The MMF’s Organisation is made up of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, CEO, and 11 Board Members
Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeonChairperson
Born in Floriana on the 19th March 1956, Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon was conferred the Diploma of Notary Public on the 12th December 1980 by the University of Malta followed by the Degree of Doctor of Laws on the 30th January 1982. His thesis for the doctorate was entitled: “The Law relating to Health and Safety at Work: A Comparative Study”. He practised primarily as a litigation lawyer with effect from 4th March 1982.
Following the enactment of the Occupational Health and Safety (Promotion) Act 1994, he was appointed as the first President of the Commission for the Promotion of Occupational Health and Safety, a post which he held until the Occupational Health and Safety Authority Act 2001 (which substituted the 1994 Act) came into force. As President of the Commission, he attended and actively participated in conferences held abroad and addressed seminars held in Malta on the subject. Until 2009, he was a lecturer and examiner in Occupational Health and Safety Legislation at the University of Malta in the Faculty of Laws and at the Centre for Labour Studies.
In 2001 he was appointed as the first Chairman of the Malta Transport Authority, a post which he held for a year. In 2006 he was appointed as the first Chairman of the Board of Appeal from Awards on Tenders by Local Councils, a post which he held until he was appointed Judge of the Superior Courts of Malta on the 28th January 2009.
As a judge, he served in the First Hall Civil Court (including as a Court of Constitutional Jurisdiction), the Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeal (in its Superior Jurisdiction), the Court of Criminal Appeal (in its Superior Jurisdiction) and with effect from the 9th April 2018, he was President of the Civil Court (Commercial Section).
On the 19th March 2021, he retired from the Bench on reaching the retirement age of 65.
Mr Lino VassalloVice Chairperson
Lino Vassallo has been involved in maritime sector for over forty five years both in the both the private sector and, in the main, on the side of the Administration as Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen. Currently he is the General Secretary of the Malta International Shipowners Association and Alternate Director on the Board of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations. He is the non resident Permanent Representative of Malta to the International Maritime Organisation having represented Malta since the late seventies at meetings and conferences of IMO and its sister organisations the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds and International Mobile Satellite Organisation. He sits on the Board of Governors of the IMO International Maritime Law Institute. Mr Vassallo served on the Board of Members of the Malta Maritime Authority and later the Authority for Transport in Malta. For twelve years he was the first Chairman of the Mediterranean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control and, was one of Malta’s representatives on the Administrative Board of the European Maritime Safety Agency.
Mr Vassallo is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Honorary Member of the Malta Maritime Law Association and recipient of the IMLI degree of Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa. Mr Vassallo worked tirelessly in development and promotion of the Malta flag State regime. He is a firm believer in the tandem of private and public sectors, the importance of the technical cooperation at all levels rather than technical assistance on its own and the crucial need of training and international exposure. He was one of the first exponents of the concept of maritime Malta that eventually evolved into the Malta Maritime Forum.
Mr Kevin J. BorgCEO
Kevin is an experienced professional with almost 25 years of experience in leadership of the business community in Malta having occupied the position of Director-General of The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry until 2020. In this position, Kevin has already served the maritime community particularly those engaged in shipping, yachting, bunkering, ship repair, and registration.
Having graduated in Economics from the University of Malta in 1994, Kevin worked briefly as an Economics Officer within the Economic Planning Division in the Ministry of Finance before joining the Chamber of Commerce in 1997.
Kevin has represented the Malta Chamber in conferences and in the media as well as on a number of national boards including the MCESD, the MEUSAC Core Group, Education Malta, the Malta Business Bureau, the Retail Price Index Board besides BusinessEurope and Eurochambres at the European level. During his time at the Chamber, Kevin was actively involved in the EU accession preparations for Malta as well as in the merger process with the Federation of Industry which took place in 2009. Kevin has always been held in high respect by his team and all the stakeholders he has connected with throughout his career including businesses, political leaders, and social partners.
Kevin brings with him to the Malta Maritime Forum a wealth of knowledge, experience, and contacts accumulated in his career.
