​​Montgomery Whitewater PROJECT


Scott Shipley is head of development for SWDG and aids the team in providing design services from initial concept to construction documents. His responsibilities include coordination and implementation of all project engineering and design and continuous improvement strategies to integrate lessons learned from one project into the next.  Scott brings a varied background to the table as a veteran of three Olympic Games (’92, ’96, ’00) and holder of four world titles, Scott has more than 25 years of experience as a whitewater competitor. He also holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from top-ranked Georgia Institute of Technology. Scott was the whitewater designer of the London 2012 venue and every successful pumped whitewater park in the United States including the U.S. National Whitewater Center and Oklahoma City Riversport Rapids.  Scott continues to develop for-profit whitewater park projects around the world.

Southern Whitewater Development Group (SWDG):

 The Southern Whitewater Development Group was founded to provide a full-service whitewater park development partner to local municipalities looking to host a unique active, outdoor recreation center in their city or town.  The SWDG team provides consulting, design, delivery, development and operational solutions that aid a municipality in the development of profitable self-sustaining whitewater-based outdoor adventure park. SWDG parks provide a local outlet for healthy, active, and outdoor lifestyles while attracting tourism and economic development throughout the surrounding regions.  SWDG parks are credited with millions of dollars per year in economic impact and for helping to re-brand a location as a destination for outdoor sports.  Our team was formulated to provide expertise in the key project areas of Design, Funding and Approvals, Project Delivery, and Operations.  Please see the bios below for a full description of our team’s background and capabilities.

Project Delivery: 

Jeffrey Gustin’s vast and varied experience in all aspects of the AEC and development industry has positioned him well as a detail-oriented program and process manager.  Key specialties include:  owner’s representation, program management, large-scale project management, consultant management, pre-design entitlements and site evaluations, contract negotiations, design and engineering oversight and coordination, quality, time and process controls, construction management, and post construction evaluation and closeout procedures.  Prior to joining SWDG and delivering the Riversport Rapids Whitewater Park, Jeffrey was Vice President of Construction and COO of Waveyard Development, an Arizona water-based entertainment and recreational development company. Prior to Waveyard, he served as the project manager for the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC.  Jeffrey continues to consult with a variety of large-scale private recreational developers, designers, and operators on projects ranging from $2 million to nearly $1 billion in total project costs.       


Dave Hepp is a former international competitor and professional in the paddlesports industry.  Dave spent the better portion of the last 20 years competing in and managing artificial whitewater parks.  As the former Paddlesports Director with the U.S. National Whitewater Center, and former Vice President of RIVERSPORT Adventures with the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, David brings a wealth of knowledge and success to the table.  He is the first person to open and operate the two largest whitewater parks in the world to date, has served as an operational consultant for the International Canoe Federation and Vector WERO Whitewater Park in New Zealand, which opened in April 2016. David is proud to be one of the key leaders in the emerging whitewater park industry and has a goal to expand the development of outdoor recreation centers as focal points for the communities they serve.  

Funding and Approvals: 

Megan McKenzie is a licensed commercial Realtor, with a degree in technical writing and professional communications from Auburn University.  She has over 10 years of sales, marketing and technical communication experience in the design, community development and real estate arena.  As a young professional in her community, she has worked with the business and elected leadership at the state and local levels to effect visionary development providing truly unique quality-of-life projects for thriving communities.       

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