Who’s Who: Maritime Movements for July/August 2023

Who’s Who: Maritime Movements for July/August 2023


Anna Müller has been appointed as President of Volvo Penta and member of the Volvo Group management. She will replace Heléne Mellquist, who will leave the Volvo Group to join the investment company Latour as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Müller started her Volvo Group career in 2014 in the Volvo Penta service organisation, working with business development. Currently she holds the position as Senior Vice President for the Europe North and Central Division at Volvo Trucks.

Müller will take on her position effective December 1, 2023.

Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) recently made two new appointments to its board of directors. Andrey Kostin was unanimously elected to the post of Chairman while Andrey Puchkov was designated General Director.

Andrey Kostin has been President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank since 2002. From 1979 to 1993, he was in the Soviet and then Russian Diplomatic Service Corps, serving with the Soviet Consulate General in Australia and then the Soviet Embassy in Great Britain.

Kostin graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University with a degree in Political Economy and a PhD in Economics.

Andrey Puchkov is a practicing lawyer who has been with VTB Bank since 2002, serving in roles starting from deputy department head to First Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board.

Puchkov is a 1998 graduate of the college of law at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Svitzer Chief Commercial Officer Videlina Georgieva has been promoted to Managing Director of Svitzer Australia, replacing outgoing MD Nicolaj Noes who will be leaving Svitzer.

Georgieva has spent 13 years with Svitzer, most recently as the organisation's Global Chief Commercial Officer. She has already begun a planned handover process with Noes and will commence her new role effective early September.

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) has welcomed Jaakko Heikkilä as its new part-time International Programme Manager.

In his new role, Heikkilä will oversee the development and delivery of key IMRF programmes as well as events, including working groups, panels, courses, and conferences that promote SAR best practices to the global SAR community and IMRF membership.

In addition to his role at the IMRF, Heikkilä remains as Head of Training at the Finnish Lifeboat Institution (FLBI), where he has been in place since 2016. He also serves as a volunteer lifeboat crew member at the FLBI Helsinki Station. Prior to joining FLBI, he spent 13 years as a Senior Researcher working for the Finnish government, contributing to various interdisciplinary research projects and holding a Licentiate of Science degree in environmental economics.

Donna Gauci has stepped into the new role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Marine and Tourism division of Australian transport operator SeaLink.

Having started at SeaLink as General Manager New Zealand, Gauci moved to Australia in 2011 to head up SeaLink's South Australian operations.

For the last four years, Gauci has been SeaLink Marine and Tourism's Chief Operating Officer, leading all facets of the business including overseeing SeaLink's investment in several new vessel builds and navigating the global pandemic and recovery.

Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco has been elected as the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), with effect from January 1, 2024, for an initial term of four years.

The IMO Council voted to appoint Dominguez during its 129th session (C 129), which met from 17 to 21 July 2023. The decision of the Council will be submitted to the IMO Assembly, which meets for its 33rd session from November 27 to December 6, 2023, for approval.

Dominguez is currently Director of IMO's Marine Environment Division, a role he has held since January 2022. He joined the IMO Secretariat in 2017, first as Chief of Staff to the Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, before being appointed in 2020 as Director of the Organization's Administrative Division.

Dominguez graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Fermin Naudeu Institute in Panama. He went on to study Naval Architecture at the University of Veracruz, Mexico, graduating in 1995. He also holds an MBA from the University of Hull, and a Certificate of Higher Education in International Law and European Politics from Birkbeck University, both in the United Kingdom.

His maritime career began in 1996 as a port engineer at Armadores del Caribe in Panama before moving to become a Drydock Assistant Manager at Braswell Shipyard. In 1998, he moved to London to join the Panama Maritime Authority as Head of the Technical and Documentation Regional Office for Europe and North of Africa. He went on to represent Panama in a variety of roles at the organisation, culminating in 2014 with his appointment as Panama's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to IMO until 2017.

Between 2014 and 2017, Mr. Dominguez Velasco chaired IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), and in 2015 he chaired the Technical Committee of the 25th session of the IMO Assembly. Prior to this, between 2010 and 2014, he chaired the Maritime Security – Piracy and Armed Robbery Working Group under the auspices of the organization's Maritime Safety Committee.

UK vessel operator North Star has boosted its senior team with a strategic appointment in Hamburg, Germany.

Caspar Blum has been appointed into the newly created role of European renewables lead. He will be the main focal point for the business within the region, with a direct report into North Star's CEO, Matthew Gordon, at the firm's HQ in Aberdeen, UK.

