David Hance - Chief Operating Officer

David HanceDavid joined the executive management team of Sea Shepherd in 2016, after being a member of the organization since 2009.  David has served as an on shore volunteer, crew-member on the ships and also spent two years as the organization’s campaign coordinator. 

Currently David oversees the organization’s day-to-day operations in the Burbank HQ office, and after spending 11 years in private business management and operational roles, he brings a vast network of experiences to the team.

In 2007, David launched a private investigation firm in Southern California, with the focus of the firm being on Civil Rights and Criminal Defense cases.  David’s firm became one of the most sought after firms by attorneys in the greater Los Angeles area, due to their hard work and diligence in protecting and defending human rights.  David continues to be an advisor to local civil rights investigators and remains active in his community, fighting for equal rights for all people.

In addition to David’s passion for human rights, he is equally as zealous about the state of our oceans and the atrocities that occur in the seas around the world.  David applies his business experience, coupled with his passion, to ensure that Sea Shepherd remains an active and effective ocean conservation organization.

Farrah Smith - Senior Leadership Giving and Development Officer

Farrah SmithFarrah Smith joined the staff of Sea Shepherd as the Senior Leadership Giving Officer in 2011. She is responsible for maintaining relationships with major donors, celebrities, and Advisory Board members.  Farrah also coordinates fundraising events and public speaking engagements.

In 2016, Farrah produced a short film directed by actor/filmmaker Ross McCall titled “The Grind of the Faroe Islands” about Sea Shepherd’s campaign to protect pilot whales in the Danish Isles.

Prior to Sea Shepherd, Farrah’s corporate experience started in Las Vegas in 2005, where she worked as the Director of Relationship Marketing for “W Hotels Worldwide”, overseeing the company’s high net worth clientele.

Following that position, Farrah moved to a prestigious position as the VIP Sales Director, for the luxury high-rise, “City Center Residential”.

After relocating to Los Angeles, Farrah became the Director of Sales and Special Events for the “Innovative Dining Group”, where she was responsible for building and maintaining key industry relationships with high-profile clients, managers, producers and studio/network executives.

After viewing the popular reality television series “Whale Wars”, on Animal Planet, Farrah was inspired by Captain Paul Watson and the volunteer crewmembers, as they risked their lives on the high seas to defend whales in the Southern Ocean.  Farrah decided that she wanted to utilize her extensive experience in sales, marketing and celebrity relations to help fundraise to support the efforts of Sea Shepherd.

Her goal is to continue to be an advocate for the oceans and the amazing marine animals that live in them, and to leave this world a better place for future generations.

Zorianna Kit - Media Director

Zorianna Kit is the Media Director at Sea Shepherd Conservation Society where the she oversees the media for the organization’s various campaigns, arranges print and television interviews, stages press conferences and produces PSA videos among other duties.

Zorianna comes to Sea Shepherd from the world of journalism, where she worked as an entertainment reporter for such outlets as Reuters, Hollywood Reporter and People Magazine. A travel writer as well, Zorianna finds time to explore remote locations where she can observe endangered wildlife including polar bears in the sub-Arctic and orangutans in Borneo -  experiences that continue to fuel her passion to respect the planet and save the world’s Oceans. 

Omar Todd - Chief Technical Officer/Chief Information Officer

Omar ToddEntrepreneur, filmmaker, conservationist and activist, Omar has overseen the development and growth of a group of start-up companies in the digital media and technology sectors over the past 20 years.  He also has completed several stints consulting with some of the world's largest technology companies, including Microsoft and Cisco.  He is currently a Council member of the International Cyber Threat Task Force an organisation that deals with current and future security implications to the Internet. Omar also has extensive political contacts as a founder/deputy chairman of the new WikiLeaks Political Party in Australia and serves on its National Council.

Omar met Captain Paul Watson in 2008 at a speech given by Paul and despite being a committed entrepreneur, Omar always had a love of animals and was moved by Captain Paul Watson's talk about the plight of Whales and our Oceans.  Over the next few years he become more involved in the organisation and donated his skills until he was made Cyber Director (Communications & Social Media Director) by Captain Paul Watson and Omar has grown with Sea Shepherd since then and he is currently the Chief Technical Officer/Chief Information Officer (CIO/CTO). 

With extensive knowledge of network design, internet management and security (CISSP/CISM trained), web design and complex project management, Omar's role takes him around the world and sometimes on to the ships as well.  .

Omar brings forward thinking, analytical, creative and innovative resolutions to complex I.T. problems which remain commercially focused whilst adhering to conservation principles in demanding environment, Omar currently is working very hard on improving Sea Shepherd's Information Infrastructure. From time to time he also does VIP liaison and gives speeches and talks about Sea Shepherd.  Omar considers his Sea Shepherd role to be by far his most satisfying ever and despite his other responsibilities, he puts his Sea Shepherd work first and foremost.

Gwen Letutour - Marine Technical Superintendent- US Fleet

staff Gwendolyn LetutorGwen joined Sea Shepherd in 2012 as an on-shore volunteer in Lorient, France but with his strong background as a marine engineer, he was quickly recruited as one of our ship engineers, and a short time later was aboard the ships in Sydney, Australia.

After being on several Sea Shepherd ships and campaigns as a chief engineer, Gwen is now providing technical support for the US fleet.

Managing the Fleets’ engine rooms, scheduled repairs, re-fits, and technical operations is a key role in the long term success of the organization because insuring that the ships are as efficient as possible is a great way to make sure that we do not waste a single penny of our amazing donor’s money.

“Being passionate about protecting the environment and the animals, it is an honor to serve Sea Shepherd in the best way possible”- Gwen Letutour

Marianne Lyons -Finance Manager

An east coast native, Marianne has recently moved to Southern California, from Connecticut. 

Ever conscious of the increasing environmental concerns of our planet, Marianne appreciates this opportunity to be involved with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as administrative support. 

Marianne has over 30 years of nonprofit financial experience in education, disability legal rights, and women’s issues.   To help support her experience she returned to school while employed full time, earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees, and receiving a Master’s in Business Administration.

Michaela Tompkins - Development and Database Manager 

Micaela has worked with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society since early 2011. She is responsible for working with all departments within the organization and guiding the long-term development of SSCS, as well as maintaining and managing the organization’s database. Micaela has had a deep passion for marine conservation and humanitarian efforts since a young age and has volunteered on various local projects and with several local non-profits throughout her life. She is currently one of the Sea Shepherd Baltimore/DC Chapter Co-Coordinators.

Although she has a love for the administrative and database aspects of her job, Micaela's favorite part of her position is speaking and working with the supporters, donors, and volunteers of the organization. She has seen first-hand at Sea Shepherd what monumental work can be done by compassionate supporters and is a firm believer that, "Our past, our present, and whatever remains of our future, absolutely depend on what we do now." (Sylvia Earle)


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