NEWP President Jeff Mazanec has been named the Volunteer of the Year for the nation’s leading paddling organization for his work training and engaging people in kayaking.
The 50,000-member American Canoe Association announced his selection Sunday, Dec. 5, at its online national convention. The Joe Pina Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to a volunteer for extraordinary service at the local, regional or national level.
Mazanec, an engineer from the Appleton area, was described as “a tireless volunteer, event organizer and community leader.” He has served as president of NEWP for eight of the past 11 years. He organizes and participates in training for new or improving kayakers at area YMCAs. Mazanec is credited with training thousands of kayakers through the YMCA classes and his volunteer work with the annual Door County Sea Kayak Symposium.
He also is the lead organizer of NEWP’s public paddles, which give kayakers — club members or not — the opportunity to explore some of the area’s best paddling venues in the company of experienced paddlers and certified safety instructors. Participants receive a safety briefing prior to each paddle and are not allowed to participate if they aren’t wearing lifejackets. Mazanec normally can be found at the back of the pack paddling “sweep” to assist anyone having difficulties.
Please congratulate Jeff if you see him, or deliver your congrats using the comment section below.