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American Whitewater Board Meeting - 2008

While I was on the road in 2007, I was contacted by a group of paddlers who wanted to nominate me for the AW board. I told them I would be happy to join if elected, but also flew out to California this May to attend a board meeting and decide whether it is something I'm interested in being a part of and a commitment that I can meet if elected. Here is a report from the meeting.

More Meeting
The rest of the meeting day was filled with reports on AW's finances, discussion of how AW can reach out to members more, discussion of what the paddling public wants from AW and how to attract more members, and basically talk of the state of AW and how to make the organization stronger and more effective. There was also some time given to issues regarding the board, who elected a new president, Don Kinser. Don has done a ton of work on the Chattooga issue, and is a super smart guy who will be really good for the organization. Hats off to Sutton Bacon for a really effective term as president, and best wishes for luck for him moving forward.

They also discussed issues of bringing new people through the board, and agreed to term limits for board members moving forward. I've always suspected it, but most members of AW don't nominate board members, and don't VOTE when it's time to elect the board. Everybody should vote!! It's an organization for the members. Every member has the power to nominate people for the board, and every member can vote to put the people they want in the driver's seat of the organization. I was nominated by AW members for the board, and when the election comes later in the year I hope AW members will stand up and vote for me. Plenty more to come on what I hope to bring to the AW board later.

We also heard from Ryan Groth in the afternoon. He's the AW webmaster, and has been spending massive amounts of time updating the behind-the-scenes part of the website so that a ton of new features can be easily added down the road. We saw a demo of the new site, and it's going to be really cool. Nice work by Ryan on one of the biggest and most complicated websites I've seen.

That night was the party for the paddling public at the Sub Shack, put together by Hunter, who I had paddled with on his birthday on the Tiger Creek section of the North Mokolumne last year (which Dave and AW helped get releases on). Hunter's band played a nice set that night too, and we all had a great time. There were also more presentations like the ones from the morning, letting local boaters in on the issues AW is working on in their area.

When the next day came, it was time for the paddling part! About half of the board and most of the staff headed out to the Chamberlain Falls section of the N. Fork American for some fun.

Tom O'Keefe in Bogus Thunder.

AW executive director Mark Singleton in Bogus Thunder.

AW Board members Norwood Scott and Aaron Pruzan in Stairstep.

AW staff members at the takeout. Left to right - Dave Steindorf, Ben VanCamp, Tom O'Keefe, Kevin Colburn, Ryan Groth, and Mark Singleton.

Hopefully a lot of folks will vote for me to be on the AW board, and I'll be bringing you more reports from future board meetings.

Now, how about some more California paddle porn??

South Yuba spill days - Purdon's and 49 to Bridgeport.