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Community 26 Oct, 2020 Follow News

Central Caribbean Marine Institute Station

Station photo from water

The pressures on global biodiversity, and in particular, the impacts of climate change on coral reefs, are high on the environmental agenda in 2020. As the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) ramps up its work to identify marine species that can adapt to changing climate, the organisation has also evolved the Board of Directors to support its goals and intentions, including the addition of new and well-seasoned Directors.

CCMI welcomes Sydney Coleman, Peter Hillenbrand, and Dr Tom Frazer, who join Tim Kary and Chris Humphries on the CCMI Grand Cayman and CCMI US Board. JS De Jager also continues to serve as treasurer, a position he has held for two years.

Sydney Coleman, who worked in the offshore financial industry and has a wealth of experience with non-profits in the Cayman Islands, believes that now is the right time to be expanding board competencies for non-profits:

“During this time of unprecedented global disruption, there is huge pressure on organisations to adapt and keep their focus on delivering their vision against a backdrop of change. For non-profits, this pressure is even more keenly felt, and the role of the board really comes into play during challenging times like these. CCMI has a very topical and important mandate to protect coral reefs for the future via innovative and explorative research and conservation. I am delighted to join CCMI’s Board to help guide them on their important environmental journey.”

CCMI Inc is based in the Cayman Islands, with a facility on Little Cayman, and it is also a US 501(c)(3) and UK registered charity, and the organisation raises funds internationally to progress their research, education and conservation activities to protect coral reefs for the future. CCMI therefore has a complex and multi-national operation, which requires high-level advisory support in science, business, accounting and law to perform its fiduciary duties. The Board at CCMI has a collective intent to embrace ethical and accountable management and governance to support the team and CCMI and their stakeholders. With a range of skills, CCMI’s Board has been formed to well-equip the organisation in a world of change and uncertainty.

Peter Hillenbrand, who co-founded CCMI with Dr Carrie Manfrino and served as Chairman of the Board from 1998-2016, has recently returned as a seasoned Board member. Peter brings with him a wealth of knowledge as an international businessman and local tourism ambassador, as well as being an active supporter of marine conservation and education:

“What makes CCMI unique is the relationship between science and education. There are few organisations that offer tropical marine research in situ, alongside residential and digital (live!) education programming. I believe we have a small window of time to protect coral reefs, improving our knowledge of these precious yet (still) secretive ecosystems, and CCMI has the opportunity to make a tangible contribution to marine sustainability.”

Current Chairman of the Board, Chris Humphries, who has been a Board Director since 2006, has evolved the Board profile to reflect the current and future needs of CCMI against a backdrop of environmental risk vs global chaos, to help stabilize the charity and strengthen the organisational commitment to making a difference:

“This is the first phase in CCMI’s board development; we will also be seeking more advisory roles and look to diversify the board even further in the not too distant future to help the team develop the organisation into a region-leading institution.”

For more information on CCMI’s Board, please see their website: https://reefresearch.org/who-we-are/our-people/board-members/board/

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