Our Staff

Portrait of Aaron, a young man with a warm smile

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. Fun Fact: Aaron has been collecting NBA basketball cards since he was 6 years old.
Man in yellow vest paddling kayak

Asher Gershenzon

Asher is an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructor. Asher worked closely with his brother, Aaron, in the kayaking industry for many years. He is one of the most qualified and experienced guides on the Chicago River. Asher’s passion for kayaking is surpassed only by his love for Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Come at him (if you can)!
Man cuddling a dog

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.
A dog wearing a life jacket



Joni is the heart and soul of Urban Kayaks. Born into the world of kayaking, she has spent every day of her life on the Chicago River. Her favorite toy is the frisbee, followed closely by the stick and then the ball. Joni is 14 years young. 

A smiling woman named Melissa Anderson standing in front of a tour group.

Melissa Anderson

Melissa has worked as a PSIA Cert II Ski Instructor in Beaver Creek, CO for the last six years. She has also led tours at Urban Kayaks for the past three years. In her free time, Melissa enjoys cycling, bowling, and laser tag.
A man and his dog riding on a jet ski in the sea

Sam Coyte

Manager/ACA Level II Instructor
This is Sam’s third year with Urban Kayaks. Sam grew up in the suburbs, but spent his summers on the water of Lake Geneva. Along with his position as an Urban Kayak manager and ACA instructor, Sam is also an EMT for MedEx Ambulance and is headed to paramedic school in the fall. You’re most likely to find him teaching paddleboarding and doing safety laps on a jet ski at our Monroe Harbor location.
Man in life jacket riding jet ski

Felix Desposorio

Manager/Lead Tour Guide/ACA Level II Instructor
Felix is thrilled to be back for another season at Urban Kayaks, where he works as a manager, tour guide, and instructor. Along with his love of watersports, Felix holds a degree in music and plays drums for several local bands. You might also find him slinging drinks over at Urban Kayaks’ new watering hole, TacoRio!
A man with long hair and sunglasses taking a selfie in the water

Matthew Grosh

Assistant General MANAGER / Sector rep

Matt enjoys his family, with two wonderful girls. When he is not kayaking, he works as an artist. Urban Kayaks is super lucky to have Matt as an AGM, Sector Rep for Human Powered Craft, and Lead Tour Guide!

A man in a green shirt riding in the water

Scott Dolland

Lead Tour Guide/ACA Level II Instructor
At a young age, Scott would push pole through the Louisiana marshes and bayous with his father, uncle, and grandfather. He attended his first canoe camp at age 10 and bought his own canoe at age 12. He has been paddling in Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, California, Illinois, and most of southeastern Asia. Though he’d never say it himself, other people often describe him as a “river rat.” When not on the water, Scott enjoys cooking, playing music, and performing in improv groups. He’s also contemplating getting into disc-golf just because…it seems like his vibe. He has worked at Urban Kayak for three years.

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