Leadership (2017)

2017 Capital Rowing Club Board

Executive Board

Kirsten Peterson (President)
Originally from Iowa, Kirsten has been living and working in the DC area for the past 13 years. She currently works as the Human Resources Manager at American Humane, a national nonprofit dedicated to the welfare, wellness and wellbeing of children and animals. Over the years, when not rowing or working she has spent time supporting a handful of nonprofit organizations in a variety of capacities. Kirsten joined the Learn to Row program in 2013 because she’d always been curious about rowing but hadn’t had the opportunity to try it. Kirsten loves the fun, interesting people at Capital, found rowing to be an amazing form of exercise, and loves having a great excuse to leave work at a decent hour! After LTR she went to INR and SAW and now rows with Club PM.

James Mauro (VP of Resources)
James took Learn to Row with Capital in 2012 and has been a member ever since.

Gretchen Abell (VP of Operations)
Gretchen Abell’s rowing career began when she was tapped for coxing by the mighty Oakland Strokes in her California high school days. Following four years of coxing with the BU terriers in the 90s, and some time coaching at MIT during her Masters, Gretchen landed in the Washington DC area where she took on the role of head coach of the Georgetown Visitation Cubs. Shortly after, some light persuasion to cox “just one race” brought Gretchen to Capital. Fifteen years later, Gretchen has coached for several Capital programs, MC-ed many a Cap sprints, and is a long-time member of the Comp Women’s team now entering her eighth term as VP of Operations.

Toni Kerns (VP of Membership)

Toni Kerns joined Capitol in 2013 and is serving her third year on Capitol’s Board of Directors, and second year as VP of Membership. She can be found rowing with Club PM most nights and working on sustainable fisheries policy during the week. Toni found her way back to rowing after many many many years off and can not be happier about being out on the Anacostia with a great rowing community!

Karen “KZ” Zareski (Secretary)

A California native, Karen came to Capital via the Learn to Row program in 2012 and is now a member of Club PM. She particularly enjoys cheering for Capital rowers at regattas, and is committed to ensuring that the Capital community remains open and accessible to rowers of all ages, abilities, and background. When not rowing, talking about rowing, or thinking about rowing, Karen works as on counterterrorism and homeland security issues.

Directors at Large:


Jacqueline Battistini (Social Director)

Abigail Potter
I have been a member of Capital since 2009. During my time at Capital, I have also served on Capital’s Board as Club AM representative in 2010, VP of Membership in 2013 & 2014, and currently serve as a Director at Large for 2017. Besides being a member of Capital, I work for the American Trucking Associations as a Policy and Regulatory Affairs expert.

Caryn Muellerleile
I work in the public sector to try to improve air and water quality. By extension, spending countless hours in recreation on the Anacostia river gives even more personal meaning to my professional goals.

Kate Beukenkamp

Originally from Niceville, FL, Kate learned to row in college on Cayuga’s chilly waters. After a long hiatus and upon landing in Washington DC after law school, she quickly found her way to Capital. Club PM is her destination most evenings, where she enjoys the camaraderie, great exercise and overall fun atmosphere.


Georgia Bullen (All Things Tech)

Georgia Bullen is the Director of Technology Projects with New America’s Open Technology Institute. Georgia joined Capital Rowing Club in Spring of 2014. She started rowing in college at Carnegie Mellon University, where she later coached while rowing with Three Rivers Rowing Association.

Bethany Neumann

Bethany joined Capital through the Club’s Learn to Row Program in 2012. She served on the Board as the VP of Resources 2013-2015, and as a Director at Large from 2016 onwards. Bethany spends her days as a Finance Director at George Washington University and her evenings rowing on the Anacostia with Club PM.

Hunter Gaiotti
Born and raised in rural Vermont, Hunter arrived to Washington in 2013 to pursue a career in International Development. After living in Boston for many years, he was pleased to see how accessible the rowing community was in DC, and enrolled in a learn-to-row program on the Anacostia. Hunter joined Capital Rowing Club in 2016 and is proud to be on a Club with such a diverse group of teammates, offering programs for athletes of all levels.

Stephanie Acerra

Having been a collegiate Field Hockey and Lacrosse player, seeking a sport I could continue to be competitive in, I learned to row after college in 1997. I rowed recreationally in 1997 and 2002-2005, and competitively 1998-2001, and since 2005, and began rowing with the Capital Competitive Sculling and Sweep teams in 2012. In addition to rowing with Capital, I teach math and coach the crew team at a local high school. I also bring the experience of having served on two previous rowing clubs’ boards, as well as having started and served on the board of a not for profit organization funding schools in Uganda.

