Colonies of Hope

Blog written by guest blogger and marine biologist Clare Baranowski

Preserving coral reefs is a growing concern in the Maldives

At Gili Lankanfushi, we are recovering our coral reefs through the Coral lines Project. By growing small fragments of coral on hanging ropes (lines) and then transplanting them to our house reef near One Palm Island, we hope to see regeneration and aim to kick start the health of our house reef.

Our Coral Lines Project started three years ago and currently holds around 7484 coral colonies. We are consistently adding small fragments of coral to the already growing population on 153 lines.

Josie monitoring our 153 coral lines

The vulnerable nature of coral populations mean that they undergo cycles of disturbance and recovery. Our house reef was affected by warmer waters created by the El Nino event in 2016 which bleached much of the corals. Yet against all odds, most fragments in our coral lines nursery survived.  They have also been faced with a Crown of Thorns (coral predators) outbreak this year and have still remained intact.

In some cases, the corals in our lines are no longer present on shallow reefs in the area.

Now, is the perfect time to begin stage two of our coral restoration project by moving coral from our nursery to our house reef.  Transplanting coral is a delicate procedure with a lot of trial and error. We began slowly by creating a test site with a small number of coral colonies to ensure we would not lose healthy coral unnecessarily.

Josie beginning the process

We found a site with conditions not too dissimilar to the nursery. The area had to be flat and solid, with no loose material and space for growth.  It also had to be an area that is easily accessible for monitoring, but nowhere in danger of tampering or accidental damage.  We chose a depth of 8 metres in the middle of house reef drop off where we regularly snorkel. Another major concern was the Crown of Thorns Starfish, so we placed the coral in an area visited regularly by Harvey Edwards, Ocean Paradise Dive Centre manager, who has been removing these starfish from the reef for months.

Clare cutting the coral from the line

The next step was to cut the colonies from the lines in the nursery, and transport them in mesh bags in the water. We decided to use three different Acropora species to begin with as they are fast growing and like a lot of light and a moderate current. Once at the site, we cleaned the area of algae and attached the coral to ensure protection from extreme water movement. We placed them an equal distance apart to allow quick growth and attached the coral using epoxy, which is a clay like cement. We were aware from previous studies that Miliput (epoxy clay) has been seen to kill the part of the coral it is attaching, so we placed small amounts of putty at the base of the coral.

Once a week, for a total of six weeks, we will measure growth and survivorship of the coral.  We hope to replicate the test at different depths and locations to find a suitable site to start a larger restoration project. However, we will hold off on most of the major transplantation until after the monsoon season.

Attaching the colonies using epoxy

Due to the fragility of coral species, our rehabilitation plans are very flexible, and subject to a long monitoring period.  We expect to adapt our approach and long term management to ensure we keep up with the changing environment of the reef. Previous restoration plans have been hindered by external threats, so we are so excited to finally begin this project. We will be producing scientific data along the way which we hope will contribute to current coral reef rehabilitation knowledge.

Although our transplants are working well so far, we will still have many question to answer in the future such as: are the corals on the house reef still reproducing? As these corals survived the last bleaching, will they be more genetically suited to future hostile conditions? The answers to these questions are all just a work in progress and we will have to keep on watching and learning as we replant and monitor these corals over the next few years. As our house reef sustained a lot of mortality and the coral cover is low, we hope that this new project will help to rejuvenate the reef and raise awareness.

PADI’s guest blogger Clare Baranowski introduces herself:

I am a marine zoologist from the UK who has worked throughout the tropics researching mega fauna and reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. I have experience monitoring and restoring coral and surveying manta, turtle and dolphin populations. I began my career as a science communicator before moving into research and management roles, this is why I incorporate outreach and education into every project I work on and I hope to continue this at Gili Lankanfushi.

12 Activities to Keep Divers Active and Increase Business

Written by Megan Denny

Many people become divers because they’re curious about the underwater world. But often it’s the friendships and camaraderie that keep people diving, taking trips and furthering their dive education.

