The Board of Directors is a small but international group who shares a genuine concern for the oceans and are passionate about protecting them. Corporate headquarters are located in Coral Gables, Florida.
Red Earth Systems
Jay Wade founded his first company in 1988, developing software designed for use in electronic case management systems for the U.S. Federal Court system. After successfully growing and selling that company in 1999, Mr. Wade continued on to pursue business interests in other technology-related fields. Currently, Mr. Wade splits his time between Red Earth Systems, an information technology professional services firm; Coyote Customs, a manufacturer of custom metric choppers; and Sub Aviator Systems a manufacturer and operator of winged submersibles. He lives in Oklahoma City.
Julian Chang, The MD of Raffles Yacht Pte Ltd & RAFFLES MARITIME CORP. WORLDWIDE PTE. LTD., has been elected to the Board of Directors of the International SeaKeepers Society. Mr. Chang is involved in the marketing of CIMC Raffles in Asia, a socially responsible and environmentally focused offshore builder of yachts and large offshore vessels. Chang is based in Raffles’ main office in Singapore and will be instrumental in spreading SeaKeepers mission to the region’s yachting industry, scientists, and policy makers.
Captain Glen became a yacht Captain in 1987 starting on a 65′ motorsailer. Since 2011, he has been Fleet Captain for 7 yachts which frequent a number of destinations. Currently, he is managing director of Fleet Miami with 9 yachts in the fleet. Additionally, Allen holds the position of Vice President at the International SuperYacht Society.
Dr. Luther received his doctoral degree in Physical Oceanography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982. Dr. Luther is an Associate Professor and director of the Center for Maritime and Port Studies in the University of South Florida College of Marine Science. He has provided operation and maintenance support for the NOAA National Ocean Service Tampa Bay Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System since 1995. He presently serves on the Tampa Bay Harbor Safety and Security Committee Vessel Movement Committee, the DHS Area Maritime Security Committee for West Florida, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Agency on Bay Management. He works closely with the Tampa Port Authority, the Tampa Bay Pilots, US Coast Guard, and other maritime interests on environmental issues affecting and affected by maritime transportation operations and infrastructure. Dr. Luther chairs the Science Advisory Council for the International Seakeepers Society, He is an avid boater with both power and sail boats and holds a US Coast Guard Captain’s License. He has been sailing the waters of Tampa Bay and west Florida for more than 35 years.
Moore and Co
Michael T. Moore has been practicing maritime and aviation law for over twenty years. Before founding his own firm he was a partner with Holland & Knight and chaired the firm’s Marine and Aviation Practice. He has also served several terms on the firm’s board of directors. Prior to Holland & Knight, Mr. Moore was associated with Messrs. Burlingham, Underwood & Lord in New York and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia offices. Mr. Moore is included in Who’s Who in American Law and is a fellow of the American Bar Association. Mr. Moore is also a member of the board of trustees of the United Way of Greater Miami, a former chairman of the Alexis De Tocqueville Society and the Coral Gables Youth Center Advisory Board. Mr. Moore is chairman of the board of the United States Coast Guard Foundation and President of the Admirals of the Fleet of Florida. Mr. Moore resides in Coral Gables, Florida.
Patty Elkus is an active philanthropist and community catalyst in San Diego with strong ties to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. She serves on Margaret Leinen’s Directors Council at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, International SeaKeepers Society “Discovery Yachts” – Co Founder, the Executive Board of Sylvia Earle’s MISSION BLUE, TBA21 Academy, (the Thyssen-Bornemiza 21 Academy’s Scientific Advisory Council), Governor for the American Polar Society, and the BLUE Ocean Film Festival Global Advisory Council. Past Board positions include Board Member of the International SeaKeepers Society of which she is a Founding Member, and Founding Chair of “Women in Yachting and Ocean Advocacy”, President of the National Charity League, Poway Chapter, VP PR Achievement Rewards for College Scientists/SD (ARCS Found. Inc). Chosen as one of ORIGIN Magazine’s 2015 “100 Ocean Heroes”, and MODERN LUXURY/Riviera Magazine’s 2013 Altruists of the Year for her ocean advocacy, Patty’s focus is oceanographic science/the environment, marine protected areas and emerging technology. A Member National of the Explorers Club, she was a member of the Elkus/Munk Explorers Cub Flag Expedition to Cabo Pulmo, the Jackson Explorers Club Flag Expedition to Komodo, and the SIO CMBC San Diego Coastal Expedition. Expedition travel includes Antarctica, the Amazon, Galapagos, Palau and Indonesia.
Non-profit expertise in board governance, fund-development, special events. PR/Marketing and Advertising experience.
Specialties: team building, networking, event planning, board development, fund development, and identifying and achieving deliverables for non-profits.
The Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) is charged with providing advice, assistance, and support to SeaKeepers and its staff to guide the programming and planning decisions of the organization. SAC members liaise with the Director of Programming and Policies and represent a diverse wealth of expertise. Members are appointed by invitation.
