Who We Are


These dedicated individuals work together to execute the strategy and mission of the organization.

Robert Figueroa, Founder & President

Robert Figueroa was born and raised in New York City, a fast paced environment where he rapidly developed his prioritization skills, sharp attention to detail and resilience. 


He has a deep passion for nature and after moving to Fort Lauderdale, he decided to find a way to give back when he realized how much pollution was in the waterways of the “Venice of America”: Paddle with a Purpose was born in 2017 with a simple idea, goodwill and two kayaks off a neighbor’s boat dock; since then, Robert’s passion has led the organization to expand across 3 bays, managed more than 300 events rallying more than 1 500 Volunteers who have removed more than 15 000 Pounds of trash off our waterways, one bucket at a time! 

As the founder and President, Robert leads Paddle with a Purpose through a vision in line with its roots, working with his Executive Director and all teams towards the best Strategy & Operations, a strong network of Partners and the best talents across various markets necessary to an ambitious, passionate yet sustainable and efficient organization.

Robert is fulfilling his purpose in life every day, inspiring others to get out in nature, building Community while having fun and caring for our planet!


Olivier Cale, Executive Director

Olivier, a Florida resident for 15 years, has always been dedicated to Nature preservation: through his travels around the world and across various continents and cultures, he has witnessed how humans can display both the best and the worst when it comes to their impact on their own neighborhood and general environment. 

Living on the water and an avid boater, Olivier sees first hand on a daily basis all sorts of plastic and trash floating back and forth with the tides and the effects of manmade pollution on Nature, Wildlife and Residents…Already involved as an Officer of his Civic Association, he felt an immediate connection with Paddle with a Purpose: bringing his 30+ years of professional experience in Executive Marketing & Business Development roles on the Corporate side as well as a Management Consultant and entrepreneur across 3 continents, Olivier works with Founder Robert Figueroa towards taking the Mission and impact of Paddle with a Purpose to the next level: through an expanding, more efficient and attractive organization, establishing strategic partnerships , they focus on bringing Communities together around positive individual and collective initiatives dedicated to a better, kinder and more sustainable world.

Anthony Cortes, Director of Marketing & Public Relations


Anthony Cortes, an Orlando, Florida native, found his passion in customer service, event planning and entrepreneurship early in his career: from helping launch and put on the map one of the top Entertainment venues in Downtown Orlando he developed from the ground up his Marketing, Customer and Event management capabilities; when he went on to open his own business, a full service Beauty salon, he further refined those skills by establishing a brand new concept through innovative Marketing, creative Partnerships and Special events with major Fashion & Retail brands as well as honing his networking talents.

Before joining Paddle with a Purpose, Anthony had also applied his experience and passion to other good causes: in 2016 he led a full 6 months fundraising campaign for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through a unique program of special events that helped raised more than $30k for blood cancer research.

Anthony works with the Paddle with a Purpose team to provide the best creative skills and tools when it comes to expanding the reach of the brand and managing resources & tools that help empower better relationships with Volunteers and other Partners through the best events.

Our Mission

The mission of Paddle with a Purpose is to engage people from all walks of life to volunteer in the conservation and cleanup of our waterways and to spread awareness about the pollution problem in our communities. 


We aim to activate the world in excitement to protect our most precious natural resource: water. Our goal is to get everyone involved, from companies to tourists and most importantly, members of the local community.


We focus on the positive actions that can be done to reverse damage to our environment and create a fun, team oriented atmosphere. By focusing on our accomplishments we empower individuals to care for their local natural areas and spread awareness of what can be done. No action is too small, no trash too little, and no amount of time too short.


Cleanups help us to remember that you can (and should) have fun while saving the planet. It’s a powerful beginning that instills a deeper love for our beautiful planet!


How it all began…


Paddle with a Purpose was started as a desire for one young man to remove trash from our waterways. The goal in the first year was to remove 1 ton of trash which seemed like an impossible amount. We surpassed that goal and in Year 1 alone collected over 4 tons of trash out of our Fort Lauderdale / Broward County waterways. It’s our goal to expand this project to a national and global scale to activate people from all walks of life to care for their local communities and raise awareness about pollution in our waters.

Our Core Values

Our organization is founded and lives by these core values

  • Changing the world starts with action
  • We attract volunteers with positivity
  • Create awareness to spur action in local communities