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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Kleinman

Announcing Seaworthy's Advisory Council & Professional Advisors

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Having hit our 9 month milestone since we launched back in September 2020, Seaworthy has had some incredible people help us get to where we are today, who will be even more critical parts of our team moving forward. It truly has taken a village to help us execute on our vision, with our next major steps coming next month when we announce our first cohort of regenerative ocean startups that will continue building the BlueTech ecosystem for South Florida and beyond!

Our advisory council will help us in shaping our overall strategy and execution, while our professional advisors provide specific subject area expertise and catalytic connections for Seaworthy.

Advisory Council

Carolyn Groobey

Carolyn Groobey is a board director, angel investor and senior executive with over 30 years of experience driving growth and innovation at technology and technology-enabled businesses. She is currently a member of the New World Angels, the FounderTrac business accelerator and the University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship Program. Her passion for the ocean and clean water comes from the over 25 years she and her husband have spent racing and cruising boats all over the world. During the four years they spent traveling full time on their boat, they were shocked and saddened at the degradation of the ocean they saw first hand. Carolyn has been an advocate for clean water and ocean health as a board member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Sailors for the Sea, and as a member of Oceana’s Ocean Council. She is thrilled to bring together her passions for the ocean and for the start-up community as an advisor to the Seaworthy Collective.

Selar Henderson

Selar is Managing Director and Founder of Future Value, based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Selar is an advocate and catalyst for transformational shifts to regeneration and a more democratic economy, believing in the generation of social outcomes through the implementation of ESG accountability and re-direction of capital to achieve social and environmental outcomes, alongside financial return, for long-term community wellbeing.

A recognised social impact leader and knowledge expert, Selar has over 20 years’ experience servicing the social sector in senior leadership and fundraising, governance and capital raising roles across Australia and New Zealand. He has raised more than $200M in future income growth to cornerstone social clients, delivered ESG framework planning and development including impact investment criteria, and formed an innovative $100M impact investment fund for property.

Selar holds Advisory Council and Board governance positions for purpose-led enterprises in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, and is a values-based business advisor, mentoring and coaching young and peer entrepreneurs to develop their businesses through a purpose-led strategy.

A proud New Zealander, Selar balances his cross-country interests by cheering the All Blacks in Rugby Union and the Brisbane Lions in AFL. He is a canine foster carer, adopting Buddy-bear, a tri-limb English Bull Terrier who is well known for video-bombing global conference calls.

Neesha Mirchandani

Neesha is the founder and CEO of Impact Stars, a brand + business strategy advisory that helps promising ocean, carbon capture, renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, and circular economy ventures succeed.

With over 25 years of experience in every imaginable industry and company size ranging from Fortune 50 companies to startups alike, Neesha brings a wealth of experience to the table -- as well as a couple of gray hairs! She believes we can look at the climate crisis as an existential threat (depressing) or as an opportunity to regenerate our relationship with our home planet (activating). She prefers the latter. Neesha has a zero-tolerance policy for greenwashing -- as a parent who wants to leave the earth in better shape for future generations, her work on climate change is deeply personal.

She guides her clients so they raise millions of dollars using the Impact Stars framework: clear objectives, strong team, focused game plan, and, transparent metrics. Neesha's rigorous vetting and deep mentoring make projects that survive her due diligence process, irresistible to funders.

From the Carbon Removal X Prize to small catalytic grants, there are many opportunities open to entrepreneurs that weren't available even ten years ago. Over the summer of 2021, Neesha will be working on Version 1.0. of a matchmaking database so planet-positive projects can quickly find these grants, and other philanthropists can step forward to fill in funding gaps we identify together.

Erik Sander

Erik Sander’s career spans a broad range of professional experiences – from working as an engineer in NASA’s labs and Fortune 500 companies, to starting and growing several companies, working in the private venture industry, and managing the cutting edge research and innovation programs of academia. As the Founding Executive Director of FLEXStation, Erik is establishing a state-wide network of operations in order to provide direct assistance in workforce development, distance education, access to UF resources and facilities, accessing entrepreneurial talent and startup companies, and K-12 Outreach.

Christina Thirkell

Christina is an accomplished business, marketing, and social impact executive with over 25 years of experience.

Her most recent accomplishment was as Executive Director and Director of Strategic Programs at Harvard Business School Alumni Association where she was successful in developing corporate partnership funding and strategic programs with C-Suite executives, thought leaders, and emerging start-up and entrepreneurs. She was instrumental in launching critical programs including the Business & Community Leadership Awards, The Project Impact and Brands With Purpose Series, both focused on purpose driven organizations contributing to community impact on a national and global scale.

