Select a presenter to see their bio below:
Alex Earl, Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation Alex grew up amidst one of the last wild frontiers on the planet on the border between Alaska and British Columbia at the end of one of the longest fjords on the Pacific Coast. Experiencing this natural setting with wild salmon runs, otters, sharks, porpoises, orcas, and whales forged a deep desire to protect and conserve our environment. He learned to dive in the cool waters of Whytecliff Park, the first Marine Protected Area in Canada and later completed his PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course in the warm tropical waters of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Philippines. With a background in Political Science and World History from the University of British Columbia, and as an alumni of an outdoor guide training program, he has worked, volunteered and dived globally. Scuba diving clarified that marine conservation and environmental activism were his path in life. Alex has worked as a global executive at Sea Shepherd Conservation Society where he focused on growing and maximizing a global fundraising infrastructure, engaging corporations and foundations, and leveraging a nonprofit environmental brand to build a parallel eco-ethical commercial brand of high value. He has served as a Board Member of Sea Shepherd Australia and a Trustee of Sea Shepherd United Kingdom. He is an Advisory Board Member for Ocean Defenders Alliance. Alex proudly uses his skills and background along with his passion for conservation to lead a talented global team at Project AWARE working to save our ocean planet - one dive at a time.
While creating a successful business, Dive Into Your Imagination, Annie Crawley, aka Ocean Annie, continues to travel and document the world focusing on life in our Ocean. She is uniquely qualified to speak about obtaining success by taking risks, living your dreams and creating your greatest life. Originally from Chicago and trained as a photo and broadcast journalist, Annie Crawley spent the past two decades living and working around the world. After learning to scuba dive and sail, she became a PADI Master Scuba Diving Instructor and a 100 ton US Coast Guard Boat Captain. She was named an SSI 5000 Platinum Pro Diver and inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Annie Crawley specializes in the Underwater Realm as an underwater photographer, filmmaker, and has created an award winning series of products for the next generation. Dive Into Your Imagination under Annie’s leadership will be releasing another series of programs at Our World Underwater on ocean education and leadership including books, educator/parent lesson plans and DVDS to change the way a new generation views the ocean, themselves and our environment. Annie relates the lessons learned growing up and traveling in a way that will empower, inspire and motivate you to go beyond what they believe they are capable. Annie Crawley believes in the principals of Conscious Leadership, you want to make sure you meet this dynamic woman
Responsibility, hard work and passion are words that clearly describe Antonio. Born to work and excel in the hotel business, he is one of the most well known, proactive and influential hoteliers in Honduras. As the general director of the Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort in West Bay, Roatan, located on one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Antonio has overseen it rise from under construction to being a PADI 5 Start Dive Resort.
Audra Gray is an Adjunct Professor of Biology and Geology at Trinity Christian College and Moraine Valley Community College; and holds a secondary education (grades 6-12) certificate in Biology. In addition, she has been working at Scuba Emporium as both staff and instructor for fifteen years. Prior to her current positions, Miss Gray held management and teaching positions in both retail and educational facilities as well as working as a project scientist for a forensic firm. She has also spent time working in environmental research projects both in the United States and abroad, some of which were underwater. Audra holds a Bachelors Degree in Biology from St. Xavier University and a Masters Degree in Environmental Biology from Governor’s State University. Audra is also an accomplished scuba diver, holding over fifty recreational certifications from PADI, DAN, DSAT, SCII, and TDI. She is a PADI Master Instructor, able to teach almost forty PADI specialties, as well as an HSA Instructor. Recently Audra completed dive 1100 and is looking forward to the next 1100.
Barbara Buchanan is a photographer and videographer who travels the globe. She has worked on expeditions and archeologist on Blackbeard’s shipwreck Queen Anne’s Revenge documenting the excavation for the Dive Down Project. Her most recent project is filming the wrecks of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. She is owner of Scuba Planners Dive Travel and has arranged many expeditions including the Japan trip with Wreck Diving Magazine where she filmed the expedition.
Betty Orr is Vice President & Director of Insurance for DAN Services. She came to Divers Alert Network in 1991 as a customer services representative in the Membership Department and transferred into the Insurance Department in 1999. Prior to coming to DAN, she worked with the Florida Department of Regulation as an agent and Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio as an Associate Professor of Biology. Betty has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biology and has authored and contributed to many books and magazine articles in both scuba diving and biology.
Bill Lidyoff became a certified scuba diver in 1975 and began his teaching career in 1987. He is an active NAUI Course Director, teaching all levels of recreational divers up to and including Instructor Trainers. He is the author of the NAUI Instructor manuals, as well as the Program Director for LA County Scuba. Bill is currently a Training and Educational Instructor for Ocean Reef Integrated Diving Masks, providing demonstrations, sales, service and repair to California, as well as teaching IDM instructor courses throughout the west.
