Danny Wright – Executive Director, Founder
In 2011, while traveling through Central America, Danny Wright came up with an idea on how to create an affordable, sustainable, long-lasting, and energy-free way to provide clean and safe access to drinking water; it combined rainwater catchment, storage, and gravity-powered filtration, which could be used in any country that received significant rainfall and had basic access to standard materials. After completing his studies in 2014, he decided to embark on a path less taken and began traveling to gain a better understanding of the Global Water Crisis and people’s relationship with water throughout different cultures. This led him to Nepal, where he turned his concept into reality, creating the Nation’s first energy-independent water filtration and storage system. In turn, Gravity Water was formed, creating the space for passionate individuals to get involved in creating a long-term solution to the Global Water Crisis for thousands of communities in need.
Danny Wright has been developing his skill-set and experience in working with developing communities, water health, and non-profit management throughout the last ten years. He initially received his Environmental Studies, B.A., from the University of Santa Barbara, California, where he concentrated on climate change, ecology, and community-based conservation. Following his studies in Santa Barbara, Danny completed his Coastal and Watershed Science and Policy M.Sc. at the California State University, Monterey Bay, where he focused on watershed science, water quality, and international water management, attending supplemental courses at Monterey Institute of International Studies. Danny gained his experience outside the education sector through extensive travel in developing nations, helping develop an environmental education non-profit (SproutUp) in Santa Cruz, and creating and managing the largest and most extensive community-based coastal water quality monitoring program within the U.S., through his work with the non-profit organization, Surfrider Foundation.
Duyen (Jane) Nguyen – National Director, Vietnam
Jane was born in the countryside, south of Hanoi, Vietnam. Growing up, Jane worked with her mom on their family farm, growing rice, vegetables, and livestock. As Jane got older, she believed the best way to create a better life for her and her family was to study, where she attended the University of Hanoi and studied Business, English, and Chinese.
After her studies, Jane began her work in ecotourism, allowing her to travel around Vietnam, which showed Jane that many places and communities in her country were in great need of help. This inspired Jane to join the Gravity Water team in 2018, serving as the National Director for the country, helping organize projects and maintain communication with all the schools that Gravity Water works with. Jane believes as a Vietnamese woman, she can work hard, support her family, teach children, and inspire all Vietnamese women to know they can make a difference in their country.
Samundra Giri – National Director, Nepal
Samundra was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. When the earthquakes of 2015 hit Nepal, Samundra immediately started dedicating his time to building temporary houses and providing food to the earthquake victims in Shindhupalchok, Nepal. Additionally, he worked with local NGO’s helping build schools in the impacted areas of Nuwakot and Shindhupalchok. He’s inspired by work that helps communities and their environment. After meeting Danny in Nepal in 2017, Samundra enthusiastically partnered up with him to help him build the Gravity Water project in multiple locations and proved to be a dedicated, passionate, and very reliable aid. Sharing the vision of Gravity Water, Samundra is inspired to help the Organization develop within his Country, with the goal of providing clean water to thousands of people in need over the coming years
Tyler Hubbell – Assistant Director
Tyler is an outdoor enthusiast and avid waterman. He developed his love for fresh water at a young age while backpacking in the alpine Sierras, drinking from high mountain springs and snowmelt. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a double major in marine biology and environmental studies among several extra curriculars. While living in Santa Cruz he founded and directed the regional chapter of Sprout Up, a non-profit dedicated to teaching environmental science and sustainability to elementary school students and also helped found Oceanseed Project, an organization that brings experiential marine based curriculum to incarcerated youth in Santa Cruz County. More recently, he worked as a marine naturalist for Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui. Tyler is excited to focus his time, energy and expertise to Gravity Water’s mission of enhancing access to clean water infrastructure in communities throughout the world.
Anders Cochran – Public Engagement
Anders Cochran is a highly energetic and motivated entrepreneur from Santa Cruz, California. Anders works closely with Swanton Berry Farm, a leading social enterprise that set the standard for ethical farming. He coordinates community events for the farm as well as a market vendor at local farmers markets. Anders’ entrepreneurial spirit exudes from his development and management of his own surf school, “Academy Surf Lessons Santa Cruz”. Starting from scratch, Anders grew his surf school into a successful business venture and remains consistent with his passion for local business and community. In between all of this work, Anders is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys activities like surfing and hiking, and at night he plays drums for a rock n roll band! Anders is excited to utilize his many skills to help Gravity Water provide clean drinking water to people around the World, while creating lasting relationships with the communities that need it most.
Meg de Vries – Gravity Water Youth Initiative – East Coast Coordinator
Ever since her first trip to Central America at a young age, Meg has developed a strong passion for community growth in developing countries throughout Latin America, building school houses and providing school materials to local communities. While receiving an undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences at Roger Williams University, she maintained a continuous working relationship with the communities she had visited, as well as searched for new opportunities to utilize her passion for community development and environmental sustainability. Throughout her travels, she became increasingly aware of the struggles of locating potable water systems in these communities. The lack of such an essential common pool resource sparked her interest in searching for alternative methods to provide communities with clean water where contamination and habitat degradation were prevalent. Now, as a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Paraguay, Meg strives to continue her involvement in water quality solutions by joining the Gravity Water team, providing her skills to further grow their mission for clean water. When she is not traveling around the world she enjoys long-boarding by the water around her home in Rhode Island and hitting the slopes near her hometown in New York.
