Alexandra (Ali) Miller is President of Colorado Scuba Retailers Association (CSRA), partner at Denver Divers, and an SSI Dive Control Specialist Instructor. Alexandra graduated from the University of Redlands with a BA in Environmental Studies and holds an MBA from the University of Colorado, Denver. She is an advisory board member with the Colorado Ocean Coalition and believes that, as scuba divers we have a strong responsibility to protect our ocean for generations to come.
Vicki Nichols Goldstein is the founder and Executive Director of the Colorado Ocean Coalition. Vicki has been diving since the early 80’s and has a Masters Degree from Yale University in environmental studies and ocean policy. She has worked in the non-profit and ocean conservation field for over twenty-five years from Washington, D.C. to Santa Cruz, CA, addressing a multitude of issues including vessel traffic, sustainable seafood, oil spill contingency planning, Marine Protected Areas and fisheries interactions.
Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza is Executive Director of Ocean First Institute. Holds a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University and is the author of numerous scientific publications. Mikki is passionate about sharing her love of the ocean, the joy of exploration and the critical importance of science. Her research focuses on the sensory biology and ecological physiology of sharks, skates and rays, and she has been a tireless advocate for sharks, highlighting their global declines and framing new directions for their conservation.
Steve Weaver is the owner of Weaver’s Dive & Travel Center and part of the Colorado Scuba Retailers Association (CSRA). He is a PADI Master Instructor Trainer and has been certifying divers since 1982. He has organized and escorted trips to destinations on 6 continents and he has logged over 5000 dives in both fresh and saltwater environments
Graham Casden is the founder of Ocean First Divers, one of the leading environmental advocates in the dive industry, and Ocean First Institute, a Colorado non-profit whose mission is to use novel strategies in science and education to provide pathways for people to take action and make smart decisions that protect our ocean. Graham is a CU alumnus from the Leeds School of Business, a SSI Divemaster Instructor and underwater photographer with hundreds of logged dives around the world. As a sentient being and small business owner, his goal is to offer products and services that enhance people’s lives and affords them the opportunity to witness the same magic he has been fortunate enough to experience.
Mehgan Heaney-Grier is a freedive champion, Hollywood stunt diver, TV personality, marine conservationist and biologist. In 1996 Mehgan established the first-ever United States freedive record for both men and women in the constant weight category by diving, unassisted to a depth of 155 ft on a single breath of air. Less than a year later, she bettered her own record with a successful dive to 165 ft. In 2000 she was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural roster. Mehgan holds a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a second major in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her honors thesis research focused on the effects of tourism-related feeding on Caribbean reef shark behavior. Currently, Mehgan is Program Coordinator for the Ocean Ambassador Certification Program with the Colorado Ocean Coalition.
Doug McNeese is President and CEO of SSI, has been involved in the diving industry since the age of 10 when his family opened up their first dive store. In 1982 he purchased ‘The Dive Shop’ from his father and began the expansion of the company. In 1993 Doug purchased NASDS and in late 1998 merged with SSI. Nine years following the merger, Doug is and will continue to be a driving force in the promotion of SSI Worldwide and strengthening its growth through retailers and manufacturers. Doug strongly believes that the “doorway to diving” is the retailer. His passion is to go beyond what has been done, bring more people into the sport and to make scuba diving a lifetime activity.
Laurie J Wilson is Founder of the BlueOceanNetwork.com – an online news hub, ocean entrepreneur community and sustainable business resource. With more than 25 years dive industry experience, she has also created the DEMA Dive Travel Conference,hosts the Blue Ocean Business Summit.com, and has brought business training to more than 13,400 dive pros. Laurie is an MBA, Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Platinum Pro, and member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).