Select a presenter to see their bio below:
Alex Rose holds a B.S. in Biology, M.S. in Aquatic Biology, and has a wide variety of experience in the biological sciences including but not limited to bioacoustics research, science writing, teaching, public presentation, and aquatic animal husbandry and breeding. Alex is also a professional violinist, photographer, PADI Divemaster, and lover of all things aquatic. Her driving goal is to find ways to protect our world’s precious marine habits through diving, writing, education, and research.
President of BigAnimals Expeditions, but first and foremost an explorer and a guide, Amos has had the honor of leading many great expeditions for individual adventurers, and institutions like Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Discovery Channel, Armani, Disney, Colombia Pictures, and of course, National Geographic, with whom he was team leader for separate photo expeditions to document the Red Sea, Great White Sharks, and Killer Whales. ?A photographer, his photos and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications around the globe, including National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, Terra Sauvage, Airone, Mondo Somerso, Der Spiegel, Unterwasser, and many more. His work has also been included in the books The Living Ocean, The World of Nature, and Oceans.
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.
Betty Orr is an Industry Consultant having recently left Divers Alert Network after 23 years of service. 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 scuba diving, biology and general interest. She is an inaugural year member of The Women Divers Hall of Fame.
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.
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.
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 is President of Dan Orr Consulting providing a variety of services to the diving community. Recently retired from the position of President of Divers Alert Network (DAN) and Chairman of the Board of International DAN, he has helped DAN focus on its worldwide diving safety mission. Prior to coming to DAN, he worked and taught recreational diving in a retail store, developed and implemented course curricula in the academic environment, collected data and supervised research efforts in the field of science diving, tested diving equipment for military contractors and worked for or served on the Boards of various not-for-profit organizations during his career including The Historical Diving Society (Chairman of the Board), Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA), Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences (Chairman of the Board), The Our World Underwater Scholarship Society, The ADM Exploration Foundation, The Institute of Diving (Chairman of the Board), Deptherapy and others. He has published and co-authored over 100 articles and a dozen books and manuals including: Scuba Diving Safety, Pocket Guide to First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries; Pocket Guide for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries; and the DAN Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries Training Manual He has also been honored by his peers by being the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors including the NOGI Award in Sports/Education, the Leonard Greenstone Award for Diving Safety, the Our World-Underwater Award, Beneath the Sea’s Diver of the Year, the Wyland Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Hall of Fame for Divers with Disabilities, the 2012 DEMA Reaching Out Award and 2014 Inductee into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.
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.
Deb Karlson has been diving for 20+ years. She and her husband Mitch had been vacationing at CoCo View since 1992 and they have managed the resort since January, 2010. Deb has many years of hotel management experience and is an avid diver, making CoCo View the perfect place to call home. Commitment to her guests and to the resorts continued success makes CoCo View one of the most recognized dive resorts in the world.
Donatella Telli, DODI for the friends, started her adventure in Maldives in 1985 as diving instructor and dive center base leader. In 1990 with husband Massimo, was the first operator to offer routes in the most remote atolls of Maldives , bringing sea enthusiasts in spectacular and virgin environments. Today, Dodi is the owner and manager of a company in Maldives offering two beautiful boats: M/Y Duke of York and M/Y Conte Max, and continues her activity promoting cruises and managing Diving Centers in resort. Often on board , with over 8000 dives in her career, she is actively committed to all the new issues on diving to propose to her guests. We spent part of our efforts in the organization and divulgation of different scientific aspects related to sea , organizing oceanographic cruises dedicated to geology and marine biology and during the last four years the hyperbaric medicine research in collaboration with DAN EUROPE
Frederick "Fritz" Hanselmann is Research Faculty, the Chief Underwater Archaeologist, and the Diving Program Director with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. His underwater research and exploration efforts focus on historic shipwrecks and submerged prehistoric sites in springs and caves. He is a fellow of the Explorer’s Club, a National Geographic Grantee, a GUE Cave and Technical Diver, a PADI MSDT, a Nautical Archaeology Society Tutor, and has been widely featured in the media including the National Geographic Channel, the Sundance Channel, and the Travel Channel.
Gary Joyce, Midwest Regional Manager, Sales and Field Services As a PADI Master Instructor, Gary Joyce joined the PADI family in 1995 as a Sales Representative before moving to Chicago as a Regional Manager in 1998. He is currently conducting training seminars, Instructor Examinations and business consulting for PADI Dive Shops. A diver since 1985 and a PADI Instructor since 1988, Joyce managed a dive center in Roanoke, Virginia, as well as continued his own education along his career path. “Teaching diving gives me the opportunity to share the underwater world with others and watch the wonder of discovery. I also use diving as a get away from the daily grind of life.”
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”.
Jennifer Idol helps others understand the underwater world through her photography, design, and by sharing her exploration. She created the Love our Waters campaign to help raise awareness. A technical diver and an underwater photographer, she’s been published in Sport Diver, Texas Aquatic Science, Outdoor Oklahoma, and Underwater Speleology. Large installations of her work are at the Lake Murray Wildlife Museum and Texas Association of REALTORS. Her design firm, The Underwater Designer, services clients in the water related-industries.
A pioneering underwater explorer and filmmaker, Jill Heinerth has dived deeper into caves than any woman in history. With a collection of magnificent images, from Antarctic iceberg caves to the Floridan Aquifer and subterranean Siberia, Jill shares a glimpse of a breathtaking world few will experience. Her accolades include being inducted to the Women Diver's Hall of Fame and the Explorer’s Club as well as scores of photography and filmmaking awards. Recognized as a leading technical diver, she is one of the world’s experts on rebreather technology. An engaging speaker, Jill’s multimedia presentations stir audiences with life’s lessons learned during expeditions above, below and inside the earth. An award-winning filmmaker, Jill wrote, produced, and appeared in Water’s Journey, the PBS documentary series that takes viewers on travels through the world’s greatest water systems. Hollywood filmmakers, including Lakeshore Productions (The Cave) and James Cameron, have called on her to produce difficult underwater scenes, and international magazines and new media companies look to her to document extreme environments. Her accolades include being named a “Living Legend” by Sport Diver Magazine, induction into the exclusive New York Explorer’s Club and the inaugural class of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, as well as scores of photography and filmmaking awards. Dozens of stories lauding Jill’s career, have appeared in the New York Post, London Telegraph, Wired Magazine, Sport’s Illustrated Women and most recently a 21-page photo feature in Deep, China’s most prestigious outdoor adventure publication. Jill is known as an industry expert in the use of closed-circuit rebreathers. Her multi-media blog attracts a large international audience. She is also a popular presenter at international diving events from Australia to Central America, Russia, Europe and Canada. Jill’s photography and writing have been featured in prominent magazines and major newspapers around the world. She contributed to the development of training materials for international organizations and is the author of three books on cave diving and underwater photography. Born in Canada, Jill lives with her husband Robert, in North Florida, where she starts most days with a refreshing swim in the clear water of her local spring.
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.
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.
John Bell has been diving since 1990 and conducting amateur underwater archaeology since 2004. Past president of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago, ( UASC, http://www.uaschicago.org ), John will soon complete part II of the Nautical Archaeology Society program in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology. John owns a small personal dive boat, the Diving Belle, from which he conducts sidescan sonar and underwater surveys of wreck sites in southern Lake Michigan. Professionally, Dr. Bell teaches Computer Science at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
John Chatterton is one of the world’s most accomplished and well known wreck divers. He was one of the co-hosts for 57 episodes of the History Channel’s Deep Sea Detectives television series, and has worked as a consultant to 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, and CBS. Prior to his career in television, John spent twenty years working as a commercial diver in and around New York City, and on September 11, 2001, was actually working on a project in the water underneath the World Financial Center, across the street from the Tower #1. His passion has always been researching, locating, and diving the world’s shipwrecks. In 1991, the discovery and subsequent identification of the German submarine U-869, off the coast of New Jersey, was the subject of a television documentary, Hitler’s Lost Sub, a two hour special for the popular NOVA series on PBS. This same story was the subject of a Random House bestselling book by Rob Kurson, Shadow Divers.
John Janzen is a rebreather and technical diving instructor as well as a Chemist and Chemical Engineer. His career has spanned a broad range of projects with NOAA, WHOI, National Geographic, The History Channel, NASA, JPL, DARPA, the Trident Missile Program, Cray Research, US Army and Coast Guard and many others. John’s diving focus includes deep shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, exploration of submerged mines and underwater videography.
Kevin Magee was certified for scuba in 1984, moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1993, and discovered shipwreck diving in the Great Lakes shortly afterwards. He enthusiastically practices diving shipwrecks in the Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes. Kevin is the co-founder and Deputy Director of the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE), an organization that searches for shipwrecks in Lake Erie and has found more than 20 shipwrecks since its creation in 2001.
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
South Central USA Regional Manager, LeRoy Wickham, came to PADI Americas 16 years ago and worked the majority of his time in the Training Department assisting divers and diving professionals alike. LeRoy is a PADI Course Director, Instructor Examiner, EFR Master Trainer and former PADI 5 Star IDC Center owner/manager. He has enjoyed the fabulous underwater world for close to 30 years and truly made diving a huge part of his life. “Sharing the wonders of the aquatic realm with others is what I do”.
Lily Mak & David Prichard
David Prichard and Lily Mak, a husband and wife team from Dallas, Texas, are photojournalists and have been Contributing Editors to a number of international magazines and media outlets, including Wreck Diving Magazine, Dive Training, Dive Center Business, Skin Diving, and Northwest Diver. David and Lily are certified underwater archeology divers, cave divers and PADI instructors who like to share their underwater experiences around the world in publications and as speakers at tradeshows and scuba diving events. David has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and Lily has an MBA and two Bachelor’s degrees in physics and engineering.
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.
