Meet the 2014 Summit keynote team.
The Ohio’s Great Corridor Association is pleased to introduce Joe Jacobi and Mike Knopp as this year's River Summit keynote team. The story of Oklahoma City's social and economic transformation is embedded in the development of the Oklahoma River and its world-renowned Boathouse District, now a global destination for competitive paddlesports and rowing. From community engagement to the evolution of America's only river to be designated as an official US Olympic and Paralympic Training Site, the advancement of the Oklahoma River is a blue print growing and creating access to our nation's waterways and spurring public/private investment in our vital community resources.
About Mike Knopp
A passion for rowing and paddling and a vision for bringing national and international sports to the Oklahoma River have been the driving force behind Mike Knopp's leadership in developing the Oklahoma City rowing community, the Chesapeake Boathouse, national and international sporting events, and ultimately, the master plan development of the Oklahoma River.
Originally a practicing attorney, Mike left his legal career in 2003 to establish the Oklahoma City University varsity rowing program and assume the position of executive director of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation. Bringing corporate, civic and community leaders together, Mike has led multiple Oklahoma River initiatives including the Chesapeake boathouse and the USA Rowing Challenge, among many others.
Mike took note as the city’s MAPS program began rejuvenating the then-North Canadian River. His vision was clear as he looked toward a future that included community and collegiate rowing programs, construction of a community boathouse, and rowing events – regional, national and international – coming to life on the Oklahoma River, a full time commitment to building Oklahoma City's potential as "America's next great rowing city."
In a few short years, Mike has led Oklahoma City to the forefront of the national and international rowing and kayaking communities while also developing significant community interest and participation in the sports.Top
About Joe Jacobi
Joe Jacobi is the Chief Executive Officer of USA Canoe/Kayak, the sport's national and Olympic governing body. Based out of their headquarters in Oklahoma City, Joe works closely with the sport's stakeholders to raise the profile, opportunities and quality of competitive paddlesports, its participants and venues.
During his athletic career with USA Canoe/Kayak, Joe won America's first ever Olympic Gold Medal in Whitewater Canoe Slalom at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain with canoe partner, Scott Strausbaugh. He retired from competitive canoeing after competing at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece and went on to serve as the Canoe/Kayak Color Commentator for NBC at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Joe also co-founded Gold Medal Connections, a mobile paddlesports instructional program that partners with top flight kayak school, retailers, and outfitters to deliver world class kayak instruction.Top