Our Team

Krista Shoe | Founder

Krista spent many years in the corporate world doing Program Management and Process Improvement. She spent the majority of her vacation time traveling to remote places to go scuba diving. In 2017, she decided to quit corporate and move near the ocean to Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Upon her arrival, she had a chance introduction to a man who was starting a coral restoration project in the area. They worked together to build Caribbean Coral Restoration for 3 years, then the need to travel globally and teach coral restoration emerged and Mother of Corals was born. Over the last several years she and the MOC team have taught communities to rebuild reefs in the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean.

Robin Perreault | Construction & Training

Robin’s devotion to the environment was fostered at sea. She learned to scuba dive in Maine and spent much of her adult life sailing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She instilled a similar passion in her family and even inspired her daughter to pursue a degree in marine biology.

Robin moved to Bocas in 2016 and quickly joined Caribbean Coral Restoration, where she developed a knack for building artificial reef structures. Known locally for her creative, lifelike designs, she joined Mother of Corals to share her craft. Through Mother of Corals, Robin shares her knowledge and training with local communities so they can build their own sustainable reef structures.

Mia Mercer | Social Media Manager

Mia was born and raised in Southern California where she became infatuated with the ocean at a young age. Since then, she has lived in a variety of tropical places and will soon be relocating to the Big Island of Hawaii to finish her degree in Biology with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation.

As a surfer, diver, and soon-to-be sailor, she is really excited to work with Mother of Corals to bring all these passions together for the betterment of the environment.

Ximena Boza

Ximena Boza | Water Quality

Ximena Boza is a Panamanian marine biologist with a masters degree in oceanography. She was born and raised in Panama City but decided to move to a small, beautiful Caribbean island in Bocas del Toro a few years ago. She currently works at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute as a Research Technician. She is excited to apply her ocean water-quality skills to help restore corals; not only in her home country of Panama but also across the globe.

Rachel Wheeler

Rachel Wheeler | Outreach, Partnerships, and Fundraising Manager

Rachel is a skilled, multi-disciplinary professional with over ten years of experience in corporate partnerships, government relations, NGO development, fundraising strategies, conservation field work, and scuba professional training.

Rachel supports the Mother of Corals mission using her knowledge, expertise, and passion for marine conservation; linking outreach to deserving coastal communities, developing collaborative and enduring ground-level partnerships, and implementing private and public funding strategies and creative global marketing campaigns. Rachel’s hope is that—through her work—countless others can experience, appreciate, and become passionate ambassadors for what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.

Board of Directors

Sacha Belter, Secretary

Sacha developed a love of the ocean at an early age, despite being born and raised in Colorado. In her career she has spent time working in sustainability, tourism, and scuba education.

Sacha is passionate about marine conservation and education. In her spare time Sacha loves exploring the outdoors and having adventures with her friends and family, she’s been to over 40 countries and counting. Sacha is thrilled to be able to offer her skills as Secretary of the Board of Mother of Corals.

Amy Christopher, Director

Amy’s fascination with the underwater world began at an early age, snorkeling with her family on a variety of adventures during their overseas assignments. Her experience living in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Singapore forged her love of travel and guided her towards her current career as a dive travel specialist with Ocean First in Boulder, Colorado.

Ecotourism with a focus on marine conservation has always been paramount when building adventures for avid divers and snorkelers. Amy’s travel experience spans almost 20 years and has taken her to all 7 continents. In her spare time Amy is an avid cyclist, hiker, and newly certified yoga instructor. She is honored to be a part of the team at Mother of Corals.

Jessica Howard, Treasurer

Jessica Howard has lived in Colorado for 25 year and was introduced to scuba diving in 2004, despite living in a landlocked state. She was immediately enamored and consequently fell in love with the ocean.

Her extensive 18 year career in the Mortgage industry and degree in Finance, as well as her love for the ocean, made her the perfect fit for the role of Treasurer on the Mother of Corals Board of Directors.

Chad also took many of the incredible underwater photos on our site!

Chad H. Koll, Director

Chad was born into an agricultural family in a landlocked state. Despite these obstacles, he discovered the ocean as a teenager and quickly fell in love. After a brief stint in college, he joined the U.S. Navy as a submarine nuclear mechanic and diver. After completing his enlistment, Chad returned to Colorado to complete his degree, where he worked as a scuba instructor and marketing director for a local dive center.

In 2015, Chad completed a masters degree at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and began working for Scuba Schools International as their International Product Manager. This career has allowed him to work with an international team of industry experts to develop cutting-edge digital training materials for programs from recreational freediving to professional technical instructor training.

Advisors

Cathy Christopher, Marine Sciences

Cathy’s love of the water began on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Her curiosity for the marine environment started early on during visits with family in South Florida over Spring Breaks. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at Bowling Green State University; it was the only university with a marine lab in the state of Ohio!

Cathy then moved to Florida, just a few blocks from the sea, and attended Florida Atlantic University where she received her master’s degree studying phenotypic plasticity of fiddler crabs. The invertebrates have always been her favorite—so incredibly dynamic and diverse! Cathy became a certified diver and very quickly learned that diving at night was the best time to observe these amazing creatures. Attracted by the opportunity to create engaging marine science curricula, she moved to Boulder in 2015 to begin working at Ocean First Education where she is now the COO. Cathy is excited to be a part of such a forward-thinking and impactful project and can’t wait to see what the future unfolds. 

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