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OUR TEAM

Our teams commitment is to leave the world in a better place

Our Team

Daniel
Hooft

Founder, CEO

Daniel has over 20 years’ experience in offshore engineering, gained with Royal Dutch Shell in 7 different countries. He has a track record of delivering extraordinary business results by identifying technical and commercial opportunities and acting on them decisively.

Daniel is passionate about the sea and the complex Anthropocene world we live in. 

Our Team

Viviane 
Kinyaga

Managing Director Namibia

A qualified marine biologist & water management specialist, Viviane has spent 20 years advising governments, NGO’s, the UN and inter-governmental bodies. Most recently, she has worked with the Benguela Current Convention.

Viviane sits on the board of NamWater. She adores the natural world, its quiet wonder – and empowering people.

Our Team

Caroline 
Slootweg

Co-founder, commercial and communication

A start-up, change management and digital transformation specialist, Caroline has worked at Unilever, WPP,  in mar-tech and agri-tech. Her purity of purpose expresses itself as clarity, simplicity and speed. 

Caroline sailed  half-way around the world and across the Pacific Ocean in the Clipper Round the World yacht race and is also a keen forager and traveller.

Our Team

Protasius Mutjida

Geochemist and Environmental Monitoring

Protasius holds an honours degree in chemistry and Geology and currently pursuing an MSc in Chemistry at the University of Namibia.  He’s worked as a science teacher for three years while also working in an environmental consultancy.
 
He’s a local pastor in Luderitz, is passionate about research and building others up especially the youth. 
Our Team

Hugo 
Stam

Project engineer

A hydraulic engineer with a masters degree from the Delft University of Technology, Hugo is a dedicated team player.  He explored Suriname while working on a project assessing the technical feasibility of establishing a terminal in Paramaribo.

While in Namibia, he discovered  a new hobby, mountain biking through the dramatic scenery of the Lüderitz peninsula.

Our Team

Agathe
Bellay

Finance

Agathe has over 10 years’ experience in financial controller roles, and holds a Masters in International Management and Strategy from ESCP Europe.

Agathe grew up in the shadow of Mt. Blanc and is a Qi Gong enthusiast. She studies Japanese in her free time.

Our Team

Ukarapo Mungunda

Biodiversity Monitoring

As a recent Marine Biologist graduate, Ukarapo wants nothing more than to be out on the water practicing her specialty: acoustic sensing for biodiversity tracking. She’s a proud Namibian with a passion for improving the planet we all live on.   

She loves walking and recently hiked up Table Mountain, and back down again. And she also recently secured her commercial diving certificate. 

Our Team

Ferdi
Knoester

Project Engineer

Recently graduated with a Masters in Hydraulic Engineering from TU Delft. Built an artificial reef to combat coastal erosion in North Sulawesi and built a bamboo factory in the jungles of Nicaragua while working together with the indigenous Miskito populations.

Ferdi loves to dive and does this in every place he visits (where possible), has run the Rotterdam marathon and completed the Barcelona Iron Man 70.3.

Our Team

Greater
Mukumbira

Administrator

A passionate believer in leveraging the power and enthusiasm of the youth to change the planet. Has extensive experience bringing multi-disciplinary teams together and providing the necessary support and structure to  creative thinkers.

Greater loves cooking and running and has been known to lose flip-flops in the sand dunes.

Our Team

Michael
Fleischman

Seaweed Sourcing and Propagation

A true seaweed enthusiast. Holds a Masters degree from the University of Cape Town in Phycology and Aquaculture and comes from an abalone aquaculture background.

He loves being in the water, is a patient teacher and can often be found sprinting up and down Table Mountain. 

Our Team

Maxime
Penning

Processing

Dedicated to understanding how cells can be seen as factories of the future. Is passionate about ensuring a total and complete usage of the seaweed, ‘waste’ is not a word in her vocabulary.  Extensive experience in process optimisation and liquid separation/filtration processes.

On windy days, can often be found kite-surfing and is dedicated to living a life full of adventure.

Our Team

Angelique Dodds

Environmental Monitoring Masters Student

Hails from Windhoek Namibia and studied at the University Of Namibia where she graduated with an honours in Environmental Biology after having completed an internship at  Gobabeb, a desert research center.

She almost studied fashion design, but in the end nature’s beauty prevailed in grabbing her attention. She loves reading and owns over 600 books. 

Our Team

Cayne Moffat

Strategic Planning & Analysis

Was offered a place at university at aged 15 but decided to live a little and entered at 17.  Holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of Edinburgh and is a CFA Charterholder.

He’s proudly Scottish, loves playing football, and is known to be highly competitive. At the moment he’s learning Dutch.  

