Under Charlie Wilson's
leadership, the name was changed to its current title, Safety Education & Instruction Council
1997 - 2000: Charlie Wilson
Charlie Wilson left the University of Illinois with Masters degrees in Outdoor Recreation and Organizational Theory to enter the outdoor sports industry.
operated a small chain, then a retail shop before designing portage packs and sewn accessories for paddlesports application.
was a principal in Bell Canoe Works, developing many of the companies solo and tandem paddlecraft with David Yost, a relationship that continued when he
co-founded Placid Boatworks
While at Placid he
introduced infusion lamination techniques and developed an integral gunwale system.
Retired from manufacturing, Charlie continues as an industry consultant on marketing, hull and trim design and infusion processes.
has written articles and submitted images on paddling and camping for CanoeSport Journal, Paddler and Canoe & Kayak Magazine
, co-authored FreeStyle Paddling and contributed chapters to several other books on paddleport topics.
Charlie become involved in FreeStyle paddling in the mid '80s and helped promote Conclaves, a series of paddlesport industry events which eventually brought him to the ACA as FreeStyle became an ACA discipline in 1990.
Chairing the ACA
FreeStyle Activity Committee placed him on the ACA
Board of Directors and the National Instruction Committee
he National Instruction Committee
was transformed into the Safety Education & Instruction Council
(SEIC) via the ACA National Bylaws revision of 1995 which came from a Board Committee Charlie chaired.
While Board Secretary and SEIC Vice-Chair under Kim Whitley, Charlie chaired SEIC sub committees that rewrote SEIC Bylaws and policies to bring them into line with the national initiatives and to improve function through simplification.
The 32 page policy document was reduced from 32 to 8 pages.
Elected SEIC Chair in 1997, Wilson
encouraged the Council to embrace the broader paddlesports market, specifically by developing instructional programs for recreational kayaking, touring canoe and kayak, and emerging groups of multi-sport enthusiasts.
The broad acceptance of the essentials programs is, perhaps, the most visible result of those initiatives.
fter serving his second term as SEIC Chair, Charlie was elected President of the ACA Board of Directors for two successive terms, continuing the philosophy that the ACA needs to address the needs of all paddlers.
was an inclusive chair who could run a meeting and initiate structure and programs, but his
most important contribution to ACA instruction was a green coconut curry scallop dinner served over soba noodles to the SEIC one Friday evening at the Washington Suites in November 1999.
For once, everyone smiled.