Dear ACA Members,
Over the past few months, we have welcomed some new colleagues to the ACA as members of our national staff and our Board of Directors and as ACA representatives to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Athlete Advisory Council. We also bid farewell to three staff members who have decided to embark on new life adventures.
First, let me introduce you to:
- Kristal Pastell, our new Insurance Coordinator. Kristal has been in the insurance industry for over 5 years. She began as customer service agent and worked her way to becoming a customer service manager. She loves being a part of a work family, and is ecstatic to be a part of the ACA. Her goal is to provide a warm and comfortable atmosphere within the insurance department, and do everything she can to serve ACA members.
- Candy Patten, our new Assistant Membership Coordinator, might be a familiar face to many of you. Candy spent 4 years as the ACA Insurance Coordinator and recently returned to our team after teaching paddling & outdoor classes for several years. We are grateful for Candy’s organizational knowledge of the ACA and passion for supporting our paddling community.
- Stanton Collins, our Athlete Safety and Compliance Manager. Stanton has grown up in the Sprint paddling community at Lake Lanier and was an athlete representative to the ACA Board of Directors for three years. He recently graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Economics and is working for the ACA on a part time basis as he continues to train for international competition. Stanton’s perspective as a current athlete and his broad knowledge of the competition landscape are already proving to be incredibly valuable.
Please join me in welcoming several new members to our Board of Directors and thanking them in advance for their service to ACA:
- Sarah Bahn: Sarah currently lives in Hood River, Oregon and is a Budget Analyst for the United States Forest Service. She is a former Slalom National Team Member and, among other accomplishments, was a Silver Medalist in Whitewater Slalom at the 1999 World Championships.
- Rainey Hoffman: Rainey is an attorney and lives in Seattle, Washington where he serves as Counsel to the Investment Office of a private foundation. He is a lifelong paddler and, early in his career, spent a few years on staff at American Whitewater.
- Brandon Slate: As the owner of Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, Brandon is quite submerged in the commercial aspects of paddle sports instruction. He is also very passionate about the environmental aspects of free-flowing rivers. As President of the Arkansas River Outfitters Association, he has worked closely with many stakeholders in the evolution of his local Voluntary Flow Management Program (VFMP). Throughout this process, Brandon has learned to be an advocate for recreational flows that can mesh with environmental, commercial, and agricultural needs.
- Charles “C.C.” Williams: Over the past 15 years, his work as a small business owner, outdoor educator, and municipal government employee has provided him with a wide range of opportunities to hone his ability to ask meaningful questions and work as part of a team to find effective ways to maximize team strengths while identifying and meeting organizational goals and objectives. In 2011 he joined the City of Rock Hill, S.C. Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department as a Program Supervisor. C.C. started Four Williams Outdoors, LLC in 2018 to meet a regional need for increased paddlesports education and to provide opportunities for his students to “learn through paddling” as they discover more about themselves, their environment, and their neighbors. His work with the ACA began in 2007 and has included several volunteer positions: Secretary for the Safety, Education & Instruction Council and a voting member of the Safety & Rescue Discipline Committee.
I’m pleased to share that our athlete community recently elected ACA’s Representative and Alternate Representative to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s Athlete Advisory Council (AAC). Congratulations to Kenny Kasperbauer, an active Sprint athlete, and Michal Smolen, an active Slalom athlete. Being a member of the AAC is an important role and we thank Kenny and Michal for volunteering to assume these positions. Kenny and Michal are replacing Emily Wright and Brandon Holiday who recently completed their 4-year terms as ACA’s Representative and Alternate Representative. Many thanks to Emily and Brandon for their service to the competition community.
Finally, I’d like to share a heartfelt thanks and best wishes to LeighAnn Moore, our former Insurance Coordinator, Amy Ellis, our former Membership Coordinator, and Carrie Schlemmer, our former Grant and Education Coordinator. Collectively and individually, they have made significant contributions to our community over the past several years, we will miss them, and we wish them well in their future personal and professional pursuits.
ACA Executive Director