Our Team

We take the “Alliance” in our name seriously, knowing that we will only be successful with the partnership and hard work of other organizations, businesses, government agencies, and passionate individuals. The talented staff, board, and advisory team who help lead this coalition come from a variety of backgrounds and countries, yet share a common love for the ocean and dedication to saving coral reefs.

Senior Leadership

 

Dr. Michael WebsterDr. Michael Webster, Executive Director

Based in USA (California)
An expert in the fields of coral reef science and conservation management, Michael earned a Ph.D. in coral reef fish ecology from Oregon State University. After graduate school, Michael joined the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at Oregon State University, where he coordinated the scientific activities of a long-term ecosystem research and monitoring project focused on the ecology and oceanography of the California Current Ecosystem. Michael then joined the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, where he developed and managed a portfolio of grants focused on the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of Pacific salmon ecosystems. He has worked with leaders at a wide array of conservation organizations, management agencies, and universities to identify and meet funding needs while developing strategic plans to increase the long-term effectiveness of conservation initiatives. As the Executive Director, Michael has led CORAL to a new era with a greater scale, scope, and effectiveness of CORAL’s conservation programs, unprecedented levels of funding, and a revitalized organizational reputation and brand. Michael is a certified divemaster and has conducted coral reef field research in the Bahamas and Australia.

Dr. Madhavi ColtonDr. Madhavi Colton, Program Director

Based in USA (California)
Dr. Madhavi Colton is a conservation scientist with over a decade of experience building and implementing multi-million dollar collaborative programs that produce lasting outcomes. As CORAL’s Program Director, she leads community-driven and science-based conservation initiatives that reduce local threats to reefs and help them adapt to climate change. Her experience includes building partnerships between academic researchers, conservation organizations, governments and local communities to implement durable marine conservation initiatives in California, Hawai‘i, the Mesoamerican region, Indonesia, Fiji and Australia. She has a Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Dory GannesDory Gannes, Development Director

Based in USA (California)
Dory is a philanthropic professional with more than a decade of experience in development, partnerships and project management. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan and completed masters degrees at the Fletcher School of International Affairs and Harvard University. Since then, her work has been grounded by organizations trying to positively impact the world. Before joining CORAL, she was the Director of Development for Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in the world. She led SVCF’s consulting work, and her portfolio was primarily focused on developing corporate social responsibility strategies with clients like Microsoft, Dell, Cisco and StubHub. Her prior work included time with the United Nations Foundation and one of their signature campaigns, Girl Up, as well as a few years in the classroom as a 9th grade English teacher. Dory is a youth soccer coach, Michigan fan and outdoor adventurer who lives in Oakland. She founded a nonprofit in Tanzania, The Olevolos Project, and continues to stay engaged to provide educational opportunities to 20 superstar kids. She loves yoga, squash and running.

Tara HolmesTara Holmes, Marketing and Communications Director

Based in USA (California)
Tara brings more than 15 years of strategic and advocacy-focused communications experience to CORAL. Coming from the nexus of environmental policy and the nonprofit sector, and having worked with organizations such as Future 500, World Resources Institute, Earth Island Institute and Care2, Tara believes that building a united and energized global community through smart storytelling is the key to fighting climate change, the most pressing issue of our time. Tara founded her own consultancy, earth + urban, around this philosophy and is devoted to building public awareness through targeted marketing and communications campaigns that inspire action to make the world a better place. A Massachusetts native, Tara has found a second home in the Bay Area and enjoys yoga and hiking the region’s glorious trails. As an active community member, she is President of the Randall Museum Friends board of directors in San Francisco where she has helped steer the museum into its next phase. Tara graduated with a BA from Connecticut College and an MPA from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and has been published in such publications as Ensia, Quartz, Truthout and Earth Island Journal.

