MANAGING COMMITTEE

Francois-Rogers
Nico Kux
Jean Lincoln
Kathy Young
Vellin Bhurton
Iain Watt

Francois Rogers

President

François Rogers is the director of a tourism and leisure company in Mauritius.  With over 30 years in the tourism industry, he developed, implemented and managed several leisure activities directly linked with nature tourism, both marine and land-based. After being an active member and supporter since its inception, François became president of Reef in late 2009 and has kept this position since.

Pierre Baissac

Vice President

Mr P. de Boucherville Baissac is a trained marine biologist holding a MSc (Zoology) University of Cape Town (1985), a BSc (Honours) in Zoology University of Cape Town (1973) and a BSc (Zoology and Geology) University of Cape Town (1972). Pierre Baissac started his career in 1974 as biologist and project manager for aquaculture projects in Mauritius and South Africa. Returning to Mauritius in 1994 he joined the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation as Director of Development.  During his years with MWF he was closely involved with the growth of the organisation, leading amongst other actions the MWF’s ecotourism programme on Ile aux Aigrettes.  After 12 years in nature conservation Pierre Baissac left the organisation in 2006 to devote his career to consultancy as ecologist, through his firm Diospyros Ltd. During the last 12 years he has developed wide expertise in river systems and in the fields of coastal and wetland ecosystems, their restoration and management.

Belinda Wong-Vacher

Secretary

Belinda holds a Certificate in Business Accounting (CIMA), BSc (Hons) (Finance), MBA (University of Mauritius), Financing the Entrepreneurial Business Programme (London Business School, UK) and Strategy Execution for Business Leaders (Insead, France). Prior joining Grit, Belinda started her career at Rogers Group in 2006, one of Mauritius’ most prominent conglomerate as an investment trainee.

She has spent 13 years working for the Company, whereby her career took her through the various facets of real estate, project management and corporate advisory, all contributing to her most recent position there as Head of Projects and Corporate Advisory. Belinda also held the position of Executive Director of Ascencia Ltd, Mauritius’ largest domestic property company, where she was responsible for Fund Management, Strategic Management and Investor Relations. Belinda is now the Chief Investment & Corporate Advisory Officer at Grit.

Nico Kux

Assistant Secretary

Nico Kux is also a founding member of Reef Conservation, and has been diving 1976, when he worked until 1988 as a commercial diver around the globe. He trained in electrical, mechanical and accounting and in 1992 started operating his dive center. He has been managing hotel and tourism operations since and has been a pioneer in kitesurfing, opening his kitesurfing school in 2000.

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Jean Lincoln

Treasurer

Jean Lincoln is a founding member of Reef Conservation and has been its treasurer since its inception. He has been a background in mechanical engineering and has spent several years working in this field in Mauritius and Reunion before opening his dive shop in 2001. He is also involved in the managing committee for the Mauritian Scuba Diving Association.

Kathy Young

Vice Treasurer

Kathy Young, Managing Director at Reef Conservation is from Trinidad and Tobago and holds a BSc Zoology and Botany and specialised through her training and work experience in marine ecology. She joined the Reef team in 2009 and has over seven years experience in research and project management for marine ecology and community based environmental management projects both in Tobago and Mauritius. She is a certified PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and is involved in the development of all of Reef’s projects and management of the organisation.

Vellin Bhurton

Member

Vellin is a founding member of Reef Conservation. He started his professional career as a Nursing Officer working in open-heart surgery in Saudi Arabia for several years, and has travelled extensively throughout Africa and Central Asia/The Middle East. He has been a diver for 35 years and a PADI Instructor for 25 years. His diving centre, Atlantis Diving, has been opened for 17 years and he has also led a local association working towards the protection of the marine environment, registered under the same name.

Iain Watt

Honorary President and Founder

Iain Watt has a MSc in Marine Environmental Protection with experience in project development, planning and management, in Coastal Zone, Marine Parks/Protected Areas management, habitat restoration and tourism in East Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean and China, working for various international organisations including the UN and EU. Iain has experience in oil spill assessment, clean up remediation and oil spill contingency planning. He has encouraged and instigated community stewardship and stakeholder participation for sustainable marine resource management on various projects. Iain is an experienced instructor/trainer/assessor and a diving and Yachtmaster Instructor and has developed training programmes and capacity building for marine parks, coastal zone management, community resource stewardship and mainstreaming marine conservation through the tourism industry developing training for sustainable marine ecotourism and eco-guides and education programmes for schools and communities. Iain now lives in Australia and continues to provide technical assistance to Reef.

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