Mr Godwin XerriBoard Member
Godwin Xerri is presently the CEO and one of the founding member of Combined Maritime Services Limited which is Malta’s leading multi-disciplinary specialist in maritime consultancy. He is also Managing Director of Focal Maritime Services Co. Ltd and Delta Container Services Ltd as well as Director of GreenwaveShipping.mt. In the past, he served as Managing Director of Sea Malta Co. Ltd and as a director on various Boards of corporations and companies including Malta Freeport Corporation, Bank of Valletta International and Tug Malta Co. Ltd. Throughout his career in the maritime and logistics industry he has remained involved in the academic sphere through regular lecturing at the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) and the Institute of Transport and Logistics as well as through involvement in the UK Chartered Institute of Shipbrokers, of which he is a fellow.
Dr Ann FenechBoard Member
Ann Fenech is the Managing Partner of Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Malta. She qualified in 1986 and joined Holman Fenwick and Willan in London.
In 1991 she moved from there to Chaffe, McCall, Phillips Toler and Sarpy in New Orleans. In 1992 she joined Fenech & Fenech Advocates setting up the Marine Litigation Department. She was appointed Managing Partner in June 2008.
She has extensive experience in disputes ranging from ship building contracts to immediate casualty response in collisions having acted and advised some of the most important international maritime operators.
She has been responsible for the drafting of a number of laws related to the maritime sector including the Pilotage Regulations and the sections on Jurisdiction in Rem in the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure. She lectures extensively on the subject in Malta and abroad; she is the President of the Malta Maritime Law Association. In October 2010 she was appointed an Executive Board Member of the European Maritime Law Organisation. In 2012, 2014 and 2015 she was awarded Best in Shipping Law at the European Women in Business Awards held in London. In October 2013 she was appointed Honorary Patron of the Malta Law Academy and in June 2014 was elected on the Executive Council of the Comite Maritime International (CMI) – the international organisation responsible for drafting the vast majority of international maritime conventions. She was also appointed Chairman of the international working group on ship finance security practices. In October 2015 she was appointed on the Malta Maritime Forum Board of Directors and in April 2016 she was also appointed to represent the Malta Maritime Law Association on the board of the government agency Malta Marittima. In September 2017 she was elected to serve a second term on the Executive Council of the CMI.
Mr Alex MontebelloBoard Member
Alex Montebello is the CEO at Malta Freeport Terminals. He started his career at Malta Freeport in 1989 at the time of the Company’s inception and has since then occupied various positions within the Company.
In his early days as an IT Specialist, Alex was responsible for setting up and implementing the Terminal Operating Systems, which were created in-house alongside the Company’s development and expansion. Added to this, Alex has been responsible for the operations of the Terminals, the marketing of the Container Terminals as well as negotiation and management of contracts with the shipping lines resulting in the client mix that has been attracted to the Freeport’s facilities.
Alex serves as board member on the Malta Maritime Forum and heads the Marketing and Internationalisation sub-committee. He is also a member of the Institute of Management and a member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers.
Mr Stephen XuerebBoard Member
Stephen Xuereb, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Accountants and a Henley MBA graduate, was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Global Ports Holding in August 2016. He has been involved in the cruise industry since 2002, serving as Chief Finance Officer of Valletta Cruise Port plc between 2002 and 2014, and subsequently appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2014, a position he still occupies as of today. In his role as Chief Operating Officer of the largest independent cruise port operator worldwide, Global Ports Holding plc, Xuereb is responsible for the overall performance of the 19 ports, across its portfolio in 13 countries across four continents. Xuereb has over 26 years senior management experience, 18 of which in the cruise industry. Previous to that he occupied posts in the audit and financial advisory sectors as well in the retail, property and hospitality industries.
Mr Michael CallusBoard Member
Michael Callus was born in 1958 in Malta and started a shipping career in 1976 as an Officer Cadet in Merchant Shipping. After nearly nine years at sea he joined the Operations Department in the Liner Division of Sea Malta Company Limited. After eight years with this company he joined United Arab Shipping as Operations Manager and over a span of 22 years holding various positions of thrust in Malta, Genoa (Italy) and Kuwait he was promoted as Vice President Container Management and based in Dubai, were he was responsible for Container Procurement, Container Operations and Container Maintenance and Repair. During this period he held various Director Positions in the companies’ subsidiaries including Chairmen of UASAC Iberia. He retired from UASC at the end of 2013 and joined Gruppo Investitori Portuali of Genoa Italy as Senior Business Development Manager responsible for Business relationships with company clients and assisting the CEO with company strategy as a consultant. This arrangement was ceased at the end of July 2017 when the company was taken over in a buyout In the meantime since the inception of the Container Owners Association in 2004 he held various positions on the Board for over ten years acting as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Board Member until 2013. He has various business interests in Malta mainly through a Shipping Agency, and a Reefer Technical Repair Company in conjunction with Contrepair of Italy. His main role in his Business is Business Development. Since 2015 he was elected on the BOD of the Malta Maritime Forum with a responsibility for Maritime Education.
