Meet Our 2019 Team
Sunny Cove is proud to have a diverse group 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.
All of our guides are Wilderness First Responders and are assessed for Level 3: Essentials of Kayak Touring Trip Leader, from the American Canoe Association.
Many of our staff members return year after year, to continue their exploration of every nook and passing that experience along to you. Take a peek at our staff!
OWNER (23 YEARS)
John came north in 1983 in pursuit of big mountain skiing. He quickly fell in love and spent a good amount of time skiing, exploring, photographing and writing about Alaska before settling in Seward.
In 1996 he started Sunny Cove on remote Fox Island. Kayaking fueled his desire to share this place with others. Since then Sunny Cove has introduced tens of thousands of people to the wonders of Resurrection Bay, Fox Island and Kenai Fjords National Park.
OFFICE MGR (13 YEARS)
Hailing from Florida, Kat spent her weekends indulging in her passion for the outdoors. In 2004, she and a group friends organized a trip to Northwestern Fjord with Sunny Cove. This was a life changing experience, and she found herself moving to Alaska in 2006 to manage the reservation office for Sunny Cove.
Since then, John and Kat wed, and now can be found outdoors hiking, kayaking, skiing and traveling to places not yet explored.
OPS MGR (13 YEARS)
Stephanie grew up in the backwoods of Wisconsin, running through the forests and fishing the rivers. Skiing is her passion, which left her summers open for exploration. She began guiding in SE AK in 1998 and found her way to Sunny Cove in 2006.
Once here she soon became our Operations Manager and a full-time Alaska resident. She shares with us her nearly two decades of Alaskan experience and is a Wilderness First Responder, and a Certified Alaska Tour Guide Trainer.
COORDINATOR (9 YEARS)
Originally from Atlanta, Matt dropped off the career path, and wandered up to the last frontier to see what it was all about. Matt joined Sunny Cove in 2011 and has since trained and guided in Florida, the Caribbean, Georgia, New Zealand and Baja.
Matt is a certified Level 3 ACA instructor, a BCU 3* paddler, and a Wilderness First Responder. As our most seasoned Lead Guide, Matt is heavily involved in staff training and day-to-day operations of Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.
COORDINATOR (7 YEARS)
Northern Indiana gave Danny his first taste of kayaking and he has been on the water ever since. He joined Sunny Cove in 2013 and has since worked as a guide in Hawai'i and an outdoor education instructor in Malaysia. He has an education background and spent many years working in student leadership development at the University of Central Florida (UCF).
Danny is a certified Level 2 ACA Coastal Kayak Instructor, a Certified Alaska Tour Guide, a Leave No Trace Master Educator and a Wilderness First Responder. Danny assists in facilitating our training program and day-to-day operations.
LEAD GUIDE (5 YEARS)
Arthur grew up in the greatest state that starts with a C. Connecticut that is! He was able to find his love for wilderness by hiking in the Appalachian mountains and paddling on any body of water he could get on.
Arthur is a true believer in the importance of reconnecting with nature and there is nowhere better in the world for that than Alaksa. This will be his fifth summer working for Sunny Cove and in the Kenai Fjords. For Arthur, this place has the power to change your life and outlook on what is possible.
Arthur has been trained as an Alaska Tour Guide, Leave No Trace, is a Wilderness First Responder, and has a Level 2 ACA Certification.
LEAD GUIDE (3 YEARS)
Russ originally hails from MA, and graduated from Nichols College. While in college he traveled through Africa, Asia and S. America, eventually ending up in Asia teaching English. After his stint in Asia he moved to Bar Harbor, ME to pursue kayak guiding.
Russ loves to share his joy of kayaking and the beauty of the ocean. He's a Wilderness First Responder, has his ACA Level 3 Assessment and is a Registered Maine Guide.
GUIDE (3 YEARS)
Emma grew up exploring beaches and boats in Connecticut before moving to Maine to get her degree in Geography from the University of Southern Maine. She's kayak guided in Acadia National Park, is an Outward Bound Alumni and has backpacked through the Rockies, Utah, Ecuador, Chile and Patagonia.
