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The Ecotourism Training Center Staff

Reid Ridgway
Managing Director

Reid Ridgway graduated from UCSC with a B.A. in Film and Video Production. After gaining experience as the marketing director for Reflective Arts division of Optical Media International, Reid founded Watershed Communications a digital media production company, specializing in strategic marketing, brand identity, and initial product launch. For 13 years, Watershed Communications catered to a long list of fortune 500 Silicon Valley and Entertainment Giants.

Reid produced and directed projects for Apple Computer, IBM, Media Vision, National Semiconductor, Grass Valley Group, Steven Spielberg, MCA Records and blues legend B.B. King (winning a Silver Award from New Media Magazine), EMI Records, Bose Audio, and many others. He also authored many technical papers, a five unit university course entitled Digital Audio Production for Film Students, and contributed to an O’Rielly book entitled Audio for the Web.  In his final project with Watershed, Reid produced and directed a three part Interactive Documentary on the early settlement of the Wisconsin Pinery. The product is distributed to the state educational system, and has been hailed by many education professionals as a break-through teaching tool, bringing history to life.

3 years prior to the Tsunami, Reid had semi-retired in Thailand, where he began a new life dabbling as a freelance jounalist and professional scuba instructor, enjoying the big change of pace.

When the Tsunami devestated Southern Thailand, the pace swept him up again. Reid took immediate action to help people. He has never stopped, and has built the ETC with incredible drive, talent and vision. And though the work has never stopped, he would be the first to say that choosing a path of helping others beats the stressful life of the corporate executive
—hands down.

Portrait of a Scoundel
Wendy Firlotte
Associate Director

Wendy was an early arrival in Thailand's tsunami relief effort and has interfaced with nearly everyone involved at one point or another. She was the envrionmental coordinator for the Tsuanmi Volunteer Center, and came to ETC in the second year. Wendy is exceptional in too many ways to describe here. She is one of those rare people that gets things done before anyone else has noticed it needs doing. She is part of the fabric of ETC.

A Bachelor’s degree in Geology; Post-Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management; Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development; experience working for vocational training programs in Vietnam and Thailand; and experience with NGO project development, implementation and management makes her the perfect resource for ETC mission to become an effective, respected, and self sustaining organization.

Onuma “On” Dawreang
Program Director - Scuba Instruction

On came to the ETC as a student in the second season. She couldn't swim and she couldn't speak English. After graduation, she was selected as one of 6 students to attend an Instructor Development Course and become dive instructor through PADI Course Director Chris Owen. She has since come back to provide training to the 3rd and 4th year students and has worked her way to IDC staff instructor, Master Scuba Diver Trainer, and Emergency First Response Instructor. On has done extensive work on her English language skills and now acts as a translator and interpretor for ETC. She manages the dive training program, and handles the logistical needs of ETC. On has become an incredible asset and important example of what ETC is all about.

Noppharat “Cougar” Puangrangsard
Administration Manager - Computer Instruction

Cougar has been instrumental in the ETC’s tremendous success story, from the moment it was an idea to the present. She is the glue and the magic behind the organization. She translates all documents, she teaches computer skills, she handles all the Thai communications, she designs the logos and other graphic art, she’s the librarian, the filer, the presence on the phone, and it would be impossible to have an ETC without her.

Cougar is a creative at heart, and her passionate is expressed in computer illustration, and hand drawings and painting.