Christine ReyesChristine Reyes, Finance and Administration Director

Based in USA (California)
Christine has deep experience in the nonprofit and public accounting fields, including several years with international grantmaking foundations. She finds joy and wonder in accounting and has chosen to specialize in the unique accounting structures of nonprofit organizations. Christine has trained program staff, board members, and advisory board members to read and interpret financial and organizational data. She has served as treasurer for a variety of community-based nonprofit boards, ranging from those promoting new music and watershed conservation to those working to eliminate domestic violence and poverty. Christine earned her B.A. in Literature from the University of California Santa Cruz and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

Program Staff

Sarah EminhizerSarah Eminhizer, Associate Programs Director

Based in USA (California)
Sarah developed a strong love of nature and particularly the ocean and coastal environment while growing up on California’s Central Coast and spending time at the beach. With more than ten years of field experience as a consultant, researcher, and resource manager she has sought to conserve coastal and ocean resources across numerous locations including American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, St. Lucia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. West Coast. As a former consultant, she brings direct experience engaging stakeholders (communities, resource managers, nonprofits, funders, and government representatives) to strengthen conservation and resource management. Her expertise lies in organizational and management effectiveness; strategic planning; sustainable financing; and monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Sarah has been an Environmental Planner in American Samoa and supported collaborative efforts to reduce human impacts to territorial reefs. She holds a master’s degree in coastal environmental management from Duke University with a particular focus on sustainable tourism development and a B.S. in Aquatic Biology from U.C. Santa Barbara. At CORAL, Sarah leads the Fiji and Indonesia programs and supports the implementation of initiatives designed to improve the efficacy of local management efforts across the globe.

Jos HillJos Hill, Associate Programs Director

Based in USA (California)
Originally from the UK, Jos discovered coral reefs in her gap year before university. After graduating, she gained experience in coral reef conservation in the Philippines and Thailand, before moving to Australia. There, she earned a Masters of Applied Science in Natural Resource Management at James Cook University. During her time living next to the Great Barrier Reef, she founded and led Reef Check Australia and worked on a variety of projects in the Asia-Pacific region to build local reef-monitoring capacity. Jos then earned her MBA in Sustainable Business from San Francisco’s Presidio Graduate School in 2011. Since moving to California, Jos has worked on a variety of market-based marine conservation initiatives including a loan program for sustainable seafood businesses and rights-based fishery management design at Environmental Defense Fund, and at Olazul, she led the design of sustainable ocean aquaculture livelihood projects in Indonesia and Mexico. Jos leads CORAL’s Hawai’i and Indonesia programs and brings her experience in developing collaborative projects that integrate science, behavioral economics, markets, and human-centered design.

Jenny MytonJenny Myton, Associate Programs Director

Based in Honduras
Jenny is a Honduran environmental engineer who was born in Tegucigalpa and moved to the Bay Islands to follow her love for coral reefs. She has more than fifteen years of experience monitoring coral reef health and working on community-based resource conservation initiatives. She spent two years working with the Bay Islands Environmental Management Program and has consulted for several major NGOs. Jenny and her husband Ian work together to protect coral reefs. They currently reside on the island of Roatán.

Wes CrileWes Crile, Program Manager

Based in USA (Maui, Hawai’i)
Wes has worked throughout his career to implement creative solutions to environmental and social problems. From helping coastal communities in Northern Nicaragua protect endangered sea turtles, to building sustainable tourism partnerships in Damaraland, Namibia, Wes has worked to find win-win solutions that meet the needs of people as well as the environment. He has worked with small-scale farmers in West Africa and Haiti, fishing communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, and large businesses and landowners in the U.S and South Africa. His work with CORAL focuses on the Ridge to Reef approach and seeks to address coral conservation by engaging with stakeholders throughout the watershed and marine environment. He is also a certified Dive Master and Coast Guard licensed Captain. Wes has a master’s degree in Natural Resources Management and a B.A in Applied Social Sciences. Wes joined CORAL in January 2014.

