Announcement of Nominee Slate for the Board of Directors - ACA

Nov 23, 2021

Announcement of Nominee Slate for the Board of Directors

The ACA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the following slate of nominees for the Board:

  • At Large Candidates (2 seats available):  David Lumian and Risa Shimoda
  • Independent Candidates (2 seats available):  Suzanne Britt and Pam Dillon
  • Paracanoe Athlete Representative (1 seat available, to be elected by Para athletes only):  Hunter Branstetter
  • Properties Representative (1 seat available):  Jerry Dunne
  • SEIC Representative (1 seat available, elected by SEIC Board only): Anna Levesque

The Board is extremely grateful to the Nominating Committee for its diligent and thoughtful review of the 19 very qualified candidates and thanks all the nominees for their willingness to serve the ACA. A brief bio for each candidate is presented below. Additional information supplied by each candidate is provided on the voting page, linked below. *You must be logged into your ACA membership account to cast your vote.

Votes from current ACA members will be accepted from November 17th until December 17th.

The 2021 Nominating Committee has authored a letter describing their process through which they compiled this slate; please click here to read it.

Click here to vote.


At-Large Director Candidate David Lumian – Newport Beach, California

As an Instructor/Instructor Trainer, USCG Captain David Lumian offers extensive safety and education leadership both within ACA and with outside best practice organizations (e.g., the American Red Cross, American Sailing Association, US Sailing, National Safe Boating Association and US Canoe). He has worked extensively with youth activities and has founded a non-profit advocacy organization. He lists ACA’s challenges as (1) grow ACA’s brand, membership, and resources, (2) help diversify access to paddling and the waterfront, and (3) balance community/educational programs with elite competition legal requirements. David would address these needs (1) by grassroots outreach with increased membership value and visibility, (2) remove barriers and build alliances with businesses and underserved communities through youth and community groups, and (3) review how other elite athlete organizations address NGB legalities.

At-Large Director Candidate Risa Shimoda – Takoma Park, Maryland

Risa brings value through her varied paddling experiences across disciplines, and as a marketing and branding professional. She has competed in K1W, C1 and C2 slalom, and as a member of six US Freestyle Teams. She co-founded the Outdoor Alliance and has provided leadership for the boards of American Whitewater, North American Paddlesports Association, Conservation Alliance, World River Center, Stanford Alumni Association and Stanford Associates. She’s served as the Executive Director of American Whitewater and produced conferences promoting whitewater courses and parks. Risa believes that ACA’s most important initiative is to reinforce and grow (1) the ACA’s value to members, (2) an interconnectedness between all paddling disciplines, and (3) a collaboration between the SEIC, state programs, competition, and Paddle America Clubs. She’d love to explore opportunities for us as longtime and brand new members to share our enthusiasm for paddling limited only by our imagination.

Independent Director Candidate Suzanne Britt – Seattle, Washington

Suzanne was born into the sport of canoeing and has spent half of her summers at the ACA Camp at Lake Sebago. She has experienced the recreational, marathon, slalom, sprint and sailing events and activities that are meaningful parts of the ACA. She is proud to have met at least one member of every US Olympic canoe/kayak team since it was exhibited at the 1924 Olympics. Suzanne learned early in life about the importance of the ACA and its role in providing opportunities and promoting safety in all paddlesports. Suzanne’s hope is that her knowledge of the many facets of the ACA can be beneficial to the board and the membership as a whole.

Independent Director Candidate Pam Dillon – Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania

Pam’s extensive volunteer and professional background in certified association management offers management value to the ACA. Pam first engaged with the ACA as now former Instructor/Instructor Trainer before becoming involved with all of ACA’s mission as a previous ACA Board Member, Executive Committee member, and Executive Director. Pam’s role as Ohio’s Boating Law Administrator provides professional experience with fiscal oversight, grants, public policy, human resources, waterway management, and boating safety and education. With recreation at an all-time high, Pam sees ACA’s challenge as serving our existing membership while also reaching underserved and new communities. After listening to members about ACA current needs and priorities, she believes that ACA can increase support and partner with states, clubs, instructors, competition and retailers to promote all Paddlesports.

Paracanoe Athlete Representative Candidate Hunter Branstetter – Nashville, Tennessee

Serving as an active ICF athlete and Deputy State Director endorsed by his State’s ACA leadership, Hunter is also an attorney practicing in civil litigation and dispute resolution. In addition, he offers value as an ACA kayak instructor teaching at his local ACA affiliate club, camps, and university physical ed classes. He has and hopes to again compete in ICF Freestyle World Championship and in various local and regional competitions. Hunter’s interests are diverse including recreational boaters, instructors, competitors (including ParaAthletes), access, and grassroots leadership and stewardship. He believes that ACA’s challenges include reaching out and expanding to ACA’s diverse membership and developing both short and long-term strategic planning to maximize ACA’s value. He sees regaining credibility through communication and value to ACA membership as priorities. 

Properties Representative Candidate Gerard (Jerry) Dunne – New York, New York

Jerry brings valuable experience as a New York Attorney (where ACA is incorporated) and ACA’s Atlantic Division Chair (with oversight of ACA’s Lake Sebago Camp). He is a former ACA Board Member/Vice-President and a coastal kayak instructor. As attorney and active USA Weightlifting master athlete, he assisted when ACA resumed National Governing Body (NGB) for elite paddlesports athletes after the former NGB declared insolvency. He lists ACA challenges as (1) developing youth athletes, (2) maintaining instructional “gold standard”, and (3) securing the future of Lake Sebago camp and Sugar Island. To meet these priorities, he would (1) continue development of Lake Sebago and Sugar Island, (2) continue SEIC support and instructor development, and (3) develop annual regional and national canoe and kayak competitions for all age levels.

SEIC Representative Candidate Anna Levesque – Asheville, North Carolina

Anna is excited to serve on ACA’s Board as SEIC Representative because she is interested in making a difference in the ACA itself, and in the ACA’s ability to positively impact the diversity, safety, joy, and growth of paddlesports. Specifically, she interested in supporting and challenging the ACA to become a more sustainable, profitable and diverse organization that provides a compelling vision and benefits to members to help grow membership, create a community that is excited about the work of the ACA, strengthens the organization, and enhances the positive impact the ACA has on and in the paddlesports community. Anna brings 27 years of knowledge of, and experience within, the paddling industry as a pro sponsored athlete, raft guide, video kayaker, instructor, instructor trainer, instructor trainer educator, ACA discipline committee chair, fundraiser, event organizer, and entrepreneur.

Click here to vote.