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Julie

Campaign Leader

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Hails from: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Currently lives in: Cape Town, South Africa is where my house is - but Venice, California is where I hang my hoodies.
Favorite Place: Underwater with sharks of course.
Favorite Things to Do: Any sport that involves water. I come from a long line of mermaids.

What/who inspires you as an activist?

Captain Paul Watson for doing what no one else will, Sylvia Earle for going where no one else has, and my god daughter Ella Addison for reminding me why I can’t stop fighting for sharks… I want future generations to experience the oceans the way I have. She’s a constant inspiration who knows no limitations and believes anything is possible, not to mention the fact that since the age of three she has been diving with and speaking out for sharks.

Favorite Shark(s) and why?

Tiger Shark - with White, Whale, Basking and Hammerhead being close seconds. Ok, let's admit it - I love whatever shark I am with at the moment!

If you could tell people one thing about about sharks and/or the oceans, what would it be?

Love them or hate them, we need sharks on this planet.

Why are you on this campaign? What do you want to achieve?

This campaign is a dream come true – and something I have been working towards for years when I met Captain Watson in 2007. Simply put, I want to bring awareness and put a face on a little known issue. Ultimately, I want to save sharks.

You see, I have always been drawn to the shark’s watery world. Their stunning grace, power and undeniable presence have mesmerized me since we first met. Breathlessly gazing into the eyes of the animal I was taught to fear, I saw life – not a cold, cruel stare. These fascinating creatures exemplify all that is beautiful and perfect on this planet. The extraordinary power of nature. A vital reminder of what we must respect and protect.

Sharks stole my heart after that first meeting – and they have had me working for them as their guardian angel ever since.

Tell us something surprising:

While I spend a lot of my life on the water, I get horribly sea sick!

Short Bio:

Few people leave successful marketing careers to pursue a passion for the oceans and in doing so, take on one of the hardest PR jobs on the planet. A passionate environmentalist, diver of 15 years and lover of the oceans, Julie evolved her special relationship with sharks to a new level after watching them disappear from her favorite dive spots. Now her business is saving them.

A lifelong entrepreneur, Julie has channelled over 14 years of professional experience in advertising into this mission. Having built a business from the ground up, with upwards of 40 employees and $7 million in yearly revenue in a few years time working for companies like AOL, Porsche, Citibank and Volkswagen, she brings a unique perspective and deep experience to the cause.  Julie is now a full-time grassroots activist, having founded three non-profits during the past 5 years, and consulting to countless others including Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, PEW and WildAid. She’s also on the board of People Protecting Animals and Their Habitats and United Conservationists/Fin Free. You may also recognize her as a face for SCUBAPRO. And, finally, Julie is a passionate filmmaker often using positive media to serve as a much needed voice for sharks working with both Built By Wildman and Sharkwater / Diatribe Pictures to bring sharks positively into the media on the big screen, on television and where you would least expect it. You can see her work here. (www.vimeo.com/builtbywildman)

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