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Who’s Who: Maritime Movements For November/December 2023

Posted on January 3, 2024

Sonia Malaluan has been selected to serve as the new administrator of the Philippines’ Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), taking over from Hernani Fabia.

Malaluan was previously MARINA’s Deputy Administrator for Planning, serving in the post since November 2022. She has spent over 20 years with MARINA and held roles including Chief Accountant and Maritime Attache to London.

Malaluan is a certified public accountant and a graduate of the master’s degree in public administration program of the National University of Singapore.

Taylor Smith Shipyard (TSS) of Mauritius has appointed Willy van Niekerk as its new General Manager.

Van Niekerk has been Assistant General Manager at TSS since 2022. He has broad experience in the maritime and offshore industries, taking to sea at 14 as a school holiday job on a converted fishing vessel and deciding to study marine engineering as a result.

Throughout the years, Van Niekerk sailed on container ships and bulk carriers trading worldwide, becoming chief engineer in the process before embarked on a shore-based career. His roles ashore varied from Technical Superintendent, Newbuild Superintendent, Ship Manager and Dry Dock Manager, working in South Africa, Germany, and South Korea.

In his new role, he will be responsible for modernising the yard, expanding its regional scope and portfolio, and tapping into new markets.

Martin Bloem will assume the newly established position of Group Director Corporate Affairs at the Damen Shipyards Group effective January 1, 2024.

Bloem has been involved with the shipbuilding sector since working for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. He was later the general director of the industry association Netherlands Maritime Technology. Afterwards, he took up a position as a partner at the strategic maritime consultancy Marstrat and held public-private positions in the Rotterdam region.

Dr Rick Officer has been appointed as the next Chief Executive Officer of the Marine Institute, Ireland’s state agency for marine research, technology development, and innovation.

Officer joins the Marine Institute from the Atlantic Technological University (ATU), where he held the position of Vice President for Research and Innovation. He led the integration of Research and Innovation activities at the former Galway-Mayo, Sligo, and Letterkenny Institutes of Technology, through the merger into ATU.

Officer also led the establishment of the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre, now ATU’s largest Research Centre comprising approximately 100 people. His experience of international fisheries and aquaculture was gained through his Fisheries Scientist roles in Victoria and Tasmania, and his role as Science Leader for Fisheries and Aquaculture for the State of Queensland, Australia. He previously led the demersal fisheries research and assessment team at the Marine Institute.

Officer’s responsibilities included Chief Scientist roles aboard Ireland’s National research vessels, appointment as National Delegate to the European Commission’s Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries, and Chairmanship of International Working Groups and Expert Groups for the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and the European Commission.

Officer has a Science degree (1990) and PhD in Fisheries Science (1995) from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a Masters in Business Administration (2019) from University College London. He will commence his appointment in early January 2024.

UK-based ExoTechnologies is expanding its reach in the naval and coastal law enforcement sectors with the appointment of Colonel Tom Ryall MBE as managing director of its maritime defence division.

Ryall will lead the company’s international expansion and innovation in the maritime defence market, focusing on small boats, unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), and advanced autonomous technologies.

Over a 20-year career, Ryall served in roles related to the development and integration of advanced military and dual-use technologies. In his new role, he will oversee the development of maritime solutions, ranging from high-performance tactical craft to fast assault craft and autonomous unmanned surface vehicles. He is also set to establish ExoTechnologies’ presence at the Defence BattleLab, a collaboration between the Ministry of Defence, Dorset Council, and Dorset Local Enterprise.

The Babcock International Group has appointed Paul Armstrong to lead its Marine sector, delivering a number of critical UK and international defence programmes, including the UK’s Type 31 frigates for the Royal Navy.

With a career that started in shipbuilding in Barrow-in-Furness, Armstrong joined Babcock from Draken International, the aviation defence business where he was CEO responsible for operations in the UK, US and overseas territories. He holds an MA in Corporate Governance and Commercial Law and Chartered Status with the ICSA.

