Sally Barr Melissa Boaz | Daniel Boone | Vinson Dill | Jessie Finamore | Vinny Finamore | Edwin Ford | Katherine Fulk | Deb Gilbertson | Jim Heisinger | Stacee Irwin | Geoff Luckett | Steve Morris | Anne Passino | Ginger Royster | Donnie Safer | John Schneider | Patty Shultz | Gary Weatherford | Charlie Wilkerson | James "Woody" Woodall

Sally Barr, President

 I have been a member of TSRA since 2004 and the current president of TSRA. I served as vice president in 2019 and secretary from 2011 to 2018. I started my journey with TSRA as a beginner whitewater kayak student and shortly after became the chair of Canoe and Kayak School. I continued as chair or co-chair for at least 8 years. I have participated in and/or provided support for Lost Loon Triathlon, Basic River Rescue, Roll School, Swift Water Rescue, Rescue for Rec Boaters, Rendezvous, access builds and river clean ups. I am an ACA certified L2 River Kayak instructor and have volunteered at paddle schools for beginning recreational and whitewater kayakers.

I would like to continue in a leadership role on the TSRA board and I am committed to participate and assist in fundraisers that support access builds, clean water, and conservation efforts. I would like to continue to share my love of paddling and the skills that I have acquired through the excellent instructors of TSRA over the 16 years I have been a member.

My goal is to continue the momentum to increase awareness of TSRA’s mission and support the efforts to protect the waters we all love and enjoy.

Melissa Boaz, Treasurer

A person in a striped shirt and smiling at the camera

Description automatically generatedMelissa has been a TSRA member since 2019.  She served her first term as a board member in 2020.  Melissa chaired Basic River Rescue in 2020 and is excited about chairing it again in 2021.  

Melissa and her husband Gerry are open boaters and are also avid campers.  They also participated in Lost Loon in 2019 and look forward to participating in more TSRA activities in the future.  

Goals: To promote TSRA’s efforts to protect clean water and free-flowing rivers and educate the public about how rivers are important not only for the creatures that call them home but also for the land animals and plants that depend on them for survival.


Daniel Boone

Daniel has been a TSRA member since 1980. He is a current board member, past president and vice-president, instructor, past canoe school chair, trip leader, and river adopter. He is also a TSRA representative with the TN Conservation Voters. He has been an organizer of the Mill Creek clean-up for 29 years and is on the Conservation Committee.  

Goals: To continue to make TSRA the leading organization for improving paddling skills and promoting river safety. Daniel would like to maintain and improve our excellent group of instructors, to focus our conservation efforts on protecting headwater areas and to build strong relationships with other groups whose goals are to protect our streams. Most importantly to make what we do FUN! 

Vinson Dill, Vice President

Vinson has served for 3 years on the TSRA Board of Directors. He grew up on Lake Barkley and started paddling canoes at 10 years old.  Vinson caught the whitewater bug at the Boy Scout School on the Hiwassee where he was first introduced to TSRA members supporting the training.  He has been a member of TSRA for more than 10 years,  involved in Leading Trips, Access Builds, Roll Schools, Canoe & Kayak Schools, Swift Water, Rescue for Rec Boaters and Basic River Rescue. He received his L2 ACA Kayak Instructor Certification in 2019, and is eager to get to use it this next year.

Over the last several years, he has become very involved in Rendezvous and served as the Rendezvous Auction Chair in 2019 and will again in 2021.

Since 2018, has worked on Membership Initiatives. This next year we are planning some new approaches to Membership Outreach.

Goals: Continue to find ways of letting the public know about our organization, and encourage more support and grow membership. I will continue to support Rendezvous and other TSRA events, help find ways to make improvements, in order to improve member

Jessie Finamore

Jessie has volunteered at Rescue for Recreational Boaters, Intro to Paddling, Intro to Rivers, Canoe & Kayak School, Rendezvous, Roll School, Lost Loon Triathlon, booth (expo) events, and waterway clean-ups. She is building her skills as a certified ACA instructor (river-running, & touring/sea-kayaking) as well as staying involved in adaptive paddling programs in Middle Tennessee.  Jessie has been involved with Team River Runner as well as safety coordinator/community outreach for Heroes on the Water which reach out to our military veterans.  In 2018 Jessie started doing outreach in elementary schools spreading the importance (and excitement) of paddling safety while molding young minds!

