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 common materials. After completing his studies in 2014, he decided to embark on a path less taken, and began traveling to get 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 over the course of the last 10 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.
Tyler Hubbell – Program Manager & WASH 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 – Business Relations
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.
Alexandra Nicklas – Media and Communications
Born and raised next to the old growth redwoods of the Headwaters Forest Reserve of Humboldt County, California, Alexandra Nicklas has witnessed and experienced first-hand the consequences of her local water supply being permanently damaged due to over-logging and flooding. Having a strong passion for environmental and social justice, Alexandra obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she focused her work on the psychosocial challenges of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, taking supplemental courses at the University of West Indies, Barbados. After completing her studies, Alexandra worked as a mental health counselor while volunteering with Suicide Prevention Services in Santa Cruz. She later joined the U.S. Peace Corps from 2012 to 2015 as an HIV/AIDS specialist, implementing numerous outreach projects to most at-risk populations.
Sagar Giri – Director of Development, Nepal
Sagar was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he is currently working as a sports teacher in multiple schools. When the earthquakes of 2015 hit Nepal, Sagar immediately started dedicating his time to building houses and providing food to the earthquake victims in Shindhupalchok, Nepal. Additionally, he joined up with Hugging Nepal, a local NGO, 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 2015, Sagar enthusiastically partnered up with him to help him build the first Gravity Water tank system and proved to be a dedicated, passionate, and very reliable aid. Sharing the vision of Gravity Water, Sagar 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.
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.