The National Paddlesports Conference (NPC) is an opportunity to strengthen our national and international paddlesports community through communication, face to face interaction and by learning the latest techniques in teaching, safety, new developments in paddlesport disciplines and paddling education theory. For this years NPC we are fortunate to offer a plentiful amount of educational sessions in a vast array of topics and disciplines. The following are bibliographies of each of the presenters.
Josh has been paddling and teaching for over 20 years for Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission, an American Canoe Association Pro School, where he serves as the agency's Outdoor Program Manager.
A native Rhode Islander now living in Charleston SC, Josh has a long history on the water working in all three domains. Josh has worked as a commercial lobsterman in Block Island Sound and has been racing sailboat’s since a young age which he continues to do in SC.
Josh is most happy when he is teaching in the outdoors and sharing his knowledge with both youth and adult. His coaching adventures have taken him all over the continental US, Hawaii, Europe and Japan. Josh’s Credentials include: American Canoe Association (ACA) L5 Advanced Open Water Instructor Trainer Educator, ACA L3 SUP Instructor Trainer Educator, ACA L5 Whitewater Kayak Instructor, L-2 Canoe Instructor, and is endorsed as an ACA Traditional Skills and Adaptive Paddling Instructor. In 2012 Josh was awarded the ACA’s Excellence in Instruction award for his teaching and curriculum development contributions. In addition, Josh has served as a Board of Director for the ACA and chair of the ACA’s Coastal Kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard Committees. He is an brand ambassador for BIC Paddleboards, P&H Custom Sea Kayaks, Werner Paddles and Northwest River Supply.
As the current chair of the Charleston Outdoor Fest and East Coast Sea Kayak Symposium, he has continued the tradition of establishing this event as the premier paddlesport event, not only on the east coast but the country as a whole.
Albert Donovan is a British Canoeing high level Coach/Leader and an Educator with over 26 years of international coaching experience. His paddling resume is a long list of multiple expeditions in open canoeing, white water kayaking and sea kayaking.
Albert ‘s personal experience of teaching high-performance paddlers, further Education Outdoor Learners, Coaches and recreational paddlers gives him a deep understanding of how to design the most innovative, effective, inclusive and ethical coaching program to help each paddler achieve personal goals. Each session leads to excellence and long term learning retention. Author of "Unlocking the Potential of the Dyslexic Paddler" and theory resources for the British Canoeing Star and Leadership Awards. Awards: United Kingdom National Coaching Awards 2014 - Disability Coach of the Year, London Sport Inclusive Champion 2014, Canoe England South East Coach of the Year 2013
Skilled communications professional with experience in crisis communications, media relations, web development, writing for the web and print publications. Earned masters in Information Engineering Management at UAB focusing on project management and team leadership in 2013. Marketing experience includes management of advertising programs with numerous clients. Media experience includes management, production, and on-air work in both television and radio. Earned national accreditation in public relations through the Public Relations Society of America in 2000.
Michael Gray founded Uncommon Adventures in 1984 a couple of years after getting a degree in Environmental Interpretation. With over 30 years in the business, Michael is one of the most experienced instructors and guides in the Great Lakes region. He's led trips all over the world including Alaska, New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland and Central America. He is an ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer, ACA SUP an Canoe Instructor. Having taught outdoor skills and environmental workshops all of his adult life, Michael interprets wild places with warmth and respect.
Helen in internationally known for her rolling and traditional skills instruction. She has traveled to Greenland four times to compete in the Greenland National Kayaking Championship or to guide expeditions on the east and south coasts. She has two DVDs, Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People, and has written skills articles for several publications, including Sea Kayaker magazine, The Masik, Ocean Paddler magazine and Canoe & Kayak. She is the Editor for Qajaq USA’s publication, The Masik. Helen is an ISKGA Coastal Guide and an ACA Instructor with an ACA Rolling Endorsement. She holds the DGI Certification (Denmark coach certification) and is a registered yoga teacher (RYT). She is also the Curriculum Publications Managing Editor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). For more, visit www.greenlandorbust.org.
Richard Lee Smith
Richard was born March 17, 1954 Cincinatti, Ohio. He started paddling in 1996 and since had had a dazzling paddling career. Some of his achievements include; Solo Paddler on San Francisco Bay and Open Coast 1996-1998, Paddled to all 365 islands on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire in 1997, Met Marce’ Wise on Tomales Bay and became a guide for Pacific Currents in 1998, Became a Certified Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor in 1999, Instructor for Pacific Currents 1999-2003, Instructor for California Canoe & Kayak 2003-Present, Expedition to Vancouver Island Broken Group in 2003, Paddling Vacation to Elba Island in 2006, Became a Certified Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer in 2008, Paddling Vacation to Maine in 2008
He has also Co-led Instructor Development and Certification Workshops for California Canoe & Kayak, Sea Trek, Blue Waters and Kayak Connection with Marce’ Wise, John Lull and Sean Morley 2008-Present and Participanted in a Level 5 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor Development Workshop with Gordon Brown and Roger Schumann in 2014 as well as and additional Level 5 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor Development Workshop with Ryan Rushton and Roger Schumann and has been a Instructor at the Paddle Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium in 2016.
Julie Roach is an experienced yoga practitioner, instructor, and trainer both on and off the water. Her dedication over the past 15 years to yoga and sup yoga has established her expertise in the industry. She founded H2YO SUP Yoga ™ in 2009 and continues to share the love of yoga practice in nature.
Julie has been recognized as one of the early pioneers of SUP yoga for her development of a primary series of yoga on the water.
In 2014, Julie was selected to be on the advisory panel of the American Canoe, Kayak & SUP organization, and co-wrote their SUP YOGA curriculum. She currently holds a position on the safety panel for the SUP industry association and has been a presenter at the PFDMA, the industry personal floatation device association.
She is sponsored internationally by BIC SUP, a sustainable and eco-friendly SUP manufacturer, and helped design the Cross 10’ & 11’ Sup Yoga board.
Julie is a regular contributor or has been featured in OUTSIDE Magazine, Facing Waves, Samata, SUP the Mag, Standup Journal and Yoga Journal. Her informational SUP yoga series and informational product videos can be seen on the BIC SUP You Tube channel.
Maria Christina Schultz
Maria is an outdoor enthusiast, ACA-certified stand up paddleboard instructor, art director, and photographer. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Maria is now based in central Virginia, where she lives with her husband and two Australian shepherds, Riley and Kona. The first day Maria ever got on a stand up paddleboard Riley was with her – they learned the sport together. That summer they attracted lots of attention and curiosity from people who wanted to learn to paddle with their own dogs. But with few resources available on training and guidance, Maria took matters into her own hands. She combined her passions for graphic design, photography and paddling to create her first book How to SUP With Your PUP. Maria also teaches SUP PUP classes in Virginia, and other cities along the East Coast. When she’s not out paddling with her dogs, Maria also enjoys whitewater SUP, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, skiing, and finding new ways to wear herself – and her dogs – out.
Cate Hawthorne and Jeff Laxier
Liquid Fusion Kayaking’s Cate Hawthorne and Jeff Laxier teach sea, whitewater, surf, and recreational kayaking on the waters of Mendocino County. Whitewater kayaking in ocean rock gardens – aka Whitewater of the Sea - is one of their specialties. Cate and Jeff are outdoor enthusiasts who love sharing their passion for the outdoors with others. When not paddling, you will find them mountain biking, hiking, camping, and foraging.
Jane Victoria Bales
Jane has had a wide array of paddlesport related experience. Much of her work is on a volunteer basis for local clubs and organizations. Some of her work, experience and awards include; U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, certified Instructor for U.S. Coast Guard, Recipient of Commandant’s Auxiliary Letter of Commendation for work as a Public Education Instructor, Recreational Boating Safety Program Specialist, Treasurer and Co-Founder of Kayak New Mexico Inc. 501c(3) which through its adaptive paddling programs, provides therapeutic services for kids and adults with developmental and physical disabilities, New Mexico Kayak Instruction Volunteer Kayak Instructor for adaptive kayaking to children and adults with disabilities and kayaking to adults and children within the greater Albuquerque area. She is also the Organizer for the Greater Albuquerque/Santa Fe Kayak Meet Up where she has led more than 100 single and multi-day trips involving more than 1,500 people on rivers and lakes in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah.
Jane is also a ACA certified River Kayak Instructor, SUP Instructor, holds the Adaptive Paddling Endorsement, American Red Cross First Aid/CPR and Wilderness First Aid.
Seated in between her parent’s feet, Katherine Clement started her life long love of canoeing on family trips through Quetico and other Canadian waterways. She is currently an Outdoor Skills Specialist for the Metroparks of Toledo. She also offers tips and secrets for outdoor adventures on her blog Jumping Off Point. She is ACA certified in canoe and kayak up to Level I & II. She has 3 years’ experience in preparing outdoor overnight trips for camps.
Galen has been paddling since about the time he could walk. His love for kayaking has taken him to rivers all over the US, Chile and Canada. He won the 2010 and Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Contest and has been in the top three in World Championships in Spain, Costa Rica and Ireland. Kayaking has long been a source of inspiration and adventure for Galen. In 2013, he started working with NOLS as a Sea Kayak, Pack Raft and River Rafting/Kayaking instructor. Currently, he is the CEO at Sea Trek, a Kayak and Stand Up Paddle boarding company that his Dad, Bob Licht, started in 1982. The offer trips, classes, rentals and multi-day paddling adventures in Baja California Sur.
After building her love of the outdoors in the mountains of northern Georgia, Kelsey graduated from Brevard College with a dual undergraduate degree in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education and Psychology. She later graduated with a Master's degree in Recreation and Sport Pedagogy from Ohio University and enthusiastically joined the ACA as a part of the Safety Education and Instruction Department. She has recently completed her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. Prior to joining the ACA staff, she worked at several outdoor adventure summer camps in Western North Carolina, specializing in whitewater paddling. Kelsey holds a Level 4: Whitewater Kayaking Instructor certification, Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, and has taken several ACA Swiftwater Rescue, Whitewater Canoeing, Coastal Kayaking, and Stand Up Paddleboarding courses.
When not in Fredericksburg, she can be found traveling around the Southeast paddling her favorite rivers: The Green, Chattooga, and Gauley.
I have been involved with the American Canoe Association since1984 and have focused on Adventure Sport programming in Northern Minnesota which involves: site assessments, program development, risk management, equipment selection, promotion, staff training and monitoring the progression of our customer services.
Over the years I have been able to form the UMD Kayak & Canoe Institute, help develop the ACA Coastal Kayak Curriculum, travel throughout the Continental US, Hawaii and Austria to offer ACA Instructor Certification Workshops and currently serve as an ACA Instructor Trainer for Whitewater Kayak, Whitewater Canoe and Stand Up Paddleboard. In the winter my focus is with the Professional Air Sport Association and Snow Kite Instruction. My education background includes a BAS & MED, in Earth Science & Outdoor Education from UMD (1983-2000) although fieldwork has been a very big part of my education.
In total as an Adventure Sports Educator I am striving to promote exploration of the earth's natural settings where interactions with the forces of nature can be achieved and people can make strong connections for life.
Ben Lawry has taught paddling on five continents and competed on three in sprint, sea kayak, slalom, rodeo, marathon canoe and kayak, outrigger, surf ski and wildwater events. Presently he works as the National Technical Instructor for Confluence Outdoor. He also is head instructor/owner of Kayak Camp with his wife, Elizabeth. He has led trips and traveled extensively in South America, South Africa, Europe and North America.
Sean Morley is an ACA L5 Advanced Open Water Instructor and L4 Instructor Trainer. In 2004 he achieved his childhood dream by completing the first solo circumnavigation of the UK and Ireland by sea kayak; the first ever to include all of the inhabited islands. The 4500 mile expedition took 183 days and is the longest kayak journey ever undertaken in British waters. He is Program Director for California Canoe and Kayak and Event Director for Paddle Golden Gate. He is supported by Kokatat Watersports Wear and Werner Paddles.
Kenny Howell’s journey through the paddling universe began in 1978 on San Francisco Bay in a folding Klepper kayak. Next stop was the Sea of Cortez, and then onward to kayaking destinations in Alaska to Costa Rica. From the Hawaiian Islands to Florida's Gulf coast, he keeps searching for the perfect paddle day. "Sometimes, the perfect day is racing across the Molokai Channel on my surfski with 100 other athletes. Another day, it's messing around on SUPs with my kids on an alpine lake, or canoe tripping with friends into a secluded campsite.” For two decades, Kenny wandered the wilderness of the American West and Baja California guiding sea kayak and whitewater raft trips. He has paddled dozens of whitewater rivers in North America and Central America, and once kayaked across the Sea of Cortez from the Baja Peninsula to the Mexican mainland and back (the first crossing in single sea kayaks). He now enjoys competing in surfski races, especially downwinders. He has won the annual Tsunami Rangers extreme conditions race a few times, and was the first place solo paddler in the 2015 California 100 miler. He works for Epic Kayaks from his seaside home in Montara, California, and teaches surfski clinics wherever there is water.
Here’s the bio - For more than 40 years Dan Henderson, Head Coach of Cascade Canoe & Kayak Racing Team based in Bothell, Washington, has immersed himself in paddling, explored wonderful places, viewed wildlife, made great friends and exercised a competitive spirit. Dan’s writing includes Sea Kayaking, Basic Skills, Paddling Techniques, and Trip Planning; and the International Canoe Federation Coaching Manual. His graduate level research in biomechanics focused on the kayak forward stroke, Dan is a world leader in writing, research and understanding of forward stroke efficiency
Marcel is currently the Western States Outreach Director for the ACA (American Canoe Association). He has been instructing and guiding for over 20 years from Alaska to the Florida Keys. Originally from Toronto, Canada; Marcel holds a M.S in ExEd from Minnesota State University, Mankato along with several instructor certifications from organizations including the ACA, AMGA, AIARE, LNT, ACCT, and PSIA. Marcel has a wide range of experience in the outdoor field and has worked with various outdoor education organizations including Higher Education, U.S. Military, K12 and numerous commercial and non-profits. Marcel is also part of several advisory boards and clubs that focus on Resource Protection and Outdoor Education. Marcel’s wide range of experience and deep understanding of experiential education allows that information to be presented in unique and fun ways insuring the greatest amount of practical learning is experienced.
Roger Schumann is the owner and lead instructor of Eskape Sea Kayaking [link? www.EskapeKayak.com] in Santa Cruz, California. He grew up on the California coast and has been teaching paddlesports there for over 20 years. A member of the ACA’s Coastal Kayaking Committee, he’s an ITE for L5 Advanced Open-Water Kayaking, an IT for L3 Surf Kayak and L2 SUP, and an instructor for L4 Whitewater and L3 Surf SUP. He’s also the award-winning co-author of the guidebook Sea Kayaking Central and Northern California, and Sea Kayak Rescue. His latest book, Falcon Guide's Basic Illustrated Sea Kayaking was released this spring.
Ten years after becoming an amputee, Joe Moore left a law career to share his love of an active outdoor recreation lifestyle with others. In 2011, Joe began a journey of training, education and exploration to become an adaptive sports and recreation industry leader. In 2013, Joe joined the staff of the American Canoe Association (ACA) to help redevelop its adaptive paddling program and to lead the organization’s education and outreach efforts. In 2014, Joe designed and implemented the inaugural ACA Adaptive Paddling Summit. In February 2015, Joe founded Adaptive Expeditions, an interactive, experiential nonprofit designed to empower individuals with physical disabilities with the skills and confidence to maintain active, independent lifestyles. Adaptive Expeditions leads local programs in Charleston, SC and teaches outdoor recreation industry best practices around the country.
Starting with whitewater and surfing canoes and growing up on the water, I began kayaking with purpose in the early 80s and have been paddling surf, sea and whitewater kayaks on a consistent basis since. My focus has been on surf kayaks since approximately 1994. From 1996 to 2005 I surfed approximately 150 days a year and competed in closed deck kayaks on the North and South Shores of Oahu, Hawaii, moving from plastic whitewater kayaks to composite boats as the technology became available. In 2005 my family relocated to Western Washington, where I continue to spend as much time as possible in the surf zone and in moving water on the Straits of Juan de Fuca, coastal Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.
Currently, I am an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified Level 2/3/4 Surf Kayak Instructor (Surf Boat Specific), Level 2/3 Surf Kayak Instructor Trainer (IT) and Level 2/3/4 Sea Kayak Instructor. I teach surf and sea kayaking clinics on a regular basis both independently and for clubs, including Washington Kayak Club (where I am the Surf Chairperson) and the Mountaineers. I also am honored to provide volunteer instruction for Team River Runner Seattle / Wounded Warrior Project (an organization dedicated to developing kayaking skills in physically challenged veterans). I compete in regional surf contests as I am able.