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, Board Member: 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.
Judy Jensen: Board Treasurer: Judy started paddling in 2000 when she realized there were too many creatures that could eat in you the ocean if you weren’t in a boat. She began in an outrigger canoe and then transitioned to surfski. If it means being on the water she’s interested in trying it. Drawn to the community of the competitive racing scene she enjoys the ability to go out and paddle in amazing places. She wants to encourage more people to experience the joy of being out on the water and help preserve the places she loves to paddles in.
Teresa Rogerson: California 100 Race Director: Teresa ‘Tree’ Rogerson grabbed an oar in Tennessee in 1992, then a single-bladed raft paddle, a kayak paddle—and the rest is history. She’s back to the long, single-bladed paddle, currently wearing out the competition in stand up paddleboard races in Northern California. Always with an environmental bent, she has put her energy into designing ecological landscapes in the greater Bay Area for the last 15 years. She brings lots of experience and wins with her, from co-captaining the US West Kayak Surf team (2nd, Women’s high performance, Spain 2007), to a brief, landed period competing around the globe in Footbag Net, to teaching surfing youngsters in Maui, and now beginning teaching SUP in the Bay Area.
Kenny Howell: Advisor: Kenny’s journey into the universe of paddling began in 1978 on San Francisco Bay. From Costa Rica to Alaska, from the Hawaiian Islands to Florida’s Gulf coast, he keeps searching for the “perfect paddle day”! For over 10 years, Kenny wandered the wilderness of the American West and Baja California guiding sea kayak and whitewater raft trips. Kenny now works for Epic Kayaks Inc. as a regional marketing and sales representative. In addition to teaching surfski paddling and forward stroke technique, he is an ACA Level 5 Advanced Open Water Sea Kayak Instructor, and Level 2 SUP Instructor.
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.
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.