our team

Billy Fried - Chief Experience Officer   Billy is a serial “funtrepreneur” who began his career in publishing and advertising, but plunged into the deep end in 2002, launching La Vida Laguna. When he's not immersed in experiential development, Billy hosts a weekly radio talk show with thought leaders, and writes a column for the Laguna Beach Independent. A committed environmentalist, Billy serves on the Board of Transition Laguna. He graduated from Amherst College with a degree in English Literature and Asian Philosophy.  Billy crafts and curates many of our team building and Leadership challenges. And gets wet as often as possible.

Billy Fried - Chief Experience Officer

Billy is a serial “funtrepreneur” who began his career in publishing and advertising, but plunged into the deep end in 2002, launching La Vida Laguna. When he's not immersed in experiential development, Billy hosts a weekly radio talk show with thought leaders, and writes a column for the Laguna Beach Independent. A committed environmentalist, Billy serves on the Board of Transition Laguna. He graduated from Amherst College with a degree in English Literature and Asian Philosophy.

Billy crafts and curates many of our team building and Leadership challenges. And gets wet as often as possible.

Doug Oyen, Chief Adventure Officer   Doug's dedication to helping others achieve superior health and wellness began on the ski slopes of Vermont where he taught skiing and snowboarding, then continued at Rollerblade Inc. where he developed off-season training for the Freestyle and Downhill Olympic team. Applying his interest in human biomechanics and sports nutrition, he has since held key roles in health clubs around the region. He graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in Business Recreation and Communications.  A committed multi-sport waterman, Doug is our man in the field overseeing all activities and adventures. Just the way he likes it.

Doug Oyen, Chief Adventure Officer

Doug's dedication to helping others achieve superior health and wellness began on the ski slopes of Vermont where he taught skiing and snowboarding, then continued at Rollerblade Inc. where he developed off-season training for the Freestyle and Downhill Olympic team. Applying his interest in human biomechanics and sports nutrition, he has since held key roles in health clubs around the region. He graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in Business Recreation and Communications.

A committed multi-sport waterman, Doug is our man in the field overseeing all activities and adventures. Just the way he likes it.

Katie Lange - Operations Director   Katie has been swimming the Laguna coves since she was a baby! A Laguna native, she left her hometown to pursue a degree in Environmental Earth Science in sunny San Luis Obispo and travel to Southeast Asia after completing her degree. She missed the magical town of Laguna and four years later she was back! She has a passion for travel and environmental education.  When Katie is not at the office, she can be found rock climbing or hangin at the beach with her cute yellow lab.

Katie Lange - Operations Director

Katie has been swimming the Laguna coves since she was a baby! A Laguna native, she left her hometown to pursue a degree in Environmental Earth Science in sunny San Luis Obispo and travel to Southeast Asia after completing her degree. She missed the magical town of Laguna and four years later she was back! She has a passion for travel and environmental education.

When Katie is not at the office, she can be found rock climbing or hangin at the beach with her cute yellow lab.

 
Nicole King - Chief Wellness Officer   Nicole has made the Healing Arts her life’s calling. She has been working as an Ayurveda Holistic Practitioner for the Deepak Chopra Center for Wellbeing for 9 years, and is Certified by The Chopra Center as a Wellness Educator in Health, Meditation, and Ayurveda Lifestyle. Nicole is an advocate of meditation and mindfulness practices, raw pressed juice, and is steeped in the application of food as medicine. She volunteers her talents teaching mindfulness and meditation at a local homeless shelter and at a safe house for women of domestic violence. Nicole curates and implements our entire Wellness curriculum, including our own employee programs. That makes us happy..

Nicole King - Chief Wellness Officer

Nicole has made the Healing Arts her life’s calling. She has been working as an Ayurveda Holistic Practitioner for the Deepak Chopra Center for Wellbeing for 9 years, and is Certified by The Chopra Center as a Wellness Educator in Health, Meditation, and Ayurveda Lifestyle. Nicole is an advocate of meditation and mindfulness practices, raw pressed juice, and is steeped in the application of food as medicine. She volunteers her talents teaching mindfulness and meditation at a local homeless shelter and at a safe house for women of domestic violence. Nicole curates and implements our entire Wellness curriculum, including our own employee programs. That makes us happy..

Wendi Cohen - Integrative Coach   Wendi brings over a decade of experience to the field of meditation, mindfulness, and wellness. She has been a dynamic and instrumental force helping people from all over the world as a meditation teacher and integrative lifestyle practitioner. Wendi is highly regarded for her years at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, managing their signature program,  Perfect Health .  Helping people feel more peaceful, clear, and grounded, experiencing more love and inspiration in their lives is what brings Wendi so much fulfillment and gratitude. Her happy place is at the beach and she never met any chocolate she didn't love!

