The ocean has always been a way for Yura to connect to something larger. It has always been a part of his life and it has always felt strange to be away from it. He is a firm believer in protecting our oceans and planet. It has been a fulfilling and inspiring for Yura to be with Surfrider. The organization provides him with an opportunity to give back to something he loves and hopes to protect. Volunteering with Surfrider also gives him the pleasure of being surrounded by like-minded people.
Kat was born and raised in Vancouver and is passionate about keeping our oceans clean. She is an independent filmmaker passionate about telling meaningful stories. Her films are her way of making a difference by telling stories that need to be told. Kat volunteers with Surfrider as another way to create positive change in our community. She has loved every minute of being a part of the Surfrider team and is thrilled to be surrounded by such passionate and like minded people.
Mandy has always had a strong passion for protecting and preserving our oceans, which led her to join Surfrider Vancouver in 2015. She started out as a research volunteer, actively participating in beach cleanups and transects around Vancouver. The opportunity to work with people who share the same passion and dedication in protecting our oceans is amazing. As she steps into the role of Volunteer Coordinator, she hopes to continue to share her passion with new members and the general public. Her favourite water activities include kayaking and paddle boarding.
Nataliya has been with the chapter for three years in various roles, from research to communications and, finally, treasurer. All these positions have allowed her to see how different parts of the organization interact and coexist, and she's excited to pursue her new role as treasurer. Always a water baby, Nataliya pursued environmental sciences and oceanography as an undergrad, but switched to accounting to have a more flexible set of skills. For her, Surfrider represents a community in Vancouver who believes in making a difference in the environment.
Communications Director and Secretary
A passionate of oceans and surfing, Bassam Chahira joined Surfrider Foundation, Vancouver Chapter, in 2016 to help improve the image of the organisation among its diverse audiences and raise awareness around ongoing projects defending the littoral. Bassam is a seasoned public relations and communications professional with over 10 years of experience. Bassam earned his Masters of Organisations’ Communication degree, he is continuing his studies in Public Relations, Social Media and Marketing Communication. He is member of CPRS – Canadian Public Relations Society and MMCA - Moroccan Marketing and Communication Association. Bassam lives in Vancouver with his wife and his two kids; he is fan of soccer, surfing and camping.
Matthew's 6 years at Surfrider Foundation started while sailing from Vancouver to California in 2011. Venturing from city to city he met chapter members all down the coast who were taking action for the ocean they love. Since joining the Vancouver chapter Matthew has led events, social media and policy campaigns. Previously serving in the Chair role he now supports the chapter executive leading partnerships and development.
Matthew lives and works in Vancouver as a technology management consultant for Salesforce, Amazon and Facebook clients. Outside of work his passion for the Pacific Northwest coast can be seen in action diving, sailing, surfing, running and recreating on local waves, oceans and beaches.
Through academic and life experiences, Simone has developed a strong love for the ocean. From growing up in Vancouver’s Indian Arm, visiting Caribbean islands with piles of plastics, to surfing in the trash-filled Indonesian coastline, Simone has seen the global issue of trash in our ocean and hopes to make a difference through Surfrider. She is excited to serve as the Events Director this year. Simone believes that everyone can make a positive difference by starting with themselves, and hopes to see you at the next beach cleanup!
Katie Davey, Maddie Bernardo, Paige Maddock, Craig McWilliam