Meet the 26 Superyacht Design Symposium 2019 Speakers
Daniel Simon

Daniel Simon is a visionaire in the field of advanced vehicle design.

He is currently Chief Design Officer at Roborace — the world’s first racing league for autonomous cars — and Design Deputy at Singer Vehicle Design — the boutique restoration house most well-known for its re-imaginations of the Porsche 911. Previously, Simon created lead vehicles for science fiction films such as Tron:Legacy, Oblivion, and Star Wars.

Growing up in a ship-building family on the coast of Germany, Simon later began his automotive creative journey at the Design Centre Europe of Volkswagen in Spain, and returned to Germany in 2005 where he became Senior Designer at Bugatti Automobiles. He resides in Los Angeles since 2008 and consults for a variety of transportation startups, as well as brands such as Audi, Nike, Formula E, and SpaceX.

Simon’s work delicately blurs the lines between past and present, as he believes that advanced products are more successful if they contain traces from an informed past. Besides such thoughtfulness, he also preserved the curiosity of his childhood — and relentlessly asks ‘what if?’ on the quest for better solutions.

Alberto Galassi
_CEO_, Ferretti Group

Alberto Galassi is Chief Executive Officer of the Ferretti Group, a world leader in the design, construction, and sale of motor yachts and ranging from 8 to 90 metres with a portfolio of seven iconic Italian brands including: Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft, CRN and Custom Line. In addition to these brands, in February 2015, Ferretti Security & Defense was created as the Group’s business division dedicated to naval platforms for security and patrol missions.

In late 2013, Mr Galassi was selected by the Weichai Group to join the Board of Directors of the Ferretti Group and in 2014 was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Company. In June 2012, Mr Galassi joined the Board of Directors at Manchester City Football Club winning its first championship in the same year, 2012.

Mr Galassi became a member of the Piaggio Aero Industries’ Board of Directors, responsible for Marketing and Sales in 1998. Piaggio Aero (now Piaggio Aerospace) is the only Italian private company active both in aircraft and aero engines, design, manufacturing and MRO. In 2008 Alberto Galassi was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Company and in 2014 was named Chairman of Piaggio Aerospace.

Mr Galassi is an attorney at law, specialising in International Commerce and Arbitration at the UCLA University. From 1995 to 1997 Alberto Galassi held the position of Board Member delegate to Sales and Marketing at Novico, an industry leader producing medical and healthcare equipment.

Frank Pollaro
_Founder_, Pollaro Custom Furniture

Frank Pollaro founded Pollaro Custom Furniture, Inc. in 1988; a highly successful producer of museum quality furniture for residences, superyachts, and select corporate projects.  The company, located in 60,000 square feet in Hillside, NJ, employs 45 master craftsmen, skilled in the disciplines of furniture making, finishing, special finishes, gilding, veneer work, carving, design, engineering, drafting, metalworking, and upholstery.  All of these departments exist inside of one building.  The Company also houses the largest collection of wood veneer and timber in the world with over 600 unique logs and 100 species.  The wood collection is presented in a dramatic setting.

Pollaro has completed more than 3,000 projects for clients on six continents.    The firm typically produces about 200 pieces of furniture in a year.  Each piece is hand made, without the use of computerized machinery.

Pollaro’s client list includes the world’s finest shipyards including Lürssen and Feadship as well as top interior design and architecture firms.  Selected clients include members global business community such as Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle; David Geffen, CEO of DreamWorks ; Lee Kun-Hee, CEO of Samsung; and Hui Ka Yan, CEO of Evergrande Real Estate Group in Shenzhen, China.  Pollaro is lauded for creating special environments for their homes, yachts, and offices.

In September 2017 Pollaro unveiled The Teak + Titanium Collection of fine exterior furniture at the Monaco Yacht Show in Monte Carlo.  A family of pieces designed by Pollaro for ultra-luxury, exclusively built from Burmese teak and pure titanium.

Frank holds five design patents.  The latest, is a design created for Steinway & Sons, commemorating the milestone of their 600,000th piano.  The Pollaro designed and built Fibonacci Art Case piano was sold to a private collector for a record setting $2.4 million US dollars.

Frank has collaborated with Brad Pitt on the creation of a furniture collection designed by Brad and fabricated by Pollaro Custom Furniture.  The Pitt-Pollaro collection was featured in over 300 publications globally.  Pitt and Pollaro continue to collaborate with new pieces planned for release in 2019.

Frank has been the subject of more than 400 articles in the decorative arts press and has personally authored more than 30 articles on fine woodworking, and has lectured nationwide on Ruhlmann and woodworking business.

Richard Hadida
_CEO & Owner_ Oyster Yachts

Richard Hadida is a successful British entrepreneur. In 2006 he founded Evolution Gaming, the leading gaming software business, which he subsequently floated on the Swedish Stock Exchange with a Market Cap of £2 Billion. Evolution employs over 5000 people across 10 countries. Richard has been enjoying sailing Oysters for the past 5 years. Richard brings an exciting vision for the future of Oyster Yachts and is committed to Oyster for the Long Term.

