2009 Presenters

MAronoff09[1]Mike Aronoff is the current Chair of the ACA River Kayak Committee. Paddling credentials include ACA Instructor Trainer Educator in River Kayak, Open Water Coastal Kayak and WW Canoe, Instructor in Safety& Rescue as well as a British Canoe Union Sea Coach. He is an Adjunct Professor of Kayaking at George Mason University (River/Sea) and teaches Kayaking and Trip Leading for University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins, Loyola and the College of the Albemarle. Owner of Canoe, Kayak and Paddle Co. LLC, the first ACA Pro School,providing instruction, Certifications and Trip Leading for Kayak and Canoe at all levels. They are located in Virginia very near the Great Falls section of Potomac River.



jblakeny[1]Jimmy Blakeney has been involved in the paddlesports industry for 14 years as an athlete, ambassador, coach/instructor, marketing director, brand manager, consultant and business owner. He was 2003 US National Champion in freestyle kayaking and five-time US Freestyle Kayak Team member. Blakeney was brand manager for Wave Sport kayaks from 2003-2007, during which he spearheaded a complete overhaul of the boat offerings and brand image. Now living in the Boston area, Jimmy is a sales rep for Sweet Helmets and Jimmy Lewis stand up paddleboards and surfboards. This summer Blakeney opened Northeast Paddlesurf, a stand up paddle (SUP) instructional program, and has been developing a SUP curriculum in line with ACA curriculum standards.



EBuchanan2[1]Eugene Buchanan is the 14-year Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Paddler magazine, founder of Paddling Life (www.paddlinglife.net), principal in marketing/PR firm B2 Inc., and editor of Steamboat magazine. A Business/Economics graduate of Colorado College, where he captained his NCAA lacrosse team, the former ski patrol, kayak instructor and sea kayak and raft guide also enjoys a successful freelance career, with articles published in the New York Times, Men’s Journal, Sports Afield, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Forbes Life, Skiing, Bike and other publications. A member of New York’s Explorer’s Club, he is also a former business reporter for the Denver Business Journal and holds Contributing Editor positions with Powder and Canoe & Kayak magazines. An avid adventurer with several first descents to his credit, Buchanan’s passion for traveling, writing and paddling has taken him to more than 30 countries on six of the seven continents. A contributor to Men’s Journal’s The Great Life anthology, he also worked the Beijing Olympics for NBC. His first stand-alone book, Brothers on the Bashkaus, was released by Fulcrum Publishing in 2007, with his second work, Outdoor Offspring, scheduled for release this fall. He lives with his wife, Denise, and two daughters, Brooke, 9, and Casey, 6, in Steamboat Springs, Colo., just a block away from the Yampa River.



bob1-email[1]Bob Campbell was an US Slalom Team coach for both the Atlanta and Sydney Olympic Games and was named US Olympic Committee “2000 National Coach of the Year” for Canoe / Kayak. He has been involved with instructional paddling programs for over 25 years and is one of the co-founders of Gold Medal Connections – a traveling series of instructional clinics dedicated to broadening the base of paddling enthusiasts. Bob is also Managing Director of Whitewater Parks International – a whitewater venue development consulting firm whose work includes the 2000 Olympic Canoe/Kayak facility in Penrith, Australia and the upcoming 2012 Olympic venue in London, UK. Bob is an American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer and a Whitewater Symposium Board Member . He lives in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.


JCowie[1]Janet Burnett Cowie is the Director of Instruction Programs at Zoar Outdoor. Since 1996, Janet’s people skills and infectious enthusiasm have helped grow the instruction program to become one of the premier kayak schools in the country. Janet has been paddling and teaching since 1982. She is an ACA Swiftwater Rescue instructor, tandem/solo canoe instructor and ACA whitewater kayak instructor trainer educator. Janet helped to organize the first Whitewater Symposium at Zoar Outdoor in 2003 and is this year’s Symposium’s Director and Planning Coordinator. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts and currently she lives in Rowe, MA with her husband and son.



Waynerboof[1]Wayne Dickert has been a part of the Nantahala Outdoor Center since he started paddling competitively in 1981. He began teaching paddling in summer camps in 1977 and at NOC in 1986. Since then, he has served as a paddling instructor, Director of the Nantahala Racing Club, and Slalom Development Director for USA Canoe and Kayak. As an athlete, he also competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in Slalom C-2. Wayner has been the Director of NOC Instruction Programs since 2000 and enjoys working with this exciting group of professional instructors. He developed the Rapid Progressions approach to learning with “guaranteed success”. He also served in an advisory position for the development of the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte.



