Founder & President of the Board
Erik is a USRowing Level III certified coach and founder of the Lake Leelanau Rowing Club. An alumni of Northwestern University, he joined the rowing team and helped negotiate a critical move for the team from the Lincoln Park lagoon to the old coast guard station at the mouth of the Chicago River on Lake Shore Drive. Erik has competed in many national regattas including the Head of the Charles in Boston and the Dad Vail in Philadelphia. He credits the work ethic, team work and life lessons learned from competitive rowing for his early career success.
Viktor Grebennykov – Competition Tract, Juniors and Masters Programs
Viktor is a U23 world champion in the 4x and Olympian in the 8+. He is an accomplished youth nationals junior team and masters/adaptive coach, and continues to compete actively himself, this year finishing 2nd at Club Nationals and 3rd at Head of the Hooch. Viktor aspires to bring a wealth of experience and positive energy to our athletes and programs. He will be joining our club in January 2019 for winter training and continue coaching to help us succeed in the competitive 2019 season.
Caroline Schaefer-Hills – Middle School Program, Masters Practices, Sculling
Caroline has been the Visual Communications Program Coordinator at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City Michigan for the last twelve years and is the lead Faculty. Her background is in Graphic Design and Art Direction, with a BFA from The College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit and an MA in Graphic Design from the Savanna College of Art and Design (SCAD) graduate program. She was accepted into the MFA program at Royal College of Art in London for Graphic Design, and also explored film and new media with graduate work at the Maine International Film and Television Workshops in Rockport, Maine. Caroline is currently completing her MFA from SCAD in Visual Experience Design.
Joe Carter – Juniors Program and Coverage for Masters Practices and Learn-2-Row
U.S. Rowing Level 2 certified coach. My profession – video/film introduced me to both the sport of rowing and Fountain Point. Currently coaching Learn to Row events, one-on-one sculling lessons, middle school and Juniors sessions, Masters and adaptive- with emphasis on the visually impaired. A day I am not learning is a day I am not living. I row and cox when I am not coaching a session. See you on the water!
Gerald Ssemambo – Masters Sculling Boats & Middle School
Gerald Ssemambo from Kampala, Uganda is entering his second year as being an Assistant Coach at our club. While when thinking of rowing, Uganda does not typically come to mind, but it is a sport that Ssemambo’s home country is looking to expand upon as they look to compete at an international level. After being spotted swimming in Lake Victoria with crocodiles and Hippos near his home by a rowing coach in 2011, he hasn’t looked back. Gerald has trained and raced from his native Uganda to the Netherlands, South Korea, Tunis, Austria, Italy, USA and Canada to name a few.
Some of the regattas Gerald has raced in include the World Rowing Under 23 World Rowing Championships 2013 (Austria) and 2014 (Italy) in the single. Medalist from the 2014 African Rowing Championships. Competitor at 2015 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in the single.
Gerald also took part in collegiate regattas including: Dad Vail regatta 2017(Bronze), 2018(Gold) and Finished 7th at the 2018 Nationals(IRA)
Gerald attends Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance.
Andy Hankins – Juniors and Masters Programs; Coverage for Learn to Row
U.S. Rowing Level 2 certified coach.
I began rowing at Grand Valley State University in 1986 and continued to row until I graduated in 1989. After graduation I managed and coached the Grand Valley novice rowing program. I worked as a novice coach with the club for 2 years where I had a men’s novice 4+ that won most of the events they were entered in.
I also coached an extremely successful women’s 8+ that went on to win the gold medal at the Midwest Rowing Championship Regatta in Wisconsin that year.
After leaving the Grand Rapids area and moving to Northern Michigan, I put my rowing on hold until I heard that the Lake Leelanau Rowing Club was alive and well,; but were looking for additional coaching staff.
It has been 3 great years and I have had the opportunity to work with all levels and age groups of rowing at our club. I have to say my heart is in the competition and boats working to perform in regattas. It also has been very rewarding seeing so many adults out on the water just getting some exercise and having the time of their life.
We all have so much to benefit from our wonderful area that we call home.