Adam Parnell MSc BEng AFNI
Adam has been a professional mariner all of his adult life and has gained significant experience of managing people, budgets and organisational change from a wide range of multi-disciplinary roles – both at sea and ashore – in the defence, private industry and the public sectors.
He joined the Royal Navy in 1988, initially as an Engineer officer where he gained Chartered Engineer status and held a sea-going role as Deputy Head of Department, but when appointed ashore into a teaching role, he swiftly transferred to the Operations (Warfare) branch to realise his ambition of spending more time at sea. This move was rewarded by his being appointed in command of HMS Grimsby and subsequently HMS Bangor as their Commanding Officer several years later.
Alongside his seagoing roles, Adam has also worked in the UK’s Joint Force Headquarters (where he visited 26 countries in 3 years on defence diplomacy and operational liaison visits, including working alongside the Iraqi Department of Defence and working with the United Nations in Sudan), has attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course and also worked in the Ministry of Defence, London.
In 2013 Adam decided to make the move ashore more permanent and, after a time-limited interim role as an engineer Project Manager for Babcock International, took up the post of Marine Officer and Harbour Master of Salcombe (a Local Authority port) from 2014.
In 2018 he took on the larger challenge of running Tor Bay Harbour which includes the enclosed ports of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham – England’s largest fishing port. In all of these roles, the identification of hazards, risks and their consequences (if not properly controlled) has been vital. He is thus very well placed to continue to build on the success of his predecessor in his role as CHIRP’s Director (Maritime).
Captain Dave Watkins MNI
Deputy Director (Maritime)
Dave enjoyed a 28 year career at sea commencing in 1976 with a cadetship at Ellerman and City Liners, eventually obtaining his Master’s CoC with Panocean Anco in 1987. His last 12 years at sea were in command on a variety of ships including VLCC’s, Cape Size, Container ships, and General cargo feeder ships.
Dave worked for 30 years at the China Navigation Company Pte. Ltd (CNCo), spending the last 14 years in Hong Kong and Singapore as Fleet Safety Security and Environmental Manager and DPA before retiring from CNCo as Fleet Quality Assurance Manager and DPA. During this time, Dave’s team were awarded the Lloyds List Asia safety award and were finalists in the Lloyds List Global safety awards.
During his time in Hong Kong, Dave served on the Hong Kong Victoria pilot’s examination board, was a member of the Pilots’ Advisory Committee and was the Vice President of the Hong Kong Nautical Institute. In 1997 Dave obtained his Pilot’s licence for the port of Jebel Ali, Dubai.Aside from Dave’s position as Deputy Director with CHIRP Maritime, he is also the Networking and Communications Director for Befrienders Worldwide, a global emotional support organization.
Captain Alan Loynd FMI FITA MCIArb
Maritime Advisor (Hong Kong)
After serving with the RFA, Alan joined the Swire Group and sailed with China Navigation and Swire Pacific Offshore. He then joined HK Salvage & Towage, where he spent 20 years as mariner, salvor and manager before founding his own consultancy in 2007. He is a founder member of the International Tugmasters Association, and served as Chairman from 2012 to 2015.
Robert Robson OBE
Robert Robson joined the Royal Navy as a General List Seaman Officer in 1981, before going to London University to read History at Royal Holloway College on a University Cadetship. He served in minesweepers, frigates and destroyers in various different theatres.
In 1987 he joined Barclays plc and followed a generalist career with roles in branch relationship management and Operations, Regional Sales Director, Group Personnel and as Chief Operating Officer of the Large Corporate Banking team. He became Deputy Managing Director of European Business Banking in 1999 and then moved to the Group Strategy team to lead the educational work delivering a cultural change programme to the senior cadre of the Barclays Group.
In 2002 he moved to Barclays Private Bank, where he set up a new role as Global Head of Banking and Credit, followed by two years in Geneva as Head of European Offshore Banking, before returning to the UK as COO of the International Private Bank covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Robert became the founding CEO of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity in September 2008. The RNRMC is the strategic charity partner of the Royal Navy, established through the amalgamation of over 70 multiple funds and charities. The task was to create a grant-making and fundraising charity, building on firm governance foundations, selling the charity to its key stakeholders, and creating a team, culture and reputation that would allow the Board to deliver its strategy. Over ten years the Charity Group grew to deliver over £50m in grants to beneficiaries, serving, retired and their families. In 2018 he retired from this role and focused on building a portfolio career. In 2019 he completed the Professional Certificate in Coaching at Henley Business School.
He is currently Treasurer of the ADVANCE Study Charity and has been a Governor of The Royal Star and Garter Homes, Trustee of the Forces in Mind Trust, The Officers’ Association and a Director of COBSEO – the Confederation of Service Charities, Veterans Scotland and a Member of the Mary Rose Trust. He is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and Younger Brother of Trinity House. He was awarded the OBE in the 2017 for charitable service to naval personnel.
Robert lives on the South Downs with his wife Amanda, a specialist teacher and English tutor, and their labrador, Lira.
Robert joined CHIRP as the Executive Director in April 2020.
Administration Manager & Company Secretary
Stephanie started her career in aviation in 2004 working for bmi British Midland as a Customer Service Agent based at London Heathrow. After 3 years, she moved to the Flight Training Department based at the Stockley Park Training Centre working as the Flight Training Administrator and was responsible for the administration and organisation of cabin crew and flight crew training.
Stephanie joined CHIRP in May 2012 as the Administration and Cabin Crew Programme Manager. In October 2018, she was appointed as Company Secretary.
After returning from maternity leave in August 2021, the role of Cabin Crew Programme Manager was handed over to Jennifer Curran on a permanent basis.
Her principal responsibilities are the smooth running of the general and financial administration of CHIRP.