Capt. Jesmond MifsudBoard Member
Born on the 30th March 1965, Mr. Mifsud received his education at Tal-Virtù Seminary, Rabat, Malta and at The Nautical School, Malta where he obtained a Master License. He became the youngest pilot in Malta at the age of 24 on the 11th December 1989 and continued his Ship Handling Studies at Loodswezen, Port Ravel and City of Glasgow College, Glasgow. Mr. Mifsud worked with O.H. Melling Norwegian Company for 5 years and at the Sea Malta as Navigator Officer for one year. In 2002 he became Chief Pilot and in 2003. Together with his colleagues he founded the Malta Maritime Pilots Co-operative Soc. Ltd. In 2003, the Port Logistics Operations (PLO) in 2008 and the Meditteranean Maritime Research and Training Centre (MMRTC) Soc. Co-op. Ltd. (MCF) in 2011. He is presently president of the 3 entities.
Mr Joseph CallejaBoard Member
Joseph Calleja is the General Manager at Palumbo Malta Shipyard Ltd, which makes part of a most extensive Palumbo Group comprising nine locations in the Mediterranean and one in the Atlantic Ocean. Joseph has held this position since 2010, which was the first year of Palumbo operations in Malta. He has contributed for the various achievements that Palumbo Malta Shipyard has accomplished through the years with the latest being the ranking as the 3rd shipyard worldwide in the cruise-ship refitting sector. In 2014 he has been appointed as Director on the Board of Directors of the Company. Joseph graduated from the University of Malta with an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry, compiled his thesis in Organic chemistry, furthered his studies in Petroleum products, Asbestos, Shipbuilding-Naval Architecture, LNG/LPG, other gases and oils, Safety and in Environmental Management. An ex – MDD apprentice, with 30years of experience in the sector, Joseph is also AAA certified from the British Occupational Hygiene Society and qualified in the handling of gases and oils, a recognized Competent person by Transport Malta and is also certified by NEBOSH International Board in Occupational Health and Safety and also in Environmental Management. Joseph has participated in a number of seminars and conferences locally and abroad, on both the Maritime sector as a whole and also specifically on Ships’ conversion and repair. Joseph was also involved in extensive projects locally, abroad and offshore. Joseph Calleja has been a Director on the Board of the Malta Maritime Forum since its inception back in 2015.
Mr Paul AbelaBoard Member
Paul Abela is the President of the GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs, a position he has been successfully occupying since 2007. The GRTU is the oldest and largest employers organisation and social partner registered at law today.
Mr Abela started his working career within the family business, mainly in the importation of grains and cargo haulage. This gave Mr Abela long years of experience in the logistics industry and in the functioning of ports.
Along the years Mr Abela has occupied a number of high-level positions both within the private sector and public boards and fora. Currently Mr Abela occupies the position of board member of the Malta Maritime Forum, is a member of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development, the Malta Enterprise Board and the Mriehel Central Business District Foundation.
As an individual, Mr Abela is skilled and experienced in business planning and strategy, change management and negotiation.
