Community wellness through rowing

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Elected Board Members

The Grand Rapids Rowing Club is a member-owned non-profit. The Board members are all volunteer members of the club who serve for a one-year term. They are elected by the members at the club's annual membership meeting each January. Nominations are taken during the November board meeting and are placed on the ballot during December. If any club member wishes to run or to nominate a club member for a board position, please contact a current board member, send a message, or attend a monthly meeting. 

The following elected positions comprise the Board of Directors (starred positions are officers):


  • Primary Club Contact
  • Manage board and staff
  • Regatta and core functions
  • Contracts and rentals

Julie Bennett

Julie began rowing when her second son began HS rowing as a freshman at FHE. Rowing has since become the 3rd most important thing in her life, right behind God and family. She has always loved the water, growing up in Empire and having a father who was an avid fisherman and charter boat captain. Currently, Julie coaches while competing on the Masters' team; continually honing her skills behind the oar. 

Julie holds degrees from NMC, Hope College and GVSU. She has spent over 30 years in education and is currently the Academic Intervention Specialist for New Branches Charter Academy. She sits on the board of Froebel USA and is a guest lecturer. People seem to like her because she is polite and rarely late. She likes to eat ice cream and really enjoys a nice pair of slacks. 

Vice President*

  • Insurance
  • Club affiliations
  • Non profit documentation

Gideon Sanders

Gideon Sanders has been a member of Grand Rapids Rowing Club since 2016, when he decided to get back into the sport after a brief break. He started rowing in 1989 the first day he stepped on to campus at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. He rowed competitively for all four years. Gideon also had the chance to compete three times in the Head of the Charles, The San Diego Crew Classic and the Dad Vails Regatta all four years. Gideon also participated in the Summer Olympic Rowing training under Tony Johnson at Georgetown University in 1992. 


  • Financial liaison
  • Accounts receivable, collections, accounts payable
  • Tax forms
  • Monthly reports

Stephanie Kraus

Stephanie is new to the GRRC Board. She comes with extensive CPA experience as well as collegiate rowing experience. Her bio is being written. 


  • Manage incoming communications
  • Record and publish board meeting minutes
  • Coordinate agenda

Ann Christensen

Ann started rowing because she thinks rowing shells are beautifully elegant machines. A while ago, she took a learn to row class with the Greater Houston Rowing Club. That's all it took. Since then, she has rowed with the Knoxville Rowing Association and the Fort Worth Rowing Club. Lucky for us, she found GRRC and has been a part of our crew since 2015. She loves sculling more than backpacking (which is a lot) and can often be found rowing a handsome single down the Grand River.   


  • Shell, parts and equipment inventory
  • Coordinate equipment repair and maintenance
  • Repair and maintenance education
  • Launch registrations
  • Water jugs, laundry, portable restroom
  • Dock-in/Dock-out
  • Gas and oil

Dave Morrison

Dave Morrison comes to us with 40 years experience as a rower and coach. He currently coaches our adult recreational team. He and his wife, Lynn, have two adult children and live in Kalamazoo. When he's not on the river, Dave enjoys spending time with family and friends, and renovating his garage.

Communications Director

  • Web and social media
  • Media contact and coordination
  • Press releases
  • Mailing list and newsletter

Chris Nelson

Chris is new to our club and new to the GRRC Board. He was a collegiate rower at GVSU where he earned a degree in IT. His bio is being written.  

Membership Director

  • Memberships and dues structure
  • Club social events
  • LTR days, expos and shows
  • Team store and clothing orders
  • Manage waivers and safety certifications
  • Member recruitment, retention, education and mentoring

Kait Riegling

Katt stepped in this fall to fill the director position and was elected to the 2020 Board in January. We will be adding her bio and photo soon.

Safety Director

  • Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, exit signs
  • Gasoline safety
  • Repair reporting and procedures
  • Safety procedures, launches, logbook, PFD, whistles
  • Training for first aid, CPR, boater safety, emergency responder

Steve Lasater

Steve, although born in Nebraska, was fortunate enough to get to grow up in Texas. He has also lived in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Louisiana, before moving from New Orleans to Grand Rapids in 1987 “for the nightlife” (not really). He is a physician with a private practice in the field of Age Management Medicine, Clinical Lipidology, and Hormone Replacement. In addition to having had a long career in Family Medicine, he has also practiced Hyperbaric & Undersea Medicine. Certified as a Divemaster, he loves SCUBA diving, as well as sailing, and it is rumored that he even keeps a motorboat around somewhere. He has also previously been a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. He took a Learn to Row class in 2013, and greatly enjoys rowing in doubles, quads, fours, and eights, as well as in RiverDancer, his vintage single scull. His charming wife Bonnie, lovely daughter Courtney, and supportive son, Peter, have learned to put up with his rowing habit.

Steve’s goal as Safety Director is to help maintain the personal safety of all GRRA members, students, and guests, both on and off the water.

Appointed Board Members

Director of Rowing

  • Coordinates all programming
  • Liaison between Coaches and Board
  • Coordinates season schedule 

Lisa Lawton

Lisa comes to us with corporate and vast organizational skills. She is a great addition to our GRRC Board. 

Junior Booster Representative

  • Appointed by Junior Boosters
  • Appointment approved by board of directors
  • Voting board member
  • Club membership required

David Box

David has just joined us as the Liaison to the Board. His bio and photo is coming. Welcome to the team. 


Marketing & Recruitment Committee - Amy Wolters and David Visser, chairs

Development Committee - Jen Schafer, chair

GRRA is a member of

USRowing logo
State Games of Michigan logo

GRRA is a member of

North American Rowing Association logo
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