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Friday, November 17, 2006

Editor's Note

Intelligence, Passion and Action

I've never been impressed by the smartest person in the room, I need more than that. Those people whose lives only revolved around acing the SATs or having the highest GPAs always seemed ... boring to me. I've always felt that intelligence alone isn't a good barometer for success, a meaningful measure of value or, in the end, the defining attribute of someone I want to spend time with. One-dimensional people get stale fast. Sure intelligence is notable, but what impresses me more than that is the potent mix of smarts and passion. The only thing better is an insatiable intellect combined with a seemingly endless supply of passion and a strong bent for action. Pow. That's when the superpowers seem to kick in.

The mix of intelligence, passion and action is the essence of the Surfrider Foundation.

Erika D'Avanzo has that mix. Erika was instrumental in many New York metropolitan campaigns. She moved to Florida, studied the unique local issues tirelessly and has set records of action to fend off an onslaught of challenges on the Florida shores.

Eugene Alper has that mix. He started the Eastern Long Island chapter by straightforwardly applying our chapter resource guides and helped build local coastal conservation muscle. A year or so later the local successes came rolling in.

Sergio Mello has that mix. He came to our International Affiliate meeting last year, was chatting with global Surfrider supporters via Skype weeks later and managed to coordinate a Jack Johnson / Samba-fueled beach cleanup in Rio a few months after that.

Pete Stauffer has that mix. He went from Maui-based windsurf instructor to Washington DC-based policy wonk, all the while dipping his toes in the Surfrider Kool Aid. Today he's one of our Pacific Northwest powerhouses driving policy changes that will help keep his new home of Oregon the Pacific Northwest gem it is today.

Marco Gonzalez has that mix. Marco may never have turned down an opportunity to argue a point; he's a smart lawyer with adrenaline and a love of our coasts. His mix of smarts and action has enabled him to help build our San Diego chapter into the powerhouse it is today.

Dr. Rick Wilson has the mix. Rick isn't a doctor but the title seems to fit ... his work at Surfrider is an endless study ... with one heck of an output. He is the core author of the annual 500-page State of the Beach report, highlighted in this issue. It is the seminal source for a national report card on our nation's beaches.

What about you? You have the ingredients to make a large impact in your region if you brought the elements together. Go to the next chapter meeting: find that unique place to plug in.


Jim Moriarty
Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer


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