CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Kieran Kelly is a quality-driven industry expert with a history in the industry of delivering unmatched levels of QA/QC, production, sales, and profitability while working around the world as a commercial boat captain, quality control expert, and in plant processing roles. He offers extensive background constructing agreements to export catches, buy product, and develop the on-shore and on-board systems needed to process product with zero losses. He has an impeccable reputation for exceeding quality expectations and operating with a total commitment to regulatory compliance and industry standards.
Mr. Kelly has planned and navigated fishing grounds to optimize production, documented operational activities, maintained detailed safety logs, and ensured total compliance with U.S. Coast Guard and NMFS regulations while maintaining the operability of all on-board equipment and ensuring compliance of environmental regulations.
Mr. Kelly brings four generations of experience on the oceans, and has committed his life to keeping them clean, and working towards education and cleanup efforts so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Kim King holds a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University (TTU) and is registered as a Professional Engineer in multiple states. He has over 20 years’ of experience in environmental and structural engineering as well as manufacturing and construction industry, from companies such as ASB Consulting (a division of the American Bureau of Shipping), NABCO Systems, and King Consultants. He has spent a number of years supporting the manufacturing, sales and servicing of equipment sold in over 20 countries. He has been responsible for the technical development, quality control and technical sales support for multiple companies in the production of large security equipment. Mr. King has also worked in the environmental engineering industry to improve health and safety. He is familiar with dealing with the EPA, OSHA, State and local requirements, and other Federal governing groups to ensure safety and compliance for new and existing facilities and processes.
Mr. King has authored many publications as well as presenting on numerous occasions to support technical activities and public safety and security.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Joseph Sweeney is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Police Academy and a former Bomb Squad Commander, River Rescue Boat Operator and SWAT operator. Mr. Sweeney has over 26 years’ of operational experience with Federal, County, and Local agencies, as well as deployments overseas as an instructor in explosive countermeasures, hazardous materials and counter terrorism training in support of countries allied with the United States. He served as an advisor to support allies of the United States and their security and explosives counter measure programs. While assigned to the Pittsburgh Police SWAT unit, responsibilities included assignments on river rescue, securing and managing the safety on the Three Rivers area at the heart of downtown Pittsburgh making it one of the largest inland ports for registered water craft in the United States. While enforcing compliance with all laws and environmental regulations on the waterways, he worked closely with the fish and game commission to protect and enforce regulations protecting the waterways from illegal dumping and disregard for the natural habitat.
Mr. Sweeney has presented technical briefs to the public and private sectors involving procedures and best practices dealing with extreme threats and incidents including intercostal emergencies when weather or commercial catastrophes have occurred.
Chief Commercial Officer
Scott Hermanson is an experienced sales & marketing executive with extensive global experience leading key commercial programs and initiatives. Scott’s experience includes several PMO roles where he has led start-ups in both Africa and Southeast Asia, working closely with the in-country teams and governments to achieve operational and financial objectives. Scott is well versed in both operational & commercial excellence and has a Six Sigma Black Belt certification from General Electric, where he worked for over 20 years. Scott has a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Economics from San Diego State University and a Master of International Business Administration from the University of San Diego, including 3 semesters of graduate study abroad in Brazil, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Scott is bilingual in Spanish and English, and is adept at the basics in 5 other languages. Scott is a proven global leader with cultural sensitivity who prides himself on being part of the solution in cleaning plastic water bottle waste from our oceans. He is committed and passionate about making a positive impact in the work that RIO does around the globe.
Hector Avella is a maritime safety & security consultant with extensive operational domestic & international experience. He brings more than 21 years' of leadership & proven job performance in the U.S. Coast Guard. Mr. Avella’ Coast Guard operational career spans over diverse and challenging mission areas, including: search & rescue, maritime law enforcement (counterdrug operations, illegal migrants, fisheries, recreational boating), marine safety & security (port operations, incident command, oil pollution/HAZMAT response & marine inspections), international capacity building (Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia & Panama).
Mr. Avella was assigned to the USMC Special Operations Group, Camp Lejeune, NC where he integrated with Riverine Training Teams deployed to South America, and also served as the USCG Attaché, U.S. Embassy, Panama City, Panama. Before retiring, he was assigned as Chief, Facilities Security Division, where he was responsible for the implementation of post 9/11 Marine Transportation Security Act (MTSA) & the International Ship & Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) for the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach. Mr. Avella served 13 months as a maritime advisor the government of Equatorial Guinea (EG). He is currently a lead instructor for the U.S. Department of State delivering Maritime Port & Harbor Security Management & Maritime Interdiction of Terrorism courses.
BUSINESS & PROGRAM MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT
Paul Garcia is a Business and Program Management consultant supporting Defense and Commercial sectors. He has managed all aspects of multi-million-dollar projects for clients with unique challenges focusing on first-to-market commercial and military products. His industry knowledge and comfort maneuvering through Govt. requirements, political obstacles, and program management/oversight has resulted in product movement from concept to global forefront with remarkable success.
He previously served as Executive Vice President of Maritime Security Solutions, Inc. (MSS) and with L-3 Communications/Government Services Inc. as project manager supporting the Navy’s MK-41 Vertical Launch System contract.
Mr. Garcia is a retired 23-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard whose career milestones include Foreign Military Sales Program Manager transferring Excess Defense Articles around the world, Government Contracting Officer/Comptroller specializing in construction, service, and acquisition contracting, and Maritime Law Enforcement and Tactical Training Officer. He holds a Masters in Legal Studies (MLS), Masters of Science in Management (MSM - Project Management), Masters in Public Administration (MPA), and a Bachelor’s in Business Management (BBA).
Ms. Shruti Ankat holds a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in the field of Food Nutrition and Dietetics from Symbiosis International University and S.N.D.T University respectively. Ms Shruti has worked in Nutrition and Healthy Living for several years. She is an entrepreneur and business owner, with latest developments in starting an environment friendly care facility that focuses on the use of reusable, recycled or eco friendly products. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator and has been a research and education co-ordinator for the same. She has actively taken part in various community-based programmes to generate awareness about the importance of Nutrition and safe sanitation techniques amongst the low socio-economic groups. She brings valuable experience in business start-up and development as well as coordination and management.
Ms Shruti has been a member of various associations and is active as a researcher where she has had opportunity to lecture and publish about nutrition and healthy life choices.
RIO COLUMBIA DIVISION
RAFAEL GUILLERMO SOLANO FERNÁNDEZ
Retired Colombian Naval Officer with degrees in Maritime and Port Administration. An avid environmentalist and sailor, Mr. Solano is working to bring awareness of the damage’s plastic waste has -and is- severely polluting and negatively affecting the world’s oceans. Mr. Solano brings a wealth of executive management and leadership experience in a broad range of large-scale commercial, defense and government contract projects.
DIEGO FERNANDO ARENAS CEBALLOS
Retired Colombian Naval Officer with degrees in Financial Management, Maritime Administration and Naval Sciences. An avid traveler and sailor, Mr. Arenas is passionate about educating everyone on the vital role a healthy ocean contributes to the Earths well being. Mr. Arenas’ naval career took him to many remote and beautiful coastal areas along Colombias two oceans, the Pacific and the Caribbean. He has witnessed the alarming stockpiling of plastic waste along the coasts, delivered by large rivers systems and unregulated plastic dumping. As a logistics expert, he understands the challenges remote locations pose to environmental and ecological protection action planes.