Simon Whicker, who recently retired from his role at KPMG as head of Advisory Services for the Cayman Islands and head of Restructuring for the Americas, has joined the board of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute and taken on the role of treasurer.
Mr. Whicker said his love of all things ocean related was the catalyst for accepting the voluntary role.
“The importance of our sea environment and the condition of our reefs and corals is crucial to our dive and tourism industry,” he said. “From my own experience, having lived and dived in Cayman for nearly 25 years, I have seen a deterioration in the quality of the coral.”
He said coral disease, especially bleaching, and a reduction in the variety of fish is noticeable.
“CCMI are actively improving our understanding of why this is occurring and how the effects can be reversed. I would like to do my part as well,” he added.
CCMI said the organisation is delighted to welcome Mr. Whicker on board, not only for his business and commercial skills but also due to his genuine interest in the work they do, especially the research.
CCMI President Carrie Manfrino said, “Simon not only brings significant qualities as a treasurer to the CCMI team but also has a genuine interest our research, education and conservation projects. We are extremely lucky to have someone of his calibre get involved with our organisation and help plan our long-term future”.
CCMI’s research and education institute has doubled in size in the past three years with nine full time employees. The Little Cayman research centre is just beginning a new phase of expansion because it has outgrown its existing facility. CCMI’s recent success is in part due to major grants from the National Science Foundation, international foundations and long-term sponsors and individuals who are invested in the organisation’s mission.
CCMI also thanked the incumbent treasurer, Stacey Ottenbreit, for her dedication to CCMI during her two years with the organisation.