About Suncoast Chapter

Suncoast Surfrider logo_back

BACKGROUND

A little over 25 years ago, three people in Malibu, California found out that their favorite wave was about to be destroyed.

Think about something you love – something that gives you joy – taken away.

First Point, pictured below, was the quintessential perfect California wave that was about to be destroyed. Those three people organized and worked with the local municipalities until they were satisfied that their efforts to preserve that iconic wave would be successful.

This was the genesis of Surfrider Foundation.

MISSION

Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that seeks to protect and enjoy our oceans, waves, and beaches through a powerful, grassroots, activist network. We work on many levels from local to global with chapters in 18 countries and 27 states. Our non-profit status means that we depend on volunteers – you! – to make real change happen.

We don’t want to just protect the environment, we want to create a world where the environment doesn’t need protecting. You don’t have to be a surfer to understand the importance of protecting our water resources and coasts for future generations.

We’re business owners and beach lovers, kids and parents, paddlers and bikers, blondes and blue-hairs, volunteers and activists – we’re you! We’re engaged to protect what we love: oceans, waves, and beaches.

Protect What You Love

SUNCOAST CHAPTER

The Suncoast Chapter proudly upholds Surfrider’s mission on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Our territory expands from the marshy coastline of Citrus County to the emerald green waters of Marco Island.

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SUNCOAST CHAPTER LEADERSHIP

And the run down on these weirdos.

Chair – Thomas Paterek

thomasWhat’s your background?
I like long walks on the beach…

What other organizations do you work or volunteer with?
Surfrider, Big Bro Big Sister, SYRV, Crescent Heights Neighborhood Association, Williams Park Committee, Engage St Pete

What’s your favorite surf spot or outdoor location to chill?
Anywhere with a steep face, crescent shaped reef and most importantly a spot for my dog Kojak to watch – Favorite spot ever? Uluwatu Bali

Why is Surfrider’s mission important to you/Why are you a Surfrider member?
Because Im obsessed with the ocean, what it brings to my life and the importance of acting as its voice for future generations.

What marine or aquatic animal is your favorite?
Pelican = My Spirit Animal

What’s your favorite quote?
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Vice Chair – Jennifer Rubiello

jenWhat’s your background ?
Libra who grew up in France then in CA. Made my way to Florida after college, and fell in love with the Sunshine State. I have a really cool job where I get paid to protect the environment and train young people how to do that too.

What other organizations do you work or volunteer with?
Environment Florida as my day job & Awake Pinellas, Venture House, Green Corps, Sierra Club for volunteer things…it varies

What do you do for fun?
Lots of water things like water-skiing, swimming, snorkeling, and other land based things like skiing, running, or picnicking in a park while reading a book. I love to spend time outside, ideally with friends and family.

What’s your unusual talent?
I can make funny animal faces.

What marine or aquatic animal is your favorite?
MANATEES.

Who inspires you?
People who get up everyday and fight for our environment and our human rights, despite very powerful industries, corporations and individuals, even when it’s hard and there’s no reward.

What’s your favorite quote?
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -MLK

 

Treasurer – Gordon Bonnett

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Secretary – Laura Hum

lauraWhat’s your background?
Canadian, speech-language pathologist

What’s your favorite surf spot or outdoor location to chill?
Sunset beach, Anna Maria island

What do you do for fun?
Recreational sports, Art shows, read, mentor, travel

Why is Surfrider’s mission important to you/Why are you a Surfrider member?
It educates people about preserving our beaches.

What’s your unusual talent?
I can ask several consecutive questions with no shame

What marine or aquatic animal is your favorite, and why?
Clown fish because they are pretty

 

Volunteer Coordinator – Ryan Druyor

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Creative Coordinator – Kat Nolan

katWhat’s your background?
– Metal casting + fabrication

What other organizations do you work or volunteer with?
– Big Brothers Big Sisters

What’s your favorite surf spot or outdoor location to chill?
– Underwater

What do you do for fun?
– Sculpt, draw, skate, bake

Why is Surfrider’s mission important to you/Why are you a Surfrider member?
– I love the ocean and owe it a few favors.

What’s your unusual talent?
– I can eat anything.

What marine or aquatic animal is your favorite, and why?
– Moon Jellyfish, when part of it breaks it doesn’t grow back, just realigns its symmetry.

Who inspires you?
– Malcolm X is bae

What’s your favorite quote?
– “Embrace the grey”

Communications Guru – Jessica Lewis

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What’s your background?
I’m a Marine Biologist. Yeah. Really.

What’s your favorite surf spot or outdoor location to chill?
OBX, Gulf coast beaches, and all the cool state parks in Florida

Why is Surfrider’s mission important to you?
Protecting and enjoying oceans, waves, and beaches comes naturally to me. We can all do more!

What’s your unusual talent?
I know a lot of random scientific names.

What marine or aquatic animal is your favorite, and why?
Psychrolutes marcidus

What’s your favorite quote?
“Be excellent to each other.”

 

Rise Above Plastics Committee Chair – Kinsley McEachern

kinsleyWhat’s your background?
Naples, Florida -Floridian born and raised! Master’s of Science Graduate Student in Environmental Science and Policy at USF St. Petersburg, Taurus/Aries (on da cusp)

What other organizations do you work or volunteer with?
Suncoast Sierra Club, Pathfinder Outdoor Experiential Education, Pet Pal Animal Shelter

What do you do for fun?
longboard with my Nala girl, danceeee, kayak, run, hike, explore and adventure in nature in and around the ocean and on beautiful planet earth

Why is Surfrider’s mission important to you/Why are you a Surfrider member?
I feel the most at peace listening to the ocean and watching the waves. Educating others and protecting nature puts in perspective the bigger meaning to life and truly humbles you.

What marine or aquatic animal is your favorite?
Sea turtle and sharks!

Who inspires you?
Dr. Syliva Earle, Jane Goodall and all the amazing environmentalists and grass root activists that will stand up against greed and selfishness and power to protect our oceans and our planet.

What’s your favorite quote?
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
― Rachel Carson

 

Sarasota Area Organizer – John Kurz

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Board Member At-Large – Scott Orsini

scottWhat’s your background?
I grew up in Titusville near Cape Kennedy, did undergrad at UCF (where I was on the Surf Team), law school at Stetson, I’m a Virgo, I have been married for 14 years and have 3 kids ages 9,11 and 22. I have a small law practice in St Pete.

What other organizations do you work or volunteer with?
Sierra Club

What’s your favorite surf spot or outdoor location to chill?
Sunset Beach

What do you do for fun?
Surf, read, ride bikes, spend time with my boys

Why is Surfrider’s mission important to you?
I have been passionate about the ocean all my life and someone needs to look after it.

What marine or aquatic animal is your favorite, and why?
Octopus because of its intellect

Who inspires you?
President Obama and my father

 

 

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SURFRIDER FOUNDATION HQ LEADERSHIP

CEO – Chad Nelsen

Florida Regional Director – Holly Parker

 


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