Here’s some background about Bill AND his platform for running for a seat of the DEMA Board of Directors.
Bill learned to dive on his honeymoon in Grand Cayman in 1977 and it’s been hard to keep him out of the water ever since. Completing scuba instructor training in 1979, Bill began teaching diving at the University of Georgia. He attended UGA as a colligate athlete on a full scholarship for football and graduated in 1980 with his Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
After graduation Bill turned his passion into his career, as a partner in the founding of Pro Dive International until 1998. During that time, Bill became a PADI Course Director and has trained thousands of instructors who are now employed around the world. In 1993, Bill was among the first group of elite divers awarded the Platinum Pro 5000 certification by SSI.
After a 4-year stint as a senior test engineer with Citrix, Bill learned that all other careers pales to one built around the dive world. Bill returned to his calling by founding Sea Experience, a full-service dive and snorkel operation in Fort Lauderdale in 2002. Sea Experience is a PADI 5 Star Career Development Center, licensed with the State of Florida, and approved for Veterans Training. Sea Experience certifies hundreds of divers and instructors each year and has received many awards both local and international.
BILL COLE: CANDIDATE FOR DEMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
What is DEMA not doing or needs to do differently
I feel DEMA is doing a good job and in the right direction. I would like to see a continued focus on diver acquisition and retention. This would increase the foundation to which all diving activities like certifications, training, sales, travel and equipment to prosper and expand. Family activities should also be a continued focus, especially in the tech era that cuts into quality time together.
I see the need for all areas of diving to work together instead of on their own. Together we can be stronger. Stores, instructors, certification agencies, dive charters, travel companies and resorts all rely on each other and if we can improve cooperation by just 5%, the results to everyone in the industry would be huge.
As a future member of the board, I see potential in several areas;
Certification and Ongoing Education
I truly believe that everyone who takes an open water course should strive to become a Master Scuba Diver. With this increase in diving and qualifications comes additional revenue for stores, instructors, certification agencies, dive charters and travel companies and resorts.
Keeping Things Local
The local dive store is the beacon in the community. They should be offering all aspects of diving, if not, partner with someone with the same philosophy. Offer both online and traditional training. This is a must with the changing demographics we have seen over the last few years. Once you have them in, show them why they need to hitch their wagon to your store for all their scuba needs.
Diving for Everyone
If I had a magic wand, I would be waving it here! Our industry is all about getting and sharing experiences, creating memories and growing in ability. Changes in technology has enable nearly everyone to become a somewhat good underwater photographer. It all starts when they dip their toes into the water. Not many industries have this power!
I am ready to get my equipment, hop in and start making a difference, are you?