Stefanie Brendl Founder of Shark Allies - President and Exec. Director

Stefanie has many years of experience in Underwater photo and video production. For many years she focused on adventure sports and traveling and spent a big portion of her time in the ocean. She has hundreds of hours of diving with shark of all shapes and sizes, and has been working in Ocean related professions for years - one of them being a shark diving operation in Hawaii called Hawaii Shark Encounters, which she owned and operated with Jimmy Hall since 2002, and which she sold on to new owners in 2014.

In recent years her political work has put Stefanie on the forefront of shark conservation, in particular in the Pacific region. She was a driving force behind the first shark fin trade ban in the Nation in Hawaii in 2010 and has since then dedicated her life to the conservation of sharks. Stefanie has worked as a team member or consultant for several other great NGOs and founded Shark Allies in 2007 in Hawaii. 2014 she brought the organization to California.

She is also the Executive Producer and cast member of Extinction Soup, a documentary film about sharks and the major threats they are facing.

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Stefanie’s FB        Twitter page        Extinction Soup FB        Extinction Soup website

Erika Wunch

Vice President 

Erika is a native of Southern California, a wildlife enthusiast, and a conservationist. After being a studio executive for over a decade, she left her respected position to become an independent film producer, pursuing her love of nature and focusing on projects that entertain and educate audiences about wildlife and the importance of conservation. In addition to producing she the created the fine jewelry line, Stick Sand Bones, utilizing prehistoric fossils mixed with precious gems and metals. Proceeds from this line are donated back to shark and ocean conservation. She currently resides in Los Angeles and devotes her time and energy to raise awareness and funds to help protect animals both underwater and on land.

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Erika's FB     Twitter page      Erika on IMDB     Stick-Sand-Bones website

Kinga Philipps

Board Member

From a young age, Kinga has always been interested in pushing her limits and making a difference. Never one to sit still, she has traveled the globe for the past decade rappelling, caving, surfing, diving, jumping out of airplanes and swimming with sharks as a writer, producer and on camera host for networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, USA, AMC, Travel Channel, Fox Sports, Food Network, Current TV, Syfy and National Geographic. She has explored the world as a journalist reporting on intense subjects like police corruption in Mexico, gangs in LA, women in the sex trade, humanitarian and environmental causes and natural disasters.  Kinga is a contributor to several travel blogs and volunteers her free time to humanitarian and environmental organizations. 

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Kinga’s FB      Twitter page     Instagram      IMDB page

Liz Sullivan

Treasurer

Liz Sullivan has worked in the Accounting field for fifteen years for corporations in the entertainment industry and other businesses.  In her free time, she has been an avid scuba diver since 2000, and does photography both underwater and on land as a hobby.  Her favorite subjects to photograph are sharks, and she tries to show the beauty of sharks through her photography.  Liz is also a volunteer diver for Reef Check California, where she collects data during surveys of near shore reef systems in Southern California.  Liz is passionate about shark conservation and strives to help change the negative perceptions of sharks whenever possible.

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Alexandra (Ali) Riggle

Communications Manager

Ali brings her passions for writing and environmental conservation to Shark Allies in her work as Communications Manager. She is responsible for creating engaging content for the Shark Allies Website, e-newsletter, blog, print publications, and other communications. Her mission is to inspire the public through her writing to join in the fight to protect sharks—and all marine life—and their ocean habitat. Ali has several years of experience working in ocean conservation, having formerly served as Program Manager for a non-profit group dedicated to shark conservation and as an education volunteer for the Aquarium of the Pacific. Ali earned her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Cal State Northridge and is a full-time writer by trade. Her personal credo could best be summed up as: “Nature is my religion, the earth is my temple.” 

 

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Sara Strickland
Marketing and Events Coordination

Sara is a Los Angeles transplant who spent her summers growing up in Virginia Beach; her father was a Captain who taught her at an early age the balance and respect of the vast ocean. As an adult, Sara is an active diver and conservationist, with the belief that together we can make a difference. Sara’s area of expertise is found within Marketing, Communications, and Event Planning. With over thirteen years of creative and administrative experience, she was brought to Shark Allies through her local dive chapter. During Sara’s free time she is a full time student, who balances two full time jobs, a small fur-baby family, and her passion for shark and marine conservation efforts... Sara also loves spending each and every opportunity she has diving!

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