CHAPTER MANAGER – GILLIAN MONTGOMERY
Gillian has worked with Surfrider for over a decade – starting as an active chapter volunteer who worked her way up to becoming the chapter manager. In this manager role, she has not only helped develop all the core programming that exists today but has also created and championed successful campaigns that have garnered international recognition #banthebag. Originally from New Mexico, she moved to Victoria in 2006 to be closer to the ocean. Gillian holds a BA in Liberal Arts, Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management, and a Certificate in Business Management. Gillian’s commitment and dedication to the mission and objectives of the organization, the environment, our community and to surfin, is paramount to the Vancouver Island chapter.
Chapter Co-Manager & Volunteer Organizer – CHRIS-ANN LAKE
Chris-Ann has been a member of Surfrider since 2015 and feels privileged to be able to call Vancouver Island her home. She is passionate about engaging and motivating people to protect the ocean and the rights of all the people that depend on it. Before working with Surfrider she was a campaigner, coordinator, and organizer for Greenpeace Canada and plans on bringing some of that experience to this chapter. When she isn’t working with Surfrider, she is also busy working on her two other jobs. She is a forever student, currently working on completing two more programs: Social Justice Studies at UVic and Organizational Change Management at Royal Roads. In what free time she has left, you will likely find her bodyboarding, hiking, planning her next trip overseas, playing music, or reading a good book at her favourite coffee shop. If you want to become a Surfrider member and/or volunteer contact her!
Chair – RACHAEL MONTGOMERY
Rachael has helped with organizational development for our Chapter for over 2 years and has recently stepped up to fill the role of chapter chair. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and has an extensive background in management and strategic leadership. Along with the team, she has presented at the Pacific Northwest conferences and has lead numerous chapter workshops and trainings for our volunteers. Rachael is passionate about the ocean, environmental conservation, and activism. Not only does she live by her values, she inspires others to do the same. Rachael enjoys surfing and is keen to go out in any conditions. She is excited to help support and train our growing volunteer base.
Vice Chair – ZOE MELANIE MINNAARD
Zoe has been an active volunteer with Surfrider Vancouver Island since 2017. She has been an Islander since 2014 and is originally from The Netherlands. Holding an MA in Maritime Anthropology and BA in Economics & PR specialized in not-for-profit organizations, Zoë is very knowledgeable about issues related to people and the sea and how to run not-for-profit organizations. She is active as an environmental photographer & visual anthropologist. Her interest in environmental issues goes beyond our oceans; it includes how we manage all our natural resources. She is passionate about educating & inspiring people to step back and look again; to become aware of how we treat ourselves and our natural environment.
Events Coordinator – JULIA CARR
Julia has been a volunteer and supporter of the Vancouver Island chapter for a few years and volunteered to be the Events Coordinator for the summer of 2017. She loves connecting with volunteers and individuals in the community and organizing fun events such as tabling at Rifflandia, Farmer’s Markets, and World Oceans Day activities. She has since remained in the position while continuing her studies in Environmental Technology at Camosun and soon Geography at UVic. Her passion for environmental conservation stems from a childhood riddled with ocean and forest, and a deeper understanding of environmental issues gained from her studies. A Victoria native, Julia enjoys riding her bicycle around the city (especially in the summertime), hiking, camping in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, and playing Div 1 women’s soccer with Castways FC.
Social Media Coordinator – ANNIE GIBSON
From the moment Annie was put on a beach as a baby in the Maritimes, she has gravitated toward the ocean and any another body of water nearby including streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, ponds, and pools. As the years passed, she’s been picking up more and more garbage there along the way. When she discovered that people at Surfrider are trying to protect these places for generations to come, she had to join in! She has been sharing her experiences online and offline thru Surfrider channels for the last few years as well as working at local markets and table at events around Victoria. When it comes to sharing content Annie knows what’s going on!
Mid-Island Chapter Lead – KRISTI WOODALL
Kristi is a daughter, mother, wife, water protector and one of Surfriders most loyal volunteers. She has played and lived and loved on Vancouver Island for 35 years. She believes that cleaning up beaches and organizing events is the least that she and her family can do for the beautiful place we call home. Over the last few years, her experiences with Surfrider have been full of grand adventures, travel, and making loads of new friends. She began volunteering and over time moved up to take on a more central role as the mid-island chapter lead. In this role, she coordinates and leads all the beach cleanups North of Victoria up to Parksville beach. She has lead numerous cleans so far and, with your help, will lead many more. If you or your friends live in that area, connect with Kristi. She’d be happy to show you the ropes of all things beach cleaning.