Scott Webb – Gravity Water Youth Initiative – West Coast Coordinator
Scott grew up in Sonoma County where he developed a love for wilderness, particularly anything to do with water. Pursuing his interests, Scott graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Hydrological Sciences with a Policy emphasis. At his time in Isla Vista, Scott was the Vice President and Head of External Affairs for the Isla Vista Surfrider Chapter where he helped initiate the revitalization of their Blue Water Task Force Campaign, a program responsible for collecting water quality data at the more frequent surf spots in Isla Vista. He also worked for the Goleta Water District where he focused on setting up the lead in school water testing program. Recently, Scott has worked as a Naturalist for the Point Reyes National Seashore Association where he taught environmental education and wilderness connection to youths from a variety of back rounds. Scott’s passion for increasing access to clean water came from backpacking through Indonesia. He made very close friends with some local people his age and learned many of their systematic environmental and human health-related problems stemmed from the fact that many did not have access to clean water outside of plastic water bottles. Scott is an incredibly passionate and tenacious individual who is dedicated to accomplishing Gravity Water’s mission of ending the global water crisis.
Chanel Enriquez – Special Events
Chanel is a highly motivated and compassionate individual. Originally from San Diego, CA, Chanel discovered her passion to help others as a teenager, volunteering for events that provided food to local communities in the San Diego area as well as communities in developing countries. She carried this spirit with her throughout her college career, graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a major in Business Management and Economics. Her education afforded her to work for reputable companies, where she gained skills in Program Management, Business Development and Marketing. Chanel has a knack for event planning and aspires to combine her work experience and education with her desire to help others to coordinate successful events in support of Gravity Water’s humanitarian goals. On the side, she likes to spend her time traveling and volunteering as a coach for the UCSC Women’s Lacrosse team and at Kuumbwa Jazz Downtown. Chanel is honored to be part of Gravity Water and to have the humbling opportunity to participate in an organization whose mission aligns with that of her own, to help those in need.
Genevie Ramirez – Media and Global Outreach
Originally from the Bay Area, Genevie is an adventure seeking individual with an optimistic view on life. Genevie pursued her interests in society and global issues by attending the University of California, Santa Barbara where she graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and gained experience in Brand, Marketing, and Management positions. Following her studies in Santa Barbara, Genevie set off to teach English as a foreign language to unprivileged youth in Hanoi, Vietnam, which resulted in her helping establish a start-up English school serving over 100 students. During her year-long trip teaching and backpacking, Genevie experienced and witnessed the lack of resources to sustain healthy living conditions, which motivated her to become more involved with global crises and to do more for the less fortunate. Genevie’s role at Gravity Water gives her the opportunity to use her voice, one that people in developing countries may not have, to communicate to the public that safe drinking water should not be an inaccessible privilege, but rather a fundamental human right that needs to be brought to light.
Jody Smith – Communications
Jody is a passionate, empathetic, and driven individual. She is originally from Hobe Sound, Florida, where she developed a love for nature and water. Sadly, the area where she grew up often has poor water quality due to pollution and urban development, which would harm wildlife and shut down the beaches for recreational use. Witnessing these unfortunate events led to her passion for water quality and environmental justice. She carried her love for water and nature with her to UC Santa Cruz where she majored in Environmental studies. While attending UCSC, she participated in internships at FAU’s Harbor branch focusing on water quality and ecosystem health, and at Santa Cruz County’s Water Quality lab where she collected water samples from the local beaches and waterways to test and ensure public health. Currently, she is preparing to attend graduate school in the fall of 2019, where she will continue to study water quality and its relationship with climate change, socioeconomic development, and ecosystem health. Jody is passionate about helping those in need and is honored and excited to be a part of an organization that aims to solve the global water crises through sustainable and community-based efforts.
Laura has over 25 years experience working and volunteering as a financial professional for both for-profit and non-profit organizations including: Saybrook University, Pachamama Alliance, One World Children’s Fund, South County Housing, and Stepping Stones Project. She has a MA in Integral (Ken Wilber) Psychology, and has traveled extensively throughout Asia while visiting orphanages. Her passions include travel, nature, people, mindfulness, and Qi-gong. She ‘s committed to doing her part in protecting and caring for our water, as it is one of our most precious resources.
Ryland loves to surf, run, and snowboard, and is currently learning to kitesurf! In 2009, Ryland founded and directed Sprout Up, a nonprofit that brings supplementary youth-to-youth environmental education programs to the public school system completely free of charge, for five years. He is currently work at Square helping small businesses start, run, and grow.
Sarah loves water. A native Californian, she relishes rainstorms, a day at the ocean or a hike along a local stream wherever in the world she may be traveling. This appreciation blossomed into an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology and a career in water quality and microbiology at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She continues her efforts for clean water as a volunteer and leader for the Surfrider Foundation Santa Cruz Chapter, as a member of the Water Quality Protection Program for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and now in a career creating a sustainable water future for California through water conservation efforts with the City of Gilroy. Sarah is thrilled to be on the Board of Gravity Water and to help out in areas of water quality, water sustainability, nonprofit engagement and global perspectives.
Justin is a digital marketing strategist from Southern California. He runs Ratowsky Digital, a digital marketing agency in Huntington Beach, that creates online marketing solutions for regional photographers, musicians, and entrepreneurs. He also performs music with barefoot beach reggae band Cali Conscious, enjoys surfing, and helping businesses with social media marketing, web design, and SEO.
Derek is a New York City based architect, who brings construction knowledge and design experience to the Gravity Water team. He is currently working on the master planning of the Hudson Yards Development in the west side of Manhattan. The project consists of 14 acres of public park space and 12 skyscrapers all built above an active train yard. Derek graduated from Cooper Union with a major in architecture and a minor in humanities. Having played water polo through out most of his life, water is not only essential to Derek’s existence, but the source of much of his happiness.