Who We Are
Abigail McCarthy - Chairwoman of the Board
Abigail became the board chair in 2019 after many years as a board member and volunteer with Warm Current. She grew up in Oregon and has always loved the ocean. She studied biology as an undergrad at Wellesley College, spent five years as an itinerant field biologist in Hawaii, Central America, the Caribbean, and California before returning to the Oregon Coast to get a Master's degree in fisheries science at OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center. During these travels she became addicted to surfing and she continues to be a dedicated surfer and scientist while working as a fisheries scientist at NOAA in Seattle. She brings enthusiasm for both marine science and surfing to Warm Current's camps, and she's been on board with the Warm Current mission since the early days.
Tony DeBari - Board Member
Tony grew up on the sandy shores of Neah Bay, Washington. Growing up surfing the local breaks in Neah Bay, he quickly became involved with Warm Current as a surf instructor. Following his passion for working with youth and providing new opportunities for his community he became more involved with with Warm Current over the years. Tony studied Behavioral Neuroscience and Communications at Western Washington University. In his free time you'll find him chasing waves, climbing rocks, playing music and working on his van.
Roi Chang - Board Member
Roi started volunteering with Warm Current in 2015 and joined the board in March 2019. She enjoys working with Warm Current to build a more inclusive, diverse, environmentally reverent, and respectful surf culture for future generations. Proudly residing in Washington since 2006, Roi is most at home surrounded by water. She spent most of her childhood at local swimming pools and beaches in New York, Taiwan, and California. When out of the water, Roi rides her bike, shares meals with friends, listens to music, contemplates art installations, and types numbers into a TI-36x Solar Calculator. Roi is a licensed structural engineer in Washington and California and facilitates renovations of existing buildings and swimming pools. She hopes that we can all learn from one another, kids and volunteers alike, and build a connection with the land, the people, and the cultural heritage of these clear, cold, beautiful waters.
Ian Smithgall - Board Member
Ian hails from Pennsylvania, but has lived in Seattle for over 10 years. Ian’s passion for the ocean started with fishing, cooking, and eating all that comes from the sea. Later, picking up surfing while living in Cape Cod, he landed in Seattle and was amazed at the surf community that was here. Finding out about Warm Current changed his life and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. During the week, you can find Ian working to build better and more resilient non-profits through creative fundraising, marketing, and communications, gardening in his P-Patch, and cooking delicious food.
During the weekend, you can find him playing with fiberglass, building out his van, and most typically neglecting all my other passions and priorities to go find some waves.
Eric Nutting - Board Member
Eric Nutting grew up in the surf mecca of Chicago but has lived in Seattle and surfed the Washington coast for 23 years. He loves everything about water and the ocean and is passionate about cleaning up and preventing water pollution. As an environmental engineer, he designs water reclamation facilities for small municipalities and tribes in the state of Washington.
Eric Fleming - Board Member
Eric Fleming lives in Olympia where he is a stone sculptor, middle school teacher, and surfer. He chose teaching and volunteering for Warm Current for the same reasons: he believes in kids and in the power of empathy to change lives.
Anne Beasley - Board Member
Anne joined the board of Warm Current in 2019. She has a long history of working in the sports and surfing world. After graduating from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Anne was the only woman writer in the Sports department for the Wilmington Star News. She later became director of the first ever all women’s surf contest in the United States, The East Coast Wahine Championships. Her love for surfing took her to San Clemente, California where she was involved in the creation of two women’s surf magazine, Surfing Girl and Surf life for Women. She then moved to Seattle to explore the great Pacific Northwest while raising her two daughters. She also performed more motherly activities like leading a Girl Scout Troop for seven years. Currently Anne works as Senior Editor for PMA Magazine. In her free time, Anne surfs whenever she can and some weekends her VW Westfalia van (aka her vacation home) travels the entirety of the Olympic Peninsula on the search for waves.
Anne has always looked for ways to give back to the sport that has brought her so much joy in life and when asked what she likes most about surfing she replied, “I love how surfing blurs all lines- from age, to economic, to race, to profession. Surfers share a common bond and it doesn’t matter where we come from, we can all be as one when we are in the ocean.”
Ryan Cruse - Founding Board Member
Ryan hails from the landlocked state of NM but has been living happily in the PNW for over 15 years now. He is one of the Co-founders of Warm Current and is passionate about getting kids active and outside, with the hope that they will find as much peace, happiness and health in nature as he has. Ryan studied Environmental Policy and Sustainable Transportation at Western Washington University, but could have majored in teaching sailing, surfing and windsurfing. He has been working in the nonprofit sector since 2008 with a focus on program development and community engagement. In 2013, Ryan was named one of the “25 Portlanders Changing the World” by Portland Monthly magazine. In his spare time, you'll find Ryan out in the ocean chasing waves, on a river chasing trout (usually without success), or looking for his next derelict vehicle project.
John Koenig - Founding Board Member
John has a passion for building things. His passion has led him down some interesting paths in his 35 years, including surfboard shaping, marketing agency owner, a wedding DJ, grease monkey and currently globetrotting tech exec . He studied Business at the University of Oregon, where he grew to love the outdoors and an active NW lifestyle. This love of the outdoors and helping others inspired him to volunteer his time with Warm Current and eventually help grow the organization to where it is today. He enjoys hunting waves, road trips, blues music and working on his van.
Quinn Rotchford - Founding Board Member
Quinn is a native of the Pacific Northwest and now an attorney in San Francisco. He spent years living abroad in Latin America where he helped develop local youth surfing programs and it was there that he came up with the idea for Warm Current: transporting used gear from the states to help provide opportunities and access for youth abroad. His focus with Warm Current is working on all legal and compliance requirements. When he is not in the office, you'll often find Quinn paddling out at a beach in the Bay Area.
Charlie Plybon - Emeritus Board Member
Charlie hails from North Carolina but has called the Oregon coast home from the past 15 years. A life-long ocean lover, he dedicated his academic career to Marine Biology where he's worked in areas ranging from scientific research to management, education and conservation advocacy. Charlie currently works as the Oregon Policy Manager for Surfrider Foundation supporting statewide policy for ocean and beach conservation, but admits his heart for the ocean lies within connecting youth through meaningful ocean experiences. Located on the central coast in South Beach, Oregon, Charlies focuses his Warm Current efforts on our Depoe Bay, Oregon Surf Outpost with Neighbors for Kids.