Our Chicoa Management Team and Board

Chicoa would not be where it is, or have nearly as much positive impact as it does today, without its expert team. We are compiled of a variety of professionals that draw on broad industry experience to successfully establish and grow the Chicoa vision.

Gerry McCollum

CEO and Board Member

Gerry is an engineer with over 25 years of experience in tilapia aquaculture in Africa. Gerry worked for 15 years in Zimbabwe for Lake Harvest, Southern Africa's first commercial scale tilapia farm. At Lake Harvest, he designed, built and managed the feed plant and the EU-certified processed plant. He was also in charge of sales and logistics within Africa.

Jayson Coomer

CFO and Board Member

Jayson joined Gerry and Damien in 2016 to complete the skillset of the management team. He has ten years of experience in overseeing the finance and compliance teams of multinational businesses operating in Southern Africa. Jayson is a Chartered Accountant registered with SAICA, and a CFA charterholder.

Damien Legros


Damien manages the fish programs on the farm. He trained in aquaculture research at the University in Li├Ęge. In 1992, he started the tilapia farm in Zimbabwe that became Lake Harvest. For the last ten years of his involvement at Lake Harvest, he headed the sales and marketing department in Europe. He has completed numerous assignments in aquaculture and fish marketing for EU programmes and private firms in Africa and Latin America, and has an extensive global supply network in the industry.

Zerene Hadadd

Head of Impact

Zerene joined Chicoa with 10 years of experience working in conflict and forced migration settings. Her previous experience focused on project design and implementation for improving livelihoods and education, as well as high-level policy and advocacy work. She holds a MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from Oxford University and a MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria.

Mariam Umarji

Board Member

Mariam is a chartered accountant, an international management consultant and a recognised expert in finance, management and fiduciary risk. She has more than 15 years of experience in delivering high level strategic policy advice and operational technical assistance in Mozambique and other countries. As a result of her work, she is a respected interlocutor in the Public Administration in Mozambique, in the private sector and as well as many of the main development agencies in the country.

Johannes Derksen

Board Member

Han started his career in the finance industry in 1979 with Bankers Trust Company in New York. He rose to become CEO and Managing Director of CIT Bank UK. Since January 2006, Han has worked in project investment and development in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on commercially sustainable agricultural. In 2008 he cofounded AgDevCo, a startup fund aiming to develop commercially sustainable agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Han directed AgDevCo until 2014 when it had $140m under management

Jan Slootweg

Board Member

Jan is part of the Investment Team of our shareholder Aqua-Spark. Prior he worked as director controlling at SHV Holdings, globally active in energy, animal nutrition, industrial services and private equity. Before he worked as treasurer at Nutreco, a global animal nutrition and aquafeed company. During his 15 years at Nutreco, Jan was involved in corporate finance, investor relations and numerous M&A transactions, including in Africa. He started his career as a relationship banker and holds a Master degree in Econometrics.

Find out more about the Chicoa Fish Farm team