KFord20head20shot[1]Kent Ford’s unique background includes twenty-five years of teaching paddling, international whitewater racing, winning world titles, coaching for the US Kayak Team, and working as public address announcer at the last four Olympic Games. Now Kent focuses on teaching recreational boating to a worldwide audience. His twenty videos and books on paddlesports have influenced the education of half a million paddlers and his pro-bono video productions have helped promote river advocacy and protection. A veteran of over 330 rivers in 27 countries, Kent has been a member of expeditions to the Soviet Union, Costa Rica, Turkey, and Mexico. Kent has served as an ACA Instructor Trainer at most major US paddle schools, as well as in Switzerland, Canada, and Japan. Kent holds a BS. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and resides in Durango, Colorado, where he is a member of the city’s water commission. He is a co-founder and organizer of the Whitewater Symposium.


DFusilli09[1]Dave Fusilli is from Clarion Pennsylvania. A sales rep for Pyranha Kayaks, he has been kayaking for over ten years. His dad taught him to kayak as a kid and around age 18, he realized that was a good thing. He has also worked as a raft guide. During the last three years, he has made three dedicated paddling trips around the US, as well as two trips to Chile and Argentina, and one to Ecuador, pursuing his passion for paddling, especially for creeking.



CHarris[1]Cody Harris started kayaking in Durango, Colorado at the age of 11. He is a past member of the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Olympic Development Team. He has spent the last two decades exploring the rivers of North and South America. Cody is the director and lead instructor for the Whitewater Rescue Institute (WRI). At WRI, Cody leads Swiftwater Rescue courses throughout the Northwest. Cody says, “Swiftwater Rescue is such a dynamic discipline. Rivers rarely give you the opportunity to feel confident. As soon as you do, something changes—the water rises, the rapid changes—and you have to start over. This is what makes it so important to learn the basics. Rivers challenge even the most experienced boaters.” The Whitewater Rescue Institute has taught courses to over 200 agencies. Cody also works as an EMT in Hamilton, Montana, as a ski-patroller, as a boatman on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, and teaches wilderness first aid for Aerie Backcountry Medicine. He is also a volunteer for Missoula County Search and Rescue.



HHerbeck09[1]Heather Herbeck received her Exercise Science degree and followed her dream, becoming a fitness/program director for athletic facilities in MN and then in OR/WA. In 2001, she was introduced to the sport of whitewater kayaking, falling in love with the feel of the water, the adrenaline rush, the places and the people. In 2003, she moved with her husband to the Columbia River Gorge to pursue our love, our life of whitewater kayaking. Currently, teaching whitewater kayaking at Wet Planet Whitewater – organizing and developing the women’s and kids programs, teach group exercise classes and provide personal, fitness training to clients in the gorge. Heather and her husband own a production company, “Sheer Madness Productions”, which keeps us busy on the side. Their winters are filled with travel, filming and pushing our limits – mentally and physically. Her profession has taken her throughout the U.S., sharing my experiences and encouraging others to be “the best paddlers they can be”. Heather presented at the 2006 WW Symposium, Midwest Mountaineering Expo (2007-2009), Washington Kayak and Canoe Club (2008-2009), University of Puget Sound (2008-2009) and Wet Planet Whitewater (2008-2009).



dhughes[1]David Hughes is the founder and director of Huge Experiences and the New River Academy. David has led international trips to China, New Zealand, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, New Zealand, Nepal, Dominican Republic, U.S.A., Canada, Austria, Australia, and Africa. David’s most recent project is the development of a kayak community base in Pucon, Chile. Whether you are seeking to promote a new program or increase your current numbers you will enjoy attending David’s discussions on international trips and teen camps



ej[1]Eric “EJ” Jackson, Current World Freestyle Silver Medalist, Four-Time World Freestyle Champion, World Record Scoring Freestyle Kayaking Rides, 1998-2002, Olympian, Extreme Kayak Champion, National Slalom Champion, National Freestyle Champion- Kayak, National Freestyle Champion- Canoe, 10 years on the United States Slalom Kayak Team, 12 years on the United States Freestyle Kayak Team, Professional Kayaker since 1989, Lead Kayak Designer for Wavesport, Founder of the World Kayak Federation, Creator of the “Strokes and Concepts” kayaking program, Author of top selling instructional books, Producer of the top selling instructional DVD/Resume, Owner and Director of number one selling whitewater brand, Jackson Kayak


