Reef Check Board of Directors

Reef Check Board of Directors

 

Honorary Chair

Dr. Sylvia Earle

Oceanographer and Conservationist

 

Board of Directors


Perry Roshan-Zamir - Chair

General Counsel – Cabo Cantina

 

Perry Roshan-Zamir is the general counsel for Cabo Cantina and practices franchise law in Santa Monica. He received his bachelors in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California in 1989, his J.D. From Whittier College School of Law in 1992 and his Masters in Business Taxation from University of Southern California in 1996. He is a certified specialist in franchise law with experience in the restaurant industry. Perry is a certified diving instructor, well traveled and has had the privilege of diving in every continent. He is a member of the board of directors of Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council (HRC) which is a partnership of community organizations, institutions, businesses, and individuals which promotes and supports a respectful and socially just community through education, advocacy, and resolution of local conflicts and issues.


Linden Wolbert - Vice Chair

Mermaids in Motion

 

With a BA in Film and Science (underwater cinematography) from Emerson College in Boston, Linden shares the life aquatic with others via underwater wildlife documentary films. Mermaid Minute, her educational ocean web series for kids, "edutains" young viewers about an array of animals and ocean life. Her passion is reaching as many children as possible with her message of conservation, education and exploration thereby transforming them into our world's youngest ocean ambassadors.

As a PADI Master Scuba Diver, underwater model and full time professional mermaid through her company, Mermaids in Motion, Linden would spend all of her time in the water if her hands didn't get so pruny! An International AIDA Freediving Judge since 2006, she travels the globe to officiate world records that span far beneath the ocean's surface. Linden is delighted to be a member of the board of Reef Check, which she learned of a decade ago through her favorite underwater documentary, Coral Reef Adventure.


Evan Birenbaum

Chief Operating Officer, Chai, Inc.

 

As COO for Chai Inc., Evan Birenbaum is responsible for all things related to business strategy and development, energy-market dynamics, customer engagement, disruptive technologies, and day-to-day business operations. Chai is building products that give consumers a simple and mobile way to understand and reduce their energy use by up to 20 percent. Leveraging these consumer products, Chai will provide multiple services for utility companies, including customer engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, and interactive demand response.

Prior to joining Chai, Evan was the program manager for Environmental Strategy and Sustainability at Southern California Edison (SCE), where he was responsible for the development, strategy, and implementation of SCE's corporate responsibility and sustainability program. He worked with company executives, business managers, regulators, NGO's, and internal and external stakeholders to identify and prioritize emerging issues in order to address challenges related to climate change, water impact, habitat protection and biodiversity, and energy and water availability. He has been partly responsible for Edison's charitable contributions in the area of environmental giving. Evan also works with the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator to develop sustainable jobs in Southern California.



Helen Brierley

Independent Fundraiser

 

Helen Brierley graduated from the London School of Economics and earned her Master's degree in Economic Development from London University's School of Oriental and African Studies. She started her career in investment banking in New York and London, moving on to commercial real estate and fund raising in Hong Kong and later back in the UK. She moved to Los Angeles with her family in 2010 where she has been involved in fund raising and joined Reef Check in 2013. She has always had a passion for anything marine related - she has been an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer for 30 years, and races sailboats out of Marina Del Rey at every opportunity.


Matthew Bullock

Technology Consultant

 

Matt is an avid surfer, mountain biker, hiker, snowboarder, musician, world traveler and investor, with a passion for ocean health and a love for the outdoors.

Matt's career in technology includes CRM consulting for Fortune 500 clients with Deloitte Consulting and leading operational Master Data Management and data quality strategy for Toyota Financial Services.

At Toyota, Matt also led volunteer events and built technology solutions benefitting youth-oriented nonprofits throughout Southern California, and he completed the Riordan Volunteer Leadership Development Program, a fellowship preparing professionals for community leadership through service on nonprofit boards. That fellowship, his long-standing love of the ocean, and professional focus on high-quality data driving positive outcomes, were what attracted Matt to Reef Check, where he has served on the Board of Directors since 2014.

Matt is a native of Hermosa Beach and longtime resident of Redondo Beach. He holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.