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The social aspects of scuba are also key to growing and maintaining a successful dive business – divers sharing their passion for scuba with family and friends is what fuels our industry. Scuba marketing trends come and go, but there’s always been one constant: word of mouth. Divers invite friends, who make new friends and they all go diving.

Successful dive centers continually bring customers together through diving and nondiving activities. If you aren’t yet running events where divers and nondivers can mingle, choose an idea from the list below.

Family and Friends Discover Scuba® Diving Event

Host a friends and family Discover Scuba Diving (DSD®) event. Promote the event by emailing past student divers a free Discover Scuba Diving voucher, or creating a social media post for your event and inviting followers to tag or share with friends.

Here are some additional ideas to jump-start your dive center’s social calendar.

Diving Activities

  • Host a weekly or monthly fun dive followed by a picnic, BBQ or pizza party where kids and spouses are invited.
  • Challenge new divemasters to bring in two friends to do a DSD. The divemaster gains assisting experience and you may get two new divers.
  • If you have easy pool access, start a birthday party program for children or adults. Grown ups can have a private DSD experience for their friends, and kids can enjoy Bubblemaker®.
  • Start a women’s dive group with regular fun dives, DSDs, ReActivate® sessions, or a ladies’ weekend getaway.

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Nondiving Activities

  • Each month (or quarter) celebrate all divers who earned a certification.
  • Invite VIP customers to a thank-you party and give them a pair of free DSD vouchers to share with friends.
  • Schedule a PADI Pro Night.
  • Host a travel night and ensure your most gregarious travelers attend.
  • Try a Dive Against Debris® event during the weekend, or at night during a full moon.
  • Celebrate the dive center’s birthday and staff milestones.
  • Start a year-end awards tradition (most accomplished, best sunburn, coolest critter photo, etc.).
  • Throw a shark-themed or Shark Week party.

Friends with Health Benefits

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.”

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Help your customers strengthen their social bonds and find new dive buddies at shop-sponsored diving and nondiving events. When divers have friends to dive with, they dive more and that’s also good for the health of your business.

Marketing, ideas to help with your Dive business.

We all know there is a cost involved in advertising to new and none divers, but this is should be considered a fundamental on going running cost. We here at PADI we are reaching out to both new and established divers on your behalf on multiple platforms (online, in print, events and shows, TV etc. etc.) and of course we try and bring those inspired customers through your Centre’s door. It is great to hear so many people to asking to get their PADI, no matter whether that is a DSD to DM or beyond.

I have been hearing great things about the ongoing Get your PADI in the UK promotion we have been running on Facebook and the number of clicks to the micro site (https://dive.padi.com/EMEA_UK/english/) speak for themselves. The success of “Get your PADI” campaign has led to a further 57 being developed and we are reaching out in 6 languages in 14 Countries, with multiple regions within each.

The above was just one campaign and not cheap to do, what I am looking to do is share some ideas that you can implement. So I have done a few ideas to hopefully spark some ideas for you.

Landing Pages

These are important to understand what they are, you need to be able to do them quickly and easily. The general idea is that you will point people to these pages from any form of online marketing. You could have it as a Competition, e-mailing, Facebook ad, and newsletter. There needs to be a reason why someone will either sign up or give you their details and it needs to be easy for them to do it. Think about screen size on catchy text. There is no point paying for a campaign if that data is going to get lost of someone gives up the will to complete the process of filling it in.

Events

A couple of examples. PADI recently was a completely none diving Event for above water sports, we got our foot in the door at the national watersports festival. PADI then teamed up with a local dive centre to help run DSD’s and we then both spread the message of diving to everyone attending. As this was a National event I was pointing people to their nearest dive centre for when they return home. Another recent and month long event has seen PADI teaming up with the Aqua Lung to help promote learning to dive in a Drysuit to those Centres customers who had taken up the offer. As you are hopefully aware you can easily “bolt on” the Drysuit course to both the Openwater and Advanced Openwater Diver Courses. Those PADI Centre’s who took part ran a promotion for learning to dive or taking their Drysuit Course as a “Fusion” distinctive Speciality. It was great fun and meant I was at different sites over the various weekends. I am looking to do more of the same. 