Bob has been diving since 1997 and has traveled extensively in the Caribbean and ventured to places including: Palau, Truk and the Philippines for diving. Over the year Bob has been to Curacao 10 times and has dove both the East and West Ends of Curacao over the years. Bob lives in the Chicago area, works for IBM and has a MS from Western Il University. Bob is a certified PADI and NAUI DM.
Cal Kothrade is an award winning maritime artist, underwater photographer, and published dive travel author, specializing in wreck mosaic photography, digital renderings, and fine art paintings. Cal is the founder, and producer of the Milwaukee Amateur Underwater Film Festival, Founder of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Photo Contest (new in 2013), Curator of the Our World Underwater Art Flows like Water Art Exhibition, as well as a member of Wisconsin Marine Historical Society, and Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association. Additionally, he is the founder of Milwaukee Dive Apparel, a designer/retailer of unique apparel for Great Lakes divers, as well as providing custom apparel for clubs, resorts, and dive boats around the world. Learn more about Milwaukee Dive apparel at: www.MilwaukeeDiveApparel.com
Dr Charles D. Beeker Director of Indiana University’s Office of Underwater Science and recognized international expert on the creation of shipwreck parks as Living Museums in the Sea. Beeker's research has been featured in numerous professional and popular publications as well as television documentaries by Discovery Channel, History Channel, Animal Planet, and National Geographic Society. Beeker began diving in 1963, has been an active PADI Instructor since 1974, and was a member of the Abandoned Shipwreck Act working committee, and Federal Advisory Committee for Marine Protected Areas.
Chet has been diving for some 38 years, eschewing his home waters of Monterey Bay, CA, for the little latitudes where the water is warm and the visibility unlimited. Chet and his wife have been diving Papua New Guinea since 1993 and now represent Loloata Island Resort, Walindi Plantation Resort, Tufi Adventure, M.V. FeBrina and Trans Niuguini Tours at consumer and trade shows, The presentation is colorful, fast moving and informative including the ins and outs of getting in and out of PNG.
Christopher Weaver has been diving the waters of Long Island and the world since 1978 and has spent hundreds of hours underwater accumulating a large and varied library of photographic images. With Michael Salvarezza, he has presented his work in hundreds of multi-media slide presentations and have appeared at Beneath the Sea and the Boston Sea Rovers Underwater Clinic. Their work has been published in various magazines such as: Skin Diver, Sport Diver, Asian Diver, Diver, Advanced Diver Magazine, Sport Diving Magazine, Dive Journal, World War II, Immersed and Lighthouse Digest.
Dan Orr, President Dan Orr came to Divers Alert Network in 1991 as Director of Training. He was responsible for developing and implementing DAN training programs including the internationally successful DAN Oxygen First Aid Course. Prior to coming to DAN, he was the Associate Diving Officer at Florida State University and, before that, he was Director of Diver Training Programs at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Dan has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biology and has authored and contributed to many books and magazine articles including co-author of Scuba Diving Safety and DAN's Pocket Guide for Diving Safety series.
David Doubilet & Jennifer Hayes
David Doubilet has a long and intimate vision into the sea. He began snorkeling at age 8 at summer camp in the Adirondack and by age 12 he was making pictures underwater using a Brownie Hawkeye camera stuffed into a rubber anesthesiologist bag. The bag filled with air and it was like trying to submerge the Hindenburg. The pictures were barely recognizable. David has long since mastered the techniques of working with water and light to become one of the world’s most celebrated underwater photographers and a contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine where he has published nearly 70 stories since his first assignment in 1971. Jennifer Hayes is an aquatic biologist and photojournalist specializing in natural history and marine environments. Jen Hayes and David Doubilet collaborate as a photographic team above and below water on project development, story production, feature articles and books. National Geographic assignments have taken them around the globe from Africa’s Okavango Delta, through tropical and temperate seas to the poles. Recent projects have found them in the remote corners of the Great Barrier Reef, under oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, swimming among congregations of 500-pound goliath grouper and submerged in the ice with harp seal mother and pups.
Dr. David E. Guggenheim, president of the nonprofit, Ocean Doctor, is a marine scientist, conservation policy expert, educator and filmmaker, now in his 13th year leading marine research and conservation in Cuba. An Explorer Club Fellow, Guggenheim piloted the first submersible dive into the largest underwater canyons in the Bering Sea. His documentary, Disaster at Nightingale, is in film festivals worldwide. Guggenheim is an acclaimed speaker and been featured on 60 Minutes, CNN, NPR.
David Trotter has been discovering and exploring Great Lakes Shipwrecks since the late 70's. In 25 years of exploration, he has discovered 75 shipwrecks. His discoveries and programs have been featured on the Discovery Channel, ABC News, CBS News, Great Lakes in Depth and in leading newspapers, including the New York Times, the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, and in leading dive publications including Immersed, Wreckdiver and Advanced Diver. In a continuing odyssey, he has surveyed more than 2000 square miles of Lake Huron in what has become a remarkable one of a kind adventure. David now produces programs on his shipwreck discoveries and shares his adventures on DVD, taking divers and non-divers alike on true Great Lakes adventures. When not shipwreck hunting and diving off the survey boat Obsession Too, he and Mickey (wife) enjoy the Great Lakes on their 40’ trawler, Sojourner.
Deanna LaSusa - Hotchner
DEANNA LaSUSA - HOTCHNER became a diver twenty years ago. Since that time, her love for the ocean and diving has taken her all over the globe. Deanna has dived many places in the United States, Caribbean and South Pacific. Her favorite hobby is underwater videography. She is the recipient of the First Place award, Environmental Concern in the EPIC (Environmentally Aware Photographic Competition).
The combination of Deanna’s zeal for marine conservation and her background as a trial attorney has shaped her major goals: ~ to have people learn about the ocean and its inhabitants; ~ through this newfound knowledge people will act to protect the oceans and become ocean advocates. To accomplish these goals Deanna created Discover the Depths. Deanna brings fun, interactive, educational presentations to people of all ages to learn about marine animals and ecosystems.
Deanna is a volunteer interpreter and diver at John G. Shedd Aquarium. She enhances aquarium guests’ experience by sharing interesting information about the Shedd’s collections.
Deanna lives in Chicago with her dive buddy, husband Dave, and their two children, whom she hopes will be snorkeling and diving soon.
CoCo View Resort’s Managers Deb Karlson, has been vacationing at the resort since 1992. She and her husband had visited each of the Bay Islands, and enjoyed lodging at several other resorts, but always returned to the friendly faces of CoCo View and Roatan. When they decided to leave the big city of Houston, their destination of choice was Roatan. Deb has many years of hotel management experience and is an avid SCUBA diver and underwater photographer. Mitch also has many years of management experience, has extensive mechanical knowledge, and is a PADI Dive Master.
Eric Vaandering is a Chicago area SCUBA diver. Eric is active in the local dive community as an organizer of the Chicago Scuba Meetup and as an active member of LOUP and UASC. He’s been fortunate to dive a number of “off the beaten path” locations, including two recent trips to the Red Sea, unfamiliar to most Americans. Eric has been photographing the world since the 1990s and the underwater parts of it since 2006.
Captain Gary Mace and his wife, Brenda, are the Owners & Operators of Conch Republic Divers in the Florida Keys. Certifications include, USCG certified 100Ton Captain. PADI, SSI, SDI/TDI, NAUI, NAUI, advanced wreck diver, nitrox instructor, CCR Evolution and Poseidon Mark VI instructor and a full cave diver. Over 42 years of dive experience he was awarded the SSI Pro 5000 award in 2008. He also is the owner / developer of Scubaocity’s Dive Shop Management System. He is also the co-host of the popular TV show Treasure Dives that is airing on History and Discovery channels around the world.
Greg Lashbrook & Kathy Johnson
Over the years, Greg Lashbrook and Kathy Johnson have worked with scuba certification classes, on search & rescue operations, for commercial hardhat companies and assisted researchers across the Great Lakes basin. Their work with the US Fish and Wildlife, DNR’s and Fishes & Oceans Canada, among other organizations, has established them as Great Lakes marine life experts. To see more of Greg and Kathy’s work visit their website at www.GregoryAd.com In 1990, Greg and Kathy published their first book on Great Lakes diving and have since published articles for publications such as – Michigan Natural Resources Magazine, Sport Diver Magazine and USA Today Newspaper. From the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto to SHEDD Aquarium in Chicago and TV Japan in Tokyo, Greg and Kathy are committed to raising awareness about the importance of freshwater marine life. In 2007, they worked on “Mysteries of the Great Lakes” the only IMAX film featuring the Great Lakes region. National Geographic TV’s 2010 “Monster Fish” series premiere included their Lake Sturgeon footage. In 2011, their videos were presented to the U.S. Congress by a Great Lakes Fisheries Commission congressional delegation. In the fall of 2011, Greg and Kathy released a full length documentary entitled “Manistee Nme, a Lake Sturgeon Success Story”. And most recently they were featured on Michigan’s longest running PBS series “Michigan Outdoors”.