“SeaKeepers is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire the leaders of the world to become a voice for the oceans by bridging gaps between good science and the business and yachting communities.” — SAC mission statement, adopted 2011
Dr. Luther received his doctoral degree in Physical Oceanography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982. Dr. Luther is an Associate Professor and director of the Ocean Monitoring and Prediction Lab in the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, where he co-directs the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System.
Explorer in Residence – National Geographic Society. Earle, called a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and the first “Hero for the Planet,” by TIME MAGAZINE is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist.
Roni Avissar, PhD, is Dean of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami and Professor of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. Dean Avissar oversees RSMAS programs that include over $61M total budget last year; 80% extramural (grants and contracts), supporting approximately 95 full-time faculty, 250 research personnel and support staff, 200 graduate students (Ph.D. and M.S.) and almost 300 undergraduates in marine science.
Fabien Cousteau, third generation explorer, environmental activist and documentary film producer, is a longtime friend of The International SeaKeepers Society. In fact, in 1996 his father, Jean-Michel, was awarded the SeaKeepers Award. As the founder and director of Plant A Fish, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring our water planet and educating youth about the importance of conservation and restoration, Fabien works closely with the society and acts as an advisor and now sits on the Scientific Advisory Council. Fabien Highlight
Kevin Hardy serves on both Jim Cameron’s Deep Challenge and Virgin Oceanic’s Five Dives project as the “Lander Commander,” overseeing the design and construction of the robot landers that provide navigational beacons to guide the submarine to targets on the bottom. The landers will also carry an array of scientific samplers and sensors, plus high definition camera systems and advanced LED lighting systems. Hardy has deployed robot landers from inside the Arctic Circle to the southern oceans and around the world, including Challenger Deep in March 2012. He majored in industrial technology manufacturing at San Diego State University. Between his freshman and sophomore year, in the summer of 1972, Hardy knocked on doors at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, where he has worked as an ocean engineer for nearly 40 years. Hardy was Guest Editor of the January 2010 Marine Technology Society Journal honoring the Golden Anniversary of the U.S. Navy bathyscaphe Trieste’s dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Throughout his time at Scripps he sought out the men who had been involved in the historic Trieste expedition of 1960. As he listened to their stories, he gradually resolved to go to the Mariana Trench himself. “At some point,” says Hardy, “it became a consuming goal: ‘I’m going. If it’s me in a rowboat with my machine, I’m going to the trench.’ ”
Dr. James Morris is the Director of the Belle Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, Professor of Biological Sciences, Distinguished Professor of Marine Studies at the University of South Carolina, and a AAAS Fellow. He served as a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation from 2003-2005 and was a visiting professor at Aarhus University, Denmark in 1990. His academic background includes degrees in environmental sciences, (BA, Univ. Virginia), biology (MA, Yale) and forestry and environmental studies (PhD, Yale). He held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole before taking a faculty position at the University of South Carolina in 1981. Morris has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and is regarded as an expert on the effects of sea-level rise on coastal wetlands. His varied skills include analytical chemistry and numerical modeling. He has served on numerous committees and panels, including the US National Science Foundation, the Irish National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, and the IndoFlux committee of India. Dr. Morris has a long history of funding from NSF, USGS and NOAA for research on the effects of sea level change on coastal wetlands. He also serves on the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis Wetland Carbon Modeling working group.
Bill Read has been the Director of the National Hurricane Center since January, 2008. In this capacity, he is responsible for the operational tropical weather forecasts for the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific Ocean. Additionally, he leads the national effort on hurricane awareness. Significant hurricanes since taking the position include Gustav, Ike and Paloma in 2008 and Jimena in the Eastern Pacific in 2009.
Richard is excited to work at the SeaKeepers headquarters in Coral Gables alongside Michael Moore, Chairman of the Board. He came to Seakeepers after a twenty-two year career as a multi-unit Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Franchisee with stores from Delaware to Georgia. Richard firmly believes the health of the environment and oceans is important to the success of our future generations. He is an avid sailor and sports fisherman having raced/sailed tens of thousands of blue water miles with a focus on The Gulf Stream (Annapolis/Newport-Bermuda). Racing The Gulf Stream involves analysis of warm water eddies, cold water eddies, and the ever-changing stream which are all effected by water temperature and climate. Charting a course to benefit from favorable ocean currents can be as important as wind and weather conditions so Richard has a passion for ocean study.
The International SeaKeepers Society is playing a pivotal role as a global catalyst working with governments, scientists, industry, and other marine organizations to promote understanding and to support sensible, achievable marine protection and restoration initiatives. SeaKeepers’ mission is to encourage yachts as a platform to enable scientific research and discovery. Richard’s goal is to propel the SeaKeepers’ mission with the necessary funding and enthusiasm. He looks forward to direct contact with you to see if there are opportunities to make The International SeaKeepers Society’s mission a reality.
