Wade Blackwood, Executive Director: 2009 - present
Wade is the fifth Executive Director of the ACA. He originally joined as the Chief Financial Officer and then became the Executive Director in November of 2009.
Martin Bartels, Executive Director: 2007 -2009
Mr. Bartels took over the organization in a time of significant transformation. Key objectives during his tenure included design of the National Paddlesports Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia; design and implementation of a 25-year strategic vision; and launch of a national campaign to involve thousands of communities in paddlesport recreation and waterway stewardship. His role also included leadership of Paddlesport Publishing, Inc, which produced the award-winning "Paddler Magazine” and other outdoor titles.
Mr. Bartels has been involved in nonprofit leadership and transformation since 2004, when he served as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). While there he applied corporate marketing and business principles to rebranding the organization, including development and launch of a new website, membership magazine, and building a cause marketing portfolio with several corporate partners.
Prior to his nonprofit career, Mr. Bartels worked for almost 21 years in journalism and new media, culminating in a role as director of editorial operations for AOL CityGuide. During his journalism career he was a syndicated travel and arts writer whose work appeared in more than 50 newspapers including the Chicago Sun Times and the Jerusalem Post. He has paddled in six countries and more than 30 states, including Hawaii and Alaska.
Pamela Dillon, Executive Director: 2002 - 2007
Pam, has been an avid paddler since the early 1970's. An ACA Instructor Trainer (IT) in canoe and kayak, she also served as an Instructor Trainer Educator in both disciplines.
Appointed as Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft in 2007, she returned to her roots where she began as a State Watercraft Officer in 1977. With ODNR she assisted in the development of the Ohio River Rescue Training program, the first state-sponsored training program of its kind in the
Pam has received recognition for her work from the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, National Safe Boating Council, the National Water Safety Congress, the Professional Paddlesports Association, the United States Power Squadrons and has received numerous federal, state, and local awards. She has also received the ACA's Excellence in Instruction Award.
Jeff Yeager, Executive Director: 1990 - 2001
Jeff spent 24 years working as a CEO and senior executive with national nonprofit organizations in
During his career in the nonprofit sector, Yeager served as the CEO of the American Canoe Association, the oldest recreation-based waterway conservation in the
Specializing in an offbeat blend of original humor and practical advice for living a better life by spending and consuming less, Yeager was dubbed "The Ultimate Cheapskate” by Matt Lauer on the NBC TODAY Show, where he frequently appears as a guest correspondent.He also hosted a series of segments, $aving Green by Living Green, on G-Word, an environmental news show on Discovery television's new PLANET GREEN network, and is launching a national syndicated feature series, Ultimate Cheapskate's TV Tips, starting in fall 2009.He has also appeared on CNN, ABC News,
Yeager's first book, The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches:A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less, was published by Random House / Broadway Books in January 2008.Road Map is currently in its sixth reprint and was the #1 Personal Finance book on Amazon.com.His second book, The Cheapskate Next Door, is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2010, also from Random House / Broadway Books.His work is also featured on his award-winning website UltimateCheapskate.com, and Yeager writes feature blogs on the following websites: PlanetGreen.com, TheDailyGreen.com, YahooGreen.com, AARP's LifeTuner.com, and WiseBread.com.
Since leaving the work-a-day world, Yeager has done just that.As an active volunteer, Yeager serves on the boards of four nonprofit organizations involved in education and the environment. But most of all, Yeager has used his newfound financial freedom to pursue his passion for writing and multi-media journalism.
Jeff currently lives just outside of
Joyce Malone Lantz, Executive Director: 1979 - 1990
Joyce was hired to open the National Office in Lorton, VA, in February, 1979. Initially Office Manager, she was soon promoted to Executive Secretary, a title popular in sports organizations and associations. A love of the outdoors added paddling to favorite pasttimes such as hiking, camping and skiing.
The office grew with the organization, moving to Newington, VA, from Lorton. Joyce became active with the National Safe Boating Council as well as serving on a select board making grants to grass roots river organizations. During this time, she completed her Bachelor's degree, and soon thereafter, was named the first Executive Director of the ACA.
During her 12 year tenure, the organization celebrated its 100th anniversary, helped host both a pre-World and World Championship, fought numerous battles, and matured as a business. Through a series of grant programs, the ACA achieved a great deal in the area of safety and education. Working with volunteers and staff was particularly rewarding, according to Joyce.
She now lives (and paddles) in Western North Carolina.
5/5/2017 » 5/12/2017
Level 3: Coastal Kayak Instructor Certification Workshop (IDW/ICE)
5/19/2017 » 5/21/2017
TIPS - Traditional Paddlers Retreat Weekend