Common Ground

Two groups of Hawai‘i’s young professionals are coming together to help change the worlds of surfing and advertising.

“Hawai‘i is the surfing capital of the world,” says Mark Marble. “The beach is a huge part of the local culture, yet there’s a part of the population that can’t get there.” Last March, Marble, 41, co-founded AccesSurf Hawai‘i with Rich Julian, to help people with physical disabilities get back into the ocean.

Mark Marble (right), president of AccesSurf Hawai‘i helps Dennis Okada get back into the ocean at the organization’s Day at the Beach event. photo: Rae Huo

“We have a guy flying in from Canada who hasn’t surfed since his accident 17 years ago. AccesSurf Hawai‘i is going to change his life,” Marble says. Each month, the organization co-sponsors a “Day at the Beach” event, providing adaptive surfboards, a double-hulled kayak and equipment to help people with different disabilities swim in the ocean. In the coming year, Marble hopes to expand the “Day at the Beach” program to the Neighbor Islands and raise enough money to place permanent beach mats on public beaches, allowing wheelchair-bound surfers to get to the water. But he can’t do it alone. As a new nonprofit, barely even one year old, the little-known organization is just beginning to gain name recognition within the community.

Want to attend or volunteer at AccesSurf’s “Day at the Beach?”

Head over to White Plains beach at Barbers Point on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact Mark Marble at or visit for details and directions.

are you an advertising professional or interested in helping out with ad2 honolulu?

Log on to to become a registered member.

That’s where Ad 2 Honolulu, a group of young advertising professionals, comes in. For 38 years, members of the not-for-profit group have helped to feed the hungry, care for cancer patients and mentor high-risk youth, all the while gaining experience and networking in the advertising community. Each year, members design an ad campaign and materials for a local nonprofit reaching out, in the past, to causes such as Boys and Girls Club of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Meals on Wheels and Hale Kipa.

The “mini agency,” as Ad 2 member Goldyn Zimetbaum calls it, unites professionals, all under the age of 32, from all aspects of advertising, from art directors to media and public relations personnel. Many are drawn to the organization by the opportunity to take on a larger role than they’re accustomed to in their day jobs. “Young people get to work on the campaign and be heard,” says Zimetbaum. “They can actually do something with their ideas and opinions. It’s a cool opportunity to have that freedom we don’t always have in our jobs.”

But working on a campaign in addition to holding a full-time job in the industry asks a lot of these young professionals. “There’s a lot of juggling around,” says Zimetbaum. “A lot of weekends and nights, but it’s rewarding.”

This year Ad 2 selected AccesSurf out of more than 60 applicants to receive the yearly pro bono campaign, including a newly designed logo, television commercial spots and brochures. “AccesSurf really needed this campaign. They didn’t have anything,” Zimetbaum says. “We thought they would benefit from what we have to offer.”

“With a startup, we have creative freedom. It’s nice to be able to start fresh and build a look for them,” she says. Ad 2 members are in the process of designing stickers to publicize the nonprofit. “The stickers will be at surf shops and people can put them on their boards.”

As nonprofits spend most of their budgets on programs and services, and not advertising, Ad 2 provides organizations with resources they wouldn’t otherwise have. “It’s going to catapult us so fast into the minds of Hawai‘i families, people with disabilities as well as the corporate business minds,” says Marble of the Ad 2 campaign. “Where we wanted to be in five years, we’ll be there in one.”

Look familiar? Ad2 members designed this ad for last year’s pro bono campaign recipient, The Boys and Girls Club of Hawai‘i. The campaign ran on the silverscreen at all local movie theaters.

For more information on charities in Hawai‘i, contact the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, a statewide grant-making organization supported by generous individuals, families and businesses to benefit Hawai‘i’s people. Visit the site at