Blum has more than a decade's experience in the offshore sector and joins the company after five years at Amplemann Operations. While there, he rose through the ranks, spending 18 months as area manager sales and business development, Europe and Africa.

Prior to this, he worked at Baltic Diver Germany as a tender manager for a couple of years following a two-year stint as a shipbroker in Aberdeen for the GRS Group.

Avikus, HD Hyundai's autonomous navigation in-house startup,has appointed Paul Petani to the position of Managing Director of North America. In his new role, Petani is responsible for establishing the brand and an official US entity, growing a domestic team and overseeing day-to-day operations of Avikus' efforts in the United States and Canada.

Petani previously worked at IoT startup FELL Technology, Brunswick's Mercury Marine, First Alert Fire and Safety, and Polaris Industries. He has extensive experience in OEM sales, dealer direct, aftermarket P&A sales, and omnichannel development with brick and mortar and online sales channels.


Boreas Maritime has confirmed the opening of a new branch in Croatia. The team has been expanded with two new members to run the branch in Rijeka, Croatia. Marina Frkovic, Senior Account Manager and Co-Owner Boreas Maritime Croatia, and Ivan Plisic, Senior Account Manager and Co-Owner Boreas Maritime Croatia, will run the new branch.

<em>Marina Frkovic</em>
Marina Frkovic

Frkovic is a law graduate and will be responsible for the management of the branch office, while Plisic is an ex-seafarer with 12 years of experience on board tankers and bulk carriers, among others.

<em>Ivan Plisic</em>
Ivan Plisic


UK-based Plymouth Fishing and Seafood Association (PFSA) has welcomed Edward Baker as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Baker was formerly the Principal Fisheries Manager for quota management at the UK Marine Management Organisation. He joined eight years ago as a Marine Officer, working in Plymouth and Brixham, and has excellent local knowledge as well as a broad understanding of UK fisheries and environmental conservation.

In previous roles, he has worked on board a trawler in the Channel Islands, as a Fisheries Observer in New Zealand, a Marine Mammal Scientist on board seismic survey vessels, as a yacht skipper teaching cadets to sail, and as an Environmental Protection Officer, Coastguard and Port Control radio operator in Jersey.

Aquaculture technology company Ace Aquatec has appointed Keith Davidson as its new Chief Technology Officer.

Having managed teams across the USA, Canada, India, China, Europe and Asia, Davidson has worked with various technology companies at every stage, from start-ups to multinational corporations.

<em>Hannah Fennell</em>
Hannah Fennell

A new president has been elected by the Scottish Fishermen's Federation. Hannah Fennell, head of the Orkney Fisheries Association, has taken over from Ian Gatt who has stood down after his second spell in the role. Sheila Keith, executive officer of Shetland Fishermen's Association (SFA), is the new vice-president.

<em>Sheila Keith</em>
Sheila Keith

Both were elected at the organisation's recent annual general meeting, held in Orkney.

Fennell had previously served as Senior Researcher in Marine Scotland's Marine Analytical Unit. Keith meanwhile was also a policy officer with SFA as well as a member of the board of Shetland Food and Drink.

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT), a provider of contract research services to the aquaculture industry, has designated Simon Hill as its new Chief Business Development Officer. In this role, he will spearhead strategic growth initiatives, expanding market reach, driving global expansion, and forging long-term partnerships, with a special focus on the rapidly advancing genome editing space.

Hill brings over 20 years of business development experience to his new role. His expertise spans strategy development, dynamic financial modelling, and project management. He has led multiple key market entries and service offerings within the scope of aquaculture genetics and research.

Innovasea, a provider of technologically advanced aquatic solutions for aquaculture and fish tracking, has hired veteran fish farmer Erik Vis as its new aquaculture services lead.

Vis has more than 20 years of global experience as a fish farm operator and manager, most recently as director of the fish business unit at Naqua, one of the world's largest aquaculture operations, where he oversaw a 10,000-tonne Barramundi operation with multiple sites in Saudi Arabia.

Before joining Naqua in 2020, Vis served as the general manager of Blue Ocean Mariculture's Seriola farm in Hawaii, where he oversaw the initial development of a new processing facility. Before that he was the director of operations at Open Blue in Panama, the largest submerged offshore cobia farm in the world, where he managed a staff of 100.

Both companies are part of the Cuna del Mar portfolio of companies – which also includes Innovasea – and rely heavily on Innovasea technology, systems and equipment.

Vis will report to George Nardi, vice president of aquaculture services.

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