Chief Executive Officer
Frank Coles qualified as a Master Mariner, Class One after 12 years at sea. After leaving the sea, Frank gained an LLM in Legal Aspects of Maritime Affairs.
In 1995, Frank joined Pacific Basin Bulk Shipping as Operations Director. After that he became the CEO of Rydex, a company specializing in maritime communications. After that Frank joined Sperry Marine as a Vice President. In September 1999 Frank became COO of Globe Wireless LLC. In 2003 Frank was appointed CEO, President and a member of the Board.
In 2011 Frank joined Inmarsat as the Director GX Maritime, and in December 2011 he was appointed the President of the Maritime business unit. In September 2015, Frank Coles joined Transas as the CEO and member of the Board of Directors. His key aim at Transas is to create an ecosystem of harmonized integrated solutions in safety, navigation, training and ship operation, that will enhance ship and shore integration.
Columbia Marlow Shipmanagement
Mark O'Neil is the CEO of Columbia Marlow Shipmanagement.
A lawyer by profession, Mark headed up international law firm Reed Smith LLP's German Shipping Team, and also co-lead the firm's Offshore Department. His clients included Ship Owners, Charterers, Insurers, Management Companies, Banks, Oil Companies and Offshore Contractors worldwide with a particular focus on the German, Scandinavian, Greek, Dutch, South American and Cypriot markets. He therefore has an in depth knowledge of the shipping, banking and offshore sectors.
Mark has been a senior Partner in Reed Smith LLP and ( before that) Stephenson Harwood LLP for over 17 years.
With over 25 years experience in shipping and offshore, Mark has hosted and/or chaired numerous seminars and conferences internationally.
Senior Vice President Corporate Maritime Quality Assurance
In December 2012 Commodore David Christie accepted a position in Carnival Corporation as Senior Vice President Corporate Maritime Quality Assurance. In this role, he reports directly to Vice Admiral William Burke, USN (Ret), Chief Maritime Officer at Carnival Corporation. His responsibilities include the overall management and direction of the Corporate Training Center in Almere, Holland. Commodore Christie heads up a department consisting of Corporate Executives and Fleet Captains/Chief Engineers. This group drives the Corporate Maritime Quality Assurance function ensuring continuous improvement to the safety culture and operation of all operating lines within the Carnival Corporation fleet.
Commodore Christie served as Senior Vice President, Professional Marine Standards for Princess Cruises and Carnival UK, and Senior Vice President for Maritime Compliance for Princess Cruises, a position in which he held responsibility for ensuring all Princess and Carnival UK Captains and deck officers are properly trained and qualified to meet the requirements of modern cruise ship operation. He also oversaw Princess Cruise’s compliance with fleet regulations and maritime legislation. Among his many responsibilities is the oversight of the line’s extensive bridge simulator training program.
A long-time Princess Captain, in 2002 Christie moved ashore to Princess Cruises headquarters in Santa Clarita, California to serve as Vice President, Marine Operations, and in 2006 was promoted to Senior Vice President, Marine Operations. The next year he took on additional responsibility as Senior Vice President, Professional Marine Standards.
Prior to coming ashore in 2002, Commodore Christie commanded many of the line’s vessels on itineraries around the world. Commodore Christie first took to the sea as a cadet with P&O in 1967. In 1975 he joined the original Pacific Princess as a navigator and rose through the ranks aboard. In 1992 Christie earned his Captain’s stripes and took his first command aboard Island Princess. He subsequently served as master of many of the company’s vessels.
Commodore Christie was awarded the title of Commodore in October 2017 after serving 50 years with the Carnival Corporation & plc.
A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Christie was raised on a coffee plantation in Kenya East Africa, and subsequently studied at the Nautical College in Pangbourne, England.