Straws Suck Campaign Lead – ALI RUDDY
Chapter Advisory Committee – SAMANTHA CHARLTON
Samantha has been participating in Surfrider beach cleanups and volunteering for other surf rider activities for the past few years. Samantha is a resource and environmental management consultant and, previously, worked for a variety of grassroots non-profit environmental organizations both in BC and beyond. Outside of work, Samantha spends as much time as possible in the water: sailing, paddling, snorkeling, and most recently as a kiteboarding enthusiast. She enjoys traveling around the world, by bicycle, sailboat or even (sometimes) car, in search of surf breaks and untouched beaches. With so much gratitude for the recreational playground and spiritual home that the ocean provides her, she does her best to contribute to keeping it clean and assisting with protecting the thousands of incredible species that call it home from human pollution and impacts. She is excited to become more involved with Surfrider’s clean-up, education/awareness and policy efforts to protect and preserve the ocean.
CHAPTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE – JEAN-FRANCOIS SAVARD (AKA JF)
Jean-Francois moved to the West coast about 9 years ago from Montréal. He fell in love with the beauty and energy here and now calls Vancouver Island home (sorry JF’s mom). Having spent a lot of time in and out of the water on the island, JF feels the duty to repay more to this amazing place than what it has given him. He believes change starts in our own immediate environment and then the energy spreads further away like the ripples from a stone on a pond.
CHAPTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE – DANNY CHICO AMATO
Danny (Chico) Amato is one of the founders and original Chairpersons of the Vancouver Island Chapter. Over 12 years ago, Danny and a small team of volunteers helped develop a framework for the Chapter that was based on grassroots activism and being a voice for the local surf community on environmental and public access issues. The spirit of activism that Danny fostered in the Chapter early on continues today and has guided the Chapter to high levels of success. Danny continues to volunteer on a regular basis and has been a key part of the Combing the Coast remote beach cleanup program and is the lead organizer of the Wavehunt surf contest.
CHAPTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE – LUCAS HARRIS
Lucas Harris is a former Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary for the Chapter and has been an active volunteer for almost 10 years. In his role as Chairperson, Lucas was instrumental in developing a strategic focus for the chapter. He spearheaded the creation of the Combing the Coast program, which continues to be one of the most widely recognized marine debris response and monitoring programs in the province. Lucas also focused internally and implemented systems for the Chapter and its Executive Committee, which have helped grow the Chapters organizational capabilities and capacity. Lucas continues to be involved in the Chapter and is currently leading a surf etiquette sign project for surf spots on the South Island.
Bio coming soon!
Steve Murray is one of Surfrider’s most passionate volunteers. He has been involved with our Chapter since the beginning. Steve is a huge part of our remote beach cleanups and helps run the Clean Water Classic, the largest annual amateur surf contest in the Pacific Northwest. Steve’s stoke keeps volunteers going at contests or at cleanups no matter how cold and rainy it is outside. He is a true environmental activist, leader and gentlemen with a heart of gold.
Will is a local shaper and owner of Barracuda surfboards and is extremely passionate about handcrafted boards. Barracuda surfboards are not only works of art, but also make you a better surfer! He has been a member of Surfrider for many years and supports our local Chapter at events such as the very popular Wave Hunt surf competition.
Mike Redpath is a longtime surfer here on Vancouver Island and has been a member and supporter of our local Surfrider Chapter since the beginning. Mike is involved in our Rise Above Plastics program, helping spearhead our Karma Bag, a reusable bag initiative. Mike is the owner of Coastline and is extremely knowledgeable with helping select the right board for the right surfer.
Bryson Robinson holds a PhD in Coastal/Environmental engineering and is the co-founder of OceanGybe. He is also a longtime volunteer and member of Surfrider. Bryson believes that Ocean Gybe was a natural progression from the Surfrider Foundation. OceanGybe was a 2 year sailing and research expedition around the world. During the OceanGybe expedition, Bryson was able to access thousands of uninhabited beaches and assess the plastic pollution on a global scale. Their team was able to get a global perspective on the scourge of single use plastics, and utilize the fantastic network of Surfrider Foundation chapters to help us spread the word about our findings AND work towards preventative solutions. oceangybe.com
Dan is one of SFVI’s most devoted members and has been volunteering with the chapter since 2006. He has helped with the organization of the Wave Hunt since its inception. He co-led the Remote Beach Clean Up Campaign in 2014 and helped produce the CtC film that was created that year. Dan is committed to keeping our beaches clean and accessible for everyone for years to come.
Mick is one of Surfrider Vancouver Island’s biggest supporters, hands down. While Mick is consumed by the responsibility of running one of Victoria’s core surfshops, HtO, he never fails at finding ways of getting involved with Surfrider. Whether it’s at a chapter meeting discussing local coastal issues, or volunteering at events like the Paddle Out, his enthusiasm is ever-present. Mick also goes out of his way to include the chapter in various HtO sponsored events, such as surf film premieres, helping us gain valuable exposure in the community. Having an advocate like Mick behind us coordinating various sponsorships has allowed Surfrider Vancouver Island to increase our profile and gain lots of momentum.
Without the help of our sponsors, the endeavours that we have set out to achieve would not be possible.