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Management

Corporate Officers

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Mark D. Gordon
CEO and Chairman of the Board

Mark D. Gordon was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Odyssey Marine Exploration in October 2014. Mr. Gordon also served as the company's President from 2007-2019 and on Odyssey's Board of Directors since January 2008 and was appointed as the Chairman of the Board in 2019.. He joined Odyssey in 2005 as an independent consultant before serving as Director, Business Development and Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development, where he was responsible for the Attraction, Business Development and Retail Merchandising operations for the Company.

Prior to joining Odyssey, Mr. Gordon started, owned or managed four different entrepreneurial ventures from 1987 to 2003, including Synergy Networks which he founded in 1993 and served as CEO until September of 2003 before selling the company to the Rockefeller Group. He continued serving as President of Rockefeller Group Technology Services Mid Atlantic (RGTSMA), a member of Rockefeller Group International, until December 2004. Past work experience also includes a two-year tenure as a Management Consultant at Arthur Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

Mark Gordon received a B.S./Business Administration in 1982 and an MBA in Finance in 1983 from the American University. As a shipwreck diver with the National Diving Center in Washington DC, he has conducted hundreds of dives and explorations on shipwrecks and was the first person to discover and dive on the wreck of the S.S. Proteus, a ship that had been missing since the early 1900's.

    John D. Longley
    President and Chief Operating Officer

    John D. Longley was appointed Chief Operating Officer in October 2014 and became President of the company in 2019.  Previously, Mr. Longley served as Senior Vice President since 2012 and Director of Business Operations since 2005 when he joined the company. With over 25 years of marketing and business strategy experience, he has been integral in growing the company’s business opportunities including its attractions, the monetization of valuable shipwreck finds and exploring new deep-ocean opportunities that utilize Odyssey’s core competencies. 

    Mr. Longley has an instrumental role in executing major marketing programs and projects at Odyssey. Following the Gairsoppa silver recovery operations that took place in 2012 and 2013, Mr. Longley led the program to monetize the 110 tons of shipwreck silver bullion, which constituted the world’s largest precious metals recovery from a shipwreck in history at the time of recovery. Odyssey’s first major shipwreck discovery was in 2003 when the company located the greatest treasure of the Civil War-era and recovered over 51,000 gold and silver coins along with 14,000 artifacts. Mr. Longley has orchestrated the development of Odyssey’s global distribution network for shipwreck coins and collectibles, which reaches millions of shipwreck collectible buyers. Mr. Longley directs Odyssey’s traveling exhibit SHIPWRECK! which has been on a tour through 13 North American cities since 2005 and continues today. Over two million guests have seen the exhibit, which features over 500 shipwreck artifacts, interactive games and graphic panel displays.

    Prior to joining Odyssey, Mr. Longley served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Public Imagery from 2003 to 2005 and Director of Retail Marketing for Office Depot North American stores from 1998 to 2003. Mr. Longley graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Communications with a specialty in Advertising from Florida State University in 1989.

      Jay A. Nudi
      CFO, Treasurer and Principal Accounting Officer

      Jay A. Nudi was appointed CFO in 2016. Mr. Nudi has served as the compay Treasurer since 2010 and as Principal Accounting Officer of the Company since January 2006 after joining the Company in May 2005 as Corporate Controller. Mr. Nudi has over 20 years of accounting and management experience and is a Certified Public Accountant.

      Prior to joining the Company, he served as Controller for The Axis Group in Atlanta since 2003. From 2001 to 2003, he served as a consultant to various companies on specific value added tasks. From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Nudi was Director of Financial Reporting for OneSource, Inc., a leading provider of facilities management. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Corporate Controller for Acsys, Inc., a national recruiting firm that was publicly held until it was acquired in 2000. Mr. Nudi received a B.S. degree in Accounting from Penn State University in 1985.

        Laura L. Barton
        Executive Vice President, Secretary, and Director

        Laura L. Barton is the company Secretary (2015) in addition to her position as Executive Vice President and Director of Communications, which she has held since 2012. In 2019, Mrs. Barton was also appointed to the Odyssey Board of Directors. With over 35 years of business experience including more than 20 years at Odyssey, she has extensive marketing, media, project management, content development, corporate governance, investor relations, management and strategic planning experience.  

          John Oppermann
          Vice President, Director of Research and Scientific Services

          John M. Oppermann was appointed Vice President, Research and Scientific Services in 2013 after serving as Director, Archaeology, Research and Conservation since joining Odyssey in 2005. Mr. Oppermann has been essential in developing the Odyssey’s research methodology for shipwreck targeting and building the company’s extensive target database and has been integral in organizing necessary scientific services to support Odyssey’s growing role in mineral exploration. Mr. Oppermann has also facilitated best-in-class field archaeology, artifact conservation, documentation and publication by Odyssey’s archaeology and conservation teams.

          Prior to joining Odyssey, Mr. Oppermann was Executive Co-Director for ProNet Polk, Senior Director of Internet Services Delivery Operations for WorldCom Group and Director of Operations Improvement of VoiceStream Wireless Corporation.            

