The Vallis team, operating in the UK, across Africa and in the Middle East
After 7 years in the British Army, Andrew embarked on a career in commodities in 1987 starting with 5 years as a sugar broker in London, England. In 1992 he moved with his family to Durban, South Africa for 6 years as Export Manager for the South African Sugar Association managing the export programme of $400 million, before returning to the UK as a Commercial Director in Tate & Lyle Sugar’s trading division. After two years, Andrew then became a founding member of the website and information portal www.sugaronline.com. He set up and spent 5 years running his own private business supplying packaging to the international fruit industry, mainly for the transportation of citrus from Central/South America and Africa to Europe. In 2005, Andrew started the drive of Vallis Commodities into Africa with its first CMA in Ghana and Mali. Since then, the company has grown to over 250 operations managed through its 29 subsidiaries and 570+ staff. 20% of the commodities handled now are fuel and the associated management of tank farms. Andrew is the Managing Director and a minority shareholder. He is married with two children and lives in England. Andrew is a fervent Brexiteer. His main interests are Tottenham Hotspur football club, international politics, and endurance sporting events.
Dudley Smith joined Vallis Commodities Limited in March 2013 as the Operational Risk Manager. In April 2016 he was appointed to the Vallis Board as a Director. The first 4 years of Dudley’s working life were as a fish farmer in Scotland and subsequently Ireland where he managed one of the largest trout hatcheries in the UK at the time. A career change to the printing industry was to be interspersed by a short period in the British Army, but this ended up as 32 years, which he completed in early 2013. Dudley specialized in information and communications management after completing a Masters’ course in Advanced Information Systems in 2005. He managed several major Defence projects and advised on a host of others. Latterly, Dudley was a programme manager for a wide range of office and frontline projects in his portfolio. Dudley is married to Oksana and they live in Dorset with their ferrets, Frazer and Walker.
Steve studied a degree in Engineering at the University of Liverpool. He went on to pursue a career in accountancy and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Kidsons Impey in Birmingham in 1993. He left practice in 1994 and furthered his accountancy career as Financial Controller and Finance Director in a variety of businesses in sectors including plastics, food, further education and textiles. In 1996 Steve moved to Somerset following a Management Buy In of a manufacturing business in Frome. He left accountancy in 2011 and qualified as a teacher of mathematics. After a brief spell teaching the AAT accountancy qualification Steve joined Vallis Commodities in March 2015 as Finance Manager. He has a German Shepherd called Lily and is a keen supporter of Aston Villa FC.
Adele graduated from UWE with a First (BA) Hons Degree in Media Practice. From there, she has worked in TV and Film with her most enjoyable time being working for Aardman Animations on 2 feature films. Adele has recently returned from living in New Zealand where she has been for the past 3 years. There she worked as a Diversional Worker in a mental health ward where she helped patients on their way to recovery with activities like fitness and art classes. She joined Vallis in June 2018 as part of the East Africa team. In her spare time she loves live music and trekking around the Breacon Beacons.
Alex was born in Johannesburg and grew up in South Africa. He completed a Master of Science degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown before moving to Cape Town. Here he worked as a Senior Consultant in the High Performance Centre at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. In 2014 Alex and his wife Clare moved to the UK. He is now based at the Vallis Commodities Head Office in Frome where he is the Commercial Manager for East African operations.
Alice was born in New Zealand, but grew up and attended school in the UK in Wiltshire. She took a year out before university to travel New Zealand and to work as a counsellor at Camp Half Moon in America. Alice attended the University of Greenwich where she achieved a 1st class degree in Philosophy and Sociology. Alice joined Vallis Commodities in August 2014 as part of the Internal Audit team. When she has a free moment, she enjoys crochet.
Amy grew up in Wiltshire and went on to study Psychology at the University of Southampton, graduating with First-Class Honours. After graduating, Amy spent two years living and working in Australia, followed by two months travelling Southeast Asia. Returning to the UK in 2017, Amy joined Vallis as Operations and Reporting Assistant on the East Africa team. In her spare time Amy enjoys travelling, reading and playing a variety of sports.
Anton is a dual French-British National who grew up in Spain and South Africa. In 2010 he relocated to Marseille, France to undertake a Bachelor in International Business and Management at Kedge Business School. This allowed him to study abroad for a year in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and 6 months in Montreal. After working in the commercial inspections industry and the renewable energy sector in South Africa, Anton chose to relocate to the UK which led to him joining the Vallis Commodities Egypt Team in December 2015. He now utilises his linguistic skills working in the Vallis Francophone West Africa team. Anton can often be found on the golf course and also enjoys riding his motorbike.
Currently living in Somerset, Brogan was born and raised in Dundee, Scotland. After completing Higher Education and receiving an overall A at Dundee College in 2014 for Social Sciences, Brogan left Dundee to go travelling for the next two years. In that time, she worked and lived in many countries including: Asia, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Bali. Returning back to Dundee Scotland near the end of 2016, Brogan worked for a global petroleum pump company where she managed engineers in installing and maintaining petroleum pumps throughout the UK. In early 2018, Brogan made the move down to Somerset, and joined the Vallis team as an Operations and Reporting Assistant in the Franco West African team, to then shortly be moved to the Anglo West African team. Now living in Somerset Brogan enjoys spending time with friends, exploring the country side and travelling.
Charles spent his early years between the Ivory Coast and the UK, before moving out to the Philippines to complete his secondary education. After studying the International Baccalaureate at the British School of Manila, Charles read Geography with Quantitative Research Methods at the University of Bristol, graduating with a BSc honours (2.1). Charles’ interest in commodities and emerging markets drew him to Vallis Commodities Limited in June 2015. Originally a member of the West Africa team, Charles is now the Commercial Manager for VTAS Marine and Cargo Services. Charles spends his free time playing football and tennis, and is an avid scuba diver whenever he finds the opportunity.
Commencing his professional life enlisting into the British Army in 1988, Darren went on to enjoy a full and successful career spanning 22 years. During his varied military service, he undertook multiple world-wide deployments, including Afghanistan, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Particular highlights included being selected for Military Diplomatic Service within the British Embassy to the Republic of Albania and the design and delivery of training to the Armed Forces of Sierra Leone. Darren concluded his military career at NATO’s highest operational command, the Supreme Headquarters in Mons, Belgium. During the latter years of service, he participated in and led several audit requirements within both the operational and financial spheres and later qualified as a BSi Internal Auditor for ISO 9001:2008. Returning to Sierra Leone, Darren joined an international mining operation, initially employed as the Project Administration Manager. Responsible for all administrative and human resource matters for construction personnel across the multi-site location, he developed a tailored administrative and HR function incorporating internal audit requirements, both ahead of schedule and within budget. Darren joined Vallis Commodities Limited in August 2013 and leads the team of regional internal auditors, whilst retaining pan-African responsibility.
Elliot was born in Bristol and grew up in Wiltshire. After leaving school, Elliot went on to study Business Economics at the University of Exeter, graduating in 2018 with 2:1 degree and joined Vallis shortly afterwards. During his time at university, Elliot spent a year studying abroad in Grenoble, France, and developed an affinity for snowboarding while living there. In his spare time, Elliot enjoys playing football, socialising, and playing golf.
George grew up and went to school in Kent, studying Politics, History and English for A-Level. Between school and university, he travelled to Kenya, Australia and New Zealand. He studied at Leeds Met university, gaining a 2.1 in International Relations and Global Development. During his summers between university he travelled extensively and the opportunity to travel with Vallis and its operations across Africa drew him to the company. George joined Vallis in February 2016 as part of the East African team reporting on Malawi. George spends his free-time playing tennis, skiing and travelling.
Grant grew up and studied in Monmouth, South Wales, achieving A levels in English Literature, History and Psychology. After leaving school, he attended the University of Bath and graduated in 2016 with a 2.1 in Politics with International Relations. Immediately after finishing finals, he undertook an internship in the operations department at Etherlive, helping to build communication networks for some of the most prestigious events in the UK and France. In May 2017, Grant joined the Anglo West Africa team reporting on Liberia. Grant spends his free time Djing, producing music and supporting Swansea City FC.
Hannah spent her early childhood travelling around the UK with her military family, before eventually settling in the South West of England. She has recently concluded her degree studies at the University of Reading, where she read English Literature and Theatre. The prospect of a varied, dynamic working environment as well as opportunities for international travel attracted Hannah to Vallis, where she has joined the VTAS team. Hannah has a keen interest in dance and theatre, both of which occupy much of her spare time.
Harriet grew up in England, but also spent a few years of her childhood in France, giving her an advanced level of French speaking abilities. She has previously worked locally as a guide at the Elizabethan Longleat House before graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a History of Art BA. Harriet joined Vallis immediately after graduating, utilising her language skills in the Francophone West department. She later moved to become Compliance Administrator for Vallis subsidiaries in the region. Harriet now lives in Frome and has a keen interest in Music, History and a love of the countryside.
Helen grew up in the local area, although, her parents and wider family are Irish. Following a career in Category Marketing & Supply Chain within Retail and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), she wanted a change in direction. Helen joined Vallis because of its uniqueness as a multicultural business and the opportunities to work with many countries in Africa. She is particularly drawn to the logistics reporting she has been doing for humanitarian organisations and sees her role as a great opportunity to learn and grow within a very interesting organisation. In her spare time, Helen enjoys camping and cycling, and has experienced a few road trips to Belgium and Italy to watch Formula 1.
Henry was born in Hong Kong and lived there until he was eight. He then moved to Somerset, where he now lives in Wells. He graduated from the University of Plymouth with 2:1 Honours degree in Geology. Henry spent the following year travelling throughout South-East Asia spending a lot of his time there trekking and SCUBA diving. After Henry’s return to the UK, he has held various roles in pastoral care departments in schools across the South West, before commencing his career with Vallis. Henry spends his spare time playing hockey in Shepton Mallet and tennis locally. He also has a keen interest in photography.
Ilna grew up in Pretoria, South Africa. She has recently moved to the UK and is loving it. She has also previously lived in Dubai, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Ilna has been working in HR and Project Management for the past 10 years. She is a keen traveler and has travelled throughout South Africa and Botswana.
Jack attended Welbeck Army 6th College where he gained both military training and academic qualifications. Upon completion, he changed course and after a brief spell as a chef, moved into the publishing industry, working for Parragon Publishing based in Bath. Starting as a Junior Production Coordinator he worked his way up to Senior Project Controller, coordinating the publication of over 1,000 titles including the prestigious Beano Annual along the way. Working with major licensees such as Disney and Nickelodeon, and with people from all over the globe, Jack developed a thirst for international business. Jack joined Vallis Commodities in November 2013 and enjoys focusing on the African market, having dealt primarily with the Asian market in print. Originally working as Commercial Manager for West Africa, he then spent 2 years as the Country Manager of Egypt before returning to the UK to take up the position of Commercial Manager for the Fuel and MENA markets. In his spare time, Jack enjoys watching motorsports such as F1 and BTCC.
JJ grew up in South Africa and attended the University of Cape Town, where he studied towards a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting. Having completed his degree, JJ played professional rugby in South Africa and Italy and represented the U.S.A in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In 2013, JJ moved to the UK with his wife. He joined Vallis in their Head Office in December 2013 and works as Commercial Manager for the East Africa team.
After graduating from the University of Gloucestershire with a degree in Events Management, Julian went on to work for England Rugby Travel; the Official Tour Company for the Rugby Football Union. There he spent nearly 4 years co-ordinating sports tours for schools and clubs to all corners of the globe. Another part of his role was working on professional team travel, where he was the Logistics Co-ordinator for the Barbarians Rugby Club. He supported in the co-ordination of three tours including to Hong Kong in 2013 where they faced the British & Irish Lions, and against Scotland and Argentina in 2015. In 2017, Julian went on to lead a group of multi-cultural volunteers on a health and livelihoods program in North Malawi for 4 months. The primary objective of the program was to raise greater awareness of sexual reproductive health among teenagers and young adults. With his guidance the team enabled the community to acquire greater knowledge on healthy decision making and relationships to improve their futures. Additional benefits for the community included gaining a better understanding of the importance of education, conservation and hygiene. In June, Julian joined the Vallis West Africa Team. He has a huge passion for sport, including cricket, long distance running and rugby, as well as reading in his free time.
Originally from London, Kate graduated from the University of Bath in July 2017 where she studied French and Italian with European Studies. As part of her studies, Kate spent a year in Europe during which she worked in Geneva and studied at Sapienza University in Rome. Following a further two months working in the South of France and Parma, Kate returned to the South West where she joined Vallis as part of the West Africa team. Kate enjoys travelling, running and climbing.
Prior to joining Vallis Commodities in August 2016, Kenny enjoyed a full career in the British Army. In addition to serving on operational deployments around the world, he also spent two and a half years in America as the Training Officer teaching tactics to American officers and soldiers. Since leaving the army in 2012, he has found new adventures running a marine conservation centre in Montserrat for a year, supervising and assessing Duke of Edinburgh training, as well as leading numerous expeditions to South East Asia, North and East Africa. Kenny is relishing his role as an Internal Auditor and is looking forward to doing even more work in Africa. In addition to being a CIPD qualified Training Needs Analysis (TNA) practitioner, he is also a Skiing and Diving Instructor and qualified Mountain Leader. In his spare time Kenny enjoys trekking in the mountains, kayaking and Canadian open boat canoeing; he is also learning French (very slowly)!
Kieran was born in Durban, South Africa, where she attended school and University. Her love for sporting activities, especially on the hockey field, gained her a place in the Junior South African team as well as many other Provincial sports' teams. Kieran worked in the steel industry for 8 years, 3.5 of which were spent in Johannesburg. In December 2017, Kieran, her husband, and their 3-year-old little boy moved to the UK. She joined the Vallis head office in February 2018 as the Compliance Manager.
Liam was born in Dublin but grew up in the rift valley countries of Central Africa. He attended Trinity College, Dublin where he took a post-graduate sciences degree. He has spent most of his working life in Africa, south of the Sahara, where he started Bioweb, an independent medical diagnostics distributor that supplies tests for infectious diseases to blood banks and pathology laboratories. He has extensive supply chain experience in this sector in Africa. In 2009, he emigrated to the UK with his family. He joined Vallis Commodities as an Internal Auditor and subsequently Commercial Manager for Anglophone West Africa. He is now the Commercial Manager for West Africa. Liam lives in the Mendip Hills and spends his free time with his family.
