Board of Directors
Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Founder & CEO
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.
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 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:
2019 WCFF Planning Committee
Solveig Galbo, Esq.
Prajwal Shetty Kaup
Virginia Kelly, Esq.
Natalie Lynn Lichtenbert
Dr. Mary Macedonio
Kathleen Waybourne, Esq.
Bram Gunther, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Ilias Missyris, Festival Director & Producer of Wildlife Vaasa, Finland
Jury Selection Committee
Libor Spacek, Founder at the Escape to Nature / Award-Winning Cinematographer and Photographer
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