Wendi Cohen - Integrative Coach

Wendi brings over a decade of experience to the field of meditation, mindfulness, and wellness. She has been a dynamic and instrumental force helping people from all over the world as a meditation teacher and integrative lifestyle practitioner. Wendi is highly regarded for her years at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, managing their signature program, Perfect Health.

Helping people feel more peaceful, clear, and grounded, experiencing more love and inspiration in their lives is what brings Wendi so much fulfillment and gratitude. Her happy place is at the beach and she never met any chocolate she didn't love!

Marcus Tucker - Chief Groove Officer   Marcus The Conga Man is a native Southern Californian and is widely considered a percussionist extraordinaire. He’s also in the International Educators’ Hall of Fame for his work as a teacher. While his main instruments are congas and djembes, he plays the entire spectrum of percussion instruments. In the world of drum circles, Marcus is a guru. As a professional drum circle facilitator, he conducts community and corporate drum circles and is a founder of numerous Southern California Circles.

Marcus Tucker - Chief Groove Officer

Marcus The Conga Man is a native Southern Californian and is widely considered a percussionist extraordinaire. He’s also in the International Educators’ Hall of Fame for his work as a teacher. While his main instruments are congas and djembes, he plays the entire spectrum of percussion instruments. In the world of drum circles, Marcus is a guru. As a professional drum circle facilitator, he conducts community and corporate drum circles and is a founder of numerous Southern California Circles.

 
Mick Donoff - Lead Guide   Mick is a legend to us and who we want to be when we grow up. Because that's something he seems to have never done. Don't let his age fool you. This septuagenerian celebrated his 70th birthday by cycling across the US - solo, in an effort to raise money for cancer. He's also a top flight mountain biker, skier, and wilderness docent who knows the Laguna Coast wilderness like no one else. A retired school teacher, Mick leads our bike rides and regales our guests with tales of cycling, Laguna lore, and the coast wilderness.

Mick Donoff - Lead Guide

Mick is a legend to us and who we want to be when we grow up. Because that's something he seems to have never done. Don't let his age fool you. This septuagenerian celebrated his 70th birthday by cycling across the US - solo, in an effort to raise money for cancer. He's also a top flight mountain biker, skier, and wilderness docent who knows the Laguna Coast wilderness like no one else. A retired school teacher, Mick leads our bike rides and regales our guests with tales of cycling, Laguna lore, and the coast wilderness.

Jaeson Plon - Lead Guide   Jaeson has been guiding water activities for La Vida Laguna for over a decade. He took a brief hiatus to earn a masters degree at Harvard University. But his love of the ocean brought him back, where he continues to surf big waves, kayak, SUP, free dive and spear fish at unimaginable depths. He brings an unparalleled passion and knowledge of the ocean to all of our guests.

Jaeson Plon - Lead Guide

Jaeson has been guiding water activities for La Vida Laguna for over a decade. He took a brief hiatus to earn a masters degree at Harvard University. But his love of the ocean brought him back, where he continues to surf big waves, kayak, SUP, free dive and spear fish at unimaginable depths. He brings an unparalleled passion and knowledge of the ocean to all of our guests.

Mary Dellene - Nutrition and Wellness Counselor   Mary is a certified nutrition counselor, holistic esthetician and body therapist. She began her career in the spa industry in the late 1970’s and her passion for wellness and the spa lifestyle has deepened with each passing year. Her in-depth classes and workshops include an Aromatherapy Workshop, Natural & Organic Skin & Body Treatments, Anti-Aging Superfoods, Beating the Sugar Blues, Convenient Nutrition and others.

Mary Dellene - Nutrition and Wellness Counselor

Mary is a certified nutrition counselor, holistic esthetician and body therapist. She began her career in the spa industry in the late 1970’s and her passion for wellness and the spa lifestyle has deepened with each passing year. Her in-depth classes and workshops include an Aromatherapy Workshop, Natural & Organic Skin & Body Treatments, Anti-Aging Superfoods, Beating the Sugar Blues, Convenient Nutrition and others.

 
Tina Elkins - Accounting   With extensive experience in accounting and document control, Tina is our “details” person behind the scenes. Most importantly, she pays the bills and the people!  Tina has always had a blended passion for numbers, culture and movement. She majored in Dance, then traveled throughout Europe, grounding in Spain to study Flamenco, and then on to Egypt for intensive study of dance and percussion training.  She spends her “non-numbers” time swimming or hiking along our beautiful beaches, dancing, drumming, and Pilates conditioning.

Tina Elkins - Accounting

With extensive experience in accounting and document control, Tina is our “details” person behind the scenes. Most importantly, she pays the bills and the people!

Tina has always had a blended passion for numbers, culture and movement. She majored in Dance, then traveled throughout Europe, grounding in Spain to study Flamenco, and then on to Egypt for intensive study of dance and percussion training.

She spends her “non-numbers” time swimming or hiking along our beautiful beaches, dancing, drumming, and Pilates conditioning.