Technology and Entertainment Executive to Embark on
Solo Personal Watercraft Ride to Raise Money and
Awareness for Crohn’s Disease

May 1, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA – Digital Media Pioneer and technology investor Richard Wolpert today announced he will make history this summer when he becomes the first to pilot a personal watercraft from Florida to the Bahamas and back in a solo adventure designed to raise awareness and funds to battle Crohn’s Disease.

The expedition, slated for June, is a challenging open ocean ride that can be treacherous due to the unpredictability of the weather conditions and should only be attempted by experienced, well-prepared riders. Mr. Wolpert has more than 20 years experience riding personal watercraft and has successfully navigated several solo long distance rides in the past.

Mr. Wolpert, a former president of Disney Online and an executive advisor at RealNetworks, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at an early age. Yet he was able to overcome its many obstacles to lead a long and successful career as a senior executive at leading digital media, entertainment and venture capital firms.

“I feel that I actually owe a great deal of my success to the lessons I learned in battling the health consequences of Crohn’s Disease,” said Mr. Wolpert. “At a young age, it taught me that life has obstacles, and can be challenging. But when faced with these challenges, you can still thrive with perseverance, hard work, optimism, and the help of family and friends. Through this journey I hope to bring encouragement to those suffering with this disease while also building awareness among others who may some day need to support friends or family battling this illness.”

Mr. Wolpert’s trip will begin in Palm Beach, where he plans to purchase a
2009 Yamaha FX HO WaveRunner. He will pilot that craft east across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas where he will spend several days riding between islands. He’ll return by crossing back through the Gulf Stream. The trip is expected to take up to a week, depending on weather conditions. The trip will be conducted entirely by Mr. Wolpert without a guide, chase boat, or riding companions.

Companies already sponsoring Mr. Wolpert’s trip include digital media leader
RealNetworks, the William Morris Agency, the largest talent agency in the world, and Accel Partners, a leading venture capital firm.

Crohn’s Disease affects an estimated half million people in North America. All the dontations raised from the trip will be provided to the
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Camp Oasis, the Pediatric IBD program at Cedars Sinai Hospital, and the IBD Support Foundation.

Updates of the trip will be logged at The website will also show the geographical progress of the trip along with Photos. Updates will also be maintained on Twitter at

Interested donors can find more information at


Scott Sutherland
The SutherlandGold Group