But, what about taking part in a local event to yourself? Have you thought about summer fairs, corporate events, market or a creative car boot stall? It shouldn’t have to cost lots but it should look professional. Reaching out to none divers it is important to look like they will be safe in your hands. PADI has a budget to help with none dive show events and as a 5* Centre you can apply for a marketing support pack (packs are limited to a specified budget but you should get in touch with your Regional Manager regardless).

What about running a regular Project AWARE event and adopting a dive site?  https://www.projectaware.org/

Funding

You should look at ways and means to apply for funding. Funding can unlock the means to really do something special to help those that may not normally get to take part in our beautiful sport. I have been keen to follow what Herts Dive Club has been doing since they were awarded Lottery Funding

http://www.hertsdiveclub.co.uk/i-can-dive-a-lottery-funded-initiative/.

It really does pay to give back as there is a huge about of positive messaging that comes out of doing something that makes a difference.

Corporate

Have you reached out to your big local businesses? It is worth knowing that most companies will have a staff benefits scheme. If you are not on that list then why not. Let your regional manager know if you would like some help getting your foot in the door.

Youth Market

Don’t forget there is a huge promotion that PADI is doing with regards to helping your centre with the youth market. If you are not yet on the PADI approved youth training scheme please get in touch with the office.

If you would like more help with Marketing why not sign up for the PADI Business Academy?

The Business of Women in Diving

Written by Megan Denny

The average entry-level diver is 27-30 years old, college educated, and male (60 percent are male). For many years the gender ratio of 65 percent male versus 35 percent female remained constant. However, there’s been a shift in the past five years and women now make up 40 percent of new divers. That’s good progress, but the pool of potential women divers is still massive.

An average female consumer is an ideal scuba diving customer. The numbers don’t lie.

Major companies, such as Nike and the PGA (Professional Golfers Association) are taking statistics like these to heart. After Nike chose to focus on women, sales jumped 20 percent and Nike expects revenue from women’s apparel more than double in five years. The PGA recently launched a campaign to increase women’s participation in golf – an industry that is in decline. Only 19 percent of all golfers are women, and PGA research shows, “there are millions of women who want to participate in golf, but they don’t feel welcome. They haven’t been invited.”

Make Women Feel Welcome

Many of the things that make your business female-friendly are just plain smart business practices including:

  • Offer PADI eLearning® – Working women and those trying to balance family commitments will appreciate this flexible, go-at-your-own-pace option.
  • Keep it clean – Many people, not just women, think negatively about a business with a dingy bathroom or changing room. If you’d think twice about showing your mother your facilities, it’s time to spruce up the place.
  • Invite them back – Get in touch with women who’ve dropped out of scuba diving and invite them back by promoting ReActivate®.
  • Stock women’s gear – Having dive gear and other products designed for women available is welcoming.

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One of the most effective ways to bring in new female divers is by asking current customers to invite other women to try diving. Be upfront: let them know you’re trying to change the perception that scuba is for old guys. Ask what you could do to bring in more women and offer an incentive. The results will pay off.

“Camaraderie keeps women diving, buying gear, taking trips,” says Chelsea Cameron, Sales and Marketing Manager for The Diving Locker in Vancouver, Canada. “There’s one group of ladies at our store that went to Cozumel together and they‘re like the three amigas. They’ve been doing courses together, they all bought dry suits together and they egg each other on.”

Female Staff and Instructors are Essential

“Having female staff helps to draw in more female divers. They feel more comfortable when they see other women in the sport. Especially when fitting gear, there are things guys don’t think of, especially with getting into wetsuits,” says Cameron.

Virginia Watson, Marketing Manager at Dive Otago, New Zealand echoes this sentiment. Having a mix of male and female instructors enables us to provide good role models for female divers that are just beginning in their dive career. They see that even in our harsher conditions, women are more than capable of diving day in day out.”

