BOB NICHOLS – President
As a Southern California native and lifelong surfer and waterman, Bob calls the ocean his “second home”. In addition to 17 years of friendship, Bob helped Mark Patterson with the layout, creation and installation of the Surfing Madonna mosaic. In the years prior to the non-profit, Bob served in the U.S. Navy, worked as a Financial Planner and Options Strategist for UBS, and was a contract Commercial Pilot in Central America, South America and Indonesia. Bob also represented the USA in the 2011 ITU Triathlon World Championships in the 35-40 age division finishing 213th in the world. His passion for educating our youth on ocean conservation, marine mammal safety and rescue, protecting our local coastline and brightening the lives of children with special needs is his drive to continue to serve full time building and expanding the organization.
Mark Patterson – Vice President
Mark moved to Encinitas in 1983 from Northern California to start a job with a software start-up company called Data Trek. After gaining years of experience in the software industry, Mark took the position as Business Development Manager for Microsoft. The daily grind can only keep an artist satisfied for so long. Mark resigned and nine months later, the Surfing Madonna mosaic was born. His determination to help clean up our local coastline began when a good friend became sick due to toxins in the ocean. As an artist and retiree, he sees no better way than to spend his time using art as a way to spread the message of “Save the Ocean”. Mark is a graduate of UC-Davis and is a co-founder of the organization.
Megan Nichols – Secretary
Originally from Vero Beach, Florida, Megan joined the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project in July of 2013 after spending two years falling in love with the coastline of Encinitas, California. As an avid traveler to the south pacific, Megan started taking notice of the degradation of the coral reefs and volunteered her time to help with ocean conservation efforts in Hawaii. Professionally, she elected a life of an entrepreneur successfully owning and operating a personal training business for 5 years and a restaurant in Central America. Additionally, she spent 3 years in Hawaii teaching endurance training to the United States Army. She earned her BSBA from the University of Florida and currently serves full time as Secretary, Event Planner and overall operations assistant for the organization.
Brad Hanson – Treasurer
Brad Hanson is a Southern California native who has lived near the beach his entire life. Brad has been a volunteer with the Foundation at every Surfing Madonna event and joined our Board in January 2017. He has a passion for the beach and ocean including advocating sand replenishment projects. This passion attracted him to the Foundation to help further our cause. Brad is currently a real estate professional following approximately 40 year career as a CPA consulting or employed by large public companies including Intuit, LPL Financial, Entropic Communications (Initial Public Offering) and WebSideStory, among others. His specialization was public company compliance with the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Brad has two children – Ryan, a 36 year old who has also contributed a lot of his time to the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project and, a 33 year old daughter, Caitlin who is also an active volunteer serving as a foster home for dogs looking for permanent homes. Brad also volunteers for many other events including local MS Society events, local community events, beach cleanups and other events.
MIKE REDMAN – Aquatics Director
As a life long north county resident, my love of the ocean started long ago, so I am really excited to be a part of Surfing Madonna Oceans Project!
One of my favorite activities with SMOP is helping out with our summer surf camp for special needs kiddos. I recently retired from a great career working with special needs students and now I can continue to give back to the community.
Meanwhile, as the Aquatics Advisor for Surfing Madonna Oceans Project, I can tell you there are some amazing things right out there in our local Ocean, so I encourage all of you to get on out there and have a look around!
DANNY SALZHANDLER – Art Director
Danny is a transplanted Texan who has called Cardiff by-the-Sea his home since 1994. After serving in Vietnam, Danny moved from Houston to Dallas and in 1978 started his own company designing and installing conveyor systems. Once he and his wife moved to California he devoted full time to his passion for metal sculpting and welding, creating Biosculptures. Danny is on the board of the Encinitas Art, Culture and Ecology Alliance. He is also the President of the 101 Artists’ Colony, and helped make the Arts Alive public art exhibit one of the largest art events in Encinitas. He founded Full Moon Poets in 2000, producing annual poetry slams at the La Paloma Theater and the fun zone at Safe Trick or Treat in downtown Encinitas. He has received numerous art and civic awards, including “Citizen of the Year” bestowed by the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce in 2010. Danny has worked in zoos as an employee and a volunteer, as well as for cultural and civic organizations in Encinitas. He is proud to serve on the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project board and appreciates the opportunity to help preserve and share our beautiful coastline and marine life.