Letter from the Executive Director - June 2021 - ACA

Jun 24, 2021

Letter from the Executive Director – June 2021

Dear Members,

Wow! What a difference a year makes!

I hope you all are having a wonderful start to the summer paddling season and enjoying the camaraderie that was absent from most of our lives a year ago. The ACA staff is enjoying being quite busy – issuing insurance coverage, helping instructors with new classes, and making final preparations for the Tokyo Olympics which begin in one short month!

Some brief highlights about many initiatives currently underway:

  • Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Board Committee is meeting weekly to map out a course for future initiatives. The ACA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Paddlesports Action Committee (PSAC), led by Gerry James, to serve as the fiscal agent for the PSAC. We have also retained Gerry as a contractor to lead our efforts to plan and implement two People of Color Paddlesports Leadership Academies to be held in the fall of 2021.
  • The State Directors group, assisted by our Public Policy Director Brett Mayer, has several tactical and strategic proposals in the works.
  • The Safety, Education and Instruction Council is working on a wide variety of improvements to course offerings, curriculum, and administrative tools for instructors and trainers.
  • Our Olympic Team, led by Rok Sribar (General Manager of High Performance Programs) is training hard for Tokyo. Congratulations to Sprint Canoeist and World Champion, Nevin Harrison, and Slalom athletes, Evy Leibfarth, Michal Smolen, and Zach “Bug” Lokken for earning the right to compete for Team USA in Tokyo. Congratulations also to our Paracanoe athletes, Kaithlyn Verfuerth and Blake Haxton who will represent the ACA and Team USA at the Tokyo Paralymipics.

I’m pleased to report that we have membership count has increased by over 1000 members since December of 2021. Thanks to all of you who helped recruit new members.

And, finally, we continue to make progress on our new website. The development is just about complete, and we are doing robust testing to minimize the disruption of switching to a new site.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your continued support of the ACA’s mission!!

Happy Summer,
Beth Spilman