Who We Are

Board of Directors

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.

Founder & CEO
Christopher@wcff.org

Christopher is an award winning producer. His animated film "Dream" won a 2017 Golden Lion for film and a Silver Lion for music at the 64th Annual International Festival of Creativity. He is environmental and marine scientist.  Has decades of experience in field work and research with multiple academic institutions and natural history museums. A former science and social studies teacher, later an administrator, he became the youngest principal of a public school in the state of Florida. While a graduate student, Christopher conducted fieldwork and research to study the Pleistocene Mega fauna and their fossils that were deposited over 10,000 years ago. His study of these extinct species informs his concerns for preserving biodiversity and was a significant factor in the founding of the WCFF. Christopher was one of the first scientists to conduct underwater vertebrate paleontology research. He is a professional, advanced scuba diver with NAUI, PADI, SSI and NASDS with over 2,500 logged dives. Christopher founded the WCFF in 2010 using his life savings to get the organization off the ground and has maintained the operations since then. He is a philanthropic supporter of conservation organizations across the globe. Christopher is President of the International Exploration Society (IES), Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, member of the Ocean Geographic Society, friend of American Philosophical Society and a Board Member of the Pet Philanthropy Circle.

 

Larry McClenney


A lifelong conservationist, Larry has worked for the National Park Service as an educator for over 25 years. His commitment to education, science and natural history includes work with the Academy of Natural Science over a 20 year span and also the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology where he served as the Volunteer Coordinator. Larry is a specialist with non-profits, particularly focused on conservation and education.

 

Jim Costopulos

Jim Costopulos is the CEO of Global Oceans, a US-based nonprofit organization in New York designed to organize oceanographic research expeditions worldwide utilizing time-chartered offshore supply vessels configured for scientific research with modular workspace and laboratory systems, instrumentation and exploration vehicles. Most recently he was President and equity partner at an industrial products firm focusing on supply chain integration and global distribution. Prior work includes start-up ventures and senior management with several manufacturing companies. Mr. Costopulos holds a BS degree in Biology from the University of California, Irvine, with graduate research in marine physiology and aquaculture systems at San Diego State University and Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute.

Board of Advisors:

Jane Alexander
Actress, Author and former director of the National Endowment for the Arts Tony Award winner and two-time Emmy Award winner

 

Casey Anderson
Livingston, MT
Film Producer, TV host and Wildlife Conservationist

 

Katarina Benzova
Los Angeles, CA
Award winning photographer, activist, philanthropist and founder of Mission 11

 

Gale Brewer
New York, NY
New York City Council and
Manhattan Borough President

 

Holly Marie Combs
Los Angeles, CA
Award Winning Actress and Producer

 

Fabien Cousteau
New York, NY
Author, Environmentalist and Filmmaker

 

Dr. Sylvia Earle
Oakland, CA
Author, Aquanaut Explorer, Oceanographer, Founder of Mission Blue

 

Elizabeth David Dembrowsky, Esquire
Founder of Good Council
Law Committee of the New York Bar Association

 

Dr. Birute’ Mary Galdikas
Los Angeles, CA
Author, Primatologist, Founder of Orangutan Foundation International

 

Dr. David Guggenheim
Washington, D.C.
Founder of Ocean Doctor, Director of Cuba Conservancy

 

David Hamlin
Washington, D.C.
Multiple Emmy Award winning Executive Producer

 

 

Ron Magill
Miami, FL
Wildlife Conservation Expert, Film Producer & Photographer, & Communications Director of the Miami-Dade Zoological Park

 

John Martin
Washington, D.C.
Video Producer & Director,
Conservation International

 

Matt Pickens
Tampa, FL
Professional Soccer Player and
2010 MLS Cup Champion

 

Ian Redmond, OBE
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Ambassador, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Convention on Migratory Species, Chairman of the Great Ape Alliance

 

Clare Richardson
Atlanta, GA
President Emeritus,
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

 

Stan Waterman
New Jersey
Marine Filmmaker & Conservationist

 


Ugo Eichler Vercillo
Director, Department for Conservation &
Management of Species
Ministry of the Environment, Brazil


Dr. E.O. Wilson

Harvard University, MA
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Biologist and Conservationist

 


Dr. Patricia C. Wright

Stony Brook University, NY
Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Stony Brook University.
World’s foremost expert on lemurs.

2018 WCFF Planning Committee

Eustace Emerick Alexander
Brooke Bierhaus
Dr. Heather Blackall
Matt Bracken
Julio Corredor
Jeff Coldwell
Sara Curran
Lorea Dandoy
Angela De Sapio
Crystelle Desnoyer
Thomas Duvall
Marina de Castro Lima
Anna Favero
Joanne Flanders
Solveig Galbo, Esq
Rita Elizabeth Garcia
Samantha Gargour
Jen Seggio
April Schroer
John Stone
Kathleen Waybourne, Esq.
Michelle Yazvac

Bram Gunther, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Ilias Missyris, Festival Director & Producer of Wildlife Vaasa, Finland

2018 Jury Selection Committee

Libor Spacek, Founder at the Escape to Nature / Award-Winning Cinematographer and Photographer

Simon Boyce, Executive Producer, Lucky 8 TV

Peter von Puttkamer, President at Gryphon Productions

David Hamlin, Multi-Emmy winning Executive Producer, Producer, Director, Writer for Broadcast TV, Digital, and VR Platforms

May-yi Lee, Vice President, NGC Regional Productions at National Geographic Channel Asia & Fox International Channels