Matt has lived in Dorset his entire life and recently graduated from the University of the West of England with a First in Human Geography. He was attracted to Vallis because of the prospect of working in international finance and dealing with physical commodities. Capital markets are his passion and he thoroughly enjoys trying to understand the global macroeconomic environment as well as micro economic equity analysis. He also enjoys travelling and experiencing alternative cultures and climates whether that be an expedition across China, an adrenaline fuelled ski trip or business travel in Africa. In his free time, Matt enjoys reading and going to be the gym, being a firm believer in the healthy body, healthy mind philosophy.
Maxwell graduated from the University of Greenwich with a degree in Politics BA Honours (2.1). Having actively participated in politics from an early age, he has worked in both party politics and electoral coordination since graduating. Maxwell has tutored international students in London, as well as volunteering in schools across South Africa and he remains involved in charitable work in the Gambia. Outside of work, Maxwell spends his free time reading with a special interest in historic borders, travelling for culture and infusing his own spirits. Maxwell joined Vallis Commodities as an Operations and Reporting Assistant for the Middle East and Fuels team in 2017.
Maya studied in Southampton, graduating in 2016 with a Media, Culture and Production degree. She spent the summer of 2017 summer working in America as a camp counsellor, before returning to her home town of Trowbridge where she joined Vallis as an Operations and Reporting Assistant as part of the East Africa team. In her spare time Maya loves travelling, live music and drawing.
After full time education Nicola pursued furthering her career gaining qualifications in business administration which plunged her straight into an editorial role within the newspaper industry. Nicola spent several years within administration, which also included time spent as assistant to the CEO at The Patent Office. Eventually, deciding on a career within finance, Nicola has worked in various accounting roles at Barclays Bank and in the manufacturing industry leading on to her present role in the Finance team at Vallis Commodities Ltd.
Owen grew up in Holt, Wiltshire and went on to study for a BSc in Sports Science from Swansea University, graduating with a 2:1. Following this, he remained in Swansea to complete a Master of Science by Research degree in biomechanics. Following his studies, Owen worked for a publishing company based in Bristol, writing a variety of educational resources for schools and colleges. Owen then joined Vallis in 2018 as an Operations and Reporting Assistant, in the Middle East and Fuels team. Outside of work, Owen enjoys playing squash and local rugby. He supports Cardiff City FC.
Sarah grew up in a village just outside of Frome and once she achieved her A-Levels, she threw herself into work. After a charity hiking trip to The Great Wall of China, Sarah decided to go travelling and booked a one-way ticket to New Zealand via South-East Asia, where she lived in Wellington for 2 years and worked as a Retail Manager. On her return to Frome, she started studying towards her AAT Accountancy Qualification and began working in Finance for a small local company. Sarah joined the team in January 2017 after looking for a more diverse and challenging role, where she could put her studies into practice and broaden her skills. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys walking and camping and can be found in Devon or Cornwall at any opportunity, where she has recently started to learn to surf. She is also busy planing her wedding for next Spring.
Sean was born in London and lived there until he was five before moving to the French Alps region where he grew up. He passed his A-levels in Economics and Sociology at a local French school in 2010 at the age of eighteen and subsequently spent two years in Lyon, France, studying languages. In 2012, upon deciding to start working, he was employed by a well-known independent Insurance Brokerage firm first in Lausanne and then Geneva, Switzerland, where his linguistic talents were very useful in the International Department of the company. He then decided to specialise in Marine Insurance, more specifically the Claims, Recovery, Stock and Warehouse controlling aspect of the job. He assisted and managed an insurance portfolio of internationally renowned Trading companies. After five years he decided that he wanted to relocate and work in the UK which led to him joining the Vallis Commodities Francophone West Africa team in July 2018. He is bilingual in English and French, both spoken and written. In his spare time Sean enjoys reading, swimming, watching films, decent music, good food, socialising and spending time with his large family.
For her A-Levels, Sophie studied Mathematics, Business Studies, IT and Psychology at Writhlington school. She then went on to complete the AAT Accountancy Qualification and worked in a local accountancy practice as a Junior Accountant. Sophie joined Vallis Commodities in March 2018 as Budget Coordinator. In her free time Sophie enjoys going to the gym and socialising with her friends.
Having grown up in Somerset and the surrounding area, Tom chose to do a degree in International Business from the University of Plymouth, a 4 year course comprising of a variety of modules. This gave him the ability to take a one year study placement in New Hampshire, United States. Whilst at University Tom built up a keen interest in the Middle East and North Africa, focussing his dissertation on the Arab Spring, and its effect on trade and business. Tom Joined Vallis Commodities in November 2014 in a role focussing on Egyptian market, which enabled Tom to further his understanding of the MENA region. Tom is a keen skier who also has a passion for travel and understanding and integrating into new cultures.
