The Santa Monica-based environmental organization Heal the Bay has restructured its management staff following the resignation of former president Mark Gold.

Community leader Stephanie Medina Rodriguez has been appointed to a two-year term as chairman of the board of directors, while Karin Hall, Heal the Bay’s executive director, will take over staff leadership of the organization, now in its 27th year.

Gold stepped down Jan. 27 to accept a post at UCLA, but he will retain his seat on the board of directors. The board has decided to eliminate the position of president, a job it created for Gold in 2006.

Medina Rodriguez, who has served on the board for eight years, succeeds Matthew Hart, who completed his chairmanship Jan. 19. She is an Emmy Award-winning media executive with decades of experience in broadcast journalism, community relations and marketing.

“As we transition into a new phase for the organization, I’m looking forward to working closely with the dedicated board and staff to extend our reach throughout Southern California – the South Bay, the San Fernando Valley and the Latino community,” she said. “Education will remain a priority for Heal the Bay, rooted in strong science and advocacy. There is no better time to become a member, get involved and help protect what we love.”

Medina Rodriguez has won two Emmys for producing one-hour specials focused on Heal the Bay’s annual Coastal Cleanup Day and other ocean-related issues. A San Fernando Valley resident, she has played a critical role in educating inland communities about ocean protection and helping connect stewardship of their neighborhoods to the health of the coastline, a Heal the Bay spokesperson said.

Hall, a 10-year veteran of Heal the Bay, will provide day-to-day management and strategic direction for the organization. Before joining Heal the Bay, she spent 15 years as a senior advertising executive at several prominent national advertising firms.

“I am proud and humbled to lead Heal the Bay,” said Hall, who has served as executive director since 2006. “We have an incredible team of dedicated professionals and volunteers who are making a difference every day. Our mission of protecting people and nature, teaching future generations, and enjoying the oceans and waterways is essential to a vibrant, healthy Southern California.”

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