Hagai Tzur is a PADI Master Scuba Diver trainer for over 10 years. Hagai has been working around the globe in exotic places such as the Seychelles, Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo reef western Australia, Red Sea, Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel. After diving with the playful sea lions he decided to call Los Cabos his home and to explore more the area described by Jacques Cousteau as "the worlds aquarium".
: Janna is REEF's Outreach Coordinator. She has been a PADI scuba instructor, and an AAUS scientific diver. Always interested in marine life identification and underwater photography, many of her photos appear in fish ID books and publications. She has conducted over 800 REEF surveys, and leads the REEF Pacific Coast Advanced Assessment Team. Janna was chosen as REEF's Volunteer of the Year in 2003 and as Dive News Network's 2013 Diver of the Year. Her goal is to spread her enthusiasm about the REEF Fish Survey Project and turn everyone into fish geeks. Resistance is futile!
Jim & Pat Stayer
For 36 years Jim & Pat Stayer have been diving in the Great Lakes and around the world. Pat is a member of the Women’s Diving Hall of Fame and Jim has been a U.S.C.G Licensed Captain for 24 years. They have co-authored three books and produced 20 DVDs. The Stayers have discovered eight shipwrecks and documented numerous others. They have worked as cameramen for the History Channel and their footage has appeared several major commercial networks. Jim and Pat have been popular presenters at dive shows across the country.
Joan Forsberg is a well-known maritime historian, scuba diver, author, speaker, and underwater videographer. She has been the Chairman of the “Shipwrecks and Underwater Archaeology Room” at Chicago’s annual Our World– Underwater Show since 1996. She is the author of the scuba celebrity cook-and-tell book, “Diver’s Guide to the Kitchen,” and articles in magazines such as Immersed, Great Lakes Boating, and Wreck Diving (for which she works as Copy Editor). With her husband, Cris Kohl, she co-authored “Shipwrecks at Death’s Door,” “The Christmas Tree Ship,” and “Our World Underwater – The First 40 Years,” and co-produced more than a dozen history documentaries about Great Lakes shipwrecks. In her three terms as President of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago (2008, 2009, 2010), she spearheaded several significant maritime history projects, particularly the sinking of the historic ship named the Buccaneer as the newest shipwreck site off Chicago. She was the recipient of the 2011 UASC Award for many years of leadership and dedication. Joan was inducted into the International Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2010, and was recently elected to the Board of Trustees of that organization.
Joe Romeiro & Bill Fisher
Sharks have fascinated both Joe Romeiro and Bill Fisher since childhood. As avid recreational divers, they hope to spread the message that sharks do not live up to the negative reputation that is so often depicted. Through their films, they portray sharks not as mindless killers, but as the beautiful and majestic creatures they are. Their ultimate goal is to help conserve and appreciate the beauty of the world’s oceans and its creatures.
Jonathan Lavan - The owner/operator of Underpressure Diving & Nature Photography is a citizen scientist and wildlife expert and has been SCUBA Diving for thirty years and taking photographs both above and below the water for about 10. He was pleased to have been made Volunteer of the Year for 2012 by the Reef Environmental Education Foundation. As a SCUBA Diver he has been a photographer, teacher and research associate for many different organizations. Among them: National Geographic, Smithsonian, Scuba Diving Magazine, Nature Best Photography Magazine, Encyclopedia of Life/Earth, Florida Museum Of Natural History, OnEarth, Fishwise, Fishbase, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Defenders of Wildlife, Discover The Depths, REEF and Shedd Aquarium. He is a staunch environmentalist and educator of young people. Jonathan is committed to making a difference on this planet through his images and his message of good will to all creatures. www.underpressurephotog.com.
Kris Harrison is an award winning technical diving instructor. He has over 8000 dives, including more than 2000 technical, rebreather and cave dives. He has taught and guided cave diving, rebreather, side mount, trimix and wreck diving in places such as Mexico, Egypt, Maldives, Indonesia and Thailand. He has been fortunate to live in these different parts of the world enabling him to work full time as a professional diving instructor and at the same time experiencing and learning about the different diving environments around the world. Kris started teaching Martial arts at his father’s judo and ju-jitsu academy at a very young age progressing to teaching skiing and snowboarding in Aspen, Colorado. He has guided climbing and mountaineering throughout North America and ultimately settled on diving, becoming an Instructor with PADI, SSI, ANDI and ultimately a top Instructor Trainer for TDI/SDI; teaching courses ranging from advanced trimix instructor to exploratory cave and teaches more than 30 instructor level programs. Kris is truly is a teacher at heart! "My favorite places in the world have always been off the beaten path and I love giving others the tools to experience those places themselves. I really enjoy teaching technical diving courses and giving both beginning and experienced divers the ability to significantly increase their range of diving while at the same time increasing their overall safety and quality of diving". “Keep it safe; let’s focus on getting out of the cave before getting in” Kris uses his natural ability to make complex concepts simple and understandable. His focus on his student’s well-being, understanding of dive theory, techniques and limitations has gained him an international following with one student describing him as a Rubik’s cube that’s solved its self.