CL Max Consulting
Senior Consultant and Director
Harry Nelson’s 52-year career started as a military pilot. At the age of 19, he was the youngest straight through jet instructor in the Royal Air Force. In 1981 Harry joined British Aerospace as a test pilot where he later became a Company Director and operated for ten years as Director of Programmes, Manufacturing and Quality. In 2000 Harry Nelson joined Airbus as a test pilot and Executive manager, and in 2012 he became an Operational Advisor to the Head of Product Safety. Harry’s career includes flying with over 75 types of aircraft in the logbook and over 10,000 hours. Today, Harry Nelson runs his consultancy assisting transportation companies to achieve higher levels of performance and engagement.
Vancouver International Maritime Centre
Kaity Arsoniadis-Stein is an international maritime lawyer by trade and has over 17 years of experience in the global shipping industry. She has worked for various international firms including Gard Ltd., the National Oil Refineries of Greece, Teekay Shipping, Seaspan Ship Management and the International Ship Owners Alliance of Canada as the President and Secretary-General.
Kaity has been an industry advisor to the government of Canada, including the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada.
Kaity has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal by the Governor General of Canada and received Honourary Membership of the Company of Master Mariners of Canada.
Danish Ship Finance
Head of Research
Christopher Rex is Head of Research, Member of the Credit Committee and Member of the Board of Directors at Danish Ship Finance, headquartered in Copenhagen. He has been Head of Research since 2010, and a member of the Board of Directors for the past five years. Prior to his current position as Head of Research, he was Head of Middle Office, also at Danish Ship Finance.
After more than 10 years in the shipping industry, Christopher has a large international network, and is recognized within the industry for the publication, Shipping Market Review, published by Danish Ship Finance bi-annually. The report aims to pioneer the inclusion of macroeconomic trends and new technology developments in its analyses of the long-term outlook for shipping industry.
Christopher graduated from Copenhagen University and obtained a MSc in Economics in 2005. In 2016 he was a participant at Singularity University in San Francisco. Furthermore, he has studied at IMD in Switzerland, Harvard University, Copenhagen Business School and at universities in China and Singapore.
General Manager, Asia Pacific
Kris Kosmala brings many years of extensive global experience as a business operations executive in the services and technology industries. He is a senior member of management team at Quintiq, a software company specializing in development and provision of advanced mathematical optimization software used in all aspects of planning and scheduling. Kris regularly contributes to major publications for maritime industry and writes a column on Splash247.com.
VP of Aviation
Rama Myers is the VP of Aviation at Seeing Machines, an industry leader in computer vision technologies which enable machines to see, understand and assist people. Overseeing Aviation Product & Partnerships, Rama drives the product vision for the introduction of Seeing Machines machine learning vision platform to the Aviation industry. Rama has built up extensive knowledge over the last decade in operator monitoring - in research and operational contexts, and across mining, fleet, automotive, aviation, and air traffic control sectors. He currently leads pilot attention and alertness projects at global airlines including Emirates, leading ANSP’s including NATS, and aircraft manufacturers.
Bluewater Management & Training USA
Brian Luke is President of Bluewater Management & Crew Training USA, a global company providing yacht/ship management, crew training, brokerage, charter and crew placement. Locations include Fort Lauderdale Florida, Antibes France and Palma Mallorca.
He has served Bluewater USA and its predecessor for the past 10 years, he is responsible for the vision and leadership of the company and has been instrumental in establishing Bluewater’s brand as an industry leading and highly respected internationally recognized maritime services company.
Additionally, Brian is the CEO of Bluewater Aviation Group, a startup airline training solutions company providing innovative training products & services to include; high-quality training programs, advanced-technology simulators for current and next-generation aircraft, maintenance technician training and in-flight crew programs.
He has a B.S. in Aviation Science and an MBA. Over the last 33 years he has amassed over 22,000 flight hours flying in the US military, US Government and with 2 US Airlines. Additionally, Brian holds a US Coast Guard 1600grt/3000itc tonnage Master CoC and has commanded a variety of Superyachts around the globe.
Swedish Maritime Administration
Communications Officer, STM Validation Project
Ulf has a M.Sc. and a long experience in the IT industry. He joined the maritime world and the MONALISA 2.0 project in 2013. He currently is a Communications Officer of the Sea Traffic Management (STM) Validation project. Ulf is the author of several scientific papers on e-Navigation and IT infrastructures, as well as an appreciated presenter at conferences.
Senior Director and Head of Fleet Support Centre
Starting his career as a Ship Mechanic in 1993, Jörn today holds a Diploma in Ship Operations (Master Mariner and Chief Engineer) and entered the marine operations environment ashore in 2002 after some years a sea.
From 2006 heading marine operation units for North Europe, later for Europe, where he continued four years before joining Future Ship at Germanischer Lloyd in 2010 as Principal Consultant and Head of Operation Practice. Here he developed consultancy services for the maritime industry.
Returning to Hapag-Lloyd, in 2013 he established the Fleet Support Center as a central unit, which he heads since.
His profound background in Naval Engineering, Nautical Studies, Marine Operations and Central Planning in connection with experience in business consultancy, is enabler to establish and manage the high performing, interdisciplinary team at Hapag-Lloyds Fleet Support Center.
Glen Hiemstra is the founder and owner of Futurist.com. Glen is dedicated to disseminating information about the future to assist individuals, organizations, and industries in effective strategic planning. An internationally respected expert on future trends, long-range planning and creating the preferred future, Glen has advised professional, business, and governmental organizations for two decades and has served as a technical advisor for futuristic television programs. Audience members for Glen’s keynote speeches and clients for his long-range planning say things like, “Once you hear Glen Hiemstra speak, the future will never look the same.
Hempstead Maritime Training LLC
Christian Hempstead, Master Mariner, began his coastal and ocean navigation career as a lad using traditional methods. He continued piloting as limited tonnage captain. Then for 19 years he shipped on US flag tankers as senior deck officer, experiencing the transition to GPS and ECDIS navigation. During that time, he completed an MA in literature. Following a calling to teach, he came ashore in 2000 as professional instructor and eventually full professor at USMMA. He contributed ECDIS training requirements to STCW-2010, and developed the 2012 revision to the IMO ECDIS Model Course 1.27, based on in depth experience in navigation and training. Since 2013 he has run Hempstead Maritime Training full time, focusing on ECDIS navigation and simulation trainer training.
Richard Clayton is Chief correspondent at Lloyd’s List and is based in London. He joined in mid-2017 from IHS Markit, where he spent many years editing news, features, and Fairplay magazine. He is currently writing thought leadership and opinion pieces about the evolving maritime business, and moderating webinars and seminars on safety, security, technology, and vessel operations. He chairs business briefings and is a regular speaker on key industry issues. He believes the role of trained and experienced seafarers has been overlooked in the shift towards digitalisation.
Chris McLaughlin is an experienced communications specialist. He was Chief Marketing Officer and a member of the Executive Management Team at Inmarsat plc, until January 2017. He was, responsible for all global government, reputational, marketing, brand and sponsorship activity at Inmarsat plc. Chris represented Inmarsat at the IMO, regarding the introduction of additional safety service providers.
He has wide experience in emerging markets, demanding regulatory environments and with issue-related communications. He is an award-winning crisis management specialist.
Producer and host of multiple global partner events since 2012, he was also responsible for the Volvo Ocean Race technology partner-sponsorship from 2005.
He has held similar international roles at Philip Morris International; Visa International, ITV, The BBC and worked in the private equity environment, acquiring Cable television groups.
Neville is director of Mariner Communications, the PR and media consultancy he founded in 2009 after 16 years as a shipping journalist. He works with a roster of international shipping industry clients across classification, communications, navigation services, freight trading, marine coatings, ships agency and technical ship services. He is a regular participant in industry events, speaking and moderating on technology, communications and human factor issues. When time allows, he writes a blog about IT and communications in shipping at www.maritimeinsight.com and tweets @maritimeinsight.
Vice President Solutions
Vladimir Ponomarev graduated from the naval college in 1993 with MS in Hydrographic Engineering. In 1999-2003 he got a post-graduate study and Ph.D. degree in St. Petersburg State Academy of Engineering and Economics specializing in portfolio risks analysis. In 2007 Vladimir completed his MBA studies in International Institute of Management (IMISP).
