Linda Mayer, CEO
Linda Mayer has been transforming organizations to improve business results for over 25 years. With her unique ability to understand consumer behavior, she develops strategic plans to drive and meet demand. Demonstrating success in both privately and publicly held companies in consumer, industrial, and OEM products, she is passionate about helping companies and organizations to succeed.
Most recently, Ms. Mayer was President and CEO of SCHOTT North America, a $750m division of SCHOTT AG, a German global technology company, manufacturing specialty materials and glass components. As President and CEO, Linda was responsible for 7 business units with 14 manufacturing locations, 5 sales offices, an R&D facility and corporate offices. Prior to SCHOTT NA, Ms. Mayer served as the Vice President and General Manager for Global Marketing and Product Management of Genie, a $2.1 billion (2008) division of TEREX.
Prior to joining Genie, Linda Mayer spent two years with Rexnord Industries where she was specifically recruited to re-brand the company for private equity sale or IPO. She successfully implemented a brand consolidation, narrowing 110 unique brands to 1 with 3 distinct families, which contributed to 7% sales growth. While in this capacity, she faced her greatest transformative challenge. After a factory catastrophe, she served as the company spokesperson to the media and community. In this capacity, she was greatly involved in helping the community heal through compassionate communication and clarity on extensive available support programs.
While living in the Cleveland, Ohio area, Linda and her husband, Doug, purchased Brilliant Imaging, LLC, a wholesale film developer and custom printer. As business owners, they identified the demand for digital and optical printing and transformed the existing business model from film processing to digital printing.
Ms. Mayer has also held executive level positions with well-regarded brands such as Moen, John Deere, and Kohler. Ms. Mayer’s career began as an International Economist with the U.S. Treasury Department. She earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she authored a manual on starting and operating a business. She also holds a Masters of Art from Johns Hopkins University in advanced international studies and a Bachelors degree from Stanford University.
Linda has served on several corporate boards including MTD, a $2b family owned manufacturer of lawn care equipment, Connor Sport Court International, a $60m private equity portfolio company, and Ann Sacks Tile and Stone. In addition, she served on the board of Kids In Need, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit and has been an active volunteer of Agros International.
Linda enjoys using her business experience, marketing skills and strategic planning knowledge to help organizations achieve their vision. Linda and her husband live in Laguna Hills and enjoy hiking, swimming, biking and the entire outdoor active lifestyle of southern California.
Dr. Wendy Marshall, Director of Education and Public Programs
Dr. Wendy Marshall brings more than 17 years’ experience in the education realm and spearheads the educational programming at ExplorOcean. She has carefully crafted rock-solid educational curriculum that not only helps students learn to think critically and problem solve, but is also in line with California Standard science principles, grounded in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and based on the seven principles of ocean literacy. Because of the quality of STEM education Dr. Marshall has created, the U.S. Navy has awarded ExplorOcean a grant to support more programming for K-12 students. Corporate and family foundations have also awarded Dr. Marshall’s educational programs annual grants.
Dr. Marshall’s programs at ExplorOcean include field trips, ExplorOcean Intensives single day camps for children ages 5 and older, multi-day camps for children ages 7 and up, a Dive Into Writing program for 4th graders and an Ocean Literacy Topic Workshops for children ages 7 and up. She developed and implemented a nationally-recognized robotic program where students design, build and pilot their own underwater robot.
Dr. Marshall has a huge heart for underserved children, and in 2013, she developed a fully-funded summer camp program that brought more than 1,000 students from Orangewood, Kidworks, CASA, and Olive Crest to our camps free of charge. Her greatest joy comes from seeing children’s worldview change as a result of their experience with ExplorOcean. Wendy is an inspiring educator and mother of two children and she is also an extreme marathon runner who loves to scuba dive and kayak in the open ocean.
Dave Lugo, Chief Operations Officer
Dave Lugo leads ExplorOcean’s operational execution. He has spent 20 years in finance and operations and was first captivated by nonprofit work while working as the director of finance and operations for the Children’s Dental Center of Greater Los Angeles. Today he oversees the financial and human resources aspects of ExplorOcean. This includes audits, taxes, financial compliance and employee benefits. As an avid learner, Dave enjoys creating an environment that invigorates curiosity about the ocean. By further enhancing ExplorOcean’s operations, Dave hopes to continue expanding the program to engage even more children in hands-on learning.
While at the Children’s Dental Center of Greater Los Angeles, Dave managed a team of 25 employees. Together, they serviced the dental needs of under-privileged children in the area. His five-year tenure convinced him to stay in the nonprofit sector and established skills working with funders and adjusting business operations to a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
Dave joined ExplorOcean in 2012 as a controller for 16 months before being promoted to chief operating officer in April 2013. Dave also serves as the chief financial officer of Fun Zone Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of ExplorOcean, and is the manager of NHNM Property Holdings, LLC. Dave began his career running a family-owned Shell franchise for 14 years. He has additional finance and operations experience at Measurement Driven Rehabilitation Systems and National Corrective Group.
A proud graduate of Whittier College with a degree in Business Administration, and a Laguna Niguel resident, Dave has developed a passionate interest in the ocean and looks forward to ExplorOcean’s growth in the coming years.
Shannon Clafford, Creative Services Manager
Shannon grew up in Illinois, she moved to California in 2010. She graduated with her Bachelors degree in Agricultural Education and Leadership from the University of Illinois in Champaign. She worked several years in a human nutrition research laboratory and at a law firm. Currently at ExplorOcean she is the Creative Services Manager. Her responsibilities include social media, guest services, and research.
In her free time, Shannon loves to be outdoors, spend time with her family and two cats, cook and watch documentaries.
Robert Harrison, Director of Facilities
Rob Harrison is Director of Facilities for ExplorOcean. Originally from South Africa, Rob brings over 20 years of international experience in commercial and residential construction and facilities management. From remodeling and upgrades to building hands-on learning activities, Rob’s work touches every aspect of the visitor experience. He leads the facilities team with an emphasis on ensuring that guests enjoy a clean and safe experience and that all rides and technologies are running smoothly.
An avid traveler and Scuba Dive Master, Rob embodies the ExplorOcean spirit. When he is not onsite, he can be found kite-surfing, scuba diving, or filming the coastline with the ExplorOcean quad copter.