Emma loves to share the beauty of our natural environment and always makes sure all of her paddlers has a great time on the water. She is a Registered Maine Guide and a Wilderness First Responder.
LEAD GUIDE (3 YEARS)
Emmy hails from Atlanta, GA where she worked as a high school math and physics teacher before deciding to pursue a career in outdoor guiding and education. She has spent significant time living in Guatemala, England and her car while exploring the American Southwest. She has worked and guided in Pisgah National Forest, NC, Desolation Wilderness, CA and on the volcanoes and mountains of Guatemala.
When she's not kayaking, you can find her weight lifting, baking sourdough bread, and exploring Alaska's hiking trails. She recently earned her Level 3 ACA Coastal Kayaking Instructor credentials and is also a certified Wilderness First Responder.
RESERVATIONS (5 YEARS)
Laurie is a native born Sconnie, and when she's not in Alaska she calls Wisconsin home. Over the years she's hiked, camped and paddled the multitude of waterways of home finding fun around every corner.
Her ties to Alaska began at three years old when her Native Alaskan sister came to live with her family. Since then she has always longed to visit The Last Frontier. The first time she visited Seward she fell in love with the area and has been returning every year since. Eventually, Laurie and her family purchased a business near Seward. Look for Laurie at the Adventure Center, or out adventuring around Seward!
GUIDE (2 YEARS)
Cara grew up around the Great Lakes, and went to college in Michigan, earning a Bachelors in Outdoor Recreation. Following college she went to New Zealand for an internship and spent her time playing in the outdoors, caving, rock climbing and white water rafting.
She picked up a certification in personal training in the US, and worked as a trainer. After, she moved to Germany, and recieved a Masters in Sports Science. She then interned at the Swiss Olympic training center and following, worked with the Expos. She went on to lead group camping trips througout the US for three summers. She is a Wilderness First Responder, and loves to share her experiences with new people.
GUIDE (2 YEARS)
Andrew was born and raised in north Texas, attended the University of Texas and then served in the Peace Corps in Cambodia. After his service, Andrew utilized his degree by pursuing a career in finance. Although he enjoyed the field of finance, he eventually got smart and found his passion as a sea kayaking guide.
From the San Juan Islands of Washington state, to south central Alaska and most recently on Maui, Andrew has led and educated paddlers through a multitude of environments. With a massive amount of excitement, he is returning to Sunny Cove for his second season and will proudly uphold his role as “the Juvenile Bald Eagle”.
GUIDE (2 YEARS)
Christian hails from a small town in Connecticut. A thrill seeker and avid adventurer he has backpacked in Mexico, SCUBA dived in Honduras and has surfed in Puerto Rico. He studied human biology and biochemistry at the University of Southern Maine and just completed a masters of education program.
He was first introduced to guiding at a camp in Maine, taking groups of teenage boys out on week-long whitewater canoe expeditions. This past year he worked as a backpacking guide leading trips through the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park and Havasupai. Christian is a Wilderness First Responder and can't wait to inspire you with the beauty of Alaska.
GUIDE (1 YEAR)
Rachel joins us from Atlanta for her first year with Sunny Cove. She has guided in Jackson Hole, leading interpretive hikes through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park. She’s also assisted in teaching kayaking, backcountry navigation, and small boat sailing courses through North Idaho College’s Outdoor Pursuits program after obtaining a BS in Outdoor Education through Georgia College and State University.
She’s also an avid skier and spends time in Sandpoint, ID skiing as much as possible. She also spent time at Jackson Hole teaching kids the fundamentals of skiing. Rachel loves dancing, hooping, knitting, biking, fermentation, climbing and travel. She’s a Wilderness First Responder, and is very excited to share Alaska with all of you!
GUIDE (1 YEAR)
Nicole has always enjoyed the outdoors and had the opportunity to spend her first summer as a guide in Alaska in 2018 and absolutely loved it. She has experience guiding hiking, rock climbing and ziplining day trips as well as multiday trips for backpacking and mountaineering.
She was born and raised in California, and spent the last few years rotating between Colorado, Montana and Alaska. Nicole has a BS is Biology from UCLA, and has earned her Wilderness First Responder Certification. She’s excited to help people enjoy a great Alaskan experience!