Wilf grew up in Frome and joined the Vallis East Africa Team in November 2014. He has since travelled to Tanzania in order to learn the workings of the company, then furthered his education in Mombasa and the Comoros. Wilf is also a keen musician and has performed with various bands in the local area over the last ten years.
Bradley is 28 years old and originally from South Africa. He matriculated in 2005 and then made the decision to move up the coast from Durban to Sodwana Bay where he fulfilled his life time goal of becoming a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor. Once qualified, Bradley advanced and became a Specialty Diving Instructor as well as a First Aid Instructor. At the end of 2009 he spread his feelers and found himself working in the Western Pacific on a small tropical island called Palau, just southeast of the Philippines. In 2012 Bradley returned home to South Africa and started looking for something new and exciting. Toward the end of 2012 and moving into the new year of 2013, he found himself working as a Forman and team supervisor for a Steal fabrication and truck accessory manufacturer. Shortly after that, in June of 2013, Bradley looked at pursuing something a little more challenging and fast paced; this is when he met with Don Oliphant who was looking for staff to supervise stock at a warehouse at the port of Durban. After learning more about Vallis Commodities and what the company was all about Bradley jumped at the opportunity and hasn't looked back since.
Hayden was born and brought up in Durban, South Africa. Soon after graduating from Durban High School in 2012, he went on to pursue a degree in Finance and Economics. After graduating, he started working in Quality Control at a company in the Automotive industry. Keen to find something more fast-paced and interesting, he discovered Vallis Commodities. Shortly after, he joined the Vallis team in Durban, as a VTAS Operations and Reporting Assistant. Hayden is an avid sports fan, his hobbies including Rugby, Fishing, Soccer, and Cricket.
Balal grew up in Manama, completing his higher secondary in Commerce at the Pakistan Urdu School. He went on to gain a BSc degree in Marketing & Management from the University of Bahrain. Since this, he has worked in various different fields including sales, accounts, HR, Management and Marketing. Balal joined Vallis Commodities in September 2014 as supervisor at the Arabian Sugar Company refinery, progressing within a few months to Operations Manager. He likes travelling and exploring new places, and enjoys spending free time with his family and friends.
Kilian is from the North West region of Cameroon, born in 1981 into the family of Mr Ngwainmbi Joseph. He is now married with two children. After obtaining his advanced Technician Diploma in tendering estimating, quantity surveying and construction management in 2003, Kilian gained employment as a Senior Technician/Quantity Estimator at the Cameroon Baptist Convention. In 2010, Kilian obtained an industrial safety Diploma from Natalien Cameroon and continued his services with the Cameroon Baptist Convention health services as a Senior Technician and Procurement Officer. In 2012, Kilian was promoted as the Principal of a National apprenticeship and vocational training Centre in Cameroon (under the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services) where he worked for one year and later decided to go for a more challenging job before joining Vallis Commodities Ivory Coast Limited as a reporter and administrative assistant in November 2013. Kilian was later appointed as Operations Supervisor in January 2015,
Mungo joined Vallis Commodities in July 2017 and is currently the Country Manager for Cameroon. An officer in the British Army, he graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2000, before training as a Challenger 2 tank commander. During his 10-years service, Mungo served in a number of theatres across the globe, both on and off tanks, including operational tours to Iraq and Kosovo, diplomatic and training posts in Argentina and large-scale training in Oman, Canada, Poland and Germany. Since leaving the Army, Mungo has worked in diverse fields including risk mitigation services in anti-maritime piracy, a number of years in senior operations management for Waitrose and as a consultant in operations and logistics management for high profile events across the UK.
Paul spent 28 years in the British Army enjoying postings around the globe from Hong Kong to Germany. Highlights included instructing in The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Bruni, Malisa and Fiji. Having completed his military career, Paul consulted for several blue-chip companies including BP, and worked in Indonesia and the Middle East. The latter included Iraq, Jordan, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. He also ran a diamond mine in Sierra Leone, enjoyed diverse projects in South Africa, and was part of the Akon Lighting Africa Solar Project across ten African countries. More recently, he spent 2 years in Nigeria. Paul Joined Vallis Commodities in May 2018 to take on the role of Country Manager and moved to Egypt with his partner Polly.
Ahmed graduated in 2004 with a BSc in Agricultural Sciences. He also studied Biochemistry, particularly Molecular Genetics. Ahmed has been working in the field of Inspection Services since 2007, having built a solid reputation in the market. He has been providing the technical expertise and surveillance service to both the Egyptian market and the international market of global trading. Ahmed has worked in Sales, Customer Support, as well as operations ranging from the small tally count jobs inside ports, passing by technical sampling and laboratory testing to the trans-shipment measurements of vessel in the open sea, to providing complete solutions of monitoring, fumigation and pest control. In 2017, Ahmed has joined Vallis Commodities as a Business Development Manager, introducing the new services of surveillance, inspection, fumigation, as well as sampling and analysis. Ahmed is interested in technology, Computer Science and professional photography.
