Executive Committee

Chair: Jessie Rickerson
Vice Chair: Darrel Ferguson
Treasurer: John Loshbaugh
Teach and Test: Darrel Ferguson
Secretary: Dudley Tabakin
Volunteer Coordinator: Michelle Giron
Public Relations, Website, Social Media: Halie Schmidt and Lindy Neubauer
Ocean Friendly Gardens: Justin Heacock/Katie Klein
Chapter Youth Program Coordinator: Darrel Ferguson

Committee Bios

Dudley Tabakin is our chapter’s Chairperson.

He currently lives in Irvine, but grew up in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.

Profession: Biomedical Engineer. COO of physiological data software and services solutions company – Vivonoetics.

How long with Surfrider: Eight years as member, four of those as active volunteer and on the Executive Committee.

Hobbies: Surfing and hiking, watching Football (the real kind that Americans call soccer). Also, Surfrider activism and education.

Favorite Beach: Crystal Cove State beach and Clifton Beach in Cape Town, South Africa.

Ocean Activities: Surfing, bodysurfing, snorkeling and sailing.

Interesting personal fact: I have always wanted to visit as many islands as possible to enjoy the idyllic environments displayed in the photographs (I have visited 10 so far). Surfrider programs are the best way I know to do my part so that the islands remain as beautiful as I picture them, when I visit.

Other: As a South African I thought I would share some SA surfing stoke words.

AIKONA (eye-kor-na, sometimes hi-kor-na, and eye-kor-na if very emphatic)

Means ‘No way’, ‘Absolutely not’ (Xhosa or Zulu).

BABALAS (bub-ba-lus)

Hangover from hell. The Babalas is no mythical beast, especially when you look at yourself in the mirror and see that furry tongue slithering in a mumbling, parched mouth; those puffy eyelids scraping bloodshot eyeballs. From the Zulu word ibhabhalazi.


We don’t call them board shorts or Bermudas or other naffy names. They are baggies. You wear them when the water is lekker* warm.


Nice, pleasant, fun, lovely, good, pretty (Afrikaans). People can be lekker. Cars can be lekker. You can have a lekker time. You can feel lekker. Holidays are lekker. When the Springboks occasionally win a rugby match, it’s lekker. Of course, a lamb chop on the braai* is also lekker.

BRAAI (rhymes with high) Barbecue.


Absolutely, right on, to the limit. Affirmation or agreement, but also refers to an act or person that is extreme in some way. It could be used in this context: ‘That was a full-on drop-in*.’ ‘That oke* is full on.’

Darrel Ferguson is the Vice Chair of our chapter. He is a native of Southern California and is a professional in the plumbing sales industry. Darrel has been active with Surfrider for eight years and enjoys spending time with family, music and hiking. His favorite beach is Crystal Cove and is an avid surfer. His quote to live by is, “What you see in another can have an impact on both of you.”

Doug Peterson coordinates the Teach & Test Program of water quality testing performed by local area high schools. He is retired, after a career in the field of water and water reclamation, and resides in Irvine, CA.

Robyn Vettraino is an Architect and President of verde at ParkerProperties (bikes to work), a sustainability consulting firm for the architecture, design, and development world.

Robyn finds a balance between her husband (whom she co-works with), two young and active daughters, an almost teen-age step-son (a lot of hyphens there), work she loves, yoga, running, stand-up paddling, snowboarding, biking, traveling, hiking, and just about anything else that comes along (except cooking).

She moved to California from Iowa nearly 15 years ago but still includes the midwest in frequent travel. With a passion for the outdoors, beach and activism, Robyn has been a part of the Newport Beach Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation for a decade and created the annual RockWater 28 mile relay near Spring Equinox. Follow her on Twitter @robbiejep or Pinterest or find her at work here: www.parkerprop.com / LinkedIn and soon to be www.verdeAtPP.com.

Lindy Neubauer is our chapter’s communications guru, handling PR, web content, newsletters and social media.

Originally from Bellingham, Washington, she currently resides in South Orange County with her husband, three kids, Saint Bernard and a cat.

Lindy is the Director of Communications for Concordia University Irvine as well as a writer at Kreative Haus.

She is an outdoors enthusiast and has been active with Surfrider for over three years. Her favorite beach activities include kayaking, stand-up paddling and riding her Nirve beach cruiser.