Prior to her time at HBS she spent 9 years as Executive Director at Expect Miracles Foundation – Financial Services Against Cancer. At the Foundation, Christina led the overall strategy, programs, operations, and corporate partnerships with top tier financial firms and C-Suite executives nationwide where she utilized her expertise in integrated corporate communications, public relations, business development, brand marketing and fundraising. She was instrumental in taking a local Boston nonprofit golf event in 2004 to a national industry organization by securing over 100 financial corporate partners and growing the Foundation by 450%. in revenue.

Prior to Expect Miracles Foundation, Christina was Director of Global Public Relations at Giga Information Group where she worked for over 5 years. She was responsible for all global media relations, public relations and investor relations for the analyst firm where she reported to the CEO and other key executives before acquired by Forrester Research in 2003.

Christina’s early career began in the Advertising Agency industry holding a number of roles from Account Executive to Research Planning with a strong focus on consumer brands.

Christina has taken her 25 years of passion, knowledge, and expertise in the nonprofit sector, coupled with her experience in brand marketing, strategic relationships, and working with C-Suite executives to direct and assist local, national and global nonprofits - build, develop and scale their organization.

Christina grew up in New England and Maine where she quickly became passionate for “all things ocean” at early age. She currently splits her time between Southern Florida and Newport, RI., where she is involved in the community and currently sits on several nonprofit boards.

Andrew Quarrie

Andrew Quarrie is a Jamaican born, CEO/Founder of URBLANDIA - a needs analysis platform for real estate development.

He is also the creator/host of the Urbanism Summit, a conference and event series held annually since 2016, which was designed to cultivate transformative ideas for real estate development and new urbanism - a mindset shift towards building with an emphasis on people and planet - focusing on the future of cities, their makers, and dwellers.

Over a decade as a multifaceted creative, his marketing consulting career involved projects spanning both regional companies throughout South Florida and multi-national brands. Additionally, he now mostly pours his energy into community building initiatives and hosting his widely distributed podcast - also titled "URBLANDIA" - (focused on social impact entrepreneurship within the context of localization and urban development).

Andrew also volunteered as a board member of The Fairchild Palms, supporting the environmental conservation initiatives of The Fairchild Challenge - a program of the world-renowned Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. He also supported the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens as a member of their Tech Advisory Committee. He is an appointed member of the WLRN Community Advisory Board (CAB), whose mission “is to serve the South Florida Community, the WLRN audiences and WLRN management as an independent and diverse group of listeners, viewers, and supporters, committed to enhancing public broadcasting.” He is a Climate Reality Leader, certified by The Climate Reality Project.

Professional Advisors

Venture Capital Advisor: Melissa Krinzman

Melissa Krinzman has a 20-year history of launching, growing and advising early-stage companies. Prior to co-founding Krillion Ventures, Melissa worked with over 1,000 companies that raised more than $1B in investment capital using business plans developed by Venture Architects, the business planning firm she founded in New York City in 1998. Melissa has remained a sought-after speaker and advisor on the subjects of business planning and capital raising.

Melissa began her career as a member of the start-up teams for three national nonprofit organizations — Points of Light Foundation, Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, and DoSomething. In addition to serving as a Board Advisor to many of Krillion Ventures’ portfolio companies, Melissa is a Founding Board Member of Beacon College Prep and Miami Angels, and serves on the Board of Trustees of Ransom Everglades School.

In February 2021, Melissa was appointed by Mayor Francis Suarez as the City of Miami’s inaugural Venture Capitalist in Residence, a one-year assignment to support and accelerate the growth of Miami’s tech community. In this role, Melissa serves as a founding member of the Venture Miami team and works with growth-oriented founders, investors and community leaders to identify and implement the leverage points that will accelerate success and strengthen Miami at large.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University.

Innovation Advisor: Peter Coughlan

Peter Coughlan, is the Co-Founder of Hasten Regeneration. Peter has worked for more than twenty years with organizations and communities of all shapes and sizes to help them create futures of their own design. Before Hasten, Peter was a senior partner at IDEO, a global design and innovation firm, where he designed new-to-the-world products, processes, services, environments, and systems, and where he co-founded and led the Organizational Transformation practice. Peter has taught at the intersection of design, leadership, and transformation in the Social Lab at California College of the Arts, with Stanford Continuing Studies, and with Aarhus University’s / Copenhagen Business School’s Leadership and Innovation in Complex Systems program. He is also an affiliate with the Institute for the Future.

