Paddle Antrim is proud to announce that Executive Director Deana Jerdee has been selected by The Quiet Water Society to receive the 2021 Verlen Kruger Award.

The Verlen Kruger Award is given annually to a person who has supported and promoted paddle sports along with water conservation, education, or history in Michigan. Verlen Kruger was a world class Michigan canoeist, who was the first to receive a Quiet Water Society award in 2003. Since then, the Verlen Kruger Award has been presented annually at the Quiet Water/Quiet Adventures Symposium.

Jerdee, a certified ACA Coastal Kayaking Instructor, began as the executive director at Paddle Antrim in 2014 when the organization was founded. Since then, she has tirelessly worked to promote paddle sports in the Chain of Lakes region to fulfill the nonprofit’s mission of protecting the pristine lakes and rivers in the region by connecting people to paddle sports. 

During her tenure at Paddle Antrim, Jerdee has engaged over 950 paddlers on the water through events including the Paddle Antrim Festival, paddling and stewardship classes, and community paddles. Jerdee led and executed development of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail which included working with 19 governmental and nonprofit entities to identify and approve 84 access sites which opened over 99 miles of paddling. The site selection and installation of signs consolidated information for paddlers to help create a quality paddling experience. Signs also include stewardship information which is essential to educate new and experienced paddlers about how to protect the waterways.

Jerdee will be recognized at the Quiet Adventure Virtual Symposium during the grand finale on February 27, 2021 and her name will be engraved in a brick for placement in the walkway around the Kruger statue in Portland, Michigan. 

The Quiet Adventure Virtual Symposium will be held over five evenings on February 16, 18, 23, 25 and 27th.  Jerdee will  be presenting at the symposium about Paddle Antirm’s work on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail and all it has to offer to the paddling community. Her presentation will take place on February 25 at 7:30 pm. Visit to learn more and register.