Chief Executive & Commissioner
Gary Hall has more than 20 years' experience in the aviation industry with over 10 years managing commercial operations at a number of airports and a further 10 years as Chief Executive of Culture Coventry, amongst other roles. Gary moved to the Island with his family in 2021 to take up the role of Chief Executive at CHC.
Ed Walker joined CHC in 2017 as Assistant Harbour Master after 15 years working in the marine industry. In 2008 he completed a cadetship with an Officer of the Watch (OOW) Deck Certificate of Competence. Prior to joining CHC, his most recent posts were with towage and salvage company Svitzer Marine Ltd as OOW, Chief Mate and culminating as Master on harbour tugs. In October 2017, he was promoted to Deputy Harbour Master Marine Services at CHC, responsible for the development and delivery of the commercial marine services and moorings. In February 2021, he was appointed as Harbour Master. He also acts as the principal marine Pilot for Cowes.
Chairman, 2nd term 2019-2022
Appointed 2009, 3rd term 2015-2018
David Riley is a consultant to a firm of chartered accountants and a former Director of an international association of professional firms. A keen racing sailor, David grew up on the East Coast and having kept a boat here for 30 years has been a Cowes resident since 2003.
Marketing & Business Development
Vanessa is a former chief executive of the industry body for the UK’s national news brands. She brings skills in business strategy, marketing and commercial operations following over 25 years’ in the media and advertising industry working in companies including Publicis Media, British Rail and GroupM/WPP. Vanessa grew up on the south coast of Devon and has been a Cowes resident since 2007.
Marine Services & Port Development
Clive Blount spent 37 years as an aircrew officer in the Royal Air Force, retiring as a Group Captain in 2017. Whilst serving, Clive also ran the offshore division of the RAF Sailing Association and represented the RAF on the board of the Joint Services Transglobe Expedition. Since retiring from the RAF, Clive has been instructing RYA courses and MCA Boat Master candidates, having been a powerboat instructor since 2004. Clive is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation.
Environment & Sustainability
Fiona was brought up around boats on the Isle of Skye and has lived and worked in Cowes Harbour most of her adult life. A keen sailor she and her young family are frequently on the water in all manner of craft, from paddle boards to keel boats. Fiona is meteorologist to the British Olympic Team and Cowes Week Ltd, having also been the meteorologist to various America’s Cup teams. She runs her own company providing specialised marine meteorology services. For the past 15 years, Fiona has also focused on climate change mitigation and sustainability and has worked for the Carbon Trust, OC Group (Ellen MacArthur), and Virgin Atlantic.
Strategy & Performance / Personnel Management
Following a long career running companies in the global telecom and technology sector, Phil is the founder and CEO of a company specialising in behavioural assessments to the sales profession and contact centre industry. Since 2013, he has also held the position of non-executive director for a London-based executive search company. Having lived in Cowes since 2004, he is a keen yacht racer and an RYA National Race Officer.
Communications & Marketing
Appointed 2017, 2nd term 2020-2023
With over 20 years’ experience in marketing and new product development gained in companies and organisations including Guinness (Diageo), BNP Paribas, the RAC and McCormick. Ra is currently in charge of marketing for the independent day and boarding school on the Island. Ra started to visit the Island and commenced sailing in Cowes in 2011, finally moving to the Island permanently in 2014. Ra and her family continue to be part of the sailing community in Cowes and she brings marketing experience from many diverse industries.
Governance & Regulatory
Appointed 2018, 2nd term 2021-2024
James has practised as a barrister specialising in commercial law since 1993 and has been based in Buckler’s Hard for over 30 years. He has been a regular visitor to Cowes for many years as a keen sailor and has family connections to Bembridge. He is enthusiastic and proud to contribute to the maintenance and development of the harbour for all stakeholders, and during a period of several major projects.
Steve has had a career working in banking and finance and has experience developing new businesses in the private sector. He has a keen interest in sailing having spent over 30 years sailing keelboats and dinghies in the Solent. Living in Ryde, Steve enjoys exploring the Solent in his cruising boat, which is moored in the Medina and is a former Commodore of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Fishbourne.
Safety & Security
Co-opted 2020, appointed 2021
Jason Losty started his Merchant Navy Career in 1998, serving on oil tankers and ferries. He subsequently moved to the oil and gas industry, fulfilling a variety of roles at sea and in shoreside management. He changed career path in 2017 to become a Southampton Pilot, making Cowes his home. Jason grew up in Cork, Ireland and enjoys racing small keelboats and cruising.