Fins Attached

WELCOME TO FINS ATTACHED

Team

Our Staff and Volunteer Team

Volunteer Sales Manager. Susie is very active with just about everything that has to do with water. Susie volunteered at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo Aquarium in 2004. While diving at the zoo she was introduced to Alex Antoniou and Fins Attached, which is something that Susie and Kevin became very
passionate about. They have gone on several trips on the Sharkwater helping with Research and photography. Recently Susie has taken on the responsibility as Sales Manager for Fins Attached. Her current responsibility is all the Fins Attached Merchandise sales and shipping. She is also taking on the role of responding to Fins Attached emails, mostly corresponding with Donors and answering questions for Sharkwater trips or any volunteer questions with research trips.

Operations Manager

The equation is simple:  Help Alex to Save Sharks + Save our Oceans = Save all Living Things.

Volunteer Operations Manager. Stuart is a master of details, which is what we need from an operational person. Thank you to Stuart for dedicating his time as a volunteer to make sure operations run smoothly. Stuart is a motivated individual who performs very well under pressure with a highly successful military career that has instilled many positive and transferable qualities, such as teamwork, integrity, commitment, strong communication skills and selflessness.

Webmaster/SEO

Chief Field Scientist

Dr. Mauricio Hoyos is the Director and Co-founder of Pelagios Kakunjá and the Chief Scientist from Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation. Among his main lines of research are nursery areas, reproduction, movement patterns and habitat use, ecology and behavior of sharks. Based in La Paz, he has studied several species of sharks in different parts of the world: Guadalupe Island, the Gulf of California, the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Isla Mujeres (Mexico), Clipperton (France), Coco Island (Costa Rica), Malpelo (Colombia), Los Roques (Venezuela) and British Virgin Islands. He has studied sharks since 1998 and is part of the scientific committee of several marine reserves in Mexico. Dr. Hoyos has been active in outreach and education on shark conservation. During his career, he has received several awards (Golden Diver, Shark Researcher of the Year and Sea Hero) for his work in the conservation and protection of sharks. He has also published 48 peer-reviewed articles in international scientific journals, 3 book chapters, and a book on the White Shark. He has been the scientific advisor to several international documentaries for international networks such as National Geographic, Discovery, Japan Underwater Films, IMAX, Natural History New Zealand as well as Televisa and Canal Once TV-Mexico.

Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer Coordinator. Since she was a child she has been fascinated by sharks, even writing a term paper on them in high school about how misunderstood they were. It wasn’t until Tamara saw a documentary on how many sharks were being killed every year, that she knew she had to do something. She has been a volunteer with Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation for 8 years ago. She uses every opportunity to educated people on sharks and that Fins Attached is making a difference with our research and conservation efforts. Thank you Tamara.

International Policy and Development Director

Randall Arauz is a Costa Rican sea turtle and shark biologist who is known for his effective activism that has domestic, regional, and global impact. After graduating from the University of Costa Rica in 1988, he directed research on the impact of shrimp trawls on sea turtles and techniques to mitigate the impact. While studying the impact of the longline industry on sea turtles in 1997, he stumbled upon the shark finning issue and obtained some of the first known video evidence of the horrific act, and launched an on-going campaign in 2001 that has put Costa Rica under the spot light of the global shark finning issue. Randall is a member of the IUCN Sea Turtle Specialist Group, and has served as science advisor to official delegations at wildlife conservation conventions, such as CITES and CMS, He has authored and co-authored over 50 peer reviewed publications. His work has been acknowledged by the Whitley Fund for Nature in 2004 (UK) and the Goldman Prize (US) in 2010. Since 2017 he has served as Fins Attached’s Marine Conservation Policy Advisor.

Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Antoniou began his shark conservation path in 1994 as the Director of Field Operations for the Shark Research Institute.  He is currently the CEO for Fins Attached, which he founded in 2010. He has had a passion for shark research and conservation for over 27 years. Dr. Antoniou’s work has taken him Honduras and Baja California, the Galapagos, Costa Rica, Malpelo Island, Guadalupe Island, and the Revillagegedo Islands.  In 2017, a 134-foot, long range research expedition vessel was acquired to expand the mission of Fins Attached. The vessel, “Sharkwater,” is host to professionals within the field. Scientists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), marine science students, and documentary crews can conduct fieldwork and to achieve the mission of Fins Attached.  Alex was awarded the 2017 “Shark Guardian of the Year” award from the Shark Project of Germany. The equation is simple, Save Sharks + Save our Oceans = Save Life.


Board of Directors

Will Allen is a photographer and filmmaker from Montreal, Canada. He has spent the last 18+ years of his life exploring as much of the world as he can from Elephants in jungles of Sumatra to the paddling the frigid waters of the North West Passage to sailing around Cape Horn and on to Bouvetoya Island in the Sub Antarctic Ocean, the most remote island on the planet. While he works in all aspects of photography and film his biggest passion is for sea life, primarily sharks and whales where he has worked on many projects around the globe which ultimately led to working with award-winning IMAX director Stephen Low on several IMAX documentaries including Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D with Kelly Slater and award winning filmmaker Rob Stewart on Revolution and Sharkwater:Extinction. Will’s passion for ocean life and the need to protect drives him to continuously work with people on projects that will stand to make a
positive impact and change in the world of ocean’s and its inhabitants.

Fins Attached Board of Directors Member

As Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Laith Ghaith Pharaon expertly oversees the investments, business development and ongoing operations of Orca Holding worldwide. He serves as the principal investor identifying lucrative real-estate opportunities in select international markets. Leveraging his well-respected acumen in hospitality management, he has established joint venture partnerships with world class luxury hotel and resort brands around the globe. Laith’s prior experience includes and asset management and development of a hospitality portfolio of hotels and resorts across the Mercosur region of Latin America. In his early career he managed distressed real estate portfolio assets in the U.S. and administered a sizeable Latin American debt portfolio for a major New York money center. Laith competed on an international level in Class 1 offshore powerboat racing. He was inducted in the American Power Boat Association’s (APBA) Hall of Champions, the highest honor for the sport, in 1996. Among his career wins were four Formula 1 World Championship races: U.S. Championship (1996); European and World titles (1997); Pole Position World Title (1998). He is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Board of Directors

Kevin is the co-founder and President of K&K Masonry, Inc., one of the best-known masonry companies in Nebraska. They have been in business for 27 years with 30 full time employees. Kevin serves as the Managing Partner of K&K Masonry, managing day-to-day operations, working with existing clients and developing new ones. He was instrumental in developing The Mason Training Institute, an open shop, non-profit school designed to teach masonry techniques in order to produce qualified masons for the industry. Kevin is a past President of the Mason Training Institute, the Nebraska Masonry Institute, the Eastern Nebraska Mason Contractors Association, Ginger Cove Fireworks, and was a founding board member of Nebraska Masonry Alliance. As a volunteer rescue diver for the Yutan Fire and Rescue Department, Kevin earned his Divemaster Certification from PADI and currently has thousands of completed dives. Kevin joined Susie (wife) as a volunteer diver at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and completed his Scientific diver certification from SSI. Kevin became a Board member of Fins Attached in 2018.

Vice Chair

Kris is the Fins Attached Vice Chair Board Member.

Sun&Surf is headed by Kristopher Lopez who is an expert in aquatics, with over 39 years of experience. Kris holds NJ State teaching certifications in both Secondary Mathematics and Science. Kris currently teaches Chemistry and Physics at Allentown High School in New Jersey. Kris is currently Vice President of the UFRSD Teachers Union and the Negotiations Chair for over 15 years, most recently negotiating a contract settlement of over $60M for the next three years for the school union. He has the ability to understand the big picture and then train and motivate people to achieve a goal as part of his daily routine. He is willing to serve in whatever capacity best serves M/Y Sharkwater and Fins Attached. He is presently scheduled to retire from teaching June 2021 and will be looking to invest my energy into a new project. After 33 years in the classroom this may be a welcome change.

