Same faces; new roles!

west coast volunteer staff


Michael Berns

operations director

In 2009, I was surfing Zuma Beach on a foggy Saturday. Through the haze, I heard cheer after cheer and felt compelled to find the source. Trying to be inconspicuous, I wandered onto the sand and into the world of Life Rolls On. The courage and compassion emanating from athletes and volunteers alike changed my life. No exaggeration. I've been volunteering in Deep Water ever since.

This year, I'm also volunteering as Operations Director – which is a fancy way of saying that a ton of planning goes into that perfect layout at the beach, skate park or SoCal fundraiser. All our athletes and volunteers make magic at each event – and it's my job to set the perfect stage!


Renata Lukman Hernandez

event director

Like Kelly Slater says about surfing ... once you're in, you never get out. I've been hooked on LRO since 2011. That look of anticipation changing to total joy as a surfer catches a wave ... it gets me every time.

I'm excited to take on the role of event director in 2016. I'll be the one with the clipboard and the master plan at each West Coast event, making sure everything is running smoothly. My goal: to create an environment where every adaptive athlete and volunteer can experience life-changing moments and leave stoked!

Got questions? I've either got the answer or we'll find the answer together!


Suwannee Wilhelm

team director

I discovered Life Rolls On in 2009 and instantly fell in love with the message of hope. At every event, I witness lives changing: tears of fear turn into tears of joy; anxious mothers erupt into relieved cheers; and athletes leave ready to conquer the world.

In addition to volunteering as a Land Leader, I also hand-pick each team prior to events, and create the master schedule. This is like assembling one of those monster jigsaw puzzles! Many athletes and volunteers have surfed together for years, so I always try to keep them on the same team; and it's also important to keep the teams balanced in numbers and in experience, pairing up new people with LRO All Stars.

I'm so fortunate to already know many of you ... and for all you new to the LROhana in 2016 ... WELCOME! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about athlete or volunteer participation!