          Mr. Oppermann earned a BBA and an MBA from Pace University.



            Directors

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            Gregory P. Stemm
            Co-Founder, Chairman Emeritus & Consultant

            Greg Stemm is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board for Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. Previously, Mr. Stemm served as CEO of the company from 2007 to 2014. Mr. Stemm has played an important role in the development of new technologies and private sector standards for underwater cultural heritage resource management. In 1987, Mr. Stemm and his partner John Morris bought their first research vessel and ROV system and embarked on a mission to create a company dedicated to developing private sector exploration of shipwrecks while adhering to the highest standards of archaeology.

            Mr. Stemm’s first major deep-ocean shipwreck project was the “Tortugas” project, a Colonial Spanish shipwreck that was the world’s first complete remote robotic archaeological excavation. Conducted in 1990-1991 at a depth of over 1,300 feet, it was the first project of its kind to integrate acoustic positioning and detailed photography to create deep ocean photomosaic and stands as the world’s first complete deep-ocean archaeological excavation of a historical shipwreck site.

            Odyssey has discovered and explored more shipwrecks than any other company, academic group or government organization in the world. The company’s first success came in 2003 with the discovery of over 51,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts from the SS Republic, a shipwreck lost in 1865 approximately 100 miles off the coast of Georgia in 2003 and 2004. In 2007 Odyssey announced the discovery and archaeological excavation of nearly 600,000 (more than 17 tons) of silver and gold coins from a shipwreck site in the Atlantic code-named “Black Swan”. Then, in 2008, history was re-written when Odyssey discovered the shipwreck site of Admiral John Balchin’s Victory, lost in 1744, nearly 100 km from where others long thought she had sunk. Odyssey has since monitored and conducted archaeological work on the site under a contract with the Maritime Heritage Foundation which is chaired by Lord Lingfield. In 2012, Odyssey once again made history by conducting the heaviest and deepest recovery of precious metals from a shipwreck when it brought to the surface 48 tons of silver bullion from the SS Gairsoppa which lies 4,700 meters deep. In addition to these famous discoveries, Mr. Stemm has directed operations which have resulted in the discovery of hundreds of shipwrecks, ranging from ancient Roman and Phoenician sites to previously undiscovered U-boats and pirate ships in the deep oceans of the world.

            Greg has authored and edited scores of papers and articles on deep-ocean shipwreck exploration and archaeological excavation, and has given hundreds of lectures on the subject to a variety of venues including The Explorers Club, Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Young Presidents’ Organization, World Presidents’ Organization, World Business Council, Association of Dive Contractors, and The UK National Shipwreck Conference and has been a frequent enrichment lecturer for Cunard, Silver Seas, and Seabourn Cruise Lines. He is the co-editor of the Oceans Odyssey series which features a broad range of scientific papers relating to shipwrecks and exploration in the deep ocean.

            Recently published volumes include Oceans Odyssey I: Deep Sea Shipwrecks in the English Channel, Straits of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean, Oceans Odyssey II: Underwater Cultural Heritage Management and Deep Sea Shipwrecks in the English Channel and Atlantic Ocean and Oceans Odyssey III: The Deep-Sea Tortugas Shipwreck, Straits of Florida : A Merchant Vessel from Spain's 1622 Tierra Firme Fleet. He has also written for Maritime Heritage Magazine, Ocean News & Technology Magazine and Underwater Magazine. Mr. Stemm has also authored dozens of opinion pieces for international publications in favor of allowing government/private party partnerships in deep-ocean exploration.

            He was a panelist at the 1998 Law of the Sea Institute and was appointed for four consecutive terms to the United States delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) expert meeting to negotiate the Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

            Mr. Stemm has been featured as an expert on deep-ocean exploration on international television and radio programs for the past twenty years. National Geographic and PBS broadcasted a one hour special on the recovery of the SS Republic and Discovery Channel profiled Mr. Stemm and his company in 2009 as they explored the English Channel in a 13 part documentary series called Treasure Quest. Odyssey’s recent successes have also been filmed and were featured on the Discovery Channel in the Silver Rush mini-series.

            He was selected as a Fellow of The Explorers Club, and was the founder and past-president of the Professional Shipwreck Explorers Association (ProSEA), a non-profit group that provides a forum through which private sector explorers, archaeologists and governments cooperate to promote ethical policies for dealing with shipwreck resource management.

            Stemm served as a Founding Director (1986-93) and International President (1992-93) of YEO (Young Entrepreneurs Organization), the world's largest entrepreneur's organization with over 7,000 members in 113 chapters in 24 countries. YEO members average 33 years of age and together represent over $100 Billion in sales annually. He was also a founder of the Florida Aquarium and a member of the Underwater Mining Institute.

            Stemm currently serves as a Director of the International Marine Minerals Society (IMMS), a non-profit group focusing on marine minerals as a resource for study and sound application to meet world demands for strategic minerals. IMMS was founded in 1987 and includes members from government agencies, academic institutions and industry.

