Staff


Kevin Whilden, Executive Director and Co-Founder
Kevin is a green business entrepreneur and a geologist. His passion is solving the problem of climate change, and his career has spanned this field: scientific research in Antarctica, carbon offset policy and development, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and Clean Tech startups developing technology to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.Kevin’s underlying interest is in understanding how complex systems work and what is needed to create large scale change on a societal level. Sustainable Surf grew out of the recognition that the solution to climate change needs a fun and interesting “low-carbon lifestyle”, which surfing can become. As a former owner and director of a surfboard and SUP manufacturing company, Kevin understands how surfboard manufacturing works and how to create a financially viable strategy for sustainable manufacturing.Kevin was raised in Manhattan Beach, California, and studied undergrad physics at UC San Diego. Despite being steps from the beach, he suffered a “wasted youth” by somehow not picking up surfing until his mid 30′s. In his defense, he learned to whitewater kayak at an early age and spent as much time as possible surfing whitewater rivers throughout California and the Pacific Northwest. Surfing has now taken over, and he has the perpetual grom stoke over any quality of waves. Kevin is also interested in all lifestyle solutions to climate change, such as biodiesel fuel, permaculture, energy efficiency, and a healthy mind-body approach.

Michael Stewart, Director of Partnerships and Co-Founder
Michael Stewart grew up sliding on the shifting sand bars around Cape Hatteras, but now finds himself slotted among the rocks, sharks & fog near the Golden Gate bridge. He has been focused on sustainability issues (in particular, Climate Change issues) and certification of “greener” or sustainable products at several notable start-up companies. These include UL Environment, (a new business of the 116+ year old nonprofit Underwriters Labs), Cooler Inc., Carbonfund.org and the Social Venture Network, where he has worked with many of the biggest consumer product brands to look at the impacts of their products. This experience has allowed Michael to work with action sports lifestyle brands to evaluate the environmental impacts of products, services, and events. And where possible, to consult on how to reduce/compensate/offset those environmental impacts with “certified” environmental projects like tropical reforestation, renewable energy, etc.Michael has been a longtime volunteer with Surfrider, and is the current vice chair of the San Francisco chapter of Surfrider (www.sfsurfrider.org) as well as an adviser to the Save the Waves Coalition (www.savethewaves.org). Michael lives with his wife and all his various wave riding vehicles in a cramped apartment in the foggiest part of San Francisco, where he is constantly looking for regular (fair-trade/shade-grown/organic/locally-roasted) drip coffee – and trying to always remember to bring his own dang coffee mug.
bg-headshotBrett Giddings, Programs Manager
Brett is a product sustainability expert with more than ten years’ experience working with and for organizations to design, implement and measure sustainability solutions. Having worked for government, large multi-nationals, small-medium businesses and not-for-profits, he knows how to bring together diverse stakeholders to develop innovative products and programs. Brett is Australian, and before arriving this side of the pond, he played a major role in developing and managing a product stewardship organization that provided sustainability services for 1000 global and local organizations. While in the role, Brett delivered significant member growth (30% increase over four years) and developed and managed an integrated sustainability reporting system based on the principles of the Global Reporting Initiative. He also played a leading role in developing the Australian Recycling Label and the recyclability assessment system that underpins that system. Since joining the team at Sustainable Surf, Brett has applied his expertise to relaunch the ECOBOARD Project and introduce the Gold Level ECOBOARD logo. Brett is fast becoming acquainted with our brand partners by riding as many ECOBOARDS as possible!