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Spencer Croul Co-Founder and Board Member

Spencer Croul, Co-Founder, Board Member of Surfing Heritage, grew up surfing in Newport Beach, California in the early 1970's, bicycling to the beach with surfboard in tow. A San Diego State University graduate in Recreation Administration Management, he earned his Associate of Arts degree at Orange Coast College after graduating from Newport Harbor High School in 1974. He worked 15 years in the private sector as a foam packaging designer and later in the family paint manufacturing business before finding and pursuing his passion as a Surf Culture Preservationist. Bringing foundation management experience to the Surfing Heritage, he also serves on the board of his family's Foundation. He has amassed his own private collection of historical surfing artifacts, and brings not only his collection to the Surfing Heritage but also his vast knowledge in surfing collectibles and surfing history. Presently residing in Newport Beach, California, he is remarried, has two children and continues to surf whenever possible.

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Robert C. Mardian President

Robert C. Mardian, President of Surfing Heritage and Founding Partner, is a graduate of Stanford University and earned his M.B.A. at Pepperdine University. Mr. Mardian operates restaurants in California, Hawaii, and Texas and has surfed the coasts of all three states. He has finished in the top 30% of the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. He served on the Finance Committee for the 1988 U.S. Olympic Committee. Bob is a lifelong surfer and member of the San Onofre Surfing Club since 1954. Like his father before him and his son and daughters now, he continues to surf at San Onofre and on occasion, all three generations are in the water at the same time. 

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Steve Pezman Vice President

Steve Pezman, Vice President of Surfing Heritage and Founding Partner, began surfing in 1957 in Orange County, CA. Surfed the 1962-’63 winter season on the North Shore, then returned to California to lifeguard, sail in the merchant marine, build surfboards and co-own Creative Design Surfboards, a Huntington Beach surf shop through the late 1960s. In 1967, Steve began freelance writing for surf magazines, in 1969 becoming associate editor at Petersen’s International Surfing magazine. Moved to Surfer magazine as Assoc. Editor in 1970, later that year becoming Publisher and serving in that capacity through 1991. Currently Co-founder and publisher of The Surfer's Journal, various surfing books, and executive producer of The Surfer's Journal on Outdoor Life Network. Steve has helped found various surfing organs, currently serves on the advisory boards of the Surfrider Foundation and the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association.

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Jericho Poppler Board Member

Jericho Poppler, Board Membergrew up on the beach body surfing, playing volleyball, and studied in the creative arts, theatre and dance. Poppler has devoted her life to the development and preservation of the sport of surfing.  She was the US Champ in ’70, the US Tandem Champ in ’73 (with Hal Sachs), the First World Pro Tour leader riding big waves in ’76, the first PLA Longboard champ in ’92, and the first US SUP racing champ in ’07. In ’74, Jericho envisioned the “WISA” (The Women’s International Surfing Association) with former US Champ Mary Setterholm and then in ’75 produced and directed the first All Women’s International Pro along with California Surf Champ Terri Eselun.  After competing the tour around the world with her California Golden Girls surf team, Jeri established the “WPS” (Women Pro Surfers) in ’78 with her best friend Rell Sunn of Hawaii—which was a coalition to enhance and protect the rights of Pro Athletes. Jericho was also a charter member of Surfrider. Jericho still surfs and SUPs around the world and resides in Long Beach (which she refers to as “Long Port) but designates Surf City USA - Huntington Beach - as her home break for the past five decades.  She is married to Dr. Greg Bartlow and together they have five mountain and sea kids.  


Jerome Hall Board Member

Jerome Hall, Surfing Heritage Board Member, is a tale teller, dog lover, prolific reader, and bon vivant are just a few words Jerome Lynn Hall uses to describe himself.  Born in La Jolla, California, Jerome spent his formative years in the Pacific Ocean swimming, diving, sailing, and surfing.  He received his training as an underwater archaeologist in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University and is presently an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of San Diego, where he instructs a variety of courses, among them ANTH 364: Surf Culture and History. He is currently researching the construction of a first-century wooden boat extracted from the Yam Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) in Israel, as well as continuing his study of a seventeenth-century merchant shipwreck off the north coast of the Dominican Republic.  On any given day you can find him at Dog Beach, with his canine cohorts “Jack” and “Lehua.”

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Keith Maynard Eshelman Board Member

Keith Maynard Eshelman, Surfing Heritage Board Member and Founding Partner, grew up in Palos Verdes and starting surfing in 1960. Keith moved to San Diego in 1966 to attend San Diego State University, became a CPA and worked in public accounting for 12 years. For the past 28 years, he has been the Chief Financial Officer for the Brady Companies, a large multi-office construction company in San Diego. As a major collector of surf memorabilia, Keith has a website of surf movie posters, the Gallery of Surf Classics. His collections have been featured in various books and magazines and he has been an expert appraiser at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auctions and the Sacred Craft Consumer Surf Expos. Keith is married with three grown children, and can be found surfing at San Diego North County beaches.

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Denny Michael Board Member

Denny Michael, Surfing Heritage Board Member, was born in Dana Point, California and grew up on the beaches of Southern California. Mr. Michael is a technology industry marketing professional and is currently the Vice President of Marketing for AVST (Applied Voice and Speech Technologies) a software company specializing in communications. For the past 25 years he has held a variety of executive positions at Borland, Starbase, NQL, Alpha Microsystems and AST where he has launched global brands and raised funding. Denny received his B.A in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. He has served as a board member for the Doheny Longboard Surfing Association and is a Docent at the Surfing Heritage. Mr. Michael is married with two children. His wife and children share his passion and love of the ocean.    

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