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The board

We're backed by a board of esteemed representatives from across the industry, driven by our long-term mission:


Carlos Vidueira

Executive Committee Member of

St Barths Bucket Regattas

“In the absence of information, people will make up their own stories about what happens on a yacht. The challenge really lies in rebranding – the product is outstanding and it’s not necessarily just the superyacht itself – it’s the privacy, the freedom and the lifestyle it affords. We need to highlight the benefits that come from the product instead of just the product itself. Every effort to do this so far has been on an individual basis – through coordinating the message through The Superyacht Life Foundation, we will be far more effective.”


Farouk Nefzi

Chief Marketing Officer at Feadship

“Whenever there is a negative article related to wealth in international media, there is always an image of a superyacht next to the story – even if it has nothing to do with the incident. It is always the bad guy in the movie that owns the yacht. The truth is very different from the perception though, and we need to position ourselves differently as an industry. The reason why Feadship joined The Superyacht Life Foundation is because it’s important to have a joint focus – in a collective, we can find strength.”


Jonathan Beckett

CEO of Burgess


'Luxury' is often a term carelessly thrown around – it covers a whole host of things! However, 'luxury', when used in conjunction with the superyacht industry, can conjure up quite negative connotations. It doesn't accurately portray an industry that supports the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people, world over. The end result of a new build is a masterpiece – a beautiful piece of engineering which expertly blends art with science and industry – meaning 'luxury' is simply the icing on the cake. I have been fortunate enough to work at the coalface of this industry for over 40 years, and I have seen the changes that have been made and I know we can make the ones being called for in the future. The Superyacht Life Foundation is a great platform encouraging collaboration, innovation, and evolution – only as a team can we work towards our collective goals of a fun, challenging work environment, correcting any misconceptions and, most importantly, a sustainable future. At Burgess, we are fully committed to raising the bar and working hard with industry colleagues to help educate society on our niche but exceptional world.


Michael Breman

Director of Sales at Lürssen

“I’ve been in this business for over 25 years and the people we build boats for are families. Unfortunately, that’s not the first impression people have when they think about a superyacht. Yachting is a magnificent pastime but if you see a yacht at the cinema or in the media, your first thought is that it must be the lair of the bad guy. The positive aspects of yachting need to get a better push. We all try to do this on our own as different companies, but The Superyacht Life Foundation unites all of these voices.”

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Stefano de Vivo

Chief Commercial Officer at Ferretti Group

"To encourage fruitful long-term growth, the industry must work together in a cohesive, constructive approach. I firmly believe in The Superyacht Life Foundation’s mission and its key collective role in furthering joint efforts to tell upbeat stories and promote a positive image for the superyachting sector. As an association of professionals sharing the same interests and goals, we strive to engage all stakeholders, to reach new audiences – especially the potential owners of tomorrow – and to educate them about the real superyacht lifestyle experience. Speaking with a common voice, then, is a crucial aspect of bringing together the major players and enabling effective collaboration, to establish virtuous circles that will create real benefits for the entire industry."

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Tony Harris

Superyacht Ambassador of Informa Markets

The impact the yacht industry has globally is generally misunderstood, misrepresented and misconstrued. The reality of the economic impact, the technological advances, the ocean research projects and disaster relief are stories that are seldom told let alone heard. Superyacht Life Foundation exists to amplify the stories of the positive impact the industry delivers for the hundreds of thousands of individuals and communities that benefit from the business of building and operating yachts around the world. Investing in the Superyacht Life Foundation will help to change the narrative to benefit the industry as a whole"

WHO WE ARE: Meet the Team

Theo Hooning

Secretary General

“There is only an industry if there is collaboration – The Superyacht Life Foundation is a perfect example of that. We can act as one. A long-term strategy and philosophy is important. Instead of running from deal to deal, we need to think about where the industry will be in five or ten years time. You can’t promote the superyacht lifestyle as individual companies – it’s too expensive and it will not have a proper return on investment – but as an industry you can do these things.”


Merijn de Waard

Advisor to the Board and Director of SuperYacht Times

"Often people only see the luxury associated with superyachts, but there is a lot more to it than that. It all starts from that first moment of creation – what other object can you create from a blank piece of paper, which is then made by skilled craftspeople exactly to your wishes? The whole process involves so many different kinds of trades and materials. There is something magical about it. From that point onwards, your enjoyment of the yacht only increases – exploring new places, experiencing new cultures and having the time of your life with family and friends from your home on the water. I believe that as an industry we can do a lot more to promote all of this and elevate the image of yachting worldwide.”

The team

The programme is led by secretary general Theo Hooning and executed by a team of professionals in Amsterdam with the support of a pool of freelancers.


Charlotte Thomas


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Cristina Fonzar

Event Manager


Dilan Saraç

Executive Director

WHO WE ARE: Meet the Team
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