BVI News

VISAR appoints new Executive Creative Director and Operations Manager

Virgin Islands Search And Rescue (VISAR) headquarters. (Photo provided)

The Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) has appointed a new Executive Creative Director and Operations Manager.

A media release from VISAR on Monday January 6 listed the two appointees as Julie Schneider and Phil Aspinall, respectively.

President of VISAR’s Board of Directors Gerad Kraakman said the appointments were necessary to continue in further advancing the organisation

“In the 30 years that VISAR has been serving the BVI, we have always known the importance of keeping pace with the ever-evolving needs and demands of the territory. In 2019, it became clear that we needed to invest more time and resource in areas of the organization that have traditionally been managed by volunteers; engaging with regulatory bodies, international governments, and other Search and Rescue (SAR) organisations,” Kraakman stated.

He added: “In order to do so effectively, whilst still delivering successful fundraisers and maintaining our core mission of saving lives at seas, it is no longer prudent to rely solely on volunteers, we need to have a dedicated team that can apply their talents and take VISAR to the next level.”

Schneider, who served as VISAR’s Operations Manager since 2016, was promoted to the newly-created position of Executive Creative Director to further assist the Board of Directors in achieving the organisation’s long- and short-term goals.

“Her responsibilities will include strategic planning and implementation of fundraising projects, creating marketing and advertising campaigns and creating community programs,” the release stated.

Schneider will also be tasked with managing the Operations Manager and Executive Administrator.

Meanwhile, Aspinal who is a former President of the Board of Directors and longtime VISAR Coordinator will be undertaking several new objectives under his role as Operations Manager.

These include ensuring VISAR is meeting international SAR standards and regulations sanctioned by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the IMO Instruments Implementation Code.

Apart from handling the everyday operational tasks, Aspinall will also be the permanent liaison with all local and international government agencies and other Overseas Territory SAR groups.

Both roles will be supported by the Executive Administrator Carine Locher, who has been employed with VISAR since 2018.

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  1. true says:

    2 great appointments, great to see Phil back in the thick of things, as it should be!

    Like 10
  2. hummmm says:

    Executive Creative Director for a SAR operation??? Tell me more about it…

    • Tell you more says:

      “Her responsibilities will include strategic planning and implementation of fundraising projects, creating marketing and advertising campaigns and creating community programs,” the release stated.

      • Good question says:

        Charitable donations now pay for 3 full time salaries. A pity there aren’t local volunteers/retirees that will donate their time to help

        Like 3
        Dislike 1
        • Volunteers says:

          What are you talking about? VISAR already overwhelmingly depends on volunteers in both admin and crew positions. Three paid employees is hardly excessive for an organisation of such vital importance to the territory.

          Like 7
          Dislike 1
        • CW says:

          I don’t see you volunteering.
          I DO see you complaining online again (still)

      • Hummm says:

        These tasks used o be done by volunteers… sounds like now donated money is going to wages… VISAR used to have 1 paid employee. I can understand 2 (TTL and VG) but now there are 3.. surely none on minimum wage…

        Like 4
        Dislike 2
        • CW says:


          You really want minimum wage paid for life-saving services? You really want only volunteers for life-saving search and rescue? You really don’t think paying people a salary is worth it to SAVE HUMAN LIVES??? Do you actually believe this crap you spew or do you just post it to he contrary? How ridiculous can you be, expecting volunteers to risk their lives to save yours for no money. Grow up child, the world doesn’t work that way.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Ohhhh, the priviledged never cease to amaze. But, here, we allow it.

    Like 1
    Dislike 6
    • Here goes... says:

      Comes the comment from the person who’s sole contribution to the community is to sit behind their keyboard and snipe at the efforts of others…

  4. CW says:

    Look at these comments

    This is why BVI have problems, because STRUPES want their lives to be saved by volunteers and get upset when somebody besides STRUPES actually catch a break. It’s important that VISAR has correctly paid and trained staff. You want an amateur saving you in heavy seas when your boat capsizes? I bet you want to triple their salary if you the one saved. But it helps anybody else, the BVI STRUPES get selfish, even though the $$$ come from DONATIONS. Now you lot want to tell people how to spend their own donations??

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