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Women make up at least half the staff at both Dive Otago and The Diving Locker and research proves this is a smart idea for any business.

  • An economist from Carnegie Mellon found teams with at least one female member had a collectively higher IQ than male-only teams.
  • When Fortune 500 companies had at least three female directors, the return on capital, sales and return on equity increased by 40 percent or more.
  • Studies from a variety of industries found that having a larger number of women on a team accounts for greater psychological safety, team confidence, group experimentation and team efficiency.

Source themuse.com

Greg Kocher owner and president of The Diving Locker notes, “I’ve been in business for 50 years and I’ve always tried to promote scuba to different age groups and demographics. I have eight full time employees and half of them are women. It’s proven to be a good model. I’ve been in business so long because of the exceptional staff.”

At Broadreach, a youth educational adventure company, 75 percent of headquarters employees are women and 62 percent of their dive staff are female. “Having so many women in leadership and instructor roles makes us a very adaptable company, as we’re all coming to the table with different points of view. It makes us better problem solvers and communicators, plus it gives us stronger collaborative spirit,” says Creative Director Ladye Jane Vickers.

Kate Farthing, Director of Field Operations at Broadreach adds, “Our programs have attracted more female students each year, and having females working in the industry is often encouraging to parents trying to support their young women as they reach for their goals. The ability to understand, support and encourage our female students is really rewarding and I think sits well with our clients.

“Female dive staff, for lack of a better way to put this, can help ease the concerns of female participants in ways that male instructors have a harder time with. Getting in and out of wetsuits, lugging gear around, what do I do if I’m on my period…all of these things are so naturally facilitated by female dive instructors (not to say that guys aren’t able) but it’s important to have both so all students feel comfortable sharing their concerns and finding solutions.”

Marketing to Women

Virginia Watson from Dive Otago shared this tip: “Championing female divers on Facebook is an awesome way to boost enrollment numbers organically. When we are actively looking to increase female numbers through paid advertising we specifically target that demographic and use images of inspiring female divers. People need to identify themselves in the imagery so including photos of woman in all areas of your marketing should also help… it might inadvertently pull in more males too!”
Check out: 7 Women in Diving Everyone Should Know or female PADI AmbassaDiver™

Photo courtesy of Dive-Otago-2

Photo courtesy of Dive Otago

The Family Factor

Roughly half of women of childbearing age are mothers, and some PADI® Dive Centers have found success partnering with a child-care service or hiring a babysitter. This helps mom take a breather (off a regulator) while she does a scuba review, and gives parents a chance to enjoy time together as a couple.

Another popular way to attract mothers and families is by offering kids scuba programs and selling products that cater to divers with children. “We run a week-long scuba camp for kids 10-15 years old four times during the summer. Predominantly, three women teach the camp, and they enjoy doing it. But all of our staff are involved in teaching, selling, and running weekend trips,” says Kocher of The Dive Locker.

Broadreach Dive Instructor Hannah Tannenbaum shared her thoughts on the benefits of scuba for girls and young women, “Diving is empowering because it’s an entirely new realm in which social pressures and appearance don’t matter. All that matters is your safety, awareness, and immense humility in acknowledging we are such a small piece of this wide and beautiful world, and that our stresses and day-to-day problems don’t matter as much in the face of a sea turtle. I love teaching young women to dive and seeing them develop a new sense of self and gratitude for their world which diving opens.”

Build a Community

A study from Indiana University on exercise habits found that people with a regular gym buddy experienced only a 6.3 percent dropout rate after twelve months compared to a 43 percent dropout rate for people who worked out alone. Help female divers stay active by starting a “Diva Dive Club,” or a PADI Pro mentorship program.

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Kate Farthing from Broadreach notes, “The mere presence of our female staff offers such a great vision of the future to our students. They know being a dive professional isn’t such a far off goal.  Many of our dive instructors began as Broadreach students in middle school and worked their way to being instructors by the age of 18. Our students really build lore around the instructors who have been around Broadreach since they started diving and think they are the coolest of the cool. It’s an easy thing to aspire to.”

