Meet Our Family
Sunny Cove is proud to have a diverse group of staff whose love of the outdoors and Alaska has brought them together in this place we call home. Their commitment to the environment and passion for the wildlife and natural beauty is reflected in their quality of service to our guests. Each of our guides complete a Level II Coastal Kayaking Skills Course through the American Canoe Association (ACA) which is taught by two of our senior guides who are certified Level II ACA instructors. A background in outdoor leadership and education along with kayaking skills, awareness of safety and natural curiosity makes for a winning combination. Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a guide with Sunny Cove? Check out our blog to see what our kind of training we offer. Many of our staff members return year after year, ready to continue their exploration of every nook and cranny and passing that experience along to you, our guests. Take a peek at our staff ...
John page, Owner
I came north in 1983. A chance opportunity to test skis for Powder Magazine in the Ruth Glacier was the bait. Ended up falling in love. Cancelled my plane flight three times so I could get better acquainted with Alaska. I've been living in Alaska for 32 years and still have many "to do's" on my list. Alaska's been a great playground for me to pursue my passions and challenge my abilities. I refined my photography skills while working on a book about Wrangell-St.Elias and gained organizational and people skills while serving as Executive Director of several non-profit companies. My skiing abilities were tested while covering the first four years of the world extreme skiing competition in Valdez.
In 1996 I started Sunny Cove. It grew out of the desire to experience living on remote Fox Island. Previous experience kayaking in Prince Williams Sound and Kenai Fjords fueled my desire to share the place I loved with others. It was also an opportunity to educate others about our amazing natural environment. From a two-person start up Sunny Cove has grown into a company with 15 staff members. We have introduced thousands of people to kayaking and the wonders of Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. Each year I have the opportunity to work with a great group of people and look forward to paddling with you this summer.
Kat Page, Sales & Reservations Manager
I spent many years in Florida as a 9-5 working gal and every spare minute indulging in my passion for the outdoors with sea kayaking, white water kayaking, scuba diving, camping, fishing, biking, hiking and painting. In 2004 a group of us from Florida booked a custom kayak/camping trip with Sunny Cove into Northwestern Fjords. It changed my life -- literally! As with many other visitors to Alaska, I found myself wanting to return to explore this beautiful area and in 2006 made Seward my home and began my journey with Sunny Cove. I enjoy working with our amazing staff and providing our guests with once in a lifetime adventures. Sharing this incredible place I call home makes me one happy camper. When not kayaking, John and I can be found outdoors hiking, skiing and traveling to places yet unexplored.
Stephanie Millane, Operations Manager/ Jack of All Trades
I grew up exploring the woods and waters of Wisconsin, building stick forts, stalking rock bass and pheasants, and watching whitetail deer from my dad's tree stand. Early in my 20's I began working winters in the ski industry and sought to find a fun way to fill my summers. In 1998 I began my guiding career leading bicycling trips in SE Alaska. After four summers of cycling, I moved into rafting for two more years.
The spring of 2006 found me talking to John Page about joining Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking. Since the day I arrived I have been absolutely in love with the beauty of Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. Ten years later I'm a full-time Alaska resident and I'm still blown away by how lucky I am to get to live and play in Seward.
Danny Meuninck, Lead coordinator/Lead Guide
Growing up in northern Indiana, I got my first taste of kayaking on the shores of Lake Michigan and have loved being on the water ever since. This will be my fifth summer up in Alaska and my fourth summer as part of the Sunny Cove family. In a past life, I spent 8 years working with college student leaders at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, but took a break from Florida life this past winter to move to the Big Island of Hawai'i where I worked as a deckhand and swim guide for sightseeing and snorkeling trips.
I have a passion for being an educator and can think of no better office and classroom than the great outdoors. I currently am a certified Level II Coastal Kayak instructor with the American Canoe Association (ACA), Wilderness First Responder (WFR), certified Alaskan Tour Guide, and Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator.
I love guiding trips and teaching people about the epic wonder that makes up the Alaskan wilderness. Alaska is a place every person should visit at least once in their life and I am blessed to be able to call this beautiful place home during the summer. Looking forward to sharing my backyard with you and seeing you on the water!