Sue Chen

Founder & CEO, Nova Medical Products

 

Sue Chen founded Nova Medical Products in 1993 when she was just 23 years old with a strong vision – offer stylish designs and choices to people using mobility equipment. Today, Nova has grown to become an industry leader in Mobility and Bathroom Safety products providing greater independence and well being to people at all stages of life with products that reflect the beauty, style and confidence of their customers. Sue is changing the look and perception of medical equipment and improving the lives of millions of Americans reliant on assistive devices by incorporating fashion and function in products such as designer canes and colorful walkers. Through her trademark "Mobility Makeover", Sue helps customers show their style and pursue an active lifestyle with the help of their mobility equipment.

Most recently, Sue was a finalist for the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, recipient of the Community Leadership Award from the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and named one of the ten Most Powerful Entrepreneurs in Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women issue.

Sue is a Director for NAWBO-LA (National Association of Women Business Owners), YPO member, Trustee of the California Lutheran University Board of Regents, President of Reef Check Foundation and Director of Shark Savers. She is also the author of Confessions of a Walker Stalker, about her experiences changing the way America faces mobility challenges.


Yadi Chou

ADP HR/ BPO Solutions

 

With diverse experience as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and speaker, Yadi Chou brings her experience and passion to organizations and individuals. She was the inventor of Slip N' Toss®, eco-friendly disposable flip flops that were made out of foam + plant starch and also created SPAIR® Sandals, durable foldable flip flops with soles made out of recycled tires. Currently, she helps companies identify profit leaks, employment risk and labor cost stabilization by providing services to assist with Health Care Reform, State & Federal Labor Law Regulations, and Risk & Safety.

A graduate from UC Riverside with a Bachelors of Science in Biology, Yadi gives back to the community by volunteering with multiple non-profit organizations and speaking with students from elementary to college level about the importance of education, goals, and self-motivation.
She enjoys traveling, food, wine and scuba diving.


Scott Gietler

Owner, Bluewater Photo & Bluewater Travel

 

Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel, and the Underwater Photography Guide. Bluewater Photo, based in Culver City, CA is one of the world's largest and most prestigious underwater camera stores, serving many thousands of customers each year, where nothing is more important than customer service. The Underwater Photography Guide is the world's first website to feature free tutorials on underwater photography, and has become the most trafficked resource on underwater photography worldwide. Bluewater Travel is a full-service dive travel wholesaler sending groups and individuals on the world's best dive vacations.

Scott is also an avid diver, underwater photographer, and budding marine biologist, having created the online guide to the underwater flora and fauna of Southern California. He is the past vice-president of the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society, has volunteered extensively at the Santa Monica aquarium, and is the creator of the Ocean Art underwater photo competition, one of the largest underwater international photo competitions ever held in terms of value of prizes. He lives in Marina Del Rey with his wife and kids.


Chris Glaeser - Treasurer

Volunteer and Business Consultant

 

Chris provides personal financial services for seniors, trusts and conservatorships, focusing on the day to day money management of these clients. He previously served as the Director of International Business Development for Reliant Energy International, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions in Asia, Europe, Middle East and South America.

Chris has served on the Reef Check Foundation Board of Directors since 2013. With both dive master and scientific diver certifications, Chris has been a Reef Check volunteer diver since 2010. He also volunteers as a diver with the Aquarium of the Pacific and California Science Center. Chris is a volunteer scientific diver at the USC Wrigley Marine Institute, where he assists with student classes and research.

In other volunteer roles, Chris has served as President of the Kiwanis Club of South Pasadena and as President of the Oneonta Club. He has been a committee chair of the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses and of South Pasadena's Festival of Balloons July 4th Parade.

Chris received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. Spending his teenage years in Guam, Chris freely explored the coral reefs and recognized early on that we must work together to preserve them for future generations.


Gary L. Justice, Esq.

Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher LLP, retired

 

Gary Justice is a retired senior partner who practiced for 32 years in the trial department of the international law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. He received his J.D. in 1979 from Duke University School of Law, where he was an Editor of the Duke Law Journal and was elected to the Order of the Coif. His specialties included insurance coverage litigation, mass torts and land use litigation. Mr. Justice is a scuba diver with over 400 logged dives around the world, including many in California. He has been trained in the Reef Check California protocols. Mr. Justice is passionate about reversing the destruction of our oceans. He has been active on behalf of many other environmental organizations, including the National Parks Association (pro bono litigation), Seacology and the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. For a number of years he was the Board President of Reef Check. He and his wife Cheryl Justice are now organic farmers. They live on their farm near Santa Barbara, CA and grow an exotic fruit known as Australian Finger Limes, or caviar limes.


