NAUI Board of Directors Election
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8422 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819
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Rick learned how to scuba dive in Puget Sound in 1976 while serving in the US Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion and immediately fell in love with diving. For the next 18 years, he tried to dive as much as his Army Assignments would allow. Upon retirement from the Army, he started training with NAUI as an Open Water Diver and worked through all of the courses up to Course Director and Technical Instructor.
He has grown from a small independent instructor to a store owner with a staff of 6 instructors. Rick was able to move his company forward with good planning, budget control and adapting to a changing market place. Ranger Rick’s Scuba Adventure is now one of the largest NAUI Training Facilities in the world. He is a recipient of the NAUI Outstanding Service Award. Rick’s career has afforded him the responsibility and experience of managing up to 400 people and millions of dollars of equipment.
Rick has served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards as a member and as an executive officer. Rick currently serves on the Board of Directors for one of the Largest YMCA Associations in the USA, where he has worked with other Board Members to develop a feasible, long-range strategy plan that increased membership and financial stability.
Rick is currently a 100% NAUI Instructor and store owner actively teaching classes every week. As a team player and passionate about sharing the NAUI quality difference, he has the drive and experience to be your next NAUI Board Director.
I have actively helped Instructors and store owners develop strategy plans for success in the dive industry. Too many times, instructors and store owners would like to talk to someone, but are hesitant to ask a fellow instructor or store owner for advice. I would like to task NSG with developing the following resources for NAUI Members and NAUI business affiliates:
- Student / customer recruiting
- Develop accounting and point of purchase template designed for the dive industry to standardize, P&L and Balance sheets to start establishing a base line for the industry.
- Develop a Marketing Template to jump start new stores & instructors
- Develop a template for sound pricing and costing practices for dive courses & local or international dive trips
- Develop a lessons learned blog on our web site where members can go to get different ideas or submit their own ideas on things that work for them in all areas from teaching to business.
- I will insist our training materials be regularly updated
The bottom line is to get stronger: we need to work together as one, share our ideas, increase our personal bottom line and grow our membership by promoting NAUI.
I will push for the board to be more in touch with the members and to actively teach classes. WE NEED ACTIVE BOARD MEMBERS TO PUSH US FORWARD! I am asking for your vote to elect me to the NAUI Board of Directors.
Answers To The
BOD Election Questions
1. We need to work on a global expansion with a grassroots effort by:
- Expanding our base of Instructor Trainers & Course Directors worldwide
- Set goals for NAUI Reps of store conversions or expansion of new stores in their areas
- Expand our NAUI Reps in areas of the world that we are not currently in
- By adding new business programs to NAUI to help our stores succeed. We will slow our loss of stores and covert other agency stores with a better product designed for the dive industry.
We need to keep an eye on future developing equipment. Over the last 50 years we have seen massive changes in our dive equipment and training standards that have improved diving and safety. As this new equipment emerges (Recreational Rebreathers) we need to lead the industry in developing sound and safe training standards. I see the recreational Rebreather that is coming onto the market today in the same position that nitrox was in the early 90’s.
I am committed to making NAUI even better and world renowned. NAUI needs to take advantage of modern technologies, but more importantly, I will continue to inspire all I meet with my enthusiasm for diving and conviction that NAUI is truly setting the standard for all to follow.
2. This is a 2 part answer:
Step one: Loyalty program
Reestablish strong loyalty to NAUI to prevent instructors from switching to another agency
- Reverse the trend of dive stores going out of business by providing business tools that owners need to be profitable
- Create the mindset that one can make a good living as an instructor by showing quality dive professionals how to operate a successful business
This can be accomplished by the development of business programs designed to improve the bottom line. NAUI does a great job training instructors to teach diving, but most are terrible business operators. We need to think outside the typical dive agency box and step up to the plate, not only to train great Instructors but outstanding business owners.
Step two: Outreach program
Currently universities across the USA are doing away with credit hour scuba programs. However, they are increasing their budgets for Outdoor Adventure Programs. NAUI should reach out to these schools and start training future young divers, get them excited about diving and bring them up to the instructor level. By mentoring these young people, they will be in position to start buying out retiring dive store owners and be our future NAUI store owners.
We need to develop a template to set up training to our returning Veterans. The military has started downsizing its war time force and these young men and women are into adventure sports. We need to do is develop ITC schools that can tap into their Veterans’ College benefits to pay for their training and equipment. This will benefit the store owner with the ITC program, the veteran by using his veteran benefits that he has earned and NAUI by increasing its instructor base.
3. The current NAUI recreational standards revisions are great and need just a few minor adjustments. I am concerned about the Technical Diving revisions.
I am firmly behind having solid standards for safety and training to minimize our risk exposure as a dive agency. But we also need to keep some standards with attainable goals for completion. For example:
Extreme Exposure Diver
Example 1: Instructor of record must have at least 100 hours of logged dive time as an Extreme Exposure Diver deeper than 200 feet on Trimix.
Example 2: The student being trained must have 200 logged dives as a Trimix diver.
For a person entering the NAUI Trimix Program with the end goal of being a Trimix Extreme Exposure Instructor, this would take several years to complete. If he did 4 Trimix dives a month, it would take him almost 50 months to complete the Trimix dives before starting the Extreme Exposure Trimix course. Then continuing with the same numbers of dives per month, it would take another 12 months before he could enter the Trimix Extreme Exposure Instructor Course.
Problem: 5 to 6 years to become a Trimix Extreme Exposure Instructor seems a little extreme to me. For anyone getting these types and number of dives per month, it is very challenging and costly. Because the new NAUI’s Tech standards are extremely high, I believe we will start losing instructors who are considering becoming Technical to other agencies.