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Our Team

The Positive Vibe Tribe

KEVIN HAIGIS CEO / Environmental Steward & Leader of the Clean Water Initiative


“Mr. Positive Vibes” was born in Baltimore and raised in Annapolis MD. As a summer job in 2008, he started working for a valet company downtown where he grew passionate about the history of Annapolis and its waterways. Kevin graduated from Virginia Tech in 2010 with a degree in Nutrition & Exercise and prior to starting Capital SUP in 2014, he had a 3.5 year run as a Master Trainer at 24 Hour Fitness in Annapolis.

In the autumn of 2015, Kevin organized the largest oyster garden in the Annapolis community, consisting of 50 oyster cages along the docks of the South Annapolis Yacht Centre. This kickstarted a passion for environmental stewardship leading to a partnership between Capital SUP and the Spa Creek Conservancy in 2016 when he conducted weekly water quality testing.

Entrepreneur, CFO of Capital SUP, and leader in the clean water movement. Kevin keeps his time busy but encourages the importance of a healthy work/life balance. He lives by a self-motto that keeps him driven for more realizing anything is possible.

CHRIS “GOOSE” NORMAN COO / Head Coach of Training


Coach Chris has devoted his life to fitness, sports and coaching other athletes. Everyone needs that extra motivation or coaching when trying to reach his or her goals. Coach Chris can push you to new limits and beyond. He doesn’t only work with paddlers. He spent 2 years coaching varsity athletes at Salisbury University while getting his Master’s degree in Applied Health Physiology.

Now, he coaches at Capital SUP and with the help of other coaches has developed quite the paddleboard race team. The team competes in local races around the Chesapeake and travels to Ocean City, California and Puerto Rico for competitions. If you are looking to take your paddling to the next level, Coach Chris will get you to where you want to go!

LEAH JAICKS Brand Manager & SUP Instructor


Leah was born and raised in Annapolis, just minutes from where Capital SUP is now located. She is passionate about showing people the wonders of Annapolis on the water, and graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California with a B.S. in Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration.

She’s been with Capital SUP since 2018, and started paddling as a hobby when she was in high school. Leah is our first full-time employee and newest Brand Manager, but has also worked as a Co-Director of Grom Camp and a SUP instructor. Working towards a cleaner Chesapeake Bay is super important to her. Leah also enjoys traveling, connecting with the outdoors, photography, and being a creator!


Rachel Bessman

Rachel is a writer who has lived in Annapolis for ten years. Growing up, her dad had her on a surfboard as soon as she could swim, and she’s been addicted to the ocean ever since. So when Stand Up Paddle boarding became popularized in the United States, it was only natural for her to give it a shot. Her love of the ocean is supplemented by her love of the Chesapeake Bay, and its undeniable beauty that has captured the hearts of its admirers for centuries (if not millennia!). 

As a writer, she is passionate about exploring topics that people can resonate with on a personal level, and feels strongly that everyone has a story to tell. Her goal as a blogger for Capital SUP is to help paddlers and fans enrich their relationship with the Chesapeake watershed by furthering their knowledge of it’s unique ecosystem, our impact on it, and it’s many gifts to us. 


jack ballard

Jack has grown up at Capital SUP, entering his first SUP race in the summer of 2015, and has been competing in races up & down the East Coast ever since! A regular at race training, he enjoys the competition and the camaraderie among all the local paddlers. This is Jack’s fourth summer as an official team member where he loves being on the water and sharing his knowledge with new and seasoned paddlers alike.

Off the water, you’ll find Jack running, mountain biking or pretty much anything that keeps him outside. Outside of the summer, Jack is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

DYLAN BUDRONI Shop Manager & Grom Camp Counselor

dylan budroni

Dylan is a Philly born, Annapolis raised man, with years of nautical experience. Whether it be boating, paddling, kayaking, or surfing, he has done it all. Outside of the water he enjoys getting out to hike, climb, and ruck.

This is only his second year with CAP SUP but we see a great career ahead of him. He always brings the stoke and makes a point to make sure each paddler is enjoying themselves. Always outgoing, and the grom’s favorite counselor, Dylan is a huge part of the team and we’d be amiss without him


Capital SUP Paddle Ambassadors

Our Seasonal Dock Staff keep our shop up and running smoothly in-season here at Capital SUP! They are stoked to set you up with your rental gear & safely launch you on to the water. We are so appreciative of our awesome team!

MARISSA WALCH SUP Yoga & SUP Fitness Instructor


Marissa Walch is a fitness enthusiast who grew up on the water and loves to be outside, she not only works in the fitness industry full-time, but it’s her everyday passion. She hopes to inspire you in a creative manner where your body gives you the freedom to move, gain flexibility and strength. She is a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor, also instructing Spin, TRX, and Boot Camp classes when she isn’t teaching yoga.

