Board of Directors

Sara Bell (Treasurer) – Sara is the treasurer for GRAF and the master of keys.

Friends, Heroes, Dog
John Pilson (Vice President) – Originally from Rhode Island, I’ve been living in western North Carolina for 20 years — and sure do love the Green River. My first Narrows run was in 2003 at the age of 43, and a couple years later Chris Bell volunteered me to take over the American Whitewater page for the Narrows, which along with a few side pages became an obsessive labor of love in helping me figure things out…little pieces of history and the players involved. Hands down I have portaged and swam more miles of the Green than any other board member, but perhaps my greatest accomplishment was the creation of our new holiday, Ladshaw Day, now state recognized. In the Summer of 2015 I left Asheville and bought some property way out Big Hungry Road, surrounded by the Green River Gamelands. Living in a 1989 Jayco camper and building a house.

Shane Benedict (Secretary) – Thats right I am the social media manager for the Green River Access Fund. What that means is if you mess up the gate or fence I am going to shame you by posting about it on facebook, twitter, and yes boatertalk. Then I am going to sick Biscuit on you. I started paddling the narrows in 1990 and still love every trip down the river. Woody, a few others, and I started Liquidlogic here in the Saluda/ Hendersonville area because of this section of river. Most of the boats that we design are first floated in her waters. My local community and life is pretty much focused around the happenings of the Green River. Its hard to believe its been more than 20 years. How lucky are we to have such an amazing place to get wet?

Woody Callaway (President) – Woody Callaway first paddled the Green River Narrows in 1989 and can still be seen on a regular basis. I knew from the first run that this section of the Green was going to be my home river and would eventually be the river of choice for class V padders in the Southeast, says Woody. For the first four years we put in at the power plant or at the base of the dam as that section had water with each release. Back in the early days the pipe from the dam to the power plants was in shambles and the release came straight out of the dam. In 1992 we found the current put-in and it soon became the standard. Within a short few years the river started getting popular and parking became a huge nuisance for the locals living at the end of the road. Local land owners were contacted and the Ring family opened their meadow up for us to park but at a price.  At first we asked for donations but we ran short of money and knowing how important this put- in was I started the Green River Access fund and started selling keys to a locked gate which is still the current system.

John Grace (Web Administrator) – John Grace is originally from Indiana where his father introduced him to kayaking at nine years old religiously driving 15 hours each weekend to paddle the rivers of the Southeast U.S.  Upon graduating from Indiana University in 1998 John has since dedicated more than a decade of his life searching for adventure from his kayak.  With accomplishments ranging from first descents  all over the world to being recognized by National Geographic as Adventurer of the year nothing quenches John’s thirst more than a dawn patrol with close friends on the Green River.  You can find John planning his next endeavour in Asheville N.C. where he presides over the video production company AMONGSTiT Inc.