About the


Our Mission

Helping children understand their contribution towards a healthy earth.

Rob Machado Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to environmental conservation and community engagement. Our mission is to promote environmental stewardship and inspire action to protect our planet for future generations. We organize various initiatives and events to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage sustainable practices.
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Note from Rob

We created the Rob Machado Foundation in 2004 with the simple belief that our planet needs to be taken care of, and there’s no better place to start than with our local communities and our children.

We started with gardening and recycling programs at the local elementary school my daughter attended, clean ups at my local beaches and then expanded our mission to provide clean drinking water stations and re-usable water bottles to help eradicate single-use plastic water bottles at local elementary, middle and high schools; all while educating the children about their role towards a healthy planet. We believe our youth are the future of our planet.

We believe communities can come together to impact change. And we believe the future starts here.

Board Members

Meet our dynamic crew of ocean enthusiasts, environmental warriors, and community champions dedicated to making waves in conservation.


Rob Machado

Rob Machado is not just one of the world’s greatest surfers; he’s one of the sport’s most recognizable characters, a living icon who continues to expand the definition of what professional surfing is all about.

Known for his Zen-like flow both on land and in the water, Machado was consistently amongst the top seeded competitors while on the surfing World Tour.

With 12 career victories, 3 US Open Championships and crowned Pipe Master, Machado has been among the elite top ten most popular surfers since 1996. Inducted into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame in 2000 and re-inducted in 2006, in 2009 the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) awarded him the prestigious honor of Waterman’s of the Year and in 20011 the City of Huntington Beach California awarded him with a star on the Surfing Walk of Fame. IN 2019 Machado’s legacy was recognized by the San Diego Sports Association as the first professional surfer to be inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame.

Rob’s contribution to the sport extends far beyond his accolades in a colored jersey. Since his departure from the world tour in 2001, Machado has become one of surfing’s most iconic ambassadors. In 2004 he co-founded his non-profit The Rob Machado Foundation which was created with a mission to help children understand their contribution to a healthy earth.
In 2018 Machado was featured prominently in the HBO Sports Emmy Award winning documentary, MOMENTUM GENERATION. Directed by award-winning filmmakers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist and from executive producer Robert Redford, MOMENTUM GENERATION is a story of deep friendships and rivalries of some of the biggest names in surfing.

Co-Founder / Executive Director

Justine Chiara

Justine Chiara is an Emmy-winning producer and former talent manager based in Los Angeles, California. A native New Yorker, Chiara began her career in the music industry, initially representing renowned bands like Depeche Mode. Later, she joined the management firm representing top alternative bands such as Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and Beastie Boys.

In 2000, Chiara relocated to Los Angeles, leveraging her deep roots in alternative youth culture to create her own management company representing athletes in surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding.

Chiara’s creative vision led her to conceive and serve as the lead producer of the 2019 Emmy-winning HBO Sports documentary, “Momentum Generation,” featuring professional surfer Rob Machado.

Chiara is deeply committed to environmental and humanitarian causes. She has held leadership roles in not-for-profit organizations, including serving as Executive Director of the Boarding for Breast Cancer Foundation, a youth-focused educational-outreach organization dedicated to cancer awareness and prevention. Alongside Machado, she co-founded the Rob Machado Foundation, providing funding and education to empower children to make meaningful contributions toward a healthier planet.


Carolyn Whitehouse

Carolyn Whitehouse is a software industry consultant and was formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Blue Sky Software/eHelp Corporation. Throughout her 30+ years in high tech, Carolyn has been dedicated to building efficient systems, refining processes, and fostering effective communication to help teams meet their objectives.

From 2008-2011, Carolyn served as Cardiff School District’s Environmental Liaison to the Rob Machado Foundation. In this role, she spearheaded the implementation of ocean environmental programs and led three impactful initiatives—Organic Gardening, Reusable Water Bottles, and Healthy School Lunch—that continue to benefit both students and the environment today.

Carolyn is passionate about nature and, in her spare time, participates in water sports, snowboards, hikes, and camps, often with her husband and two sons.

Community Relations

Thad Benshoof

Thad Benshoof joined the Rob Machado Foundation in 2017 to strengthen the ties into the local community. Thad is a local businessman who owns and operates restaurants and various food product companies. His extensive history in food services, with a focus on locally sourced products has given him a great connection to a community that thrives on sustainable food choices.

In his role with the Rob Machado Foundation, Thad will be enriching the relationship with the Cardiff community, expanding the programs to other locations and working to enhance the overall mission of the foundation.

Community Matters

Rob Machado and his foundation have been recognized by the Oceana Institute naming Rob their Save our Surf Champion for his commitment to ocean conservation on a community level. For his involvement in a multitude of projects and programs, Rob received Discovery’s Planet Green “One Degree Less Award.” He was also recognized as the 2022 winner of the Excellence in Environmental Stewardship The City of Encinitas Environmental Commission.

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