ANDREW GIACOMELLI, ASSISTANT COORDINATOR/LEAD GUIDE
Hello and Howdy! Roaming the apple orchards and coastal redwood forests of northern California's wine country fermented my fond relationship with the natural world thriving all around us. Floating through a Marine/Coastal Ecology and Outdoor Recreation degree at California State University Monterey Bay, I fell in love with the coastal areas ocean-minded culture and rugged Big Sur wilderness. The flourishing biodiversity of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s bountiful marine life provided an excellent integrated educational classroom, and recreational play(wave)ground.
During my undergrad career I grew into my booties as a paddler, naturalist, and all around outdoor enthusiast working with youth, college peers and professional guiding outfits in Monterey Bay and greater California. Since graduation I've led sea kayaking trips in the wildlife rich waters of the California coast, guided canopy zipline tours in both the California coastal redwood and moist Alaskan temperate rainforests, volunteered instructing the budding Outdoor Leadership Program at CSU Monterey Bay, fine woodworking with papa Giacomelli’s Furniture and Clock Repair business, and taught alpine skiing in the mountains of Telluride, Colorado. Experiencing the immense coastal rainforests and fjords of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula last summer with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking was life-changing. Voyaging back to the Gulf of Alaska for the summer season is the itinerary of a migrating marine bird, wandering whale, and seasoned seasonal sea kayak guide; I’d be a scoundrel to miss it!
Matthew Barnes, Senior Lead Guide
Back in my hometown of Atlanta, both during and after college, I spent years working outdoors in the self-proclaimed "green" industry of suburban landscaping. Yet laboring to manipulate nature amongst the concrete left me quite dissatisfied. Never a huge fan of conventional wisdom, I dropped off the career path, packed up my truck, and wandered up to the last frontier to see what it was all about.
I found a place where nature still manipulates man, and a different kind of outdoors work that's (nautical) miles away from so many chemicals and machines. More importantly, I found ocean kayaking -- an activity which best suits my nature. I haven't really looked back.
Many years now I've been in eco-tourism -- traveling and guiding on the fringes, cultivating and sharing a love of all things wild. I've had opportunity to paddle excessively in Florida and the Caribbean, New Zealand and Baja. But Alaskan waters have jaded me. Rez Bay is still the benchmark I keep returning to. So I'm more than keen to see what she has in store for my guests and me this summer. Aside from being a professional slacker, I'm a certified ACA instructor, a BCU 3* paddler, and a Wilderness EMT. I'm proudly returning to SCSK for my sixth season
Kat Georgia, Guide
This will be my third season returning to Sunny Cove and the great state of Alaska! I was born and raised in New Jersey, but I have been deeply involved in the outdoors lifestyle for many years, hiking, biking and kayaking all over the US (thanks to my parents).
I began the seasonal lifestyle in 2013 by through hiking the Appalachian Trail (a footpath the extends from GA to ME). And directly after completing my hike, I biked 600 miles back to New Jersey. These experiences inspired me to move to Alaska and start my guiding career! Since then I've lived on the tiny Hawaiian island of Kauai, checked off all 50 states, and have worked on a ranch in Argentina! I’m so thrilled to be able to share myknowledge and love for Alaska with you!
I grew up in southern New England, and I was lucky to have a family who introduced me to the outdoors at a young age. Spending time in the White Mountains and on the coast of Maine opened my eyes to wild beautiful places.
I ended up going to college at Eckerd College in Florida. This school really revealed my passion for water sports. After I graduating from college I worked in NYC in the publishing industry for two years. I realized this wasn't the right place for me and decided to head to Patagonia in South America. During this trip I realized exploring places was what I needed in life.
Last year was my first season with Sunny Cove and was hands down the coolest experience of my life. I cannot wait to get back up to Seward and the incredible waters of Resurrection Bay. I hope to see you out there!
I was born and raised in a small town in Iowa called Hudson. At the age of 18, I joined the United States Navy and decided to enlist as an Aircrew Survival Equiptmentman. I was deployed to many places including Asia and the Middle East through which I discovered my love for traveling and experiencing different places and new cultures. After my four years of service, I moved to Hawaii where I spent the majority of my time outside either surfing or hiking. I lived there for three years before moving back to Iowa to finish my degree in Leisure Youth and Human Services with an emphasis in Outdoor Recreation at the University of Northern Iowa.