Erica PerezErica Perez, Program Manager

Based in USA (Hawai’i Island, Hawai’i)
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Erica has been immersed in nature all her life. She moved to Hawai‘i in 2001, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and minor in Conservation Biology from the University of Hawai’i Hilo. As a certified scientific diver, Erica has worked with the Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources and the Research Cooperation of the University of Hawai‘i conducting underwater surveys of West Hawai’i’s coral reef ecosystems. She then worked with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife doing field work on juvenile salmon populations in Southern Oregon tributaries. For the past several years Erica has been involved in marine education and outreach in Hawai’i. Working with the Malama Kai Foundation, she supported community-based management projects. As the Expeditionary Learning Coordinator for The Kohala Center, Erica facilitated environmental leadership programs with partner universities and place-based education projects with Hawai’i Department of Education K-12 schools. Erica joined CORAL in January 2014.

Veronica NikenVeronica Niken Dewi, Program Coordinator

Based in Indonesia
Veronica joined CORAL in May 2013 after consulting for CORAL in Indonesia on a student drawing and writing competition about sharks. Veronica completed her studies in Environmental Engineering at the Institute of Environmental Engineering in Jogyakarta and is an expert on community mentoring and microfinance. Before her work with CORAL, she worked on community micro-finance projects for CCIF and Reef Check Foundation Indonesia. She lives in Denpasar.

Pamela OrtegaPamela Ortega, Program Manager

Based in Honduras
Pamela was born and raised in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, where she began hearing the call of the wild as a child during treks up the small mountain near her neighborhood. After studying environmental science (with an engineering specialty) at Catholic University of Honduras, Pamela went to work for Action Against Hunger in southern Honduras. She soon discovered her paradise, Utila, “a beautiful little island that few people on the mainland knew about,” and moved there to manage a resort. Pamela eventually went to work for the Bay Islands Conservation Association, specializing in protected area management and sea turtle conservation. A certified diver since 1998, Pamela recently earned her divemaster certification. She joined CORAL in July 2012.

Alisi RabukawaqaAlisi Rabukawaqa, Program Coordinator

Based in Fiji
Alisi received her degree in Marine Science from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. She has a diverse range of experiences including volunteer work with the World Wide Fund for Nature, Global Volunteers International and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society in Fiji, advocating for traditional sailing and sustainable shipping practices as part of the Uto Ni Yalo Trust and working as a Conservation Officer at the iTaukei Affairs Board. In her role at iTaukei Affairs Board, she assisted indigenous communities in Fiji with natural resource management through awareness, workshops and capacity building that apply the ridge-to-reef approach to conservation. She also developed tools and implemented climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessments in communities. A certified diver since 2008, Alisi joined the CORAL team in September 2015.

Jaya RathaI Made Jaya Ratha (“Jaya”), Program Coordinator

Based in Indonesia
Jaya comes to CORAL with extensive experience working with various stakeholders and communities to establish marine protected areas. He is a trained veterinarian experienced in marine conservation, specializing in sea turtles. He is also actively involved in data collection and rescue efforts for stranded marine mammals in Indonesia. Jaya completed his masters in environmental sciences at the Udayana University in Denpasar. Previously, through his position as the Karangasem MPA Coordinator for Conservation International, Jaya partnered with CORAL to create a network of locally managed marine protected areas in Bali. He currently lives in Bali, Indonesia.

Dr. Antonella RiveraDr. Antonella Rivera, Program Manager

Based in Honduras
Antonella is a Honduran biologist born in the city of Tegucigalpa. While diving in the Bay Islands she became aware of the profound impact coral reefs has on the sustainability of coastal communities. This motivated her to earn her Ph.D. in marine socio-ecological systems from the University of Oviedo. She has a multidisciplinary research background that ranges from analyzing the management implications of larval dispersal to the use of perception research to assess the adaptive capacity of coastal communities. Through her studies and work experience with fishing communities in Europe and Latin America, she has become a firm believer in the need for bottom-up, holistic and adaptive conservation strategies. Currently, Antonella works with fishers and local organizations in the North Coast of Honduras.

