Aaron Gershenzon


Aaron is an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructor and spends most of his time paddling the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. When Aaron is not kayaking he is playing fetch with his Chocolate Lab Joni. Aaron has been collecting NBA basketball cards since he was 6 years old. 

Asher Gershenzon


Asher is an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructor. Asher worked closely with his brother in the industry for many years and is one of the most experienced and qualified instructors and guides on the Chicago River. Asher’s passion for kayaking is surpassed only by his Brazilian jujitsu skills. Come at him if you can.

James Morro


James is an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructor. With a lifetime of recreational kayaking experience from the coast of New Zealand to the raging rapids of Colorado his love for the sport and his adventurous spirit are contagious. James is the proud owner of Larry, one of the top AKC Entlebucher’s in his breed.



Joni comes from a line of therapy dogs and is "chill" like Mr. Freeze. She enjoys long walks off leash, swimming, and can play fetch for days. The frisbee is her favorite toy, followed closely by the stick then ball. She loves to cuddle.

Melissa Anderson

Riverwalk Supervisor

PSIA Cert II Ski Instructor in Beaver Creek, CO for the last 6 years and 3 years leading tours at Urban Kayaks. In her free time Melissa enjoys cycling, bowling, and laser tag.



Larry is a grand champion show dog and enjoys strutting his stuff on the Riverwalk. As a natural born herder Larry is really good at keeping the crew together. His interests and hobbies include, fetch, napping, tug of war, eating treats, bacon.

Eric Schwartz

Riverwalk Manager

Lake kayak and sailing experience, along with 4 or 5 years of Chicago river kayaking with urban kayaks. Outdoor extraordinaire and avid fisherman.  Easy ladies, Eric is taken. 

Cole O'Beirne

Tour Guide

The next George Clooney. Urban Kayaks is lucky to have Cole as our Lead Tour Guide.

Sam Spiwak


Sam has been engulfed by the kayak industry over the past few years. When not kayaking, Sam can be found along the beaches of Evanston or playing baseball across the North Shore.

Xander Martin

Manager/ Lead Meteorologist

Xander has canoed and kayaked for 10 years. He is an avid fisherman and a dedicated outdoorsman. When he is not kayaking in the summer he is studying in Colorado.

Laurin Fox

Office Manager

Laurin, a Chicago native with an unparalleled sense of direction, has been with Urban Kayaks for two seasons. She enjoys cartwheels, colorful nail polish, extreme dancing and karaoke.

Casey Spiwak


Casey has been with Urban Kayaks since it's second season. Currently a student at the University of Missouri he enjoys table tennis, kayaking, and fishing. During his HS football days, Casey could bench press over 350 lbs.