In 2006, Travis Gardner founded Essex Rowing Club, Inc.—a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on advancing the sport of rowing. Since its inception, Essex has introduced over 900 athletes to the sport of rowing and currently maintains a roster of over 100 middle school, high school and adult athletes. Today, Gardner serves as President and Senior Coach for the organization.
Prior to starting Essex Rowing, Gardner was Interim Head Coach for Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program, Inc., where he led the development and operation of the organization’s start-up rowing program. Within three months, Gardner built the program to over 50 youth and adult athletes, with his Women’s Novice 4+ taking gold in their very first competitive outing.
During this time, Gardner also served as a volunteer coach for the Boston College women’s program—supporting the development of BC’s walk-on novice athletes. Previously, he held coaching positions with the club program at Michigan State University and the University of Florida.
As an undergrad, Gardner rowed for the University of Florida, where he served as captain of the most successful novice team in the program’s history. While at UF, Gardner also trained and competed with Malta Boat Club in Philadelphia where he earned national titles in Intermediate and Senior Lightweight Quads and a win in the Senior B Lightweight Quad at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in Ontario.
Gardner also raced competitively for the New York Athletic Club—with whom he won his third national championship in the Senior Lightweight Double Scull.
Travis Gardner is a graduate of the University of Florida where he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis.
As Executive Director, John Griffin is responsible for the organizational and operational effectiveness of Essex Rowing Club—including fundraising and community relations.
Before Essex, John was Waterfront Director for the Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program where he enabled a safe, successful environment for local youth to learn sailing, canoeing and rowing as well as skills related to independence and responsibility. John ultimately assumed the role of Executive Director at GLCBP, overseeing all aspects of the program including financials, grant writing, media relations and community engagement.
In addition to his achievements in boating, John enjoyed a 35-year career in the classroom—as a teacher at Salem High and then Milford High, both in NH. Throughout his tenure, John was a key participant on numerous committees including the Negotiation Team, where he facilitated contracts on behalf of nearly 200 teachers, and the Appraisal Process Committee, where he was one of five tapped to recommend changes to the way in which teacher performance was evaluated.
John Griffin is a graduate of Salem State College, where he holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Education.
MIDDLE SCHOOL YOUTH
Scott Branscomb is Middle School Sculling Program Director at Essex Rowing, focused on developing the club’s youngest athletes and preparing them for competitive racing.
Branscomb comes to Essex from North Carolina Community Sailing & Rowing where he served as Rowing Director, overseeing daily program operations, equipment and staff as well as coaching competitive youth and adult athletes. In addition to his role at NCCSR, Branscomb taught Spanish to grades K-4 at Chesterbrook Academy Birkdale in Huntersville, NC—spending summers as a Resident Assistant for the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, working with grades 5-7.
Branscomb began rowing as a novice at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he competed in the 2nd Varsity 8+, 2nd Varsity 4+, Varsity 8+, and Varsity 4+ — medaling at the ECAC Invitational, Knecht Cup and Head of the South regattas. Following graduation he has continued to compete in the Lightweight 1x.
Branscomb graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors and distinction in Comparative Literature and Spanish.
Anastasia “Stacie” Hill is the Adult/Masters Coach at Essex Rowing, working with beginners to experienced competitors ages 23 to 70, and beyond.
Hill brings extensive experience and enthusiasm to Essex—having spent four years on Northeastern University’s Varsity Women’s Crew team, three as team captain. At Northeastern, Hill competed in the NCAA Division 1 Championships in a Varsity Women’s 8+, earning MVP honors during her senior year along with a place on the Second Team All America.
Hill began rowing at Grimsby Secondary School in Ontario, where she earned medals from the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association, US Scholastic Rowing Association and Stotesbury Cup Regattas. As a junior, Hill was selected for the CanAmMex Team to compete in Mexico City. She also rowed for St. Catharine’s Rowing Club, where she earned medals at the US Rowing Club National Championships as well as the Head of the Charles Regatta.
Stacie Hill earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geology from Northeastern University. Return to Top >
YOUTH VARSITY BOYS
Christoph Kapp is an Assistant Youth Coach with Essex Rowing’s boys’ program, focusing primarily on the 1st and 2nd varsity eights.
Kapp began rowing with Essex in 2006, where he competed throughout high school—named team captain in his senior year. Kapp went on to row for Northeastern University where he was also named team captain in his senior year.
At NU, Kapp rowed on various crews including the Freshman 8+, 2nd Varsity 8+, Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+. Kapp represented the Huskies at three Eastern Sprints Championships, three IRA National Championships, and three Head of the Charles Regattas where he stroked the NU Championship 8+. Off the water, Kapp served as Treasurer of the NU Student Athlete Advisory Committee for two years.
Christoph Kapp is a Bachelor of Science candidate at Northeastern University, where he is pursuing a degree in Business with a dual concentration in Finance and Management, and a minor in Economics.
Hallie Woods is an Assistant Youth Coach—coming to Essex Rowing fresh off of four years on the Middlebury College Varsity Women’s Crew Team.
At Middlebury, Woods competed in the New England Rowing Championships in both the 8+ and the 4+. She also competed at the Dad Vail Regatta in the 2x and the 4+. While studying in England, Woods rowed for the University of East Anglia and later for Oxford University following graduation.
Prior to rowing, Woods played field hockey—earning a place on the Western Maine All-Star Team. After graduating, she coached the Wells Jr. High field hockey team, improving the team’s record from previous years.
In addition to coaching for Essex, Woods is co-editor of the Middlebury Rowing Alumni Association’s quarterly newsletter.
Hallie Woods earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Theatre from Middlebury College. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts from Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English.
As Essex Rowing moves through its sixth year of operation we will continue to develop our coaching staff extensively to meet the needs of our growing membership. Our organization was founded with the commitment to provide that membership with the highest quality of instruction possible, drawn from a core of professional coaches and supplemented with talented, up-and-coming part-timers and enthusiastic volunteers. Athletic participation requires enormous time commitments and our members can be confident that those responsible for their development are focused solely on that mission, and have the education and training to guide you to your goals safely, efficiently, and enjoyably. Return to Top >