Denis grew up in a town in Edo State called Ekpoma. After completing secondary school, Denis went on to study Human Physiology at Ambrose Alli University where he obtained a BSc. He then relocated to Abidjan from Benin City, Nigeria in September 2009, where he began teaching in several schools. Denis joined Vallis as an Assistant Warehouse Supervisor, and soon after was sent to Guinea in 2014 to start operations. Denis is married and loves watching basketball, especially NBA, international business news and politics.
Mamadu Sirajo Jalo is from Quebo, Guinea–Bissau. He was born in Quebo in 1978 to the family of Alhaji Cherno Aliu Jalo and is now married with two children. Sirajo attended ESE College Guinea-Bissau, receiving a Diploma in English and Portuguese Languages in 2007. From 2008 Sirajo gained employment with Drum Resources Limited (now Vallis Commodities Limited) as Assistant Supervisor in Guinea Bissau. He was later posted to Senegal in 2009 to start up operations there as the Senior Supervisor. In November 2012, Sirajo was moved to a position in Cote d’Ivoire as the Operations Manager. Since May 2014, Sirajo has been posted in Guinea as the head of the Vallis team there
Commencing his professional life by enlisting into the French Army in 1978, Denis went on to enjoy a full and successful career spanning 34 years. During his varied military service, he undertook multiple world-wide deployments, including Chad, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Qatar. Returning to France, Denis joined the French Joint Defence Staff, part of official delegations, he acted into several international symposiums. Particular highlights included being selected for Military Diplomatic Service within the French Embassy to the Republic of Albania and the United Arab Emirates. Responsible for all French aircrafts “Stop over” and vessels “Call-in” diplomatic agreement and logistic supply management in coordination with local Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Armed Forces. Denis has been awarded the French Military Medal (Médaille Militaire) and the French Overseas Medal (Médaille Outre-mer) for his service. Denis joined Vallis Commodities Limited in November 2013 as internal auditor, he conducted audits in Tanzania, Uganda, Benin, Togo, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Guinea Conakry and was posted in Cameroon as a relief Country Manager for operations. He arrived in Ivory Coast in January 2016 as Country Manager accompanied by his wife and daughter.
Meshak lives in Abidjan and attended secondary school in Lycee Municipal de Port-Bouet and got the baccalaureate diploma. He also attended a private higher school in Plateau Abidjan and graduated with a higher technician certificate in 2010. He started to work in a warehouse where they sell second hand equipment, locally known as “France Au Revoir” before being trained and becoming a forklift driver at Ets Koussis Company. During Vallis's first operations in Cote d’Ivoire, he worked as forklift driver, discharging stock from trucks. He then was promoted to Assistant Supervisor at Vallis in March 2013. In August 2014, Meshak became one of Vallis's West Africa internal auditors and is now Vallis Operations Manager for the Ivory Coast.
Justus was born and raised in Makueni County, Kenya. After his primary and secondary education, Justus went on to pursue his college education in Mombasa, where he graduated with a Certificate in Business Management. Justus worked with various companies in Mombasa as a Marine and Cargo Surveyor before joining Vallis in 2009 as a Warehouse Assistant where he has risen through the ranks to become the Country Manager in Kenya. He has served Vallis in different capacities including warehouse inspections, audits, warehousing and Marine and Cargo Services across Mombasa, Nairobi, and Kigali. Justus is happily married and blessed with one child.
Enlisting in the British Military in 1989, Derek has enjoyed a full and successful career spanning 24 years. During his varied military service, he undertook multiple world-wide operational deployments, including the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Particular highlights included being selected for the Staff Support Assistant PATA and Military Diplomatic Service within the British Embassy Yemen where he served as the Assistant Defence Attaché. On completion of his military service Derek has been employed in various international companies such as BNY Mellon as a Project Manager, Head of HR (Afghanistan) Hart International, and as an Operations and Recruitment Manager with AMBREY Risk. Derek joined Vallis Commodities Limited in October 2015 as Country Manager in Cameroon and is currently studying a part time Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management
Godfrey was born in Gweru, Zimbabwe. He studied at Fort Victoria High School in Masvingo, Zimbabwe where he completed his O’levels. Following this Godfrey started working at Shabani Mine and qualified as an Overseer Miner and progressed through the ranks to Foreman in Mining and Shaft Inspection Foreman. In 2005 Godfrey joined Sasfuel as the Depot Manager in Victoria Falls and when the company liquidated he moved onto Exploration Drilling in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Godfrey joined Vallis in November 2015 as a fuel manager, and he is currently based in Liberia. In his free time Godfrey enjoys fishing, motor sports, snooker, rugby, and cricket.
