Who we are

Leadership

KIERAN KELLY

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER RIO

I grew up in a little Village on the South East Coast of Ireland called Helvick. The soul of our Village life was the Pier where my Father and Family would bring boat loads of fish on a daily basis from the Ocean.

 

The Bounty the Ocean provided was the economic link for the village.

Life was fantastic growing up, lots of seafood a strong bond between the people in the village.

But things started to Change Overfishing by a massive EU fleet in Irish waters and Agricultural Pollution plus Industrial Pollution started to kill our Rivers & Ocean.

The devastating effects of this made my Family Emigrate to the USA were I continued my life on the Ocean.

The thing that really surprised me was Plastic in our Ocean, I thought it was only a problem in Ireland.

But no matter where I fished the East or West Coast of American I used to see Plastic. From the Celtic Sea to Sea of Cortez, the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska plastic was everywhere.

One Winter in Particular really shocked me while fishing in remote waters on the Bering Sea seeing massive amounts of plastic that had Originated in Russia and Japan made me realise our Ocean are dying.

It was time to give back and help clean our Ocean. Shortly after this RIO was formed and today we collect Ocean Plastic globally.

We have since developed the first of its kind Patented Ocean/River Device that collects Micro-plastics.

We empower Local Indigenous Fishing Villages around the world by hiring them to collect Ocean Plastic.

We hire and promote Local people to make them Leaders and lead the way in the Village.

We Empower Women around the world and encourage them to become the backbone of our Company. All regional leadership positions to be filled over the next years will be filled by women. I believe Mother Earth needs a Mother’s love to help save our Planet

How strange has this been going from a Commercial Fishing Captain that Harvested seafood on a industrial scale to now Collecting Plastics from our Ocean on the same scale.

I attached a photo of my Grandfather Captain Tom Kelly, my mentor as a child. What would he think of the state of our Oceans today ?

Remember we only have one Ocean

RICO GUERRERO

RIO CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Rico is a native of Los Angeles California born and raised.

His lengthy background in finance and sales brings years of experience to RIO .  Rico has owned an operated several companies in the US as well as Internationally.

He was part owner and CFO of Ocean Queen Seafood in Panama which sold millions of  seafood revenue annually.

His background in the fishing and  seafood industry has made him an advocate of cleaner oceans and  removing plastic waste from our the sea.  His dedication and desire  for a better world is with RIO

KEITH FLITNER

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICE

A seasoned professional with over 25 years of international business experience, Keith started his career as an engineer and was quickly recognized for his ability to promote complex technical solutions in a global environment. His versatile background has made him successful in the ever-changing business world while working in management roles at Parker Aerospace, Eaton, and Hamilton Sundstrand. Keith is certified in Program Management and has served on the Board’s of several organizations. He is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and has served in the United States Navy Reserve. He holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.B.A. from Chapman University.

RIO United Kingdom Division

Patrick McKeown

Business Director

UK Business Director has joined us after a long career in both Business and Academia. He worked for a number of IT firms before becoming an International Business, Economic and Environmental lecturer working in Asia and the Middle East during this time he developed a number of environmental programs. He has a degree in Business and post grads in IT and Green technologies. He is an inventor of innovative environmental products and has been involved in the crypto space for a number of years. He has lived in a number of countries gaining direct insight into the Social, Economic and Environmental issues that countries face and this is why we are a delighted to have him join our team.

RIO North America Division

HECTOR AVELLA

MARTIME OPERATIONS

Hector Avella is a maritime safety & security consultant with extensive operational domestic & international experience. He brings more than 21 years’ of leadership & proven job performance in the U.S. Coast Guard. Mr. Avella’ Coast Guard operational career spans over diverse and challenging mission areas, including: search & rescue, maritime law enforcement (counterdrug operations, illegal migrants, fisheries, recreational boating), marine safety & security (port operations, incident command, oil pollution/HAZMAT response & marine inspections), international capacity building (Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia & Panama).
Mr. Avella was assigned to the USMC Special Operations Group, Camp Lejeune, NC where he integrated with Riverine Training Teams deployed to South America, and also served as the USCG Attaché, U.S. Embassy, Panama City, Panama. Before retiring, he was assigned as Chief, Facilities Security Division, where he was responsible for the implementation of post 9/11 Marine Transportation Security Act (MTSA) & the International Ship & Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) for the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach. Mr. Avella served 13 months as a maritime advisor the government of Equatorial Guinea (EG). He is currently a lead instructor for the U.S. Department of State delivering Maritime Port & Harbor Security Management & Maritime Interdiction of Terrorism courses.

RIO North America Division

JESSE FIELD

CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER

Jesse Field is a Maine native who grew up on the waters of the Kennebec River and the Gulf of Maine. He has been a commercial fisherman and organic farmer for 20 years. He is a passionate proponent of environmental stewardship through responsible fishing and farming practices. He looks forward to bringing his practical and intellectual skills to bear on the problem of ocean plastics. A student of entrepreneurship and capital markets, Jesse sees opportunity in creating value through adoption of circular economies of materials.