            Greg Stemm’s articles and publications

              Mark D. Gordon
              CEO and Chairman of the Board

              Mark D. Gordon was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Odyssey Marine Exploration in October 2014. Mr. Gordon also served as the company's President from 2007-2019 and on Odyssey's Board of Directors since January 2008 and was appointed as the Chairman of the Board in 2019.. He joined Odyssey in 2005 as an independent consultant before serving as Director, Business Development and Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development, where he was responsible for the Attraction, Business Development and Retail Merchandising operations for the Company.

              Prior to joining Odyssey, Mr. Gordon started, owned or managed four different entrepreneurial ventures from 1987 to 2003, including Synergy Networks which he founded in 1993 and served as CEO until September of 2003 before selling the company to the Rockefeller Group. He continued serving as President of Rockefeller Group Technology Services Mid Atlantic (RGTSMA), a member of Rockefeller Group International, until December 2004. Past work experience also includes a two-year tenure as a Management Consultant at Arthur Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

              Mark Gordon received a B.S./Business Administration in 1982 and an MBA in Finance in 1983 from the American University. As a shipwreck diver with the National Diving Center in Washington DC, he has conducted hundreds of dives and explorations on shipwrecks and was the first person to discover and dive on the wreck of the S.S. Proteus, a ship that had been missing since the early 1900's.

                Mark B. Justh
                Lead Director

                Mark Justh joined Odyssey’s Board in July 2013. Mr. Justh is also the CEO of JD Farms, an organic hay and antibiotic free cattle farm in New York. Mr. Justh served as Managing Director at JP Morgan, Hong Kong for over ten years. Prior to that, Mr. Justh was a Partner at HPJ Media Ventures/DeNovo Capital from 2000 to 2002, where he managed a $25 million fund that made private investments in media properties. From 1994 to 2000 he was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs International responsible for Institutional Equity Sales coverage of Switzerland and France for the US equity product.

                Mr. Justh earned his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, his Master’s degree from New York University and his MBA from INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France). Mr. Justh was also Honorably Discharged from the US Army Reserve as a First Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps.

                John C. Abbott

                John C. Abbott joined Odyssey’s Board of Directors in June 2015 and was appointed as Chairman of the Audit Committee in June 2016. He is the Chief Financial Officer of Altos Hornos de Mexico, S.A.B de C.V. (“AHMSA”), parent company of MINOSA. Previously from 2007 to 2013, Mr. Abbott served as Chief Executive Officer of MeetMe Inc. (Nasdaq: MEET), a leading U.S. social network for meeting new people. Mr. Abbott currently serves as Chairman of The Meet Group’s Board of Directors. From 1992 to 2005, Mr. Abbott held several positions within J.P. Morgan’s Latin America Mergers & Acquisitions team, working in both New York and Sao Paulo. Mr. Abbott earned his B.A. degree in History from Stanford University and M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

                James S. Pignatelli

                James S. Pignatelli joined Odyssey’s Board of Directors in 2015. He serves as an independent member of the Board of Directors of Altos Hornos de Mexico, S.A.B. de C.V. He is also a director of ElectroRent Corp. and BlueCross and BlueShield of Arizona.

                Mr. Pignatelli has over 45 years of experience in the electric utility industry. Previously, Mr. Pignatelli served in various roles, including chairman of the Board, CEO, and President of Unisource Energy Services, Inc., and its subsidiary, Tucson Electric Power Co. (TEP). Prior to joining TEP, Mr. Pignatelli served as the president and CEO of Mission Energy Company, a subsidiary of SCE Corp. 

                Mr. Pignatelli holds a B.A. degree in accounting from Claremont Men's College and a J.D. from the University of San Diego.
                 

                Laura L. Barton
                Executive Vice President, Secretary, and Director

                Laura L. Barton is the company Secretary (2015) in addition to her position as Executive Vice President and Director of Communications, which she has held since 2012. In 2019, Mrs. Barton was also appointed to the Odyssey Board of Directors. With over 35 years of business experience including more than 20 years at Odyssey, she has extensive marketing, media, project management, content development, corporate governance, investor relations, management and strategic planning experience.  

                  Jon D. Sawyer

                  Jon D. Sawyer  joined the Board of Directors in November 2009 and has served as chairman of the Governance and Nominating Committee since June 2015 and the Compensation Committee since March 2011. He also served as chairman of the Governance and Nominating Committee from June 2010 to June 2011. Mr. Sawyer opened his own securities law firm in January 2014 in Denver, Colorado, and he retired from his securities law practice in January 2018. Prior to that he was a practicing securities lawyer with the firm of Jin, Schauer & Saad, LLC in Denver, Colorado, where he worked from March 2009 until December 2013. He started his securities law career working for the Denver Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission as a trial attorney from 1976 to 1979. He worked the next 27 years practicing securities law in private practice, and during this time he served as securities counsel for Odyssey from 1997 to 2006. He was a partner with the Denver law firm of Krys, Boyle, P.C. from November 1996 until June 2007. From June 2007 until March 2009 he was a co-owner and worked full time in various capacities including President and general counsel for Professional Recovery Systems, LLC, a privately held financial services firm engaged in the business of purchasing, selling and collecting portfolios of consumer charged-off debt.

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