Larry McKenna: Filmmaker, photographer, author and adventurer; both under the oceans and on top of mountains in remote places (and locations in between). This is the biographical definition of Larry McKenna; doing what he does best; recording life, cultures; history and events so that others may see the World through his eyes, voice, pen and cameras.
Larry is a former United States Air Force aviator with a chest full of combat decorations. He served for 26 years in uniform while flying and designing new planes and helicopters before going onward to enter the commercial sectors of business, as an International banker and real estate developer and hotel/resorts operator, in the USA, in Central America and the Pacific region of islands. He is now a dedicated environmentalist to save the Leatherback Sea Turtle from its rapid spiral into extinction.
He founded his independent production studio in 1984 after several frustrations in hiring documentary crews to make his promotional films. Larry resolved that HE could make a better quality film than those he paid – and went on to do just that. Larry’s base of operations is Kingwood, Texas (close to Houston); but is rarely there because of travels, mainly in the Pacific/Asia regions. He is currently involved with conservation efforts to save the Pacific Leatherback turtles from a rapid extinction.
More can be learned about Larry’s activities by visiting web sites: www.happycatproductions.com and www.leathebackturtles.org
Leandro Blanco is an internationally acclaimed film maker with a background in music composition, recording and production. His passion for nature and underwater imaging combined with his film editing and compositing techniques distinguish his work. He is the only filmmaker that has won Antibes film festival during eight consecutive years in different categories. In 2004 he was named diver of the year at BTS (Beneath the sea NY) for his contribution to the art of film making. He is currently working with National Geographic on the Oceans Now project
Lynn Funkhouser was inducted into the inaugural Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF). She is an internationally published photographer, author, lecturer, environmentalist, adventuress, and leader in dive travel. She specializes in underwater, nature, travel, and environmental images. In 2008, Lynn was inducted into the Society of Women Geographers. SWG members are women who love adventure and have added to the world’s knowledge. Members include Amelia Earhart, Eugenie Clark, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Margaret Mead, and Pearl Buck. As an environmentalist, Lynn is committed to making a difference on this planet through her images and lectures.
Marty has been both a dive instructor and a paramedic since 1995. He has worked as a paramedic in the field, in an ER and as an EMS supervisor at an Ohio theme park. He also has experience training students with disabilities to dive. Additionally he was certified as an AHA BLS and First Aid instructor as well as an EMT instructor. He has been with DAN since 2004. Marty’s passion is education. In 2006 he developed DAN’s Webinar program, where divers from around the world login to real-time lectures with DAN Medics on a variety of dive safety related topics. In 2007 Marty recorded DAN’s first dive safety DVD lecture, “I May Be Bent...Now What?”. Each year, Marty represents DAN at consumer and industry dive shows as well as professional level conferences, providing lectures, seminars and workshops on various topics related to diving medicine. Marty’s intention is to continue his own education and continue working to develop new educational opportunities for the diving public.
Mel is an active technical/rebreather diving instructor trainer; and avid underwater photographer. She has over five thousand dives with more than three thousand technical dives. She began her diving career at twelve years of age as a junior open water diver. At age eighteen she was a divemaster and was a partner in a dive store. The early 1990’s brought about an increasing awareness for mixed gas diving, which Mel immediately embraced. Mel’s scuba diving career was slowed down a bit, between 1991-1996 while she completed her Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy degree at the University of British Columbia. By 2002 she had worked her way up to NAUI Course Director and NAUI technical instructor. In 2003 she earned her Advanced Trimix instructor rating with TDI. She also earned her IANTD technical training qualifications. In 2003 she taught for Divers Institute of Technology (DIT) helping to develop future commercial divers. Mel began down the rebreather path in 2003. She now currently instructs students and future instructors on most of the major rebreathers on the market. One of Mel’s most challenging and rewarding certifications was becoming a Megalodon and rEvo CCR Instructor Trainer (currently there are only a few worldwide). When Mel is not instructing she can usually be found in the water exploring wrecks or caves. Mel is a member of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. Aside from teaching Mel is passionate about underwater photography and writing. She is currently a staff photojournalist for Advanced Diver Magazine. Mel has made a genuine contribution to the diving community by increasing CCR diver knowledge and safety through her easy to read manuals. She has written many manuals including the TDI KISS CCR manual, TDI Semi-Closed Circuit rebreather manual, and the soon to be published Megalodon CCR manual. After much hard work Mel has independently published CCR Trimix Simplified and a universal easy to read rebreather guide on buying and diving the closed circuit rebreather, called “Rebreathers Simplified.”
