|RONALD L. KIPP
Ron Kipp was an original member of the DEMA Industry Organizing Committee, which was formed in 1991 to determine how the diving community could re-organize to be representative and productive for all stakeholder groups. Upon revision of the DEMA By-Laws he was placed on the Board of Directors and served until 2002. He was elected twice to Vice-President and chaired the DEMA/Asia Committee and DEMA Asia Exposition.
Ron left a Branch Management position with IBM in Columbus, Ohio on October 1, 1980 and relocated to the Cayman Islands, BWI to become the owner of Bob Soto's Diving, Ltd. He began a program of modernizing and promoting not only his business but the Cayman Islands. Successful marketing programs include the first Guaranteed Dive Vacation and recently, Cayman Madness. Today his company is part of the Danlin Group of Companies and is recognized as one of the largest and leading diving companies in the Cayman Islands - which is
regarded by many as the Number 1 Diving Destination in the world.
He has received numerous awards from the diving industry. Scuba World Television awarded him their International Citizens Award for outstanding service to the industry. National Geographic said, "Bob Soto's remains the largest and most diversified, and arguably one of the best, not only in the Caribbean, but in the world." In early 1995, Rodale's Scuba Diving magazine awarded Bob Soto's the "Number 1 Favorite Day Boat Operator" award. Skin Diver magazine, considered by many as the Foremost Authority in diving, stated, "Bob Soto's Diving is the Cinderella story of resort diving."
The Cayman Islands private and public sector has selected Ron for several awards. The Cayman Islands Watersports Operators Association presented Ron with several outstanding contribution awards for his creation and management of SCUBABOWL events. He was awarded the coveted "Most Valuable Individual in the Association award" in July, 1995. Ron was a founding member of the CIWOA and continually served on the Board of Directors since 1980. He founded and served as the Chairman of SCUBABOWL.
Ron was elected to the Board of Directors of the Cayman Islands Hotel and Condo Association and its successor, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, serving five terms as Chairman of the Marketing Committee. He was awarded the Allied Manager Award twice in appreciation of his continued efforts in promoting tourism in the Cayman Islands.
Ron was the first non-Caymanian chosen to head up the important Tourism Awareness Week program and has served under various governments on the Cayman Islands Government Tourism Advisory Board. He was invited to participate along with government officials in promotional tours in Asia and Europe.
Ron is a PADI instructor, active diver and amateur underwater photographer. He and his wife, Kathie, enjoy dive travel, as well as, take an active part in Cayman and international dive travel.
Ron graduated from the University of Tulsa as the outstanding graduate in the School of Business Administration in 1961. He served for over 4 years in the USAF in Southeast Asia and was honorably discharged as a Captain. He has three sons, a daughter and two grandchildren.