The Atayal tribe gained a fearsome reputation from their practice of headhunting. Young men had to prove themselves worthy of marriage by bringing back the head of an enemy.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving indigenous communities.

Building bridges for cultural exchange

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The following people are instrumental in guiding the mission and projects of the ATAYAL organization.


Tony Coolidge - Executive Director

Tony Coolidge - Executive Director - E-mail

An entrepreneur and longtime business professional in the Internet development and web marketing fields, Mr. Coolidge focused his attention in recent years to focusing time and resources on charitable efforts. ATAYAL was the first non-profit organization created by the founder, followed by Katrina's Angels in response to Hurricane Katrina. ATAYAL is a fulfillment of his life mission to honor the memory and spirit of his mother by bringing new life and hope to indigenous communities.

Shu-min Coolidge - Secretary and Treasurer

Shu-min Coolidge - Secretary and Treasurer - E-mail

A Taiwanese-American who is passionate about her homeland, Shu-min keeps things the organization "organized" and provides the accountability that every good charitable organization needs to retain the trust of its supporters. Shu-min is proficient in accounting practices as well as English, Chinese and Taiwanese languages. She serves as translator and communications officer for the company. Shu-min is from Tainan County in Taiwan. She graduated from Tamkang University in Tamsui, Taiwan with a Bachelor's degree in English. She worked for several American companies and taught Chinese to honors students at the University of Central Florida before she became a co-founder of ATAYAL.


Gary Smoke - Director of International Relations

Gary Smoke - Director of International Relations - E-mail

An American living in Taipei, Taiwan, Gary Smoke is responsible for maintaining the communications and relationships between the indigenous communities for our programs. Gary Smoke is an American living in Taipei, Taiwan. He is committed to giving back to the people in the country where he lives and has been working on behalf of the Indigenous People for over 3 years. It is his hope to reunite the Indigenous People of Taiwan with the American Natives of the Pacific Northwest by building a "Sister" relationship for cultural, language and student exchanges as well as developing commercial opportunities.

Kristine Lundgren Ortega - Program Director

Kristine Chung-hua Ortega - Program Director

Kristine Chung-Hua Ortega grew up in California's Bay Area with an indigenous mother (Atayal tribe) and Scandinavian father. The realization of her unique heritage as an adult has led her to dedicate time and energy to making a difference for and increasing worldwide recognition of the Taiwanese indigenous peoples. She is fortunate to still have family members within the Atayal community, and brings these connections to her work for ATAYAL.

Board of Directors

David Blundell - Board Member

David Blundell - Board Member

David Blundell joins the ATAYAL Organization's board as a scholar with expertise in Austronesian culture. He is currently working with groups on temporal spatial digital mapping as an international consortium ( for an educational database of Pacific languages and cultures. His role at UC Berkeley and Academia Sinica with the GIS Computing Centre has been to physically map 30,000 islands of the Pacific for a digital cultural atlas of languages serving as a bulletin board for scholarly exchange.

Trista di Genova - Board Member

Trista di Genova - Board Member

Trista di Genova joins the ATAYAL Organization's board in an advisory capacity on PR and Media Relations. A graduate of both UC Berkeley and Oxford University, she has worked with all the English-language newspapers in Taiwan, has headed the award-winning Wild East Magazine and is a published author with Lone Wolf Press. Currently she's living amongst the Atayal in Chingchuan, Hsinchu County, with the enjoyable task of studying what's cooking in the kitchen, and growing in their garden.

Dr. Ching-hua Lu - Board Member

Dr. Ching-hua Lu - Board Member

Dr. Lu is an Associate Professor with the Department of Tourism and Leisure Management at Tungfang Design University in Taiwan. The university is located in Kaohsiung near Tainan City. Her research interests include Okinawanology, indigenous tourism, and cultural studies. Having written research papers on indigenous tourism in Taiwan, Dr. Lu is an academic resource for the cultural exchange programs of the ATAYAL organization. She will provide guidance for acquiring funds and resources for ATAYAL programs, and she will write a research paper on how the ATAYAL cultural exchange programs with Austronesian groups may lead to an opportunity for a new type of indigenous tourism and how it may benefit the economy of Taiwan.

Marvin Couch - Board Member

Marvin Couch - Board Member

Marvin Couch brings a commitment and love for the Taiwanese people, which blossomed after his initial trip to the island. His resources and guidance are the gifts he provides as Board Member for ATAYAL. In the early 1990's, Marvin Couch was a member of the Florida State Legislature. He continues to have contacts and relationships throughout the political landscape in Florida. Mr. Couch has been a business leader in Central Florida for over 30 years. He is also an active leader in the community.

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