Dimitri Syllantavos is the co-founder as well as President and CEO of Vortex Ltd. Dimitri has over 25 years experience in the transportation & maritime industry, especially in the areas of ship investment, ownership and acquisition / disposal, along with extensive corporate finance knowledge. He began his career in 1986 in the US in the field of management consulting and by 2000 he had spent 10 years as Managing Director of International Resources, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in the aviation and shipping industries. Between 1996 and 2004, he served as a member of the Investment Committee of Rand Brothers & Co., a US-based merchant banking firm, specializing in industrial M&A, LBOs and other types of corporate finance activities. From 1998–2010, Dimitri served as the Investment Officer of a major Athens-based private shipping company responsible for sourcing, structuring, operating and divesting various shipping transactions.
Todd Massey has been Vortex’s Executive Vice President – Finance, as well as member of our board of directors, since 2008. He has over 25 years experience in corporate and project finance, business development and mergers & acquisitions. Prior to joining Vortex, he served as President & CFO of Handy Industries from 2002–2008. In 1989, he founded and served as President of Rand Brothers & Co., a private merchant banking firm that specialized in M&A, LBOs, financing, and business strategy. He started his career at Grant Thornton, working at their Chicago offices from 1986 until 1988. Todd also owns a privately-held real estate development and brokerage company.
Manos Papaconstantinou joined our board of directors in 1998 and, since 2000, he has lead our vessel Sale & Purchase (S&P) department. Manos has over 37 years of experience in the shipping industry primarily in Greece but also in the United Kingdom. In 1990, he co-founded Almay Shipping & Finance SA, a premier S&P brokerage firm based in Piraeus, Greece. Between 1974 and 1979 he worked as an S&P broker for the London-based firm of Cordell Northwood. He started his career at the chartering department of Thenamaris Ship Management in 1972.
Basil Patkos joined our board of directors at the company’s inception and has served as our chief legal counsel since 2000. He is a shipping-law veteran with over 40 years of experience practicing in multiple jurisdictions: Athens, Greece, New York, USA and London, UK. In 1978, he founded the Basil T. Patkos Law Offices in Piraeus, Greece. The firm specializes in maritime law, including matters associated with vessel activities ranging from registration to finance and from acquisition to divestiture. He started his career in 1972 when he worked for 5 years with Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havens in New York City, a firm that was later acquired by Holland & Knight. He is a member of the Athens Bar Association.
Aaron J. Gellman, Ph.D. joined our board of directors in 2002, and has lead our Advisory Board. Dr. Gellman has over 40 years experience in the transportation fields, as both a consultant and in senior executive positions. He has extensive knowledge of transportation economics, as well as an excellent understanding of technology and its application to transportation. He is the former Director of the Transportation Center, Northwestern University, and he is currently Professor of Management and Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management, and Professor of Industrial Engineering at the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, both at Northwestern University. Dr. Gellman is the founder and former President of Gellman Research Associates, Inc. (GRA), with over 25 years experience in consulting. A noted transportation economist who has served for 25 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gellman is member to numerous organizations, associations and transportation industry committees, most notably as a member of the Advisory Board of the Panama Canal Authority.