Who We Are


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. She ran her first Source to Sea trip in 2009, paddling 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.


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.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeason Martin, Board Member: Treasurer:  Season started boating on the desert rivers of the Colorado Plateau at the young age of three. Since then she has worked as a river guide in Colorado and Utah, explored the rivers of the Pacific Northwest while obtaining her bachelors of Environmental Science and Geology from Whitman College, tromped around the southern forest of Utah documenting public lands grazing impacts and the benefits of beaver reintroduction and worked as Restoration Coordinator at the Tamarisk Coalition focusing on restoring native plant communities along rivers systems throughout the West. She is excited to start exploring the rivers of California when she starts her masters at UC Santa Barbara in the fall of 2013 to study sustainable water markets.


Stephen LinaweaverStephen Linaweaver, Founding Board Member: Secretary: 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.



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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.



Kiki  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.



Hennesseys US 2008Chris 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.



David Gilman, Olympian:  During a summer break from Junior College, Dave Gilman taught himself and his younger sister how to paddle after reading a book on the subject.  Having survived his own teaching, Dave flourished in whitewater slalom under the legendary coaching of Tom Johnson, but soon switched to sprint kayaking.   He went on to make eight US national teams and represent the United States in 4 Summer Olympic Games.  He is one of the few athletes from any country to compete in both Summer and Winter Olympics within in the same calendar year.  In the1984 Winter and Summer Olympics he competed in Luge and Kayaking respectively.  In training for multiple national teams Dave raced extensively throughout the US, Canada and Europe not only in sprint racing but distances as well.  Throughout the years, he proved to be highly skillful at adapting to different boats and conditions, able to go from sprint to distance, kayak to canoe to outrigger, flat water to white water and occasional open ocean competitions.  Dave proved able to “bring it” on race day, again and again.  (All his Olympic Trial and Olympic races, the Catalina and Molaki outrigger canoe races, a five stage 2 day 120 km race in Belgium, numerous river races in Northern Spain to name a few).  He is a retired Reserve Army Lt. Colonel.  He lives with his wife Mary in San Pedro, California where he owns an automotive service franchise.