BEMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2019 -2020

Mr. Steve Candito, Chief Executive Officer, Ecochlor, Inc.

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Steven Candito is CEO of Ecochlor. Ecochlor is a leading ballast water treatment system manufacturer. Mr. Candito is also President and CEO of Foresea. Foresea provides advisory services to the maritime and environmental communities. Mr. Candito is a recognized expert on oil spill response and ballast water regulatory issues. He is frequently interviewed and quoted on various media outlets such as MSNBC, Maritime TV, CBC, Marine News and Maritime Reporter. Mr. Candito was also President and CEO of NRC. During his career with NRC, he grew the business from a start up to a leading global emergency response and environmental services firm. Mr. Candito was an attorney with Haight Gardner Poor & Havens where he specialized in maritime and environmental law. Mr. Candito also was a marine engineer aboard Exxon’s tankers. Mr. Candito graduated from Hofstra Law School and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Mr. Candito is a past President of the Spill Control Association of American (SCAA). SCAA is the US trade association for the oil spill response and environmental contracting industries. Mr. Candito is a member of the Boards of Directors of Foresea, various NRC entities, a charitable foundation and is a past SCAA Director. He is a member of the Maritime Law Association and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Mr. Candito is a recipient of the US Merchant Marine Academy’s Outstanding Professional Achievement Award. 

Dr. Rasmus Folsø, Chief Executive Officer, DESMI Ocean Guard A/S

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 Rasmus Folsø has served as CEO of DESMI Ocean Guard A/S since 1st of December 2011. Prior to this Rasmus was a member of the Board of DESMI Ocean Guard A/S, from 2009 to December 2011. Before joining DESMI Ocean Guard Rasmus worked as Head of Strategic R&D in Maersk Maritime Technology, and before that held various positions at the Italian classification society RINA. With more than 6 years of experience from the ballast water treatment industry, including 2 obtained IMO type approvals and a third on its way, combined with long experience from a shipowner company and a class society, Rasmus Folsø possesses experience that can be very valuable to BEMA. In particular BEMA’s role towards IMO is a top priority and Rasmus knows IMO from the inside, having participated in many MEPC and other meetings as a delegate of Denmark, but has also represented IACS while working for RINA. Rasmus was an active contributor to the revised G8 guidelines, IMO’s list of approved methods for determining viability and lately a proposal for a revised IMO scaling procedure. Rasmus holds a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in naval architecture from the Technical University of Denmark. 

Mr. Benoit Gillmann, Founder and CEO, BIO-UV Group

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 Benoit has a 45-year experience in various managing positions and businesses, including: general management, marketing, communication and sales areas, and 15 years in the medical device industry as Division Manager for international companies (Baxter, Basf, Molnlycke/SCA).

Benoit founded BIO-UV company in 2000 and as its CEO, he accompanied the growth of the Group over the last 19 years through development of water treatment solutions and launching of new B2B concepts. Benoit was also the CEO of DELTA-UV corporation in Los Angeles CA for 10 years (2006-2016), specifically oriented to spa and pools segment in the USA.


BIO-UV Group has gained leadership in France and Europe for many UV treatment applications (spa and pools, drinking water, industrial water, aquaculture, waste water and reuse), and began the development of its BWT range in 2011; as the result of 3 certification cycles, BIO-SEA BWTS has been successfully granted IMO and USCG type approvals, and BIO-UV gained expert position within the French Delegation at IMO. In 2018 after the approval by USCG, Benoit led the company’s IPO and impulsed a new growth cycle.


Benoit has been involved in the Board of different professional associations, such as NSF (voting member), SIET (National Union of industries and water companies). He is currently the vice president of the Aqua-valley cluster in France, gathering around 400 companies and research laboratories in the Water domain.

Dr. Stelios Kyriacou, General Manager, De Nora Water Technologies

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Dr. Kyriacou is a senior maritime executive with a career spanning some 35 years with a focus on design, applied research and development. He has been involved with ballast water issues since 2008 and initiated the technical development of the Hamworthy Aquarius BWMS, delivered the IMO certification for both Aquarius UV (2011) and Aquarius EC (2012) and respective AMS. Following the acquisition of Hamworthy by Wartsila in 2012 he led the R&D, design and certification of the Wärtsilä Aquarius BWMS range and delivered market ready products with class certification for both safe and hazardous zones. Initiated and completed the land-based testing of the Aquarius EC for USCG in 2014, the first EC-based BWT to achieve this.


In 2017, Dr. Kyriacou joined De Nora Water Technologies (USA) leading the BALPURE® BWMS business. He is a member of IMO MEPC Ballast Water Working Group, IMarEST BWEG and has been an invited speaker and panelist on many ballast water technology events in Europe, USA and Asia. He has been a member of several National and European committees and industry associations with focus on maritime strategy, regulation, technology RD&I.  Dr. Kyriacou has significant contacts within the maritime sector, academia, flag administrations, Classification societies, Independent Laboratories.


