Mari Carlos, President
Los Angeles, California
In 1996 I took my first raft trip through Grand Canyon and was forever changed by the surprising beauty of that majestic landscape. There were no parallels in my usual world for what I saw and learned on that trip, no common ground, no possible way to describe it to anyone who had not experienced it with me. I was so deeply impacted by that first trip that it would continue to influence me for years to come.
In 2003, through a National Park Service sponsored workshop and repeated contacts with other concerned boaters, I became immersed in the political side of Grand Canyon river running. The details of revising the Colorado River Management Plan were little known to the majority of commercial passengers, but Dwight Sherwood and I sensed a need to participate quickly in a political process that could impact our ability to boat in the canyon we love. I joined with the other founding directors of GCRRA in order to preserve the river experience for those of us who rely on the park’s licensed outfitters.
Grand Canyon is the crown jewel of our national parks, and as such should always remain accessible to all of us. My love of Grand Canyon, and my fervent wish for others to experience it as I have, have spurred me to become part of this far-sighted organization. I hope that we can continue to protect for future generations the professionally outfitted river experience that we and those before us have traditionally enjoyed in Grand Canyon.
Pam Whitney, Vice President
I am a native of New York who came to Grand Canyon in 1975 and never left. I've spent more than half my life being involved with river trips in the Grand Canyon, and have been actively involved with all the Grand Canyon management plans starting with the initial CRMP in 1976. I've completed over 50 trips in Grand Canyon both, commercial and private, motor and oar-powered and am currently on the waiting list for a private launch.
In 1997, on a family trip to the canyon country, I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time in 30 years and was awed by what appeared to be an organized, but incomprehensible, rainbow of rocks. Thus grew my fascination for geology and my desire to see and understand the Canyon, not only from the bottom to the top, but from end-to-end. My first Grand Canyon rafting trip was in 2000, an eight-day motor trip. My second GC rafting trip was in spring 2002 with geologist Ivo Lucchitta. And so began my avocation with organizing geological rafting trips through the Canyon. I continue to take nearly annual Grand Canyon rafting trips; including motor, rowing, paddle, and dory trips. All of these trips have been with commercial outfitters and many have been geological trips, most of which I have organized with Grand Canyon geologists Ivo Lucchitta and Wayne Ranney. My love of the Canyon has gone well beyond the realm of geology, however, and I have pursued knowledge of the history, archaeology, adventure, and literature of the Canyon.
I am a native of California, lived in Los Angeles almost all of my life, and now live in Sedona, Arizona. I have a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from UCLA, and a Master of Arts in psychology from California State University Northridge. Although now retired, I worked in special education and human resource services throughout my career. I am currently pursuing further education in geology in Flagstaff and work as a volunteer naturalist at Red Rock State Park in Sedona.
B. Dwight Sherwood, Founding President
My background is in marketing, training and motivational speaking. I am currently involved in the real estate industry in Phoenix where I live with my four children.
I have been involved in the issues regarding access and wilderness designation for several years. I participated in open scoping meetings held by the National Park Service and represented the outfitted public at two stakeholder workshops. When I considered the vast number of passengers who had enjoyed the opportunity of taking an outfitted trip on the Colorado River, and how few attended, or even knew of these meetings, I became convinced that an organized group representing the outfitted passenger was extremely important.
I am excited and proud to be part of GCRRA.
Laguna Beach, California/Loreto, Mexico
I first touched the canyon 40 years ago and it was love at first sight. Since then, I have hiked and/or rafted her several times and experienced both the dry rugged climes of her desert and the stream-filled wooded canyons. Outside of the Canyon, I am an award winning designer with over twenty-five years experience in design, photography and writing. Projects include websites websites, marketing materials, environmental graphics, advertising and book/CD designs.
My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts with emphasis in Literature & Languages from UC San Diego, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications, Magna Cum Laude, from Laguna College of Art & Design, and a Screenwriting Certificate from UCLA.
Currently, I'm in my "S" phase - surfing, SUPing, snorkeling, swimming, and scuba (notice a theme here?). I split my time between Loreto and San Juanico in Baja and sunny southern California. I'm a member of the Laguna Beach Environmental Sustainabilty Committee tasked with developing compliance elements to match national and state mandates. I also work with the non-profit environmental agency EcoAlizana in Loreto to support all things air, sea, land and sky. The canyon holds a special place in my heart.
My first river trip in 1970 was prompted by a gift of the Sierra Club book Time and the River Flowing. I read the book from cover to cover and became possessed by the need to take a river trip and see the river corridor myself. That was my first year of gainful employment and I saved my money, signed up with the Sierra Club, and went on a raft trip that very year. The trip more than met my expectations and I was hooked! Since then I have taken a number of commercially outfitted trips independently, mostly for recreation, but also one educational expedition with a group of students and colleagues from the college where I was teaching.
For me, trips through the Grand Canyon have offered many wonderful and unique experiences: as a college graduate zoologist I developed acute interests in geology and paleontologyscientific fields which, despite their obvious relevance for my chosen field had not been a required part of my formal education; as a park visitor I was able to see beautiful places such as Deer Creek which are hardly imaginable from the wide-angle views one gets from the rim; as an unskilled boater I was able to experience the thrill of big rapids; as an enthusiastic camper I was able to sleep under the stars in remote places unreachable except by water; and as a conservationist I was able to see first hand how close we came to losing a major national treasure, the Colorado River corridor, to dam construction.
In the years since my first trip I have shared my enthusiasm and advocacy for the Canyon with friends and family, with fellow voyagers and with students in my classes. I hope to continue to do so in a wider forum through participation in the GCRRA in the future.
My experience with the Canyon began in 1963, during my freshman year at Arizona State University. It was a hike into Havasu Canyon to the confluence of Havasu Creek and the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon experience continued on land with a number of visits and hikes from both rims over the years. My first river trip was in 2001 and was followed by another "run" in 2004, both made possible, educational and exciting through the wonderful professional outfitter I chose.
Professionally I work in Washington, DC, as Vice President of Hawthorne & York International Ltd, an Arizona company. Previously I was with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Vice President-Washington for CBS, Inc., Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, United States Department of Justice, in private law practice, Arizona, and Legislative Assistant to the Honorable John J. Rhodes (R-AZ).
My wife and I made our first river trip in 2002, the year our daughter left a 5th Ave. Art Gallery and the Hell’s Kitchen apartment she shared with her brother, headed west, and landed a job running day trips from Glen Canyon Dam. By the end of that summer she was swamping on the Colorado River and we were right behind her. Susan has been guiding ever since and Marty and I have had the great good fortune to be passengers on several of her trips. I have also made several trips as Susan’s swamper and I have become an expert at doing all the unpleasant and pre-dawn chores that she assigns as “payback” for her years of having Dad as her high school principal! Frequent contributions to the “River Runner” resulted in an opportunity to join the GCRRA board. It seemed like a good fit for a guy who used to teach biology and who was spending his retirement “managing a horse farm for the wife (Marty) of a retired Marine (me)” and working on Open Space preservation in the Philadelphia suburbs of Chester County Pennsylvania. This spring I attended the River Guides’ Training Seminar and started a program to have passengers record wildlife sightings for Park Service biologists. I hope that you will consider assisting us with this project and that you will continue to support all the people and organizations that work so hard to preserve our great canyon and its river.