RIO North America Division

PAUL GARCIA

BUSINESS & PROGRAM MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT

Paul Garcia is a Business and Program Management consultant supporting Defense and Commercial sectors. He has managed all aspects of multi-million-dollar projects for clients with unique challenges focusing on first-to-market commercial and military products. His industry knowledge and comfort maneuvering through Govt. requirements, political obstacles, and program management/oversight has resulted in product movement from concept to global forefront with remarkable success.
He previously served as Executive Vice President of Maritime Security Solutions, Inc. (MSS) and with L-3 Communications/Government Services Inc. as project manager supporting the Navy’s MK-41 Vertical Launch System contract.
Mr. Garcia is a retired 23-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard whose career milestones include Foreign Military Sales Program Manager transferring Excess Defense Articles around the world, Government Contracting Officer/Comptroller specializing in construction, service, and acquisition contracting, and Maritime Law Enforcement and Tactical Training Officer. He holds a Masters in Legal Studies (MLS), Masters of Science in Management (MSM – Project Management), Masters in Public Administration (MPA), and a Bachelor’s in Business Management (BBA).

RIO North America Division

Iwona Krystyna Skrzeszewska

MARINE BIOLOGIST & WILDLIFE PROTECTION

Iwona Skrzeszewska is an accomplished scientist in the field of Marine Biology and Environmental Science. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Oceanography and a Masters degree in Marine Geology from University of Gdańsk. With more than 10 years’ experience, Ms Skrzeszewska brings a wealth of experience in marine wildlife observation and data collection as well as appropriate mitigation measures upon encounter. She has several years’ experience working with seismic companies on board research vessels in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, North Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. While working in marine life scientific study and data collection, she has gained valuable experience in maritime safety and emergency response, seismic operations (seismic, multibeam, pinger, and side sonar), real-time analyses and solution development, team management and operational supervision, and communication. Ms Skrzeszewska has extensive experience operating related software and implementing BOEM NTL regulations in the US waters and JNCC Guidelines in respective areas. Ms Skrzeszewska has also owned and operated a small business working a wide variety of areas including daily management, human resources, and startup logistics.

RIO North America Division

SCOTT HERMANSON

CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER

Scott Hermanson is an experienced sales & marketing executive with extensive global experience leading key commercial programs and initiatives. Scott’s experience includes several PMO roles where he has led start-ups in both Africa and Southeast Asia, working closely with the in-country teams and governments to achieve operational and financial objectives. Scott is well versed in both operational & commercial excellence and has a Six Sigma Black Belt certification from General Electric, where he worked for over 20 years. Scott has a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Economics from San Diego State University and a Master of International Business Administration from the University of San Diego, including 3 semesters of graduate study abroad in Brazil, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Scott is bilingual in Spanish and English, and is adept at the basics in 5 other languages. Scott is a proven global leader with cultural sensitivity who prides himself on being part of the solution in cleaning plastic water bottle waste from our oceans. He is committed and passionate about making a positive impact in the work that RIO does around the globe.

RIO COLOMBIA DIVISION

RAFAEL GUILLERMO SOLANO FERNÁNDEZ

COLOMBIA REPRESENTATIVE

Retired Colombian Naval Officer with degrees in Maritime and Port Administration. An avid environmentalist and sailor, Mr. Solano is working to bring awareness of the damage’s plastic waste has -and is- severely polluting and negatively affecting the world’s oceans. Mr. Solano brings a wealth of executive management and leadership experience in a broad range of large-scale commercial, defense and government contract projects.

RIO COLOMBIA DIVISION

DIEGO FERNANDO ARENAS CEBALLOS

COLOMBIA REPRESENTATIVE

Retired Colombian Naval Officer with degrees in Financial Management, Maritime Administration and Naval Sciences. An avid traveler and sailor, Mr. Arenas is passionate about educating everyone on the vital role a healthy ocean contributes to the Earths well being. Mr. Arenas’ naval career took him to many remote and beautiful coastal areas along Colombias two oceans, the Pacific and the Caribbean. He has witnessed the alarming stockpiling of plastic waste along the coasts, delivered by large rivers systems and unregulated plastic dumping. As a logistics expert, he understands the challenges remote locations pose to environmental and ecological protection action planes.

RIO India Division

SHRUTI ANKAT

INDIA OPERATIONS

Ms. Shruti Ankat holds a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in the field of Food Nutrition and Dietetics from Symbiosis International University and S.N.D.T University respectively. Ms Shruti has worked in Nutrition and Healthy Living for several years. She is an entrepreneur and business owner, with latest developments in starting an environment friendly care facility that focuses on the use of reusable, recycled or eco friendly products. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator and has been a research and education co-ordinator for the same. She has actively taken part in various community-based programmes to generate awareness about the importance of Nutrition and safe sanitation techniques amongst the low socio-economic groups. She brings valuable experience in business start-up and development as well as coordination and management.

