Melissa Boaz | Daniel Boone | ANDe Demetriou | Vinson Dill | Vincent Finamore | Edwin Ford | Jim Heisinger | Eric Hoffman | Jason Holley | Steve Morris | Paul Pitney | Donnie Safer | Samantha Satterfield | John Schneider | Shawn Shepard | Patty Shultz | Connor Smith | Kevin Stit | Charlie Wilkerson | James “Woody” Woodall

Melissa Boaz, TreasurerA person in a striped shirt and smiling at the camera

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I have been a member of TSRA since 2019.  I became a board member in 2020, and I served as Treasurer in 2021. I chaired Basic River Rescue in 2020 and 2021.  In addition, I participated in Lost Loon in 2019 and again in 2021, where I was both a volunteer and a participant.

I enjoy working with nonprofits because of the opportunities to give back to the community, and I am particularly excited about TSRA because of its work to protect clean water and free-flowing rivers. I grew up in southern Tennessee near the Elk River in Lincoln County.  My dad was a big fan of fishing and spending time on the water, so I tagged along with him as a kid and learned about the river and all the interesting life forms that live there.  He taught me about how rivers are important not only for the things that call them home but also for land animals and plants that depend on them for survival.

I enjoy canoeing, camping, and hiking with my husband Gerry, who is also a member of TSRA.  We recently bought kayaks and are looking forward to spending more time on the water.  My nonprofit experience in addition to TSRA includes being a board member of two professional organizations, and I am also a member of my church’s vestry and serve on its finance committee.  My educational background includes a master’s degree in accounting from UT Knoxville, and I am a certified public accountant.

Goals: My goal as a board member would be to promote TSRA's efforts to protect clean water and free-flowing rivers and to 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! 

ANDe Demetriou, Vice-President

ANDe joined the TSRA in 2022 and was elected to its Board of Directors the same year. He is the owner of Blues City Kayaks and is also a river guide and instructor for the company. An avid kayaker since 2013, ANDe is a certified American Canoe Association (ACA) Level 2 river kayaking instructor. As an active Scouts BSA Scoutmaster, he is trained in Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat, and is approved by the Chickasaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America to teach Kayaking BSA and the Kayaking Merit Badge. He is also CPR/BLS certified by the American Heart Association and is Wilderness First Aid certified by the Emergency Care and Safety Institute (ECSI). In addition to the TSRA, ANDe volunteers with the Wolf River Conservancy as a river guide and the Bluff City Canoe Club.

In 2020 ANDe, along with his Blues City Kayaks co-founder, was actively involved in the rescue of five people on a swollen Wolf River in Memphis, TN and provided first aid to two victims of a car crash. As a result, he was one of two recipients of the Memphis Fire Department's Citizen Service Award and one of two inaugural recipients of the Chickasaw Council BSA's Distinguished Service Award.

In his role as a member of the TSRA Board of Directors, ANDe wants to help with the preservation, protection and restoration of the scenic, free-flowing rivers of Tennessee. While he enjoys all rivers of the state, he wants to bring more awareness to the rivers of West Tennessee.

Vinson Dill, President

Vinson has served for 4 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 more 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 in 2022, also serve as Co-Chair for Rendezvous.

Goals: Continue to find ways of letting the public know about our organization, and encourage more support and grow membership. We need to attract new and younger members to join and support TSRA. I will continue to support Rendezvous and other TSRA events, help find ways to make improvements, in order to improve membership experience.

Vinny Finamore

 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 led 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 2022 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 been a member since the middle 1970’s. Past board member, past president and on the present board. Member of the Safety, First Aid and ACA Training, River Access, Schools and Followup Events Committees. Taught at all three of the 2021 Canoe and Kayak Schools.

Goals: Goals would include more white water trips of the 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.

Eric Hoffman

None to date other than leading TSRA board members and other employees/volunteers of TSRA down rivers! Host the listed above while on much needed R&R in the Eastern Tenn/SWVA region. They make me cook as well...I don't mind that part!

Goals: To provide selfless service in support of the TSRA mission statement. To be an advocate for Eastern Tenn rivers/region and help support/promote events. I see this as an opportunity to serve a great cause that has a proactive mindset and passion for helping others discover, care for, and enjoy our rivers!

