Danielle Katz, Co-founder and Board President: At four months of age, Danielle took one of the last runs down the Stanislaus River before it was dammed. At 14 she became a river guide, regularly working trips on the Klamath, Rogue, and Tatshenshini-Alsek in Alaska for James Henry River Journeys. In 2009 she paddled 2,271 miles down the length of the Mississippi for the non-profit What About Blue, raising funds to build wells and sanitation projects in Rwanda. She has completed several StS journeys since and is excited about sharing her passion for rivers and Source to Sea literacy.
John Dye, Co-founder and Vice-President: John brings 40 years of on-water experience to the campaign. His background in project management includes co-founding a youth aquatic fitness non-profit. John has run fundraising events for the Sonoma Land Trust, the Tuolumne River Trust, and currently acts as the Tuolumne River Trust’s principle guide and instructor. He teaches kayaking at California Canoe and Kayak and has had paddling articles appear in Surfski and Waterdog Ezines.
Stephen Linaweaver, Founding Board Member: is a sustainability professional with a big passion for rivers. He has guided rafting trips in the US, Nepal, Kenya, and on the White Nile in Uganda, and has previously worked as an environmental educator for Save the Bay. When conditions allow, he still squeezes into a twenty year-old baby-blue Perception Dancer and kayak commutes to work across the San Francisco Bay from his home in Oakland.
Matt Palmariello, California 100 Event Director: While pursuing a Recreation Management degree at the University of New Hampshire, Matt was introduced to paddling and it heavily impacted his life. For the next few years he guided sea kayaking trips in the summer, and worked on skiing events in the winter, eventually transitioning to Utah to work with the non-profit US Ski & Snowboard Team. Each summer he migrated to California where his paddling interests evolved from sea kayaking to open canoeing to standup paddleboarding. Today he lives in Berkeley and works on a number of sporting events each year including other non-profit paddling events.
Tom Biglione, California 100 Volunteer: lives in Sacramento. He loves rivers, canoes, and California native plants. He has paddled canoes for over 25 years, beginning in the Yukon Territory, and raced them for the last ten. He is past board and life member of the California Native Grasslands Association, and collects seed of local perennial bunch grasses to increase their number on his property in eastern Fresno County. Most recently, his focus has centered on native forbs as pollinator food sources and milkweed for Monarch butterfly habitat improvement. He grew up within a short walk of the San Joaquin River and has hiked and camped along its headwaters since childhood. It is still his favorite river.
Kiki Wykstra, Program Coordinator: Kiki was raised on the desert rivers of the southwest. Growing up in a harsh desert environment where water is sacred and rivers are often dammed for conservation, the power of free flowing rivers and healthy riparian ecosystems have motivated her both academically and professionally. In 2011 she graduated with a bachelors of science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. Currently Kiki works as a river guide in the Grand Canyon and Idaho, spending her free time chasing rivers internationally.
Galen Licht, Headwaters Ambassador: Galen Licht has been kayaking since he was three years old. He is the founder of the UCSC Kayak Club, a Kokatat kayaking ambassador, and a strongly respected member of the paddling community. He recently placed 7th in the Men’s HP World Surf Kayak Championships (2011), and placed 1st in the Men’s HP at the Santa Cruz Surf Festival in 2009 and 2010. He helps lead the Rivers for Change Headwater’s Team through the Class IV and V+ sections of the watershed.
William Spangler, Native Plant Coordinator: grew up drinking Hetch Hetchy water and has river stewardship coursing through his veins. Will has an academic background in Environmental Policy and is drawn to maps and mountains. He has spent the last three years teaching the basics of grassland restoration and leads outdoor trips for UC Santa Cruz and high school students, stopping often to key out California native bunchgrasses. He looks forward to highlighting the beautiful and invaluable natural resources lining the state’s rivers.
Chris Koerner, California 100 Ambassador: Chris has four decades of paddle sports racing experience and has run rivers on 3 continents. He spent many years lifeguarding and running surf schools and outdoor education programs in the US and Australia, and was watersports director for a Caribbean resort. Chris was an early proponent of SUP, and has been an active participant the evolution of surf, race and inflatable designs. He lives in Capistrano Beach and represents several watersports brands and offers private surf & paddle lessons through his vacation rental business. He is a contributor to California SUP, has done product reviews for Canoe & Kayak Magazine, and spends time working with adaptive paddling groups and Wounded Warrior programs.