Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors comprises senior industry leaders from around the world and across the sectors, such as commercial fisheries, shipowners, seabed mining, ocean data collection, media and law and provides guidance and support to our Secretariat.

Neil Baird (Chair), Founder and Chairman, Baird Publications

Neil Baird is the Chair of the WOC Board of Directors. He has been a member of the Board since 2012, serving a number of roles including as Director. Mr Baird is the Founder and Chairman of Baird Maritime Group, and worked for many years as the Editor-in-Chief of Baird Publications, one of the world’s leading marine publishing companies.

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Jonathan Webb (Secretary), Partner, Holman Fenwick Willan LLP

Jonathan Webb serves as the secretary on the WOC Board of Directors and has been a member of the board since 2013. Mr. Webb is a dual-qualified lawyer admitted as an attorney in South Africa in 1991 and a solicitor in England in 1997. Born in Natal, South Africa, he completed a BA in History and Economics at the University of Cape Town. He received an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) and a post-graduate diploma in maritime law from the University of Natal. He began his professional career in 1989 at Sheptsone & Wylie, a leading Durban maritime law practice. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 where he acquired an LLM (Master of Laws) at the University of London.

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Henk van Muijen (Treasurer), Managing Director, IHC Mining

Henk van Muijen is the managing director at MTI Holland (The Knowledge Centre of IHC Merwede). He started his career at MTI Holland in 1984 as junior project manager and joined IHC's mining department as product manager in 1986. He worked as the manager of the technical department of IHC Mining from 1990 to 1993, at which point he was promoted to senior project manager at MTI Holland. His work involved an array of dredging and mineral processing projects including conducting environmental impact assessments and cleanups, selecting proper dredging and mining equipment, controlling dredging related to constituent processing steps and business development of mineral processing projects.

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Lori Kennedy, Co-owner, LouisbourgSeafoods

Lori Kennedy has been the co-owner of Louisbourg Seafoods since the company was founded in 1984. She is a former fisheries plant worker with a deep appreciation for the industry and a skillset derived from working in all facets of business operations. Mrs. Kennedy believes the knowledge and experience passed down from her ancestors, who have lived for hundreds of years in Newfoundland and St. Pierre & Miquelon, France, have informed her success. Valuing and respecting the ocean is an important lesson she has learned from them – a lesson all seafood companies should incorporate into their mission.

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Mikael Thinghuus, CEO, Royal Greenland A/S

Mikael Thinghuus is the CEO of Royal Greenland A/S. Prior to this he was CEO of ID Design and the owner of Idemøbler and ILVA in Denmark and Sweden. In the early 2000s he worked as the COO of ECCO for five years, as well as the CFO of ALK-Abello and the CFO of Valtech, a French internet consulting company.

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Gary Gysin, CEO, Liquid Robotics

Gary Gysin has over thirty years of executive experience delivering international revenue growth and establishing market leadership for technology, innovation, renewable energy and cloud computing companies. He is currently the President and CEO of Liquid Robotics, which has undergone a period of unprecedented growth during his tenure. The Economist and the World Economic Forum recently recognized Liquid Robotics for pioneering technology and fundamentally changing the way the world can access, collect, and monitor ocean data through the use of ocean robots.

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Vinay S. Patwardhan, Chief Operating Officer, TCC Group

Captain Vinay S. Patwardhan is TCC Group Chief Operating Officer. A graduate of the training ship Dufferin, Captain Patwardhan has over 50 years of experience in the maritime industry. In 2005, he joined TCC as General Manager and Director of TCC Singapore for over four years, he successfully modernized and managed fleet operations with a commitment to safety and transparency.

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Bill Staby, CEO, Resolute Marine Energy

Bill Staby is Founder and CEO of Boston-based Resolute Marine Energy, Inc. (RME). Bill is Head of the U.S. delegation to IEC TC-114 in Geneva, Switzerland where he has a leadership role in the development of technical standards and certification processes for the marine renewable energy industry. Bill also serves on the Technical Advisory Committee of the University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute and is a member of the board of the Marine Renewable Energy Coalition which is developing the first tidal energy test site in the United States. Earlier in his career, Bill was an investment banker at First Boston Corporation and later he was co-head of the North American mergers & acquisitions department at Rabobank where he focused on strategic transactions in the food and agribusiness sector.