Jason Holley

Jason has been a TSRA member for three years. He first started whitewater paddling in 2019 at the TSRA Paddle School, making new friends and learning the ropes. He has attended both basic river and swift water rescue and sees the great value these learning opportunities present to the club and the general population. He is interested to see the club continue to grow and promote water safety and stewardship of these great Tennessee rivers and waterways. He is active in support of Cumberland River Compact, Tennessee State Naturalist Program, and other paddling communities in the southeast.  

Goals: As a new board member he will co-chair the 2023 Rendezvous and is looking forward to paying back all that he has gained as a member these last 3 years. Also, he plans to advocate for introducing more people to the sport of paddling and water conservation.

Steve Morris

Steve served on the board for the last 7 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.

Paul Pitney

Paul joined TSRA at Canoe and Kayak School in 2020 and has been an active member ever since. He has volunteered to teach a First Aid/CPR class in 2022.  He is currently the Director of the Dickson County YMCA and has served on other non profit boards. He will be a great asset to our organization.

Donnie Safer

Donnie has served on the Board since 2010.  He is an active member of the Conservation Committee.  Donnie has been an instructor at quite a few TSRA paddling schools and worked on access builds and been a volunteer at Lost Loon.

Goals: "To continue to keep the Board and membership informed about conservation issues that affect water quality and paddling access in Tennessee.

To contribute to TSRA's ongoing success."

Samantha Satterfield

I  have volunteered to teach children paddle safety at Mad Musky, and the community I live in, and obtained my ACA level 2 river kayaking instructor certification to teach others in the future. I am working on opening my own kayaking outfitters, and conservation for the Calfkiller River as well. I am working hard in the community to help with parks and recreation events as well! I am a nurse, working towards starting a path to becoming a wilderness nurse through a FAWM's fellowship. I love working to help my community especially if it's on the water! I recently took a travel nursing contract in Colorado just to be closer to a Whitewater school to obtain more experience while I work on my swift water rescue skills!"

Goals: Becoming more known and accessible to our community, especially the area I live in which includes Calfkiller, Caney Fork, and many other beautiful bodies of water. Especially directing efforts towards teaching classes to children AND parents on how to safely rescue their child, or get them to safety. I would love to see my big goal come true this year which is to teach the rescue volunteer firefighters swift water rescue techniques, and give them better quality skills to keep them safe. I would love to seek out projects to help keep our community safe, such as awareness and plans to help with low head dams, the importance of life jackets even on flat water, and what to do during flash floods.

John Schneider

John has been a TSRA Board member for the past 6 years and is seeking re-election. He has been involved in many areas of TSRA, including serving as the 2019,2020 & 2021 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.

Shawn Shepard

 Shawn is a professional planner, literally. She has a masters degree in urban planning and worked in city planning for Metro Nashville, which is relevant in that she is talented at organizing logistics for trips, events, menus, and other things that may be useful to TSRA. She's also a long-time kayaker and youth canoeing instructor, has taken swiftwater rescue, and attended Rendezvous and Paddle School. Shawn believes in the importance of wild places and clean rivers and the communities of people who support them.

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.

Connor Smith, Secretary

Connor’s volunteer involvement is limited to the Marketing and Communication Committee. However, he has been participating in TSRA paddling school, Intro to Kayak/Canoe School, Basic Water Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, and Dragon Boat races among a couple others.

Goals: My goals as a board member would be to engage members in communication. Work on getting feedback from members on areas we could improve. Working with board members to find solutions to make TSRA the best paddling organization in the Region.

Kevin Stit

Kevin has been an active member in the outdoor recreation community since experiencing hiking and camping in the Colorado Rockies as a child. He discovered kayaking while working for Tennessee State Parks as a Seasonal Interpretive Ranger in college. Since then, Kevin has become an ACA L2 Kayak Instructor and developed a passion for teaching open water recovery and other kayaking skills. His goal is to provide hands-on experience to other paddlers so they can safely enjoy kayaking with friends and family.

Kevin's involvement with TSRA began in 2012 when he first learned about the education and volunteer opportunities offered by this organization while working for REI Brentwood. During this time, Kevin worked with TSRA to raise grant money each year for the Access Build program and participated as a volunteer in several builds. Graduating from TSRA's Rescue for Rec Boaters class inspired Kevin to seek out training with ACA to become a leader in sharing this knowledge with others.

Goals: Kevin has previously served as a TSRA Board Member in 2020 and is excited to rejoin this passionate group of leaders and continue to make a positive impact on people and the environment for years to come.

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. And to assist in mentoring new leaders, instructors, and board members while being a resource of knowledge to assist TSRA's leadership.

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.