The ACA is pleased to announce our May Kokatat Instructor of the Month—Ron Smith from Pinckney, Michigan!
Ron has been a paddling enthusiast for over thirty years growing up in the Great Lakes Region. After becoming an ACA Instructor, Ron formed Black Parrot Paddling, LLC and along with his wife, Suzanne, who is also an ACA instructor, has taught canoeing, kayaking and SUP to hundreds of clients over the past 18 years. Ron has served in the past on the board of the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Club and as Safety Officer for the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium held yearly on the shores of Lake Superior. He serves as Senior Paddlesport Director overseeing the canoeing, kayaking and SUP programs for YMCA Storer Camps in Southeast Michigan. Splitting his time between southeast Michigan and Gulf Shores, Alabama, Ron is working to establish a cadre of ACA instructors along Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts in order to provide quality instruction resources for the growing Gulf area paddling community. Ron is a Level 5: Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor, Level 4: Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer, Level 2: Essentials of Canoe Touring Instructor Trainer, and Essentials of SUP Instructor. Ron also holds the ACA Adaptive Paddling Endorsement.