Nondiving events (beach parties, bar nights, clean-up events, etc.) can help divers – male or female – connect with new dive buddies. Encourage customers to invite female friends who are curious about diving, but aren’t ready to sign up for a class. Scuba diving can seem intimidating, but meeting fun and supportive divers can quickly shatter that perception.

If you’re interested in bringing more women into diving, use PADI Women’s Dive Day on 15 July as a kickoff event. Dive Otago plans to offer free Discover Scuba® Diving sessions, high tea and tutus. Broadreach has numerous Women’s Dive Day activities planned including a thank you celebration for their female staff and live-streamed dives.

Get started at the PADI Pros’ Site Women in Diving page

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Trying something new can be intimidating – for potential female divers and business owners. But when more women dive, it’s a win-win. Here are some parting words from Chelsea Cameron at The Dive Locker, When you’re out on a dive with more female divers it’s more low pressure, people are more comfortable sharing stories. Having more women is great for the shop the atmosphere. We enjoy it a lot, we have fun, we keep the guys in check.”

2017 PADI Women’s Dive Day Global Video Contest

Share a video of your PADI Women’s Dive Day event with us and be entered to win a FREE 2018 PADI Membership Renewal.

The PADI Marketing Team is looking for amazing video footage showcasing the spirit of Women’s Dive Day for inclusion in the 2018 event promotional video.

The contest is open to PADI Dive Centers, Resorts and Individual Members worldwide who are hosting a 2017 PADI Women’s Dive Day event.

How to Enter

  1. First things first! If you haven’t already, be sure to register your PADI Women’s Dive Day event. Learn more here.
  2. Grab your underwater camera and take video throughout your event. Whether your event is training in the pool, diving a lake or exploring the open ocean, show how you and your divers are celebrating the spirit and comradery of Women’s Dive Day. A few things to keep in mind:
    • While the primary objective is to promote women in diving, the footage can certainly show all participants regardless of age or gender. After all, the foundation of Women’s Dive Day is to reinforce the understanding that diving is open and enjoyable to everyone.
    • PADI standards should be adhered to and reflected in the footage.
    • Footage that shows any touching or damaging of marine life will not be considered.
    • Be sure to get signed releases from people that are shown in your video footage and photos. Download a sample release here.
  3. Edit your video so that it is between two and five minutes in length. Video should be a minimum 1080p.
  4. Submit your entry to jennifer.small@padi.com, including entrant’s name, PADI Member/Store Number and contact information. Videos must be sent using a file sharing service such as We Transfer or Dropbox. High resolution photos (minimum 1000 pixels) and/or event description and quotes are welcomed, but a video must be submitted to be considered for the prize.
  5. Check your email to see if your video was selected as one of the winners. If so, you will receive one-year 2018 Membership Renewal free and a set of goodie bags for your 2018 Women’s Dive Day event.

Click here to see Official Rules

For inspiration, watch the 2017 PADI Women’s Dive Day video:

Thank you for taking part in PADI Women’s Dive Day 2017 and the Global Video Contest! For more information about PADI Women’s Dive Day, visit padi.com/women-dive.

PADI Continuing Education – Specialty Courses

Since you started diving, I´m sure you heard your Instructor saying, at least once a day, that it is important to continue your education. I´m sure you did – otherwise you would not have become a PADI Professional… But what is Continuing Education and why is it so important for yourself and the diving Industry in general? If you are familiar with the PADI system, you should know and understand that the continuing Education is the backbone of the PADI System.

 

 

Are you already a Specialty Instructor?

The Power of Continuing Education (CON-ED)

The power of the PADI system of diver education is its diversity in courses

  • From entry level all the way up to professional
  • All are standardized
  • Aim is to improve specific skills
  • Specialization improves the market value
  • Enough choices for everybody

It adds variety in teaching… Which means that you are not only stuck with the core course like the PADI Open Water Course, the PADI Advanced Open Water course or the PADI Rescue course. It connects in the same time to the interest of the student and improves the skills and therefore the safety of the divers.

Specialty courses can create different tracks to follow; For example it can add-on sales of diving equipment, or it will open a road to the PADI Master Scuba Diver certification.

It is essential that an Instructor in these days can offer various Specialty courses.

How many Specialty Certifications do you have?

What if I tell you that Specialties are the reason to become very successful in the diving industry? The more specialties you can teach and the more languages you can bring into a new position for a Dive Center – the more valuable you will become in the whole industry.

I can only highly recommend that you follow the Specialty Instructor Training! It will certainly build up your confidence and it will give you new insights. The more specialties you offer, the bigger your income can grow!

 

It shows to the Dive Center owner and to PADI that you understand the PADI philosophy – and together with the new Elite Instructor program – it will also be recognized by PADI.

How can you apply to become a PADI Specialty Instructor?

There are two ways to obtain the Specialty ratings:

  • The first is completing a PADI Specialty Instructor course with a PADI Course Director. This reduced the number of dives you must have – 10 versus 20 – showing experience in the specialty area.
  • If you already have the experience (min. 20 logged dives), you can apply directly to your PADI Regional Headquarters. You will find on the PADI Prosite the Specialty Instructor Application.

To summarize – If you offer a variety of courses – this will have a direct impact in your Dive Center.

Why?

Specialty certifications have a direct impact on equipment sales, because the courses are creating a demand for new equipment and it also triggers the lust for more adventure. At the end of the day you will have more satisfied customers and happier staff.

To push the PADI Continuing Education courses is the foundation for success! Because your Customers are always aiming for new experiences and challenges.

Check out the newest challenges for 2017

PADI Elite Instructor

2017 – MSD My PADI Challenge

 

 

What does your business image say?

Professional image:

One of the things I love most about working in the diving industry is that my 3 piece suit hasn’t seen the light of day for some time, save for the odd wedding and funeral. But does that mean that you can dress however you’d like? Professional image is important and there is a huge weight of Psychology studies which limit first impressions to the microsecond. This means that despite how informal the workplace, how you and your business are perceived has an impact. This tenth of second reaction effects someone’s judgment on your competency, trustworthiness, and professionalism. Once someone has formed that First impression it is very difficult to change their mind. Those Companies that provide both a professional image and another fundamental aspect of your business, quality service, not only attract buy also retain customers.

In my role as Regional Manager, I am constantly on the road, at dive sites, working with professionals which in turn means I get to see numerous dive centres and businesses around the globe. There is a marked difference in those that present their business in a professional way and others, who sometimes leave me wondering who’s a customer or the employee.

I am not suggesting that you impose a uniform but moreover if you have not already done so start to think about your corporate identity. If shabby chic, hipster, city worker or chain store is the image you are going for then make sure that you make it part of your overall business image, by this I mean the way your shop, website, marketing present itself down to the clothing you and your team wears.

Brand identity:

As a business owner, it is important to take some time to sit down and identify your Brand. What is it that makes you different, there are a lot of dive businesses out there, but what is yours to you? Once you know that you can start to build your own Brand. Brand identity primary means the way you communicate your corporate identity by your branding. Yes, I did mean corporate identity in diving, you are a professional at the end of the day and there is no shame in earning money by doing something, even if you love doing it.

I am willing to bet you already have a Logo but what about a slogan and mission statement? Once you get it right your brand becomes synonymous with the product, regardless of the company that makes it. PADI, for example, is the way the world learns to dive for a reason. Many companies are known from just their logos and some of the most successful companies are identifiable from just a colour scheme or collection of sounds.

One thing I like to see is when a team stands out at often crowded dive sites. When your team is visible there is no doubt for your customers on who they can approach for help. If you or your team is not clear then perhaps someone else’s is and that company inadvertently pick up your customers.

Cert of completion

As PADI has regional managers (RM) who are here to help we can work with you on your branding, website and professional image. If you feel that you have already put the effort in why not ask for a Professional Image Evaluation from your RM.

