Our Speakers

Cadet conference 2024

Sara Baade CEO, Sailors’ Society

Sara joined Sailors’ Society as CEO in September 2020, leading the global maritime charity’s work reaching out to 200,000 seafarers, their families and communities in need every year.

Sailors’ Society’s pioneering mental health and wellbeing training support programme has benefitted more than 34,000 seafarers to date and its ground-breaking Wellness at Sea Maritime Schools’ Conferences are empowering cadets with awareness and skills that will serve them throughout their seafaring careers.

Sara is also chair of The International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) and has extensive experience in leading an international welfare charity from her previous role as CEO of The Army Families Federation. Her career includes working as a senior civil servant for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, a directorship at the charity UK Skills and substantial experience in investment banking.

Sara lives in Berkshire in the UK with her 12-year-old twins.

Heidi Heseltine, Founder, Diversity Study Group

Heidi Heseltine specialises in diversity, equity, and inclusion for the global maritime sector, working at an industry, corporate and individual level to support progress and change in DEI across the shore-based and seafaring communities.

With over 30 years of experience in the maritime industry working in commercial, operational, and human resource roles, and as an international maritime business leader since 2008, Heidi has unique insight into maritime-related DEI.

Heidi founded the Diversity Study Group in 2018 to provide data, benchmarking, industry collaboration and DEI consulting services for the maritime sector. The group brings together experts from other industries to ensure best practice methods are employed across projects, whilst ensuring shore-based and seafarer DEI programs are tailored to the needs of the shipping industry. Projects include strategy development and implementation, inclusive leadership, inclusion and belonging, employee engagement, employee resource group programs, HR support, and workshop facilitation.

Heidi is also CEO of Halcyon Recruitment which provides recruitment solutions for the maritime, shipping, marine and energy sectors.

Dr. Christian Angelo P Lubaton, Medical Director for Holistic Care, Nordic Medical Clinic.

Dr Didoy (Christian Angelo Lubaton) is the Medical Director of Nordic Medical Clinic of OSM Maritime Group, serving the seafarers, shore employees, and stakeholders.

He practices holistic medicine, integrating physical-psycho-social-spiritual aspects of a human being to help a person be at best of health and life.

He regularly delivers Health and Well-being talks and seminars for companies and organizations for local and international audiences.

He has authored two books: 'Don't Let Them Lose You: How To Take Care of Your Health So You Can Take Care of Others' and 'Whole Again: Restore Your Body To Its Original Design.'

Dr. Deepti Mankad Coordinator, Wellness at Sea

Dr Deepti Mankad is an excellent communicator and well-informed expert in her field of professional development. She is the founder of Mindspeak and a professional development trainer and consultant and the Regional Head [India] for Sailors’ Society for the Wellness at Sea programme for seafarers.

Belonging to a seafarer’s family, she has been proving maritime training, coaching and assessment for seafarers and their companies for over 12 years now, and conducting sessions on mental health and wellbeing empowering seafarers to handle emotional disturbances. She also conducts psychological first aid training for seafarers with the objective to help troubled seafarers onboard and provides counselling services for seafarers and their families.

Deepti has a doctorate in Multiple Intelligence and is a certified Maritime Crew Resource Management [MCRM] trainer and certified as a psychometric assessor by Thomas International Management Systems Ltd.

She has received various awards including the 2022 Maritime Wellness Coach & Trainer of the Year by International Brilliance Awards (IBA), Maritime Wellness Coach & Trainer of the Year by National Education Brilliance Awards (NEBA) 2022 and The Real Super Woman Award 2022 by Forever Star India.

Capt. Rishi Mehra , Head of Crew Training, Pacific Basin Shipping (HK) Limited

Rishi Mehra, based in Hong Kong, is currently a Head of Training at Pacific Basin Shipping Limited, bringing experience from previous roles at Pacific Basin Shipping Limited, Pacific Basin Shipping, Hong Kong, Fleet Management Limited and Anglo Eastern Ship Management.

Rishi Mehra holds a 2004 - 2005 M.I.C.S in Dry Bulk at the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. With a robust skill set that includes Shipbuilding, Maritime Operations, Ship Management, International Shipping, Shipping and more,

Rishi Mehra contributes valuable insights to the industry

Namrata Nadkarni, CEO, Intent Communications. Chair of the Fuels Working Group at the World Ports Climate Action Programme (WPCAP).

Namrata Nadkarni is the CEO and Founder of Intent Communications.

With nearly two decades of work in the maritime industry under her belt, Namrata has worked on brands including the monthly newsletter for the International Chamber of Shipping, Safety at Sea, Fairplay, The Marine Professional, Lloyd’s List, Seatrade magazine, Ports and Harbors, Marine Engineer’s Review and many more.

She is currently the Non-Executive Director of Shoreham Port and chairs the Alternative Fuels Working Group for the World Ports Climate Action Programme (WPCAP).