Alicia SrinivasAlicia Srinivas, Associate Program Manager

Based in USA (California)
Alicia has worked in international conservation for over ten years and has extensive experience with field research, grant and report writing and environmental education. She works with CORAL’s Programs team on grant proposals, reports, programmatic communications and impact evaluation. She received a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Columbia University, where she did her thesis research on the effects of oil palm plantations on bird communities in the Peruvian Amazon. From 2007 to 2009, Alicia served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a small, rural community on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, where she led a community-based initiative to protect coral reefs and marine resources. Before joining CORAL, Alicia worked as Program Manager for the Wildlife Conservation Society — first at their headquarters in New York City, and later in their Ecuador office. Alicia loves anything and everything to do with animals and in her free time enjoys wildlife rehabilitation, birding, DIY home projects, reading and hanging out with her cat and bunny (who are sadly not best friends).

Danielle SwensonDanielle Swenson, Engagement Manager

Based in USA (Puakō, Hawai’i)
Originally from Oregon, Danielle has a degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Oregon and formerly worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Eugene restoring native wetlands. Fulfilling her desire to experience warmer waters, Danielle moved to Hawai‘i in the early 2000s and became an aquarium manager for the Reef Department at Sea Life Park on Oahu. While there she oversaw the breeding program for Green Sea Turtles and managed the husbandry of stingrays, sharks and fish. In 2006, she relocated to the Big Island where she eventually found herself working as the Event Manager for the Ironman World Championship in Kona. With a varied background in reef education, event planning and community engagement, she was thrilled to find a position with CORAL and in November 2016, joined our organization which aligned with her passion for the ocean. Danielle helps lead the community engagement activities for the Clean Water for Reefs Puakō project.

John VonokulaJohn Vonokula, Program Coordinator

Based in Fiji
Born and raised in Fiji, John is a certified diver who is passionate about engaging, learning from and working with communities to develop effective approaches to conservation. Before joining CORAL, John worked with the Fiji Islands Department of Fisheries for 17 years. While there, he gained specialized training in aquaculture, fishing ground and MPA monitoring, control and surveillance and best conservation management practices. He has also trained community members in best practices for livelihood activities and developed community-based and gazetted MPAs. More recently, he has been instrumental in developing a pilot approach to community-based coastal and marine spatial planning in Waivunia, Fiji. In 2010, 2012 and 2016, John assisted the Fiji’s Disaster Management Rehabilitation Team with community recovery efforts following the devastating cyclones. In his new role at CORAL, John will focus on launching the Department of State funded expansion by continuing his work with the Waivunia community, supporting work in Lau and Ra and sustaining existing projects with the Kubulau community and Namena Marine Reserve.

Development Staff

Kelsey DrivinskiKelsey Drivinski, Development Operations Coordinator

Based in USA (California)
Growing up surrounded by the Great Lakes, Kelsey developed a strong love and appreciation for nature early in life. She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She began her career in environmental advocacy for nonprofits with the Healthy Homes Coalition and worked to address environmental hazards in the home that negatively impact children’s health. Through her work at Healthy Homes, she discovered a passion for analyzing and applying data trends to support strategic focus and mission. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, trying new restaurants and petting as many dogs as possible.

Natalie ScarlataNatalie Scarlata, Grants Manager

Based in USA (California)
Natalie has extensive experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors after a decade of working in the conservation and sustainability fields. Before joining CORAL in February 2017, Natalie worked on the grantmaking side as the Program Associate for the Marine Conservation Initiative at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation where she provided strategic management of their $25M annual grant portfolio. Natalie also worked on international wildlife policies for the Humane Society of the United States, based in Washington, D.C., and spent time in the private sector managing operations for sustainability and clean energy San Francisco Bay Area start-ups. Natalie holds a master’s degree in Wildlife Conservation from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and a bachelor’s degree in Biology and English from High Point University in North Carolina. Natalie lives in Alameda, CA with her husband and their temperamental cat. She loves to dive, snorkel, paddle board and just enjoy nature whenever she can.