Our Team

Valentin Pitiot

Sales and Market Development

Valentin recently graduated from ISTOM in Angers, France with Masters in Agronomy with a specialisation in Agriculture. He’s worked at the World Bank and became a seaweed enthusiast when he discovered the amazing potential of seaweed to usher in a new dawn of how to do business.

He’s super sporty, any and all, but has a particular fondness for basketball. And doesn’t drink coffee.

Our Team

Iriya Jona

Processing and Operations

Iriya Jona is a Fisheries and Aquatic Scientist from the University of Namibia. She has skills on environmental monitoring and fish feed formulation & processing. Iriya was the top female entrepreneur in Namibia for the Total StartUpper of the year challenge, 2019 and has won multiple entrepreneurship awards. She is passionate about Research and Innovation.
Iriya loves travelling & adventure and enjoys taking pictures of nature.

 

Our Team

Erastus Ashipala

Project Engineer Trainee

Erastus is a budding Civil Engineer with deep hands-on knowledge of some of Namibias biggest projects as well as conceptual experience from his work as an engineering consultant.  He’s a graduate of Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the winner of a regional science fair. 

Erastus loves the water and often is found rod fishing in the ocean, and if he’s not doing that, he’ll be painting and drawing portraits. He’s one of Kelp Blue’s most accomplished artists. 

Our Team

Okke Meijer

Processing Plant Manager

Okke is not comfortable with choosing the easy path in life. His passion for mechanical management and plant operations has seen him work in one of the biggest steel plants in Europe. His most recent role was running an organic avocado oil processing factory in Awassa Ethiopia. He holds a Masters degree in Supply Chain Management and a Bachelor of Technology from the University of Groningen.

He’s often found cycling around the Ijsselmeer (350 km) climbing mountains in Peru or planning his next endurance endeavour and trying to convince others to join him.  He also doesn’t drink coffee.

Our Team

Retief Erasmus

Operations and Installation Engineer

Retief is an accomplished commercial diver and a dive supervisor who’s not afraid of being thrown into the deep-end. Retief holds a bachelors in humanities from the University of Stellenbosch and is passionate about the environment. He comes from a family of mariculture pioneers and is a “Buchter” (as people from Ludertiz are known). 

Our Team

Fanuel Isak

Mechanic

Born and raised in Lüderitz with a background at sea working on research, fishing and mining vessels. Holds a class 5 navigation officer certificate from Namfi.

He’s a work horse on the football pitch (an asset for any team) and when he’s not kicking a ball around you can find him watching Formula One.

Our Team

Ronaldo Strauss

Mechanic

From Bethanie.  Worked on Namport tugs,  has been a construction supervisor,  and sailed as chief engineer on crayfish vessel

He’s the only one on the team that has competed in the first Super-yacht Ibiza Rendezvous and he enjoys watching rugby.

Our Team

Darryl Smith

Diver

Hails from Walvis Bay in Namibia. 9 years experience in marine Ops including diving & seafaring. Held chief officer position on a supply vessel specialized in cargo handling offshore transport. Commercial diving experience in vessel inspection and  marine construction.

His 5k personal best is 20.45, which is not as fast as some of the vintage cars he loves, but he will keep trying.

Our Team

Jonathan Kennedy

Diver

From Lüderitz, a proud graduate from SEADOG Commercial Diving School. Worked for Bresler De Beer in ship husbandry and vessel docking. Diving experience with propeller cleaning, hull inspection, UWILD inspection and Centrifugal Pump usage used in dredging for salvage work.

Crayfishing and rugby are his past times.

Our Team

Hilinganye Andreas

Hatchery Intern (Masters Student)

From the north of Namibia, far from the sea and at university discovered a strong attraction to the ocean and all of its wonders. Is steadfast but humble, and a steady hand in the hatchery. 

She’s an introverted extrovert. 

Our Team

Holly Francis

Lead Robotics Engineer

Recent Stanford University engineering graduate, but originally from Massachusetts.  Has lived most of the past 3 years on a boat, and loves dark chocolate.

Board of Directors

Our Team

Marguerite Soeteman-Rijnen

Kelp Blue Board Chair

Chair of AON Holdings and Global CMO at AON Inpoint

Our Team

Jan Vos

Pioneer in sustainable agriculture. Deep experience in supervising agricultural enterprises.

Our Team

Frederik Rengers

CEO WTS Energy, Chair of the Board VSH Offshore, Leader in energy transition, Board Member Hiber Hilo.

Special Advisors

Our Team

Prof. John Bolton

South Africa’s Seaweed Authority
Our Team

Prof. Mauro Sérgio Gonçalves Pavão, PhD

Institute of Medical Biochemistry – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro