- Heal the Bay Administration
- Heal the Bay Advancement
- Heal the Bay Aquarium
- Heal the Bay Communications
- Heal the Bay Programs
- Heal the Bay Science & Policy
Heal the Bay Administration
Shelley LucePresident & Chief Executive Officer
Shelley is responsible for determining Heal the Bay’s policy priorities, forming smart strategic alliances, and growing public participation across greater Los Angeles. Shelley, who holds a Doctorate of Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA and a B.S. in Biology from McGill University, began her advocacy career at Heal the Bay, serving as a staff scientist from 2001-2005. She went on to hold executive director positions at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, the Bay Foundation, and the Environment Now Foundation before rejoining us as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2017.
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Meredith McCarthyOperations Director
Heal the Bay’s long time Programs Director has recently shifted to the Director of Operations. Meredith now oversees the organizational health and wellbeing of all programs and staff. As an avid scuba diver she has seen firsthand what putting too much in, taking too much out and ignoring the edge of the ocean has done to our coastal systems. She remains committed to Heal the Bay’s mission of protecting this health of this precious resource and the 11 million people that benefit from it.
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Gabriele has been the face, voice, and administrative angel of Heal the Bay for nearly 20 years. She can answer any question about the organization and the Bay with ease and keeps the office running smoothly. When not manning her post as velvet rope/bouncer/concierge, she can probably be found in her recording studio.
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Aurora NunezExecutive Assistant/Office Manager
Aurora provides administrative and executive support to Heal the Bay, and is bringing a longtime love of local beaches to her position. She grew up in LA and graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a B.A. in Sociology and an Education emphasis. Her hobbies include making sculptures out of recycled materials, attending comic book conventions, and improving her lasagna recipes.
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Alvin LamData and Information Manager
Alvin graduated from UCLA, but more importantly, unlike Frank Drebin, he doesn’t love swimming in raw sewage. It’s this aversion that led him to Heal the Bay where he helps the team attract lovers of clean water (yes, that was a reference to the 90’s classic, Naked Gun 2 ½).
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Katie SherbertData Assistant
Katie has been passionate about marine conservation and humanitarian efforts for as long as she can remember. Her need to make a positive change on this planet led her to dedicate her time at Colorado College, studying environmental science. While in school, she worked for the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit where she discovered her desire to protect and preserve our public lands. She worked hand-in-hand with community volunteers to restore watersheds, create sustainable measures for our wilderness, and promote a long-term solution to our fragile forest ecosystem. Since moving home to California, she has been keen on working for an organization that works to improve our ocean’s health and is a firm believer in Heal the Bay’s mission.
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Heal the Bay Advancement
Dahnie BrandesAdvancement Director
Dahnie leads the advancement efforts at Heal the Bay, working to ensure the organization has the resources it requires to accomplish its mission. A native Angeleno, Dahnie is driven by his passions, both personally and professionally and is deeply committed to making an impact in his community. Raised with a deep love for the ocean, after graduating from UC Berkeley Dahnie volunteered on a remote Fijian island to help set up the country’s first marine protected area. Dahnie worked in education and spent five years as a regional development director at a national advocacy organization before bringing his professional talents to the beach. As an adult he has chosen to live in Venice, just steps from the ocean, to facilitate his long-distance swims, surfing, and playing in the water with his family. He brings that passion to Heal the Bay so that together, we can restore and preserve our oceans for generations to come.
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Sheila McSherryAssociate Director of Foundation Relations
Sheila serves as the liaison between Heal the Bay and the organization’s private, family, and corporate foundation partners. Before joining Heal the Bay in 2005, she advocated on behalf of a public health non-profit in Los Angeles for five years. Born and raised in the South Bay, she is passionate about ocean conservation work, witnessing philanthropy in action, and preserving a pipeline for the next generation of environmental leaders. Sheila graduated from U.C. Santa Cruz and is also a musician. Her favorite beach destination is somewhere along the coast of Costa Rica.
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Britta BucholzMajor Gifts
Britta is a contractor who stewards relationships with individuals and family foundations in support of Heal the Bay’s major donor program.
Britta’s fundraising career began at City of Hope in Southern California, where she oversaw fundraising within the Music & Entertainment, Fashion and Beauty Industries. Most recently, Britta spent the last three years with Share Our Strength. In her role as the Director of Development of California for the No Kid Hungry campaign, she oversaw all fundraising efforts across the state, focusing on principal and major gifts, corporate sponsorships, and events. Prior to working with No Kid Hungry, Britta served as the Vice President of Philanthropy at the Starkey Hearing Foundation developing and implementing strategy for Starkey Hearing Technologies and Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Fun fact: Britta was on the swim team for the University of Miami, FL.
Inés WareDonor Engagement and Special Projects Manager
Inés manages Heal the Bay’s donor engagement and special events within the Advancement Department. She studied Environmental Science at North Carolina Central University and then went on to study Environmental Planning and Design at the University of New Mexico. As a passionate environmentalist, she has worked with many environmental nonprofits in development, campaigning and communications. Fun Fact: She has traveled to eight different countries and has lived in 7 different states within the US.
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Georgina Del VechoAdvancement Manager
Georgina coordinates Heal the Bay’s corporate sponsorship program, Suits on the Sand. After a disillusioning first year as a pre-med, Georgina found her true passion for the environment and graduated from Duke University with a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Before joining Heal the Bay, she spent a summer in Ste. Luce, Madagascar doing research to promote national land conservation in their coastal forests (and going to the beach). Talk to her about: the best place in town for pasta, NCAA basketball, or her beloved cat, Splash.
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Heal the Bay Aquarium
Marslaidh RyanAquarium Director
Marslaidh (pronounced like parsley) studied Environmental Science at the University of Oregon, Aquarium Science at Saddleback College, and Fisheries and Wildlife Science at Oregon State University. She began her career in public aquariums over fifteen years ago gaining experience in areas such as marine science education, animal husbandry, life support systems, and facility operations. She has worked and volunteered in various institutions as she made her way down the coast, such as the Marine Mammal Center, Aquarium of the Bay, Aquarium of the Pacific, and the California Science Center. She dives locally as an active PADI Divemaster and Scientific Diver, and is a member of the Grunions US Masters swim team.
Laura RinkAssociate Aquarium Director, Operations
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Aquatic Biology, Laura has spent the last 10 years working in the aquarium industry at facilities housing diverse collections of aquatic life. Her previous positions include Curator at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney, Senior Aquarist at The California Science Center, and Aquarist for the Calvert Marine Museum along the Chesapeake Bay.
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Jenna SegalAssociate Aquarium Director, Programs
Jenna earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Northeastern University, and coordinates with educators, event planners and others who wish to use the facilities. She also acts as liaison with various city agencies and Santa Monica Pier neighbors, and oversees the facility’s public hours and retail operations. Originally from Massachusetts, Jenna moved out west to enjoy the sunshine and study marine science. She started her career at Heal the Bay as an Aquarium and MPA Watch volunteer, and officially joined the staff in 2012.
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Kelly KellyEducation Manager
Kelly is responsible for teaching bright-eyed students on field trips about the local coastal ecology, in addition to managing the Key to the Sea and Summer Camp programs. She is excited to be back with Heal the Bay and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, not just to educate others about marine animals and habitats, but also to instill stewardship and foster change. Kelly’s also excited to be back to where she first started as an intern and naturalist in 2014. She is currently working on her M.S. in Informal Science Education at CSU Long Beach. When not teaching on the beach or going to class, Kelly loves going to the zoo (even when she worked there), taking photos, and seeing live music shows.
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Tikiesha WilsonEducation and Outreach Coordinator
“Tiki” is a graduate of the LATTC Chemical Technology Certification program, with an Associate’s Degree in Science. Tiki has been an enthusiastic member of Heal the Bay’s watershed monitoring team since 2011. She was honored by Heal the Bay in 2015 as a “Super Healer”. Her ambitions are to be of service to her city and home, Los Angeles, by protecting our precious waterways. In Spring of 2018, she transitioned to our Aquarium as an Education and Outreach Coordinator where she helps educate K-12 students, while also working with corporations to teach them about conservation and preservation.
Robert RamosEducation and Outreach Coordinator
Robert Ramos is an aspiring marine biologist from Philadelphia. He discovered his passion for marine science while attending college at Wesleyan University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in both Biology and Environmental Science. Once graduated, Robert found his way out to California by participating in an AmeriCorps internship on Catalina Island building nature trails. Eventually, Robert was welcomed into the Heal the Bay family as an Education and Outreach Coordinator, where he educates and inspires young people to be stewards of their environment!
Heal the Bay Communications
Talia WalshCommunications Director
Talia oversees Heal the Bay’s communications department and strategy. She mobilizes individuals and organizations to advocate for equitable, sustainable, and clean water from summit to sea. Her work encompasses branding, public relations, digital marketing, advertising, partnerships, social media, and campaign activations. She earned her B.S. in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University with an emphasis on public communications. In her free time, you can find her hiking, camping, making and experiencing art, gushing over new Emoji, mentoring students and writers, and enjoying live music. Fun fact: She was once a Park Ranger in Rhode Island!
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Alex ChoyCommunications Manager
Alex is helping to build Heal the Bay’s voice as the Communications Manager. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies, and her professional passion lies in blending visual media and sustainability. Her personal passions include working on creative projects, thrifting, and being a plant mom!
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Heal the Bay Programs
Nancy ShrodesAssociate Director, Policy and Outreach
Nancy is currently Heal the Bay’s Associate Director of Policy & Outreach, in which she connects our technical work to our outreach programming. She passionately works to educate local community members and protect our watersheds and has done so for 8 years at Heal the Bay. While spearheading our campaigns, Nancy earned her Master’s Degree in Water Resource Engineering at LMU, with a certificate in Sustainability. Having grown up in the South Bay, you can find her spending her free time on the volleyball courts or in the water body surfing.
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Emely GarciaBeach Programs Manager
Emely is passionate about environmental conservation, marine protection, and connecting people with the outdoors. She earned her Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Management with a focus in Policy and Planning from Humboldt State University. Before joining the Heal the Bay team, she worked closely with the Sierra Club and LA Nature for All advocating for the protection of our San Gabriel Mountains and San Gabriel River. At Heal the Bay, Emely manages all Beach Programs that are open to the public. If you’re interested in being a part of a Nothing but Sand Beach Cleanup, getting involved with Adopt-a-Beach with your team, or volunteering on Coastal Cleanup Day feel free to reach out to Emely!
On her spare time, you can find her painting nature inspired art work, trail running, and planning her next National Park camping trip!
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Danielle FuruichiOutreach Coordinator
After graduating from Indiana University, Danielle further developed their passion for environmental justice and the ocean as a volunteer at Heal the Bay Aquarium. Now Danielle helps execute beach and creek cleanups, educates the community on the health of our watersheds and oceans, and engages high school students through Club Heal the Bay. On the weekends you can catch Danielle rock climbing, hiking, and surfing!
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Heather CurtisMPA Watch & Outreach Associate
Heather provides support as a science communicator to several Heal the Bay programs including MPA Watch, Speaker’s Bureau, and Suits on the Sand. She joined Heal the Bay after completing her Master’s degree in biological research at the California Institute of Technology, and she is having a blast learning about the many ways she can use her skills to empower Los Angeles communities through environmental advocacy. In her free time, Heather enjoys rock climbing, salsa dancing, and exploring the California wilderness with her adventurous rabbit, Han Solo.
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Heal the Bay Science & Policy
Dr. Katherine PeaseScience and Policy Director
Katherine assesses the water quality and biological health of greater L.A.’s watersheds and assists stakeholder groups with policy recommendations. Katherine studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Barnard College and earned a Ph.D. from UCLA, where she wrote her dissertation on the impacts of invasive crayfish on native frog tadpoles in the Santa Monica Mountains. Katherine is passionate about freshwater ecosystems and loves to explore L.A.’s wilderness.
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Annelisa MoeWater Quality Scientist
Annelisa helps to keep L.A. water clean and safe by advocating for comprehensive and science-based water quality regulation and enforcement. Before joining the team at Heal the Bay, she worked with the Regional Water Quality Control Board in both the underground storage tank program and the surface water ambient monitoring program. Annelisa completed her master’s degree in geological sciences at CSU Northridge. In her free time she enjoys caving, canyoneering and scuba diving.
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Emily ParkerCoastal and Marine Scientist
Emily works to keep our oceans and marine ecosystems healthy and clean by advocating for strong legislation and enforcement both locally and statewide. She focuses on plastic pollution, marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, and climate change related issues. Before arriving at Heal the Bay, Emily earned a M.A.S in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, where she conducted research on sea turtle conservation in El Salvador. When not advocating for ocean rights, Emily can almost always be found on the shore catching a wave or soaking up some L.A. sunshine.
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Luke GingerWater Quality Scientist
Luke fights for the environment’s rights by advocating for water quality regulation and enforcement. But he’s also looking out for the humans who go to the beaches, rivers, and streams by managing the Beach Report Card, River Report Card, and NowCast programs. Before joining Heal the Bay, he worked as an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency compliance consultant for small businesses. He has a B.S. in Biology from The University of St. Thomas and a M.S. in Biology from Miami University. Although Luke does not consider what he does at Heal the Bay “work,” when he’s not in the office he is hiking in the National Parks or hanging out on the beach.
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Lucy RievesWater Quality Modeler
Lucy uses environmental and historical bacteria data to create the NowCast models for Heal the Bay, and makes the weekly Beach Report Card grades using recent bacterial data from coastal California counties. She studied Applied Mathematics, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, and Geographic Information Systems at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she worked on projects modeling Avalanche risk in the Colorado backcountry and assessing future risk of crop loss with the National Center for Atmospheric Research climate models. Lucy loves exploring and quantifying trends and relationships occurring in the natural world and producing means to improve public health by increasing awareness, as well as any outdoor recreation opportunities!
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Frankie OrralaAngler Outreach Program Manager
Frankie manages the Angler Outreach Program, overseeing a multilingual team of five. He also develops partnerships with the Spanish-speaking community and acts as Heal the Bay’s Spanish media liaison. Before joining Heal the Bay, Frankie was a Fishing Observer for the Ecuadorian National Fishing Institute in the Galapagos Islands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of Guayaquil.
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