Meet Our Team

The WeWhale team all come to the project because of their deep interest in conserving and protecting whales. And they are all passionate about providing an eco-friendly, whale-friendly experience for those who wish to observe our ocean giants. Find out more about our team below.


Janek Andre

Founder & CEO

Born in Germany and living in Spain for more than 10 years, Janek is a serial entrepreneur with a track record of setting up various international businesses and enabling them to grow.
He founded WeWhale based on his deep admiration for whales and dolphins and his belief that whale watching and observation are key in helping people understand more about these magnificent animals.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

I’ve been fascinated by whales since childhood and even my first drawing as a child was an Orca.
Creating the first completely emission free and silent whale observation fleet bringing whales and dolphins closer to humans, making people aware of their existence, and protecting them with our separate protection projects, together with the like-minded WeWhale team, is an extreme honour for me.

Mercedes Reyes

Managing Director Tenerife & Head of Cetacean Conservation

Mercedes, born in Tenerife is a Marine Biologist (MSc Marine Mammal Science), with over 20 years of experience on cetacean research and conservation. Her main interests are dolphin behaviour, bioacoustics, cymatics and interspecies communication. Since she was a little girl, she wanted to understand dolphins, their language and their connection to humans.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

Reinventing an industry which hasn’t experienced any innovation in the last 70 years is truly a challenge but at the same time a huge motivation. In the end it’s all for “them”, our family and friends in the ocean! Offering the most animal and environmentally friendly whale and dolphin watching excursions combined with knowledge-based experiences for our guests on board is simply unique.

Lisa Jewell

Communications Manager

Lisa lives in Dublin, Ireland, and is the Communications Manager for WeWhale. She began her career as a journalist and editor, and subsequently has moved into various roles in communications, marketing and project management. She has worked on communication and education projects with different marine sector organisations in Ireland. She loves to incorporate whale watching opportunities into holidays, at home or abroad!

What does WeWhale mean to you?

Working together and sharing a vision to bring more awareness and protection to our ocean’s whales and dolphins. Leading the way forward in responsible, eco-friendly whale watching and building a community of like-minded people with deep appreciation for whales.


Mónica Zaldumbide Alcocer

Operations & Marketing Manager

Mónica dedicates herself to impactful projects, aspiring to be a positive force for change. Passionate about disruptive initiatives, she contributes to social impact, ocean conservation, and protection projects.
With diverse roles in communication, marketing, business development, and creating strategic alliances, she specialises in optimising supply chain strategies. Mónica, a storyteller, values transparent messaging. Beyond work, she finds joy in tacos, outdoor activities, dancing, art, and nature.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

WeWhale offers a unique opportunity to experience awe and the transformative power of small actions, guiding our care, protection, and revolutionary efforts for cetaceans. Joining the WeWhale team entails fervently contributing to the fight against the climate crisis, actively participating in a project that promotes sustainable practices. Immersing oneself in this commitment, one cannot help but feel small in the face of the enormous power of a whale and grasp the immensity of the living ocean we seek to preserve.

Tadeo Fittipaldi

Project Manager (Nautical Operations)

Born in Argentina, Tadeo has been living in Spain for seven years. He has travelled a lot throughout his life for work and pleasure. He loves spending time in nature, and enjoys sailing, diving and skiing.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

WeWhale for me has the perfect balance between being a family and tourism and a totally environmentally friendly and sustainable agency. When I was given the opportunity to do my bit for this cause, I did not hesitate for a second. I think that balance today is not easy to find.

Gonzalo Apesteguía

Boat Captain & Tour Lead 'La Santa María'

Gonzalo was born in Madrid. He has always been passionate about animal welfare, the ocean and marine biology. Following his passion for diving and underwater photography, he has worked and travelled around the world.
Through collaborations with NGOs, Gonzalo has contributed to protecting marine life and gained experience in conservation initiatives: turtle nesting, coral reef restoration and dolphin rehabilitation.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

WeWhale embodies a responsible company offering a mindful whale watching experience. Thanks to our electric and silent fleet, we are more respectful with the animals during our encounters. WeWhale’s non-profit association also takes part in wildlife and ocean conservation projects which is very meaningful to me.
With WeWhale, I can combine my love for sailing the ocean with my desire to spread awareness about conservation for cetaceans.


Patricia Villanueva Almagro

Marine Biologist - Lanzarote

Patricia had a passion for animals from a very young age, when she would choose to watch documentaries instead of cartoons. After studying Biology at university, she discovered the world of sailing and, since then, she has committed to different projects onboard, always combining environmental education, social causes and marine conservation.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

WeWhale for me is achieving a task that I find crucial nowadays: bringing valuable scientific knowledge closer to society. This way, everyone can get to know these magnificent animals and be willing to contribute to protect them and our oceans.
To do this in a much more ethical way, respecting them and not polluting their environment feels just logical and is such an honour for me.


Matt Oscar Juris

Marine Biologist - Tenerife

Born in The Netherlands, with a Dutch mother and Italian father, Matt has lived mainly in the South of Tenerife.

Spending most of his life around the ocean, he has always been passionate about the marine environment and its conservation. He enjoys activities like snorkelling and diving, which he has been doing since a young age.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

WeWhale for me embodies all the best things of whale watching. Aiming to enjoy nature, being as respectful as possible with the animals, and with their welfare as the main priority.

Board Members

Benjamin Broll

Benjamin is the Managing Director Technology at NEXT Munich and is responsible for operations and technology. Benjamin has a 20+ year track record as a founder and technologist, specifically focusing on all things mobile. Outside of the business world, Benjamin is married and is a proud father to his daughter.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

WeWhale combines environmental protection and animal welfare, two topics that are very dear to my heart. I am glad that I am able to support these causes, making the world a tiny bit of a better place!

Thomas Garanin

Thomas is the Managing Director of NEXT Munich and has run digital businesses for more than 20 years. Nowadays, he prefers business models closer related to nature, very much likes to hang out with his family and enjoys playing tennis.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

WeWhale has purpose, potential and is also a source of enjoyment and fulfilment. As climate change is the most pressing issue we face, we need to do all we can to help protect our environment including our marine ecosystems, and whales play a vital role in that. The potential for WeWhale with its eco-friendly whale watching offerings is great – it’s operating in a highly fragmented market that isn’t currently focusing on ecology and sustainability issues in an impactful way.

Lutz Nagel

Lutz is currently Vice President Finance of FlixBus, a European scale-up based in Germany. Previous to this role, he was responsible for finance in several small and medium sized companies, particularly in the media sector.

He completed his Executive MBA at IESE Business School. Outside of the business world, Lutz is married and has a daughter, who recently turned three.

What does WeWhale mean to you?

I love the start-up spirit and I also love the sea and this brings both of those together in one exciting project. I got to know Janek and we both felt we needed to do something together. There are lots of very good reasons to be part of the WeWhale journey and WeWhale team.