Forest Woodward

From documenting surf culture in NYC, migrant farm workers in Napa, rock climbing in South Africa, or the street kids of Rio’s Carnival, Forest Woodward is constantly in pursuit of new experiences. While pushing to continually evolve his vision, he is often reminded to carry his camera with humor, compassion and curiosity. Forest’s photographs have won a few awards and periodically can be found gracing the pages of various virtual and print periodicals. He likes it when people smile for the camera – or for any other reason really.

“Growing up, I was home-schooled by adventurous parents who, from the time we were born, exposed us to foreign cultures through travel. At the age of 10, I was handed an old Canon AE-1 and encouraged to use it as a way to explore the places to which we traveled and to engage with the people we met. Traveling, for our family, was not about a vacation from daily life, it was a journey of experiential education that fostered a cycle of openness, curiosity, and connectedness that I still carry with me today. To stay connected to the roots of where my love of photography and travel began, I find it is important to carve out time to return to communities and partner with NGOs where I can volunteer and lend my skills with the camera to help them share their stories, thus balancing time spent taking pictures with a focused effort to giving back, as well. WAVES and the community in Lobitos have been instrumental for me in this regard; and though I have surely received more from this community than I can ever hope to give, I look forward to a lifetime of trying to even the score.”

Smriti Keshari

Smriti Keshari is an award-winning filmmaker, artist, and director.  Her work explores issues outside the mainstream and seeks to inspire social change. Drawing from her childhood experiences in India and Puerto Rico to her travels across the edges of the Earth, Smriti weaves a personal narrative of adventure and multiculturalism into all of her projects.

Her focus manifests itself through a wide array of work, including feature length documentaries, adventure sports programming and photojournalism. She has contributed to original context ventures during her tenure at ESPN (ESPN Films, X Games, ESPN Outdoors) and has produced TV series (Surfing 28 States: India, Outside TV) and feature length documentaries (Food Chains feat. Eric Schlosser & Eva Longoria, Bigger).

Smriti brings spirit and joy into each subject she explores. She carries an attitude that dissolves barriers while creating paths to understanding and collaboration. Rarely in one spot for too long, she wanders with purpose, but can be found rejuvenating in sunny Los Angeles between her travels and projects.

Reece Pacheco

On the internet, I’m known as a determined startup founder, digital videophile, and team-oriented human being – Those boxes are fairly accurate, though I’ll add ocean advocate, environmentalist, and avid traveler to the list. Born and raised on the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the ocean is the greatest constant in my life, be it surfing, scuba, sailing, lifeguarding, or simply sitting by the sea.

I fully identify as a “fish out of water,” both because I physically prefer to be in the ocean as much as I can, and because I have been an outsider flopping into each industry of my career. So after years of grinding hard on my career in the city, I moved back to the coast (Rockaway Beach, NYC), and refocused my time directly on the ocean through an executive volunteer position with Surfrider Foundation’s NYC chapter, a volunteer research role with The 5 Gyres Institute on their 2015 Sea Change Expedition, and now, as a WAVES Advocate.

As JFK once said, “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.” and I believe now more than ever that we must be stewards of the sea. WAVES embodies this and I look forward to representing WAVES in NYC and around the world.

Annie McBride

Annie McBride lives in New York, is an environmental advocate, AND surfs (thanks to the urban sands of Rockaway Beach). When not working on the big island of Manhattan, she makes every effort to be near the ocean and believes in the transformative powers of salt water.

The common thread that runs through her work, volunteering, and lifestyle is collaboration leads to greater change, specifically around our oceans and waterways. Connected with a variety of surf and ocean non-profits (Surfrider Foundation, 5 Gyres, Saha Global, Waves for Water, Stoked Mentoring), she enjoys connecting these communities and capturing and sharing their messages through writing and photography.

She was delighted to lead the marketing and e-commerce for sustainable clothing brand Loomstate, and also activated the surf community as Volunteer Coordinator for Surfrider’s NYC chapter. Currently, she is off to travel for a year, with lots of surfing and volunteering on the horizon, and a much-anticipated visit to Lobitos.