I spent the last two years at University of Northern Iowa working as a Trip Coordinator. My job is to take students and faculty on outdoor adventures all around the Lower 48 with the occasional international adventure. This year we have led trips that include backpacking the Grand Canyon, spelunking in the Rushmore Caves, and rock climbing Taylor Falls, just to name a few. Besides the experiences that I have gained through UNI, I have also participated in the National Outdoor Leadership School and their Wilderness Medicine and Rescue semester as well as an eight-day Outward Bound sledding and cross-country experience in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area. This will be my second summer in Alaska with Sunny Cove. I can’t wait to get back up there and go to bed when it still light out! See you on the water… Go Cubs Go…!!!
The Northern California coast among the giant Redwood trees and amazingly beautiful rocky coastline is where I call home. My passion for living life among the creatures and wonders of the outdoors was sparked here and still makes my heart leap with joy every time I migrate home.
The love for the outdoors grew even wilder during my pursuit of a degree of Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Botany at Humboldt State to University, also on the California coast. Through my years in college, I spent my days backpacking, white water kayaking, raft guiding, surfing, nerding out on plant identification, and mastering my outdoor skills. Since I’ve graduated I’ve had the chance to work in Moab, Utah as an adaptive raft guide, in Alaska as an outdoor educator, and lived and worked on a tender boat packing Salmon in southeast Alaska. The fire for adventure and the pursuit of an outdoor life is alive and well.
I am incredibly stoked to be coming back to Alaska to kayak and share the land and creatures that thrive in this beautiful place.
Born in New York, I was thankfully uprooted from the city life early so I could grow up among the rolling hills, towering redwoods, and rugged coastline of Northern California. As a stubborn young sprout, I was bribed with trail snacks (read: M&Ms) to get out and enjoy it all, but I soon realized my parents had the right idea. I spent my formative years exploring the wilds of the west coast, backpacking in the Sierras and playing in the Pacific year round.
My thirst for adventure and new experiences eventually led me back east to Colgate University, where I learned what true winter was and joined the Outdoor Education program. Through leading trips—everything from backpacking, kayaking, tree climbing, stand up paddleboarding, moonlit snowshoeing, and more—I discovered the incredible gratification that comes with sharing my passion and knowledge of the outdoors with others.
Since I graduated in May of 2014, I have alternated between putting my International Relations degree to use while working in Washington, D.C. in the non-profit sector, and taking off into the wide world when the office life gets me restless. My wanderings have taken me all over the country by car, up to Alaska once or twice, and south to the Andes in Ecuador and Peru. Last summer my itchy feet brought me back to one of the most spectacular places I'd ever been -- the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska -- for my first season with Sunny Cove. I'm very excited to return this year to continue exploring the waters of Resurrection Bay and sharing it unique wonders with you!
I grew up in Victor, New York and most recently lived in Hawaii. Prior to Hawaii I lived in Alaska, South Korea, Washington, and Hong Kong. I have also spent good chunks of time in Mexico and Colorado. I have traveled to Thailand, mainland China, and some of Europe.
I have a university degree in Expeditionary Studies with a concentration in sea kayaking. I have also taken BCU courses, I am PADI open water certified, and occasionally take meditation courses here and there.
My last guiding stint was with Sunny Cove where I was blessed with the opportunities to go on a kayak camping trip, glacial sea kayaking tours, and many day trips. I also guided for a season in the San Juan Islands, where I led many camping and day trips. Additionally, I have kayaked in Hawaii, Washington, South Carolina, Nova Scotia, Mexico, and Hong Kong.
I want to learn more about every facet of Alaska, all of the ology's and ography's. I want to share my passion and love for the outdoors with everyone!
I grew up in Miami Beach Florida and then went all the way to Alaska Pacific University to attend college. During my four years in school, I traveled all throughout Alaska, eventually graduating with a degree in Outdoor Studies and a minor in Environmental Science.
