Society of Maritime Industries Management and Staff Team

Tom Chant - full

Tom Chant

Chief Executive

Tom has a long association with the marine industry having been an active sailor and student of boatbuilding in Southampton.  His career has encompassed a wide range of market sectors and he has gathered experience of business development, marketing and distribution in an international business environment.  A nine year period at the trade body for the leisure, superyacht and workboat sector was committed to developing the members’ export business.  This included running UK pavilions at overseas shows, management of inward and outward missions including Meet-the-Buyer events, plus the creation of market reports and representation on government committees.  Recent career experience has been within the marine interiors sector managing multiple distributors and OEMs from New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Greece, UAE and South Africa.


Tim Currass Captain Tim Currass BEng(Hons) MSc MA Royal Navy

Programme Director, Secretary to the Maritime Defence & Security Group (MDSG) Council & Maritime Autonomous Systems Group (MASG) Council

Tim, a Royal Navy Engineer for 33 years, has had a long and varied career serving in Her Majesty’s Ships INVINCIBLE, COVENTRY, KENT, YORK and OCEAN as well as a variety of shore appointments including the Government Communication Headquarters, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support and Navy Command Headquarters. As a Captain he was programme manager for the Common Support Model programme in Defence Equipment and Support, transforming support for the Royal Navy’s complex warships including integrating the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers and Type 45 Destroyers into the Surface Ship Support Alliance and most recently as Navy Command’s lead for the National Shipbuilding Strategy.  He started in the Society of Maritime Industries in November 2019 as Programme Director and Secretary to the Maritime Defence & Security Group (MDSG) Council and Maritime Autonomous Systems Group (MASG) Council. 



Ava Catton MA(Hons)

Operations Manager and Data Protection Officer

Ava Catton is a masters graduate in Politics and has been with the Society since 2016, assuming her current role in April 2019. Ava seeks marketing opportunities for SMI and looks after membership as well as managing all events in the UK and overseas . She was voluntarily elected as SMI's DPO in 2018 as required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). She is responsible for overseeing data protection strategy and implementation to ensure compliance with GDPR requirements.


RHRebecca Hawkins BSc(Hons)

Executive Assistant

Rebecca is the first point of contact for all personal visits and telephone calls. She ensures the Chief Executive's administrative requirements are kept in order as well as the general administration and running of the office. Rebecca greets all visitors to our Threadneedle Street offices and makes sure all visitors are cared for. Members who wish  to reserve the Society of Maritime Industries board room for their meetings should contact Rebecca directly to make a booking.      


Dennis Williamson0001Dennis Williamson

Credit Controller & Facilities Manager

Dennis Williamson has been a stalwart member of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) team for many years and is usually the point of contact in respect of invoicing and payments.


Jane Andrews 1.15mbJane Andrews ACA

Finance Manager & Company Accountant

Jane Andrews is an independent accredited chartered accountant and is responsible for the production of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) management accounts and preparation of the financial statements for annual audit.  As someone independent from, members can be assured of the financial probity in the financial management of SMI. 


Chen Li MingChen Li Ming

China Manager (Based in Shanghai)

Chen Li Ming is a naval architect and for 13 years worked for Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) before moving to Shanghai Edward Shipbuilding Co Ltd.  In 1995 Chen (as he is known to his friends) became an independent consultant and has been associated with the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) and its predecessor organisation since that time.  He has an excellent track record in introducing companies to the Chinese market and the credentials to be able to “open doors” with Chinese companies and government organisations in the maritime sector.