Board of Directors

Danielle Katz

Co-founder and Director

Rivers run through Danielle’s blood. At four months of age, Danielle took one of the last runs down the Stanislaus River before it was dammed. At 14 she became a river guide, regularly working trips on the Klamath, Rogue, and Tatshenshini-Alsek in Alaska for James Henry River Journeys. In 2009 she paddled her first river from source to sea; 2,271 miles down the length of the Mississippi for the non-profit What About Blue, raising funds to build wells and sanitation projects in Rwanda. Inspired to connect more communities to rivers and each other from source to sea, she co-founded RFC in 2011. She has since completed several StS journeys including on the Tuolumne, Sacramento, Yuba, San Joaquin, and Androscoggin to name a few. She has an MBA in Environmental Management and is the founder of Source to Sea Productions. She loves inspiring people to connect with the water in their lives, sharing her passion for rivers, and increasing Source to Sea literacy.

John Dye

Co-founder, Vice-President, and Secretary

John grew up focused on water. Swimming, teaching sailing, racing sailboats, and building boats in America’s breadbasket. After a brief bought with higher education, he moved west to the golden state. He soon embraced the pace and life of rivers and coastal waters. Running whitewater rivers and working with non-profits and local outfitters on weekends remains the soul food that balances a challenging and rewarding career in design and architecture. Helping others safely experience rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans in small paddle craft continues to be a great joy for him.

Janet Whittick

Janet Whittick

Treasurer

Janet fell head-over- heels for a paddleboard in 2012, and never looked back. Racing the Cal100 as part of a relay was a turning point, and now Janet races with O’Kalani Outrigger and volunteers as a SUP instructor to help get others on the water. Janet works as an environmental policy analyst, but her favorite days are spent downwinding or surfing with friends. She’s excited to tackle her own StS one day soon.

Amy Byers

Amy Byers

Board Member

Amy has been paddling for over 15 years in all types of water from New Haven, Connecticut to San Francisco, CA to the Yukon Territory, Canada.  She has raced the Yukon River Quest (444 miles of the Yukon River) in a sea kayak five times.  Amy has a Master’s in Public Health and a Doctorate in Epidemiology.  She is a research scientist who studies multiple chronic diseases within the aging process, utilizing large-scale data and a public health approach.  Her own quality of life with aging has been supported by a deep connection with nature.  Amy believes that one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and the world is to come alive in and connected to nature; and inspire others to do the same.

Pamela Rich

Pamela Rich

Board Chair

Pam’s discovery of whitewater kayaking in 1990 re-ignited her inner puppy. River highlights include trips down the Middle Fork Salmon in Idaho, trips down the Rogue in Oregon, 2 life-changing trips down the Colorado, and many, many glorious days on rivers in California. As the saying goes, “it’s never a bad day when you’re on the river.” Pam’s day job is working as an organization development consultant at UC Berkeley where she supports team development and strategic planning.

Samara Rosen

Board Member

Samara first fell in love with rivers on the bow of her mom’s kayak. Over the years, her love of rivers inspired her to guide rivers commercially, run citizen science programs around water quality, mobilize her community around river conservation, and facilitate environmental education with a riparian focus. When she’s not strategizing her next river project, you can find her teaching middle and high school students on her raft at Canyonlands Field Institute.

Advisory Council

Stephen Linaweaver

Stephen Linaweaver

A sustainability professional with a big passion for rivers. He was a founding Board Member for Rivers for Change. He has guided rafting trips in the US, Nepal, Kenya, and on the White Nile in Uganda, and has previously worked as an environmental educator for Save the Bay. When conditions allow, he still squeezes into a twenty year-old baby-blue Perception Dancer and  kayak commutes to work across the San Francisco Bay from his home in Oakland.

Kyle Sherman

Kyle Sherman

While going to college in Montana he fell in love with anything in nature as well as sharing his passion with others. After college Kyle became a Wilderness and California state EMT. This and his outdoorsy side led him to guiding and ski patrolling. Since then he has been a safety coordinator for several races including the California-100, Gorge Downwind champs and the California Gold Rush. Kyle currently is a Tour Operations Manager/ Backpacking Guide for Just Rough in it Adventure Company and while he stares at the Colorado river from shore more than from behind oars these days he has seen the importance of preserving endangered rivers and believes that the best way to protect them are to let people compete on/against them.  Safely of course.

Sue Norman

Sue Norman

Sue is a long time river enthusiast, starting at the tender age of 2.5 on family canoe trips in the Ozarks.  In addition to a lifetime of recreational pursuits on rivers, she was also a member of several US whitewater kayaking and rafting teams, competing on rivers all over the world. Her accomplishments include winning the National Whitewater Kayak Slalom Championships in 1982, and several world championships as a member of the US Women’s Whitewater Rafting Team.  In 2016, Sue retired from a 27 year career as a hydrologist with the US Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.  During her career, she and her staff completed numerous watershed, stream channel, and meadow restoration projects throughout the Tahoe Basin (including the Upper and Middle Truckee River)  in collaboration with a wide variety of state and local partners.  She currently lives in Truckee, CA with her partner Lisa and her seven year old son Seth.

Emily Matthews

Emily Matthews

Emily always loved paddling, but mostly did it at camps growing up then vacation rentals. When she got on a standup paddle board in 2012, she was hooked. Less than six months after first getting on a paddle board, she completed a 13-mile race from Ft Baker to San Rafael and has since completed the race across Lake Tahoe, the Cal 100 and the Yukon River Quest. Emily’s love for paddling has led her to her work as a volunteer for environmental nonprofits as well as a SUP instructor to help others get on water.

Kiki Wykstra

Kiki Wykstra

Kiki was raised on the desert rivers of the southwest. Growing up in a harsh desert environment where water is sacred and rivers are often dammed for conservation, the power of free-flowing rivers and healthy riparian ecosystems have motivated her both academically and professionally. In 2011 she graduated with a bachelors of science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. Currently, Kiki works as a river guide in the Grand Canyon and Idaho and spends her free time chasing rivers internationally, teaching yoga, and instructing Wilderness First Aid courses with NOLS.

Staff

Erin Browning

Program Manager

Erin started her outdoor career at age 19 as a river guide on the American River, and then instructed for Outward Bound for the last ten years. She has had the privilege of rafting the Grand Canyon four times, and has benefited from the environmental activists of past generations ensuring that the Marble Canyon Dam was not built, to allow the glory of the Canyon to continue to exist. She is currently in graduate school studying environmental policy at University of Washington, and is very excited to be working with Rivers for Change to continue the legacy of conserving rivers for future generations.

Matt Palmariello

Matt Palmariello

Program Development and Support

While pursuing a Recreation Management degree at the University of New Hampshire, Matt was introduced to paddling and it heavily impacted his life.  For the next few years he guided sea kayaking trips in the summer, and worked on skiing events in the winter, eventually transitioning to Utah to work with the non-profit US Ski & Snowboard Team.  Each summer he migrated to California where his paddling interests evolved from sea kayaking to open canoeing to standup paddling.  Today he lives in Rome, Maine.