About Us:Team

Sarah Mansergh, Co-Chair – It’s the ocean. Sarah loves it. It keeps us healthy so Sarah returns the favor. What better way than cleaning it up, protecting it and dipping in as often as she can. Sarah has never lived more than 20 minutes away from the beach, and her career as a Marine Biologist ensures that will probably be the case for the rest of her life. Although she is not a surfer (sacrilege, she knows), Surfrider allows Sarah to be active in the community and keep this magnificent back yard healthy for all of us to enjoy. Sarah became active in the chapter in 2008 as a water sampler; quickly moved on to running the lab and coordinating our BWTF, and then got involved in our executive committee and took over treasurer duties for awhile. Now, between remodeling her house, traveling the world and finishing her masters, she is constantly amazed at the enthusiasm and spirit of the volunteers that join our group. Sarah is excited and loves having so many passionate and friendly partners to help us keep our ocean healthy. chair@santacruz.surfrider.org

Matt Kuhn, Co-Chair – Growing up in Santa Cruz, Matt has been affiliated with Surfrider since he started surfing at the age of 13. Spending the last 12 years in Santa Barbara, San Diego, and most recently Austin, TX, Matt became an active member of the Central Texas Chapter (yes there is surf in Texas) holding the Volunteer Coordinator position and revamping the Chapter’s website, social media campaigns, and outreach. Matt is passionate about protecting our oceans, waves, and beaches, and is always reducing his carbon footprint however he can. He is incredibly stoked to be back in his Santa Cruz, and when he is not spreading awareness for the protection of our beaches he works as a Channel Manager in the Online Compliance Training industry. Matt loves spending time with his young son Kasen, wife Leyla, and dog Sadie! Matt also enjoys surfing trips to Mexico and living happily ever now! chair@santacruz.surfrider.org

Jim Littlefield, Vice-Chair – Jim has been an active member of Surfrider since 2001, a chapter activist since 2003, a former Chapter Chair, and has held several key positions in chapter operations, including drafting chapter letters for many years and speaking for the chapter at public meetings. Jim is on the National Board of Directors of Surfers’ Environmental Alliance and is Chair of the Local Stewardship Council for the Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve. vicechair@santacruz.surfrider.org

Jenny Campbell, Secretary – Jenny is a lifelong water girl who fell in love with Santa Cruz while getting her master’s at UCSC. She has been surfing for almost 20 years, and recently fell in love with kiteboarding, which now takes up most of her ocean play time. Kiting gives her a new way of experiencing her other life passion of adventure travel, having traveled to over 50 countries, and kited on 5 continents. When she’s not on the water, Jenny works full time as a health economist to bring better health care to developing countries and with any extra time she designs bikinis for water sports. secretary@santacruz.surfrider.org

Jenn Yuhas, Beach Cleanup Coordinator- Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Jenn was always drawn to the water in all of its forms. Jenn always had ‘Cali’ in her soul, even though not born and raised here. Jenn has been a member of the Surfrider Foundation for 10+ year and loves being in the water-SCUBA diving, on the water- in any form, any and all board sports, & her life ambition is to learn to surf, which she has started! Jenn likes being very active in her community, especially with Marine Science Education so she is also a Docent at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center of Long Marine Lab, University of California, Santa Cruz, & the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, Santa Cruz. She is also an active member of The Clean Oceans Project, a Santa Cruz nonprofit trying to solve the oceans’ plastic pollution problem as well as a stranding responder with the Long Marine Lab Marine Mammal Stranding Program, all while being a CA St. Park Ranger and owning a successful business with Mary Kay Cosmetics of 9 years. beachcleanup@santacruz.surfrider.org

Phil Chowaniec, Volunteer Coordinator - Phil assumed the role of Volunteer Coordinator in early 2013 after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area from New York City in Fall 2012.  Phil loves to surf, and he is passionate about keeping the beaches in Santa Cruz clean and strengthening the greater community.  Phil received his Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration from Gonzaga University and worked as an investment banker in Palo Alto, providing advice and assistance to companies in the Technology sector, then on the Merchant Growth team at OrderAhead, a technology startup focused on mobile ordering.  Today, Phil works on the Marketing & Sales team at Looker, a data discovery software tool that uses data to allow for better decision-making across organizations. volunteercoordinator@santacruz.surfrider.org