Marc Morale was born and raised in the Chicago area. As a graduate of Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights, he went on to study Civil Engineering in Chicago at IIT. As an Operating Engineer a friend introduced Marc to SCUBA. He instantly became passionate about diving. This passion has led Marc into a second career in Dive Store Retail and Scuba Instruction. As an instructor, Marc has trained divers from Open Water to the professional ranks of Instructor.
As a world traveled underwater photographer and underwater videographer, Marc is frequently sought after as a guest speaker to share his experiences. Recently Marc has worked with Bonica Precision to develop and make available to dive stores, teaching materials that combine the disciplines of underwater photography with underwater videography into one simple course. This course was presented and released at the DEMA 2009 Show in Orlando Florida.
Marshall Allan is an avid great lakes wreck diver. He is advanced trimix and cave certified. His programs have been shown at various shows from Chicago to Boston and New York. He, his wife Renee, and friends have dove around the world. Yap, Truk, Cocos, as well as many Caribbean destinations bring back fond memories. Home is northwest Ohio. After spending their 30th wedding anniversary in Indonesia a few years back, it was back to the Great Lakes and WRECKS.
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.
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.
Explorer and filmmaker Nancy McGee has lived a life of adventure and diversity. Known as Ms. Exosuit, AKA the Pachyderm Princess, she is the first female Exosuit pilot as well as a magazine centerfold (next to a 3000 lb. swimming elephant). The Explorers Club recognized her with a Fellowship for contributions to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration, which include filming in locations so remote that local natives have never before seen Western people. Nancy produces, edits and films her own documentaries with a unique historical spin on culture and the marine ecosystem. Her credits include NBC, Universal Studios and Discovery. She also preserved several of Stan Waterman's vintage films documenting the early days of scuba diving. She is a frequent contributor to dive journals and is a featured speaker and emcee for national and international shows and film festivals. Nancy is a member of the Ocean Artists Society, Platinum Pro 5000, and the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Nancy has achieved these many goals while at the same time working full time in public education, personally touching the lives of thousands of children.
Patti Stewart is a Course Director and Director of Training at International Scuba. She is a beach bum wannabe with a passion for scuba diving. The first time she ever went diving was in St. Thomas watching her husband puke due to rough seas. As she describes it she had an amazing dive at Cow & Calf. At that point she knew she wanted to become a dive professional. A teacher a heart, it was a natural fit.
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.
José Mª Esteban-Infantes was born the 28 June 1964 in Spain. Dive Instructor since 1991, he spent most of his life close to the sea, for this reason he is a marine life lover. He is a underwater cameraman and he has colaborated with several producers and Tv channels. José Mª loves to transmit to the viewers the feeling when you are underwater, and how amazing is the marine life. He loves all marine creatures, from the tinny shrimp until the biggest blue whale. He is the author of the dive guides in DvD, “The Red Sea”, “The Galapagos Islands”, and the sharks guide “Sharks & Divers”. And he has several international prizes with his films: "The Coral Reef", "A Sea of Sharks", "Dive with Darwin".
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.
Philip Willink, PhD
Philip Willink Ph.D. is Senior Research Biologist in the Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. He has worked in a dozen countries around the world, as well as the Great Lakes Region. Phil has authored over 40 scientific publications, and has made dozens of appearances in national and local news outlets and nature documentaries in regards to environmental issues.
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.
Sam is the Diving Safety Officer and a Research Scientist for The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. Sam has been exploring Mexican caves and working to protect them since 1994. He is adjunct faculty at the UNCW, a fellow of the Explorers Club, a National Geographic Society Grantee, a National Geographic Adventure Magazine Best of Adventure Honoree, a NASA Space Grant Fellow, a PADI MSDT and GUE Cave/Technical Diver.
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.
Tara Short is the Founder and Director of GreenEdventures, a sustainable eco-adventure company with trips in Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica, and Trinidad & Tobago. Tara is an engaging and funny presenter whose passion is ocean conservation, education, and adventure travel. Tara has over 15 years in the eco-tourism industry, with SCUBA Certifications as: PADI Open Water, Advanced Diver, Rescue Diver and specialty certifications as Underwater Naturalist, Deep Diver, Multi-Level Diver and Night Diver.
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.
Tse-Lynn Loh, Phd.
As a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Shedd Aquarium and Project Seahorse, Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh works on seahorse conservation and research in Southeast Asia. She has extensive experience with public outreach, including co-founding a marine conservation organization in Singapore, developing the global citizen science seahorse monitoring program, iSeahorse Trends, and launching a PADI Seahorse Distinctive Specialty in July 2014.
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.
William (Bill) Messner returned to his professional career diving in 2007, with a passion for diver safety. His goal: to develop a redundant air system so comfortable and with sufficient air for a normal ascent rate and safety stop, the sport diving industry would strongly embrace it. Early designs sparked additional interest within the public safety dive market. This led to his further development of innovative safety solutions for divers with full face masks. His company, PonyPak, officially launched at DEMA 2014. Its product line integrates independent redundancy, with surface supplied high pressure air, audio & video communications, safety tether, and multiple DC circuits for diver accessories.