Congratulations Will Greenough: Mountaineers Leader of the Year

Will Greenough was presented with The Mountaineers Leader of the Year Award at the 2023 organization-wide Volunteer Appreciation Night. Thank you Will for your years of service and dedication to The Olympia Mountaineers.
Dee Ann Kline Parkinson Dee Ann Kline Parkinson
February 07, 2023
Congratulations Will Greenough: Mountaineers Leader of the Year
Photo by Jim French.

As a member since 1977, Will has been an active leader in our community for over a decade. His success in the Basic and Intermediate Sea Kayaking Courses led him to become a prominent Sea Kayaking leader at the Olympia Branch. For his service to the Olympia Branch, Will received the Olympia Branch Service Award in 2016. 

Will is a 2022 Super Volunteer, Key Leader, and Key Instructor, with over 440 hours volunteered in the 2022 fiscal year. He's been a key volunteer with the Olympia Sea Kayaking Committee and has chaired the Olympia Basic Sea Kayaking Course for many years. Since 2005, Will has led and instructed an incredible volume of Sea Kayaking trips and courses year after year. 

Henry Romer shared a glimpse of Will’s leadership journey. Henry said, “In 1998, I restarted the Olympia Branch Sea Kayak activities.... Will joined our program and eventually offered to take over the class, which he has done ever since with considerable success, retaining a solid core of instructors and adding new key people to our activity. Upon retirement, he has stepped up further, leading a very large number of trips, including a lot in Columbia River country. This has attracted quite a number of Southwest Washington and Portland-area paddlers, who have successfully applied for Sea Kayaking Equivalency and joined The Mountaineers. This is a much bigger reach into this geographic area than we have had in the past, and a positive development. He has also participated in Sea Kayaking Summit efforts over the years to keep the activity vibrant and solid.”

Leader of the Year - WIll Greenough.jpg

Another notes about Will’s dedication to the course: “Will is the heart and soul of the Olympia kayak program. He has volunteered more hours than anyone for the kayak classes and trips. He is not the type of person who wants recognition. Never brags, complains or causes disagreements. A very nice person who is willing to share.” Based on this quote, I feel sorry we are putting you in the spotlight, but your humility makes this recognition even more important. 

In terms of numbers, for fiscal year 2022, Will has led or co-led an incredible 44 trips and 54 activities, with 4 activities already successfully completed in January and 11 more activities planned for 2023. In fiscal year 2022, 84 unique Mountaineers were led by Will. 

Speaking of Will’s leadership skills as a seasoned educator, a participant noted after taking the Olympia Basic Sea Kayaking Course: “Will is a great teacher who leads with confidence and a casual demeanor, but he is always watching every kayaker, the conditions, and spotting wildlife. I can't imagine learning to sea kayak with a more seasoned pro.”

There is no doubt that Will is a valuable leader. As one person notes: “It is difficult to overstate how much Will has meant to The Mountaineers Sea Kayaking community and to my own development as a paddler. In the last year, Will has provided mentorship and an amazing number of opportunities for outdoor enjoyment and growth. There is no one more deserving of this recognition."

When it comes to Will as a leader of our community, one person summarized it well:  “Trip leaders don't get any better than Will G."

We’re thrilled to recognize Will’s extensive contributions to our community, and we’re grateful for his thoughtful leadership throughout the organization. Congratulations to Will on receiving this year’s Leader of the Year Award.

Will was introduced by Gabe Aeschliman, president of The Mountaineers Board of Directors.  Above is the speech Gabe gave in honor of Will. 

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Michelle Song
Michelle Song says:
Feb 09, 2023 11:06 AM

Congratulations, Will! Thank you for the immense work you contribute to our org and community. It was great learning about your deep impact and leadership.

Ken Sund
Ken Sund says:
Feb 28, 2023 07:39 AM

Being a kayaker in an Oregon club I didn't know a thing about Will except that he was initiating paddles I was interested in and that the trips immediately filled up. I finally got on one of his Columbia River trips on the day the temperature was 22 degrees. I was the only one to show up and we completed the paddle as planned.
I sure agree with giving him the leader of the year award.
Ken Sund

Robert Cooper
Robert Cooper says:
Feb 28, 2023 01:09 PM

This photo is the only time I’ve seen Will without a hat. So not only is he a great leader but he’s got great hair! Congratulations Will on your well-deserved honor. I’ve enjoyed every trip that you’ve led and hope to join you for many kayak trips in the future. Your generosity and and skills are an inspiration to us all!