Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Marine Board Members

The Oregon State Marine Board is comprised of five volunteer members who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Members serve a four-year term and may apply for a second term of service.  Members represent different geographic regions of the state and different boating activities.  Board members are also recreational boat owners of motorized, non-motorized, or both types of watercraft.   

Laura Jackson -ChairBoard Chair Laura Jackson, Portland

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-ChairBoard Member Val Early

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 GuzmanBoard Member Jorge Guzman

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

Craig WitheeBoard Member Craig Withee

Withee is a retired Civil Engineer who relocated to Bend in 2013 after spending over 30 years of his professional career in Alaska. After becoming a paraplegic from a car accident in 1969, Withee completed his college education with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering in 1973 and a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering in 1975 from the University of Colorado. His 38-year professional career was spent in Facilities Engineering, operations, and management for the Department of Army and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Throughout his life, Withee has maintained a love for the outdoors, especially for boating, cruising, fishing, and hunting. He's owned and operated many motorized and non-motorized boats in lakes, rivers, and the ocean, including Alaska bush country, busy ocean harbors, and large river drainages. Withee's outdoor enthusiasm has continued into retirement with boating on the high lakes and rivers in Central Oregon and the coastal communities in Reedsport, Florence, and Newport. Most of his outdoor experiences have included his wheelchair, which has not hampered his pursuit of life and adventure.

Withee says, "Whether it was floating remote waters, jet boating whitewater rapids, or cruising in a bay, boating has always provided me with challenges, serenity, camaraderie, and fulfillment over the years. Life for me would have been incomplete if those opportunities were not available."
Term: 2021 – 2025 (second term of service)

Colleen MoranBoard Member Colleen Moran

Boats, particularly sailboats, have been part of Colleen's life since she was a young child. A third-generation sailor, she grew up cruising on the lower Columbia with her parents and her "boat family." Those annual spring and summer cruises to favorite anchorages and river towns instilled a love of Oregon's natural waterways in Colleen, as well as an appreciation for the history surrounding the state's rivers. Though a Millennial, she can still remember what a log raft looked like and a time when an eagle sighting was a rare thing on the Columbia.

While in high school, Colleen volunteered with the Daughters of Neptune as a club ambassador for Rose City Yacht Club, representing her club at community events. Colleen again volunteered for the organization as an adult, serving as a chaperone for the next generation of young female boaters as they promoted water safety and life jacket use. In her role, she had the opportunity to work with the Columbia River Yachting Association, a group that represents recreational yacht clubs and boaters to regional and state marine groups. Witnessing the impacts of grassroots advocacy work inspired Colleen to become Rose City Yacht Club's CRYA representative to help ensure local waterways remain enjoyable recreational destinations for all generations of boaters.

Colleen hopes to work on behalf of all of Oregon's boaters to help preserve the state's waterways and promote recreational boating to future generations. She also hopes to be a voice for Millennials and the upcoming cohort of boaters.
Term: 2019 – 2023