New Jersey

Dennis is the owner and operator of a dive shop called Elite Divers in New Jersey, USA.

Dennis possesses a unique blend of working full time for the largest utility company in
NJ, a fortune 500 company, PSEG, while owning and operating one of the East Coast’s
oldest and most recognizable dive shops, Elite Divers. He also owns and operates the
rental property Blue Karma, located in Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands. His business
acumen, contacts in the diving industry and resourcefulness exhibit his strengths as a
leader.

  • Elite Divers, President/CEO
  • Blue Karma – Cayman Brac. Cayman Islands, Owner & Operator
  • PADI – Master Instructor, Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer SDI / TDI
  • ERDI Instructor
  • Public Service Enterprise Group, Major Account Consultant

United Kingdom

Andy Reid is a retired UK military member and the Director of Fins Attached UK.

Andy is a pragmatic, adaptable and tenacious leader, with an innate belief in the power of education to change how people think. Motivated to lead and influence as demonstrated by an award-winning track record in expedition leadership, he is environmentally aware with a values-based approach to leadership and a significant interest in marine conservation, developing people and creating change for the better.
Andy’s first significant expedition was as to Malaysia with Operation Raleigh in 1987. Over a 25-year career in the British Army he has led a significant number of diving, sailing and trekking expeditions. These included award-winning Joint Services (military) diving expeditions to Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands), St Paul Island (Nova Scotia), Cocos Island (Costa Rica), the Revillagigedo Islands (Mexico) and Guadalupe (Mexico). In 2011 he was a leader on a British Schools Exploring Society Expedition to the Peruvian Amazon. Andy is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club (New York). During his Army career Andy has also worked as a salmon farm manager in Scotland and as a fisheries scientist in the Falkland Islands.

Omaha Nebraska

Pat Purkhiser is a Board Member and a dive instructor at DiVentures in Omaha Nebraska.

Pat has taught High School Science, was a College Adjunct, scuba Instructor Trainer, Service Tech, 45 years SCUBA experience, Public Safety BLS Trainer, and a Platinum Diver. Pat has been a part of Fins Attached since the beginning and is committed to teach Environmental/Ecological Sciences. He has over 1000 certifications and 23 years leading Eco-trips around the world with high school and college students, for
which he is extremely proud of.

Denver, Colorado

Ali Miller is the owner and operator of Denver Divers in Denver Colorado.

Despite growing up in landlocked Denver, Colorado, Ali has been scuba certified since the age of 12, falling in love with the oceans at a young age. She has turned her passions of environmental conservation and marine biology into a career as owner and travel director of Denver Divers and the Swim School of Denver. She strives to educate all generations about the importance of protecting the oceans through
experiential learning on the many group trips she hosts for the dive shop. She holds a Master of Business Administration with a focus in entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado and an undergraduate degree in environmental Studies from the University of Redlands. She has worked in the dive industry for most of her career, becoming a scuba assistant instructor in 2005 and freediving instructor in 2013. Since
purchasing Denver Divers in 2009, she has built the travel program from one to three trips per year up to 12-14 trips per year. Each trip she builds includes an aspect of environmental ocean education and conservation, fulfilled through partnerships with destination based non-profits around the world.

Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Antoniou began his shark conservation path in 1994 as the Director of Field Operations for the Shark Research Institute.  He is currently the CEO for Fins Attached, which he founded in 2010. He has had a passion for shark research and conservation for over 27 years. Dr. Antoniou’s work has taken him Honduras and Baja California, the Galapagos, Costa Rica, Malpelo Island, Guadalupe Island, and the Revillagegedo Islands.  In 2017, a 134-foot, long range research expedition vessel was acquired to expand the mission of Fins Attached. The vessel, “Sharkwater,” is host to professionals within the field. Scientists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), marine science students, and documentary crews can conduct fieldwork and to achieve the mission of Fins Attached.  Alex was awarded the 2017 “Shark Guardian of the Year” award from the Shark Project of Germany. The equation is simple, Save Sharks + Save our Oceans = Save Life.