In Memory of Ulrich and his Legacy: Zero Debris

Ulrich Floresca

Founder / C.E.O.

I began this Beach Clean-Up at Santa Monica Beach in California together with a friend and co-founder HAMID.  I was 48 then, December 8, 2017 trying to figure out on how to celebrate my birthday the unorthodox way.


Being a LANDMARK WORLDWIDE GRADUATE, “THE INSPIRATION” came from my coach who told me to clean the beach and start a  POSSIBILITY.


Together with Hamid we stationed a makeshift tent at the Sta. Monica Beach at Lifeguard 20 since then, and reached our TWO (2) Year Mark.


With what began as a Beach Clean-Up has spanned to 4 countries starting with the USA, Philippines, Mexico and recently in Nepal.


Neither did we know that ZERO DEBRIS is not just an ordinary Beach Clean-Up… 


It’s a Way of Life…Inspiring People!

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The Zeroes

“We, the Zero Debris team,  affectionately call ourselves Zeroes. and we all have incredible power. We are curious and passionate individuals  who are making a difference in this world…”

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Hamid Pezeshkian

President

Similar to co-founder Ulrich Floresca, and other active members of Zer0 Debris, Hamid spent his childhood growing up in a 3rd world / developing country where a focus on minimizing pollution and debris had lower priority than other economic-based initiatives. As a child, Hamid and his family would spend summer vacations near the Caspian Sea, the largest body of sweet-water in the world, located north of Iran and surrounded by other countries such as Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Hamid recalls days where he and his brother would swim in the Caspian Sea with their father, and enjoy its calm rolling waves, and looking for the diverse range of fishes that are unique to this body of water. However, as an adult, it became clear to Hamid that the Caspian Sea was suffering from a rapidly deteriorating ecosystem due to the emission of debris and contaminants from factories of countries surrounding the sea, as well as sewer discharge to name a few. 


This sad truth about global waste in bodies of water became further profound for Hamid on a trip to south India where the local fisherman would encounter more plastic on their fishing nets than fish, and still choose to dump the plastic back into the water while only removing the fish. 


Upon this experience, this matter became a passion to generate global awareness and education to this problem. As such Hamid united with co-founder Ulrich to make a global impact in reducing waste and debris in bodies of water, as well as other natural habitats. This journey has taken Hamid to give presentations to elementary and middle-school students in Mexico, as well as creating partnerships with other global organizations to cause a change in this important matter. Hamid believes firmly in diversity in education, as a source to make a bigger impact in awareness for sustainability in the World.

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Jessica Santiago

Vice President

Jessica is a food science engineer, born in Mexico City and now residing in Southern California. Eldest of three sisters, Jessica can be best described as passionate, resourceful and self-driven. Currently she works in the largest baking company as a plant manager of a manufacturing operation, in her career she has achieved various milestones individually and as a team. 
Jessica is the Vice President of Zer0 Debris and a founder of RADIANT a non profit organization that empowers women through arts. Jessica’s role in Zer0 Debris is essential to drive the global community to a common goal with the resources needed. She believes that education is the foundation to greatly impact our environment. 
Jessica is very passionate about bringing equality; as a woman in the manufacturing business, she understands the need of diversity (gender, ethnicity) and inclusion as well as the advantages of this to build an effective diverse team. 
Jessica believes in choosing your own paths and how actions play an essential role, she enjoys dancing salsa and samba as an expression of being free and encourages others to find their own way of being.

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Darren Kawaoka

Chief Financial Officer

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Darren started his 1st environmental cleanup in 2nd grade, when he put a small group together to clean up trash that was floating around his elementary school campus, and he has been passionate about clean environments ever since.  Darren also continues to draw inspiration from his cultural roots, as he is a proud 4th generation Japanese American who has always been influenced by Japanese culture which is committed to leaving environments as clean or cleaner than they have found them.  He is also the founder of Loot Camp, a non-profit organization that is committed to preparing young people to manage their finances through the lens of an empowering mindset.  Professionally, Darren is the Chief Communications Officer for Laugh Lounge, a live streaming stand up comedy platform, and a business development consultant.

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Matt Wolff

Chief Operations Officer

Is an artist and writer currently living in Los Angeles. Deeply passionate about human awareness and connection, Matt joined Zer0 Debris after meeting Ulrich Floresca and falling in love with his cause to rid the planet of unwanted debris. Matt is especially appreciative of reducing our internal and individual debris so we may all see each other and live healthily as one in clean environments.

Acting as Chief Operations Officer, Matt coordinates our monthly events and team leaders and players to inspire power and freedom in their roots of being human and contributing to their communities.

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Tristan Kendall

Chief Marketing Officer

Kendall a 2nd generation Guyanese-American,  born and raised in Los Angeles, California. His first interaction with caring for the environment was when he was a Cub Scout at 7 years old and would go on hikes with his troop and clean up along the trails, he then later began to collect cans, bottles, and glasses to recycle them at a center and he has had an ever expanding love for the Environment since. 


As he got older he began to realize how much of a negative impact people have had on the planet and began to feel overwhelmed, he began to research small actions people could take to reduce their impact on the environment and was inspired. He strongly believes that through education and action we can transform the negative impact on the environment. Upon researching ways people can take action he also learned about Environmental Justice Issues such as inadequate access to healthy food, transportation, air and water pollution, unsafe homes and how this disproportionately impacts the BIPOC community. Kendall wants to bring more awareness to these injustices through education.


Professionally Kendall works in the world of media, he combines his skills of website design, graphic design, photography, and videography to be able to powerfully tell stories that inspire people to take action and cause awareness. He uses his global network to create connections for Zer0 Debris in other countries.

 

Support Team

 

Judith Ahdoot

Ryan Anderson

Asal Dean

Laura Evans

Regina Moniz

Janin Paine

Beth Ann Porter

Rachel Reimers

Kimberly Weeks

Seth Verde

Kimberly Weeks

Charissa Wheeler