The Newport Aquatic Center was founded in 1982 and built in 1987 as a non-profit corporation offering the public unique opportunities in the Olympic water sports of rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and outrigger canoe competition.

Chris Blank – President

Chris Blank is an outrigger canoe and dragon boat paddler. Chris has also served on boards for several non-profit and political organizations, and is presently on the board of the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, CA. When not paddling or volunteering, Chris is a private practice attorney based in Newport Beach, California. His firm focuses on business litigation, business bankruptcy, mediation, fee disputes, and receiverships.

Dr. Bill Grant – Vice President

Doctor Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Grant participates as a member rower at NAC

Jon Van Cleave

Jon was a member of the 1980 Olympic Sprint Kayak Team.
He was a member of the U.S. National Sprint Kayak Team from 1978 – 1983.
He placed 1st in the World Championship Outrigger Distance Championships in 1978, 1981, and 1982.
Recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal.

James Netzer – Facility Committee Chair

Principal Netzer and Associates Real Estate Appraisal and Consulting
Jim’s wife is a member of the NAC Women’s Outrigger Team and both his son and daughter were members of the NAC Junior Rowing Team. His daughter went on to be an assistant coach in the Junior Rowing program.

Greg Collin

Project Manager in the Construction Division of Craig Realty
He is a founding member of the NAC.
Greg started paddling outrigger canoes at the age of 14. He also paddles flat water kayaks and is a long-distance cyclist.

Linda (YaYa) Hay – Secretary

President, Innovative Computer Products, Inc. (ICPI) Providing PC Applications training, consulting and programming solutions to large and small companies

YaYa manages the NAC’s Women on Water (WOW) rowing program. She fell in love with rowing as an adult and has been involved at the NAC for the last 13 years. You can find her most mornings at NAC in the weight room, ergging, or on the water.

Kyle Anderson – Treasurer

Financial Analyst

Kyle was a three-year Varsity rower at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He participates as a general member who loves to row, kayak, and paddle.

Dennie Sims

Dennie has been involved at the NAC since 1998 when her son was a member of the Junior Rowing Program. She is one of the founding members of the NAC Masters Women’s Rowing Program, known as WOW, continues to be an active participant.

Deborah Cowles

Deborah has been a competitive rower at the NAC since it opened in 1987 and her kids have both participated in the NAC Junior Rowing and Junior Outrigger program. Deborah was the first woman to represent the NAC on a US Rowing National Team. It is that very love for rowing—and its inherent aspect of competition—along with an insatiable drive to “deliver the dream” that has enabled her to further succeed in a tough real estate business.