Meet the Team


The Paddle Guy
He is a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch in Traverse City, Michigan.
An avid stand-up paddle-boarder for several years, Jeff also enjoys golf, hockey, and fishing. He lives in downtown Traverse City with his wife Melissa and daughter where you’ll find him spending as much time on the water as possible.  Jeff was on the first Lake Michigan crossing and has been along for Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Erie. Jeff is excited to take on Lake Ontario in 2023 and complete this amazing challenge with his friends.
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A co-founder of Stand Up for Great Lakes, he was born and raised in northern Michigan, Kwin is a keen waterman, traveler, and adventurer. He is a science teacher in the Elk Rapids School District, Owns Twin Birch Golf Club and is a board member of Greats Lakes Historical Shipwreck Society.
A lover of all water sports, Kwin is an expert paddler and is frequently joined by his two yellow labs, wife Megan and his two kids Fitz and Knox. His goal is to show people how amazing and rare these bodies of water and help protect them for future generations! Being one of the original planners and paddlers of the first mission, Kwin is looking forward to increasing the challenge, raising more money/ awareness for the lakes he loves.
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He was born and raised in Metro Detroit and has lived in Traverse city for over 10 years. With a never-say-no attitude, he enjoys everything northern Michigan has to offer, and is proud to be standing up for the great lakes. Joe is a Personal Trainer. When he’s not helping people achieve their fitness goals, he and his wife Sara are up for almost anything involving water, travel, adventure, fitness, or beer. Joe was also an original member of the first expedition crossing Lake Michigan, and has also crossed Lakes Huron, Superior and Erie. He’s looking forward to crossing Lake Ontario in June of 2023.


The Cameran Man, The Producer, The Director

We met this guy at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Corey and his wife Stephanie are passionate about protecting the lakes and promoting Northern Michigan. Corey spends hours of his own time documenting and editing our documentaries and has a true gift for storytelling. We could not have the impact we do without our film director. Corey is the Communications Coordinator for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. He is an Emmy award-winning documentary producer, including an Emmy win following the Stand-Up Team through the Chain of Lakes in 2020.


The Captain

When we first started talking about crossing the lakes, Ryan was the guy that lead us through the ways to get it done. This guy is one of the most important pillars of SUFGL. He has been on each of the crossings with us, is crucial to the planning and safety of each paddle and is the most passionate guy we know. Ryan is our team leader when on the water and calls the shots. We literally could not have done these paddles without him! Ryan is based out of Frankfort Michigan and has a charter fishing boat company and a Trolling Motor Repair Shop! 



Talk about an intense guy, they don’t get more real than Mike Sanders. US ARMY, EMT, Firefighter and one heck of a guy. Mike is our on-the-spot responder, and we are lucky to have him. He was not on our Lake Michigan crossing with us, but he came on board for Huron, Superior and Erie. He knows each of us well enough to know when we need a pep talk. His infamous 3AM chat while crossing Lake Huron will forever be in our memories. Knowing this guy is out there with us makes our team and our families feel a lot better. A first-class man that does what he says he is going to do. Mike is an EMT in Alpena, Michigan and has a beautiful family there. 


The Media Guy! 

Our main goal at SUFGL is to raise awareness about the issues going on and around the lakes. Scott stepped up big time with Lake Superior and Lake Erie and got us a lot of local and national coverage. Now, we’re going international with crossing Lake Ontario. Not only did he write press releases for us and schedule interviews, he also has been one of our biggest supporters from the beginning. Scott owns a company called West Wind Communications and also can be seen flying a hot air balloon all around the Metro Detroit area!
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Board Member! 

Chuck Mueller has been instrumental as a member of our board. He is in his first term but has made huge impacts. He set up our State Theater showing of Crossing Lake Huron and also an Earth Day event located in Traverse City. Chuck has a skill of writing grants and getting groups connected. We are so happy and lucky to have him on board! Chuck lives in the Suttons Bay region and enjoys kayaking and hanging with his grandchildren! 


Board Member! 

Mark has been on our board since the beginning. He not only has helped out with each Torch Lake clean-up but also assisted our students across the Straits of Mackinac! His wisdom and council have been amazing to have when discussing future plans and events. He also serves as our treasurer!
Mark lives in the Acme area and spends his time fishing and hanging with family. 


Junior Board Member! 

Jaida is a student at Elk Rapids High School and has lived in Northern Michigan for seven years. She has participated in the annual Torch Lake Sandbar clean-ups and is passionate about protecting the environment. Jaida also plays hockey, tennis, runs cross country and track, plays snare drum in the high school marching band and serve as the president of Elk Rapids Interact. On top of that, she is the treasurer of the student senate executive board, and a delegation leader for Michigan Youth in Government. During her free time, she is an avid hiker, paddler, and outdoor enthusiast.


Junior Board Member! 

Paige Peters is a senior at Elk Rapids High School and has grown up in the Chain of Lakes region. Paige was a part of the 2nd youth Stand Up for Great Lakes paddle, paddling across the Straits of Mackinac to promote awareness about the Great Lakes Compact and PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination. She also helped paddle in the Chain of Lakes paddle in 2020. Paige is passionate about environmental law, working as the captain of a mock trial team and as the president of the Elk Rapids High School Eco-Club. Paige loves to spend her spare time hiking trails throughout Michigan. 


Behind the Scenes! 

Megan is so crucial to Stand Up for Great Lakes! She not only is in charge of inventory/ shipping / newsletters, she updates our donor list, sends thank you notes and also keeps things organized! She is also in charge of posting updates during the crossings. We literally could not do any of this without her! Megan a transplant to northern Michigan and she will never go back! She loves spending her time outside. She bikes, travels and has a deep connection with the lakes! Megan is currently a Nurse in the Traverse City Area and is married to paddle boarder and co-founder Kwin. She’s a great mom to their two kids, Fitz and Knox! 


Boat Crew 

Our safety boat team, Tyler and Becky! They signed on to do Lake Huron and Superior! Their boat is literally the best safety boat we could ask for. Auto pilot, blue lights that aluminate the water and a perfect swim platform to jump onto in case of emergency. We are so glad they have committed to our goal of crossing the Great Lakes. Across Superior, they ran into such thick fog that would make most people turn around, but they are committed to the cause! They have positive comments when we need them the most and were clutch on Superior at night. Tyler and Becky live in the Williamsburg area and enjoy boating, and living life to the fullest! 


The Apparel Queen! 

Our other behind the scenes person. Jo is clutch in apparel. She makes most of our gear and donates time and money to the cause. She folds, prints labels and ships all of our apparel for us.
She also shares or comments on each one of our posts which brings awareness to the cause!
Jo lives in Williamsburg with her loving husband, Greg. She has Labrador Retriever breeding business and t-shirt shop all located at her house! Thank you for all you do!

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