Leonard was born and grew up in Tanzania, where he studied Business Administration at the University of Dodoma. After graduating, he worked as a Trainee Loan Officer at Access Bank Tanzania for a year. Leonard joined Vallis Tanzania in 2014, and has since held various positions, amongst which: Senior Warehouse Supervisor, Fuel Supervisor, and most recently, Country Supervisor for Madagascar. In his spare time, Leonard enjoys listening to music and playing and watching football.
After completing a course in purchasing and supply, Geoffrey joined Unilever South East Africa then Lever Brothers as warehouse supervisor. Geoffrey joined National Food Reserve Agency 2004 where he worked as Depot supervisor and quality assurance officer. Before he joined Vallis Commodities Limited in 2013, Geoffrey was assistant regional manager for NFRA. He is currently the Country Manager for Vallis Malawi operations.
Emmanuel is one of Nigeria’s most eminent businessmen with very extensive connections across the banking, finance and political spectrums. He has previously worked closely with President Goodluck Jonathan on the power requirements for the country. He is head of the finance committee for the privatisation of the telecoms industry, shares conference platforms with the Governor of the Reserve Bank and represents Nigeria on overseas delegations to such countries as the United States. Emmanuel was born in 1946 and his education took him from Lagos to Ijebu Ode, Cameroon and the UK. He started his accounting career in 1965 with Coopers & Lybrand and set up his own company as a chartered accountant in 1979. His Chairmanships are numerous: Best Foods Group, Drum Resources Nigeria Limited, Apel Capital & Trust Limited and Countrywide Direct Mortgage Company. He was past Chairman of Longman Nigeria PLC, Petra Microfinance Bank, Salus Health Trust Management and CSN Investment Concepts Limited being some the leading ones. His National Assignments have included Chairmanships of the Agriculture and Food Security Commission and the Modified Value Added Tax Committee. He is a member of the National Economic Forum, the International Investment Council (HIIC), Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC), Technical Committee on the Privatisation of Federal Government Companies and Parastatals. We are very honoured to have such a highly respected individual as the Chairman of Drum Resources Nigeria Limited.
Robert O. Ijewere is an entrepreneur with over ten years of professional experience primarily in private equity and investment management in Nigeria. He has served on the boards of many companies in a variety of sectors from IT, Trade, Agriculture, Food Servicing and Real Estate. Robert is the Managing director of Emson (Group) Nigeria, a private equity company that currently holds controlling interests in 9 distinct Nigerian companies as well as minority shareholdings across several varying industries. Robert has worked and travelled extensively across Africa, the Americas and Europe. After graduating from the University of Richmond in Virginia, he joined The Cochran Firm, one of the premiere law firms in Washington D.C. as legal counsel in their contracts division. He then went into Real Estate, working with Foxtons of London. Following this, he joined JD Capital, a Private Equity/Venture Capitalist firm in Nigeria where as the VP of business development, he focused on investment opportunities in the marine, oil and gas as well as real estate sectors in West Africa before finally joining Emson in 2008.
After his tertiary education in business studies, Charles worked with Uganda Electricity Distribution Company (Umeme Ltd) from 2006 to 2010. Charles joined Vallis in December 2010 as a Stock Control Monitor at Ugacof which is the leading coffee exporter in Uganda. Due to his hard work, he was promoted to Warehouse Supervisor in November 2013. Charles was transferred to Tanzania where he worked as a Stock Control Consultant in Morogoro and Dodoma from November 2013 and October 2014, where he watched over the operations of Export Trading Group (ETG). He went back to Uganda from October 2014 to April 2015 to work as a Site Operations Supervisor at ETG and Joseph Initiative Site. In June 2017, Charles was transferred to Rwanda, and has been working since then as a Country Supervisor. Charles has a passion for sports, especially football both locally and internationally, and he is a fan of SC Villa (Uganda) and Chelsea FC (UK). He is a family man with a lovely 8-year-old daughter.
Mariane first started working for Vallis in 2010 as an Administration Officer and Operational Support in Senegal; she is the current country manager for Vallis Commodities Senegal and also covers Mali operations. Mariane graduated from the University of Paris XII with a Master’s degree in International Commerce and a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Management. Before working for Vallis, she gained 3 years of experience in logistics, administration and customer/external relations through her work for Cocoa Processing Company, Air France, Apple and American Express. She’s worked and lived in different countries throughout Europe and Africa: Greece, Spain, Senegal, the Gambia, Ghana, France… Mariane is fluent in French, English, Spanish and Wolof. She is the co-owner of the first online clothing store in Senegal.
