The SDOF Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team are committed to accomplishing projects that will make a difference in the sustainable use and enhancement of our coastal waters. The upcoming year brings an extraordinary opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the past, bask in the limelight of the achievements of today and dream of the opportunities for tomorrow.
SDOF Executive Leadership Team
Executive Director: John Valencia
John holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Marketing & Finance with minors in Nonprofit Management and Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego as well as a Master’s in Nonprofit Management. John, a San Diego native, brings over fifteen years of nonprofit experience, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a sincere devotion for the ocean. John has served as Executive Director for two other San Diego nonprofits and was CEO for an international manufacturing company. John is the 2012 recipient of the Coastal America Partnership Award presented by President Obama for excellence in collaborative partnerships in the marine sector. John has also been recognized for his dedication to the nonprofit sector with Kiwanis Club’s Outstanding Community Involvement Award, American Humanic’s Community Award and San Diego’s Person of the Year Award.
Program Director: Alice Kao
Alice is a Biology/Environmental Engineering UCLA graduate. She is passionate about creating a more sustainable relationship between humans and our environment and is especially concerned with water resource management. She enjoys backpacking, snowboarding, snorkeling, and anything that gets her outdoors.
Special Events Director: Sam Harrod
Bio coming soon.
Board of Directors
President: Dave Rudie
Dave began diving southern California in 1972 as a sport diver and later as a commercial sea urchin diver. Dave owns a sea urchin processing company called Catalina Offshore Products. Dave has been involved in fishery management of sea urchins for the last 25 years as a member of the Directors Sea Urchin Advisory Committee, the Sea Urchin Fishery Advisory Committee, and the Sea Urchin Commission. He was involved in managing the sea urchin fishery with size limits, limited entry and limited days. Dave was also a member of the Regional Stakeholders of the MLPA (marine life protection act) as a fishery representative. In his free time, Dave enjoys digital underwater photography and being a member of the San Diego Underwater Photographic Society, since 2007.
Vice President: Wendy Pacofsky
Wendy is a co-owner of an adventure travel company in San Diego – Outdoor Travel Adventures (OTA). For the past 7 years, she has sent travelers all over the world for both land and sea adventures, and experienced a few herself. Since becoming a dive instructor for Ocean Enterprises in 2003, she has spent a great deal of time in the San Diego waters, and organized a number of group dive adventures to the warm waters of the world. Wendy has a degree in Business Administration from the University of San Diego and also worked in London for the State of California. Prior to owning OTA, she spent 4 years at BCT Scenic Walking, dedicating herself to the sales & marketing of European hiking holidays, and exploring much of Europe by foot.
Treasurer: Ken Bonus
Secretary: Walter Schwerin
Walter possesses a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from SDSU, and utilizing this degree, is president of Schwerin & Associates. This firm does general civil engineering including land form, utilities and drainage. Included within these tasks is the administration of storm water quality for waters from new construction. This includes filtration and other systems that enhance water quality for waters that emanate from new development.
Walter is an avid user of our ocean. He is a long term fisherman who has served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Rod & Reel Club. He is a past president of that organization. He is also an advanced diver with over 200 dives in the Southern California area and in foreign countries as well. He enthusiastically endorses the goals and mission of the Oceans Foundation.
A Gloucester, MA native, Kacy has her Masters in Education, Teaching Credential and has taught both Elementary and Middle school. She is the Executive Director of Discovery Adventures which operates a summer camp and kayak excursions. She has taught Marine Science to children on Catalina Island, and San Diego, California. She has worked in Outdoor Education for the past 15 years and is a trained guide with CPR, EMT, Emergency Dive Accident Management and Lifesaving Certification. She was recently certified by the Coast Guard as a licensed Captain.
Ed Parnell, PhD
Ed grew up in San Diego cutting his teeth on the snorkel given to him by his big sister for his fourth birthday. He’s been hooked on everything marine ever since spending much of his youth fishing and diving. Despite professing to be an adult, not much has changed, because Ed turned his passion into a career as a research scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research interests encompass the ecology of coastal shelf environments focusing on the interaction between the fluid environment and the biology of these ecosystems and the effects we are having on the coastal zone. As an avid ocean user who embraces its integrity, aesthetic nature, and beauty, Ed is an advocate of wise ocean stewardship based on sustainable human practices that affect the oceans including our use of the watersheds that drain into it, the re-engineering of its margins, the pollutants that settle into it from the atmosphere, the sewage we discharge into it, the food that we rely on from it, and all the services that it faithfully provides us.
Gayle Van Leer
Paul Dayton, PhD
H.P. “Sandy” Purdon
Jan Svejkovsky, PhD
Richard Wright, PhD