San Francisco Surfrider Foundation

Leadership

Executive Committee

Surfrider San Francisco’s Executive Committee (EC) consists of 7 members and supports the Chapter’s operations and Program needs.

Chair – Eli Saddler

Eli Saddler grew up swimming, fishing, and boating around the country and was raised to love and respect the environment. He studied zoology and environmental health at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Later, he studied marine science and law at Duke University. Since learning to surf in Hawaiʻi, he has been inspired to protect our oceans and coasts through work and volunteering. Eli joined Surfrider in 1998 after his first meeting in Honolulu and has been involved with the SF Chapter since 2005. He has led countless beach cleanups, helped advocate for plastic bans and other policy changes, and led the Ocean-Friendly Gardens program. When Eli’s family isn’t volunteering with Surfrider, they spend as much time as possible at the beach or in the water. Eli is passionate about fostering inclusivity in our chapter, increasing equitable access to our oceans, waves and beaches for all, and getting more families involved. Email Eli at chair@sf.surfrider.org. Online as @oceanhealth.

Vice Chair – Rachel Rhodes

Rachel Rhodes is an environmentalist, longboarder, backpacker, open-water swimmer and ocean photographer. She has a background in renewable energy and marine science including work with nonprofits, government, and the private sector. Rachel has been volunteering with the San Francisco Surfrider chapter for the last four years – helping with Beach Cleanups, Earth Day, Message in a Bottle and other events. She brings a perspective rooted in her love for the outdoors, a desire to improve the world around us and to protect the places we love.

Treasurer – Jake Rogers

Jake grew up in Laguna Beach, CA where he was immediately drawn to the ocean and surfing. He first started volunteering for beach cleanups in high school and his passion to protect marine life and our coastlines has grown ever since. After completing his undergrad at USC, Jake moved to the Bay Area to work in public accounting. He joined the Surfrider Foundation to make his contribution to help preserve the thing that has given him such joy in life. He is extremely grateful to be a part of an organization that makes a direct impact within our community and keeping our oceans and beaches clean.

Volunteer Coordinator – Josh Sagona

A native New Jerseyan, Josh moved to South Carolina to study Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University. When Josh Sagona came to the Bay Area in May of 2017 as an active duty Coast Guarder and quasi-environmentalist, he found himself with plenty of off-duty spare time and immediately sought out a productive way to meet people with similar passions. Josh lives by the firm belief that if someone has the ability to do something good, they simply should. As he puts it, “I have the time to do more, so I do, that’s just the way I see it!” He surfs, skateboards, and snowboards and enjoys playing disc golf in Golden Gate Park. He’s a musician, too, and plays the guitar, ukulele, and saxophone.

Communications Strategist – Mia Sullivan

Mia Sullivan is a writer, editor, and media producer living in San Francisco with her boyfriend and their 85-lb Bernedoodle, Luca. As a kid, Mia’s favorite week of the year fell in late August, when her family took their annual trip to the Jersey Shore. She connected with swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing at a young age, and her desire to surf everyday brought her to Malibu, CA for college. She quickly realized that she was a West Coaster at heart and decided never to move back east of the Rockies. Oceans, beaches, mountains, and forests are Mia’s life force. She felt compelled to volunteer with Surfrider to raise awareness about threats to our oceans and environment and to tell the story of San Francisco’s chapter. If you’d like to help develop media for our chapter, please reach out to Mia at media@sf.surfrider.org

Member at Large – Anna Kauffman

Anna, a Bay Area native and producer by trade, brings her skillset to the fight against plastic marine debris. Having spent much of her life on the beaches of California and Oahu, Hawaii she has seen dramatic changes caused by plastic pollution. Anna is a longtime Surfrider member, a core volunteer, and is part of the San Francisco chapter’s executive committee. Anna works tirelessly alongside our program leads, bars, restaurants, local hospitals and neighborhood groups who are dedicated to combating cigarette butt litter and waste caused by plastic straws and other single-use disposables. She is an environmental advocate for Eco-pliant, Inc., a local distributor providing sustainably sourced solutions, including paper straws, throughout the United States. After picking up over 3,000 plastic shotgun wads from nearly every beach she’s been to in the past few years, Anna is spearheading a global initiative to track wads in the wild.

Member at Large – Eva Holman

Eva fills two roles within the Chapter, see her bio in the Rise Against Plastic Program below.

Program Leadership

The Programs are where the work gets done. Our leaders leverage our robust volunteer base to run successful campaigns and work towards their respective missions.

Coastal Access & Beach Preservation Policy – VACANT

If you’d like to be involved in our Save Sloat campaign or other policy issues, please contact us at chair@sf.surfrider.org.

Hold on to Your Butt (HOTYB) – Shelly Ericksen

Shelly has been a Surfrider volunteer since 2011. She started out volunteering at beach cleanups and tabling at events, and in late 2014 launched the San Francisco “cheek” of Surfrider’s Hold on to Your Butt campaign. Since that time, Shelly has led cigarette butt cleanups in San Francisco neighborhoods to raise awareness of the cigarette litter problem, recycled butts through TerraCycle’s “Butt Brigade,” and overseen the installation and maintenance of cigarette receptacles throughout SF. She has established partnerships to abate cigarette litter with City agencies (SF Environment, Public Works) and District Supervisors, as well as the California Coastal Coalition, nonprofits, and community organizations. When she’s not volunteering, Shelly works as a writer and editor. She doesn’t surf(!) but loves the beach and ocean, and spends as much time as possible outside.

Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) – Corinne Gentile

Corinne Gentile, a native of Florida, has enjoyed living in the Bay Area since 2013. She’s always lived near the coast, and the ocean continues to be an important source of balance, restoration, and happiness in her life. She studied Cultural Anthropology, knowing she wanted to help people, but became increasingly alarmed about the state of our environment as well. As Lead of the Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program at Surfrider, she gets to help restaurants do the right thing AND keep plastics from entering the waste stream. When she’s not at Ocean Friendly Happy Hours, she’s out on a hike, attempting to surf on her new (used) board, or hanging in her Sunset apartment.

Rise Above Plastics (RAP) – Eva Holman (Lead)

Eva is a San Francisco native, ocean lover, mom of a 5 year old superhero, animal advocate and Pearl Jam enthusiast. She has been the volunteer lead of the Rise Above Plastics program for about 5 + years and is a non-profit event producer and professional fundraiser in “real life”. She is also the co-founder of a new company dedicated to reducing single use plastic pollution by producing glass jars marked with their tare weight for bulk shopping – Goods Holding Company. She is committed to finding solutions to eliminate plastic pollution from our local beaches and waterways in the SF Bay Area and am always on the lookout for creative ideas and more volunteers to jump in and lend a hand. Look for her cleaning up Baker Beach in the morning. Follow my adventures at @bakerbeachsf.

Music Outreach Program – Tia Mignonne

Events

Event Coordinator – Christy O’Connell

Christy is an East Coast transplant with a West Coast soul. Having grown up swimming in freshwater lakes, and taking summer vacations to the ocean, it was only natural for her to land in California. Her passion for preserving the planet, and volunteering also began at a very young age. Since joining Surfrider, nine years ago, she has transformed from volunteer to environmental activist. Christy enjoys planning, and coordinating events that are focused on educating our community about the effects of plastic pollution, beach erosion, the importance of coastal preservation, and the critical need for clean water. Professionally, Christy works in technology as a Regional Office Manager, leading, and executing on all administrative, and event planning needs. Christy’s passion for healthy living extends into her personal life. She’s an experienced yogi, loves to hike, paddle board, attend live music, and is a modern art fanatic. One of her goals this year is to get SCUBA certified. Christy is a doting Aunt to two nephews, and a niece who are being taught about the environment at a young age. Her enthusiasm for partnering with like-minded organizations, and friendly folks that are passionate about the environment is contagious. If you are interested in partnering with Surfrider for an event, please reach out to Cristy at events@sf.surfrider.org