Ms Shruti has been a member of various associations and is active as a researcher where she has had opportunity to lecture and publish about nutrition and healthy life choices.

RIO Indonesia Division

Ryan Mac

Indonesia Operations

Ryan Mac is a professional currency trader in Indonesia and YouTube influencer. He is an experienced explorer, paraglider, jungle guide, and animal lover. Ryan studied at the University of Buckingham and previously served as a forward observer with the British Army. He is dedicated to the safety and health of the land he now calls home and the people who live there including one of the greatest resources – the oceans and waters around the many islands of Indonesia.

RIO Indonesia Division

Nuri Revani

Manager Oceans Integrity Bali

I’m a former Taekwondo Athlete for more than 10 years.  I work as a Personal Trainer for more than 3 years.

I met Kieran Kelly, the CEO of RIO at a special event. When we talked, I was moved by how passionate he talked about plastics in our Ocean.

It’s a unique experience for me because I always love the idea about to make our Ocean clean & healthy.

I’ve watched documentaries and read about how the way we use plastic effect the environment especially our oceans.

But I didn’t know at that time how I could help, until I met Kieran and he asked me to join him in RIO’s mission to clean up our oceans.

I always love to visit Bali for holidays before I decided to moved here in 2020 (thanks to corona lol) & it’s was so sad to see so much plastic on the beaches, they were full of trashes, especially plastics.

Now I live here full time I love Bali and it’s Ocean. I know with RIO I can help to make it a cleaner &a better place to live.

I’m so happy to see some of the people willing to spend their time and energy to cleaning up the ocean. That’s why I’m so exited with RIO’s mission to help with this problem.

Especially when RIO focusing on accommodating any kind of plastic waste, we call it flexible type here.

Most of this plastic has no value and no one is willing to take it, But RIO takes it all into our Warehouse for sorting and baling. Looking at the Trucks arriving with so much plastic to our Warehouse sometimes shocks me, but it’s feels great to know I’m helping save the Ocean.

RIO has now trusted me to manage the business in Bali. It’s exciting and new thing for me.

I also found different challenges to work in a field where majority are with men, especially when I manage the warehouse.

But I’m a fighter and I can see all the women I work with here are fighters too.

It’s challenging to work in plastic waste industry because it’s all Men’s, but now RIO hire all women to manage it’s work in Indonesia.

If you’re community is involved in a Beach, River or Ocean Cleanup event bring the plastic to us and we will pay you for it.

If it’s made from plastic we will take it and pay you for it.

Let’s make Bali even more Beautiful by cleaning up all this plastic.

I’m happy I meet you Kieran and RIO, Thank you.

RIO Indonesia Division

Puspita Dewi

Plant Manager

My name is Puspita, my nickname is pita, I am a single parent with two very beautiful daughters. Before i joined Rio i worked as a domestic worker working abroad. Leaving my family for year long contracts and of course I was so unhappy. In my heart I pray to God I would find work in my own country, whatever the occupation.  I have strong believe if one door is closed another door will open.

I met Rio at the clean up the beach at tanjung Burung event. I was impressed by Rio’s vision and mission to clean up the world’s oceans. It sounded crazy but RIO was very interested in helping with the problem with Plastic in the Ocean where so many people in my Country didn’t seem to care. This is such a serious problem in Indonesia & I feel reborn everyday being involved in this project with RIO.

The plastic waste problem is not paid attention to only when it causes floods. The government and the community then get involved in the cleaning and even then it is not enough. We need strict rules to stop people throwing plastic into the Rivers, plus stop big factories that add to the list of pollution to the environment. Collecting plastic waste is not as easy, but I love the work we do with the Fishing Villages and Fishermen. We have lots of obstacles in our way but RIO always finds a way forward.

One  thing I believe in and believe in is God’s good intentions and goals will surely protect and show the way. Corruption is the biggest problem around the world and this is always a problem. I believe in the future this waste problem will be resolved and we can create thousands of good jobs. Rio promoted me as the Director of operations in Java and for me this is life changing, now as a single mom I can make a better life for my daughters. To think a Woman like me can work in my own country and no longer go over seas as a contract worker is so great.

No I can help empower more women to do the same when they come work with RIO. God creates something there must be good and garbage if we are good at processing it will be very beneficial for all of us and the world’s oceans will be cleaner because that is the legacy that we will pass on to the new generation. Thank you Kieran & RIO I’m so grateful for everything.

RIO Vietnam Division

Swarnendu (Sandy) Sarkar

Vietnam Operations

Swarnendu Sarkar holds an MBA degree with a focus on Strategic Management from the International Business School at the University of Technology, Malaysia. He also holds a Master of Computer Applications from a reputed Indian University. Swarnendu has worked and lived in several countries in Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, and now Vietnam and has a vast cross-cultural experience. With over a decade working in Business Development, Operations, Sales, and Marketing, he has been instrumental in the development of Eco-friendly business, producing and delivering biodegradable, recyclable, and sustainable products worldwide.