Meet (y)our team

We serve first, surf second.

We come from all over the world, each bringing unique gifts and skills to the team.
Together we work hard to ensure that The Surf Project experience is as professional as possible.

Diversity unites us.

Jono Griffin

Jono Griffin

Director / Founder

Jono was born in Cork (Ireland), but spent his early years in West Africa before returning to Ireland, living in Donegal, Dublin, Waterford & Bangor! As you can see he can't sit still! He studied Sports, Exercise and Leisure and completed his PGCE at Liverpool John Moores University. He gave up a job as a PE teacher to become a Youth Pastor for the North Dublin Methodist Church. There, he had the vision to combine his love of Surfing with sharing his Christian faith. He founded The Surf Project in 2013, which is now endorsed and supported by the Methodist Church in Ireland, with the main aim of enhancing the personal, social and Spiritual well being of people through the sport and culture of surfing.

Out of the water, Jono loves great company and a good curry!

Beth Dinsmore-Griffin

Co-Director / Finance

Donegal, Ireland

Beth is a graduate of International Politics and Third World Development (BSC Hons) from University of Wales in Aberystwyth and also holds Diplomas in Event Management & PR as well as Travel, Tourism Management and Marketing. She has spent time working in Nepal, Romania and Kenya and loves combining her passion for travel with fundraising for worthy causes. Beth loves long walks in the countryside or along quiet beaches with her dogs Darcy and Finn!

Sarai Plotz

Operations + Marketing

Where are you from?
Tahoe, California (USA)

Background:
Sarai has a degree in Marketing with a vast array of experience as a Marketing & Event Coordinator, Wedding Planner, Event Photographer and Administrative Assistant. She has sat on the board of committees and volunteered for non-profits with focuses including community development, fighting human trafficking, holistic health and recovery for woman.

What makes you happiest?
Being fully present in something. A quiet evening surf, snowboarding with the mountain to myself, spending the whole day reading a really good book. Throwing clay and being completely absorbed in it.

Hidden talent
I'm a ceramic artist.

Best thing about working for TSP
I absolutely love seeing kids stand up on a board for the first time. It just doesn’t get old.

Dan Plotz

Equipment + Coaching

Where are you from?
Oregon Coast (USA)

Background
Dan has a background in construction with years of work experience in building, renovating and improving homes. He's worked for various companies as a builder and team lead, as well as a co-owner of a business in California. Additionally, he has experience leading teams of young people on trips abroad and heading up weekly activity camps.

What makes you happiest?
Food/Family/Travel

Hidden talent
I can juggle

Best thing about working for TSP
Surfing, traveling and meeting new people

Banabas Chey

Events + Finance

Where are you from?
Cambodia

Background
Banabas has experience helping his brother run many small businesses in the tourism industry in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Additionally, he has experience volunteering at a school his parents operate in their village. He is a "Global Mission Fellow" placed at The Surf Project through The United Methodist Church's Global Ministries Programme.

What makes you happiest?
When I can share what I have with other people in need, it makes me feel peace.

Hidden talent
I like playing music.

Best thing about working for TSP
Giving. We try to give all of our talents, experiences and skills to bring people together to have fun, talking about life and talking about God.

Lily Jones

Events + Teaching

Where are you from?
Omaha, Nebraska (USA)

Background
Lily just graduated with a degree in Christian Leadership from Dakota Wesleyan University. Previously she worked as an outreach and events coordinator at Fusion church, and she has experience with planning mission projects, working with kids, and teaching. She was very involved as a leader with her college campus ministry and even has some background in Theatre. Lily came to The Surf Project as a Global Mission Fellow, through the United Methodist Church.

What makes you happiest?
Writing, being outside, laughing with friends and family.

Hidden talent
I'm writing a book.

Best thing about working for TSP
I have found that The Surf Project really embraces the idea of living life to the full in every way. This mindset has been really important to me and my family, but it is amazing to now be surrounded by people who are so full of life and who share that fullness with others.

Ken McCrea

Administration

Where are you from?
N. Ireland, Bangor, Co Down

Background
Ken has extensive experience in both administration and systems development with a great eye for seeing the best way to improve processes. Ken is married to Fiona and they have three awesome kids, Jacob, Jonah and Eden. The sixth member of the family is Murphy, a sprocker spaniel.

It was through Jacob attending a Swell event that Ken first connected with The Surf Project four years ago. Since then, Ken and Jacob have both completed a Surf Project fundraising trek to Everest base camp in Nepal. The whole family has participated in multiple Church Family Days, The boys both continue to attend Swell Camps and Eden attends The Big Splash Kids Surf Club. They've become an extension of The Surf Project Family pretty much from day one.

What makes you happiest?
Traveling and making memories with my family, I also enjoy walking Murphy on the beach, reading, trekking and am particularly happy when firing up my BBQ.

Hidden talent
I play the drums, guitar and have mastered two tunes on the tin whistle, I'm a musical work in progress!

Best thing about working for TSP
I've seen the impact the Surf Project has had on my own kids and how they have been encouraged to grow in their faith. I'm excited to be a part of the Surf Project team as it continues to inspire people to Live Life to the Full.

Jamal Nugent

Media + Photography

Where are you from?
The West of Ireland

Background:
Jamal has experience working in a Falconry, as a barista and as a volunteer leader for CEF camps and kids clubs, which is where he initially came into contact with The Surf Project.

What makes you happiest?
Getting to hang out with friends and just being able to laugh at our own randomness

Hidden talent
I've been told that I'm a really good cook.

Best thing about working for TSP
The sense of community between everyone that comes to our events.

Gabe Messam

Coaching

Where are you from?
Originally Woodland, California (USA), now Dublin / Portrush

Background:
Gabe moved from California to Dublin in March of 2015 where he finished school and is now taking a gap year with The Surf Project before he goes to college. Prior to coming on full-time Gabe was a participant and a volunteer at many Surf Project events.

What makes you happiest?
Laughter and music

Hidden talent
I enjoy rapping

Best thing about working for TSP
The family-like atmosphere of our camps and events.

Gabe's Story

Sarah Preising

Coaching

Where are you from?
Germany

Background
Sarah has a degree in Sports and Pedagogics as well as a certification as An Outdoor Guide. She has work experience as an Outdoor Guide for a non-profit focused on Nature Conservation and has worked in Germany, Norway and Finland in that field. Additionally she was certified and worked as a surf instructor in Australia.

What makes you happiest?
Being active, outdoors and creative, doing every kind of sport, exploring, meeting friends and making new ones 🙂

Hidden talent
Playing ukulele

Best thing about working for TSP
Spreading the stoke!

Not forgetting the wolfpack!

Darcy

Finn

Want to work with us?

We'd love to hear from you!

There are many opportunities to volunteer, intern, or to work with us in different capacities.

Nothing has ever been so fulfilling! To anyone looking for growth and a wonderful work experience, consider The Surf Project!

Nyasha ManjeyaStaff (2017-2019)

Working with The Surf Project is one of the biggest blessings I ever got from God. Definitely a life changing experience!

Carlos Nacpil IIIStaff (2017-2019)

I've never seen anything like this in Ireland or Europe. I love life's lulls which is when we all get to really share with one another.

Timroy LeunisStaff (2014-2016)

Working for The Surf Project really changed my faith and my views on God, so that now I can help others

Emer Ní RaghallaighParticipant turned Surf coach

It is a pleasure and a joy to work alongside: