Laura Jackson -Chair
Laura began her love for boating in 3rd grade when her parents bought a cruising sailboat. That summer she learned to sail an El Toro in San Francisco Bay. Throughout junior high and high school, she sailed with her family and grew her skills in racing dinghies. In high school and college, she became a national-caliber sculler. Beyond school, she competed for a seat on the US Rowing team and took up kayak racing. Today, one of her mottoes is "any seat, any boat, any time."
Serving the community is also a theme in Ms. Jackson's life. Whether working for a government agency, serving on various citizen advisory committees, or volunteering for a cause, she seeks to give back to the communities that have given her so much. She is currently President of the Oaks Park Community Boathouse in Portland and has served as a youth rowing and paddling coach. She also volunteers at The Oregon Humane Society in their Second Chance team, where she also works in their volunteer administration group.
As a Marine Board member, she hopes to work in a collaborative environment to create ways to share our waterways and find a means to reach the group of boaters who do not realize they are boaters (e.g. SUP and kayak paddlers). As a participant in many aspects of boating, she is keenly aware of safety issues, especially those related to the conflict between user groups, and would like to find ways to resolve these challenges through education and courtesy rather than more regulation.
Term: 2019 – 2023
Val Early -Co-Chair
Board member Early's love for the waterways happened at a young age. While sitting on the front steps of the family farm home, she witnessed her father helping rescue neighbors to higher ground by using his tractor to tow whatever belongings he could salvage. This event would later become known as the "Great '64 Flood," where many rivers became mini-oceans, engulfing everything in their path. This situation instilled in her lifelong respect and fascination with waterways.
Early's father, Cal Wade, held a seat on the Marine Board in the 1970s, and through his service, she was exposed to boating issues in Oregon, while becoming proficient in operating drift boats and other watercraft on the Rogue River.
Early holds a U.S. Coast Guard Uninspected Passenger Vessel License. She also is an owner/operator of Early Fishing, Inc., a fishing guide service that is registered to operate in Oregon, California, and Alaska.
In addition to Early's boating experience, she has volunteered with many organizations on river conservation and habitat including the ODFW Fall Chinook Conservation Plan, USFS National Center for Wild and Scenic River Excellence Working Group, Chetco Watershed Council, Brookings Harbor Safe-N-Sober, and other outdoor events that promote fishing, conservation and safety.
Early hopes that through her role on the Marine Board, she's able to inspire current and future generations to take responsibility for their behavior, become stewards of the waterways, and increase participation in clean boating programs. Early desires to work cooperatively to resolve issues between boating groups and would like to be a part of the conversation that seeks solutions through education or other interventions before asserting more regulations.
Term: 2016 – 2020 (Second term and is continuing to serve as Chair until a replacement is found)
Jorge Guzman's boating experience and water recreation started with surfing on Oregon's coast and other beaches around the world.
His passion and interest in water sports then expanded to Stand Up Paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing. Guzman's passion for water sports continues to grow and he now enjoys exploring Oregon's waterways on his personal watercraft.
A priority for Jorge Guzman as Board Member of the Oregon Marine Board is to improve water access for everyone and introduce new communities to safe boating experiences for recreation, stewardship, and economic development.
Term: 2021 - 2025