About Us

Home  /  About Us

Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers (NEWP) is a 501(cNEWP-Logo-no-bkgrd1)3 organization formed to promote safe paddle sports activities and skill development in northeast Wisconsin. NEWP is a Paddle America Club of the American Canoe Association (ACA) that hosts whitewater and open water kayak paddle events and skill development workshops during the paddle season. NEWP conducts kayak skill development classes with the Appleton Recreation Departments and YMCAs in Appleton, Green Bay and Greenville between January and June each year. Club membership includes more than a dozen ACA or BCU certified instructors who lead the classes and club events. Information on classes, public paddle events, informal paddle outings and other special activities can be found throughout this website. Club activities are financed through (nominal) membership dues, registration fees for classes and events and web site sponsorships.

The club is led by a Board of Directors. Each Director is elected to a two-year term and may serve consecutive terms. No board members or instructors are compensated for their service to the club. The club’s original name was Green Bay Paddlers United, Inc., but was changed in 2005 to more accurately reflect the broader membership base of its members.

NEWP Instructors


Bill Merrick – Appleton ACA Whitewater Kayaking Level 4, Coastal Kayaking Level 3

Bill started paddling canoes in the ’60s, and had two seasons’ experience as a Boundary Waters Canoe Area guide. He expanded his interest to whitewater and coastal kayaking in the 1980s and has been an avid paddler and instructor since. He is the NEWP Lead Instructor for our Appleton classes.


Mike Brown – Green Bay: ACA Whitewater Kayaking Level 4

Mike is a prolific whitewater paddler often found on the Red River Tuesday nights between April and November, and on other great whitewater venues across the United States. Also active with the Boy Scouts Gardner Dam, Team River Runner in Green Bay and as an instructor for our Green Bay (Broadview YMCA) classes.


Jeff Mazanec – Appleton
: ACA Coastal Kayaking Level 3

Jeff started kayaking in 1998, has built several kayaks and is an instructor in NEWP’s Appleton classes. He has coordinated more than 130 public paddle events since 2000, and participates as an instructor at the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium and other occasional workshops.


Ken Braband – Green Bay: ACA Open Water Coastal Kayaking Level 4; Whitewater Kayaking Level 4, Adaptive Paddling Endorsement

Ken is lead instructor for our Green Bay (Broadview YMCA) classes. He leads club trips and is an instructor for the annual Door County Sea Kayak Symposium. He is also co-leader for the Green Bay chapter of Team River Runner for disabled military veterans.


Joel Bogenschuetz – Green Bay: ACA Whitewater Kayaking Level 4

Joel began paddling a few years ago, assisted in kayak classes and earned his whitewater kayaking certification soon after. Joel also enjoys occasional coastal excursions, including Apostle Island group trips in Lake Superior.


Chris O’Brien – Green Bay: ACA Whitewater Kayaking Level 4

Chris is a certified Level 4 ACA Whitewater instructor from Green Bay. He learned to kayak on the Wolf River in 2007 and started teaching at Gardner Dam Scout Camp in 2010. Chris is an avid freestyle paddler and river runner.


Daren Barrett – Appleton: ACA Coastal Kayaking Level 3, Adaptive Paddling and Kayak Rolling endorsements

Daren is an avid coastal paddler and occasional whitewater paddler with a passion for long paddle trips in great places. He is also very actively involved with the Team River Runner program in Green Bay, as an instructor for our Green Bay (Broadview YMCA) classes and with NEWP’s public paddles and club trips.


Josh Gundlach – Menasha/Door County: ACA Coastal Kayaking Level 3; River Kayaking Level 3

Josh earned his ACA Coastal Kayaking Instructor Certification in 2010 after working as a guide in Door County and helping literally hundreds of people experience their first kayak outing. Josh assists with NEWP classes in the winter and can be found in Door County in the summer, leading Segway tours and on the water.

Andy Fox – Fond du Lac: ACA Level 4 Whitewater Kayaking

As evidenced by his photo, Andy is an active year-round whitewater kayaker and is our lead instructor for kayak classes at the Fond du Lac YMCA.

Dan Dallich – Green Bay: ACA Coastal Kayaking Level 3

Dan enjoys assisting on club paddles and with the winter classes at the Green Bay Broadview YMCA. He is happy on sunset paddles on the Bay with his wife, or doing a ten-day expedition along remote coasts of Lake Superior.

Scott Oftedahl – Green Bay: ACA Kayaking Touring Level 2

Scott started 2019 as an eager student in the NEWP Kayak Essentials class at the Broadview YMCA. By year’s end he completed the Rolls and Rescues class and moved forward with ACA L2 Kayak Touring instructor certification. He is a public school teacher in Germantown and assists with winter classes at Green Bay Broadview YMCA.

Pool Assistants

Our classes are strongly supported by many skilled, avid and friendly paddlers who offer their time and talent in the pool. Our paddles are raised in salute to the many folks who help make our classes enjoyable and effective.

Marty Christensen, Justin Peterson, Will Stahl, Tom Koeppen, John McCabe, Scott Thomson, Kristin Vogel, Bob Dreier, Brian Hanson, Lee Kassner, …

A list like this is always incomplete, so please let us know who we are missing and we will add them to the list!

©2018 Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers Inc.

NEWP Officers

Jeff Mazanec, President (2021)

Ken Braband, Vice President (2022)

Scott Thomson, Treasurer (2021)

Will Stahl, Secretary (2021)

NEWP Board Members

Jeff Boldt (2021)

Mike Brown (2021)

Bill Burton (2021)

Josh Gundlach (2022)

Dan Dallich (2022)

Abby Ledvina (2022)

Bill Merrick (2021)