To foster small-watercraft education, access, safe recreation, and marine stewardship on Bellingham Bay.

Our Story

The Community Boating Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit fostering safe small-boat recreation on Bellingham Bay. The CBC was founded by a core of local small-watercraft enthusiasts in 2006 and began services to the public in 2007. The CBC is not a club. There are no memberships and no dues. Programs and services are available to all. Much-appreciated tax-deductible donations, season-pass sales, dry-moorage fees, and rentals of sailboats and human-powered watercraft enable the CBC to provide the safety and skills education that is the core of the organization’s mission. Volunteers are integrated into all aspects of the organization from maintaining boats, assisting with rentals, teaching educational classes, tabling at events, and serving as board and committee members.

Join Our Crew

View employment opportunities and Internships available at the CBC.

For employment opportunities, it is best to come and introduce yourself in person. Please bring in your resume and a cover letter. We conduct our annual hiring process in February, but accept resumes throughout the year, and keep them on file for reference at our next hiring period.

Our Crew

Our crew is one of our most valuable assets. Together, we use passion and community engagement to achieve the Community Boating Center's mission every day. The individuals below were carefully selected with an emphasis on character, competence, and dynamic thinking. Every task, no matter how small it may seem, is important at the CBC, and each crew member wears many hats. We're proud to introduce you to the staff who make the CBC happen.

Volunteersboard members, partner organizations, and other community figures also play a crucial role in bringing the CBC's mission to life. Learn more by following the links above.

Deborah Genge web content CBC 2019 v.2

Deborah Genge

The theme of water and outdoor recreation runs through much of Deborah’s life, and the abundance of rivers, lakes and our beautiful Bellingham Bay is why she has chosen to live in this special corner of the country. From her earliest days in Astoria, Oregon with the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean in her backyard, to recreating on the rivers and lakes of California and Montana later in life, and now in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade, time spent outside and on the water has always been a very important part of her life. Deborah is thrilled to be the newest member of the Community Boating Center’s tremendous team of staff and volunteers. She brings extensive experience as a leader in the nonprofit sector working in support of conservation, healthcare, education, public television, and mentoring. She is a strong supporter of recreational opportunities and is looking forward to working with the growing community that makes the CBC so successful. When not at work, she can often be found in her garden, paddling a kayak, hiking or fishing with her husband or working on a new landscape or wildlife photography project.

friendly happy boaters

Erica Reed

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest Erica learned a strong appreciation for salt water bodies and their denizens. While working on her bachelor's in Creative Writing at Western Washington University, the myriad forms of water in the PNW served as a constant source of inspiration to her. Erica came to the Community Boating Center first as a sea kayaking student and then as a volunteer, before joining our team as a staff member in 2015. Erica is honored to work as part of the CBC's community; she finds great reward in working with such a high caliber team of passionate and dynamic individuals. Helping to enable locals and visitors to better access and engage with the Salish Sea is deeply fulfilling to her. When she is not working, Erica can be found on the water or in the woods.

Greg was born and raised on Guam, where he gained a deep love and respect for sailing and the ocean. When he moved to the Pacific Northwest toward the end of high school, he joined his high school sailing team in Portland, OR while also teaching sailing camps at various sailing clubs around the Portland area. Greg went on to Western Washington University to study geology, while also teaching and sailing at WWU's Lakewood Student Facilities before finally landing at the Community Boating Center in 2014, where he taught summer youth camps. He has since taught numerous sailing courses at the Boating Center before becoming the CBC's resident Fleet Manager. Greg holds a USCG 25 Ton OUPV Captain's License, a US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Certification, and an ACA Level 2 Kayak Instructor certification. He is excited to provide the public with safe, fun, and reliable water recreation on beautiful Bellingham Bay. When Greg is not at the CBC, he is either on the water, in the woods, making art, or playing music.

Rentals Staff

Growing up on Maui, Ian developed a very close relationship with the ocean, spending much of his time playing in the waves at a beach or paddling off shore in a canoe. At age 12, when he moved to Washington, he and his family were determined to keep the sea in their lives. They continued to paddle, finding love for the cold water of the Northwest, and occasionally even made surf trips to the coast. In high school Ian immersed himself in the technical sport of crew. He learned about its deep history and was thankful every moment he could be a part of it. Rowing showed him the competitive side of boating, and all its mechanisms that make it such a challenging technical sport. After finishing his rowing career and starting his education at Western, he began his next chapter on the sea at the Community Boating Center, a place that brought him back home to the true culture of the sea. He is thankful every day that he is able to assist in people’s adventures on the water, and even more thankful to have found a place where he can share his passions with so many similar people.


Kestrel Bailey

Waterfront Operations

Kestrel Bailey grew up on the San Juan Islands with an active seafaring family. When she was a teen her family ventured into eco-tourism with the purchase of a wooden boat company that leads tours in Alaska, the San Juans, and Baja. Spending time up in Alaska on the boat, Kestrel first learned to kayak, and what it looked like to guide other people on safe, fun, and educational adventures. She loved it, as it gave her a more intimate experience with the ocean and sea life. After spending several years in Grand Rapids for university, Kestrel returned to kayak guide for two summers on the San Juans. She also spent time working on a tall ship in Greece as the deckhand and student manager for an educational program for young adults on the Aegean sea. This opportunity gave her a better understanding of the beauty and challenges of being wind driven as an alternative to paddle sports. Upon moving to Bellingham in 2015, Kestrel quickly got involved with the CBC and has been working here during summers since then. Her time is now split between social services, running her own photography business, and working on the water- combining the three as often as she can. She can't wait for another summer on the water with the CBC!