Robert Kugel

Senior Vice-President, Ventana Research

 

Robert joined Reef Check as a volunteer diver in 2010 and is active in North Central California surveys. His special interest is "diving with great people in cold, dark, surgy and low-visibility conditions." Robert is Senior Vice-President at Ventana Research, an advisory services and benchmark research firm, where he runs the Business and Office of Finance practices.

His focus is on marrying a company's strategic objectives to available information technology to improve performance. He is an authority on the practical application of enterprise software to business needs. Prior to joining Ventana he was an equity research analyst covering aerospace, conglomerates, defense electronics and enterprise software at Drexel Burnham Lambert, Morgan Stanley and First Boston. He also was a consultant with McKinsey & Co. Robert earned a BA in Economics from Hampshire College and an MBA in Finance and Accounting at Columbia University. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.


Russ Lesser

President, Dive N' Surf, Inc.

 

Russ attended Manhattan Beach schools from kindergarten through high school and then graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a degree in accounting. He served in the U.S. Army as a first Lieutenant in the finance corps, then worked as a CPA in the Long Beach based firm of Windes & McClaughry. He was a partner from 1970 to 1990. In 1986 he was elected managing partner. In 1990, when he left the firm to become president of Body Glove International there were about 110 employees at Windes, making it one of the largest single office CPA firms in the country. In 2016 the majority interest in Body Glove was sold, so now Russ is the president of Dive N' Surf, Inc.

Russ has been married to Charlotte for over 53 years and they have three grown children. He served eight years on the Manhattan Beach City Council, including two terms as Mayor. Russ and Charlotte have received many awards individually and jointly, including Citizens of the year in Manhattan Beach, and Citizens of the year for the South Bay. Russ has been recognized as a "Distinguished Alumni" of Mira Costa High School and Cal State Long Beach.

They both have served on numerous boards and commissions through the years. Russ, along with his sons Tim and Greg, friends Pat Dietz, Rich Wenzel, Evan Calbi, Bill Severance, and granddaughters Allegra, Caroline and Naya form the Folk/Rock Band Thin Ice. They have played at various venues in the South Bay. Russ plays guitar, does vocals, and has written a selection of songs, including two that were released on a CD commemorating 100 years of surfing in the United States, and a theme song for the International Year of the Reef.


Lydia M. Lim - Secretary

Attorney

 

Ms. Lim has been practicing business and real estate law in California since 1997. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Willamette College of Law in Salem, Oregon. Originally from Indonesia, Ms. Lim's parents grew up in the heart of the Coral Triangle. She is passionate about ocean conservation and the protection of the marine environment. She also currently volunteers her time visiting hospice patients and has volunteered as a mentor to young women and foster children.


Mark D. Martin

Investment Banker, Houlihan Lokey

 

An investment banker in Houlihan Lokey's Los Angeles office, Mr. Martin specializes in the structuring and execution of mergers and acquisitions for public and private companies in the aerospace and defense sector. Prior to his current position, he co-founded and served as Chief Operations Officer for Rogue Technologies, a startup eye-tracking technology company that patented retinal recognition technologies. Previously, he co-founded Prestige Infrastructure Capital, a Los Angeles-based infrastructure privatization firm established to pioneer public/private municipal finance ventures. Mr. Martin earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2011 and a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Pepperdine University in 2004.

An avid surfer, diver, musician and ocean enthusiast, Mr. Martin has had a passion for the ocean throughout his life. As a former graduate of Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Kenya program, his passion for outdoor pursuits has led to diving with great white sharks, summiting Mount Kenya and seeking out adventures along coastlines around the world. Mr. Martin lives in Malibu with his wife, Julie, and spends his free time in the water.


Robert McClatchy

Reluctant Capitalist

 

Robert is a former Board Chair of the Reef Check Foundation. He graduated from the University of California Riverside with a B.S. in Environmental Science and from Pepperdine University with an MBA in finance. Robert's career spans over the transportation, management, and finance industries. He currently teaches at universities and develops forecasts models for the Reluctant Capitalist.


Susi McConaghy

Development Specialist

 

Susi McConaghy attended USC, and is the proud mother of 2 children and 4 grandsons. She has enjoyed a successful development and fundraising career, raising funds for USC, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the House Ear Institute, and Pepperdine Center for the Arts. Susi has been credited with the creation of the Getty House, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles. She is now happily retired as the Director of Development from the USC Institute for Genetic Medicine.