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Awards to be Presented at DEMA Awards Party October 10, 2003 During DEMA Show 2003 in Miami Beach

New York, NY – (August 12, 2003) – DEMA has announced that Edward Christini, President of SSI, Jim Church, a pioneer of underwater photography, and Jean Gallagher, diving education pioneer and Co-Owner of Marin Skin Diving are the recipients of the 2003 DEMA Reaching Out Awards.  The Awards will be presented during the DEMA Awards Party, which will take place October 10, 2003 as part of DEMA Show 2003 in Miami Beach.

Instrumental to the growing and continued success of SSI, Ed Christini has been

with the organization since 1984.  Starting as a Sales Manager and working his way through the ranks, in 1992 Ed became President.  Involved in the 1999 merger of NASDS and SSI, which increased the company’s sales, distribution and the U.S. dealer base, Ed is also responsible for building international business and markets for SSI, co-developing all Instructor Programs, consistent sales and marketing tools and employee training to increase productivity, co-implementing sales goals and Professional Sales Training to increase territory sales and co-authoring the Risk Awareness series for the industry.  Ed is a Platinum Pro 5000 diver (1994), has been on the Board of Directors for DEMA and the Recreational Scuba Training Council and has consulted on the writing of various SSI programs.

Jean Gallagher is one of the most influential diving educators of our time.  Striving to have as many people as possible enjoy scuba diving, in 1963 she began redesigning entry level scuba courses to include ocean classes.  Just a few years later she along with Ed Brawley of the San Francisco Skin Diving School and Bob Clark of NASDS mapped out the first complete pool, classroom and open water training program, essentials of which are still used today by  many agencies around the world.  The program was first adopted by NASDS, followed by SSI in 1970.  Continuing to reach her goal, in 1968-69 Jean wrote the instructor manual that became the basis for the Professional Diving Instructor College (PDIC) in California.  In 1976 Jean and Rich Gallagher started Marin Skin Diving in San Rafael, CA.  Today her contributions to diving education can still be seen throughout the world.

A 1985 NOGI recipient for the Arts and a pioneer in underwater photography, Jim Church was instrumental in the evolution of underwater photography.  Having spent more than 35 years sharing his vast knowledge of underwater photography with countless individuals, this world renowned underwater photographer, writer and teacher began taking underwater photos in 1964.  Jim’s first article was published in the May 1966 issue of Skin Diver Magazine and since then his photographs and articles have appeared in hundreds of dive, travel and photography magazines, numerous books and in advertisements for companies like Nikon and Kodak.  Equally famous for the instructional books he wrote on underwater photography, Jim began publishing in 1972 and continued until the late 80’s.  Most beloved by people as a teacher, Jim and his wife Cathy started teaching underwater photography in Grand Cayman in 1972.  Continuing to share his experiences, in 1988 Jim began teaching classes aboard the Aggressor Fleet.  After a brief illness, Jim passed away on December 31, 2002.

The Reaching Out Awards will be presented during the DEMA Awards Party, the largest dive industry social event of its kind.  The DEMA Awards Party will take place from 7:00 p.m. to midnight in the Grand Ballroom of the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort.  It will feature the presentation of the prestigious Reaching Out Awards by the Party’s Master of Ceremonies, Stan Waterman as well as a live auction hosted by Wyland and live music, dancing and Latin-influenced food.

Tickets for the Party can be purchased for $45 online at before September 19, 2003, or $60 after this date. 

Companies seeking sponsorship and promotional opportunities can contact Christine von Steiger at  Companies seeking to donate auction items should contact Nicole Russell at  The DEMA Awards Party is a great opportunity to entertain clients and companies wishing to purchase a table of 10 can do so at a group rate of $400 per table by contacting Colleen Vasquez at

Continuing to be the largest trade event in the world for companies doing business in the scuba diving, water sports and adventure travel industries, DEMA Show 2003 will take place October 8 – 11, 2003 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida.  According to show management, National Trade Productions (NTP), more than 800 different companies are expected to exhibit and more than 14,000 people are expected to attend. 

Open to qualified industry professionals only, DEMA Show 2003 is a trade event presented by the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA), an international organization dedicated to the promotion and growth of the recreational scuba diving and snorkeling industry. With more than 1,200 members, this non-profit, global organization promotes scuba diving through many initiatives including consumer awareness programs, media campaigns and sponsorship of the DEMA Show.  For more information on DEMA call 858-616-6408 or visit

For more information about the DEMA Show 2003 visit  A great resource for exhibitors, attendees or anyone seeking information on the Show, the site offers downloadable floor plans, exhibit space contracts, information on show management, DEMA sponsored sessions, and housing forms.  In the near future the following information will be added to the site: exhibitor seminar and press conference schedules, and a press room for media interested in obtaining information on the Show.

Companies that would like to exhibit at the Show should contact Christine von Steiger at 1-800-687-7469 x 207 or

Media Contact: Lisa Blau/Candice Kimmel
Adams Unlimited

DEMA, The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association | US Toll Free: (800) 862-3483 | Ph: (858) 616-6408 | Fx: (858) 616-6495 |