Over the summer, you can find Marissa on the water at Capital SUP Annapolis as their Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Fitness Director. She trained in North Carolina, in her hometown, for her 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2011 and completed Charm City Yoga’s 300-hour training in 2014 to deepen her practice of yoga, create workshops and to fine-tune her personal practice. She has worked in the fitness industry for over ten years and dedicates every minute of her day to share her love for keeping and creating a more healthy you! You will have fun, feel stronger and sweat with each practice, class, workshop or training session. To learn more about Marissa visit her website at or follow her @MarissaWalch.

RACHEL HOUSER SUP Yoga & SUP Fitness Instructor

Rachel Houser

Rachel was born and raised in Annapolis Maryland and loves all water and outdoor related activities. She started practicing Yoga 6 weeks after giving birth to her son in 2015. She took her first SUP YOGA class in Nicaragua while on a Yoga retreat and has been hooked ever since.  Soon after falling in love with the practice of Vinyasa, she became a 200HR RYT through the Yoga Alliance and she has been teaching Yoga (Vinyasa, Yin, HIIT, Sculpt, etc.) full time ever since!

She strongly believes in the healing opportunities that Yoga can offer your mind, body, and soul and she practices on a daily basis. Currently, Rachel is enrolled in her 500 HR Teacher Training which will be complete this summer. She is super excited to connect her passion for Yoga and SUP together!! When Rachel isn’t practicing or teaching Yoga, you can find her fishing, boating, shooting her bow, playing pickleball, gardening, reading + spending time with her family.


Lindsey Schwartz

Lindsey grew up with a love of being on the water. After studying how to shape surf boards she moved to Hawaii to follow her passion and to be able to surf year round. While in Hawaii, she discovered yoga. Yoga is a powerful tool for her to build flexibility, mobility, and muscle but also for improving mental well-being. After moving back to the east coast she ultimately landed in Northern Virginia. With the nearest surf break several hours away paddle boarding became the next best thing to fulfill her need to be on the water. After realizing she could combine both yoga and stand up paddle boarding the rest was history!

Lindsey has been practicing yoga for 12 years and recently decided to pursue her 200 hour yoga teacher certification. Additionally Lindsey has received a certification specific to stand up paddle board yoga.

JACK TURNER Tour Guide & Wildlife Photographer

Jack Turner Tour Guide

Jack hails from Annapolis where he has established himself as an enthusiastic nature photographer and environmental restoration practitioner. Jack brings a keen understanding of the environment and aquatic ecosystems to our team, and uses photography as a tool to drive conversations on how we relate to our natural world. 

Jack joined the Capital SUP family in 2021 after being friends with the shop for a few years. A graduate of the University of Maryland’s Environmental Science program, he will apply his education and experience to lead Eco Tours for Capital SUP, taking participants into the natural world around us to explore for wildlife and provide information on the Chesapeake Bay. You can be sure that you will come away with interesting new facts on wildlife and plants from one of our Eco Tours led by Jack!

ANNA YOUNGK Tour Guide & Camp Counselor

Anna Youngk Tour Guide

Anna is a Maryland native and grew up on the Magothy River, spending most of her summers on the water. Her love for the Chesapeake Bay led her to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies from Washington College where she concentrated in Chesapeake Regional Studies.

She has spent 6 years teaching environmental education while sharing her love for canoeing, kayaking, and hiking with Maryland students and has loved every minute of it! As a certified kayak instructor, she hopes to encourage more visitors to be comfortable on the water so they can enjoy our Chesapeake Bay ecosystems first hand.


Bryan Gomes Tour Guide

Bryan has almost two decades of environmental education, water sports pursuits, public outreach and team building experience to his credit. He has a B.A. in Marketing/Psychology and a MEd. in Post-Secondary Education from Salisbury University.

Bryan is passionate about the outdoors and has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine; kayaked the length of the Chesapeake Bay from Havre de Grace, MD to the Atlantic Ocean, and as a lifeguard, lived in a tent on the beach at Assateague State Park. He holds current certifications as a Wilderness First Responder, Maryland Master Naturalist, AA County Watershed Steward and an ACA level 2 instructor/guide.  Bryan lives in Annapolis near the shores of the Severn River and enjoys swimming, fishing, paddling, cooking, birding, beekeeping and moonlights as a DJ.

JOIN OUR TEAM! “Teamwork makes the dream work.”


Love being outdoors and on the water!?

Join our team and be apart of the east coast leader in paddling experiences & services that bring together communities through paddling and passion, that’s spawned from an internal culture of Positive Vibes! Through our growth, we will nurture you to become a leader on the water and in life. Contact Us – Tell us about yourself and why you want to be a part of the Team!

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