Shark Savers announces new Board members

Posted on January 26, 2011
Written by: Shark Savers

Shark Savers is pleased to announce the enhancement of its Board of Directors and Advisory Board. We welcome several extraordinary individuals who have inspired millions with their knowledge and images of, and passion for, the oceans and sharks. Joining our Board of Directors are Sue Chen, Eric Cheng, Martha Watkins Gilkes, and Douglas Seifert. Joining our Advisory Board are Jim Abernethy, Michele Hall, and Howard Hall. Meet our new Board members.

Joining our Board of Directors are:

Sue_Chen-_100.jpgSue Chen is the founder and CEO of Nova Ortho-Med, Inc., an industry leader in Mobility and Bathroom Safety products providing greater independence and personal well being to physically challenged people. Nova is changing the look and perception of medical equipment and the millions of Americans reliant on assistive devices by incorporating style, fashion, and function to products such designer canes and colorful walkers. Sue is also President and Board Chair of Reef Check Foundation. Reef Check is a thirteen year old nonprofit organization with the mission to save our oceans and reefs through human sustainable solutions.

Eric_Cheng100.jpgEric Cheng is an award-winning underwater photographer known for his passion as an educator. Cheng won a prestigious Antibes Festival award for his work with, the Antibes underwater imaging web site of the year. His underwater photographs have won contests like the prestigious Nature's Best Magazine photo competition, which placed some of his work in the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum. Cheng's photography has been seen in over 60 magazines and books worldwide. Cheng is the editor and publisher of, the premiere online community for underwater photographers.

Martha100.jpgMartha Watkins Gilkes is a dynamic leader in dive retail operation, training, education, photojournalism, historic shipwreck documentation and has been an outspoken force for marine conservation throughout the Eastern Caribbean. Based in Antigua, West Indies, Martha owns and operates two diving businesses, Fanta-Sea Island Divers and Fanta-Sea Island Excursions. For 10 years she served as President of the Barbados based Eastern Caribbean Safe Diving Association, was President of the Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) for 4 years, and serves as Public Relations Officer (since 2001) of Antigua Barbuda Independent Tourism Promotion Corporation (ABITPC), an environmental organization. Martha was listed in the United Nations Environmental Programme’s Who's Who of Women and the Environment, and has earned the Wyland Ambassador Award for her environmental work and the Wyland Icon Award, which recognizes the achievements of those who have made a positive difference for the underwater world.

DouglasSEIFERT-100.jpgDouglas David Seifert is a writer and award-winning photographer specializing in the marine environment and its inhabitants. Formerly Senior Contributing Editor of DIVE Magazine in the United Kingdom, he now holds the masthead position at DIVE Magazine as World Editor. DIVE Magazine is the largest-circulation, English language dive publication in Europe. He has written and published over eighty in-depth features and reportage over the past fifteen years. Douglas David Seifert’s photographic imagery has appeared in The New York Times, Australian Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Forbes FYI, Esquire, and many other world-class publications. Douglas is also Chairman and Project Coordinator for Tiny Bubbles Expeditions, Inc., a Florida-based expedition company providing photographic opportunities for professional filmmakers and avid, discriminating divers.

Joining Shark Savers Board of Advisors are:

Jim100.jpgJim Abernethy is a renowned underwater photographer and a pioneer in shark encounters, without a cage. For decades, he has been running photography/video expeditions with the world’s largest predatory sharks such as tiger sharks, bull sharks, oceanic white tips, great hammerheads and lemon sharks. Jim is best known as a passionate crusader shark protection. Jim lives at sea in the Bahamas running shark expeditions and wild dolphin encounters year round on his boat, "Shear Water", and his dive business, Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures Inc., is based in West Palm Beach, FL. Abernethy has hosted many of the world’s top nature filmmakers and magazines such as Imax, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel just to name a few.

Halls650.jpgHoward and Michele Hall are perhaps best known for their underwater IMAX® films. In 1994 Howard directed the first underwater IMAX 3D feature, Into the Deep. In 1998 Michele produced and Howard directed the IMAX feature, Island of the Sharks, which was an enterprise of Howard Hall Productions. Howard was director of underwater cinematography for the Primesco Productions film Lost Worlds, the MacGillivray Freeman film The Living Sea, the IMAX 3D feature Return to Hubble, and was underwater cinematographer for MacGillivray Freeman’s Journey Into Amazing Caves. In 2002 Howard was underwater sequence director and Michele was location manager for MacGillivray Freeman’s IMAX feature Coral Reef Adventure, a film in which both he and Michele are featured on-camera. In 2005 they returned to the IMAX 3D format by directing and producing Deep Sea 3D which was awarded Best Picture at the Giant Screen Cinema Association Conference and Best Large Format Film at Wildscreen 2006. In 2009 the Hall’s released Under the Sea 3D. This film won best cinematography at the Giant Screen Cinema Association Conference in 2009 and Best Documentary at the International 3D Society in 2010.

View our entire Board, here.