Goals:  To reach out to the community through paddle sports education, conservation efforts, and involvement in the community supporting TSRA.  She wants to continue her support to schools and events, but also stay involved and help build stronger programs at TSRA with being involved with the Adaptive Paddling Program.

Vinny Finamore, Secretary

Vinny has been a member with TSRA since 2015 and served on the board since 2016. He has chaired or been involved with organizing and running Canoe and Kayak School for the past 3 years. A Certified ACA L2 Instructor, Vinny has lead and/or supported many of our Intro and Rec Boat Safety classes. This past year Vinny served on the Executive Committee as the Board Secretary and is looking forward to serving in that role as part of the 2020 Board of Directors.

Vinny believes in TSRA and its mission and wishes to be a committed part of keeping our organization moving forward now and in the future. Please vote for him so he can continue serving you as a committed board member of TSRA.            

Goals: To continue to serve as Secretary and to help recruit new members to serve. Looking forward to working with fellow board members to build future sustainability.

Edwin Ford

Ed has previously served on the board of directors and as past president. Ed regularly instructs at Canoe and Kayak School and Roll School.

Goals: Continue the great tradition of TSRA. Make it fun.

Katherine Fulk

Katherine was elected to the Board in 2019 and what an unexpected year 2020 has been! With schools and TSRA events being cancelled across the board this has been a time to learn more about the conservation efforts of TSRA. She is an experienced ACA L2 Open Water and River Kayaking instructor. She lives on the banks of the Harpeth and has every interest in it's survival as a healthy body of water for the support of aquatic life as well as continuing to support local recreation opportunities.

Goals: My goals are to be a leader in the safety training and education of rec boaters. Now that I have retired I look forward to having more time on the water and to become involved in local conservation issues such as stopping the development of the McCrory gravel pit.

I totally support what TSRA stands for and strives to achieve with water safety and conservation.

Deb Gilbertson

I have been a member of TSRA for several years. It's not just something I do but it's a real part of me. I love to talk about TSRA, you can tell I have a passion for the people, the community, what we do, and the rivers I have paddled for many years.

I started as an event planner and trip leader for Paddle Adventures, I,“WaterLilyDeb”, expanded my paddling passion and search for adventure when I joined TSRA. As an important leader in both groups I introduced hundreds to paddling and the importance of stewardship for our rivers, and introduced many to Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association. I am constantly helping with community paddles, weekend events, party planning, and all the behind the scenes work that keeps us running smooth!

I have served as an executive officer on the board of  TSRA, since 2010.

Goals: To continue to work with the Executive team to create viable schools, events, and opportunities for our members.  I love brainstorming ideas and seeing them through to fruition.  I currently have some ideas on how we can build some fundraisers that are fun and support our mission. To continue to volunteer with financial planning, access builds, event planning, CPR courses, camping opportunities for our members.

Jim Heisinger

Jim has been paddling canoes since childhood but actively pursuing whitewater paddling for about 12 years. Jim is a successful entrepreneur and past event organizer, running his own business, HEI Rope Work, and in the past organizing Wake Boarding contests in Clarksville which required coordination among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, several barge companies, city officials and permits, and the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

For the last 2 years, Jim has been the Clarksville Coordinator for Team River Runner, helping veterans/disabled veterans get into paddlesports as a way of supporting our veterans’ re-entry into civilian life. In that capacity, he runs whitewater roll classes in Clarksville and leads multiple river training trips all summer to help the veterans progress in their paddling pursuits. In 2020 this included training trips on Bledsoe Creek, Hiwassee River, Middle Ocoee, Nantahala River, Nolichucky Gorge and Lower Nolichucky, Upper and Middle Tellico River, Clear Creek, Pigeon River and Gaspar River.

In 2020, Jim also earned his certification as an ACA Level 3 Swiftwater Rescue Instructor in hopes of being able to bring more safety and rescue training to veterans, as well as Rec boaters and other beginner whitewater boaters.

