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About us

The Africa ASAP Team:

Africa ASAP has brought together a dedicated and distinguished team representing environmental consciousness, appropriate technological expertise, African experience, and elephant science. Headquartered in Virginia, Africa ASAP is affiliated with Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a nonprofit charity exempt from Federal Income tax under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Officers

"Skipper" Darlington IV - Founder & CEO

Educated in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Skipper is a pilot and an innovator. He was at the forefront of the environmental movement in the late 1980’s (past president of the former Ozone Society) and has since focused on introducing appropriate surveillance technology to bring us closer to nature. Africa ASAP was born from his desire to stop the horrific slaughter of African elephants through his vision of a protective “eye-in-the-sky”. Skipper holds patents for using a remote-controlled airship coupled with an “internet-linked environmental data collection system and method” to protect remote ecosystems. Skipper comes from a family of explorers, adventurers, and conservationists. He saw his first African elephant in the wild from a balloon he was piloting over Namibia.

 

Ken Beeks – Founder & CTO

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, Ken had a distinguished 24-plus year career at the highest level of leadership and policy, and as a test pilot flying aircrafts ranging from blimps and gliders to supersonic jets. After retiring from the Navy, Ken moved to Business Executives for National Security (BENS), a nationwide, non-partisan, nonprofit organization matching senior business leaders with challenges facing American security agencies. Ken is overseeing the building of the surveillance system and the integration of all the technology involved in deploying the airship and aerostat, bringing the information to the ground station, the analytics involved, and dissemination of results to the waiting rangers.

 

P. Jay Fetner – COO

A lawyer by training, with degrees from Yale, Harvard and Cambridge Universities, Jay in the 1970’s founded the African Development Group, a trade, consulting and merchant-banking entity operating throughout sub-Saharan Africa. ADG had major offices in Abidjan, Lagos and Nairobi and a presence in nearly every African country. Eventually ADG specialized in ecotourism. Jay is the author (and photographer) of the critically acclaimed book, The African Safari: The Ultimate Wildlife and Photography Adventure, published by St. Martin’s Press in 1987. The chapter on elephants is still, perhaps, the best popular introduction to its subject. Jay has spent forty-odd years kicking around the African bush. He could tell you stories about elephants that would make you laugh with joy or weep with anguish. Over the years, he has seen a hundred elephant projects, most well-intentioned. He believes that Africa ASAP is special – it will work.
 

Yukiko Amaya – Founder and Director of Communication

Educated in Japan, Australia, U.S. and France, Yukiko has overseen, managed and produced high-end, award-winning commercials internationally from inception to completion (Nike, Sony, Honda, Subaru, Uniqlo, etc.). She has a 30-year track record in managing the communications and interpretations of divers cultures, languages and ways of perception. She was also an on-camera reporter and anchor for Japan Public Broadcasting, working on diverse specials such as the Academy Awards, Sundance Film Festival, and many others, as well as an artist working in mediums of photography (Paris Biennale), choreography, dance and music. She is a respected teacher in the expansion of Consciousness through yoga, meditation, movement and other cutting-edge mind/body technologies.
 

Consulting Partners

Per Lindstrand – In charge of building and certifying airship and aerostat for Africa ASAP to deploy in Tanzania

Per is the founder of Lindstrand Technologies (http://www.lindstrandtech.com), widely considered the premier company for building lighter-than-air crafts. His company has lighter-than-air crafts certified and deployed in 48 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and both the Panama and Suez Canals.

Together with Richard Branson, he made the first transatlantic and transpacific crossings in a hot air balloon that he had designed and built. He also built The Beagle 2 parachute, the most advanced parachute ever made that was successfully deployed on the 2002 Mars landing.

He has built over 100 thermal airships including the worlds largest, The AS-300. The AS-300, in operation since 1993, has opened a new window on how botanists study rainforest canopies around the world. Per is a recipient of America’s highest, flying award, the Harmon Trophy, given to him in the White House.

 

 

Richard Wegman

Richard has been in nonprofit management for 35 years, and has been leading environmental companies since the late 1980’s. He was the COO of Global Green (U.S.A.). Currently, he is chairman of the board of Amazon Watch, and also serves on the boards of Earth Tones and Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE).

 

Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell

Caitlin is a world-renowned expert on elephants. Her research was the subject of the Elephant King, an award-winning Smithsonian Channel documentary. Her work has focused on elephant communication and elephant societies. At Stanford University where she teaches, she is applying elephant vibrotactile studies to humans, including the hearing-impaired and deaf. With her husband, Timothy Rodwell, Caitlin has published several popular books on African elephants.

 

PAMS Foundation

In charge of facilitating on-the-ground implementation by the relevant Tanzanian authorities.

 

 

ASKARI MARITIME LOGISTICS LTD.

Askari was formed to protect the Oil & Gas Industry from attacks by the Somali pirates. Once that contract was successfully completed, they were asked by the National Task Force - NTSCIU-National & Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit - in 2012 to engage in anti-poaching. Over a year ago, Askari started working together with the PAMS Foundation.