Sam ThumbnailSam Blakesley, Blue Water Task Force Coordinator – Sam is an ocean enthusiast from Oceanside, CA, who moved to Santa Cruz four years ago and began volunteering with Surfrider Foundation. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, focusing on sustainability and conservation, and coordinating the Blue Water Task Force is a perfect compliment to what he is studying. Whether it is surfing, kayak fishing, or just swimming, Sam is on the water any chance he gets. Thus, he is passionate about the health and well being of our waves, water, and all that it provides for us, and he coordinates a team of weekly water quality testers who feel that same way. BWTF@santacruz.surfrider.org

Trey Highton, UCSC Campus Liaison - Trey is a contemporary nomadic scholar. He has studied at four universities on both coasts of the continental U.S. and moonlights as a professional surf guide in Indonesia and Central America when he isn’t buried under books. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Trey moved to California in ’03 and has been migrating between San Diego and Santa Cruz since ’06. He currently teaches Creative Writing at UC Santa Cruz, where he also acts as a liaison between the local Surfrider Chapter and the campus community, helping to raise awareness and foster activism among the student body.

WSRSam'sLighthouseLaneOPEN, Treasurer - Contact us if you are interested in becoming our Chapter Treasurer. Elections to commence in November. Description of duties:

-Must be a Surfrider Foundation Member; 2 to 20 hours per week, 2 year term, one Chapter Meeting per month and or Executive Committee meeting per month.
-Maintain chapter financial records and establish and or maintain chapter bank account with proper signers.
-Report chapter financial transactions at monthly meetings, submit quarterly financial reports to the national office, participate in “Dropbox” software to share financial data with SFHQ.
-Pay chapter bills on time, supply donor information to Secretary for thank you letters, contribute to the Chapter’s website and Social Media pages.

amberAmber Jones, Education Coordinator – Born and raised in Southern California, Amber moved to Santa Cruz about 12 years ago. When she encounters something that sparks her interest she is off and running…. From starting a eBay business, to obtaining a real estate license, to starting a business helping children and families, to now obtaining her life coaching certification. Her biggest accomplishment and what she is most proud of is becoming a mother to her wonderful daughter nine years ago. Amber loves being a mom and all that it entails. She’s an active volunteer at her daughter’s school through teaching life lab, field trip coordinator, and helps with fundraisers. Family and being active in the community are very important to Amber. She also has a deep love for the ocean and marine life. If you ask her she will tell you the ocean is her second home. When she’s not on land you will find her in the water surfing, kayaking, sailing, or snorkeling. Her connectivity to the ocean in all these ways keeps her happy and compels her to want to help protect and preserve it. education@santacruz.surfrider.org

Gary Pezzi, Recreation Seat -
Gary has been an ocean enthusiast ever since learning how to dive and surf in his late teens.  He transformed these hobbies into studies that led to a Bachelor’s degree in Ichthyology, with a minor in Oceanography, from Humboldt State University.  Though not securing employment directly in the field of his studies, Gary has maintained his passion for a clean ocean environment and channels that energy back to the community with his volunteering efforts.  He has been a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley for over 18 years.  The time flexibility he has at work has allowed him many different opportunities to ‘give back’ and support our local coastal area.  As of 2013, he has been associated with the MBNMS Advisory Council since 2005.  Originally, he was the Alternate to the Recreation Seat and later was appointed into the primary seat.  He has been associated with the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation since 1994.  He has been Co-chair, Treasurer, worked some PR and a lot of fundraising for the Chapter.  He is still currently active as a volunteer.  He has also been a past Director on the Better Business Bureau Board of Directors and has chaired the Watsonville Family YMCA Community Support Campaign.  He has resided in Santa Cruz County for over 33 years with his wife Vicki.