Community wellness through rowing

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Next board meeting

  • 19 Jul 2022 7:00 PM Grand Rapids Rowing Boathouse: 291 North Park Street

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 IT Education Specialist at NorthPointe Christian Elementary. 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
  • Program Liaison

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.   


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

Katie Wynalda

Katie has always been active, participating in tennis and volleyball in high school and field hockey in college.  Katie began rowing with the club in 2019 after purchasing a learn to row class from her school auction.  She grew up spending her summers on Gun Lake and has always loved being on the water.  

Katie has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with an accounting emphasis from Hope College and a Bachelor’s of Education from Calvin College.  She currently teaches 2nd/3rd grade at NorthPointe Christian Elementary School.


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

Amy Acton

Amy began rowing with GRRC in 2020 as a new sculler. It was quite obvious that she was quite an asset to the club on and off the water. She has undying spirit and great tenacity. Her bio will be up soon. 

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

David Visser

Raised in Grand Haven, David studied at Florida State University, Central Michigan University, and the University of Colorado before returning to West Michigan to live in downtown Grand Rapids. A starboard oarsman on GRRC's Masters Competitive crew, David has raced in regattas all over the country. He was a finalist in 2019's Masters Nationals Championships and has medaled 20 times.

Director of Rowing

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

Open Position

Currently, this is an open position on our GRRC Board. Until the position is filled, other members of our board will be lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure that all bases are covered. If you are a current member or a community member with rowing experience and would like to join our club and apply for this position, please email the board and schedule an interview.


  • 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

Reuben Martin

Reuben is a veteran of our club, having rowed over a decade with GRRC. He has lent his knowledge and talent in many areas and has rowed with our competitive team for a number of years. We are privileged and honored to have him serve as our Boathouse Director. His bio will be coming soon.

Co Director

  • 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

Open Position

This is an unofficial, non elected position, but quite essential, as the maintenance of the boathouse is a BIG job. We are happy to have Fritz step up on lend, not only his talents as a repairman and craftsman, but his leadership skills and keen insights into how to progress the club. Welcome, Fritz Hartley. 

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.

Communications Co-Director

  • External Communications
  • Web and social media
  • Media contact and coordination
  • Press releases

Bonnie Mulder

Growing up, Bonnie avoided athletic endeavors at all costs, but watching her kids row for this club and for their college teams inspired her to give rowing a try. She signed up for a Learn to Row class, and finally found her athletic groove. Bonnie loves sweep rowing with the other members of the recreational team and sculling with her husband Gary. Shefinds her time on the river to be beneficial physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Bonnie's degrees in education and counseling have led her to work as a middle school teacher and a camp administrator as well as positions supporting the homeless population in Grand Rapids and most recently supporting higher education at Calvin University. In addition to rowing, she loves to travel and spend time up north. She is currently a board member for Camp Roger and serves as an elder at her church.

Communications Co-Director

  • Internal Communications
  • Web and social media
  • Media contact and coordination
  • Mailing list and newsletter

Lori Harrison-Smith

Lori is new to rowing, falling in love with the sport after her first Learn to Row class in the summer of 2021. Although she was already a fan as a parent of one of the GRRC junior rowers, traveling to the regattas to cheer him on. Lori's day job focuses on community building and engagement and she loves that being part of the Grand Rapids Rowing Club is also a community experience. She's a writer, editor, hobby photographer, pet love, and also enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, bingeing Ted Lasso and (also bingeing) chocolate mousse.

Appointed Board Members

Junior Booster Representative

  • Appointed by Junior Boosters
  • Appointment approved by Board of Directors

Megan Kilburn

Growing up in Princeton, NJ, Megan was exposed to rowing at a very young age.  She was a three season athlete in high school and ran cross country in college.  Megan moved to Grand Rapids 15 years ago with her family and since then has volunteer coached lacrosse, soccer and basketball, mostly for East Grand Rapids recreation.  Megan has two daughters. One who rowed in 8th grade and is now in college and the youngest is currently an 8th grader and is rowing for the first time this year.  Although new to rowing terminology, Megan has a long history of advocating for student athletes.


Marketing & Recruitment Committee - Amy Wolters

Development Committee - Jen Schafer, our wonderful and "Get it done at all costs" Chair, is stepping down. If you are interested in serving as our Development Chair, please talk with Jen Schafer or a GRRC Board member. 

GRRA is a member of

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State Games of Michigan logo

GRRA is a member of

North American Rowing Association logo
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