Surrounded by South Florida’s water, sun and sand, Ivonne has always been passionate about marine science and exploration of the ocean’s ecosystems. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and a concentration in Marketing where she manifested her passion for building relationships and managing brand awareness. Her background in marketing and experience working in the customer satisfaction and non-profit field, drew her to the International SeaKeepers Society as a Marketing and Public Relations Manager informing and engaging supporters in order to ultimately strengthen the organizations mission.
Tony is a Miami native who has always had a love for the ocean. Most summers were spent in the Florida Keys, sailing, fishing, and wakeboarding. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Florida State University in Tallahassee, he moved back down to Miami, where he spent years in the Fashion Retail Industry in operations, logistics, and marketing. He then received a Juris Doctor degree with a focus on Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. While in Law School he worked as a legal assistant as well as in the business development department of a high-profile architecture firm. His diverse background and experience has now led him to the International SeaKeepers Society as Program Director, engaging the yachting community in the pursuit of scientific research, education, and conservation of our oceans.
Born and raised in Miami, Ariel has always had a love for marine life and ocean conservation. She attended Florida Gulf Coast University, graduating with a BS in Marine Science and minors in Biology and Geology. She recently graduated with her Master’s degree in Marine Biology and Ecology, with a focus in Marine Mammal Science from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) at the University of Miami. While attending graduate school, Ariel completed an internship with SeaKeepers and at the Miami Seaquarium’s veterinary lab where she helped rescue, rehabilitate, and release manatees and sea turtles. Her diverse background and experience has now led her to the International SeaKeepers Society as Assistant Program Director, where she focuses on community outreach and education in the hopes of teaching others how to better protect and conserve our oceans.
Ruth, a native from Kingston, Jamaica has always enjoyed the ocean and recognizes the importance it plays to the livelihood of everyone. For the past 20 years, Miami has been home base after living in both Europe and South America. She has experienced being part of Miami’s extraordinary cultural growth and has enjoyed working in the non-profit sector at such an exciting time with organizations like Frost Museum of Science and Miami City Ballet. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters in Business Administration from Florida International University; and a Graduate Certificate from Harvard Extension School in Strategic Management.
Program Mission: To provide a professional development program for college and graduate students. The internship experience provides entry-level positions, mentoring, and enriching job skills that engage participants in becoming highly valued professionals with marine conservation awareness.
Kellen is currently studying Marketing and International Business at Florida International University. As the graphic design intern at International SeaKeepers Society, she designs promotional material to be printed and posted online about SeaKeeper’s initiatives and programs.
Tayhara was born in Dominican Republic. As a young child, she moved to the United States for a better tomorrow. She is working on her BA in Communication Arts with a focus on Art and Performance at Florida International University. During her time in FIU she has been able to get involved and strengthen her Marketing and PR skills. As a SeaKeepers Intern, she hopes to further develop skills by working in a professional atmosphere and creating impactful, exciting social media content for the organization while extending its reach.
Relocating from Connecticut to central Florida as a child, Tessa quickly became enthralled with the marine world. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marine Affairs and Business Law at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. Tessa is scheduled to graduate in December of 2016 and hopes to go to law school, specializing in environmental conservation law. Her experiences, thus far, at the University of Miami include completing extensive relevant courses and working with the Biscyane Nature Center, Beneath the Waves, University of Miami’s Ocean Awareness Week, University of Miami’s Office of Undergraduate Marine and Atmospheric Science, and now the International SeaKeepers Society, as a programming intern. Her mission as a programming intern at the International SeaKeepers Society consists of helping foster partnerships with scientists and members of the yachting community to develop scientific expeditions, education and outreach events, and instrument deployments. She is responsible for helping organize and execute all components of these programs.
Victoria is currently studying Public Relations with a Minor in Marketing at Florida International University. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida where she grew up in a family whose influence inspired her love for all things ocean and boating. She has experience in recruiting, event planning, marketing and PR and is excited to join the SeaKeepers team. Her mission as a marketing intern at the International SeaKeepers Society consists of using her skills to help the marketing and PR team. Above all, she hopes to help maintain our relations with our sponsors and loyal members by editing promotional material, web content and social media in order to keep constant contact and relations.
Born and raised in Cannes, France, Léna traveled all the way to Seoul, Korea to receive her Bachelors degree in political science from Sogang University. She contributes much of her inspiration to work for the greater good to her time spent working with UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR).
Currently, Léna is in pursuit of a Masters degree in Environmental Science and Management at the University of Brussels. As she is extremely concerned with the protection of our environment and the earth’s biodiversity, she plans to take on a second MS degree in the Governance of Ecological Transition in the future.
Léna’s ultimate goal is to work for the French government to develop conservation projects to help the country adopt a greener attitude.
Eduin is currently studying Communication with a Minor in Social Media and E-Marketing Analytics at Florida International University. His mission as a marketing and social media intern at the International SeaKeepers Society consists of using his skills to help the marketing and PR team share the SeaKeepers’ vision through visuals and social media. Along with creating engaging content for SeaKeepers’ social networks, Eduin also creates promotional material for SeaKeepers annual events, and maintains the website up to date.