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.

Jacob Matheny Jake Matheny – Guide & Administrator

Modest and soft-spoken, but passionate about rivers, Jake Matheny began guiding on the Haw River in 2008 and immediately started making new paddling friends.

Perhaps its because the Greenville, S.C., native enjoys sharing what he, himself, has found worth experiencing — spending time in nature — or because he has become respected for his insatiable appetite for rescuing stranded paddlers.

As Jake continues his paramedics studies at Alamance Community College near Burlington, he hopes to strike a critical balance between his dual interests in healthcare and wilderness adventure.

Corey_Edwards Corey Edwards –  Guide

Has spent the majority of his years outdoors, learning and loving as much of it as possible. whether it be gardening, cycling, hiking, or boating nature is where he feels at home. Boating for over thirty years,spending the last five whitewater kayaking as often as he can. Learning  basic whitewater on the Haw River just a few miles from where he has lived most of his life.

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.

Tracy Devoe-001 Tracy DeVoe –  Guide

If you want to go out and have a great time paddling the Haw River, Tracy is your gal.  Her passion for outdoor pursuits is personified by her endless enthusiasm for nature.  She has had a busy career guiding in all facets of the field. She started off her pursuits as a climbing instructor for Hard Rock Climbing in the New River Gorge and then went out to Utah to be a Back Country Ranger for The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. She has also worked with college students who desired to learn about caving, canoeing/kayaking, backpacking, raft guiding, and has been an ACA Whitewater Kayak Instructor for six years. She has helped design and lead paddling programs for summer camps and has also helped with the public school systems designing and implementing outdoor living skills for kids that need that extra reassurance that they are awesome. She has a degree in Parks and Recreation Management, is a Nature Instructor for the City of Raleigh, and is a steward of the Wilderness Education Association. She is certified in First Aid and CPR. Her main goal is to get people out on the Haw River and help create a real sense of stewardship that will enable the river to be healthy and clean… and thus, happy.

Lawrence Petersen – Guide

Another popular guide, Lawrence Petersen epitomizes the kind of helpful, friendly and experienced paddler that has drawn so many repeat guests to the Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. He’s as comfortable in a canoe as he is in a recreational kayak, and teaches both introductory level canoeing and kayaking.

Lawrence maintains certifications in CPR and Basic First Aid, manages guest registration and coordinates all of our activities on the water.

In addition to his paddling and administrative skills, Lawrence is a talented professional photographer, with wide-ranging expertise, from commercial art to capturing quiet scenes in nature.

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.