The Team

Our Team

Des Rogers - Managing Director

Qualifications: Quantity Surveyor, Dublin Institute Technology, Dublin, Ireland

On his return to Ireland from Canada in 1987 Des established Ireland’s first self storage company Easi Mini Storage. Along-side the self storage business he developed a file and records storage business called Data & Records Management (now trading as Wincanton Records Management). To develop the business he obtained investment from Delta Partners, an Irish development capital company and appointed a professional Managing Director. These businesses were sold to P&O plc in 2000 for €10.67m giving Delta Partners a 10x return on their investment.
In 1996 Des established Sterile Technologies, a Dublin based clinical/medical waste company. To develop the business he obtained investment from Yeoman International, the investment vehicle of well respected Irish businessman Paul Coulson and appointed a professional Managing Director. The company expanded both organically and by way of acquisition in Ireland and the UK. Sterile Technologies was sold to Stericycle Inc in 2006 for €110m giving Yeoman a 18x return on their investment.
Since 2006 Des has applied the capital of RGI to a range of quoted and unquoted investments and companies across a diverse range of sectors including technology, telecoms, waste, file storage and leisure.

 

Bob McDowell - Primary Technical Consultant

Bob McDowell’s 30-year career as a visionary entrepreneur was the catalyst that moved the amphibious sightseeing industry from a few regional operations to a leading national presence in tourism. His engineering expertise, passion for quality, strategic vision and management expertise transformed Ride The Ducks into the premiere amphibious sightseeing operator in the United States.

Beginning in the late 1970’s and throughout the early years of the company’s development, McDowell was personally responsible for overseeing every aspect of the business including land acquisitions, facility design and construction, business operations, marketing and strategic planning. In addition, McDowell conceived and directed the development, design of Duck vehicles to exceed the safety standards set forth by the United States Coast Guard and state-specific Departments of Motor Vehicles.

Bob McDowell, spent 30 years at the helm for Ride The Ducks. His commitment to continuous improvement stimulated the amazing growth of the Branson operation and the expansion of the company into multiple markets. Development of superior Duck vehicles and constant enhancements of the guest tour experience were the company’s hallmarks of success.

Bob currently serves as an independent consultant to review amphibious site selections, tour route and ramp development, facility acquisitions, organizational structure, zoning, permits and regulatory approvals. Recognized as the leader in the industry, Bob has served as the expert on amphibious sightseeing vehicles and operations for private entities as well as for the National Transportation and Safety Board and the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Center.

In addition to his expertise in amphibious vehicles and operations, Bob has developed new business concepts, built and operated a 111 unit hotel property, a 300 seat restaurant, gift shops, concessions, and a souvenir photo operation.

Fergal Rogers - Viking Splash Tours Operations Director

Fergal Rogers worked in Estate Agency for 2 years before joining up with Des Rogers and establishing Dublin’s first self-storage company in 1982.  Des and Fergal subsequently set up Data & Records Management Ltd, a company responsible for the offsite storage and retrieval of confidential documents and computer media. Fergal Rogers’ primary role was as operations director.

Dr Ian Thompson - Engineering Manager

Qualifications: Mechanical Engineering Degree, Queens University Belfast
Ian was educated at Methodist College Belfast from 1996-2003. He was awarded a scholarship to Queen's University Belfast to read Mechanical Engineering in 2003. He graduated with a first in 2008 after having spent a total of 18 months working within Ulster Carpet Mills' R&D department during various placements. He went on to read for a PhD in Turbo compounding with respect to engine and vehicle simulation. He graduated in July 2011 and started working at BP's global fuels and lubricant's headquarters in Pangbourne, England. There, he developed new engine and lubricant tests, working closely with manufacturers and industry bodies. He started with Salamander in September of 2012 and currently manages the  design and manufacturing project of the new vehicle.

Ian has held the position of chairman of the Northern Ireland IMechE's young member panel on two separate occasions and has won a number of awards from The Queen's University of Belfast and the Royal Society of Engineering. He is enthusiastic and passionate about vehicles and has gained many years experience in hands on roles within the industry. He is looking forward to tackling this new venture.

Steven Barr - Senior Design Engineer

Qualifications: Mechanical Engineering Degree, Queens University Belfast

After graduating from Queens University in 1996, Steven worked for FG Wilson for sixteen years.

Starting off as a design engineer in the new product development department, he then benefited from several different roles, including 3D modelling and data management, 6 sigma process improvement, engineering team leader and finally heading a team of manufacturing engineers responsible for implementing new product designs in the fabrication facilities.

Steven has been a chartered engineer since 2003, a chartered 6 sigma black belt and has further developed through courses in project management and IOSH safety management among others.

Having spent many years facing the challenges of implementing change in a large corporation, Steven is excited about applying his experience to a small team environment, facing a fresh and exciting challenge.

Andy Colhoun - Electrical Engineer

Andy was educated in Southern Africa and went on to get qualifications in the Auto Electrical field. His interests in the vehicle sector have allowed him to gain experience in vehicle air conditioning, black box data logging, automotive electronics and CCTV. Since moving to Northern Ireland in 2001 he has worked at Browns Coachworks on some of their “interesting projects” and in the fire appliance manufacturing plant. Andy joined Salamander in January 2013.

Chris Allen - Production Manager

Christopher attended Ballymena Academy from 1997-2004, he then went to Queen University Belfast studying Mechanical Engineering. For his years placement he worked for Kingspan Renewables as a junior Project Engineer where he worked on automating manual processes some of which are now in their new factory in Portadown.

After graduating in 2009 he worked for MDF part of SDC as a Business Improvement Co-ordinator working on several projects from Lasers, plasmas and press brakes improving efficiencies and work flow. In February 2011 Christopher moved to Wrightbus in the position of Front Line Manager where he managed a team of 50 men, during his time there the New Bus For London was developed and his team starting building them on the production line.

Christopher’s next move was in the middle of July 2013 where he started with Maine Surface Finishing, there he managed with build of sub-contracted quarry machines, conveyors and other large assemblies from order to finished product.

Christopher started his new role in April 2016 as Production Manager with Salamander AV, he is excited with the challenges and opportunities this new role will present and looking forward to making it a success.

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