Business Advisory Council Members
Surf Industry Members Association
Vipe Desai is the executive director of the Surf Industry Members Association. Within the role, Vipe champions the mission of supporting the surf industry's dynamic growth through fearless innovation, endless stoke, and sustainability. As the guiding force of the association, he provides the members with the tools, resources, and programs to thrive. In addition, he boldly advocates the organization's environmental vision that with healthy oceans, there will be a healthy surf industry.
With more than three decades of experience in creating disruptive brands and growth strategies for nonprofits and emerging enterprises, Vipe's an award-winning board executive, business strategist, and philanthropist. He's a brand tactician with a purpose, and he helps create winning campaigns in the boardroom.
In addition to his role at SIMA, Vipe is currently serving several additional key roles, including as a nonprofit board member for Vote the Ocean, Ocean Institute, Skateistan, and as a corporate board director for Elevate.Money.
Desai is also a key advisor for AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, a cutting-edge 400,000 square-foot campus that convenes and nurtures the best and brightest pioneers and organizations in science, business, and education for ocean conservation.
Vipe is a founding member of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast that represents 7,500+ businesses from California, Oregon, and Washington and has received three Certificates of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman's Harley Rouda, Mike Levin, and Alan Lowenthal on the efforts of BAPPC to protect our ocean and coastal economies.
A Los Angeles native, Vipe kicked off his career in the early 90s as a surf shop owner. He received a bachelor's degree in business writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, while surfing in between classes.
Marie Fukudome leads Hyatt's global environmental sustainability platform and strategy development. Her work focuses on Hyatt's 2020 goals as well as developing the next set of company goals. 2020 goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and waste at hotels, as well as advancing responsible supply chain initiatives. Examples of focus areas include increasing energy and water efficiency, food waste prevention, reducing single-use disposables, and supporting Hyatt's Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. philosophy. Fukudome oversees Hyatt's tracking of sustainability metrics for measuring progress against these goals and manages Hyatt's Environmental, Social Governance (ESG) reporting, including publishing Corporate Responsibility reports and CDP submissions.
Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation
Greg Jacoski is the executive director of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF). Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Greg grew up fishing and diving along the coast from New England to North Carolina. After earning dual bachelor's degrees in Environmental Science and Journalism from Temple University, Greg moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to pursue a master's degree in Marine Biology at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). While attending NSU, Greg worked as an administrator for the National Coral Reef Institute and the Guy Harvey Research Institute. Greg joined the GHOF when it was established in 2008.
As the Executive Director, Greg has overseen tremendous growth of the GHOF. The GHOF partners with businesses, state agencies, universities, and conservation organizations around the world to conduct cutting-edge scientific research to advance the knowledge of our ocean resources. The GHOF also creates engaging marine science educational content and documentary films to bring the undersea world into classrooms, living rooms, and mobile devices for teachers, students, and the general public. Additionally, the GHOF maintains a series of educational scholarships to assist the students that are working to become the next generation of marine scientists.
As a representative of the GHOF, Greg currently serves on the Center for Sportfishing Policy Government Affairs Committee, the Florida SeaGrant Advisory Council and NOAA's Office of Marine Sanctuaries Business Advisory Council.
Tourism Development Strategist Partner
Twenty31 Consulting Inc.
A marketing and tourism industry strategist with over 25 years of leadership with blue chip organizations including Destination Canada. For almost a decade, Greg was the chief strategy and marketing officer at Destination Canada and became the organization's CEO in 2013. During his tenure, Greg and his team developed Canada's tourism brand bringing it from 12th position worldwide to number one over five years, and recognition of Canada as the most recommended destination in the world to visit. Greg also led the organization through successive disruptive challenges from 9-11 to SARS to the 2009 global financial crisis, as well as many opportunities including leveraging the tourism potential from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic games.
Greg is currently a partner with tourism strategy consultancy, Twenty31 where he advises destinations around the world on how to achieve a competitive advantage through leveraging and mitigating disruptive forces—whether they are technologies, traveller behaviour, or global pandemics.
His clients include destinations across Canada as well as the destinations in Jordan, South Africa, Abu Dhabi, Guam, Palau, Dubai, and Brazil.
Greg holds an MBA from the ASU Thunderbird School of International Management in Arizona and a degree in economics from the University of Victoria. He is a frequent contributor to tourism media and thought leadership. Greg is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.
Executive Strategic Advisor
Richard Loomis has helped elevate some of the world's most iconic brands by marrying the power of technology, creativity, and insights to the importance of culture, inclusion, collaboration, and people.
Currently, Richard is serving in executive advisory roles for various digital startup companies; businesses which typically focus on connecting brands with like-minded customers to promote positive social impact.
Following a successful career in media and entertainment, Richard Loomis recently served as chief marketing officer (CMO) of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), leading a team of over 250 members across the globe. As CMO, Loomis led TNC's global brand, marketing and external communications teams, as well as its deep investments in the organization's digital transformation; including management of teams dedicated to digital strategy, social media, marketing technology, and analytics. His role also included oversight of TNC's creative content and publishing, brand partnerships, global strategic planning and responsibility for its revenue-generating membership program that delivered over $77 million in annual revenue.
Prior to his NGO career shift, Loomis served as CMO for Disney Channels, Worldwide, 2011 thru 2016. He initially joined Disney in 2007 as SVP, marketing & creative. Loomis drove the evolution of brand, digital product and content-focused marketing initiatives and played a pivotal role in its brand strategies and creative identities of the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior global portfolio. He guided the customer acquisition strategies that drove the launch and expansion of the WATCH Disney Channels digital apps, resulting in over 25 million downloads and 2 billion views. Under his leadership and the strategically aligned marketing and creative teams, Disney's global portfolio of 116 branded media platforms rose to the most-watched family media brands in the world.
Disney recruited Loomis following his 13-year tenure at Viacom/MTV Networks, including various senior executive marketing roles with Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Richard's content roster is well-rounded and demographically diverse with high-profile entertainment franchises including High School Musical, Star Wars Rebels, Marvel's TV properties, Rugrats, Chappelle's Show, South Park, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The Colbert Report. He worked with global brands M&M Mars, Bacardi, and Tiffany & Company during his agency years in account supervisor roles at Backer Spielvogel Bates Worldwide and McCaffrey & McCall Advertising in New York. He began his career as a media planner at Chicago's Grant/Jacoby Advertising.
Richard grew up on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, is a native of Ontario, New York, and earned a bachelor's in international relations from The College of Wooster in Ohio. He was a member of PromaxBDA Board of Directors and served as Corporate Walk Chair for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night/Los Angeles event 2014-2016. Richard is an avid traveler who includes "road-tripping" across the U.S. three times in six months as part of his global explorations!
Principal and Founder at López-Wagner Strategies
Betsy López-Wagner launched López-Wagner Strategies in 2020 and serves as its principal. The award-winning multilingual team is stacked with visionaries, strategists and climate justice advocates. Betsy is co-chair of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Business Advisory Council, a national 15-member council, and serves on the board of directors for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
She has co-devised strategies alongside grassroots activists to ensure their power is seen, heard, and felt from regional to national and international levels by developing a culture of storytelling that elevates authentic personal narratives to emotionally connect with audiences and inspire action.
She's led strategic, bilingual and equitable communications initiatives on climate action and ocean justice throughout her career, including at the Packard Foundation, LCV, and Earthjustice, as well as alongside her López-Wagner Strategies colleagues in a successful advocacy campaign to stop the California Coastal Commission's permitting of a dirty desalination plant, as facilitators for the Ocean Justice Forum, supporting Azul and its first-of-its-kind U.S. Latinos and the Ocean commissioned polling, and in authoring an award-winning environmental justice curriculum for EarthEcho educators and in advancing equitable partnership and grantmaking strategies for various organizations.