Stacee Irwin

Stacee has been a board member for the past four years. In that time, she has followed in Jack Lyles's footsteps and chaired Roll School for the last 3. As an L3 instructor, Stacee has volunteered and co-chaired Canoe and Kayak School as a TSRA board member. Over the previous two years, she has been a liaison to help build a stronger paddling community.  

Goals: My goal is to always lead into a better year than the last. This year I am excited to add my flair to Canoe and Paddle School as a co-chair. We've seen significant growth in the paddlesport venue. It's imperative to promote a sense of community, safety, and good stewardship as more people find the wonder of our scenic riverways.

Geoff Luckett

Geoff’s love for the outdoors started at a very young age in East Tennessee. He loves all things outside: paddling, fishing, hiking, camping. An active kayak angler for over 20 years, he started Tennessee Kayak Anglers 10 years ago as a web page and message board. It has grown to a group of over 8k members and spawned over 6 sub-groups throughout the state. He is continually working on his paddling skills and has acquired ACA Instructor Certification in: Introduction to Moving Water and Flat Water skills.  Geoff is currently the only ACA certified Kayak Fishing Instructor on the East Coast of the US.  He was on the leadership team of the Music City Chapter of Heroes on the Water, as well as a founding member of the Kayak Angler’s Society of Tennessee (K.A.S.T.) and is very active in the kayak fishing community throughout the state of Tennessee.  Introducing and teaching others the joys and experiences of being outdoors is very important to him.  He can be found teaching (with an emphasis on safety) beginners introduction to paddling at Long Hunter State Park, or planning family style outings for new people interested in taking that first step to getting outside safely.

Steve Morris

Steve served on the board for the last 6 years. He has been involved in several schools, access builds, conservation efforts, river clean - ups, trip leading and special events. These involvements include: Canoe and Kayak School, Intro to Paddling, Lost Loon Triathlon, Dragon Boat and trip leading numerous river trips and hiking trips. He has also assisted in the Team River Runner endeavor.

Goals: As a sixth year board member he wants to continue all the efforts mentioned above. He plans to lead the Team River Runner Nashville chapter to introduce paddling to veterans. He plans to continue trip leading both paddling and hiking trips. In 2016 he received his L3 ACA canoe instructor certification and would like to become a canoe instructor and try to recruit people back to the diminishing art of canoeing.

Anne Passino

Anne has developed significant expertise in water quality and water quantity law and policy. She represented nonprofit organizations in several Clean Water Act and Tennessee Water Quality Control Act cases brought to protect Tennesseans' rivers and streams. In fact, Anne represented TSRA in two coal ash cases that resulted in the clean up of 12 million tons of coal ash at the Gallatin Fossil Plant. Anne is so highly regarded as a water law expert in the state that she was asked by Governor Haslam's administration to serve on the Institutional Framework working group that contributed to the state's TNH2O plan, a comprehensive roadmap for addressing water quantity issues in the state. Anne has given numerous presentations of water policy issues in Tennessee. Anne would contribute great expertise to TSRA's policy and water protection work. In addition to being a water policy expert, Anne is an avid outdoorswoman. She has hiked 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail, is a Wilderness First Responder, and regularly spends time canoeing (recently with her cute puppy Uni). Having had the privilege of working closely with members of the TSRA board on legal issues, Anne would fit right in with your smart, passionate, thoughtful board. Thank you for the consideration.

Ginger Royster

Ginger has been coordinating our Recreational boating and safety programs. She has also participated in other programs in 2019. Her participation as a board member will ensure that our recreation programs continue to excel. In her first year she participated in a 1 hour and a 3 hour recreational boater class. She has taken an intro to rivers class with TSRA and has started dipping her toes into white water! Ginger is all about being overly prepared for situations that may occur and intends to take the river/lake rescue course, swift water rescue and roll school next year to increase her paddling skills. She is a member of TSRA and hopes to volunteer at upcoming events.

