years she has lived in New York City, Connecticut and now Los Angeles, but no matter where her career has taken her, Chicago will always be home. During her travels she has yet to find a pizza that can even compare to that of a Chicago style pie. The girl loves her pizza.
Growing up in Palos Heights, Stacy was a free-spirited kid who was encouraged by her parents to always be true to her character and that is how she leads her life to this day. Growing up with an older brother and having an avid outdoorsman for a father she developed a tough, no-whining attitude, while still maintaining her “all girl” status.
Although she loved being outdoors with her family she also loved art, design and fashion, which is why she chose to pursue a college where she could explore those interests. She set her sights on Dominican University, a liberal arts college in River Forest, Illinois, where she received a Double Major in Business Administration and Fashion Merchandising. While earning her degree she learned that she was very interested in how companies marketed themselves and soon was pursuing a marketing internship because of her desire to learn more. She has worked for some major retailers within the fashion industry throughout her career and there has always been a commonality with every company she has worked for, she has always had passion for each brand.
A year before she graduated, Stacy met Paul through a very close, childhood friend. She learned about the paintball industry and Paul’s passion for the sport as well as the great influence he planned to bring to the game. Soon after graduation, Stacy worked with Paul and his team at an NPPL event where she met Chuck. She had a blast at the tournaments and really enjoyed her experience. She also noticed the positive effects the sport had on kids, teaching them teamwork and strategy skills as well as bringing family together. She couldn’t help but think that this could have been something her family would have participated in and supported when her and her brother were growing up. And so, she was hooked.
Stacy is very excited to be a part of a company that is highly influential to the game of paintball. She brings with her an eye for detail, a belief in building strong customer relationships and a passion for the HydroTec® brand. Stacy couldn’t be more proud of the company she represents and looks forward to meeting all the players and supporters of HydroTec® at future tournaments and events!