Izzy Saylor

Izzy grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where at a young age she fell in love with the Great Lakes, specifically Lake Michigan, where she found her love for and connection to water. Three years ago she moved many miles to live near another beautiful body of water, the Salish Sea. She is currently a student of Fairhaven College at Western Washington University. She is passionate about water rights and forestry policy/activism. She looks to reduce her footprint on our watershed everyday and hopes to instill the same urgency to do so in our community.

Isabel Mills Staff Photo

Isabel Mills

Originally from Anchorage Alaska, Isabel grew up with the mountains and the ocean on either side of her. She spent her childhood immersed in this nature hiking, fishing, hunting, and flying. As a college student at Whitman College, she studied Physics and Astronomy, originally intending to pursue a career in research. After graduating and spending 6 months traveling and volunteering on farms in Australia, she determined her true passions lay in community building, outdoor adventures, and education. With this in mind, she moved to Bellingham in pursuit of opportunities in outdoor and science education. As an Americorps volunteer, she discovered the Community Boating Center, and decided to pursue a position after realizing her passions aligned strongly with the organization.

Sail, Paddle, & Youth Instructors

Chai Spelchake staff photo

Chai Spelchake

Chai was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and fell in love with watersports at a young age. He lives by Lake Whatcom, where he enjoys sailing and kayaking. Chai currently attends Bellingham High School. Ever since taking his first sailing lesson in 2008(ish) he has been committed to the sport. Chai began his involvement with the Community Boating Center when he attended a youth summer camp several years ago. He not only returned to the following year's summer camp, but went on to become a Youth Camp Assistant Instructor in later years. When not helping out at the CBC, sailing or kayaking or at school, Chai enjoys spending his time hiking with his dog, biking on Galbraith, or playing hockey or guitar.


Christina Lilleston

Christina Lilleston is an outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Outdoor Recreation and recently became a certified EMT. In the past, she worked for a non-profit organization in Darrington, WA, called Glacier Peak Institute, that focuses on outdoor education and taking at-risk youth on outdoor excursions. Working in the Outdoor Industry, she hopes to provide opportunities to educate and empower others to safely go out on their own outdoor excursions. A future career for her may be working for Ski Patrol during the winter and working for an organization that provides outdoor education for the community during the summer. You may find her outside in any weather either walking her dogs in a park, in or on the water, riding a bike, running through the mountains with a giant backpack, or volunteering for a local ambulance company. Cheers to getting outside!

Nick Dresel staff photo 2019

Nick Dresel

Nick was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, growing up sailing and enjoying marine wildlife within the coves of West Port Madison. Nick has always had a passion for and connection with sailing ever since he started at a young age. When off the water Nick enjoys other sports such as roller hockey and snowboarding on Mount Baker. He is currently a student at Western Washington University, focusing on Environmental Studies and marine stewardship within the Pacific Northwest. Nick is thankful to be a part of the Community Boating Center - being able to share his passion and knowledge of sailing while also promoting safe watercraft education.


Sandy Rost

Sandy is a third year Environmental Education major at Western Washington University, and an avid sailor. She grew up on Orcas Island, and sailed both dinghies and keelboats since she was seven years old. She was on her high school sailing team and went to nationals in 2017. Currently Sandy is on the WWU sailing team. She has spent time teaching students and community members how to sail at WWU's Lakewood Boathouse, and is excited to spend the summer on beautiful Bellingham Bay with the CBC, and volunteering at the Marine Life Center. Sandy has a passion for the ocean and outdoors and spreading that passion to others. She also believes strongly in environmental stewardship and protection, and hopes to pass that belief on to others.

Katy Coleman Staff Photo

Katy Coleman

Katy was born and raised in Jackson, Wyoming. Growing up in the mountains was the foundation for her love of the outdoors. She valued her time spent in nature and the connections created through those experiences. Katy moved to Bellingham in 2016 to attend Western Washington University where she now pursues a degree in Energy Science and Technology. As Katy explored the Pacific Northwest, she became fond of the beauty and uniqueness of the Salish Sea ecosystem. She especially enjoys paddling along our local coastlines in search of sea stars, harbor seals, and other curious aquatic creatures. Katy is currently a Trip Leader for WWU’s Outdoor Center and is a kayak instructor at WWU’s Lakewood boathouse facilities. She is passionate about teaching kayaking as well as supporting community development and inclusion in the outdoors. When she is not on the water, she enjoys jumping in Bellingham bay, trail running, skiing at Mt. Baker and romping around the San Juan Islands.


Christine McCormick

Growing up on the shores of Lake Superior in Northern Wisconsin, Christine spent her early summers camping in sailboats, kayaking through the sea caves of the Apostle Islands, and canoeing through the multitude of lakes and rivers in the area. This instilled an early love for the natural world around us. After high school she moved to Utah in pursuit of water in the frozen form. She graduated from Utah State University with a Psychology major, Art minor and an unofficial degree in ski bumming. In the winter Christine works as an adaptive ski instructor at Snowbird. This is her first summer living in Bellingham and she is very excited to be working with the CBC, and reconnecting with her passion for kayaking. Seeing people fall in love with outdoor recreation is what drives Christine to instruct skiing and kayaking, and she feels grateful to be able to pursue her own passions while helping people explore in an environmentally conscious way. Christine has her Wilderness First Responder Certification, and also enjoys climbing, camping, backpacking, traveling, art, and construction.

Community Boating Center Board of Directors

The CBC is guided by a dedicated and passionate Board of Directors.