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Spotlight - Gulf Coast Dive Pros
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DEMA Member Spotlight 

Gulf Coast Dive Pros

Proud DEMA Member for Over 21 Years! 
Gulf Coast Dive Pros
7203 Hwy 98 West
Pensacola, Florida 32506

About You and Gulf Coast Dive Pros...

My name:
Kevin Freeland

My job function in the company:

Years in business:
25 years

About Gulf Coast Dive Pros:
We are a full service recreational SCUBA & Snorkeling center. The Dive Pros have been built on the simple premise that the most important thing we do is train divers. Our goal is to train the most competent, confident and comfortable divers possible. Only competent, confident, comfortable qualified divers dive and only divers who dive purchase diving equipment, supplies and services. May sound complicated but it is really very simple.

Goal(s) for 2013:
Continue to develop and implement programs and opportunities to increase the level of entry and continuing education certifications. Improve and increase our on-line & cyber presence with the goal of increasing foot traffic to our Florida facility as well as opening our eStore on the new website.

Greatest achievement in 2012:
The Launch of our new Website at Increasing certifications from 2011 levels

About You, "The Professional"...

What I find most rewarding about my job:
Working with my Family and Friends at the Dive Pros. We are a small crew of professionals and I never feel as though I am "working" when I am with them. It has been one the greatest experience of my life. An incredible journey that has taken me around the world and left me with enough amazing friends and unforgettable experiences to fill three lifetimes. Hopefully I will have many more years to enjoy the Recreational Dive Industry before I hang up my fins and I am looking forward to whatever new discoveries await.

What I am most proud of (professionally):
The reputation of my Dive Pros team. We have won numerous awards over the years but it is the satisfaction we all feel when we see that joy and excitement in a new divers face that really makes our day. We someone you know, a past customer or a good friend, recommends you to someone they know or love, well that is the highest compliment we ever receive. Knowing that they have placed that level of trust in us is really very humbling.

Greatest piece of business advice I ever received:
Never hire a family member you can't let go. Never allow your emotions to overrule your business sense when it comes to making hard choices for your business.

Where I see myself and/or business in 5 years:
Right here. We plan to continue going forward and continuing to evolve and adapt to the ever changing market and the new technologies available to the Dive Industry. We will endeavor to improve our services and our facilities as needed and position ourselves as the leader in Northwest Florida's recreational Dive community.

About You, "The Person"... 

Favorite place to dive:
I love the islands of Micronesia, the Marianas and the southern Ryukun islands of Japan. A couple places stand out though and they are Chuuk Lagoon and Palau.

Most memorable dive experience:
I was working in Micronesia on a Dive Boat and one day just after our first dive word came across the radio of a pod of pilot whales in the area. We always had a Divemaster with us who would shoot video of the customers. When word came of the pilot whales he and I looked at each other and had the same thought at the same time. We HAD to see them. We coaxed the Capt. into dropping us off in the blue water offshore near where they had been seen. We dropped down to about 70 feet and the boat moved away to search for the pod. For several minutes we hung there in the blue water, nothing for as far as you could see in any direction. Suddenly they appeared. Above, us, below us, all around us many of them pausing to eyeball us up close and personal. For what seemed like a very long time they swam by and then, as suddenly as they had appeared they were gone. I have never been so overwhelmed with awe. Of course, when we were finally picked up, (thats another story) the Divemaster confessed that his battery had died just before the whales appeared. Just as it should be.

Favorite quote:

Something people would be surprised to learn about me:
I don't have webbed feet or gills.



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