Toon van de Sande, CEO, Spiritention

Toon is a member of the Advisory Board of Human Rights at Sea. He is a certified trainer for the Wellness at Sea programme and delivered that course in Odessa in 2016. Regularly, he works in inland shipping as a first mate. He is also assisting several companies in first emergency response and disruptive events assessment.

From 2012-2015 Toon was Assistant Programme Director for the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP). His key tasks then were the development of several training courses. He trained 300 participants to enable them to convene the Pre-Departure Piracy Awareness course in the UK, India, Ukraine, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Toon worked abroad as a pastor for the Dutch Dredging and Offshore Industry from 2000-2012, providing counselling and first emergency response. From 1991-2001, he worked as a port chaplain in the Port of Rotterdam. From the start of 1995, Toon was involved in the development and organisation of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) Seafarers’ Ministry Training (SMT).

Johan Smith Head of Wellness, Sailors’ Society

Johan joined international maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society in 2014 to develop and lead its Wellness at Sea programme, a pioneering initiative which empowers seafarers to prepare and keep physically and mentally fit for life at sea.

The Wellness at Sea programme has since grown to become one of the leading wellness interventions for the shipping industry, benefitting thousands of seafarers every year and winning a Safety at Sea award for Best Crew Welfare Programme and a Seatrade Award for Investment in People.

Johan has worked with seafarers for many years, previously serving as a port chaplain for six years in Cape Town, South Africa. It was during this time that he became aware of the challenges many seafarers face as a result of life at sea and in 2011 started developing his work on a wellness programme to meet their needs. Johan studied theology and is also a qualified social worker.

North Asia conference only


Shri Shyam Jagannathan, Director General of Shipping

Shri Shyam Jagannathan, a 1997 batch IAS officer of the Assam Meghalaya cadre, assumed the office of Director General of Shipping under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Govt. of India on July 3, 2023.

He earlier served as Zonal Development Commissioner, Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone, Mumbai, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Shri Shyam Jagannathan has served as Commissioner & Secretary, Finance Department, and Commissioner, North Assam Division. He was also Commissioner, Commercial Taxes; Chairman, Civil Supplies Corporation, Department of Food & Civil Supplies; Department of Finance, Government of Kerala; and District Magistrate of West Garo Hills in Meghalaya, thereby giving him diverse exposure to the three States of Assam, Kerala and Meghalaya.

More than all his impressive credentials though, Mr Jagannathan has built excellent relations with the industry, instilling trust and reliability in his offices and in himself.

Industry Interview:

Capt. Manoj Gandhi, Country Head & Director Seaspan Crew Management India

Capt. Manoj Gandhi is the Director, Fleet Personnel at Seaspan Crew Management Ltd Vancouver and General Manager of Seaspan Crew Management India Pvt Ltd.  He is based in Mumbai and oversees the Fleet Personnel Operation of 128 Seaspan owned & managed vessels ranging from 2500 – 15000 TEU,s    

He is excited about the Seaspan 10 billion US dollar new building programme underway consisting of 70 container vessels ranging from 7000 TEUs – 24000 TEUs.  17 vessels have been delivered, and 53 vessels will be delivered by the end of 2024.  

Capt Manoj Gandhi's initial years were with the Shipping Corporation of India on the ex-Training Ship Rajendra, and later worked with Wallem Ship Management Ltd.

A Ship–Shore career span of 23 years from Master to Vice President, Fleet Personnel Operation, Wallem Crew Management India Pvt Ltd, he has been associated with Seaspan for the last 10 years.  

An avid reader with an interest in business financials. He loves to spend quality time with his family, friends & batchmates 

Diversity Panel

Mrs H K Joshi, Chairperson & Managing Director Shipping Corporation of India Ltd;Inland and Coastal Shipping Ltd; Shipping Corporation of India Land & Assets ltd. Chairperson India Ports Global Chabbar Free ZoneManaging Director India Ports Global Ltd.

Mrs Joshi has close to four decades of corporate experience and over seven years of Board level experience. She has several awards and accolades for her exemplary performance and contribution to the trade and industry.

In May 2022, she was recognized as ‘Woman of Exemplary Courage’ - recognized for her part in the historic moment when the MT Swarna Krishna became the first Indian ship with all women officers. The National Maritime Day Celebrations Committee also conferred an award for her role in the first cargo vessel that sailed for a record 26 voyages with only women officers on board.

In December 2019, she was appointed by the Government of India as the Chairperson & Managing Director. She held multiple additional Board level charges - Director (Personnel & Administration) in 2017-18, Director (Bulk Carrier & Tankers) in 2019 and CMD from September 2019. She was also the chairperson of two other companies and on the board of seven more while also being on various board committees.

A self-propeller and an agile and pragmatic leader with an eye for identifying talent and having conviction in her goals, she considers human resources as integral assets of an organization.

Africa conference only


Industry Interview:

South East Asia conference only


Industry Interview:

UK and Europe conference only


Capt. Chong, Loss prevention manager, Singapore, Brittania.
To come.


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