Meet the 36 Superyacht Design Symposium 2017 speakers

Bill Duker

Owner S/Y _Sybaris_

Bill Duker is the founder of Amici LLC, acquired by Xerox in 2006 for $174 million. Founded in 2002, Amici is a leading provider of electronic-discovery (e-discovery) services, primarily supporting litigation and regulatory compliance. E-discovery is the identification, filtering, production and storage of relevant data from paper or electronic documents, like e-mail, text files, memos, databases, presentations and spreadsheets.

Roy Nasser

Owner of M/Y _Bina_

Superyacht charter was part of family life for Roy Nasser from a young age, and his passion for boats and the sea was instantly apparent. Roy’s family purchased their first boat in the early 2000’s, and for them, yachting remains to be about family time. Since then, the family has bought, refitted & built 5 yachts, ranging in length from 13m to 43m. They have been involved in builds/refits over 3 continents and have cruised extensively, often spending months on board. Roy’s Mother & Sister, Sabina, (after whom the yachts' name M/Y Bina comes from), are extremely design oriented, with a unique approach to form "AND" function, as opposed to form "over" function. In contrast, his father and Roy are both from an engineering/technology background and have always been interested, aware and very involved in everything "behind the scenes". This unique family dynamic has produced incredible results and M/Y Bina’s extensive refit is the latest showcase of our work.

Roy studied at the British School in São Paulo, then pursued studies in Boston, MA before then returning to São Paulo to continue the business he started at 15yrs old. Roy’s software technology company has 'taken off' in the past 4 years which means he now divides his time between São Paulo, Miami, New York (where his sister lives), and Europe (where his mother and grandparents reside).

Sara Gioanola

_PR & Press Officer,_ Heesen Yachts

Sara Gioanola joined Heesen in 2009 as the role of PR and Press Officer. She shares her enthusiasm for the Heesen brand via the media, with extensive content in print publications, digital platforms, videography, events and trade shows. She has helped raise Heesen’s profile considerably thanks to her skills in communication coupled with a thorough understanding of luxury brands and marketing, all around the world.

Prior to Heesen Yachts, Sara worked with Baglietto as a fast motoryacht specialist and Perini Navi, the major superyacht builder specialising in large sailing yachts, from 2005 – 2008.

Sara graduated in 2001 with a Master’s degree in Philosophy. She has always been a passionate sailor and is fluent in three languages.

Ron Gibbs

Owner M/Y Elysium

Ron Gibbs is the owner of a 35 metre yacht M/Y Elysium and has owned a series of motor yachts over the last 20 years. Ron has numerous international business interests, including being a founding shareholder and Chairman of Silver Arrows Marine Limited, which last year launched the new Arrow460 Granturismo with Mercedes-Benz.

In 2006 Ron became a Partner in the China National Aviation Fund, a founding shareholder and Chairman of Cammel Laird (Gibraltar) and the Chief Counsel and Chairman of the Board of Protectors to HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. In particular, he was responsible for the tender, new-build and financing of the 124 metre M/Y Golden Odyssey which was delivered by Lürssen in 2015. He was also the legal advisor to the Board of the Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation – which supports research of coral reefs world-wide.

As a solicitor and then partner with the international law firm Linklaters, Ron was the head of the Firm’s international Shipping and Aviation Practice, managing a substantial superyacht practice, including the new-build, refit and chartering of the yachts within the “Golden Fleet”.

Ron qualified as a lawyer in England and specialised in Aviation and Shipping Law at University College London. Ron is also a Yachtmaster and a Master Scuba Diver.

Bob Corcoran

_Captain,_ M/Y _Samar_

Bob Corcoran has been the Captain of 77m M/Y Samar for 9 years, traveling extensively from the Fjords of Norway to the Persian Gulf. He is currently involved with the project management of a new 107m motor yacht, project Zoza, a project on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. In addition, he has been involved in 2 previous new builds (being Yard Captain for Broward Marine) and several extensive refit projects as well as offering consultation services on a freelance basis, for new builds and to the development of yachting in Malta.

Bob has been in the Luxury Yacht field since 1984 as Captain, commanding both Charter and Private yachts. He grew up on boats in the waters of the Great Lakes in Michigan. After receiving his first commercial license in 1979 at the age of 20, Bob attended Michigan State University Kellogg School to study Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management.

Bob currently holds a Master 3000 ton License, Cayman Islands Endorsement and a Chief Mate Unlimited License and is working towards a Master Unlimited License.

Nicola Nicolai

Nicola Nicolai is Product Development Director of Benetti, Azimut|Benetti Group, in charge of product development of semicustom and full custom new projects. Starting as Project Manager of full custom yachts in 2006, he soon was appointed Head of Project Management Department after managing with success many custom new builds, and then Director of Product & Project Management Department in 2012, managing new builds of semicustom and full custom projects from 30 up to 90+ mt. At this time Nicola Nicolai, acting as Interim Sales Manager, leaded the “Benetti Design Innovation Project” working along with a selected group of top designers of the superyacht industry to rethink the future exterior lines of Benetti’s custom projects.

During his career Nicola has had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most important owners, designers, naval architects, brokerage and management companies in the industry. He managed projects such as Benetti’s 70mt Spectre, 45mt Domani, 61mt Diamonds Are Forever, 65mt Seanna, 64mt Silver Angel, 56mt Annaeva, Riva 115’ Athena series, Genesis 153’ and many others.

With over 16 years’ experience in the superyacht industry, Nicola worked at Riva, a Ferretti Group Brand, in 2003 as Project Manager after starting his career in 2000 as Design and Engineering Coordinator for North American Yachts and Shipbuilding.

Combining his professional experience together with his natural passion for yachts he developed a 360 degrees knowledge of product and process, from negotiation to design, engineering, production and delivery of superyachts. Nicola always had an incredible passion for sea and yachting that he developed when still a student sailing as skipper for charter cruises and regattas. He graduated in Architecture and Yacht Design from Florence University of Architecture.

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