Heather first moved to the Pacific Northwest, along with her husband, in 2004. The two made their move to the area to pursue their passion for whitewater kayaking. While personally growing and progressing in the sport of kayaking, Heather is now giving back to the kayaking community. She specializes in women's clinics, kid's clinics and motivational speaking. Heather has presented at Expos throughout the United States over the past few years, as well as previous White Salmon Symposiums.
Over the last 7 years, Heather and her husband, Nate started a film production company, Sheer Madness Productions, and have produced various kayaking films - among them "Liquid Insanity" and "Toxic Waters".
Heather's easy-going personality and sheer enthusiasm for paddling make her a favorite with the people she's in contact with, both on and off of the river.
"I continue to be a part of this event, because the White Salmon is one of the 'Northwest Classics,'" says Heather. "I wish for this river to be enjoyed by everyone for many, many years to come. However, we cannot continue to enjoy this beautiful river, if we neglect the fact that we must we must also care for it."
Although Jaco is currently most visible at Wet Planet managing schedules, logistics, reservations and day-to-day operations around the Wet Planet headquarters, she is also responsible for much of the behind the scenes work with marketing and strategic planning. While she may not spend much time in the back of a Wet Planet raft, she does also bring a high level of whitewater expertise and adventure travel experience to the company. She is a certified whitewater raft and kayak instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, a certified ACA whitewater kayak instructor, a trained Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Educator. She has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Central America. She speaks five languages and pours a mean espresso.
"I see this unique and wonderful river, and so many individuals who care for it: whitewater rafters and kayakers, as well as people and interest groups involved with the White Salmon," says Jaco. "There is a fascinating history on this river and in it's valley, and now things are happening that will change its future. For the better or worse, everyone has their own opinion and interest concerning these changes. With the White Salmon Riverfest and Symposium, I want to create an opportunity for people to share knowledge and passion and to learn from each other and other professionals in their field of interest to the White Salmon River. In addition, I would like this event to take place in a fun, relaxed atmosphere, where people feel safe and respected, and where they will all have a good time in a way that builds bridges among a diverse community. At Wet Planet, we see a great opportunity to share our gained knowledge with thousands of guests each year, while exploring the river with our guests each day. We feel fortunate to be one of few permitted outfitters on this river and are grateful for this opportunity to give something back to this beautiful river and its community."
Susan fell in love with the White Salmon River community, surrounding area, and spectacular whitewater when she arrived in 2010. Sometimes she thinks she has been here for years.
Helping the river community to better understand the progress for the decommission of Condit Dam, Susan has been posting blogs on The Eddy Line, Wet Planet's blog. While touching upon river restoration issues happening throughout the Northwest, much of her research and time has gone into understanding how and when Condit Dam will be removed. Through this she has become the primary local volunteer for American Whitewater regarding river recreation on the White Salmon River.
As a kayak instructor, this avid whitewater enthusiast shares her passion for moving water with countless individuals throughout the year. By instilling a love for whitewater in others, Susan believes that more people will become aware of the incredible natural resources here in the Northwest. She hopes that this appreciation for play will extend into a desire to conserve these places.