Officers and Executive Committee 2015 announced by ISS

The International Superyacht Society (ISS) is delighted to announce the ...

Officers and Executive Committee 2015 announced by ISS

December 04, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The International Superyacht Society (ISS) is delighted to announce the appointment of its 2015 Officers and Executive Committee, with an effective start date of January 1, 2015. Officers comprise the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, who are distinguished superyacht industry leaders, elected by the organization’s Board of Directors. They will serve a one-year term, at which time they may be re-elected to the same post for not more than three consecutive years.


The ISS Executive Committee is comprised of the Officers, a Board Representative—who is appointed by the incoming President—and the Past President.

The Board of Directors election is held annually in January. For 2015, the new Board will be seated on 2 February with eight directors elected to serve three-year terms. Nominations to the ISS Board of Directors are currently open to ISS members. Nominations may be made until 20 December 2014 by sending name, title, biographies and photos to

2015 ISS Officers and Executive Committee

ISS President: Derik Wagner—MTN

Derik Wagner brings more than 10 years of global sales and management experience to his role as managing director of the MTN yacht services business. He is responsible for leading the yacht business’ continued growth in providing global satellite communications solutions to large luxury yachts around the world.

Derik Wagner

Derik Wagner

During his tenure, the MTN yacht services business has rapidly achieved recognition as the preferred supplier of global managed VSAT services for the megayacht industry, with more than 50 percent of the world’s top 100 largest yachts using MTN for their broadband communication requirements.

Prior to joining MTN, he served as senior account manager at France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications (FTMSC) where he managed over 30 distributors throughout the Americas for mobile satellite services, representing Inmarsat, Iridium, and Thuraya Equipment and Airtime. Previously, Derik worked on the first VoIP gateways and Softswitch technology as an engineer at Lucent Technologies.

Wagner graduated from the University of South Florida, served on the Board of the U.S. Superyacht Association (USSA) from 2007 – 2011 and is currently an Anchor Member of the MIASF, Marine Industries Association of South Florida. Derik is a USCG licensed Captain and currently lives in South Florida with his wife and son.

ISS Vice President: Gary DeSanctis—AIM

Gary DeSanctis is General Manager/Group Publisher of The Marine Group at Active Interest Media. He has been involved in the yachting world for 15 years. Prior to joining AIM MEDIA, he was the President/Publisher of ShowBoats International Magazine and VP of CurtCo Media for 5 years with additional media experience at Yachting Magazine from 1997-2005. He has spearheaded a number of marine initiatives that have helped yacht builders meet prospective owners. On the philanthropic front, he was an Admiral of the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County and more recently, he spearheaded a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Sandy in Long Beach, NJ, and was on hand with his family Thanksgiving Day 2012 to serve dinner to 2000 people who suffered losses during the hurricane.

Gary DeSanctis

Gary DeSanctis

ISS Treasurer: Michele Leung—Marsh

Michele Leung has served on the ISS Board since 2013 and as the Gala Program Administrator since 2011. She holds the position as Office Administrator for the Private Client Services Yacht Practice of Marsh and has been with the firm since 2000.

Michele holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in International Marketing from State University of New York: F.I.T. Michele is a member of ISS, FYBA, USSA, and the National Association of Asian Professionals.

Michele Leung

Michele Leung

As an advocate of philanthropy, education and Marsh’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, she commits over 100 hours annually at various not-for-profit organizations, including: Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA Foundation), Boys & Girls Club, St. Jerome School (Science & Fine Art Building Campaign), and St. Thomas Aquinas H.S.

ISS Secretary: Diane Byrne—

Diane M. Byrne, one of the best-known and highly respected yachting journalists, established in 2007 as the first, and still the only, website delivering all-original content to American yacht owners, buyers, and their circles of influence. She has been covering megayachts since 1993 and is closely involved with the leading professional organizations in yachting and entrepreneurship:

Diane Byrne

Diane Byrne

–          A long-time International Superyacht Society (ISS) member, currently on its Board of Directors and co-chair of its Marketing Committee

–          A founding member of the United States Superyacht Association (USSA)

–          A member of the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO)

ISS Board Representative—Norma Trease; Director of Salamanca Group’s Marine Division

Norma Trease has been a central leader in organizing ISS activities for many years, helping launch crew education programs, serving as administrator of the ISS Awards of Distinction, and also helping organize international Members Mixers held at boats shows worldwide. Beginning her long yachting career as a crewmember, Norma was a pioneer in the crew placement business; is well-known as an editor and contributor to leading yachting and financial publications. Norma now works as Director of Salamanca Group’s Marine Division.

Norma Trease

Norma Trease

ISS Past President—Ken Hickling; Akzo Nobel—Global Business Development Manager

Ken Hickling has just concluded his third year as ISS’s President, after serving as Vice President and Treasurer following several years as an active board member.

In 2014 the ISS continued under Ken’s leadership to pursue the mandates set by the membership: recognising excellence, providing networking opportunities, promoting education and representing its membership on industry issues.

Ken Hickling

Ken Hickling

Ken comments, “In addition to improving organizational structures and ISS’s outreach programs, in the past several years, ISS has successfully organized the global Associations’ Alliance, meeting at major global events to discuss the most critical issues affecting our industry and devising strategies with the aid of the regional associations to implement strategies and solutions. We have also collaborated, created and implemented the Ethics/Professional Initiative.” Ken continues to work with ISO and ICOMIA on technical matters as part of the ISS Technical Committee.

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