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About You and ScubaNation...
My job function in the company:
Years in business:
ScubaNation is one of the only shows on TV that is solely dedicated to recreational scuba diving. Our particular style is "Jacques Cousteau on Rock-N-Roll"; fast paced, entertaining and educate by accident. Our goal is to highlight the sport we love in a positive light that makes our audience passionate about scuba diving. If we can get as many people in the water scuba diving then we are doing our job! ScubaNation airs on Fox Sports for 26 weeks from April to October.
Our sole purpose as a TV show is to INSPIRE people to go scuba diving. This is all about energy and excitement for our sport. If ScubaNation can duplicate some of the same energy that snowboarding brought to the skiing industry then we will all benefit. I want people that watch our show say "Hey, I want to do that". Our main point of emphasis is to make scuba diving accessible to everyone; people who are not currently certified, people who are certified, people that have not been scuba diving in years, friends, family.... Everyone! One Nation, Underwater.
About You, "The Professional"...
How I was introduced to the professional diving industry:
After studying Marine Biology at Florida State University I had to work in Human Resource sales for 13 years. But the whole time I knew I had to live my passion and tell stories of the underwater world like Jacques Cousteau did when I was a kid. So when the chance came in 2008 to purchase an underwater camera and housing I called Gates! My first underwater imaging system was top shelf and I faced a huge learning curve but between that, purchasing the website ScubaNation.com, and trade marking ONE NATION, UNDERWATER... I was a man on a mission. So a big thanks to Gates for allowing me to create content and start my career.
What I like best about my job:
The creative aspect and story telling of our subject matter. It is a real thrill to educate someone on a topic a seasoned scuba diver might take for granted. We have to always remember that our show is a scuba diver acquisition tool and we need to assume our audience might not know too much about our sport, the oceans, or conservation concerns. So we like to tell those stories and get people INSPIRED!
Words of wisdom for those starting their career in the diving industry:
Keep the faith. We are a passion based industry. We have all the best intentions in the world. So when it comes to the "nuts and bolts" of running a company always remember why you started the business in the first place. Remember it came from a place of positivity and from your dreams. And that is the best place anything could start from. I love this quote from Walt Disney, " Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it's done, and done right".
Best way to keep a competitive edge:
In this hyper-connected world the main challenge is fighting for people's attention. There is so much content running past the eyeballs of potential customers via smart phones, TV, and computers that the audience has extremely high expectations from brands. They want a "WOW" factor, an element of excitement that makes that person crave to be associated with a brand. To accomplish this takes creative minds and a good feel for what people want. If content is truly king then mind blowing content will be a cash cow. Like in the movie Gladiator "Win the crowd and you will win your freedom". Win the crowd in our industry and you will have a very successful company.
Biggest change I have seen in the professional diving industry since I started:
I have only been to 5 DEMA's but I felt that this year's show was the best. I sensed that our industry is ready to make the next big move into the future. The equipment manufacturers have amazing new products, there have never been more options for travel, and social media has every person wanting to share their experiences online. Sharing these experiences takes technology, photography and videography and I believe our industry has all the answers for social sharing. We also have the coolest sport to be a part of. So in this day and age of hyper connectivity, if we can send out the message that our sport is the coolest thing to do this will in turn get people eager to learn how to scuba dive. Then new scuba divers will want to share their new experiences via social media. Their friends will want to learn to dive because how cool it is. And folks, we have the viral effect . If we can do this!! If we can accomplish this as an industry, we will all be very very happy.
Don Scali Boston Sea Rovers certified me in 1990 in Marblehead, Massachusetts. He was an old timer and one of the first guys to use open circuit scuba. He has recently passed but his spirit still moves me. I have always wanted to be a scuba diving professional after meeting Don.
About You, "The Person"...
Something you'd find on my bucket list:
Dive/snorkel with every major whale species in the world's oceans
What I am most proud of:
Building a company from an idea.
How I like to spend my free time:
Mountain Biking, yelling at my TV during Red Sox games, spend as much time as possible with my wife and kids.
The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat. Jacques Yves Cousteau
Something people would be surprised to learn about me:
I'm pretty good in the kitchen.
My 5 dream Jeopardy categories:
Facts about sharks, Red Sox History, Beer, Ways to cook Maine Lobster, Worlds Oceans