User Name
Reef Check Board of Directors    
 
Honorary Chairs      
Leonardo DiCaprio
Actor and Environmentalist
Dr. Sylvia Earle
Oceanographer and Conservationist
   
       
Chair      
Robert McClatchy
CFO, 211 Orange County
Professor, Concordia University Irvine
     
       
Board of Directors      

Evan Birenbaum
Southern California Edison

Matthew Blair
Attorney, Chakmakis & Associates

Helen Brierley
Independent Fundraiser and Commercial Real Estate Professional

Matthew Bullock
IT Delivery Manager, Toyota Financial Services

Scott Campbell
Financial Services, retired


Sue Chen
CEO, Nova Medical Products

Joshua Dubinsky

Principal, Fortis Partners

Scott Gietler
CEO, Bluewater Photo & Bluewater Travel

Chris Glaeser, Treasurer
Volunteer and Business Consultant

Gary L. Justice
Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher, retired

Russ Lesser
President, Body Glove

Lydia M. Lim
, Secretary
Attorney, Soukup & Schiff

Mark D. Martin
Investment Banker, Houlihan Lokey

Susi McConaghy
Development Specialist

Yadi Moth
ADP HR/ BPO Solutions

Brian Ruzycki
Vice President of Development, rDesk at Cyberhomes

Mike Schechter

Director, Quality Assurance; Amgen Inc

Nico Vilgiate
Executive Vice President,
Colliers-International

Linden Wolbert
Mermaids in Motion

Eddy Medora
In Memoriam

 
  Robert McClatchy - Chair
CFO, 211 Orange County
Professor, Concordia University Irvine

Robert serves as 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 is the CFO at 211 Orange County and teaches finance and economics at universities.
 
       
  Evan Birenbaum
Southern California Edison

As the program manager for Environmental Strategy and Sustainability at Southern California Edison (SCE), Evan has been responsible for the development, strategy, and implementation of SCE’s corporate responsibility and sustainability program. He is actively working with company executives, business managers, regulators, NGO’s and internal and external stakeholders to identify and prioritize emerging issues to address challenges with climate change, water impact, habitat protection and bio diversity, and energy and water availability. He has also been partly responsible for SCE’s charitable contributions in the area of environmental giving. Additionally, Evan is an integral part of the Electric Power Research Institutes, Energy Sustainability Interest Group identifying material priorities as it relates to economic, environmental and social issues that impact our nation’s largest power utilities. He is the president of SCE’s EcoIQ employee resource group comprised of 800 company volunteers focused on environmental stewardship in our community and is working with the Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator to develop sustainable jobs in Southern California.
 
       
  Matthew Blair
Attorney, Chakmakis & Associates

Matthew Blair’s law practice focuses primarily on issues in the areas of business litigation, employment law, asset protection and maritime law. Matt received his law degree from Loyola Law School, undergraduate degree from University of California, Los Angeles and is a graduate of the Riordan Volunteer Leadership Development Program.

Matt grew up in Laguna Beach, where he spent much of his youth in the water and on boats. He is also an avid snorkeler, world traveler and is dedicated to ocean and reef preservation, restoration and education.
 
       
  Helen Brierley
Independent Fundraiser and Commercial Real Estate Professional

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 high school 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
IT Delivery Manager, Toyota Financial Services

As an IT Delivery Manager at Toyota Financial Services, Matt implements, supports and enhances technology systems that maintain the company's key customer data assets for the enterprise. He is an avid surfer, mountain biker, snowboarder, musician, world traveler and investor, with a passion for ocean health and a love for the outdoors.

Matt is a member of the Toyota Financial Services Associate Involvement Committee, leading volunteer events and building technology solutions benefitting youth-oriented nonprofits throughout Southern California. Matt is also participating in the Riordan Volunteer Leadership Development Program.

Matt grew up in Hermosa Beach, received a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and spent four years in technology consulting for clients across the country before returning to the ocean and mountains of beautiful Southern California.
 
       
  Scott Campbell
Financial Services, retired

Scott J. Campbell holds a BA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. He was certified as a scuba diver in November 1977 upon completion of his required open water dives in 38° water at Nubble Light in Maine. He has been an avid diver and conservationist in "warmer waters" ever since. Scott is now enjoying retirement after spending 28 years in the Financial Services Industry as a Financial Advisor and Manager with Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney and UBS Financial Services. Scott now resides in Rockport, Massachusetts.
 
       
  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.

 
     
  Joshua Dubinsky
Principal, Fortis Partners

Joshua is an engineer, entrepreneur, athlete, and visionary leader.

He is a founding member of Global Renewable Energy Systems (GRES), a cleantech startup focused on the development of renewable energy projects around the world. Proficient in Spanish, Joshua has led internal teams, cultivated strategic partners, and helped transition the company from technology incubation to commercial-ready project development. As a result, GRES was acquired by a multi-sector holding company in early 2011.

Before joining GRES fulltime, Joshua worked in both an engineering and managerial capacity under an R&D group at Northrop Grumman. Focused on UAV development, he steered projects from in-house conceptual design to airborne flight testing. He was also the Co-founder of TheGreekLife.com, a niche social networking website that serviced the Greek System present in numerous college campuses across the country.

In May of 2011, Joshua was conferred a Certificate in Civic Leadership from Leadership Manhattan Beach. After completing a yearlong development program, he spearheaded a wellness initiative alongside Healthways Vitality City and led a team to design and install over 45 new bike racks throughout the City of Manhattan Beach – more than doubling its current capacity. Recognized for his outstanding achievement and leadership, Joshua was awarded laurels by California State Senator Ted W. Lieu, California State Assemblymember Betsy Butler, County of Los Angeles Board Supervisor Don Knabe, and Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard P. Montgomery.

