Joanne Stewart, Founder and Chair
Jo moved to Singapore from London in 2002 to pursue a career with Capital International, a global investment management company. In five years she rose to a regional senior management role and became Assistant Vice President.
When Tribob (a triathlon training club in Singapore of which Jo was a member) proposed initiating a Central Vietnam swimming program in 2007, Jo jumped at the opportunity to give back to the community. Jo left her role in investment management and travelled to Vietnam to start and run the program
The swimming program was initially intended to run for three to six months, but demand was overwhelming and the program proved so successful that ten years later Swim Vietnam has grown into one of the region’s oldest and most respected drowning prevention NGOs.
Jo worked full time with Swim Vietnam for seven years before transitioning to an advisory role on the Board of Trustees. During this time she nurtured many of the key partnerships still in place today.
She continues to be passionate about water safety and survival swimming in Vietnam, and has dedicated the past few years to opening the Australian based Paul Sadler Swimland swim school in Ho Chi Minh City.
Having successfully transitioned both Swim Vietnam and PSS HCMC to well trained local management teams Jo is travelling (by taking the long route round) back to Scotland to be closer to her family and looks forward to continuing to influence drowning prevention through her role on the Swim Vietnam Board and her work in the UK.
David Hurt, Trustee
With over 15 years’ experience working as a swimming coach and lifeguard and managing a swim school in Australia, Swim Vietnam was fortunate to host David as a drowning prevention volunteer from 2014 to 2016.
During this time David helped develop Swim Vietnam’s water safety and lifesaving training, and promoted us a recognised leading training centre in Vietnam for water safety education and drowning prevention initiatives.
It’s this passion and experience that makes David such an asset to the Swim Vietnam board.
“I am very excited to become a new member of the Trustee for the Swim Vietnam Charity and hope that my understanding and knowledge from having worked closely with the staff and community in Hoi An and the Quang Nam will enable me to provide new direction and advice moving forward into the future success of this wonderful organisation.”
David currently works for Royal Life Saving Australia to help promote CPR, first aid and pool lifeguard training courses in Australia.
In his free time David enjoys surfing and fishing. He live in Kingscliff, Northern New South Wales with his wife. He has two grown children, Lynton and Letarcia.
William Allen, Treasurer
William has been a trustee with Swim Vietnam since the very beginning, all the way back in 2008. His background is business and banking, and William has worked around the world for various banks in their capital markets businesses.
Triathlon and racing in Vietnam first brought William into contact with the people of Hoi An, and with it the opportunity to help establish Swim Vietnam with Jo Stewart. William has loved bringing his own expertise to the organisation to help grow it into what it is today.
William lives in Melbourne with his family where he works as an equity fund manager. Aussie Rules football, triathlons and his kids remain his extracurricular passions.
William believes that all children should have access to swimming lessons.
Sam Miller Hicks, Trustee
Sam has over 20 years’ experience in small business development, social enterprises and impact investing. Her work has spanned multiple industries, including international finance, clean tech, green building, fair trade artisanal products, hospitality and education in Europe, Asia, Africa and the US.
In Vietnam, Sam worked in Hoi An for 4 years and helped social enterprises grow and achieve their goals through her sustainable business consultancy, Xanh Consulting LLC.
Sam helped establish the Soros Foundation’s first Graduate Program in Economics before working in corporate and investment banking for Citibank in Prague and London and for the medical device industry in North America and Asia. Sam holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Czechoslovak Management Center/Katz School of Business.
She currently works as Global Head of Impact for Advance Global Capital, an investment manager based in London which is dedicated to financial inclusion. She is also CEO of Money in Motion, a single family office located in San Francisco dedicated to creating more economic opportunities in underserved communities with a focus on women, financial inclusion, and catalyzing social mobility.
Sam lives in Mill Valley California with her husband and their 5 year-old son. In her free time, Sam enjoys playing soccer, riding bikes and generally trying to keep up with her son and husband.