Vladimir has been working in Transas since 1996 holding various technological and product management positions. He has been deeply involved in the Transas business and structure development activities. In 2012 Vladimir Ponomarev was appointed as a Managing director of Transas Technologies combining this position with the CTO responsibilities starting from 2015. In 2016 he was promoted to the Vice President Solutions.
Fleet Operations Solutions Director
Kay Dausendschoen holds the position of Solutions Director for Fleet Operations. His responsibility comprises the entire FOS product line life cycle from strategic planning and tactical activities to the management of the operational part of product management.
In his previous position as Director for Digital Solutions and Innovation for DNV GL in Hamburg and Oslo, Kay oversaw digital product development, conceptual advancement of digital channels and initiation of new businesses for DNV GL Maritime. Before, he had worked for 8 years as a management consultant for the maritime sector (shipping companies, yards and financers), oil & gas companies and the aircraft industry.
Kay holds Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering.
Ship Traffic Control Solutions Director
Dmitry Rostopshin has been working in Transas since 2000. He started his career as a testing engineer, then a project installation engineer, and after that as a product manager in the R&D. He was involved in many vessel traffic service projects, as well as coastal and offshore surveillance projects globally. Since 2016 Dmitry is a Director for the Ship Traffic Control and Management Solutions and is responsible for the VTS and coastal surveillance product line in Transas. He is also VTS Instructor at the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping Training Center.
Dmitry graduated from the Saint-Petersburg State University as astronomer and mathematician. He also studied in the Blackpool and The Fylde Nautical College where he received a VTS Operator qualification, and currently doing his PhD study at the Admiral Ushakov Maritime State University.
Technical Simulation Business Development Manger
On leaving school Graham joined the Royal Navy as an engineer in 1972. He completed 23 years service serving in both diesel and nuclear submarines. During his service Graham was employed by Captain Submarine Sea Training as an instructor and course designer. Graham has instructed and been a victim in both nuclear propulsion and ship control simulators. In 1995 he was awarded the MBE for his service to submarines.
After leaving the RN Graham studied computer-based design and manufacturing.
Graham then took up the post of Technical and Sea Safety Training Manager for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). During his 11 years with the RNLI Graham was involved in managing the introduction of Technical Competence Based Training and the building of the Lifeboat Engineering College. On completion of this project, Graham moved to Finning Caterpillar Ltd. At Finning, he managed a team of engineers commissioning and maintaining Caterpillar marine engines and generators.
Graham is currently working with the Transas engine room and liquid cargo simulation development teams developing the next generation of ”total ship” simulators.
Vice President Sales, Americas
Neil has been in the Maritime Industry since starting his Merchant Navy Cadetship with Ben Line in 1984 at the age of 16. Neil served as a Navigation Officer on oceangoing vessels for ten years, including stints on Bulkers, Container Vessels, Chemical Tankers, Reefers, General Cargo, and Passenger vessels. Neil completed his maritime studies with a UK unlimited Masters license in 1994 and served as Navigator and First Officer with P&O and Princess Cruises, before joining the Princess shore-side management team in Fleet Operations in 1995, responsible for Nautical matters, cruise planning and electronic navigation, including the deployment of Transas ECDIS in the Fleet.
In 1999 Neil joined Transas USA as Sales Manager, with the task of introducing Transas simulation products to the Americas region. Over the last eighteen years with Transas, Neil has held various positions in Commercial, Sales and Business development, and deputized for the General Manager of Transas Americas as Vice President of the regional organization. Neil is currently Vice President Sales for the Americas, and has been involved in all major vessel traffic, simulation, and onboard system deployments to commercial and governmental customers in the region for many years. He is considered a subject matter expert in Maritime Simulation, and has proudly shared in the many successful applications of Transas solutions in the Americas with a strong, loyal, and continuously growing customer base. He is a member of the Nautical Institute, and a contributor to many maritime industry organizations.