Within BEMA he is a member of the Planning, External Affairs and Technical Committees.

Secretary - Jeremy Lowe, MBA, Marine Global Program Manager, Hach

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Jeremy serves as the Global Marine Program Manager at Hach, working across the marine portfolio to develop effective strategies in the sector and to establish effective collaborative partnerships and lobby industry stakeholders and influencers with an aim to improve knowledge sharing across the industry and thereby increase awareness. He is the author of ‘Back on Track’ an inspirational guide to project management and has published a number of papers on MARPOL 2020, The Indicative measurement of Ballast Water, and co-authored a book with other professionals at Hach on The Fluorescent Measurement of Hydrocarbons in Aquatic Solutions, which is currently under review by Wiley Publishers. Jeremy has worked in the UK water industry for over 20 years and has held several project management positions covering a range of asset management programs and has had annual budgetary control of over 20 Million Pounds. He offers a depth of experience in a wide range of organizational structures. Jeremy earned his MBA from Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland and his M.Sc from Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK. He is an elected Member of The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Managers and a Member of The Institute of Asset Managers.

Treasurer - Mr. Birgir Nilsen, Co-founder and Director, OptiMarin AS

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 Birgir Nilsen has Master of Business and Marketing degree from Oslo Business School in Norway. Birgir joined OptiMarin AS in May 2000 and have worked with Halvor Nilsen to develop the OptiMarin Ballast System and OptiMarin AS into a commercial enterprise in the emerging market for ballast water treatment. Birgir has been a delegate to the Norwegian delegation at IMO - MEPC since MEPC 47 in July 2001 working in the Ballast Water Working Group.

President - Mr. Mark Riggio, Senior Market Manager, Hyde Marine

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Mark Riggio is the Senior Market Manager for Hyde Marine. In this role, he has overseen the development and launch of three generations of Hyde GUARDIAN BWTS. Prior to working for Hyde Marine, he was a Class surveyor for ABS, a Regulatory Manager for R&B Falcon Drilling Company, and finally a Port Engineer and Fleet Manager for Crowley Maritime Corporation. He operated his own maritime consulting company for six years, Blue Seas Environmental Consulting, and served as a consultant to the U.S. Government on maritime matters. As Port Engineer of the M/V CAPE WASHINGTON, he helped design the first permanent shipboard Ballast Water Testing Facility as part of the MERC development team. Mark is a regular presenter and contributor to the ballast water industry and has authored and co-authored a number of works on ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) and the BWTS Market. A graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Mark has an Executive MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and lives in Mars, Pennsylvania with his wife Amy and his three children: Hannah, Michael and Jack.

Vice President - Dr. Efi Tsolaki, Chief Scientific Officer, ERMA FIRST SA

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Efi started her journey in Environmental Engineering in 1998. Wastewater treatment and management "enslave" her interests. Through her PhD she was introduced to the problem of Invasive Species. She is the first academic in Greece with specialization in Ballast Water and joined ERMA FIRST in early 2010. From the beginning of her career in the marine industry she was focused on Research and Development and certification of the systems. She acts as the Chief Scientific Officer of the company with main responsibility of the certification process, applying all relevant international regulations, business development worldwide and environmental compliance, safety and marine preservation. Her latest project was the USCG Type Approval Certificate.

Dr. Matthias Voigt, R&D Director, Cathelco GmbH

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Matthias is a member of the Board of BEMA, and the chair of BEMA’s Technical Committee. Matthias represents Cathelco-Evac, where he is holding the position of the R&D Director at the Kiel based Cathelco GmbH, R&D Centre. 


Matthias has been involved in the Ballast Water issue since 1998. His focus was on technical and biological aspects of ballast water treatment systems, as well as on the practicability of ballast water management onboard of ships. Matthias has developed a bioassay for the evaluation of the biological efficacy of ballast water treatment options at bench scale, the Artemia Testing System (ATS). Matthias has been an advisor to different delegations at the IMO; the CEFIC delegation (6 years), and the German delegation (4 Years). 


Since 2002, Matthias has been the senior scientist and project leader in the development of different ballast water treatment systems. Since that time, he has guided three different BWMS through the type approval processes of the IMO and of the USCG; one chemical system (Hamann AG; G-9 process), and two UV based systems (Cathelco Mark I BWMS and Cathelco Evolution BWMS). 


Matthias has graduated (Dipl.-Biol.) in fisheries biology and oceanography at the Institute for Marine Research in Kiel and he holds a PhD in Marine Parasitology from the University of Queensland, Australia. He is married and has one daughter.