Board & Staff

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  • Nik Strong-Cvetich
    Nik Strong-CvetichExecutive Director

    With many years of experience leading innovative conservation projects, Nik’s mission is to help provide coastal communities with the tools they need to be effective in valuing, protecting and managing their own natural resources.

  • Nick Mucha
    Nick MuchaDirector of Programs

    Nick comes to Save The Waves Coalition with over 7 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector of Santa Cruz, drawing on a skillset that includes executive leadership, development, and program delivery.

    • Gavin Comstock
      Gavin ComstockOperations and Program Manager

      Gavin Comstock is a graduate of Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, VA, with a BS in Biology. Originally a teacher who transplanted from the east to the west coast, he worked for both Santa Cruz and San Mateo county environmental education programs …

      • Amie Miller
        Amie MillerEvents Coordinator

        Amie joined Save The Waves as the Events Coordinator in 2013, after participating as a volunteer in organizing for the annual fundraiser Life is a Wave for many years. As a lifelong environmentalist and activist, working for Save The Waves combines her skill set for organization and passion for conservation.

        • Trey Highton
          Trey HightonSave The Waves Film Festival Director

          Born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Trey grew up around Hobie Cats and fishing boats and made frequent surf trips to the islands of the Outer Banks, NC. He followed an unconventional path of studies as an undergraduate that saw him through four universities on both coasts of the United States.

          • Lauren Parrino
            Lauren ParrinoCampaign Coordinator

            Originally from Ventura, Lauren is a graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a BS in Film Arts with Production and Sociology. She started working for Save the Waves as a local events volunteer and, as a passionate ocean conservationist and film activist, is excited to be part of an organization and team that stands for coastal preservation.

            • Trent Hodges
              Trent HodgesWorld Surfing Reserves & Surfonomics Fellow

              Trent joins Save the Waves as a World Surfing Reserves and Surfonomics fellow.  He is motivated and excited to be part of a team that is dedicated to restoring its health through direct action, economics, and conservation initiatives.


              • Mara Arroyo Rodriguez
                Mara Arroyo RodriguezReserve Manager, Bahía de Todos Santos WSR

                Mara Arroyo grew up in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. She studied Architecture and completed a Masters Degree in Conservation of Architectural Patrimony at the Universidad Michoacana (UMSNH). 

                • Sky Crawford
                  Sky CrawfordDesign & Communications Consultant

                  Sky began working for Save The Waves as a volunteer for the annual Ocean Revolution benefit concert. As a communications designer, he assists Save The Waves in areas of marketing and creative services. As a graduate of The California College of the Arts (formally CCAC) with a BFA in graphic design, Sky brings his design skills and enthusiasm to all things surf related.

                  Board of Directors

                  • David Haynes
                    David HaynesInterim Board President

                    David Haynes is currently Managing Director for Greenmont Capital Partners, a venture capital firm located in Boulder, Colorado, which focuses on investing in green consumer products companies.

                    • Dean LaTourrette
                      Dean LaTourretteBoard Treasurer

                      Dean was a founding board member for Save The Waves, helping grow the organization from its infancy, and served as Executive Director from 2007-2012.

                      • Will Henry
                        Will HenryBoard Member & STW Founder

                        Will Henry founded Save The Waves Coalition in 2001, in an effort to protect threatened waves on the island of Madeira. A regular visitor to Madeira since 1995, he was drawn to the island’s unique big wave spots and stunning natural scenery.

                        • Ryan Seelbach
                          Ryan SeelbachBoard Member

                          Ryan is an Environmental Remediation Project Manager for the Presidio Trust, a federal government corporation created to administer and manage the Presidio of San Francisco.

                          • Greg Benoit
                            Greg BenoitBoard Member

                            Greg has over 14 years integrating coastal and marine planning and policy with science and technology.

                            • Chad Nelsen
                              Chad NelsenBoard Member

                              Chad Nelsen is the CEO at the Surfrider Foundation where he has worked since 1998.

                              • Fernando Aguerre
                                Fernando AguerreBoard Member

                                Fernando Aguerre was born and raised in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, Argentina where, along with his brother and lifelong friend, Santiago, he got involved with surfing

                                • Gregory A. Jones
                                  Gregory A. JonesBoard Member

                                  Greg Jones currently works for Google as the Global Director of New Business Sales.  As a “serial entrepeneur,” Greg is also an angel investor and early-stage advisor to several Internet companies.

                                  • Mark Thomas
                                    Mark ThomasBoard Member

                                    Mark has been trying to surf since 1970 when a wave bounced sideways off the Oceanside jetty and knocked out his front tooth.  Since then he’s not only figured out how to stand up, but also how to duck better.

                                    • Ted Chin
                                      Ted ChinBoard Member

                                      Ted graduated with honors from U.C. Berkeley in 1994, and received his MBA from the Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley in 2001.