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Don Kinser
Marietta, GA
Hello fellow whitewater enthusiast and AW member. My name is Don Kinser and my interest in whitewater boating started in the early 1970’s as a teenager growing up in the Washington DC area. However it was not until Nanci, my wife, gave me a whitewater canoe for Christmas in 1991 (surely a green light to spend more time on the river) that my whitewater addiction became serious.

My relationship with AW began in 1995 years ago while on a paddling trip to West Virginia with my good friend Joe Greiner. Joe’s enthusiasm and passion for AW’s mission struck me and I joined AW at his urging. I want to thank Joe for introducing me to AW. My involvement soon grew from simply a dues paying member to a committed and passionate local volunteer as I started helping with the early Tallulah releases. The more involved I became the more I learned about the great work that AW has been part of all over the country.

It was here, during those early Tallulah releases in 1997 and 1998, that Risa Shimoda recruited me to help lead AW’s efforts on another local river, my home river, the Chattooga. The work on the Chattooga got me more deeply involved with AW’s staff as I learned a whole new language such as NEPA, DEIS, EA, ROD, “Preferred Alternative”, and how agency’s such as the USFS work (or don’t as the case may be).

The more involved I became with AW as a volunteer the more awestruck I have become with the organization’s accomplishments and the people that made up the organization’s staff. What makes AW accomplishments even more astounding is how much the organization accomplishes with so little. AW is truly the “little engine that could.”

My commitment to AW’s mission has grown ever since those early volunteer days at Tallulah Gorge. I believe strongly in AW’s mission and our river stewardship work across the country. I am honored to have helped guide AW toward continued success has a director and officer of the organization since 2002.

On May 17, 2008 AW’s Board of Director’s elected me to serve you as AW’s President. I am excited to have this opportunity to serve, make new friends, and more importantly help continue AW’s 54 year legacy as the National Voice for whitewater rivers and those of us that enjoy these wild places so passionately.

My goals for AW are to help make sure AW can continue our tremendous river stewardship work and build on the many great success of the past. An important way to insure our continued success is to grow our membership and funding so that we can accomplish even more.

Thank you for your support and I look forward to serving to help conserve and restore America’s whitewater rivers.