Our People


Fred Tepper

Founder & CEO
1934 - 2022

Fred Tepper is the genesis and driving force behind all that is Argonide. Born in Brooklyn, N. Y. in 1934 Fred is the consummate inventor and “tinkerer”. He graduated Stuyvesant High, and went on to earn both his B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from NYU. After short job tenures in New York, including Sylvania-Corning Nuclear Corp, Fred joined the Mine Safety Appliance Co. (“MSA”) in 1957. It was there where he did Research and development on liquid alkali metals including lithium. In 1969 Fred was promoted to manage the Catalyst Research Corporation (“CRC”), a subsidiary of MSA. During his tenure at CRC Fred’s team developed and patented a revolutionary lithium battery that would allow a pacemaker to run ten plus years without recharging. More than 20 million pacemakers have since used this type of battery. In 1984 Fred was promoted to General Manager of MSA’s Instrument Div. in Pittsburgh, and Vice President of MSA. After retirement in 1997 Fred founded Argonide as an investment in nanotechnology. Ultimately, the nanotechnology concentration evolved into an electropositive adsorption material. It was that material that later would become NanoCeram filter Media. Over the years, Fred has been an avid runner and participated in numerous competitive events. Fred, and his wife of over 60 years have two daughters, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Ray Knispel


A true Cape Codder and New England Patriots fan, Ray was born in Hyannis, Massachusetts. He was raised in Falmouth where he graduated from Falmouth High. He has both Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Upon graduation Ray piloted UH-1 Helicopters in the USAF where he became an instructor pilot. After departing the Air Force, he had a 22 year career at the Kennedy Space Center working for Lockheed Space Operations Company and later United Space Alliance. As an Operations Chief and Orbiter Test Conductor, Ray held several positions of increasing responsibility and scope within the Space Shuttle Integrated Launch Team. He joined the Space Shuttle Team at STS 34 and saw the program thru to the final STS mission is 2011. Ray then joined the Argonide team in August of 2011 and concentrated on program & project management before being promoted to Executive Vice President and ultimately heading the company as President. Ray is married to wife Cindi and a happy father and grandfather. He grouses about not having enough time to golf, but we think that’s an excuse because he is really bad at the sport.

Dr. Leonid Kaledin

Vice President, Research and Development

Leo hails from the land of Vodka, but has been a US citizen for decades. He is a Brilliant and accomplished scientist. He was born in 1951 in Vologda, Russia. Leo got his Bachelors degree in Physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and went on to attain his Master’s degree in 1974 from the same university. In 1982 the good doctor attained his Ph. D. in Physical Chemistry. Dr Kaledin has had a long and distinguished career. He has 70+ papers published in peer-reviewed international journals, 60+ granted patents and patent applications and citations of more than 1500. He has worked in the fields of spectroscopy, laser spectroscopy and water filtration. In 1990, Dr. Kaledin was one of only three nominated by the USSR Academy of Sciences as a scholar to reperesent the USSR at the Massachuessetts Intitute of Technology as a resident scientist. There, he served as an expert in the chemistry of Lanthinides. Additionally, he was then invited to Emory University as an expert in the chemistry of Actinides. It was there that Leo was recruited by Argonide. Later, under NASA sponsorship Dr. Kaledin developed a new type of energetic non-toxic rocket fuels for space applications. He also worked under the DOE Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) sponsorship where he coordinated R&D efforts of four Russian institutes (60+ scientists, 2001-2003). Under NASA sponsorship, Leo developed Nano-Ceramic sterilization filter for recycling wastewater to produce potable and hygiene waters for NASA’s space advanced life support programs. Our favorite listing for Leo is he is the Co-inventor of NanoCeram® and DEAL water® filtration media. He truly is where the rubber hits the road for our technology. In his spare time, Leo enjoys jogging. Leo is married to another Argonide longtime associate Tatiana whom we all affectionately refer to as “THE BOSS”. Together they are an unbeatable team. They have one son, who is an accomplished scientist, and one grandchild.

Stuart Frank

Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Frank has been Argonide’s CFO for the past 10 years. Some warmly call him Scrooge McDuck, but he is a true master off all things within his realm. Stuart brings more than 50 years’ successful experience in helping both small and large companies grow profitably. In his career, he has headed a major paper company in Erving Massachusetts, served as the Executive Director of a Major Orlando law firm and has consulted on many corporate acquisitions and mergers. Accordingly, Argonide is lucky to have him manage the financial, legal, cash management, and human resources departments. Stuart is a veteran world traveler along with his wife Heddy. Over the years, Stuart was an accomplished scuba diver and snow skier. He enjoys collecting sea shells from distant shores and escorting his wife into the many foreign shops on their world travels.

Pamela Knorr

Marketing Support Specialist

Pam was born and raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She declares herself a Philadelphia Eagles fan which has caused gnashing of teeth during the Pats/Eagles Super Bowl Weeks. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising. Pam spent half of her career in the Far East manufacturing sector of the ready to wear and bridal gown industries. She crossed over to the marketing sector taking a job as International Marketing Manager for the construction toy company, K’NEX Industries, where she worked closely with their international distributors to ensure that their product and marketing needs were attained. Most recently, Pam worked at Godiva Chocolatier where she was in design commercialization under their marketing department. She worked closely with package designers, engineers and suppliers to make sure that the finished product met both the aesthetic and quality that reflected the high standards of the Godiva brand. Time with family, traveling and photography are her favorite pastimes.

Gary Battenberg

Senior Business Development Manager

Argonide is pleased to announce the edition of Gary Battenberg to the management team!  Mr. Battenberg recently joined the company from Dan Wood Company in Portage, MI where he was the Technical Manager for the Water Treatment Department.  Before that, he was a Technical Support and Systems Design Specialist with Parker Hannifin Corporation.  Gary has 30 plus years' experience in the water industry and has a proven successful track record in areas of service, design, and manufacturing of water treatment systems.  Gary is a contributing author to WC&P and a member of its Technical Review Committee since 2008 and during that stead was voted one of the magazine's Top 50 most influential people in the water treatment industry in 2009.

Argonide strives to provide quality and cost effective water filtration products that meet or exceed our customer's requirements by continuously improving its processes and our quality management system.

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