The Radio Holland Group has appointed Sven Zaadnoordijk as its new CEO effective January 1, 2024, replacing Kees-Jan Mes.

Zaadnoordijk joined Radio Holland in 2012. He previously served as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and Regional Director for both Asia and Americas, stationed in various countries like the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States.

Propspeed has appointed Davide Burrini as its new Sales Director for the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Before stepping into the marine industry professionally, his career began in the telecom industry with marketing and business development roles, working with various multinational companies. After this, he spent several years in pricing management and commercial strategy positions before moving to the marine industry.

With 13 years of experience in the marine industry, Burrini has developed a strong expertise in commercial strategy, sales, and business development. His professional journey includes managing sales and leading customer service, marketing, and technical service teams in various management roles at leading organisations in the sector. He worked with a wide network of distributors and dealers as well as having direct touch with key accounts in both B2B and B2C channels.

Burrini graduated from Milan University with a degree in physics and holds an MBA from the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan.

Marine safety equipment provider Ocean Safety has made three appointments to enhance its current technical team.

Jamie Gunton joins the company as Technical Manager. He has considerable experience in product design and development in his previous roles as an Engineering Manager with Crewsaver and as a Global Product Design Engineer with Mustang Survival. He will also be supervising the technical and product training teams across Ocean Safety’s liferaft and man overboard (MOB) ranges.

Josh Fielder is taking on the role of Product Category Manager (Lifejackets) to oversee the design and development of the leisure, commercial, and military lifejacket ranges for Ocean Safety, and those of fellow Alliance Marine-owned brands Typhoon International and Revere Survival. His previous design and manufacturing experience was gained across various industries including a four-year tenure in the marine industry.

Josh Belben joins Ocean Safety as Product Designer. He will be involved in all aspects of design, development, and testing of new and existing liferafts, containers, MOB ranges, and accessories.

Derk te Bokkel has been appointed CEO of Royal IHC, taking over from Jan-Pieter Klaver. Te Bokkel will combine his role as CEO with his current role as CFO, while Klaver will remain a member of the Board of Directors until March 1, 2024.

Te Bokkel is an economist and technical business administrator with a varied career at, among others, Shell and Stork. Since 2004, he was founder, chairman of the board, and major shareholder of TB&C Hybrid Technologies, which was recently sold to Delta Electronics of Taiwan.

From 2010 to 2023, he was also a partner at Custom Management Interim Directors, holding temporary management positions at Vanderlande Industries, MOBA and other companies in the high-tech manufacturing industry, among others. He has been a supervisory board member of the Terberg Group since 2014.

Crowley has designated Christy Guthman as vice president of business development for its wind services business.

Guthman most recently served as executive general manager of sales and commercial operations for GE Offshore Wind. She also worked as General Electric’s senior sales director for the western U.S. and Mexico.

Guthman also served as a board member on the National Offshore Wind Research & Development Consortium and co-chair of the American Clean Power Association Wind Council.

She obtained her Master of Business Administration from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in logistics management, marketing and Spanish from Central Michigan University.

Andrew Mueller has joined Crowley as vice president of government relations where he will be leading the company’s activities at the federal level.

Mueller joins Crowley with more than 20 years of in-depth experience in federal advocacy and strong expertise in defence and national security. He most recently served as senior director of policy and international development for General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems.

Mueller earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He also served as an officer in the US Navy during a two-decade military career.


The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers has officially welcomed its new senior officers at a Controlling Council meeting held in Athens, Greece.

Taking over from Glenn Murphy FICS as International Chair of the Institute is Luis Bernat. Prior to his election as Chair, he has held the position of Vice Chair since 2021. He brings to the role extensive experience gained over almost 50 years in the industry. This includes, most recently, his role as Chartering Manager for TSL Shipping and Trading.

Bernat has been through the different levels of shipping such as agency, shipbroking, tonnage operator and shipowner, especially within the fields of reefer, dry, breakbulk, and mostly chemical tankers and has had responsibility for a fleet of 21 vessels.