Marketing and Communications Staff

James LloydJames Lloyd, Communications Manager

Based in USA (California)
James brings more than five years’ experience in nonprofit communications to CORAL with a deep expertise in digital storytelling and communications. Prior to joining CORAL, he has grown regional philanthropy at The Foundation for Enhancing Communities in Pennsylvania, raised funds for individuals with developmental disabilities at Springbrook in Central New York State, and advanced Bay Area small businesses with Working Solutions. James also builds brand identities, increases social media reach, and plans and executes events. Originally from the east coast, James and his husband are new Bay Area residents, living in San Francisco. They both enjoy nature and protecting the environment for future generations.

Administrative Staff

Anne ShelleyAnne Shelley, Accountant

Based in USA (California)
Anne has many years of financial management experience at nonprofits, including with legal services and land use conservation organizations. She balances out the linear logic of numbers as a volunteer cat adoption counselor at the San Francisco SPCA. She also enjoys hiking and exploring the natural world, and has never forgotten seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time as a teen. Anne has a degree in Psychology from Grinnell College.

Claudia WestClaudia West, Human Resources Coordinator

Based in USA (California)
Claudia began her nonprofit career at the Child Development Institute as an Early Interventionist working one-on-one with children with special needs. As the organization grew, she found her way to the administrative side of the nonprofit world and soon came to believe in the profound impact a diverse and best fit-team can have on an organization. She is proud to have implemented, improved and streamlined HR systems that benefit both employees and managers alike. She has served as the Human Resources Manager at the national headquarters of Earth Island Institute, a global environmental nonprofit organization, at Reading Partners, an educational nonprofit focused on early childhood literacy and at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, a nonprofit shelter committed to improving the lives of animals. Claudia joined CORAL in July 2017, bringing with her an array of nonprofit HR experiences and an abiding commitment to the common good.

CORAL Board of Directors

Our board of directors comprises a passionate and supportive group of professionals from many industries. Eacho one strives to help CORAL achieve its mission in our project sites throughout the world and to expand our work in years to come.

Kristine Billeter (Board Chair)

Kristine’s career focuses on advising and leading companies through epic changes of growth. She has spent 20 years in the management consulting industry as an expert in strategy and organization alignment. She works with leading companies across industries including real estate, marketing and advertising, financial services, insurance, retail and high-tech, as well as environmental and social justice nonprofits. Kristine was elected to the CORAL board in 2015 and is excited to share her organizational expertise. She has a clear passion for the ocean and has taught scuba diving for the past ten years. In recent years, Kristine advised on the setup of various shark and reef conservation efforts and helped launch the CORAL Conservation Prize for outstanding grassroots coral conservation efforts worldwide. Her scuba and ocean advocacy work has taken her to Thailand, Hawai‘i, the Bahamas, Mexico and Mozambique. Kristine earned her BA and MA degrees in Political Science and Organizational Behavior, respectively, from Brigham Young University.

Dan Dunn (Treasurer)

Dan was elected to the CORAL Board in 2014. Dan has spent his career primarily in the investment business, first in investment banking and then more recently as an analyst and portfolio manager in the hedge fund industry. He has also taught economics at the high school level. Dan has been snorkeling and diving the reefs of Hawaii for nearly 40 years, during which time the degradation of the reefs has been slow but ongoing, inspiring him to find ways to protect these fragile ecosystems. In CORAL, he has found an organization that is truly making a difference. He is a graduate of Stanford University, with an A.B. in Economics, and also earned an M.B.A from Stanford. He lives in Northern California with his wife and children.