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Renee Grogan, Director, Gro Sustainability Pty Ltd

Renee Grogan is an environmental consultant with over ten years of experience in the resources industry. She has significant expertise in the implementation of international and domestic legislation in extractive industries, particularly regarding the implementation of IFC Standards for Environmental Impact Assessments. Ms. Grogan has experience in both policy development and implementation, having worked as the program officer for the Australian Federal Government Department of Research and Development, and managing a state government funded terrestrial biodiversity program. She also has over 8 years of experience in terrestrial and marine mining, including most recently as Sustainability Manager for Nautilus Minerals.

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Tom Boardley, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Corporate and External Affairs, Lloyd’s Register

Tom Boardley was appointed Executive Vice President at Lloyd’s Register (LR) on the 14 March 2016. From 2009 to 2016, Tom led the LR Marine business as its Director, responsible for worldwide operations, strategy and business development. Prior to joining LR in 2009, Tom had accumulated 30 years’ experience in the container shipping, ports and logistics business. Commencing his career with the container shipping division of P&O, originally trading as OCL and subsequently as P&O Nedlloyd, he held various management roles in the UK, Taiwan, Korea and Japan before being appointed as Director for Australia and New Zealand, based in Sydney in 1996. Tom left P&O in 2004, joining the Japanese shipping and logistic company NYK, heading their European operation.

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Margaret Hepburn, CEO and Owner, Hepburn Bio Care Group

Margaret Hepburn is the CEO and owner of Hepburn Bio Care Group: Hepburn Bio Eco Care, Hepburn Bio Yacht Care, Hepburn Bio Body Care and other environmental companies. Margaret has been a lifetime entrepreneur passionately committed to working in harmony with nature and protecting the environment by ensuring toxic chemicals are replaced by super concentrated, non-toxic chemicals reducing plastics and risk to the end user. Hepburn Bio Care is a multimillion dollar Group with a global supply of biodegradable, phosphate free, non-flammable, non-toxic to aquatic life eco-friendly cleaning and waste water treatment products.

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Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping

Peter enjoyed a first career in the British Royal Navy, that included over 20 years at sea and 5 years in seagoing command. He also gained a civilian BSc (Hons) in management. He joined ICS in 2001 and for several years led ICS representation on maritime safety, security and environmental issues at the IMO and elsewhere. He was appointed Secretary General of ICS in July 2010 and today focuses on enabling the ICS team to optimize its effectiveness on behalf of international shipping. The membership of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) comprises the key national shipowners’ associations from around the world and represents more than 80% of the world’s merchant tonnage.

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Christine Valentin, WOC Chief Operating Officer

Christine is Chief Operating Officer for the WOC. As such she is leading the WOC efforts to develop and drive strategically focused action to ensure sustainable business value to members, grow the WOC membership and visibility among ocean business community, and guide WOC budget development and financial management. Christine has 30 years of senior positions (international business development, strategy, CFO) in multicultural contexts in S&P 500 companies and smaller management owned businesses. Past roles include: VP International Business Development and Strategy Oranjewoud Group in the Netherlands; Senior VP Finance, HR and Business Development GED Group in France; Assistant VP Sales for Industrial Markets Veolia in France; Key Account Manager Otis Elevators in the USA; Business Strategy Manager Pratt & Whitney in the USA; Chief Financial Officer Waste Management France.

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Paul Holthus, WOC Founding President & CEO

Paul is founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the World Ocean Council. He works with the private sector and market forces to develop practical solutions for achieving sustainable development and addressing environmental concerns, especially for marine areas and resources.

His experience ranges from working with the global industry associations or directors of UN agencies to working with fishers in small island villages. He has been involved in coastal and marine resource sustainable development and conservation work in over 30 countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, Central...

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