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.

MICHAEL TAYLOR

Kayak Instructor / River Guide / Adventure Travel

Michael is a passionate river enthusiast with a wicked sense of humor. His favorite rivers are the Cascades of the Nantahala, the White Salmon, or rowing the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. You can find him hiking in the Smokies, contra dancing, or working on earning his pilot’s license.

CANDICE CALDWELL DAY

Guest Relations Coordinator / Kayak Instructor / Graphic Design

Candice is a former US Canoe/Kayak Slalom Team member, paddler for 20+ years, former aerial circus performer / coach, and MFA visual artist. Her favorite rivers are the Chattooga, Cheat Canyon, Grand Canyon, and the White Salmon in WA. Candice loves to adventure with her family, paddling, snowboarding, and making magic in the forest on their homestead, Daydream Ridge.

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, selling mountain real estate, or hanging with his Chihuahua, Skittles.

ZUZANA MONTAGNE

Kayak Instructor / Reservations & Retail / Nantahala Guide / In house Slalom Coach

An avid competitive slalom boater for many years, Zuzana calls Bryson City, NC, home. She majored in English at Belmont Abby College. She grew up paddling with her dad 30+ years ago, and has been on the water ever since. Zuzana is a bit of a legend here at ERA because her uncle was Vladamir Vanha, the founder of NOAH kayaks. In her free time, she can might be weaving custom rugs with her husband, coaching NRC’s Kids Kayak Club, swimming, or hiking with her dog, Cora.

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!

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.”

BRADEN "DIRTY HIPPIE" HENRY

Retail Manager​

Braden keeps our store running and is a customer service expert. Her favorite river is the Chattooga River. You can find this busy lady mountain biking, trail running, selling mountain real estate, practicing as a massage therapist, volunteering in Guatemala, and generously taking care of her family and others in her community.

BEN GRISWOLD

River Guide / Kayak Instructor / Adventure Travel

A Florida native, Ben is now shredding his way to kayaking and adventure guide stardom. His favorite rivers are the Tallulah and Cheoah Rivers. You can find him teaching paddling for Southwestern Community College Outdoors, doing daredevil backflips off of cliffs, sharing his glowing positive attitude, or hanging with his giant Malamute, Navi.

NICK LOMAS

River Guide / Kayak & C-1 Instructor

Nick is a former slalom racer from the Atlanta area. His favorite river is Chattooga Section IV. You can find Nick grooving to jam band concerts and he loves spending time enjoying the outdoors with his friends.

BRITT PAYNE

​River Guide / Kayak Instructor

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

OLIVIA MCGINNIS

Kayak Junior Instructor / Kids Camp Specialist

Olivia began paddling with her dad and in ERA’s kids camp… coming up within the sport and currently dominating the Junior Women’s fields in Freestyle Competitions and Creeking. At the wise age of 16… she loves driving her friends to the river!

COOPER REINERT

River Guide

​Cooper is a Western Carolina University Outdoor Rec major and expert Slackliner. He loves the Colorado River and being outside climbing, paddling, or slacklining with his friends!

AMBROSE SLEISTER III

Kayak Instructor / Nantahala & Ocoee Guide

Hailing from Warrenton, Georgia, Ambrose is a High School Special Education Teacher who has a passion for the outdoors. He’s been paddling for 8 years and if he could pick one river to paddle on, it would be the Chattooga River. On his days off he enjoys swimming and fishing by a river with his beautiful wife and pup.

DAISY GOULD

​River Guide / Kayak Instructor

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

REEVE MCNAMARA

20+ years of teaching, guiding, and leading trips, for Endless River Adventures

If he is not working he can generally be found somewhere in the woods adventuring and screaming words of encouragement usually to others, but sometimes to himself.

JOSEPH EATON

Nantahala and Ocoee Guide / in-house photographer

Joseph is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and just graduated from Western Carolina University with a major in psychology. . His favorite adventure spot is Psycho Rocks in Crested Butte, Colorado. In his spare time he enjoys slacklining, exploring the biodiversity of the Smoky Mountains, and magically capturing the world with the help of his camera.

CHANEL FRIEDRICH

Retail / Reservations / Nantahala Guide

Chanel just graduated from Sweet Briar College with a major in Economics. During her time at SBC, she was an outdoor instructor and intern to the President at Sweet Briar College. Williamsburg, Virginia is her hometown, so it is no surprise that her favorite river is the New River Gorge– the first place she rafted and the location of her favorite secret climbing campsite

EMILY SLEISTER

Retail & Reservation Specialist

Once upon a time, Nashville was Emily’s hometown, but she now lives in southern Georgia on a beautiful farm with her husband, Ambrose. She has a passion for growing plants and loves learning about native species. When not at work, she can be found making coffee, on a trail run at Deep Creek, or swimming with her dogs.

TOD MCCHESNEY

Kayak Instructor / Nantahala and Ocoee Guide

After a several-year stint in Switzerland, Tod now lives in Bryson City with his wife. He loves to mountain bike, kayak, hike and trail run all over the Smoky Mountains. He’s been paddling for 18 years and calls the Ocoee River his favorite. He also loves Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings series, and Led Zepplin.

TYLER STINSON

Nantahala Guide / Ocoee KG / Kayak Instructor

Tyler is currently located in Grenada, West Indies, studying to be a Doctor of Medicine at St. George’s University. School is his fulltime job but he used to work as an EMT in Colorado and Vermont. He’s been paddling all over North America for 20+ years but started as a kid on the Nantahala.

ERIN JENNINGS

Nantahala Guide

Erin has been a river guide and paddler for years and considers the Nolichucky and Nantahala as her favorites. When not guiding, she is a photography professor and campus recreation employee at The University of Memphis or trying to keep up with her rambunctious son, Otto.

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.

MARY MORGAN

Cheoah River Guide

You know you have earned something special when you are one of our Cheoah guides. Mary is a child of the river, having grown up on the Chattooga River. She shares her passion for the river with her mother, who has spent her life on the river and introduced a 3-year old Mary to her passion. When not guiding on the Cheoah or the Chattooga, you’ll probably find Mary on a trail leading to the river, in her kayak or at an epic waterfall.

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.

RED ASHTON

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.

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

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.

MIGUEL MORERA

Our trips in Costa Rica would not be the same if it weren’t for Miguel. Working with Miguel for 26+ years is what has made our trips so successful. He not only drives for us, but shares his home, his family and his love of Costa Rica with us.

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.