What's MaiTai?
We support ocean wildlife conservation efforts through kite camps for entrepreneurs, innovators and athletes.

MaiTai started among a few friends of Susi Mai & Bill Tai kitesurfing and staying at Ken Goldman's vacation home. With the exponential growth of the gatherings, MaiTai saw an opportunity to create a platform to promote & address environmental issues related to our playground – our oceans.

MaiTai About Us

Mission Statement

Our mission is to marshall the support of extreme innovators, entrepreneurs and athletes to support environmental causes related to the ocean and related ecosystems.

Non-Profit Support

As a community of passionate water men and women, we experience first hand that our world's oceans are under attack from pollution, over fishing, global warming and habitat destruction.

MaiTai seeks to support pro-active organizations who produce meaningful results protecting the world's oceans. While there are many admirable efforts around the world, we particularly appreciate and support the following:

  • Surfrider Foundation –Their mission is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.

  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography – One of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for ocean and earth science research, education, and public service in the world. Research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography encompasses physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical studies of the oceans and earth.

  • OceanElders – An independent group of global leaders who have joined together to serve as a catalyst in the conservation and protection of the ocean and its wildlife. These individuals use their collective influence, supported by science and data, to promote ocean conservation, pursue the protection of the ocean's habitat and wildlife, and preserve its ecosystems and species biodiversity.

  • Sea Shepherd Conservation Society – Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Shark Tagging

Sir Richard Branson and MaiTai Global combine to bring attention to Ocean Wildlife Conservation!

Our mission is to marshall the support of extreme innovators, entrepreneurs and athletes to support environmental causes related to the ocean and related ecosystems. As such, MaiTai Global members funded and organized the first ever shark tagging expedition in the BVIs.

Our goal is to deepen the world's understanding of the important positive role of apex predators in the ocean ecosystem to its long term sustainability. We want to draw attention to the harm that may be caused to humans in the mass killing of sharks; often just to cut off fins to be used for shark fin soup.

Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, Sir Richard Branson and MaiTai co-founder Bill Tai are featured in this discussion of our project:

We are also highlighting as part of the process new research conducted at University of Miami that identifies accumulated neurotoxins present in shark fins that are linked to the acceleration of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimers. We believe that bringing attention to the negative side effects may decrease the demand for shark fin soup and may bring change to the destructive practices and negative ecological impact to the oceans caused by the indiscriminate slaughter of an important part of the ocean wildlife ecosystem.

Sir Richard Branson was kind enough to draw attention to our project by publicizing it on the Virgin Blog. Additionally, MaiTai Global has had research on this subject and an infographic documenting the flow of toxins, translated into Mandarin Chinese – as much of the demand for shark fin soup comes from China ‐ and links to those are posted and referred to in Sir Richard Branson's blog post.

We thank YOU for reading this – and thank all attendees of our various MaiTai Global gatherings for your support as it makes things like this possible. If you'd like to support us, or causes we believe in, and want to know more about the schedule for upcoming gatherings, see our MaiTai events page!

Board of Directors

Susi Mai, Co-Founder and President

Susi is a kite-boarding legend. She is one of the premier Red Bull athletes and during the 2003 Red Bull King of the Air competiton was given the sports highest female honor: Red Bull Queen of the Air. Susi is also the star of the popular German documentary series Wild Ones Junge Helden, which follows Red Bull athletes through their various adventures. In April 2012 she became a Patron of the KiteRight Charity, which uses kite-sports to help change the lives of individuals with physical, mental, or learning challenges.

Bill Tai, Co-Founder and Vice-President

Bill is one of the Silicon Valley's top investors and a Partner at Charles Rivers Ventures. Prior to joining CRV, Bill founded IPInfusion as Executive Chairman, Founded iAsiaWorks as Chairman & CEO and founded Tradebeam as President. As a an Olympic Ambassador for the IKA (Int'l Kitesurfing Association), he is part of the campaign to put Kiteboarding into the 2016 Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro. He holds an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois. Bill is an adjunct professor of innovation at Curtin University in Australia.

Austin Stewart, Secretary and Counsel

Austin is one of the early-stage MaiTai participants and a recidivist wind/wave addict. Austin has been an attorney since 1991, but took a quick detour from 1993-1997 where he was a restaurant owner and snowboard instructor in Sun Valley, ID. He currently has a solo practice based in Palo Alto, which specializes in commercial real estate transactions, development, construction and financing. Austin has also worked over 10 years as pro bono real estate counsel for Peninsula Open Space Trust. His side projects include two tech startups & handful of tech investments. He received his B.A from Brown University, and his J.D and M.B.A from Boston University. Austin is originally from Westport, CT and currently lives in Palo Alto, CA.

Ken Goldman, Treasurer

Ken has been the CFO for numerous companies such as Oracle, Siebel Systems, and became Yahoo!'s CFO in 2012. He serves as Venture Partner of The Westly Group, Strategic Advisor at Rafter, Inc., and serves as a Strategic Partner at Cheyenne Partners. He serves as a Member of the FEI Committee for Financial and Information Technology.Ken earned an M.B.A. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business in 1974 and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University in 1971. He currently is a Trustee to Cornell University.

Contact Us

For more information on how to apply to be a non-profit partner, how to attend one of our events, sponsorship opportunities, and how to get involved in the MaiTai community contact us at info@maitaiglobal.org.