She's a trainer, storyteller and anti-racism practitioner with deep sci-comms grantmaking, language justice, partnerships and community organizing experience. She's partnered with Wonder Strategies and Goodwin Simon Strategic Research to support communications trainings on Heartwired to Love the Ocean, as well as Heartwired storytelling for reproductive rights in Latin America — an extension of her climate justice work — and has supported the Colorado Health Foundation, Fondation CHANEL and Namati alongside her Wonder colleagues. Her work is motivated by the community she was born and spent her childhood in, a neighborhood outside of Chicago surrounded by industrial facilities.
During her tenure at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation she led Ocean Communications on the most pressing issues in global ocean conservation. She advised and introduced opportunities to move over $2.5 million dollars to new grantees representing organizations led by people of color and women of color, and focused on ocean-climate journalism, and was one of three co-founders of the Foundation's first affinity and employee resource groups. She served as Communications Director for LCV's Chispa and was the first Bilingual Press Secretary (Spanish) at Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Betsy worked for media outlets in Illinois, California and was an award-winning journalist and freelance writer. Nearly two decades ago, her work in Public Affairs began at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. She is a Columbia College Chicago graduate and has a leadership certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.
She embraces her neurodivergence as her superpower. She and her husband, a stay-at-home parent, gardener and environmental education advocate, are the parents of Liam the Lepidopterist, a youth moth and butterfly enthusiast and founder of Amigos for Monarchs. A transplant to West Michigan, she is growing a small sustainable farm with her family.
Vice President of Product Marketing
Viking River Cruises
Joost Ouendag has spent the last 20 years in the cruise industry, almost all of it in various roles with Viking. He helped shape the river cruise itineraries and shore excursions before taking a role in the marketing team. Moving to Basel, Switzerland in 2016, he oversaw the rapid expansion of the ocean cruise product, and more recently, he has laid the groundwork for the expedition cruise itineraries in the Great Lakes. Before his time with Viking, Mr. Ouendag worked in North American inbound tourism, designing programs for overseas travelers in the U.S. and Canada. He is a consummate traveler with a master's Degree in Linguistics from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and he is fluent in four languages. He has written two books on river cruising in Europe.
U.S. Land and Water Corporate Programs
Keith Shattenkirk is a program officer on Patagonia's environmental grants team. Keith oversees Patagonia's U.S. land and water corporate programs, informing the company's environmental priorities, facilitating employee-based grantmaking activities, and implementing strategic funding opportunities within the company. In this role, he works across Patagonia to help develop giving and campaign initiatives that intersect and align with Patagonia's mission and recreational communities. Prior to joining Patagonia, Keith served as the Marine Life & Oceans program officer for a private family foundation and a policy analyst for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Keith received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University and completed his master's degree from UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Management, specializing in coastal marine resource management and strategic environmental communications. In his spare time, Keith enjoys spending time with his family outdoors, both above and below the water.
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications
Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
Stephanie Vatalaro is the senior vice president of marketing and communications at the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), where she leads the consumer and stakeholder outreach strategy for RBFF and its Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ brand campaigns.
A marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in corporate, agency, nonprofit and TV newsroom settings, Vatalaro has devoted the last 14 years of her career to getting more people out on the water fishing and boating and conserving our nation's aquatic natural resources.
Vatalaro currently serves on the American Sportfishing Association's (ASA) Marketing Committee and SeaTow Foundation's Sober Skipper Advisory Council. She is a past member of ASA's 60 in 60 Committee and volunteers with Casting for Recovery.
Vatalaro received her bachelor's degree from Florida State University and completed a certificate in management at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. She grew up in the Florida Keys and is the daughter of a flats fishing guide. She now spends summers fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in Virginia.
Former BAC Members
- Taishya Adams
- Maite Arce
- Martin Peters
- Sherry L. Rupert
- Jessica (Wahl) Turner