Ever since leaving the grind of the corporate world behind him in the late 90’s, Mike Gerken has gone on to become a captain on several noteworthy liveaboard dive boats and a professional underwater photographer and documentary filmmaker. His wreck photography and films from Truk Lagoon, Vanuatu and North Carolina have become well known in the industry for the stories the images tell, while his marine photography with it’s simple but elegant composition has gained notoriety in it’s own circles.
Michael Salvarezza has been diving the waters of Long Island and the world since 1978 and has spent hundreds of hours underwater accumulating a large and varied library of photographic images. With Christopher Weaver, he has presented his work in hundreds of multi-media slide presentations and have appeared at Beneath the Sea and the Boston Sea Rovers Underwater Clinic. Their work has been published in various magazines such as: Skin Diver, Sport Diver, Asian Diver, Diver, Advanced Diver Magazine, Sport Diving Magazine, Dive Journal, World War II, Immersed and Lighthouse Digest.
Michel Gilbert & Danielle Alary
Award-winning, lecturers, photography and multimedia producers, Michel and Danielle have been “at sea” for over 35 years. Authors of more than 950 articles related to diving, travel and sailing, they are underwater photography columnists for Diver and En Profondeur (Into the Depths) magazines and they have produced more than 100 multimedia productions. Their work is sold worldwide. Recipients of the Canadian Diving Achievement Award in 1991 and the Diver of the Year Award for the Arts at Beneath the Sea in New-York, in 1995, in 1997, they won the coveted Silver Diver Award at the Antibes World Festival of Underwater Images. Their multimedia production about the seals of the Gulf of St-Lawrence won a Grand Prize from the Ministry of Tourism of Québec. Danielle is a member of the Women Divers Hall Of Fame. Danielle and Michel were honoured during the 37th edition of Our World Underwater in Chicago in 2007. They published their first book in the fall of 2009. Entitled Divers and Cameras, its subject is underwater photography technique.
Michel Labrecque & Julie Ouimet
Co-owners of N2 Pix Images as well as of an award winning PADI 5-Star IDC, Michel and Julie have spent much of the last few years travelling and leading dive trips. Michel is a published underwater photographer. He is an accomplished recreational and technical dive instructor as well as a DAN and EFR Instructor Trainer. Julie specializes in video. She is a Trimix diver and an Instructor. Both Julie and Michel do freelance work and their work has been seen in diving and non-diving medias alike.
For 20 years Mike Fletcher made a living by working underwater. He did all the things working divers were expected to do. He poured concrete, connected pipeline, salved ships, cut and welded steel,drilled gas wells and smashed his fingers a lot. On every dive site, in ever dive shack,on every scow and tugboat Mike found the stained and torn remains of well read Clive Cussler novels. For Mike ,Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt character was the ultimate underwater action adventurer. Pitt was hansom, tough,clever and athletic, with a propensity for roughing up bad guys ,protecting the good guys and always getting the girl. Then one day Mike Fletcher got to do something the fictional Pitt could never do. Mike got to travel around the world with Pitts creator , author Clive Cussler and make underwater documentarys about shipwrecks, and all kinds of cool things underwater.
Nancy McGee has been a scuba diver and underwater photographer for thirty years. Twenty years ago Nancy created Island Time Scuba, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In 2000 she partnered with Stan Waterman to promote and manage Stan and Stan Waterman Productions. She has restored, digitized, and resurrected his vintage films, and provided Stan’s narration to preserve some of the history of diving. She and Stan have led groups to the world’s most exotic dive locations. Nancy, a PADI master instructor with thirty years of experience, has trained nearly 1000 divers and has introduced many of them to other areas of the world. Nancy tirelessly promotes the dive industry, the ecology of the sea, and the Shark Research Institute. She accomplishes this by speaking, producing and showing films to schools, clubs, and community service groups, and as a featured speaker and emcee for national and international dive shows and film festivals.
