Jenn Gibbons, Executive Director & Head Coach
Jenn rowed at Michigan State University and began coaching in 2005 as the Men’s Novice Coach for Ignatius Chicago Crew (ICC). Jenn coached for ICC for six years and has also coached for Lincoln Park Boat Club and Chicago Rowing Union. Jenn previously worked for Girls in the Game and Groupon. In recognition of her achievements as the Founder and Coach of ROW, Jenn was honored in November of 2009 as the Athena Foundation Chicago Young Professional Award recipient, and in 2010 she received Today’s Chicago Woman’s INSPIRED Award. Most recently Jenn was honored by US Rowing as the 2011 Masters Coach of the Year.
In the summer of 2012, Jenn rowed the 1,500 mile perimeter of Lake Michigan raising over $150,000 to buy boats and equipment for Recovery on Water. Jenn and ROW have been featured in Fitness Magazine, Make It Better Newsletter, Gapers Block, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CNN, WGN,WCIU, Chicago Public Radio, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun Times and covered in media outlets across the country via the Associated Press.
Jenn joined the the ROW staff as the full time Executive Director in 2012 and brings her nonprofit background and coaching experience to manage the coaches, budget, assess programs and run the organization with the guidance of the Board Chair and Board of Directors. Jenn likes starboard side, handstands, running marathons, eating hot wings (not at the same time) and kicking cancer’s butt–one rower at a time.
Sheena Moore, Coach
Sheena learned to row as a freshman at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2001, and has rowed at Green Lake Crew. She moved to Chicago and began coaching ROW in June 2009. Sheena strives to expose the athlete in each of her rowers, and especially loves getting novices out on the water for the first time. She recently graduated with a MA in English Literature from DePaul University and currently works as an editor and marketing strategist. Sheena is a valuable part of our coaching staff-welcoming “newbies” and helping out with various campaigns and events.
In her free time she misses skiing on the west coast, collects soul 45s from the 60’s, and travels as much as possible.
Erin Cikanek, Coach
Erin began rowing as a novice at the University of Michigan Women’s in 2003 and never looked back. She was a member of the varsity squad from 2004-2007 and during her time there she became a varsity letter winner and won a Big Ten Team Conference Championship in 2004. Since 2007 she has coached for various teams in the Chicago area, including learn-to-row at LPBC, the novice men at Northwestern University from 2007-2008, Chicago Rowing Union, and Chicago Training Center.
Erin joined the ROW coaching staff in 2012 and has been a great addition to our team’s leadership as a strong technical coach. Erin recently completed her MA in Public Policy and Administration at Northwestern University. Erin is looking forward to working with ROW and credits the sport of rowing with helping maintain her very strong addiction to coffee.
Rob Colgate, Coach
Rob began rowing as a freshman for Ignatius Chicago Crew and is currently a junior on their varsity men’s squad. His sophomore year he received the award for Most Improved. This past summer he helped plan ICC’s races at the Chicago Sprints and volunteered at their Learn to Row camp for incoming freshman. He began work with Recovery on Water in September 2012 as a volunteer coach for erg practices in Skokie before transitioning to coxing for ROW during their water practices. He raced with ROW at the 2013 Chicago Sprints and continues to cox and coach every week. He is eager to join the ROW coaching staff and share his passion for the sport with the athletes. In his free time he runs, writes, and collects train tickets.
Mary Ellen rowed competitively for Loyola Academy where she received the Maroon & Gold award as captain her senior year. She rowed for Fordham University at the Division I level on an athletic scholarship.
Mary Ellen is currently pursuing an M.A. in journalism from DePaul University and plans to utilize her newswriting skill set to contribute and raise awareness of ROW’s mission. She has recently taken up sculling and hopes to start competing soon!