Goals: To help develop ways to clean and preserve our waterways and to keep them beautiful for everyone to enjoy. I would like to get more young people involved in the sport as well as its conservation efforts. I would like to help start programs in schools to teach students the importance of PFD’s and also find a way to offer swimming clinics for those who may not be able to afford more expensive classes.

Donnie Safer

 Donnie has been on the Board since 2010 and a TSRA member since 2002. He is an active TSRA conservationist. Donnie was one of TSRA's liaisons with the Southern Environmental Law Center on our victorious Gallatin coal ash case. He is also an active volunteer on access builds, instructed at many Canoe and Kayak Schools and Roll School.

Goals: As a TSRA Board Member I would like to continue helping in both boating and conservation efforts. I currently plan to focus on improving the water quality in the Pigeon River. TSRA has a special role and interest in clean water protection and improvement - paddling is a lot more fun in clean water!

John Schneider

John has been a TSRA Board member for the past 5 years and is seeking re-election. He has been involved in many areas of TSRA, including serving as the 2019 & 2020 Rendezvous Chair and as a Committee member and chairing the Auction. John has assisted with instruction at the TSRA Roll School and organizes the Boater Support at the Obed WaterFest on behalf of TSRA. He has assisted in leading TSRA trips down the Ocoee, BSF, Tellico and Hiwassee for Rendezvous and the TSRA Canoe & Kayak Schools. He has assisted with several access builds and solicited and organized the volunteers. Since joining TSRA, John has completed the TSRA Basic River Rescue course, Swift Water Rescue course, and Canoe & Kayak School and Roll Schools.

Goals: We need to promote and re-establish TSRA as the path for new boaters to learn safety and the necessary skills to enjoy all levels of paddling. Increasing new membership is vital to this process. I would like to assist TSRA in marketing the resources we have to drive interest and membership. This will include efforts in the access projects, fundraising, and membership growth and increase the awareness of TSRA among the non-paddling public and government agencies. In the past I have had the opportunity to serve as President on several non-profit boards and feel this experience would help me be an asset to TSRA.

Patty Shultz

 Patty has been an active member since 2005 and has served on the board for a number of years. She loves to be in and on the water so it's natural to be involved in TSRA. Her main focus has been in making the waters of TN more accessible for paddlers, fishermen and swimmers. She has been involved with the access committee since its beginning, writing grants and helping with over 20 access builds. Patty has also been involved with cleanups, TSRA projects and conservation efforts.

Goals: I would continue to work on access issues with the goal of making more of Tennessee's waterways available to paddlers, fishermen and swimmers.

Gary Weatherford

 I have served on the board since 2012. During those years I have chaired Canoe and Kayak School, served as a member of the TSRA Swiftwater Instructor team, served as Vice President two years and President for two years. I enjoy sharing the sport of boating Tennessee rivers and lakes. I want to get as many people as possible out on the water so that they will also help us protect our waters. I am also an ACA Level 4 Swiftwater Rescue Instructor, Wilderness First Aid Certified and ACA Level 2 Kayak Instructor.

Goals: In 2021, would like to chair an event, run a cleanup, start the Volunteer Appreciation cookout and teach in as many kayaking and safety classes as possible.

Charlie Wilkerson

 Having been a Board Member for over 20 years Charlie has served in the following positions: Past President, Vice-President, School Chair, and Rendezvous Chair. He still maintains Canoe Instructor and SwiftWater Rescue Instructor certifications plus assists with access builds, river adopter, and trip leader. He teaches multiple first responder SwiftWater Rescue courses a year with his team of Instructors.

Goals: To continue to help grow TSRA's membership and programs while continuing our core mission and striving to improve our instruction programs.

James "Woody" Woodall


Woody is a life member of TSRA, a canoe instructor, swiftwater rescue instructor. He has also  served as past school chair for Intro to Paddling and Canoe/Kayak School. For years he continued to  teach canoeing, Basic River Rescue and Swiftwater Rescue. He volunteers at TSRA's largest fundraiser, the Lost Loon Triathlon. He works on river access builds, served on the Board of Directors for several years and served as President of TSRA for three years.  

Goals: To continue to promote TSRA's mission of river conservation as well as paddling and safety training.