After studying Sports Science at Liverpool John Moores University, Isaac spent 18 months travelling in Asia and worked in mining exploration in Australia. On returning to the UK he worked for a year in the head office of Asda on their graduate scheme as a merchandise planner. He then enjoyed a successful 7 years’ service in the Royal Engineers where he left as a captain. He was trained as an army commando and diver and commanded soldiers on combat engineering operations in Afghanistan in 2014. Isaac has travelled extensively, he speaks advanced Spanish and has a passion for Skydiving and Mountaineering. Isaac joined Vallis Commodities in June 2018 to take on the role of Country Manager, Sierra Leone.
Tony was born in Kwekwe, and grew up in Zimbabwe. When finishing school he worked as a tractor mechanic before moving to work in the pumps and irrigation industry. In 2006, Tony started his career in petroleum products operations and management with Sasfuel & Chem in Beit Bridge, Zimbabwe. The following year he relocated to the DRC with Sasfuel, where he managed a terminal supplying petroleum products to a large copper mine. Tony joined Vallis in 2012 as one of the fuel operations managers. He has since managed Vallis fuel operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Liberia.
Richard started his shipping career in January 2005 working for a NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) groupage operator in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In February 2006 Richard moved to the UK where he lived for 2 and a half years, working for the Company's local partner. He headed up the export routes from the UK to South Africa, India and the Far East. Moving back to South Africa in September 2008, Richard moved to Cape Town working for the same NVOCC, he was offered a position of Operations Manager. He oversaw the Sea Freight Imports / Exports departments as well as Air Freight department. In September 2009 Richard was transferred to Durban where he took up the role as Route Development Manager handling all Import routes from the East of Africa into South Africa. Traveling to India, China, Singapore and Hong Kong were all part of the position, meeting agents and discussing freight rates, clients and shipping lines were all part of the position. In June 2016 Richard joined Vallis, managing the company's new trade assurance services in Southern Africa from the Durban office. Richard's interests and hobbies include football, formula 1, cricket, rugby and squash.
Mazin is an electrical engineering graduate from the University of Khartoum. After graduating, he worked as a planning engineer in a petroleum company, and then moved into the supply chain field. He pursued an MBA at the University of Khartoum, after which he worked in DAL Group's different business units for 7 years. His roles included operations management and supply chain management, specialising in procurement, logistics and warehousing. His last role was Procurement and Supply Chain Planning Supervisor at DAL Dairy factory.
Mike was born and raised in Zimbabwe. During his schooling, he enjoyed his sports; he played provincial rugby, water polo and squash. After school, he played club/provincial ruby and water polo. Mike started his career in the IT industry. In 2007, he made the decision to move to the DRC to start a new career within the fuel industry. This is where he joined SAS Fuel as the Lubricants Sales Manager. Within a year, he became the Fuel Depot Manager in Lubumbashi. In 2011, he joined one of Glencore's mines (Mutanda), where he became the Fuel Operations Superintendent. He assisted with the erection of their fuel depot of 3,000 MT and fire suppression system. He was very involved in community projects, as well as being the captain of one of their Firefighting and Emergency response teams. In the 9 years of being based in Congo, Mike learnt the local language (Swahili), built some long lasting friendships and gained qualifications in Logistics, Supply Chain and Fuel operations. Mike joined Vallis in July 2017 as the Country Manager for Tanzania. He hopes to travel more and experience different cultures across the globe. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, gym, squash, golf and rugby.
Looking for a change in direction Steve left a career as a plumbing and heating engineer and joined the R.A.F. in 1995. As a logistician Steve specialized in the construction and operation of tactical field fuel installations in support of the battlefield helicopter force. This was a role that saw him operate in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Holland and Norway. After leaving the R.A.F. in 2012 Steve worked as a logistics manager for an Australian underground mining company in Ghana. Steve joined the Vallis fuel team in 2014.
Kevin was born in Kasama, Zambia (Northern Rhodesia at the time). He went to school in Kasama and then Broken Hill (Kabwe). Having also served his apprenticeship as a Motor Vehicle Technician in Zambia, Kevin considers himself a wholly Zambian product. In July 1977 Kevin started up a trucking company with his brothers. From the humble beginnings of 3 units, it grew to a fleet of 150 trucks, all running international routes from South Africa to as far north as Uganda. He retired in 2012 and led a busy life cooking and shopping while his wife Glenys ran her own accounting. They enjoy birdwatching and take every opportunity to disappear into the African bush when they get the chance. Kevin and Glenys have 11 children between them, some adopted, and a further 11 grandchildren with the 12th due to arrive in December. Their children live in Ireland, England, South Africa, Australia and Zambia - so holidays have now become visiting family members. With Vallis expanding in Zambia, Glenys was approached by Don Oliphant to handle the Payroll and Administration of the Zambian office. This led to the discovery that Kevin too was available for work and a phone call soon followed, offering the chance for Kevin to look after the Ndoloa operation in Zambia.