Meet the people of Surfrider Foundation Virginia Chapter’s Executive Committee, the passion that fuels our ability to protect our surf and sand.
Chair, Aimee Rhodes
Aimee Rhodes, a Virginia Beach local, grew up enjoying the beaches of Virginia and North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Aimee is passionate about protecting and preserving the beaches she loves dearly. She gives back to her community regularly, with Surfrider Foundation Virginia Chapter’s programs, champions and events. She is dedicated to Surfrider Foundation’s mission for decades and is honored to be apart of the current executive committee.
Vice Chair, Morgan Wilds
Morgan was born in Greenville, NC and raised in the heart of the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. They moved to Richmond, VA in 2017 and was excited to find a Surfrider Foundation chapter in Virginia! Having worked with Surfrider Foundation in Oahu during college, Morgan was eager to get connected with the Virginia Chapter in the Summer 2017, then called the Virginia Beach Chapter. Morgan worked to bring the efforts of the chapter across the Commonwealth and in 2018 the chapter became recognized as the Virginia Chapter! They are an environmental issue field organizer with the League of Conservation Voters’ Climate Action Team and has experience in grassroots lobbying and organizing volunteers around all environmental issues. Morgan is incredibly passionate about the preservation and conservation of our ocean and coasts. When Morgan isn’t working to protect our environment and coast, they love hanging out on the James River with their dog Rudy, hiking any trail they can find, playing banjo, and hitting the beach!
Treasurer, Lynn Hightower
Lynn was born in Norfolk, VA and is a graduate of Norview High School. He attended Old Dominion University and graduated from Saint Leo University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology. Lynn later graduated from Troy University with a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration.
Lynn has more than forty-two years of experience in Law Enforcement. He was a detective with the Virginia Beach Police Department. A Deputy Sheriff, Supervisor, and Administrator with the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office. He also spent 20 years with Dominion Virginia Power as a corporate investigator. He has investigated criminal and civil cases of every type. Since retiring he has been employed as a consultant to the United States Department of Homeland Security. He is also employed as the Director of The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum
Lynn has been married for 40 years, has two daughters, a 9-year-old grandson and a 5-year-old grand daughter. He resides with his wife in the Hilltop section of Virginia Beach, VA.
Secretary, Madelynne McIntosh
Madelynne is a junior at Old Dominion University majoring in marine biology. She was born and raised in the area so she’s familiar with the environmental, political, and social issues present in Hampton roads. She plans on studying coral reef restoration in the Florida keys—but if Virginia Beach needs her more than so be it. She wanted to get involved locally after moving back home and found the Surfrider Foundation on Facebook by chance. She heard that the Surfrider Foundation was actively searching for volunteers to fill the sampling gaps for their Blue Water Task Force program. After a few correspondences with the volunteer coordinator, she shadowed for a few weeks and was given her current testing site at the narrows. She has been volunteering with the Surfrider Foundation since January 2019 and was eager to take on more responsibility this fall by stepping up to lead the Blue Water Task Force and act as secretary for the Virginia chapter. While she’s planning on traveling after college, no matter where she ends up Virginia Beach will always be her first home.
Volunteer Coordinator, Sierra Celec
Sierra is a Virginia Beach resident but is originally from Alabama and has lived all over. She is a Navy veteran currently attending Old Dominion University to pursue her Bachelor of Science.
In addition to being the newly elected Volunteer Coordinator, she is also a member of the Blue Water Task Force.
Her upbringing on the Gulf Coast and her travels throughout the Pacific inspired her love for the ocean.
She is passionate about conservation and community outreach. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, exercise, cooking, and being a plant mom.
At-Large, Brian Gowder
Brian was born and raised in Chesapeake. He has always loved being on and in the water. In high school, Brian rowed for Great Bridge and Grassfield’s crew teams and spent as much of his free time as he could at the beach. He got involved with Surfrider Foundation because he believes it is important that we as a community make an effort to preserve our waterways and coast so that future generations can grow up enjoying it as we have. Brian is also one of our Blue Water Task Force Leads and looks forward to expanding our sampling areas inland!
Beach Clean-Ups Coordinator, Victor Enriquez Jr
Victor Enriquez Jr. is a Virginia Beach local and a skim boarder. He enjoys helping Surfrider Foundation’s mission to to keep our oceans and beaches clean. He looks forward to meeting new faces everyday and seeing you all at our monthly beach clean ups.