Joseph Bell

President

Miramonte, CA

Joseph moved to California from the United Kingdom in 2003 and has hiked, climbed and paddled up and down the West Coast ever since. He led backpacking trips in the Sierras and desert Southwest as a volunteer instructor for the Sierra Club’s Wilderness Travel Course, before discovering packrafting in 2013. Soon afterwards, he flew to Montana for the first ever APA Packraft Roundup on the North Fork of the Flathead River, and was immediately caught up with the wildly welcoming packraft community. (He also fell out of his boat following Forrest McCarthy down an easy Class II rapid on the North Fork.) Joseph became APA’s second President in 2017. He lives in the Sierra foothills with his wife, two young boys and a Great Pyrenees.

Marilyne Marchand

Treasurer

BUENA VISTA, Co

Based out of Colorado when she’s not traveling around the continent in her minivan, Marilyne is a hiking, packrafting and skiing enthusiast, constantly exploring new parts of the world with her boat and her boots. Marilyne organized the first Canadian packraft roundup in the summer of 2018, and was on the sponsorship team for APA’s 2018 Packraft Roundup. An accountant by trade, Marilyne is APA’s Treasurer and Chairs our Finance & Fundraising committees.

Dirk Veenema

Secretary

Oakland, CA

Based in Oakland, California, Dirk takes full advantage of his location by exploring up and down the Sierras. He leads backpacking trips with TSX Challenge, a small guiding outfit out of Orinda, and loves trail running, mountain biking and fly fishing. Packrafting caught Dirk's attention as a way to make more creative routes in the wilderness and to see the backcountry from a different (and very fun!) vantage point. In addition to his role as APA Secretary, Dirk helpings with APA's Finance & Fundraising committee and regional initiatives in and around California.

Bix Firer

Education Committee Chair

Boise, ID

An outdoor educator based in Boise, Idaho, Bix is currently Director of the Outdoor Program at the College of Idaho, where he also teaches courses. Bix loves to paddle, mountain bike, hike, and fly fish, and when he was introduced to packrafting, he found a way to tie together all of those passions! He has since used a packraft to access adventures in the Four Corners Region, and throughout the Mountain West and Idaho. Bix chairs APA’s Education. Committee and is an active member of the Governance and Fundraising teams.

Becky King

Eagle River, AK

Becky is a graduate student in outdoor and environmental education and a seasonal National Park Service backcountry ranger. She discovered packrafting and mountains shortly after moving to Alaska in 1999. Since then, she's been exploring the far reaches of the Far North by foot, ski, packraft, and bike. Becky shares her enthusiasm for adventure by teaching wilderness travel and paddling, and played a key role in developing APA’s packrafting curriculum. She plans to continue on the APA Education committee and develop APA initiatives in Alaska.

Chad Lorenz

Tetonia, ID

Chad is an outdoor educator from Tetonia, Idaho whose passion for packrafting was kindled in 2012 in Alaska. His enthusiasm for expedition-based paddling has taken him from the Northwest Territories to New Zealand, and he is equally excited about day runs and overnights in the Mountain West. He has chaired the APA Access & Stewardship committee, and continues in his role as a Field Instructor for NOLS. 

Jack Martin

Richmond, VA

Jack works as a lawyer in Richmond, Virginia, a literal stone’s throw from the whitewater of the James River, where he uses packraft, mountain bike and running shoes to link together self-supported urban paddling adventures. He occasionally sleeps in a tent as well, with a particular fondness for the mountains of New England and the rivers of the Southeastern United States.

Monte Montepare

McCarthy-Kennicott, AK

Monte is co-owner of Kennicott Wilderness Guides (KWG) in Wrangell St. Elias National Park, AK.  He’s been exploring the Wrangells via a packraft for a decade and his boat has taken him around the states and overseas. In 2013 KWG started the McCarthy Creek Packraft Race and runs the event every July as part of the McCarthy Packraft Festival. Monte still spends summers in AK, but he spends winters as a comedian based out of Los Angeles.

Monica Morin

Maupin, OR

Monica comes to us with a strong passion for rivers and mountains and was excited to combine the two when she moved to Alaska in 2013 and bought her first packraft. Ever since then it's been both uphill and downriver from Alaska to Arizona to South America and anywhere in between. She recently moved to the Deschutes River in Central Oregon where she continues her career in public land management and Wild and Scenic Rivers. Monica enjoys the opportunity to assist in packraft education efforts in her spare time.

René Ritter

St. John’s, NL Canada

A wilderness medicine instructor and polar explorer based in St. John's, Newfoundland, René is a certified river guide, swift water and ice rescue instructor, and wilderness medic. He has trained search and rescue teams in some of the most remote parts of Canada, and guided ski and river expeditions in the far north. His own adventures include a long-distance ski expedition across Greenland and a multiyear project to travel 1,500 miles of the Northwest Passage by packraft, ski and on foot. René was born in the United Kingdom and lived on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic for 11 years before moving back to Newfoundland with his family.

Sarah Tingey

Mancos, CO

Sarah Tingey grew up in Alaska and began packrafting in 2002. She spent a decade living in the Pacific NW exploring every mountain bike trail she could find while working within the Energy and Outdoor sectors. There are too many great packrafting trips to name – but if really pushed she’ll pick Alaska, New Zealand, and the Pacific NW as some top favorite areas to do trips. Sarah currently lives in Mancos, CO where she runs Alpacka Raft along with her husband, Thor.

Luke Bauer

Outreach & Communications Committee Chair

Jackson, WY

Luke and his wife are avid members of the local paddling community in Jackson, WY. Luke was first introduced to (or, in his words, “goaded into”) packrafting by a friend on the APA Board. He is Sales & Marketing Director for Snake River Brewing Co. in Jackson and serves on the Board of the Wyoming Craft Brewers Guild. Previously, Luke worked for the American Alpine Club in Marketing & Communications.

Kay Lopez

APA Coordinator

Eureka, CA

Kay is a Graphic Designer, Painter, & Illustrator based in Northern California. She has combined her passions for creativity and adventure by working as an artist and outdoor educator for NOLS, Diversify Whitewater and others. Kay first became interested in packrafts when she started riding a motorcycle -- not only would her kayak not fit, but she fell in love with the fun culture of packrafting. She plays an active role in increasing diversity and awareness of conservation issues within the paddlesports community.

Enthusiasts needed...

Interested in joining an APA committee or a future role on the Board?
Don’t hesitate to contact Board President Joseph Bell (joseph@packraft.org). If you are interested in a future role on APA's Board of Directors, you can review expectations for APA Directors here and the application form here.

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