The Tank Storage Awards judges are a cross section of experts taken from across the terminal industry around the globe.

They receive no personal or financial benefit for their participation.

NEW FOR 2020: Our judging panel includes professionals from Ineos, Stolthaven Terminals, Kinder Morgan, Horizon Terminals & Navigator Terminals

2020 Judges

Guy Bessant
Stolthaven Terminals

Guy Bessant was appointed President, Stolthaven Terminals in March 2015, having previously been the Regional Director for Stolthaven in Asia Pacific since 2013. Before that he held senior management positions at Bayer MaterialScience (Covestro) and Sasol. He holds a BA in Modern Chinese Studies with Management from the University of Leeds (U.K.), a postgraduate diploma in International Commercial Law from Northumbria University (U.K.), and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde (U.K.).

Leo Brand

After obtaining an MBA in Economics, Leo Brand started his career at the airline KLM, where he worked in different positions for eight years, both in The Netherlands and in Germany. After KLM, he became manager at the strategic consultancy firm A.T. Kearney. Later on he became one of the founders of Adcore Strategy, where he took the helm as managing director. Brand was the pioneer in commercializing Wifi in the early days and founded Megabeam in London which was sold to Swisscom where he also was the CEO for almost twelve years. Nowadays he is Vopak’s CIO since 2014 and is involved in different start-ups. He is currently also a Supervisory Board Member at Innovation Quarter and PortXL, a global port accelerator platform.

Hugh Carmichael
Director Feedstocks Trading and Shipping

Creative deal maker. Experienced director with a strong track record of business turnaround and bottom line delivery in a global environment.

Jan Claes
Manager OPS & MNT
Varo Energy

Experienced Operations Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the oil & energy industry.

Earl Crochet
Director of Engineering and Operational Optimization
Kinder Morgan

Earl has over 31 years holding roles of increasing responsibilities in Engineering, Operations, Business Development, EH&S, and Management; currently Director of Engineering for Kinder Morgan Terminals.

Earl has been active in the API since 1994: Subcommittee of Aboveground Storage Tanks (past Chairman); current co-chair of API 2350 Tank Overfill Prevention Committee; and several other committees. He also served on the ILTA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015, including Chairman.

Earl has spoken at Conferences in Europe and North America on topics ranging from technical issues about tanks to topical such as the Shale Oil revolution, Operational Excellence, the Great Crew Change and the Lack of Common Sense. Earl has been a Certified API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector since 1993. Earl has BSME and a MBA from LSU. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in 3 States.

James Foster
Trading Manager
BP Oil International

James Foster has worked in supply and trading roles in BP for the last 27 years. During this time he traded Middle Distillates in both London and Chicago, helping to set up BP’s trading activity in the US following the Amoco merger before moving on to trading management roles. These have included Head of Trading for Europe and Africa, Global Commodity Head for Middle Distillates, setting up the original global commodity book structure, and Trading manager for European crude.

Mr Foster holds a M.Eng degree in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University.

Craig Garbutt
Terminal Manager, North East Terminals
Navigator Terminals UK

Craig has 35 years of experience fulfilling a range of senior operational roles in the tank terminalling sector in the UK and Internationally. Currently operating as Terminal Manager North East Terminals for Navigator Terminals UK Limited, Craig has previously held roles at Horizon Terminals working across Africa, Middle East, and Asia, and also at Vopak, and Puma Energy UK

Laurent Hatzopoulos
Manager, Third Party Storage
Shell Trading

Laurent is responsible for the sourcing of liquid storage for Shell Downstream, including bringing external insights within the Shell Group and relationships with key storage providers. Laurent has a particular passion for the application of new technologies in the storage world. He joined Shell leading post-merger integration, acquisitions and divestments as well as efficiency projects. Prior to Shell, Laurent started his career with BP Plc, holding a variety of business development and operational roles across Trading and Marketing operations, including Castrol lubricants. He is a graduate in economics from the Universite Catholique de Louvain.

Keith Jackson
Operations Director

Keith Jackson has been with Inter Terminals (& formerly the business known as Simon Storage) for over 30years. He has worked at the majority of the UK terminals in some form. He has also been manager of three of the UK terminals including the two largest terminals before becoming firstly, Director at the Immingham terminals and more latterly Director at each of the UK sites.

Previous to joining Inter Terminals, Keith was Chief Officer in the UK Merchant Navy working predominantly on Tanker trades and latterly specialising in Chemical tanker trades.

He has been Operations Director since January 2015, with the role now encompassing Operations at all Inter Terminals’ European operations. Aside from the Operational aspect of the Company’s business he also has responsibility for Safety, Health and Environmental matters.

Jonathan Silk
Technical Manager
Oiltanking & Co. LLC

Jonathan Silk is the Technical Manager at Oiltanking Terminal Oman. He has been in the Tank Terminal business for over 20 years, working in South Africa, the UK and the Middle East. *

Oliver Stanelle
General Manager Central Engineering

Oliver joined Oiltanking in 1997 after completing his Master of Science degree in Engineering. He has held a progression of engineering roles in different operating arms of the company, both in Germany and internationally. Oliver’s experience ranges from the design and construction of new storage terminals, terminal renovation and expansion projects, and the construction of pipeline connections and corridors, through to business development and due diligence in technical matters.

Niels Van Bladeren
Chief Financial Officer
LBC Tank Terminals

Niels has close to 20 years of experience in financial management. From 1998 until 2007 he worked with a division of Unilever in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. From 2007 until 2012 Niels worked for Van Gansewinkel, as Group Controller and as Treasurer. From 2012 to 2015 he worked at Argos Terminals which merged with Koole Terminals in 2014 of which he became CFO. In April 2015, Niels joined LBC as CFO. He is a keen sailor and runner, and married with 4 children.

Erik van Ommeren
Group Technical Director
Koole Terminals

Erik joined Koole Terminals in 2012. He has a masters degree in mechanical engineering and held different technical management positions over de last 17 years at amongst others Arcelor Mittal and Vopak Chemicals Netherlands. Erik’s experience ranges from the development and execution of a wide range of capital projects (green / brownfield), maintenance upgrades and due diligence trajectories.

*The judging process is a joint decision. Those judges that work for a storage terminal will not be eligible to judge in any category where there is a conflict of interest.