 

Fourth Element:

PADI has also teamed up with Fourth Element to help with gaining some form of identity for both your business and your customers. For help with a Bespoke Clothing Enquiry click on this link and enter your details http://fourthelement.com/padi/. 

If you feel you would like to start from the beginning then get in touch as PADI is here to help. perhaps it could be something as simple as your Logo needs some revamping, there is a host of services out there and as RMs we can help point you in some directions.

Can the “Best” Divemasters come from the “Worst” Divers?

By John Kinsella

Perhaps an instructor’s most important role is training fellow dive professionals; running a PADI® Divemaster course, as the book succinctly says, demands nothing less than your best effort. Ditto for the DM candidates.

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Speaking of effort, a recent candidate got me thinking about what it takes to make a really great PADI Divemaster. This person had to work hard at every step of the journey to PADI professional. Throughout the progression, from Open Water, to Advanced Open Water and Rescue, nothing came easy, but equally, nothing was allowed to get in the way. Often, skills had to be practiced time and time again to develop mastery; sometimes even to the consternation of fellow candidates who flew through the required skills and exercises. This was real world affirmation of the benefits of performance-based training.

It wasn’t easy for the DM training staff either; they had to put in extra effort too. From counseling sessions to restore confidence when if flagged to the extra time needed to make sure skills were performed comfortably and confidently, the trainers went the extra mile. What was notable in this context was how willing and selfless they were in response to the tremendous efforts the candidate made.

Marketing

The end result was that, with considerable time and effort, and constant good humor, this candidate prevailed and I have yet to meet someone who was more delighted with success. But the best was yet to come. I think, more than anything, it is the inherent understanding of the challenges people sometimes face and overcome while learning new dive skills, and the consequent empathy, that helped this new divemaster really blossom and become an invaluable and committed dive shop team member and one of the most popular divemasters with customers.

For those involved with professional development, and that should include all PADI Members, the basic message is clear. Sometimes it takes a bit of extra effort to help a DM (or other) candidate succeed. But work hard with people who try hard and the rewards can be worth it.

A Message from Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO

PADI President and CEO

There’s been an exciting change of PADI® ownership to a consortium of conservation-minded family investors. This conglomerate of family wealth investors, based in North America, are run similar to foundations and endowments, who invest long-term in cause-oriented premium brands with dominant market share positions that show steady and consistent growth.

As PADI president and CEO, I’m committed to leading the organization into its next 50 years, as is the entire PADI executive team. Together, we will continue to grow the PADI brand and through our stewardship efforts ensure PADI is not only the best in the world, but also best for the world.

This is a positive transition for the organization as the family wealth investors will hold and nurture PADI for many years. This group is closely aligned with PADI’s mission and supports PADI’s efforts to remain stewards for this amazing brand we all love. The new ownership group includes philanthropists drawn to PADI’s commitment to ocean conservation and preservation. And, most importantly, they respect the organization’s dedication to PADI Member support.

Focus remains on the following global priorities:

  • best-in-class support to ensure PADI Member prosperity and growth
  • new diver acquisition initiatives to attract millions of consumers to the sport and train them to be comfortable and confident divers
  • long-term diver engagement and retention through encouraging divers to explore and seek adventure in the underwater world
  • a deeper purpose vision to inspire all divers to ultimately pay it forward through ocean conservation, marine animal protection, community support, and the healing powers of scuba.

This transition marks the next evolution of the PADI organization and is a positive move for PADI Members and the entire dive industry. As my personal friends, I can confidently say that PADI Founders, John Cronin and Ralph Erickson, would be extremely proud of this next step for the PADI organization and heartened to see that it has transformed into a global force for good for scuba diving and the ocean planet.

I thank you for taking the time to read this message. To all PADI Members, I want to reinforce my personal appreciation of your role and contributions to dive training excellence and aquatic conservation advocacy. You are the heart of the organization and the entire PADI staff remain focused on delivering the best service and support to help you succeed. Together, we are – and will continue to be – The Way the World Learns to Dive® . Be best. Be PADI.

Best personal regards,

Drew Richardson

Drew Signature

President & CEO

PADI Worldwide