The Core Staff

Say hello to our friendly staff!

Joe Jacob –  Owner & Guide

A marine biologist and conservationist, Joe Jacob spent two decades working with The Nature Conservancy — serving as director of science for the Southeastern United States and working two years with the Conservancy’s Alaska office — before launching his first paddlesports business.

Joe has a strong background in aquatic ecology. He has worked as researcher in a marine lab and taught at both the high school and university levels. He also is trained in first aid and is a certified canoe and kayak instructor.

For 14 years, Joe owned and directed another paddlesports business, eventually selling that operation to spend more time helping others discover the places he loves most.

Profile picture Jacob Matheny – Guide & Administrator

Passionate about our rivers, Jacob Matheny began guiding on the Haw River in 2008. Soon finding out there was more to paddling than just putting blade to water. The Greenville, S.C., native enjoys sharing what he, himself, has found worth experiencing, spending time on the river, and introducing the sport to as many people as he can. In the past Jacob has guided, run our summer camp program, our instructional classes, and now handles logistics for the company during the summer season. During the winter months Jacob enjoys running the dam releases in the southeast, with some of his closest friends. From morning flatwater sessions, where the water resembles glass, to some of Appalachia’s most Classic whitewater runs.

KAT profile picKat Lee Scherer –  Guide, Yoga Instructor

Kat Lee has been working, and guiding with the Haw River Canoe and Kayak Co. since the 2013 season. Starting young on the waterways of Massachusetts, Kat found paddling as a way to spend time with family. Drawn to the natural world, Kat pulls a lot of her energy from the sun. Paddling, hiking, swimming, and gardening are some of her favorite things. Graduating from her yoga teacher training in 2015, Kat will be one of our companies stand up paddleboard yoga instructors. During the season you will be able to find Kat running rental, and guided trips out of our Bynum Outpost. She is a strong reminder that people on the river are happy to give.

Alexandra DeSiatoAlexandra DeSiato – Paddleboard Yoga instructor

Alexandra DeSiato teaches Pilates and flow yoga, and most recently Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga. Alexandra enjoys teaching fiery classes and helping her students find space to breathe—especially when the postures challenge them physically! Her goal as an instructor is for her yoga students to experience moments of fast movement interspersed with challenging holds that create space for breathing and reconnecting to intention.

Travis Profile Picture

Travis Vanderpool – Guide

Travis Vanderpool has been working, and guiding with The Haw River Canoe and Kayak Co. since the beginning of the 2014 season. A talented mechanic, dog lover, and whitewater paddler. It is easy to spike Travis’s interest with the mention of going for a paddle. From guiding groups through different stretches of the Haw, running rental operations, to tackling some of The Haw’s wildest whitewater at the peak of flood. Even occasionally finding time to help teach our summer camp kids how to take advantage of the benefits of river life, and using it’s features as an ever changing, and interactive playground. Travis enjoys teaching our stand up paddleboard classes as well, and his enthusiasm is contagious. Anyone could benefit from spending a day with someone as inspired, and humbled by the river as Travis.

matt Matt Gannon – Guide

Matt Gannon has been working, and guiding with The Haw River Canoe and Kayak Co. since the beginning of the 2014 season. Matt is an avid outdoorsman, respectful hunter, fisherman, father of 3, and an experienced paddle sports guide. An encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to outdoor adventure, and skills. Whether it is guiding one of our special events, running our rental operations, or answering a guests question in office, it is easy to tell he thrives in our natural world. Passing on skills he has learned over many years, to our communities youth, and any other person interested in reconnecting with what our land and water has to offer. Anyone would be hard pressed to find an individual more dedicated to sharing what we have to offer at The Haw River Canoe and Kayak Co..

Casey Hayes – Guide & Massage Therapist

Well on her way to becoming a river rat before cars had seatbelts, Casey Hayes spent much of her young life crowded into the old family canoe for days at a time, until graduating to her own kayak at the age of 10.

Her experience as a teacher and guide includes canoe and camping instruction at summer camps, guiding unsuspecting tourists through the alligator-infested Honey Island Swamps at midnight and demonstrating how to safely rescue camping gear when your canoe swamps on the Buffalo River.

Returning to her river rat roots, Casey is especially excited about introducing new folks to the beauty and fun of paddling the Haw. She is, by the way, certified by the American Red Cross in first aid and lifesaving.