Women on Water

River Trips for Women by Women

The “Women on Water” (WOW) expeditions began in 2018 to provide women with rewarding experiences on multi-day fishing and rafting trips on acclaimed Pacific Northwest rivers.

TFT Board Member and Founder of A to Z Wineworks Deb Hatcher led the initial charge, after recognizing that women leaders rarely have the same exciting, nature-oriented opportunities as men to not only challenge their physical abilities as a group, but also make connections and become involved in environmental causes as a result.

The first trip launched in 2018 on the Middle Fork Salmon River. The expeditions garnered so much interest from attendees and their networks that two trips were hosted in 2019, one down the Rogue and another down the Middle Fork again. Each trip is guided by Helfrich Outfitters of Idaho and Oregon and features women guides, such as CEO Kelsey Helfrich.

Trips are invite-only and reserved for leaders, founders and C-suite execs. Michelle Cardinal, Founder & CEO of Rain the Growth Agency, one of the largest advertising agencies in the state, attended the trip twice. Other women in attendance have included Kim Malek, founder of Salt & Straw, Emma Mcllroy, founder and CEO of WildFang, Vanessa Sturgeon, CEO of TMT Development, and Jamie Danek Founder & CEO of Humm Kombucha.

WOW attendees pay a fee to cover the costs of the trip. Participants also have the opportunity to contribute to the WOW Fund, which provides scholarships for emerging women leaders and supports TFT’s river restoration and conservation efforts. To date, the organization has raised more than $30,000 towards the WOW Fund.


“Far from the pressure and pace of our daily world, WOW offers a rare, wild water journey with fellow women executives and leaders. While experiencing the river’s beauty and power, stress dissolves, relationships develop and conversations enlighten.  In an improbably short time, deeply satisfying connections result, both to one another and the river, discovering ways we might collectively work toward a better future.” – Deb Hatcher, Founder and CEO of A to Z Wineworks


Find this article at: https://www.thefreshwatertrust.org/women-on-water/
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