Kacie embraced the world of SUP with the same zest and passion that has led her on a career path that includes roles as varied as artist, designer, filmmaker, police officer, attorney, mediator and law professor. A vivid dream of paddleboarding between Hawaiian Islands, despite never actually paddling before in real life, inspired Kacie to try the sport. Two weeks later, a chance encounter introduced her to YOLO Board, at which point she realized that her dream was both a vision and a calling. The spirit of YOLO to live life with passion, to commit to health, discovery and the community, and to blur the lines between passion and profession reflected her own goals, and SUP soon became Kacie’s passion and pursuit.
As a member of the YOLO Board Race Team and enthusiast of the mission of YOLO, Kacie’s paddle adventures have taken her into the Molokai Channel, up the coast of Maine, around islands in Hong Kong, down the Tennessee River, and 306 miles up the coast of North Carolina to raise awareness about the responsible use of plastics and its relation to ocean health. Her upcoming adventures include the 11-city Tour, a 124-mile race through the canals of Holland, a SUP exploration through the fishing harbors of Maine, paddling an inflatable YOLO board as far as possible from her family home on the Eno River in Hillsborough, NC down the Neuse River towards the Pamlico Sound, and sharing the joy of YOLO with as many new paddlers as will accept her invitation.
Kacie supports the education of girls in Nepal and summited Mera Peak (21,500 ft.) to raise money for The Little Sisters Fund and her Little Sister, Atithi Ghimire. She serves as an Ambassador for the Ocean Recovery Alliance and competes in endurance swimming and paddling events to raise awareness about ocean health and sustainability.
Kacie is a professor of law and supervising attorney for the Dispute Resolution Institute at North Carolina Central University School of Law. She is also a professor at the Duke-UNC Rotary Center for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution and Duke University School of Law, and for the Baldwin Scholars program at Duke University.. Her areas of expertise are gender differences in negotiation, international and environmental conflict management, and resolution of sports disputes. She is a mediator with the North Carolina Academy of Superior Court Mediators, the National Academy of Distinguished Mediators, the Industrial Commission, and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). She has served as the Ombudsman for the USOC at the 2011 ParaPanAm Games in Guadalajara, 2012 Paralympic Games in London, and 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.
In what place do you feel most inspired?
On the water and in the sunshine with creative, compassionate, and driven philanthropists, leaders and athletes.
What song would best characterize your motto?
“All I Can See” by Brendan James, “I Stand” by Idina Menzel, and “Corner of the Sky” from Pippin.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Lewis Gordon Pugh who swam at the North Pole and in a glacial lake on Mt. Everest to raise awareness about global warming, Doug Woodring who through his ocean adventures and initiatives is helping to keep our oceans swimmable and sustainable, Ian McKee whose passion for soccer and sustainability has translated to promoting green sporting venues for the Olympic and World Cup Games throughout Brazil, and Trevor Patzer whose vision for change now provides for the education of over 1,000 girls in Nepal.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Creating a life where I can pursue passion and profession simultaneously.
How would you describe your style?
Grace (attempted), grit, and gratitude.
What’s your motto in life?
A dog doesn’t stretch before it chases a car.