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At The Dive Academy, we are known to be quite selective when choosing people to join our crew. We could not be more proud of the exceptional group of Dive Professionals who call The Dive Academy home. Each of the individuals listed below bring integrity, a wealth of experience, a sincere passion for our sport, along with a dedication to deliver a safe and fun training experience. They create an inclusive, generous atmosphere and are always willing to go the extra mile for our students. It is important to note that our team only teaches at The Dive Academy, so our students can expect a professional, consistent program. 


Dean McConnachie (Doc)

Co-Founder of  The Dive Academy

  • Platinum Instructor - SSI ( Scuba Schools International ) 

  • Technical Instructor  - TDI ( Technical Divers International )

  • Technical Instructor - RAID International

  • Recipient of the prestigious SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Award 

  • 2022 marks Dean's 40th year underwater, with 3600+ logged dives 

  • Dean is a passionate dive professional, with an attention to detail, and a true desire to help other divers enjoy our sport to the fullest

  • Underwater Photographer and Videographer 

  • Favourite Dive Destination: "still looking" Loved the diving at Atlantis Resorts in the Philippines and Raja Ampat is a "must" for all divers!


Paula Booker (FILO)

Co-Founder of  The Dive Academy

  • Ass't Instructor in Training - SSI ( Scuba Schools International )

  • Diving since 2008 with 900+ dives

  • Paula's love of travel and diving has taken her all over the world

  • Passionate Underwater Photographer - Paula enjoys nothing more that exploring the lakes and oceans, and documenting her dives with photographs

  • Favourite Dive Destination: All of them! But Raja Ampat, Indonesia would be near the top of the list

  • As for FILO?  First in, Last out!   As Bill Tully says, "If you've dived with Paula you'd get it"!


Brendan Neil

Divemaster Instructor - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Gold Instructor Award - SSI ( Scuba Schools International )

  • With over 1700 Dives, 2020 marks Brendan's 31st year underwater

  • Underwater photography is quickly becoming a favourite hobby for Brendan

  • Attorney by day, TDA Instructor by night, Brendan's dynamic teaching style is thoroughly enjoyed by our students

  • Long term plan: Can you say Turks and Caicos?

  • Favourite Dive Destination? God's Pocket, British Columbia. He says it's the best diving in the world


Heather Niefer-Simon

Assistant Instructor In Training - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Dive Master - ACUC & SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Certified to blow bubbles in 2008 

  • Has logged over 140+ dives

  • Heather brings years of experience diving in cold water

  • Favourite Dive Destination? Tobago was amazing, but Galapagos is next!


James Crouch (Sparky)

Open Water Instructor - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Century Instructor Award - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Technical Diver - TDI

  • Diving since 1979, James has been exploring underwater for over 40 years

  • A television/film producer by day, James is an avid underwater photographer & videographer

  • Favourite Dive Destination: Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon, Micronesia

  • "The spherical mines on the San Fransisco Maru are tough to beat!"


Mark Klimitz

Assistant Instructor In Training - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Divemaster - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Certified to blow bubbles in 2010

  • Logged 125+ dives

  • Mark is a high school teacher and has been in teaching since 2007

  • Future plans include becoming an SSI OWD Instructor... Why not combine his love of teaching and diving?

  • Favourite Dive Destination? I’ll dive anywhere! Take me to a puddle deep enough… 


Sue Butterfield (SooBee)

Open Water Instructor - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Century Instructor Award - SSI ( Scuba Schools International )

  • 1600+ dives completed since 1973

  • A retired educator, SooBee brings a wealth of experience and patience to our teaching crew

  • Favorite Dive Destination: Lake Ontario. JUST KIDDING, SHE HATES THE COLD WATER!  Maybe St. Lucia instead


Sarah Jane Miller (SJ)

Divemaster - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Certified to blow bubbles in 2013 

  • Has logged over 103 dives

  • Happy diving anywhere, but happiest diving in warm water with pretty fish. 

  • A good dive is with a puffer fish, turtle or a ray. 

  • Would like to one day see a whale shark and a sea horse 

  • Favourite Dive Destination? Nowhere in particular, as long as it's warm

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Brian Smith

Divemaster - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Divemaster - PADI & SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Started diving in 2000 

  • Has logged over 225 dives

  • Favourite Dive Destination? Has to be the Shark Hotel in Turks & Caicos!

  • The fun part is meeting the people in exotic locations around the world!


Brian Jahns (Boomer)

Divemaster - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Certified in Key West in 1991

  • My greatest day as a diver was when my daughter (13 at the time) certified with The Dive Academy.

  • Favourite Dive Destination?  Life changed when I bought a good dry suit! I'll take Newfoundland or North Vancouver Island over any little cutie tropical reef.

  • Why "Boomer"?  Apparently I resemble a Soviet-era nuclear sub underwater... all big and black and ominous...


Miki Susic (Polo)

Divemaster - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • He's been at this a while.  Started in 1978

  • Miki dived with the Polish Military and he really doesn't know how many dives he's done!

  • Favourite Dive Destination? Has to be the shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon!

  • As for the nickname Polo?  Check out his dive hood! Jana loves it!

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Adrian Pierorazio

Assistant Instructor In Training - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Divemaster - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Has logged over 150+ dives

  • Favourite Dive Destination? The cool waters of Brazil!

  • I believe that diving is a sport that is about continuous improvement.  Every diver can be a great diver!


Mike Butterfield (Mikey)

Regulator Technician

  • Advanced Open Water Diver

  • Professional "Pirate" for various charity organizations

  • Diving since 1999 with over 400 completed dives

  • Favourite Dive Destination?  Raja Ampat, Indonesia... and the Maldives

  • Mike is and avid sailor, and  together with his wife SooBee, his favourite place is on the water

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Eric Reynolds (BamBam)

Regulator Technician

  • Rescue Diver - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Diving since 2005 with over 200 completed dives

  • Favourite Dive Destination?  It was Cozumel until I saw Truk Lagoon. That wins!

  • Why BamBam?  Just listen next time you're in the shop and I'm working on regulators!


Jeannot Lamarre

Divemaster In Training - SSI (Scuba Schools International))

  • Certified in 1997

  • Has logged more than 300 dives

  • Favourite Dive Destination?  Really loved the Surin and Similan Islands, but also really love Cenotes.

  • Favourite Fish? Once had an amazing dive with a Manta Ray, but for smaller fish – the Slingjaw Wrasse – I’m convinced it was the inspiration for Giger’s Aliens.

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Jana Susic

Store Staff & Divemaster In Training - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Started diving in 2016

  • Has logged over 30+ dives

  • Favourite Dive Destination?  Anywhere with Shipwrecks!

  • Currently studying Health Sciences at Western University

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Ilaina Kelly

Store Staff Student Volunteer

  • Started diving in 2019 as a Junior OWD

  • Advanced Open Water Diver - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Ilaina is a fish enthusiast and is looking forward to a career in Marine Biology


Charlotte Day (Charlie)

Store Staff - Dive Gear Co-ordinator

  • Advanced Open Water Diver - SSI (Scuba Schools International)

  • Started diving in 2015 with over 50 completed dives

  • Favourite Dive Destination? I've only been to Hawaii, so ya, Hawaii!

  • Indonesia beckons ... right Jon?

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