Associate Board

The Recovery on Water Associate Board is comprised of talented young professionals that have come together to spread awareness of ROW’s mission through events, growing a volume-based donor pool, volunteer and recruiting initiatives.


interested in joining the associate board?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis - apply here.

hemingway benton

Hemingway started her rowing career at New Trier High school in Winnetka, IL. After falling in love with the sport she competed in the 2010 Junior World Championships in the pair. After high school, Hemingway attended the University of Virginia. Rowing in the Varsity 8 all four years, her boat won the 2012 NCAA championship in the V8 and team title, 4 ACC gold medals, and Hemingway became an All American in her senior year. 

Now living back in Chicago and working in sales at, Hemingway turned to ROW® to revisit her rowing career and help other women become passionate about rowing as well as passionate about their health after cancer treatment. 

Monica bernardo

Monica began her rowing career at St. Ignatius College Prep in 2009 and found her calling as a coxswain her junior year. She coxed and rowed lightweight at The Catholic University in Washington, DC.  Monica competes with masters team, Avalon Rowing Club. She has been a ROW® volunteer since 2009, worked as a development & operations intern the summer of 2014, now coaches masters and novice teams. Monica is a UCanROW2/Concept2 certified  and USRowing Level II certified rowing coach. 

An active fundraiser for ROW®, Monica rode 1,000 miles around Lake Michigan with Bike4ROW 2015 and ran The 2016 & 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, raising funds and awareness for the team. Monica works as a marketing copywriter & brand manager. She brings event planning, social media & marketing management experience to the Associate Board.


Matt began rowing as a freshman in high school at Saint Ignatius at the prodding of his parents. He quickly found out that there was no where he would rather be than out on the water in a racing shell.  After rowing for 4 years at Ignatius, he went on to row for the MIT Heavyweight Men's team for another 4 years. He continues to compete in a handful of alumni events with his college classmates, most notably the Head of the Charles every fall.

When he returned to Chicago after school to work, Matt was looking for a way to stay involved in the rowing community.  That was when he ran into his old novice rowing coach Jenn, and recalled that she had started ROW during his Freshman year.  Having known family members who battled against breast cancer, joining the ROW team was the perfect way to keep rowing.  He looks forward to bringing that same passion from a decade of rowing to the ROW community and team

amanda huebner

Amanda’s athletic career started at five years old when she joined competitive swim team at her family’s country club in Kansas City. Around the same time, her family started spending their summers boating at their lake house in Missouri and it became clear that she belonged on the water. She continued to swim throughout high school and was a four year varsity letter winner. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Journalism and minor in Business and moved to New York City to work in event planning. 

Amanda is now a triathlete and fitness instructor, teaching boot camp at Yoga Six and ENRGi, and stand-up paddle boarding for Chicago Paddle Co. She brings her instructor voice to the coxswain seat and her event planning background to the Associate Board, and is honored to help ROW continue to be a bright light in people’s lives. 

christine oksas

Christine rowed for four years in high school as a heavyweight and lightweight rower on the Saint Ignatius College Prep (SICP) women's team, and trained and raced with the Chicago Training Center (CTC) men's and women's teams. She was varsity coxswain on the University of Illinois Rowing Club men's team for one season. Christine currently works at a health tech startup in Chicago. She is an avid wellness enthusiast, and hops on an erg at least once a week... just not at 5am! 

With Jenn as her novice coach in high school, Christine volunteered at ROW practice and events throughout her four years at SICP. She is excited to join ROW once more as an Associate Board member to help the organization grow, and to support a mission based in wellness and community. 

Leanna Blanchard

caroline deweirdt

maddie hilbrant

Alex MCDonald

hannah tzeghai

madeline Travnik

Maggie Yarbrough

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