Operation: Blue Pride
George C. Schellenger is a two-time Emmy award winner with more than 20 years experience in television and content development. He's worked with leading media and technology brands across the United States from Time Warner to Microsoft (even NASA). At Microsoft, he helped launch MSNBC.com. At Time-Warner, he consulted for National Geographic, The Weather Channel, CBS, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, The Associated Press, Reuters – even Robin Leach. He's been an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri's School of Journalism and even served as Director of Content for the X PRIZE Foundation, working to give away $2MM in a lunar-lander prototype competition. With his brother, he's produced and edited a series of award- winning series DVDs on the ocean with a focus on sharks. He won one of his first awards in 1987 for documenting a Canada Geese restoration project. He taught non-linear AVID editing in the late 1990s and started using Final Cut Pro in 2001. His passions are sharks, space and creating extremely cool content. Jim Abernethy, award-winning underwater photographer, filmmaker and conservationist is a pioneer in shark encounters with some of the most notorious sharks, without a cage. Scuba diving since a youth inspired his life's mission to spread the word about the importance of worldwide ocean conservation. Abernethy has hosted many of the world's top nature filmmakers and magazines such as Imax, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Animal Planet, and the Discovery Channel. His images are available at National Geographic Image Library. He owns the "Marine Life Art Gallery" in West Palm Beach, FL, where his captivating images and unique books are available as well. When he's not below sea level, Jim is often seen piloting his flying inflatable boat (ultra-light), "Oversear," in order to capture nature at sea with his lens from an aerial perspective. Chris Maddeford was a Sergeant in the U.S Army, he deployed to Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Chris was hit by an IED, [Improvised Explosive Device], Chris has a Traumatic Brain Injury, four anchors in his right hip, sever spinal cord damage, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from IED blast. Chris had a hard time readjusting back into society after deployment; it was not in till he received his service dog AJ from NEADS that he was able to get back out into society. Chris has dedicated his life to helping veterans and has received an award from congress for his work. Chris has been diving since end of April 2012; he has logged over 191 dives along with five specialties, Rescue diver and is almost done with his Dive master. Chris finds it unacceptable what is happening in our ocean and sharks particular, and has made it his mission to fight for it.
Paul Cater Deaton
Shooting on six continents over three decades, Paul Cater Deaton has become an award-winning Writer, Producer, Director and Cinematographer. His work has reached audiences all over the world via MTV, HBO, VH1, Showtime, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Tri-Star, the Travel Channel, E! Entertainment TV, Bravo, the United Nations and others. He was one of the first filmmakers approached to produce educational pieces for Ocean in Google Earth, and he continues to provide them with content from all over the globe.
Peter Hunt crewed on five Andrea Doria expeditions aboard the legendary dive boat Wahoo in the early 1980s before hanging up his deep sea fins to become a Navy A-6 Intruder pilot. A critically acclaimed writer (Angles of Attack, Ballantine 2002) and former United Airlines pilot, Hunt holds a history degree from Brown and a University of Washington Masters. He still dives despite Parkinson’s disease and lives on Whidbey Island in Washington State.
Peter Venoutsos has been a certified diver since 1976 and a commercial diver since 1983. His experience includes working with private underwater engineering firms, the Federal Government and the US Navy. He is an active member of the Connecticut Underwater Archeology Committee and his interests include underwater photography, shipwrecks & cave diving. He is the founder of American Scuba Adventures a underwater video companywith the goal of promoting diving in the United States and around the world.
Peter Wytykowski – maritime historian, diver, member of The Explorers Club. For many years he has been organizing and leading shipwreck expeditions around the world. He explored shipwrecks in Scapa Flow – Scotland, Narvik - Norway, Sardinia and Corsica Islands, as well as the wreck of the German U-260 in Ireland and shipwrecks around the Gallipoli Peninsula- Turkey. He has also been organizing the Shipwreck Festival in Poland. He is now preoccupied with determining the name of the shipwreck from Sierra Leone and preparing another expedition.
Underwater archaeologist Ralph Wilbanks has led a successful career searching for shipwrecks and artifacts over many parts of the United States, the Caribbean, Japan, the D-Day Beaches of France and the northern coast of England. His specialty is underwater survey techniques and identification of targets as potentially historical in nature. He has been diving since 1961, a PADI Master Instructor since 1974 and is on the Board of Directors for NUMA.
Richard has over 30 years of dive travel experience. He was certified as anOpen Water Scuba Instructor when he was 20 and has logged more than 5000 dives in over 50 destinations around the world. These destinations include the Maldives, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Cocos Island, Galapagos, Indonesia, Philippines, Sipadan/Mabul, Palau, Japan, Colombia, Cozumel, Bonaire, and Belize.Richard is an expert on marketing and selling adventure trips to remote dive and snorkel locations.