C. Elizabeth Wagner, Esq. (Secretary)

Elizabeth was elected to CORAL’s board in 2007. She is the senior advisor to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Large and Mid-Size Business Division in Washington D.C. Before joining the IRS, Elizabeth served as director of governmental affairs for the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL), where she managed the interaction of NABL with the federal government. Elizabeth has also worked in the national tax offices of KPMG, LLP, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP, and for the Department of the Treasury and law firm Latham & Watkins. She earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas, a master’s degree in accountancy/taxation from the University of Houston, and a law degree from The University of Texas. A certified scuba diver for more than a decade, Elizabeth volunteers as a diver and underwater presenter at the National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB), has participated in NAIB fish exploration and collection trips and has conducted REEF field surveys. She currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Mike Bennett

Throughout a career in software development, Mike felt a calling to focus his efforts on the environment. After spending a year in Australia doubling the entries in his 15-year-old scuba dive log, he came to believe that coral reefs, in particular, need critical conservation attention. Since discovering CORAL in 2007, Mike has volunteered database and other technical expertise to the organization. Joining the board in 2013, where he serves on the Audit and Program Committees, has reinvigorated Mike’s commitment to winning the struggle to preserve the world’s reefs. Mike holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley. He keeps his tropical diving skills current in San Francisco, as a volunteer diver for the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences.

Jeff Chanin

Jeff is a trial lawyer at Keker, Van Nest & Peters where he takes on environmental cases pro bono when he is not handling complex civil and criminal cases. Jeff’s been diving for over 50 years: he began at age 10 and taught diving to his fellow students at Brown, before the advent of pressure gauges and inflatable BCDs. Jeff’s been diving throughout the Caribbean and the Coral Triangle, with repeat trips to Fiji, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the Philippines and Micronesia. He enjoys getting to know the wonderful inhabitants of these far-flung places as much as he does while photographing the amazing coral reefs and diverse fish life that sustain them. About 10 years ago Jeff started to notice the steady decline of coral reefs that once were rich. But, he also took note of the contrasting vitality of the reefs and numerous fish that were thriving within two marine protected areas managed by CORAL and its partners — the Namena Marine Reserve in Fiji and the Roatan Marine Park in Honduras. Therefore, in 2012 Jeff sought out CORAL to offer his support, and in 2013 began serving on the International Council, where he helped launch the CORAL Conservation Prize. He joined the Board in 2015 and now chairs the Development Committee. Through CORAL Jeff hopes to champion the cause of the most deserving (though silent) clients of his career–the world’s coral reefs.

Philippe Hartl

Phil has been a professional in the field of high net worth client management since 1994 serving in a variety of roles such as a Managing Director in the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch and a Vice President in the Private Client Services Group at Goldman Sachs. He has also been trained at the Money, Meaning, and Choices Institute in San Francisco. Phil has received recognition for his professional career, most recently in 2016 is ranked among the Top 200 Advisors in America by Forbes/Shook and among the Top 400 Advisors in America by the Financial Times. Phil earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at San Diego in Cellular and Molecular Biology and conducted his postdoctoral work at the University of California at San Francisco serving as a Fellow of the Cancer Research Institute. His graduate and postdoctoral works have been published in several journals including Science, The Journal of Cellular Biology and the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Matt Humphreys

Matt was elected to the CORAL Board in 2013. He is a Principal with Deloitte Consulting in the Life Sciences Strategy & Operations practice. Matt has worked in the Life Sciences industry for more than 15 years, serving clients from high-growth startups to Fortune 500 companies. His consulting experience focuses on operational transformation, helping clients translate their strategy into effective operations and platforms for growth. Before Deloitte, Matt worked as an entrepreneur starting a sustainable fish farming operation. Passionate about the ocean and conservation, he has been a certified diver for over 20 years, serving as an instructor while in college. Matt spends time traveling with his wife Katy, scuba diving and surfing in different countries across the globe. He has served on several nonprofit boards and is currently a board of trustee member for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Southern California. Matt holds Bachelor degrees in Biology and Economics from the University of California—Irvine, a Masters degree in Engineering from Rutgers University, and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Vani Keil

Vani was elected to the CORAL Board in 2016. She is an Engineering Project Manager with Apple in the Core OS organization. Vani graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and has spent her career in various roles in the technology sector. Moving to the Bay Area 10 years ago sparked a love for the ocean. She and her husband are avid scuba divers and enjoy surfing, kiteboarding and any activity that gets them out on the open water. After traveling around the world and seeing the condition of many reefs, Vani decided to get more involved and support ocean conservation efforts. In addition to this, Vani is also passionate about sustainability, energy conservation and working toward a low-waste lifestyle. Vani lives in San Jose with her husband and children.

