The Surfrider Foundation Announces the Addition of Four New Board Members
The Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our ocean, waves, and beaches, for all people, through a powerful activist network, announced the addition of four new members to Surfrider’s Board of Directors: Christina Blaustein, Toni Cordero, Jad Dayeh, and Penn Newhard.
“I am very excited and humbled to have Christina, Toni, Jad, and Penn join the Surfrider Foundation Board of Directors. They bring a wide range of skills and perspectives including environmental justice legal expertise, fundraising, storytelling, and the ability to help us greatly expand our network, which are essential for Surfrider to meet our ambitious goals,” said Surfrider’s CEO Dr. Chad Nelsen.
Christina Blaustein spent her formative years in New England between the ocean and the mountains, cultivating a deep connection to her natural environment. Since graduating from Middlebury College in 1999, she has dedicated much of her energy to conservation efforts. Blaustein is a former commercial fisherwoman in Alaska, giving her long-lasting impressions about ocean conservation efforts and the fishing industry. Over the years, Christina has served on boards and worked in fundraising and development for women's rights, eradicating zoonotic diseases, cancer research, and scholarships for underprivileged youths. In 2012, Christina launched FlowCoach, an Executive Coaching firm with a focus on career transition and leadership skills. Today, Christina splits her time between the land and the sea — as an herbalist, teaching students about plant-based medicine, and as a volunteer and former executive committee member of the Eastern Long Island Surfrider Chapter. She and her family can often be found on the beach or in the waves at Ditch Plains in Montauk. “Coming from a family of avid sailors, I learned early on that the ocean was a place to heal, play, contemplate, and provide sustenance. Over the years, as a surfer and volunteer, I have witnessed the power that the Surfrider Foundation has harnessed through their grassroots network and legal action — to revitalize and protect our coastal environments,” stated Blaustein. “The greatest legacy I can leave our children is a world where they can share and enjoy the beauty of our natural environments — particularly our ocean, waves, and beaches.
Toni Cordero is a native of Santa Barbara, California, an enrolled member of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, and a paddler of a traditional tomol (plank canoe) on the Chumash community’s annual crossing of the Santa Barbara Channel. She is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples and also served on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California for almost 20 years, where she co-founded the Committee on Civil Rights and the Environment. Before retiring in May 2020, Cordero served almost 25 years with the California Attorney General’s Office, where she spent the bulk of her career working on civil rights and environmental justice issues. She also served as Chief of Legal Affairs from 2017 to 2019, wherein Ms. Cordero was a member of the Attorney General’s executive team and directed the work of the office’s 1,200 attorneys. She received her law degree from Stanford University, a Master of Science degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California.
Jad Dayeh was born in Syria, moved to Ohio when he was seven years old, and graduated cum laude from Ohio State University. Dayeh currently resides in Malibu, CA, with his wife Jessica Sebastian and their son Jax. He previously ran his own finance and real estate firm before joining the ranks of the William Morris Agency in 2008, where he has stayed through the two subsequent mergers that have led to the creation of WME and the broader Endeavor platform. Dayeh’s focus and expertise are in the financing, sale, and distribution of content in today’s increasingly complex media landscape. In addition to his work in content packaging, Dayeh has created a niche within the company’s music and marketing divisions, connecting them both to the world of content. Dayeh’s client list includes Mass Appeal, Tremolo Productions, Supper Club, and Night Studio. Dayeh also specializes in building artist-driven media companies such as those of Pharrell Williams (I Am Other), Robert Downey Jr. (Team Downey), Lewis Hamilton (Dawn Apollo Productions), Snoop Dogg (Death Row), and Rick Rubin (Shangri La Studios). As a natural extension of his role across traditional and new media, Dayeh also represents a variety of talent, including Usher, Matthew McConaughey, J Balvin, Bruno Mars, and Killer Mike with a focus on applying their creativity across the world of film, tv and content in all forms. On joining Surfrider’s Board of Directors, Dayeh said, “I’ve long been inspired by Surfrider and their relentless commitment to ocean conservation through awareness, engagement, and community action. Most of all I’m eager to contribute to a cause that aligns with my passion for a sustainable and vibrant planet and to do what I can to help this increasingly important mission succeed.”
Penn Newhard is an entrepreneur, adventurer, and dedicated family man. A graduate of Brown University (’86) with degrees in Political Science and Organizational Behavior and Management, he spent time in finance in NYC before moving out west to pursue his passion for the outdoors. Settling in Aspen, CO, Penn is the founder and co-CEO of Backbone Media, a leading agency in the active lifestyle space. Backbone has been consistently listed as one of Outside Magazine’s ‘Best Places to Work’ focusing on earned and paid media, affiliate, SEO, social media and performance digital. Penn has previous Board experience working with Protect Our Winters, The Outdoor Policy Outfit, 5 Point Film Festival and OceanFest. He also is co-author of ‘50 Classic Ski Descents in North America’ with Chris Davenport and Art Burrows. Penn bounced around during his childhood, including 6 formative years in Bermuda, where his respect and admiration grew for the ocean. Currently residing in Hanalei, Kauai, Penn remains dedicated to his work, family and chasing adventures on the waves and in the mountains. “The mission of Surfrider, to protect the world’s oceans, coast and climate is something we all need to lean into as individuals and a society at-large,” explained Newhard. “I am thrilled to join the Surfrider team to learn from them, work alongside their local, regional and national teams, and contribute to campaigns to safeguard our mother ocean for future generations.”
About Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s ocean, waves, and beaches, for all people, through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over one million supporters, activists and members, with more than 200 volunteer-led chapters and student clubs in the U.S., and more than 800 victories protecting our coasts. Learn more at surfrider.org.