Portland Community Rowing Association (PCRA) is a non-profit organization providing community members the opportunity for instruction, training, recreation and competition in the sport of rowing.
Portland Comunity Rowing Association was founded in 2009 by eight dedicated rowers: Ned Flint, Hallie Gilman, Savas Gunduz, Edward and Emily Demetriou, Genevieve Meredith, Christopher Kerber and Susannah Kerest. Since then, the club has continued to grow and offer additional clinics and sessions to rowers of all ages and experience-levels. Thank you for your interest in our organization - we look forward to getting to know you! 


Board of Directors


Jennifer Southard, President
Jen joined PCRA in the winter of 2009 through the indoor erging sessions and at the suggestion of a PCRA board member/coach entered the Crash-B competition in Boston after about a month of erging (although wouldn't necessarily do that again). She loves being out on the water and all three of her children have learned to row through PCRA.   Currently Jen is the membership coordinator for PCRA.  She lives in Portland and works for the Maine Community Foundation.


Chip Cooper, Equipment Manager
Chip has rowed competitively beginning in high school and continuing in college.  As a member of the Simsbury High School team, he was the stroke of the four that won the junior nationals (a long time ago).   When a member of the Ithaca College crew team, he was the stroke of a silver medal eight at the Dad Vail Championships.  Post college, he truly enjoyed time as an assistant coach with his former high school team until career obligations interfered with his love of the sport.  Fast forward to 2012 when Chip joined PCRA after not rowing regularly  for nearly 30 years.  Since then he has regained his passion for the sport because of the camaraderie with fellow rowers, the buzz of intense exercise, and the Zen of amazing sunrises on Casco Bay.


Mary Ellen Rogers

May Ellen began rowing in 2004 with Community Rowing, Inc. in Boston and immediately feel in love with the sport. She has rowed with Essex Rowing Club in Methuen, MA and joined PCRA in 2012.  Mary Ellen believes every day on the water in Casco Bay is a gift. While not a huge fan of erging, the camaraderie with crew mates makes the experience encouraging and fun, really. Mary Ellen is Senior Counsel with the TD Bank legal team based in South Portland.



Paula Birmingham
Paula was a "walk-on" during her freshman year at Northeastern University in Boston.  The love of crew and rowing stuck with her and she was delighted to have the chance to row again (several years later) when she learned of PCRA in 2009.  PCRA has given her the opportunity to try sculling, row several types of boats, race in a single, medal and return to racing on the Charles.  Paula's husband, Stephen Birmingham, has also joined PCRA as launch driver and rower (erging and scull).


Steve Birmingham
Steve knew there was something about his wife, Paula, when she started calling for power 10’s while she sat in the stern of their dinghy. Having only previously seen the onshore calisthenics of his college crew team, he had no idea what she was talking about. After clearing up the confusion, Paula convinced Steve it was fun to get up in the wee hours of the morning, and he started driving the PCRA safety launch. Watching other people row for a number of years gave him the bug, and he soon jumped into the boat himself. When he is not rowing Steve works at Goldman Financial Planning managing his clients’ money in partnership with his wife. He also spent 13 years with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and is currently on the board of Maine Island Trail Association.


Tim Yount

Bio coming soon!



Catherine Elliott
Catherine was a would-be college rower who didn't actually pick up an oar until she graduated and moved to Portland. After two weeks of early fall rowing on Casco Bay in 2012, Catherine was hooked. Since then, Catherine has learned one or two things about rowing - incluing the truth that there is nothing better than watching a summer sunrise from a shell on the bay. Over the years, Catherine has coxed for Learn to Row Clinics and Sessions and loves giving back to the community that first got her out on the water.


                                                          row@rowportland.org        www.facebook.com/rowportland