About Us

Board of Directors & Staff

Our volunteer Board and members are what help make Paddle Alberta the great organization it is. Their passion for getting people out paddling is what makes them so great for the job.

Our Board of Directors are elected for 1 year terms at our Annual General Meeting in Spring of each year.

Paul Kopjar

Welcome to Paddle Alberta! I'm thrilled to be on the Board with such a wonderful group of caring volunteers and staff. We're lucky to have their passion and connections guiding our paddling community. For my "day job" I work as Assistant Director at Kuriakos, a camp and outdoor ed centre on Sylvan Lake. I love teaching canoeing and getting other people excited about their new skills. When I can swing it, my favourite thing is to jump in on an overnight trip.

Ben Schmidt

Ben works full time in an accounting job in Calgary but when he's not tied to his desk he loves spending time hiking and canoeing. He is an OCC Field Leader and Overnight instructor as well as a Paddle Canada moving water tandem instructor. For the past 8 years he has been a volunteer leader with Pioneer Camp Alberta in a variety of different roles.

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Keo Ohler

This summer, Keo gets to spend her time on the North Saskatchewan River while working as the Education Coordinator at HeLa Ventures. Although she loves running canoe courses on both the lake and the river, Keo most enjoys river tripping! As an instructor and board member, Keo hopes to make all kinds of paddling exciting and accessible to kids. Fun fact: Keo can be easily identified in the wild by her love of purple gear!

Sydney Walsh

Education Director,
Sydney is an avid paddler and flyfisher. She has been teaching various paddling programs and courses for over 10 years and currently works for the U of C Outdoor Centre. She is passionate about helping people get outdoors and feel confident to do the things they love.

Tanner Fisher

Paddle Canada Rep,
Bio coming soon

Mike Horembala

Environment Director,
Mike has been a high school teacher and outdoor educator for over 30 years. He is a Leave No Trace Master Educator, Outdoor Council of Canada Field, Paddle and Overnight Instructor and Paddle Canada Lake/Waterfront Instructor Trainer and Seakayak Instructor. His passion has been to educate people to be stewards of the wilderness areas we love to recreate in. Mike has been Environment Chair on an off for 12 years.

Logan Jones

Instructor Rep,
Logan is a gradate from the MRU ETOL program and is currently the Youth Programs Manager at the U of C. He's passionate about getting kids outside learning and having fun. He's an intermediate PC Moving Water IT and enjoys remote canoe tripping.

Karla Handy

Executive Director,
is a graduate of the MRU ETOL program and has been working as the Program Services Coordinator for Paddle Alberta from 2011-2023. The job title has been updated to ED as of 2024. She's passionate about paddle sport education and safety. She loves river and lake tripping and "lives to fly fish".