Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers (NEWP) is a 501(c)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 City of Appleton Recreation Department and YMCAs in Appleton, Green Bay and Greenville between January and August 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.
The club has several committees to help the club achieve its goals. Any club member may join any committee and participation is encouraged. For a list of the committees, see the Committees page.
Jeff Mazanec, President (2025)
Ken Braband, Vice President (2024)
Scott Oftedahl, Treasurer (2025)
Scott Thomson, Secretary (2025)
Bill Merrick, Past President (2025)
NEWP Board Members
Bill Burton (2025)
Josh Gundlach (2024)
Dan Dallich (2024)
Abby Ledvina (2024)
Angie Lent (2025)
Mike Stone (2025)
NEWP is an affiliate club of American Whitewater (AW). As an affiliate club, members of NEWP are eligible for a discounted AW membership. Please specify Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers when you join/renew your AW membership.
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.
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 NEWP 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 180 public paddle events since 2000, and participates as an instructor at the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium and other occasional workshops. He is the NEWP Club President and Lead Instructor for our Appleton classes.
Ken Braband – Green Bay: ACA Open Water Coastal Kayaking Level 4; Whitewater Kayaking Level 4, Adaptive Paddling Endorsement
Ken leads club trips, instructs whitewater kayaking at Gardner Dam Scout Camp, and sea kayaking at the annual Door County Sea Kayak Symposium. He is also co-leader and regional coordinator for Team River Runner for disabled military veterans.
Josh Gundlach – Oshkosh/Apostle Islands: ACA Coastal Kayak Level 4; River Kayak Level 3; ACA Instructor Trainer Candidate
Josh earned his ACA Coastal Kayaking Instructor Certification in 2010 after working as a guide in Door County. Josh assists with NEWP classes in the winter and can be found in the Apostle Islands in the summer. Through Whitecap Kayak he holds IDWS/Trip Leader/ and rough water courses and guides multi-day camping trips on Lake Superior.
Dan Dallich – Green Bay: ACA Coastal Kayaking Level 3
Dan enjoys assisting on club paddles and with winter classes. 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.
Joel Bogenschuetz – Green Bay: ACA Whitewater Kayaking Level 4
Joel began paddling several 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.
Andy Fox – Fond du Lac: ACA Level 4 Whitewater Kayaking
As evidenced by his photo, Andy is an active year-round whitewater kayaker.
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.
Darin Marsden, Justin Peterson, Will Stahl, John McCabe, Scott Thomson
A list like this is always incomplete, so please let us know who we are missing and we will add them to the list!