Dr. William Kerr

Dr. Kerr is an expert on the economics of intellectual property and the economic analysis of competition, markets, and economic development. He is a founding Managing Director of the Berkeley Research Group and has consulted with domestic and international clients on licensing or acquisition of IP assets. He has testified in disputes over the value of patents and other IP assets, international trade disputes, matters involving antitrust issues or unfair competition and cases of complex commercial damages. Also, Kerr has written two books and published a number of articles on these topics in professional and business journals. Kerr is a singer and songwriter (formerly a member of the acoustic band, Shenandoah Run), and in his spare time he SCUBA dives and plays golf. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and is active in environmental causes, including the Coral Reef Alliance and the Riverkeepers Network.

Jim Lussier

Jim Lussier is Founder and Managing Partner of The Coast Ridge Group, an advisory and investment firm helping entrepreneurs, corporate and financial investors and executives in emerging technology to be more successful. Jim brings over 30-years of experience and knowledge of investments, governance, business strategy and planning, fundraising and executive team development. He has served as Managing Director and Head of Dell Technologies Capital (formerly Dell Ventures), General Partner at Norwest Venture Partners, Vice President and General Manager at Beyond.com Corporation and Associate Partner at Accenture, responsible for the High Technology Strategy Practice for North America. He holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, an MA in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and a BS in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Jim is inspired by the marine environment and is an active sailor and avid scuba diver, having completed trips to Fiji, Palau, Raja Ampat, the Great Barrier Reef, Philippines, Cozumel, Honduras, British Virgin Islands, Little Cayman and Hawaii.

Dr. Bob Richmond

Dr. Bob Richmond is a Research Professor and Director of the University of Hawaii’s Kewalo Marine Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Dept. of Ecology and Evolution, SUNY at Stony Brook, and subsequently spent 2-years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, 18 years on the faculty of the University of Guam Marine Laboratory, and has been a Research Professor at the Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, since 2004. He has spent his career studying coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and the Pacific, including the Virgin Islands, the Grenadines, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Japan and Micronesia. He has served as President of the International Society for Reef Studies, the convener for the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, the Science Advisor to the All-Islands Committee of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and a science advisor for the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. He is both an Aldo Leopold Fellow in Environmental Leadership and a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation. His research interests include coral reef ecology, marine conservation biology, ecotoxicology, bridging science to management and policy, and the integration of traditional ecological knowledge with modern approaches to resource use and protection. His childhood fascination with “Dr. Doolittle” helped inspire his approach to studying coral reefs by “listening” to corals and other reef creatures through the use of ecological indicators and molecular biomarkers.

James R. Tolonen

Jim was elected to CORAL’s Board in 2009. Since 1972, he has been involved in the Silicon Valley high-tech industry and has held CFO, COO, President and other executive and Board of Directors positions in both public and private companies. His accomplishments include taking two companies from start-up through becoming public and growing two other global public companies from several hundred million dollars to several billion dollars in revenue. Jim retired in 2008 but is currently a member of the Imperva, Inc. board of directors, the chairman of the Conservation Committee of the Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen, and a volunteer with the Coastal Watershed Council. He was previously a member of the Blue Coat Systems, Inc. Board of Directors. He also spends time traveling with his wife Ginger, scuba diving, motorcycling, and fishing. Jim has been an avid scuba and skin diver since 1962, and was NITROX certified; he is also an amateur photographer, both above and underwater. He is passionate about habitat preservation in general, and the marine environment and sustainable practices in particular. Jim received both BSME and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan and then earned his CPA in 1974.