Mike Neumann


Meagan McAllister (Director of Adaptive Programs)

Meagan McAllister, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) first learned about crew as a high school freshman. She then was a member of the rowing team as part of her time at Ithaca College. As a Recreation Therapist at INOVA Mount Vernon Rehabilitation Hospital, Meagan assists individuals with stroke, traumatic brain injury, orthopedic and cardiac injuries reach their cognitive and mobility goals for community re-entry through involvement in leisure and social activities. Meagan has always had a passion for adaptive sport and has been involved in hand-cycling, quad rugby, amputee soccer, and wounded warrior flag football events. Meagan is thrilled to be a part of the Capital Adaptive family and to promote the inclusion of athletes with various abilities in the rehabilitative, community, and competitive aspects of rowing.

Jen Ney & Ralph Stedman (ACBA Representatives)
Jennifer has been a member of Capital Rowing Club for nearly two decades. Currently rowing with the Women’s Competitive team, Jennifer is a proud graduate of Capital’s Novice Learn-to-Row Program. Jennifer has held many different board positions for Capital and Anacostia Community Boathouse Association (ACBA), most focused on external affairs and local government relations. Jennifer enjoys to cross train for rowing, and is a certified cycling instructor.

Ralph Stedman learned to rowed at the University of New Hampshire, where he stroked the Freshman Eight, spent three years in the Varsity Eight, and served as team captain his senior year. Ralph has rowed for Vesper Boat Club, Durham Boat Club, and Upper Valley Rowing Association.

Michelle Nielsen (Race Czarina)
Rower, runner, crossfitter, coach, photographer, & project manager.

Lauren Cisek (Gear Goddess)
See her bio below as Comp Women’s Rep.

Jenn Ross (Community Programs)

Program Reps:

CARP — Joe Tezak

Club AM — Mark Lance
I am professor of philosophy and professor of justice and peace at Georgetown University. I have served in the past on numerous boards – both of academic and activist organizations. This is my first sports-related board, though I have been active in various sports for 4 decades and taught several, including rowing.

Club PM — Mary McMenamin and Lain Wilson
Mary has been rowing on the Anacostia River since 2006, when she first joined the University of Maryland’s women’s crew team. After rowing for a few summers on the Potomac River, Mary is glad to be back on the Anacostia and, more importantly, to have made a home within the Capital Club PM team. Outside of rowing, Mary works at the National Foreign Language Center, a research center at the University of Maryland. (Things really do come full circle.) Occasionally she’ll call power 10s in other languages to mix things up.

Lain has been rowing, off and on, since college. He has been a member of Capital for the last three years, both with Club AM and Club PM. He moved to D.C. five years ago to work at a research institute, where he is currently the digital content manager.

Club Sculling — Chantel Sheaks
Chantel was in Capital’s learn to row program in 2012.  Due to a heavy travel schedule in 2013, Chantel began sculling, and she has continued since.  She can be found most evenings with Club Sculling, and on the water at random times on her own. During the day, she is an employee benefits attorney.

Comp Sculling — Rob Best

I learnt to row in 2004 and have been at it most years since then. I got into sculling at Capital, continued with Rob Roy Boat Club in Cambridge, and have been back since 2013. Outside of rowing, I am a scientist at the NIH in Bethesda.

Comp Men — Craig “Capital Will Be Great Again” McKay

I am 57 year old guy who married his college sweetheart (who happened to be a coxswain on the rowing team) and subsequently bred to female coxswains (both competed in high school and college) and has now successfully transitioned to be a happy empty nester. I recently retired from 32 years in the civil service to private sector job that enables my rowing addiction. My wife also provides support by coxing two mornings a week. It doesn’t get better than this!

Comp Women — Lauren Cisek

I started rowing in college and have been rowing for Capital for three years. I absolutely love it. When I’m not rowing I’m usually trying to catch up on sleep.

SAW (co-reps) — Sara Grimes and Susie Allen-Serpinski

Sara: I grew up on the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest. My happy place is on or near a body of water. I only wish I had learned to row sooner. I currently live in Germantown Maryland. I have been working as a dental hygienist for 26 years. I have come to love the Anacostia Community Boathouse and hope to row here and contribute to the rowing community for many years to come.

Susie: In my day job, I’m an engineer for the US Navy working on aircraft systems. I started rowing in college at Florida Tech and fell in love with the sport.