Science Advisor: Dr. Mark Abbott

Mark Abbott was the tenth President and Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and is presently on sabbatical. He received a BS in Conservation of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis. His research focuses on the interaction of biological and physical processes in the ocean and relies on remote sensing and field observations. He advocated the inclusion of chlorophyll fluorescence bands in MODIS (the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s EOS Terra and Aqua satellites) and developed next-generation ocean primary productivity algorithms that used chlorophyll fluorescence data to estimate the physiological health of upper ocean phytoplankton. He deployed a wide variety of ocean color sensors in the upper ocean, including moored arrays at the Polar Front in the Southern Ocean and ocean drifters in the California Current as well as the Polar Front. Dr. Abbott has also advised the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation on issues regarding advanced computer technology and oceanography. He is the principal investigator on a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, formulating a new vision for the design, development and deployment of ocean sensors.

He is a member of the National Academics of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Ocean Studies Board and has served as chair of the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space, and member of the Committee on Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure to Support US Science. He was a member of the National Science Board and served as president of The Oceanography Society. In 2011, he received the Jim Gray eScience Award from Microsoft Research.

Regenerative Ecosystem Advisor: Vincent Arena

Vincent Arena is a systems designer and social entrepreneur on a mission to catalyze collective intelligence and coordinated action towards complex problems. Vincent has a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and Design, Innovation, and Society from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Vincent is the Founder of Trove, a social network designed to connect people to what matters most and catalyze positive systems change.

Ocean Startup Ecosystem Advisor: Ann Carpenter

Ann Carpenter brings more than 30 years of experience in strategic planning, marketing, business development, and community outreach in private industry, nonprofit organizations, and as an entrepreneur. She serves as an advisor to deep tech entrepreneurs in industries including transportation and goods movement, energy, and ocean/maritime. As co-founder and CEO of Braid Theory, Ann is

primarily responsible for strategic partnership building with public entities such as ports and utility agencies, and private industry. She is dedicated to building and fostering the global Blue Economy

entrepreneur ecosystem.

Ann serves on the boards of Ocean Exchange and Smart Freight Centre to further initiatives addressing global challenges and a more sustainable future. Her civic appointments include Chief Innovation Officer of the City of Los Angeles, Council District 15; and Commissioner of the County of Los Angeles Small Business Commission


Previously, as Director of Marketing for PortTech Los Angeles, Ann built the organization’s brand identity and led outreach efforts to connect deep tech entrepreneurs to market opportunities. Ann began her career as a software programmer in the aerospace industry. After rising to Director of Strategic Planning at the Lockheed Corporation Information Systems Group, Ann left the corporate world to build S’Pacific Image, a graphic design and marketing agency. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Michigan – Dearborn.

ESG Advisor: Stephen Cain

Stephen Cain is equipped with 10+ years of administrative leadership across the public and private sectors. Inspired by lived experience lobbying on the hill for climate, and his success scaling the impact of a globally recognized shark research lab, Steve's interests meet at the nexus of climate, biodiversity, and business. He is well versed on developments in environmental policy, and the rapidly changing landscape of corporate sustainability and environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG). His subject matter expertise includes: ESG integration, the business case for UN SDGs, ESG reporting frameworks, standards, and data providers. He says: "With all the talk of technology democratizing this and that, I want to see a strong business case that integrates into its operations a keen sense of the impacts (good and bad) it has on a variety of stakeholders. In this sense today's laggards are less and less diametrically opposed to the idea that sustainability is good business--that a full accounting of impacts helps uncover risks, opportunities, and optimized performance--as they are unsure of where to start. My role is that of connector and bridge builder. I'll meet you at the trailhead and give my best recommendations for the sights along your sustainability journey."

Legal Advisor: Chris Groobey

Chris Groobey is a public-company director, venture partner, angel investor and advisor to growing companies and their investors, primarily in energy, infrastructure, "tough tech" and other capital-intensive industries. He practiced corporate and finance law for 20+ years, most recently as a partner at the technology-focused law firm Wilson Sonsini, and currently serves on the board of directors of a Nasdaq-listed renewable energy company. Chris is an avid racing sailor and recently completed a 4-year voyage with his wife aboard their long-distance passagemaker, during which they traveled 30,000 miles, visited more than 30 countries, transited the Panama Canal and crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

Programs Advisor: James Irvine

James Irvine is a startup coach who specializes in getting founders ready to pitch investors. For his first entrepreneurial endeavor he founded Pitch Night, a multi city pitch competition that he grew to several thousand members. Currently he works closely with several accelerator programs in Director, Biz Dev and Mentor roles. Previously he worked at JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch.

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