Rudy Whitworth has been an active scuba diver since 1978 and has been an avid UW photographer since 1983. He has been a winner in many world wide UW photo contests. As President of Seahorse Productions, LLC, Rudy has been an entertaining speaker at Our World Underwater, Beneath The Sea, SCUBAFEST and at the Great Lakes Shipwreck festival as well as many presentations to scuba clubs, marine organizations and schools. He has taught UW photography classes and his images have been printed in SKIN DIVER, Dive Travel and Dive Chronicles magazines as well as being showcased in 4 of Coral Reef Alliance calendars. He has done extensive Great Lakes diving and has honed his photographic skills in many exotic locations. His images are included in “Fishes of the Caribbean” fish ID CD/DVD marketed by ReefNet. Recently, his image was showcased in a scientific paper on Toadfish and also in Dec/09, a coral reef restoration slide show created by Rudy was shown at the Conference for Global Warming in Denmark.
Sir Robert (Bob) Marx
Sir Robert (Bob) Marx - wreck diver, historian, and recipient of the 1981 Our World-Underwater award, has been a leader in the field of underwater archaeology since the 1950's. Sir Bob has lectured professionally for more than 50 years, throughout the United States and 42 countries, on the subjects of underwater archaeology, maritime history, treasure hunting and travel.
Steve Arnam began his water career with a love for the ocean and all aquatic environments. This love turned into a bachelors in marine biology and a masters in science education. In 1983 he became a PADI scuba instructor, which enabled him to teach his passion and by taking dive groups on eco-dive trips wide. After teaching K - 12 science for 25 years. He is back full time to enhancing marine and aquatic awareness through conservation programs. "After all, we are all students of the water planet."
Steve has been an Ikelite Sales Rep since 2007 with an emphasis on underwater photography. His underwater photography experience dates back to 1976, and in 1980 he began teaching underwater photography in an effort "to help the world become a better place through underwater photography". Steve's main goal is to help others learn how to enjoy their passion for diving through the use of underwater photography. Students will not only develop their skills with digital SLRs , they learn the art of creating unique and entertaining presentations as well.
Tony Gramer has been diving since 1977 and is a certified PADI Divemaster. He is the president of Silent World Information Masters, Inc. (SWIM). He is presently of the board and Divemaster of Dossins Museum in Detroit, Michigan. His images have taken best in show and first place in photo contests throughout the United States, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Mexico. His images have been included in Skin Diver magazine, Dive Boat Calendar & Travel magazine, Michigan Living magazine, Great Lakes Diving magazine, Michigan Underwater Preserve pamphlets, advertising catalogs, Nikon Calendar and CD covers.
Valerie van Heest
An award-winning author, member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame and a Director of Michigan Shipwreck Research Association, Valerie van Heest has explored and documented shipwrecks for over 20 years. She is the recipient of the Historical Society of Michigan award for excellence of achievement in the preservation and promotion of state and local history, has written extensively for a variety of magazines, directed more than a dozen documentary films, appeared on the History and Travel Channels and is a principal in the museum exhibit design firm Lafferty van Heest and Associates. She has written six books; her latest are, Lost and Found Legendary Lake Michigan Shipwrecks and Fatal Crossing, the saga of the crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 2501 and her work with Clive Cussler and Ralph Wilbanks of NUMA to solve the mystery of its disappearance.
As a United States Marine,Wayne Hassondiscovered the underwater world during off-duty passes scuba diving in Vietnam, Japan and North Carolina.In 1980, he left the military, traveled to the Cayman Islands to visit his best friend, a fellow Marine. He fell in love with the Cayman Islands where he lived for over 20 years.As co-founder of Aggressor Fleet in 1984, he has worked in every aspect of the business. Wayne has helped to build, design and captain, the dive yachts. He has served as an instructor, motivator and business partner, developing new Aggressor destinations and franchises. His love for the diving business is endless. Wayne's greatest passion is sharing the ocean world with tomorrow's explorers-children. Through his invention of the "SASY" Supplied Air Snorkeling for Youth and founder of Oceans For Youth Foundation, he has introduced thousands of children to the ocean. The SASY was originally designed in Wayne's garage as a snorkeling tool for his own children. Through his work with major certification agencies, he helped to change the age for Junior Scuba Diving Certifications. He continues to volunteer his time speaking to school children and youth groups promoting the marine environment and its global importance. Learn more by visiting (www.oceansforyouth.org). Wayne is President of Aggressor Fleet, President of Oceans for Youth Foundation, coaches YMCA Basketball and is a Rotarian.