Taking on the role of Vice Chairman is Krishnan Subramaniam. He has over three decades of experience in logistics, supply chain, and training roles in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries. Based in Dubai, he also holds the position of Head of Professional Development at the ICS Middle East Branch.

Subramaniam serves as Adjunct Faculty Member of the S P Jain School of Global Management and Strategic Advisor of the Transworld Group. He is also a Member of the Steering Committee ICC UAE Customs and Trade Facilitation Commission.

Newly appointed Vice President Punit Oza has over three decades of commercial and operational experience working with leading maritime and trading companies. In 2023, he founded Maritime NXT, a consultancy firm.

Carl-Antoine Saverys will take over formally as CEO of shipping company Exmar from January 1, 2024, taking over from Francis Mottrie, who will assume a supporting role as COO.

Over the last six years, Saverys served deputy roles with Exmar’s infrastructure department and thereafter at the shipping department.

His prior positions include Sale and Purchase Broker with Hamburg-based Victoria Shipbrokers and Chartering Manager with Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB).

Associated British Ports (ABP) has welcomed commercial and property expert Lex Hanham to its Business Development team.

Having originally joined ABP as a Graduate Management Trainee in Southampton, Hanham has more than 15 years’ experience at the organisation. She has successfully delivered projects across a wide range of business functions, from operations to property management and from project management to commercial.

Prior to joining ABP, Hanham served as a Development Officer at the Royal Yachting Association and as a Yacht Broker at Portway Yacht Sales. She holds a BSc in Marine Geography from Cardiff University and volunteers at Lymington Town Sailing Club.

Angad Banga of the Caravel Group has been elected Chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA) ssociation. Banga succeeds Wellington Koo of Valles Steamship, who stepped down after completing his two-year term as Chairman.

Richard Hext of Swire Shipping was elected Deputy Chairman, succeeding Banga. Qian Weizhong of COSCO Shipping (Hong Kong) and Wang Yongxin of China Merchants Energy Shipping were re-elected as Vice Chairmen.

Trade association the UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) has announced that Henrik L. Pedersen, Chief Executive Officer of Associated British Ports (ABP), will become its new Chair.

In his role at UKMPG, Pedersen will chair the Board of other member CEOs and provide strategic direction for the organisation.

Pedersen was appointed Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Board of ABP in August 2018. He joined ABP from APM Terminals, where he served as Chief Commercial Officer. During his 20-year tenure with the Maersk Group he held a wide range of senior leadership roles based in Denmark, USA, China, Panama, Singapore and the Netherlands.

Pedersen holds a finance degree from Copenhagen Business School as well as having completed various executive studies at Columbia, Harvard and IMD business schools.

HAROPA Port CEO Stéphane Raison has been appointed Vice-President for Europe of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).

A French civil servant working at the Ministry of transport and a qualified engineer by training, Raison began his career in the maritime and coastal sector working initially for Les Sables d’Olonne to head up the Maritime and Risks Department. He subsequently joined the Port of Dunkirk in early 2009 as Director of Planning and Environment, where he managed the LNG terminal installation project.

From 2012 to 2014, he led the reform of the port of La Réunion (Indian Ocean), where he developed the European container hub project, among others. He later returned to Dunkirk as Chair of the Executive Committee from 2014 to 2020.

In November 2020, he was directed to conduct the merger of the Ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris (HAROPA). He has been CEO of HAROPA Port since June 1, 2021.


Innovasea, a company specialising in technologically advanced aquatic solutions for aquaculture and fish tracking, has hired Rudi Seim as managing director of its office in Bergen, Norway.

Seim comes to Innovasea from Benchmark Genetics, where he served as head of production Norway and global fish health. He has more than 15 years of experience in the global aquaculture industry.

At Innovasea, Seim will oversee all operations in Norway, including business development, sales, field service and customer support.

Seim holds a Bachelor of Science in economics and administration and a Master of Science in executive management, both from the Norwegian School of Economics. He also holds a master’s degree in aquamedicine from the University of Bergen.


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