Nathan Ballou (Juniors, Club PM)

Guennadi Bratichko (Competitive Sweep)

Elena Bratichko (Competitive Sweep)

Brandon DuBois (Juniors, INR)

Olivia Duckworth (Club Sculling)

Nicole Iribarren (Juniors, Learn to Row)

Emmie King (Adaptive)
Emmie was a founding member of the rowing team for the university of Maryland in college park in 1999. She was the head coach of the women’s program at UMCP in 2002 and the men’s program at UMCP in 2010. Emmie was the assistant coach for Capital’s Club AM program in 2008 and one of the novice sculling coaches in 2009. She’s been assisting CARP since 2015. Otherwise, I’ve been trying to stay in shape with sculling and help her rowing family as much as she can

Jason Johnson (Comp Sculling)
Jason stated his rowing career as a coxswain at Holy Cross in Worcester Massachusetts. By his second year he had grown into the role of lightweight stroke and finished his college career assisting the novice coaches following an injury. After moving to Washington, DC he served as head coach for Trinity College for three years. Following a 20 year hiatus from rowing Jason joined Capital as the Competitive Sculling coach in 2015.

Jai Mitchell (Adaptive)
As a high school rower at Washington-Lee, Jai rowed under the legendary Charlie Butt, and stroked his lightweight eight to a gold medal at the Stotesbury Cup. He then continued his rowing career at UC Santa Barbara as both an athlete and later on as head coach of the men’s freshmen team, leading his heavyweight 8 to an upset victory at the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships. This past year, he coached the Rock Creek Rowing Men’s Masters team and after winning a gold in every event and race of the sprint season, the 8 won its first ever gold medal at the Diamond States Regatta. Jai has degrees in film from UCSB and the New York Film Academy, and has worked for companies such as The Discovery Channel, NBC, CBS, and the Hallmark Channel. Jai is thrilled to be coaching at CARP and brings a program that emphasizes hard work, technique, tradition and fun.

Steve Neumann (Club PM, Juniors, ‘Your Team’)

Steve Neumann is the lead coach of the Capital Private Sculling and Your Team programs, and is an assistant with the Capital Juniors (high school), Club PM (adult) and Indoor Learn to Row programs. Steve has ten years of experience coaching sweep rowing and sculling programs – developing competitive, recreational and novice rowers from ages 13-70+. As an athlete, in 20 years of competing Steve has won championship medals at dozens of national and regional regattas at the collegiate and adult levels. He has served as a team captain and board member in various capacities, building multiple competitive and educational rowing programs. Steve is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and as a member of Wisconsin’s crew won medals at three IRA national championship regattas and the 1997 Ten Eyck national team championship. His coaching mentors include current and former national champion coaches Chris Clark and Randall Jablonic.

Kelley O’Connell (Novice Sculling)
Kelley lives, works and rows in DC. She has been rowing with Capital Rowing Club since 1999 on the competitive sweep team and coaches with the girl’s varsity rowing program at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School since 2005. Occasionally she coached novice sculling, juniors, and SAW at Capital.

Katie O’Driscoll (Private Sculling, Juniors Camp)
Katie O’Driscoll comes to Capital Rowing Club with a wealth of experience in sweep rowing and sculling. A walk-on rower turned captain and All-American, she began coaching when her mother volunteered her without Katie’s knowledge to help coach the local high school team. Her experience ranges from high school novices, to elite juniors, to masters of all levels, to NCAA Division I Grand Finals contenders to future Paralympians. An alumna of the inaugural class of the Institute for Rowing Leadership at Community Rowing, Inc. in Boston, Katie has combined her academic knowledge of biomechanics and exercise physiology with practical experience of a nearly a decade of high-level coaching to create an experience that caters to the athlete’s learning style and movement patterns. When not coaching, Katie enjoys cycling, running marathons, and spending time with her partner, Erik, and their pups, Barney and Hoover.

Bob Reichart (Novice Sculling, Intermediate Sculling)

Bob Reichart has been with CRC since 2013, and currently coaches one session of the club sculling and novice sculling programs. Bob starting rowing at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where he rowed in the highly successful Freshmen and Varsity Lightweight Crews. He has rowed with the Bantam, Minnesota and San Diego Rowing Clubs, and is Captain for the “ARIEL TOY” Virtual Rowing Team during the Concept 2 January Virtual Team Challenge. Bob is a 30 year US Navy Veteran who began coaching rowing in 2014.

Lisa Saladino (SAW)

Ben Sproule (Club AM)

Jim Spruill (SAW)

Andy Waiters (Learn to Row)

Jane Wang (Club PM)


  • Executive Committee: President, VP of Resources, VP of Membership, VP of Operations & Secretary
  • Safety Committee: President, VP of Operations, all Program Reps, one at-large director and anyone appointed by the President.
  • Finance Committee: President, VP of Resources, and the President, in consultation with the board, will appoint at least three additional members.
  • Development Committee
  • Hiring & Recruitment
  • Juniors Program Committee