Oregon Policy Manager
Growing up on the Central Oregon Coast within the Siuslaw Watershed, I got a sense of the importance of protecting healthy ecosystems & special places at an early age. Now as the Oregon Policy Manager with the Surfrider Foundation, I have the honor and privilege of working with the Oregon Chapters and activists to protect ocean and coastal ecosystems along the entire Oregon Coast.
Brooke Simler Smith is the Executive Director of COMPASS (Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea), which works to communicate ocean conservation science to policy-makers and the media. Since 1999, COMPASS has facilitated the promotion of ocean science stories in the news, connected leading marine researchers to decision-makers to ensure policy discussions are informed by the latest science and by scientists themselves, and catalyzed new scientific research intended to respond to ocean policy needs.
Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager
You are probably wondering: Why should I give my time, effort, or money to support Surfrider? For most of us it comes down to a special place that we love—a beach, a wave, a cove—that is under threat of disappearing or changing forever. Think about your happy place; what would you do without it?
Shaun Tomson was born in the coastal town of Durban, South Africa in 1955. "Surfing gripped me hard and fast from the start, passionately and obsessively, from the first moment I stood up on my little red board in the Indian Ocean. That feeling of excitement, of standing up high and rushing across a wave, looking out on the world, has kept me paddling back out, year after year, decade after decade. " Shaun went on to become one of the world's greatest surfers, winning events all over the world from Hawaii to Japan, culminating in the surfing world's top honor, the World Pro Title in 1977. He competed on the pro tour for 16 years, winning 19 professional events, and at the time was both the youngest and oldest surfer to win a professional event. He was a true surfing innovator, developing a revolutionary and radical new technique for riding inside the tube of waves in the dangerous surf of Hawaii.
Southern California Regional Manager
The very first Surfrider Foundation meeting I attended, I drove home the new Chair of the Malibu Chapter. Following a rather organic lifelong path that ebbed and flowed around art, music, and the ocean, I felt I had finally found something that really got all my synapses firing off all at once. I wasn't going to let that opportunity pass me by!
A lifetime surfer who grew up on the beaches of California, going to the beach with his father as early as he could walk. Currently works as President of WWA, consulting with worldwide brands and retailers including major surf and outdoor brands. Over twenty years of experience in apparel retail, and footwear consulting, and technology sales, installation & support. He has owned and operated two retail operations in Utah and spends as much time with his family outdoors and on the beach as he can possibly manage.
Ocean Friendly Gardens Program Coordinator
Though I grew up in a rural LA suburb with lots of natural open space, it wasn't until I moved back to it after college that I hiked the hills. Working a few stints on small, organic farms between community organizing jobs grounded me a bit more. Helping Chapters run Ocean Friendly Gardens Programs gives us a great tool to help people prevent urban runoff and restore a bit of the hills in their yards.
As ‘Rise Above Plastics’ Coordinator, I am excited to be tackling plastic pollution issues that are affecting the marine environment. I grew up on the East Coast and was fortunate to have grandparents who lived near the beach in Delaware. At the age of six, I wanted to be like my big brother so I ‘borrowed’ his surfboard at every chance and caught the surfing bug early on. All my early memories are of clean beaches but later in high school and through college I started to see and feel the impact of litter and pollution.
People may wonder why a girl who grew up in land-locked San Antonio, Texas is now working for the Surfrider Foundation. Starting with a move to California for law school, I quickly learned to love the surfing and snowboarding that California has to offer. This drove my desire to protect our beautiful natural environment and help others to enjoy the outdoors!
It starts with me... I don't know exactly when I first started loving the ocean, but it seems I have always loved it. Some could say its because I was born and raised on the coasts of Southern California. Or perhaps its because I was most likely some kind of sea animal in another life. Whatever the case, the ocean has been, and always will be many, many things to me. It nourishes my soul like food nourishes my body. It satiates my senses and rejuvenates my spirit. It awakens me from the trance imposed by an insensible world. To me, the ocean represents freedom, expression, tranquility, adventure, new beginnings, and... hope.
Washington Policy Manager
I work to protect, restore and enable access to the amazing coastline of Washington State. I connect with community leaders, elected officials and coastal managers, but it’s not my voice that resonates with decision makers – it’s our members’. The passion and dedication with which our members speak out and take action is why we are improving the health of our oceans and coast and why I love working with the Surfrider Foundation.
Director of Marketing
I’m living the dream. Having grown-up in Texas two hours away from the Gulf coast, I feel incredibly lucky to have so many memories on the beach and in the water. Thanks to my mom’s huge love of our oceans and my dad’s passion for fishing, I grew up with a deep appreciation for our coasts and all bodies of water.
Director of Chapters
So here I am, four CEO’s later, 60 new chapters, new friends made and some friends gone. A fancy Director of Chapters title, tools incorporated into our outreach efforts that only a few dreamed of way back in 1992, regional staff in the field to assist our chapter network, training conferences hosted around the globe and too many bands later to remember the names.