Our Staff


Norm and Phiillip Schoenhoff have owned Whitewater Excitement since its inception in 1978. They are still involved in leading some of the river trips and are always on hand to help their staff and guides to organize the trips. This personal touch is unmatched by any other company in the industry and assures that our guests receive the quality and safety they expect in their adventures.

Whitewater Excitement is one of the elite California rafting companies and naturally attracts some of the premier guides and best support staff in the industry. Understanding that our staff is our frontline and foundation for every guest’s experience, we pay our guides and staff one of the highest rates and provide them with the best benefits. It is not surprising that we have one of the highest staff retention rates of any company in the industry. We strongly believe that by creating a caring, fun, and growing atmosphere for our staff will result in a rewarding experience that our guests will long remember.

  • Norm Schoenhoff

    Norm Schoenhoff

    (Owner - River Guide)

    Norm's first trip on the river was May 1973, where he guiding some friends down the South Fork in a old rented military styled raft. After that trip, "I was hooked on whitewater rafting and kayaking". He is one of the very few rafting company owners that still gets out on the river and guides.

  • Phillip Schoenhoff

    Phillip Schoenhoff

    (Owner - Trip Leader)

    At a very young age, Phillip, was introduced to whitewater, and since then he has rafted and kayaked all over the US and several other countries. "I Love sharing my passion of the river with people of all ages and experience levels. Theres nothing quite like introducing the river to someone for the first time."

  • Glen-Flash-Himberg


    (River Guide)

    Glen, AKA "Flash", began his journey in whitewater rafting in 1985 as a commercial guest of Whitewater Excitement. The next year he went through our guide school and we cannot seem to get rid of him. He has traveled the world whitewater rafting, and is a wealth of information for sure. His favorite answer to the most asked question - How deep is the water? Chest high to a duck!

  • Ryan


    (Trip Leader )

    Ryan, another local boy from the Coloma area, came to us 8 years ago as a high school senior looking for work as a river guide. When asked why he wanted to be a river guide, and he answered "for the thrill of it of course". He has since matured into one of our trip leaders and most requested guide. He is working on his degree at Chico right now and will be back this spring and summer for another year of thrills!

  • Jay Wilber

    Jay Wilber

    (Transportaion Manager)

    Jay is a bus driver extraordinaire. He drives for the local school district during the school year and for Whitewater Excitement during the summers.

  • Mikey Muraki

    Mikey Muraki

    (Trip Leader)

    A super fun loving guy, Mikey is one of the most respected guides and trip leaders on the river. A super skilled and adventurous kayaker on days he is not guiding, Mikey always has a smile on his face and love to meet new rafters. He is working on his master's degree and is looking forward to teaching.

  • Jack Gruhler

    Jack Gruhler

    (Trip Leader)

    We first met Jack at our guide school meet and greet session. Jack was a 15 year old young man that could not stop smiling the entire time. He as young to begin with and was told he might not work his first year due to his age. Fast forward 6 years and Jack is one of our most popular guides. Ski instructor in the winter and raft guide in the summer, what more can you ask for.

  • JT Thomas

    JT Thomas

    (River Guide)

    JT - a local product of the American river area, came to us in 2015 after our guide school was over, and said he wanted to become a river guide. We told him to come out and raft with us and see if he could learn the river and skills needed to guide. Well, he was awesome, learned them quick and became one of our best new guides that year. He loves to fly, hang out with friends, and of course get on the river as much as he can.

  • Tivon Lewis Quigley

    Tivon Lewis Quigley

    (River Guide)

    I'm from Chico, CA and came to guide for Excitement in 2014 for my first year. When not guiding in Coloma, I go to school at Chico State. After getting officially hooked on whitewater during my second season guiding, I'm positive that I will be back at Excitement in the future. I love being on the river because it is constantly challenging and rewarding. I do not know exactly what I want to do after college but I am positive that whatever I do, I will be close to the river.

  • Justin


    (River Guide)

    I am currently a student at Chico State majoring in marketing and I have been guiding for 3 years now and enjoying every part of it! My favorite river trip would have to be our company trip to the Tuolumne River, when I got to raft down Clavey Falls in a mini raft with my pals Scotty and Jake!

  • Josh


    (River Guide)

    Josh is from the UK (England) and came to us in 2016 after many years guiding in and around the UK. Josh loves the river scene and travels the world following the sun and the rivers. He just finished a trip to Costa Rica and is coming back for another year on the American.

  • Paul


    (Trip Leader)

    Paul grew up around the river, and after hearing about kayaking from one of his high school teachers, he thought he wold try it out. Well he is now one of the top non professional kayakers around. He began guiding 5 years ago with us and is now one of our top guides. He still enjoys sitting in a raft and sharing his passion with others.

  • Jenna


    (River Guide)

    I was drawn to the river in high school and began just swimming around and enjoying it. I saw some rafters float by and thought that looks fun. I went through guide school back 8 years ago and began guiding for WWE. Now I help inner city young kids learning about the wilderness by getting them out of the city. I'm a part time guide now, but I am always thinking about my next time I can come up and get on the river.