Maria Sole Ferragamo
_Founder_, SO-LE Studio

Maria Sole Ferragamo has always had a passion for making things with her hands. Perhaps this stems from growing up in Florence, a city defined by its architectural beauty and highly skilled craftsmen, or it could be from being born into a family where design is king. Either way, a love of craftsmanship filters through to all of her creations.

Maria Sole founded SO-LE Studio in November 2017 and opened up her first pop-up store in London. Having worked for a short time in two factories creating pieces with leather and metal, she had a clear vision of what she wanted to do: turn the beautiful leather that is abandoned by the fashion and luxury industry each year into a cherished piece of jewellery.

She has a Master’s degree from Central Saint Martins University and won first place in the fourth International Design Competition ‘Craft the Leather’, and has held exhibitions in Milan and Rome to showcase her designs. She also has a degree from Politecnico of Milan, which gave solid foundations to her design process.

Traver Kennedy
_Co-founder & CEO_, Joi Scientific

Traver Kennedy is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Joi Scientific, an emerging clean energy company committed to making clean and affordable hydrogen energy available to all. Traver's efforts have earned him global recognition. The World Economic Forum named him a "Technology Pioneer " for his contributions to technology and society. He was also ranked by Network World as one of the "25 Most Powerful People" in technology alongside Bill Gates, John Chambers and Michael Dell.

Before co-founding Joi Scientific, Traver was Chief Strategist at Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) where he was a driving force behind the company's post-IPO growth, helping to establish it as one of the world's largest S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 software companies in record time. While at Citrix he founded and served as Chairman of the ASP Industry Consortium, an international advocacy group formed by 500 leading technology companies to set worldwide standards for the ASP (Application Service Provider) industry, which ultimately ushered in the cloud computing era. Many have labelled him the "Father of the ASP

Industry. "

Traver is passionate about environmental and humanitarian projects that range from ancient forest preservation in Ghana and coral reef protection in Haiti with One Village Planet, to establishing the world's first Cyber Sister Cities to improve  education,  health  and economic  opportunities  in developing communities with Sister Cities International and the World Bank Institute.

Tony Gee
_Associate Partner_, Pen Test Partners

Tony Gee has over 13 years of security experience, he has worked both as an internal blue team consultant within the finance industry and for the technology partner for the world leading Oyster card system and more latterly as an external security tester and auditor.

Tony speaks the world over at technology events highlighting key risks with the internet of things, automotive and maritime and key payment systems. Tony is able to illustrate and demonstrate critical issues in these systems in a way the audiences of all levels can understand. He has spoken at PCI events in Europe and Asia, at the SC Congress in London, technical conferences such as BSides and many other partner events, including speaking at the US Congress, European Central Bank and the European Parliament.

Geraldina Bassani Antivari
_Founder and Creative Director_, Geraldina

The daughter of Luca Bassani, founder of Wally Yachts, Geraldina Bassani owns her own fashion label and has a flagship store in Milan as well as standalone boutiques in St. Moritz and Porto Cervo.

Called Geraldina, the brand defines itself as “anti-fashion”, ignoring trends and seasons in order to create bespoke products with impeccable attention to detail and the highest quality fabrics. The range is aimed at what Geraldina perceives to be a gap in the market – a 30+ luxury focused audience, which wants stylish pieces that don’t compromise on comfort.

Prior to launching her own company, Geraldina worked as a consultant for brands such as Massimo Piombo, Aperlai and Alexander Birman. She paved the way for a career in fashion and design by studying at Central Saint Martins under a renowned professor, the late Louise Wilson.

Franco Loro Piana
_Co-founder_, SEASE

A passionate sailor and skier, Franco Loro Piana founded clothing brand SEASE back in 2016, along with his brother Giacomo. A luxury menswear brand conceived with the next generation in mind, his pieces are designed to work in both urban and natural environments – from the centre of Monaco or New York City, to the Alps and the open seas. Prior to launching the company, Franco worked for the family business, Loro Piana, and honed his approach to retail while in the United States.

Steve Keeling
_Director_, DKT Artworks

Steve Keeling is one of the founders and directors of DKT Artworks, a team of imaginative and highly skilled artists that specialises in bespoke decorative finishes and site-specific artworks. Steve graduated from Bath Academy of Art in Fine Art – Sculpture. After moving to London and following a brief stint in Theatre, TV and film, making sets, props and special effects, in 1979, Steve co-founded DKT Artworks with his college friends Sean Trowbridge and Niki Davies, an industrial designer and fine art painter, respectively. At the time the company was formed, Steve was still funding his training to become a commercial pilot, a lifelong passion, but soon realised that the purpose of DKT was more fulfilling and in line with his creativity and temperament. To date, DKT Artworks, with studios in London and Prague, comprises a 40 strong team of multi-skilled artists and has worked on 70+ superyacht projects, in cooperation with the most renowned and prestigious designers in the world.

4 yachts featuring DKT Artworks’ bespoke finishes, Dar, Elandess, Irisha and Volpini 2, are all finalists of the 2019 Boat International Design & Innovation Awards.