I have spent the last winter in Key Largo Florida working on my tan (and guiding sea kayaking trips). I've been on many adventures including a 19-day kayaking expedition in the Bahamas and a 21-day backpacking expedition through the Talkeetna Mountain Range. I have also led four different trail crews with the Student Conservation Association in Anchorage, Chugach National Forest, Wrangell-St.Elias and Rocky Mountain National Park.
I love getting people excited about the environment, and teaching people about the places they visit. I'm looking forward to meeting you this summer!
Howdy hey, I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. It was here that I developed a love of spruce trees, mountains, and all things wild and free. I’ve got adventure in my blood and have spent much of my time in Alaska exploring the nearby mountains and oceans. In Alaska I learned the fundamentals of guiding, risk management, and the necessity of insect repellent by working at an environmental education based kid’s camp for three years.
I recently graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Ethnobotany in which I studied botany, environmental education, and outdoor leadership. At Western I worked in the Outdoor Center for two years as a guide where I led groups of college students and alumni on backpacking, sea kayaking, and biking trips out in the Mt Baker Wilderness and the San Juan Islands. On weekends I headed up to Mt. Baker to work as a ski instructor and to play in the Baker backcountry.
Since graduating I have spent the past year pursuing my dirt bag dreams which has involved living out of my friend’s car for two months while exploring the West Coast, backpacking around South America for three months, and being a semi-professional ski bum in Alaska and Washington. When I am not playing on the mountain or ocean you can find me brewing kombucha, crafting sauerkraut, and playing piano. This will be my first season at Sunny Cove and I couldn’t be more excited to join the crew!
I hail from the great city of Baltimore, MD. I grew up a total water rat - my mom put me in "Mommy and me" swim lessons as a baby and I'm pretty sure I could swim before I could walk! As a kid I spent lots of time on the water and also participated in competitive swimming most of my life. I went to college in New Hampshire and took up another water sport - rowing!
After college I took typical jobs which never really appealed to me. Eventually I stumbled upon a camp on the coast of North Carolina advertising an Outdoor and Environmental Educator Instructor position. I landed the job and loved it. I've been teaching Outdoor Environmental Education for many years while traveling through NC, PA, ME, CA, WA, TX, WI and HI.
After a few years of teaching I became more intrigued by the more expedition style of education and went on to pursue guiding wilderness trips including backpacking, sea kayaking, sailing, snorkeling and more. I have been a lot of places and all of them have felt like home to me, especially the people I've met along my journey. They are a big part of my feeling of home too. There is that saying, "home is not a place, but a state of mind."
I want to share with people a most memorable experience. I'm a Wilderness First Responder, a fried chicken addict, a sun lover and I'm always improving my skills as a leader. New experiences, new explorations, and uncharted territory gets me stoked! I'm looking forward to my first summer in Alaska!
I was born in Buffalo, NY and have moved throughout the country, living in six other states and now reside in Alaska. I am a current student of Alaska Pacific University in the Outdoor Studies program. I have picked up many lessons in my travels, and in a way you could say I'm a Road's Scholar. While I'm fairly new to guiding, I am a professional adventurer and have lead a number of personal trips including back packing Indonesia and a bicycle tour of Ireland. I'm hoping to spend my summer gaining some professional experience relevant to my major, as well as taking the next step in becoming a serious adventurer. I'm a Wilderness First Responder, certified at Level 2 Kayaking by the American Canoe Association and have been known to demonstrate fire breathing and knife throwing as a parlor trick.
Laurie Millane, Sales & Reservations
I'm a native born and raised Sconnie, and when I'm not in Alaska I call Wisconsin home. Growing up in rural Wisconsin was the best and even today it is still a beautiful place to explore. Over the years I've hiked, camped and paddled the multitude of waterways in Wisconsin finding fun around every corner.
My ties to Alaska began at three years old when my Native Alaskan sister came to live with my family. Since then I have always longed to visit The Last Frontier. I had my first opportunity to visit when my daughter began working seasonally in Alaska in the late 1990's. The first time I visited Seward I fell in love with the area and I've been returning every year since. Everything I experienced in Seward told me I was "home." Eventually my family and I purchased property and a business near Seward. This year I'm excited to add joining the Sunny Cove team to my Seward experiences. I look forward to meeting you all!