Staff

We can never say it enough:
Our true strength lies in our staff

A hand-picked group, our staff of river professionals shares in our commitment to you. Each staff member that has worked here has left his/her own imprint on Endless River Adventures. And together we all take pride in the fact that we do not rest on our reputation, but work as hard now to keep your respect and trust as we did to originally earn it.

Spending time with us can be a catharsis to the reality of hectic schedules and lack of quality time together in a busy world. Whether it is driving into the Nantahala Gorge or traveling with us in Costa Rica or Ecuador, you will find spending time with us helps change your life pace for the better!

You will always be welcome when you walk through our doors!

KEN KASTORFF

The Big Boss Man / El Jefe / Fly Fishing Guru

​Co Founder of Endless River Adventures and leader in the paddling industry since 1992. Original inventor of the C-to-C kayak roll. His favorite river is the Reventazon in Costa Rica. You can find Ken fishing on the river, crafting beautiful buildings (he’s a 3rd generation master stonemason), or playing frisbee with his border collie Cody.

CODY KASTORFF

Shop Dog

Cody is Ken’s beloved Border Collie — He’s an expert Frisbee hunter and you can find him running down by the river or around the shop, herding his people.

JULIET JACOBSEN KASTORFF

The Boss Lady / Head Kayak Instructor / Adventure Travel

Co Founder of Endless River Adventures and leader in the paddling industry since 1992. Her favorite river is the Quijos River in Ecuador. You can always find Juliet playing on the river or down at the slalom gates, or working with the Nantahala Racing Club’s Kids Kayak Program.

MISTY LOU

Shop Dog 

Misty Lou is Juliet’s beloved Border Collie. She is an avid frisbee player and always eager to greet everyone who visits us at the shop. 

DANNY SKUHROVEC

MacGuyver / River Guide / Logistics Czar

Danny loves his big trucks and tinkering, welding, fabricating, building…. He is our go-to hero when it comes to saving the day. He is an expert river guide, loves his dogs, the Ocoee River, and says you can always find him – “Somewhere fixin’ somethin.”

MARY MILLS

Nantahala River Guide, Reservations, Kids Camp

Mary is an avid kayaker and has been on staff with us since 2016. Her favorite rivers are the Rio Quijos in Ecuador and the Ocoee River. When she is off the river she is likely hiking her dogs Lina and Rio. 

PARKER PEREA

Retail Manager​

Parker brings his multi faceted experience as avid kayaker, retail, and sales rep to our retail operations, as well as the river.  Growing up on the rivers of Alabama, if he is not here, he is most likely on the river, either hucking a big drop or enjoying a vertical day of playboating.   

CRAIG PARKS

Lead Kayak Instructor / River Guide / Adventure Travel

Craig is a phenomenal boater and paddling guru, working with Endless River for over 20 years. He can’t even name his favorite river, there are too many. You can find him on the water, taking professional photos, or selling mountain real estate.

NICK JOHNSON

Began guiding for ERA in 2010, he’s been fishing his entire life and has been a professional fishing guide for 12+ years.

Hometown: Franklin, NC

Favorite River: Hiwassee

Where can we find him when he’s not on the river? Doing construction and laying tile, or Relaxing at the lake… probably fishing!

BRITT PAYNE

​River Guide / Kayak Instructor

​Britt graduated from Western Carolina University with a major in Outdoor Recreation. She loves paddling the Chattooga River and Amicalola Creek as well as climbing big rock faces in Kentucky and Tennessee.

RED ASHTON

Cheoah & Ocoee River Guide, Lead Trainer

Whether at the helm of a canoe, a raft, or a kayak, Red is a fixture in the southeast boating community. His guiding has taken him all over the US, and he brings this experience to our team, leading our Cheoah trips. Red manages to balance his time working and playing on the river–including working with the Nantahala Kids Club, upkeep at his Flaming Arrow Campground, and loving on his two golden retrievers.

DEBBIE HOMICH

​Guest Services Manager

​Debbie is a long time member of the Nantahala community and a huge asset to our team.  Her background in ballet may explain her grace on the river.   As far as favorite river – there are too many to count in WNC to say one is her favorite, but as long as she is on the river – either in her canoe, or in a raft, she is happy.

BILLY PAUL

​Cheoah River Guide

Bill is one of our world-class Cheoah guides. He has been guiding on the rivers of the southeast since 1998. When not on the river, Billy calls Chattanooga home, working as a “Senior Weather Coordinator” at Covenant Transportation and playing with his adorable two children.

LINC STALLINGS

Cheoah River Guide

Frequently mentioned as one of the top raft guides in the US, Linc is the ultimate river professional. He has guided on rivers all over the United States and this year is representing the US in Australia for the Rafting World Championships. Linc is one of our team leaders on Cheoah.

HANNAH GROVES

Media, Nantahla and Ocoee River Guide

Hannah is our resident media content producer as well as an avid kayaker. her favorite rivers are the Nolichucky, the South Fork of the Payette and Wilson Creek. Off the water you find Hannah snuggling with her dog Lucy or out behind a camera exploring. You visit Hannah online at hannahgrovesmediahouse.com

CHIP SANDERS

Cheoah River Guide

Chip has traveled from his hometown of Thomasville, GA, to studying physics at Davidson College, to landing in Asheville NC. Using Asheville as his base, Chip divides his time between guiding on the Chattooga River, working as a “draught doctor” at a craft beer restaurant, and guiding with us on the Cheoah River.

ERIN JENNINGS

Raft Guide

Erin has been on staff with us since 2011. Her favorite river is the Nantahala River. Off the water you can find Erin hiking and taking beautiful photographs. 

BOB GERNANDT

Bob has lived and fished in the area for over 40 years.  His passion for fly-fishing includes switch rods and sharing our beautiful mountain rivers. Bob is also a master fly tier.  

When Bob is not guiding you can find him in his master luthier shop building high-quality stringed instruments.  www.gernandt.com

KIRK WEIR

Nantahala Raft Guide

Kirk has been on staff since 2020. His favorite river is the Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica. Kirk is an avid kayaker and can often be found kayaking the Nantahala River with his wife Debbie. 

ZUZANA MONTAGNE

Kids Camps | Kayak Instructor | River Guide

Zuzana has been on staff since 2017 and has been big part of kids camp programming. Her favorite river is the Arkansas River  in CO, Overflow Creek, and the Tamur River in Nepal. Off the river you can din Zuz at the Montagne Handwoven’s weaving studio, teaching school kids in Bryson City, or off playing in the woods with her family. Zuz’s uncle was the late Vladimir Vanha, founder of NOAh Kayaks. 

 

NEAL RIOS

Nantahala and Ocoee River Guide

Neal has been on staff since 2020 but has been raft guiding for a long time. He loves any river he’s on and when he’s not working you will find him in his canoe. 

SARGE COLGATE

Nantahala Raft Guide | Lake Tour Kayaking | First Aid Instructor

Sarge has been on staff with us forever. His favorite river is the Nantahala River and if he’s not on the water, you can find him serving up tasty beverages at the Fryemont Inn in Bryson City. 

BILL DEMENT

Nantahala River Guide

Bill has been paddling for 21 years and if he’s not on the water, you can find him gardening, fishing, or doing a “wineset” from the deck.  

MARK BRANCH

Nantahala Raft Guide

Mark lives in Topton though he hails from Knoxville, TN. Off the river you can find him scavenging firewood, brewing beer and fixing things that aren’t broken. 

ROSE NOEL

Nantahala and Ocoee River Guide

Rose has been paddling since she was 12 years old. She can be found kayaking or making tasty food. The ideal day in her life if waking up in the woods, kayaking with friends and ending up around a campsfire laughing a silly jokes.

KATE STEELE

Kate’s favorite river is the Falls of the James in Richmond. She has been kayking for three years and her version of a great day is coffee, paddle, repeat! Off the water you can find kate exploring the Nantahala National Forest and mountain biking.

LILY BRANDON

Lily grew up in Fort Payne, AL but now lives in Chattanooga, TN. She has been paddling for eight years. An ideal day for Lily is trail running with friends, eating dang good food, and spending all day on or by the water.

LANCE BUSKEY

Ocoee River Raft Guide

Lance’s favorite river are the Russell Fork Gorge, Chattooga, Wilson’s Creek, the Mighty Tuck. He has been paddling consistently for 1 and a half years. An ideal day for Lance is a morning yoga session, a long day on the river, and ending with fireside relaxation with good friends.

CODY C. ADAMS

Kayaking Instructor | Nantahala and Ocoee River Raft Guide

Cody is from Hiawasee, GA. His favorite river is the Chatooga, and when he is not on the river, he is on a lake. 

ZACHARY MEAD

Store and Raft Guide in Training

Zachary is from Stedman, NC but currently resides in Bastrop, TX. Zachary loves fishing, hiking, hanging out in his hammock, working out or hiking. A perfect day is hanging out with his friends and girlfriend in a beautiful place outdoors. 

MADELEINE MONNAT

Junior Intern

Madeleine has been a paddler in the Nantahala Kids Club for seven years. She loves the Nantahala, Ocoee, and Pigeon Rivers and loves hiking and reading. 

ANGEL NUNEZ

​For 20+ years in Ecuador, Angel has been the most important member of our team. He is driver and go-to for anything that needs to be done. He is also the manager of the RioQuijos EcoLodge and keeps everything in order year-round.

TARQUINO YANQUEZ

Ecuador Kayak & Raft Guide

One of the original river guides in Ecuador, Tarquino’s wonderful sense of humor and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. For 10+ years, he epitomized the opposite of a raft guide’s winter migration: heading to Canada to guide during the summer, and then returning to his beloved Ecuador for the winter. Now he calls Ecuador home year-round, with a beautiful wife and little boy to keep him grounded.

KIMCHI

Kimchi is our resident dog at our eco lodge in Ecuador. When you visit the Rio Quijos Eco Lodge, Kimchi will likely be one of the first of our staff to greet you.