Joshua is also an active member of the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce, a graduate of the Riordan Volunteer Leadership Development Program, and a founding member of the RVLDP Advisory Board on which he currently serves. Joshua received his B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

He reads extensively about thought leadership and the venture capital and social venture landscapes. Joshua enjoys traveling, diving, cinema, health & fitness, and the opportunity to invoke meaningful and sustainable change. He is passionate about the environment and committed to saving our reefs and oceans.

 
       
  Scott Gietler
CEO, Bluewater Photo & Bluewater Travel

Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel, and the Underwater Photography Guide. Bluewater Photo, based in Santa Monica, 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 scuba-diving, photo taking 2 year old son.

 
   
  Chris Glaeser - Treasurer
Volunteer and Business Consultant

Chris Glaeser earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. Chris worked as the Director of International Business Development for energy companies in Houston. He focused on mergers and acquisitions in Asia, Middle East, Europe, Latin and South America. Chris currently provides business consulting services through Escalade Consulting.

Chris holds a dive master and scientific diver certifications. He is a volunteer diver with Reef Check California, the Aquarium of the Pacific, California Science Center and LA Waterkeepers. Chris has worked on projects with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Orange County Sanitation District and Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation.

Chris has served as chair of the City of South Pasadena Transportation Commission, president of the Kiwanis Club of South Pasadena, committee chair for the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses and chair of the Festival of Balloons July 4th Parade. He is currently president of the Oneonta Club and an avid cyclist and backpacker. Spending his early teenage years in Guam allowed Chris to freely explore the coral reefs and realize we must work to save them for future generations.
 
   
  Gary L. Justice, Esq.
Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher LLP, retired

Gary Justice, the Board Vice President of Reef Check, is a senior partner 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 include insurance coverage litigation, mass torts and land use litigation. Mr. Justice is a scuba diver with over 300 logged dives around the world, including many in California. He 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.
 
   
  Russ Lesser
President, Body Glove

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.

Russ has been married to Charlotte for over 44 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.  Charlotte has been chosen as “Woman of the Year” for Los Angeles County and presently serves on the Los Angeles County Commission for Women.

They both have served on numerous boards and commissions through the years.

Russ, along with his sons Tim and Greg, friends Jim Miller, Pat Dietz, Rich Wenzel, Evan Calbi, Bill Severance, and Body Glove attorney Hillary Kane 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 have been released on a new album commemorating 100 years of surfing in the United States, and a theme song for the International Year of the Reef, 2008, which is being sung by children’s choral groups around the world and is on many internet sites.

 
   
  Lydia M. Lim - Secretary
Attorney, Soukup & Schiff.

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.

 
       
  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.

 
       
  Yadi Moth
ADP HR/ BPO Solutions

With diverse experience as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and speaker, Yadi Moth 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.

       
         
  Mike Schechter
Director, Quality Assurance; Amgen Inc.

Michael Schechter is a Director of Quality Assurance at Amgen's Thousand Oaks facility, responsible for quality/regulatory oversight of Clinical Supply Chain activities. Amgen is a leading manufacturer of biotechnology based pharmaceuticals, utilizing pioneering science to positively impact the lives of those living with grievous illnesses. He received a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1995, and has since held various Engineering / Management / Quality positions in the Pharmaceutical / Biotechnology industry. Prior to college he served in both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army.

A Southern California native, Michael has been an avid Scuba Diver since 2009, completing over 300 dives and completing his SSI Divemaster / Dive Control Specialist Certification with Channel Islands Scuba in Thousand Oaks, where he assists in certifying new divers. Michael is an active member of the Reef Check California Survey Team, completing numerous surveys each year, a member of the Ventura County Sheriff's Underwater Search & Rescue Team, and a Swiftwater Rescue Technician.

 
       
 

Nico M. Vilgiate
Executive Vice President, Colliers-International

Nico M. Vilgiate, a Senior Vice President in CBRE's headquarters in Los Angeles, represents tenants and landlords in the leasing, disposition and/or marketing of commercial property. In 2009, he ranked in the top 225 CBRE brokers nationally. From 2010 thru 2005 he was recognized as a Top Ten Producer for the Los Angeles office of CBRE. He was also recognized by Costar as a Power Broker for years 2004 to 2008. Nico has over eighteen years of transactional experience encompassing eight million square feet of space. The Los Angeles Business Journal awarded Nico the "Rising Star" award in 1996 for his brokerage services throughout greater Los Angeles. Nico is a board member of the Southern California Chapter for CoreNet, an active member of the Los Angeles County Real Estate Association (LACRA) and the Southern California Development Forum (SCDF).

Prior to joining CBRE, Nico was recruited by Insignia/ESG, Inc. to open their Los Angeles offices. He was with them for five years and with Cushman Realty Corporation in their headquarters for the previous five years. He is active in the community and is a board member for two locally based non-profits with "national and global" reach. Nico sits on the board of Shane's Inspiration which develops playgrounds across the US for children with disabilities and Reef Check which empowers people to save the world's reefs and oceans. He is also a member of Heal the Bay, the Jonathan Club, Los Angeles Town Hall, the American Oceans Campaign, the Surfrider Foundation, Loyola Alumni Association and University of Colorado's Buff Club.

Nico is a licensed real estate professional in the state of California. He was awarded the Insignia/ESG Unity Award for 2002 and for three consecutive years (2002 – 2005), was the San Gabriel Valley Broker of the Year. He was named "The Top 75 Brokers" for 2004 & 2008 by Real Estate Southern California as well. Nico regularly advises the Los Angeles Business Journal on pertinent real estate articles and holds a Masters in Corporate Real Estate ("MCR") as well as the distinguished Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate ("SLCR") from CoreNet.

 
       
 

Linden Wolbert
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.