Ing. Ryan FavaBoard Member
A Mechanical Engineer by profession, Ing. Ryan Fava is currently the President of the Malta Dockers Union. He started his career with Methode Electronics Malta as Manufacturing Engineer in charge of producing conceptual designs, supervising implementation and commissioning assembly lines achieving a very high Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) in the process, by leading and guiding various teams of technicians and engineers. With an eye for detail and commitment towards customer satisfaction, Ryan was promoted to Principal of the Design Automation Department. During his career, Ryan’s portfolio of clients boasted the likes of GM, Ford, Audi, VW and Aston Martin amongst others. In 2009, Ryan joined a fuel sector company responsible for designing, installation, commissioning and certification of fuel filling stations. In 2010, he was in charge of carrying out a national study commissioned by the Malta Resource Authority (MRA) to bring Maltese filling stations in line with regulations governing stages 1b and 2 vapour recovery including a due diligence in cost estimates from various suppliers for pipe work, dispensers, underground storage tanks, interceptors, and other ancillary equipment. In April 2010 aquired a licence as Licenced Portworker and in July 2014 was elected from a general election as shopsteward and President of the Malta Dockers Union were its members are the registered licensed Portworkers being regulated by the Port Ordinance and local legislations. During his term he managed to diversify the team in various portwork with the aspiration to setup this group more professional to perform and excel in their service providing towards the local industry. Ryan obtained a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons.) from the University of Malta in 2002 and is certified by the Association a Petroleum and Explosives Administration (APEA). He also obtained a Masters degree in Building Services with Sustainable Energy from Brunel University – London.
Mr Mario MizziBoard Member
Mario Mizzi is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Tug Malta Ltd. He is also a director on several Rimorchiatori Riuniti S.p.A Group owned companies operating in the towage sector and shipping in general. Before joining Tug Malta Ltd. he has worked as the Chief Executive Officer of both Malta Investment Management Co. Ltd (MIMCOL) and Malta Government Investments Ltd (MGI) where he was involved in a forefront role in several high profile assignments relating to Government investments engaging him in an advisory and negotiating capacity. Between 2015-2017 he chaired the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the European Tug Owners Association (ETA) and during the previous two years he was the Deputy Chairman. Presently he is a member of the Executive Committee of the said Association. Mario is a qualified accountant and has worked on several advisory assignment, particularly in the areas of Transactions and Restructuring having advised local private companies operating in different sectors.
Mr Thomas SullivanBoard Member
Thomas Sullivan was born on 14th March 1988. Educated at San Anton School in Attard (later Mġarr), Malta, he studied there up to Secondary level, moving on to The Oratory School in Reading, UK where he completed Sixth form in 2007. He then went on to complete his BSc (Hons) Business Degree at the London School of Economics, graduating in 2011.
Thomas entered the shipping industry in 2012, working at Seatrans Shipping Agency, where he is currently involved in business development, enhancing current business while identifying opportunities in new potential markets.
He is known to be a hands-on individual with a flair for problem-solving, bringing his enthusiasm into the equation and attracting the right customers and employees to the company. Constantly attending conferences and seminars allows him to share and use the knowledge he gains with others in the local industry.
Thomas Sullivan was recently appointed a board member of the Association of Ship Agents in the Shipping and Bunkering Section at the Malta Chamber of Commerce. In 2017 Thomas became a member of the IBIA (The International Bunker Industry Association which is the voice of the global bunker industry), and in 2019 was appointed a board member in the Malta Maritime Forum.
Ms Judith CiliaMMF Accountant
Judith Cilia is a certified public accountant and registered auditor. She graduated from the University of Malta with a bachelor of commerce in 1993 and an accountancy degree in 1995. She obtained the warrant of a certified public accountant in 1998 and that of a registered auditor in 1999.
She worked with one of the big audit firms in Malta for three years as an audit senior in charge of audit assignments, covering various economic sectors. She then worked as a senior accountant in a local shipping company and in 2002 took the role of financial controller at Focal Maritime Services Company Limited.
In 2004, she set up her own practice performing accounting, consultancy, taxation and auditing services to a number of clients.
Judith is a member of the Malta Institute of Accountants and sits on the board of directors of a number of companies.
Ms Karin Grech M.A. Executive Secretary
Karin has studied Political Sciences, Constitutional & Socio-Economic History and International Law at the Universities of Bonn (Germany) and Florence (Italy). After her graduation, she worked as a Research Associate and Office Manager at the joint office of two Members of the German Parliament.
In 2000, Karin moved with her family to Malta. She held the position of Policy Research Coordinator at the Housing Authority before she became Research Administration Executive of the Malta Maritime Law Association in May 2010. In addition, she took over the duties of Administration Executive of the Malta Shortsea Promotion Centre in September 2017, which led to her joining the Malta Maritime Forum as Executive Secretary in March 2019.