The American Canoe Association (ACA) today announced the appointment of Martin A. Bartels as executive director. In this role he will work with the association’s board of directors and staff to promote safe paddlesport recreation and stewardship of the paddling environment.

“We are extremely excited to have Martin Bartels come onboard as our Executive Director. He brings a wealth of experience and a true passion for paddling” said Dr. Kirk Havens, ACA President.

“I’m deeply honored to have been selected to direct the American Canoe Association,” said Mr. Bartels. “I have great respect for their work and I’m excited to further the efforts of this remarkable 128-year-old organization.”

Mr. Bartels has a wide range of leadership experience in the fields of nonprofit and corporate operations, marketing and communications, and journalism.

Prior to this he served as director of marketing and communications with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, where he led the rebranding of the organization, developed a new membership magazine, and created an award-winning Web site. Mr. Bartels is a published author and travel writer. He has enjoyed paddling in at least a dozen states and five countries, and counts coastal trips outside of Portland, Maine, and Kauai, Hawaii among many notable outings. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters.