Senior Leadership

Paddy Docherty, Chairman - Paddy has two degrees from Oxford University, where he also won a Blue for boxing and was Junior Dean of Brasenose College. He was in the oil & gas corporate finance team at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London before joining the boutique investment bank Global Union (based in Bahrain) as a Director. After leaving the Middle East, Paddy returned to PwC to take up a role as Manager of the regional CEE & CIS energy corporate finance team, based in Prague. He left this position in the autumn of 2009 to establish Phoenix Africa, where he is Chief Executive. He is also a Member of the Private Sector Delegation to the Committee on World Food Security at the UN FAO, served on the WEF Global Agenda Council on Fragile States 2012-14, and was a Trustee of Millennium Promise UK 2010-2015. 

Mike Gericke, Managing Director - Originally from Zimbabwe, Mike has four decades of experience of farming in Africa, including positions managing large estates and executive functions in agribusiness. Beginning his career as a trainee farm manager in 1975, Mike ran his own 1,400ha operation in Marondera until it was acquired by the government in 2000. During this time he founded Watershed School to address the local educational shortage, and served on the board of a 30,000ha development in Zambia. Since losing his own farm, Mike established a highly successful maize milling operation, then moved to South Africa where he worked for Agricane in many engagements around Africa. Mike joined Lion Mountains in 2012. 

Dr Joe Demby, Director - Formerly the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr Demby was born in Gerihun, near Bo. Educated at the prestigious Bo School, he studied medicine at the SMS Medical College in Jaipur and qualified as a doctor at Rajasthan University. He practised medicine in Kenema, Bo and Freetown, before being asked to stand as SLPP running mate to President Kabbah in the 1996 elections; Dr Demby was thereafter Vice President until 2002, when he retired from politics. He now concentrates his energies on agriculture in the Bo area, and serves as a non-executive director of Lion Mountains.

Peter Penfold CMG OBE, Director - Formerly the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Peter spent 38 years in the UK Diplomatic Service, mainly in Africa and the Caribbean. Peter was appointed as High Commissioner in Freetown in 1997 and became closely identified with the country's attempts to embrace democracy and to achieve stability during the rebel war. He worked closely with local and international parties in pursuit of a lasting peace, and in recognition of his passionate support of the country, Peter was appointed a Paramount Chief by the people of Sierra Leone and was made a Freeman of the City of Freetown. He retired from the Diplomatic Service in 2000 and is a non-executive director of Lion Mountains.

Major General John Holmes DSO OBE MC, Special Advisor to the Board - John joined the SAS from the Scots Guards in 1974, going on to command an SAS squadron and then serving as Special Forces Liaison Officer in Washington DC. After running the Special Forces Policy Desk in the MoD, he was Commanding Officer of 22 SAS 1989-92, including service in the Gulf War, and then commanded the UK Airborne Brigade 1993-96. After senior appointments in NATO HQ, John returned to the UK to become Director of Special Forces 1999-2002. The focus for operations during this time was Sierra Leone, where he deployed a significant force in support of Operation Palliser and later planned and commanded Operation Barras from his HQ in Freetown. John took early retirement from the Army in 2002 and is currently also a non-executive director of Phoenix Africa.

 

Team

Rob Shaw, General Manager, Milling Division - Rob has 33 years of experience in commercial agriculture, with a specialisation in agricultural machinery. A Zimbabwean, he is a qualified mechanic with extensive experience in the maintenance and repair of plant and equipment, and his work has taken him to the UK and all around Africa. Rob spent time in Sierra Leone on contract with Addax Bioenergy in 2013-14. At Lion Mountains, he is in charge of all operations at the mill, and is responsible for training and managing the team of mill operators. 

Mustapha Jalloh, Operations Manager - Mustapha is a graduate in business and hails from a farming family in the Kenema area. Previous employment includes experience with the EU Mission in Sierra Leone and on the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project, as well as private trading between Guinea, Mali and Sierra Leone. His background is in operations and vehicle management, including driver and safety training. At Lion Mountains he is in charge of distribution and logistics, overseeing transportation requirements for produce sales and purchase. 

Aruna Samai, Sales & Purchase Manager - With a background in agricultural development, Aruna holds a BSc (Hons) from Njala University. A native of Bo, he attended Christ the King College in the city before attending university. His extensive experience includes work with the Pan-African Development Initiative and as Project Officer at the Malaria Research Centre. Additionally, Aruna was formerly head of the Bo office of the Centre for Community Empowerment. At Lion Mountains he oversees all purchase and sales operations.

Morrie Juana, Community Liaison Coordinator - A botanist by training, Morrie attended Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. From Lugbu Chiefdom in Bo District, he was educated in Lugbu and in Bo before attending university. He has extensive experience in agricultural development and community organisation, including with GTZ. Morrie served on the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration after the rebel war, and was later a Councillor on Bo District Council. At Lion Mountains, he is the principal link to partner communities, and organises the day-to-day activities of the Outgrower Programme.

 

Agricultural Advisors

Dr Biksham Gujja - An internationally recognised expert in sustainable agriculture, Biksham has a special focus on the design and implementation of the System of Rice Intensification. He has over 30 years of experience in agriculture, rural development and water resources management, in many countries in Africa and Asia.

Phil Riddell - A specialist in water policy, Phil has 35 years of experience in irrigated agriculture and integrated water resources management. He has worked in over thirty countries in Africa and Asia with international bodies including the FAO, UNDP and the World Bank. He has an MSc in irrigation and a BSc in engineering. 

Mark Campanale - Mark has over twenty years of experience in sustainable investment, and holds an MSc in agricultural economics from Wye College. He works with a number of funds promoting sustainable investment in Africa, including both public and private equity strategies and covering agriculture, forestry and renewables.

 

Paramount Chief Komrabai Peter Penfold, former UK High Commissioner to Sierra Leone and Director of Lion Mountains, in the mill with Lion Mountains staff, January 2015.

Paramount Chief Komrabai Peter Penfold, former UK High Commissioner to Sierra Leone and Director of Lion Mountains, in the mill with Lion Mountains staff, January 2015.