JJacobi20phot204-07[1]In 1992, Joe Jacobi  became America’s first Olympic Gold Medallist in Whitewater Slalom and 12 years later, returned to the Summer Games in Athens for his second Olympic appearance. Between Olympic experiences, Joe’s pursuits branched out into professional speaking, broadcast media, public service, and paddlesports instruction, including co-founding Gold Medal Kayak Camps in 1997, which travels on location to promote precision kayaking using a fun-filled teaching approach. Recently retired from competitive canoeing, Joe lives in Ducktown, Tennesse with his wife, Lisa, and their six year-old daughter, Seu Jane.



Colin Kemp has been boating for well over 20 years and during that time he has held a number of positions ranging from Kayak school and store Buyer/Manager/Owner to Sales Rep. He is now the Programs Manager for World Kayak as well running educational programs for Jackson Kayak. www.worldkayak.com / www.worldkayakblogs.com



Bruce_Kayaking_Gap_resized_small[1]In 1989, Bruce Lessels and his wife, Karen, founded Zoar Outdoor, an outdoor center on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts where the first Whitewater Symposium was held. He has written several articles and books on paddling including the Classic Northeastern Whitewater Guide and Paddling with Kids. He is an ACA Instructor Trainer Educator in Whitewater Kayak and Canoe and a former member of the US Whitewater C-1 team. He placed 3rd in the 1987 Whitewater World Championships in Bourg St. Maurice, France



anna[1]Anna Levesque is a world-class kayaker who has a passion for inspiring and teaching women. Her experience as an accomplished international competitor, author, instructor and business owner has placed her as the leading expert in her field. She’s been quoted and featured in many paddlesport and national publications such as TIME Magazine, offering her expertise on kayaking to the mass media. Her top accomplishments as a whitewater athlete include a bronze medal at the 2001 World Freestyle Kayak Championships, a spot on the Canadian National Freestyle Team five years in a row, and many top 3 finishes in both Freestyle and Extreme Racing. Anna combines her international expertise in kayaking with her experience as a yoga instructor and student of meditation, to inspire women in confidently creating success and happiness in all aspects of their lives. Her company, Girls at Play, is based out of Asheville, NC.



MikeMatheratwork[1]Mike Mather is one of the more experienced and entertaining rescue professionals in the industry. Having taught courses all over the U.S. and in Europe, Mike’s less than conventional approach to this topic is anything but dry and effectively drives swiftwater rescue concepts home. Mike excels at keeping topics clear, accessible and applicable for rescue professionals, experienced boaters and novices alike. Through a combination of bizarre storytelling and hands on instruction Mike keeps participants thoroughly engaged.



JMcBeath[1]James McBeath has been around the whitewater industry in a variety of capacities for going on 25 years as former owner of Liquid Skills Kayak School and founder of Kayak Futaleufu / Kayak International. In 2007/08 World Kayak was formed as an organization focused on industry growth initiatives and James took the reins brining in experience from both the web and whitewater and focusing solely on programs aimed at participation numbers.



DMongno[1]Danny Mongno Werner Paddles has been family owned for over forty years, hand crafting the world’s finest kayak, canoe and stand up paddles. The opportunity to work at Werner is more than a career forDanny Mongno; it offers him a lifestyle and a family, doing something he loves for a company he believes in. Traveling in his house on wheels and paddling most every day in the US and around the world has allowed him to add a constant flow of new thinking to over 19 years of experience. Coaching from event to event it is helping paddlers develop a love for the sport that keeps him coming back year in and year out. Danny is 35 years old and resides in the mountains of Asheville NC when he is not on the road. Keep an eye out for him in your town on the running trail, white water take out, lake, local surf spot or any where else the paddlers gather. Bar stools not excluded.



Joe Mornini co-founded Team River Runner in 2004 and has watched the organization blossom into a nationwide program helping the lives of wounded service men and women, through whitewater boating.



risa[1]Risa Shimoda has created innovation in the paddlesports industry for decades, as a paddler and competitor (Member World Freestyle Kayaking team 1993-2009); marketing, selling, developing products and customer service departments for kayak and accessory manufacturing and distribution for Patagonia, Perception, Watermark, Harmony, Lidds, and Palm Equipment from 1991-2001; founder of the National Organization of Whitewater Rodeos (1989-2002) a founder and current Chair of the Board of Governors for the International Whitewater Hall of Fame (2004-present), American Whitewater Executive Director (1989-91, 2001-04). She will be producing the third Whitewater Courses and Parks conference May 24-27, 2010 in Salida, Colorado for whitewater park project leaders and the 20th Annual Potomac Whitewater Festival July 10, 11, 2010, and supports the expansion of Team River Runner through its national volunteer committee in the DC area.



Singleton[1]Mark Singleton joined American Whitewater as Executive Director in November of 2004. Under Mark’s leadership, American Whitewater’s historically strong conservation and access program has been refocused and transformed into River Stewardship, an integrated approach to the mission work of American Whitewater. Stewardship recognizes the organizations ongoing commitment to the rivers we work to restore and protect. Mark is also the current Chairman of the Outdoor Alliance, a coalition of six human-powered outdoor recreation groups. Singleton has over two decades of involvement in the marketing of outdoor activities and nature based tourism. From 1990 to 2003 Singleton led the marketing efforts of Nantahala Outdoor Center as Marketing Vice President. He is also a past board member of the Outdoor Industry Association. For seven years he represented the interests of outdoor recreation on the North Carolina Division of Travel and Tourism Board.



matt&taylor[1]Matt Taylor,a two-time Olympian and a five-time National Champion in whitewater canoeing, currently serves as Executive Director of the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) near Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. A Yalie with five kids, three annoying cats, and a much smarter wife, Matt raced with Lecky Haller in Sydney and with Joe Jacobi begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting in Athens. Matt’s focus is on recreation management and education, with an eye for ‘challenging jobs’ (at Yale, he was paid to walk the Peabody Museum’s iguana twice a week). Since moving to Maryland in 2006, Matt helped bring both Slalom, Freestyle and Rafting Nationals to ASCI, and has overseen development of innovative adventure programs, including guided rafting trips for over 33,000 people down its mountaintop whitewater course. Matt’s latest project is how to create authentic enthusiasm and a dramatic growth in business around recreation inflatables.



JStone09[1]Jessie Stone is a professional whitewater kayaker and an MD. In 2004, she founded Soft Power Health (www.softpowerhealth.org), a non-profit organization that she currently runs and directs. Soft Power Health has two branches, one US based branch that teaches inner city kids to kayak, and a second Ugandan based branch that provides primary and preventative health care to rural Ugandans. She is a member of the US Freestyle Kayak Team and just returned from competing in the World Championships in Thun, Switzerland. Additionally, Jessie has organized and participated in the Able/Disable Kayak Marathon in New York City for the last several years. She splits her time between Uganda, Europe, and the US, spending as much time on rivers as possible. When she is not kayaking, she is looking for the world’s best sticky bun.



Rob Terry, grew up paddling in Washington, DC, teaching paddling and working at local summer camps to keep gas in the shuttle vehicle. After college Rob first taught in the Health and Recreation department at George Mason University and later with the Voyegeur Experiential Education Program and National Cathedral and St Albans Schools. Following five years with the Voyageur Program Rob went back to school where he completed a masters in education and has since transitioned into a public middle school. In addition, Rob works extensively with Dartmouth College’s Laedyard Canoe Club on both instructor and program development. Rob is an ACA Advanced Whitewater Endorsed Instructor Trainer and ITE with World Kayak.

BWinans09[1]Blair Winans is the owner of Winans Creative, a boutique branding/design firm. Blair has focused on building and/or repositioning brands through high-end design communications. His creative and strategic expertise is moving brands to the next level by offering innovative marketing solutions. By utilizing emerging web technologies, social media, and raw creative talent, he has helped growing businesses and organizations make the most of their marketing budgets. His career began in Boston at several high-profile creative agencies where he accumulated numerous design awards. When he realized that he could serve his clients far better in an efficient, small-agency environment, Blair returned to western Massachusetts and began Winans Creative with the goal of delivering the biggest return from his clients’ marketing dollars. To date, he and Winans Creative have thrived with a philosophy based on fresh thinking, intimate service, and using technology to help solve complex marketing problems.