NAUI Members – Save NAUI: A Call for Integrity

  1. NAUI-Member-200January 17, 2014

Dear NAUI Members:

We, the undersigned, are a group of concerned NAUI members who are outraged and alarmed by the unprecedented invalidation of the 2013 BOD election and the subsequent communications that have been incomplete, misleading and factually incorrect. We believe those in power must be held accountable and we, the NAUI membership, deserve a more complete explanation of the facts than has been thus far been provided.

Recent statements from NSG and the NAUI Board of Directors have accused Dave Ochs of electioneering, and presented this as the underlying reason for the invalidation of the 2013 BOD election. The “electioneering” actions involved showing a campaign video to a sum total of 31 NAUI members at two separate CD requalification workshops, well before the election even began.

Regardless, the board and Election Committee were immediately made aware of these incidents. To address any question of fairness, an opportunity was provided to the remaining candidates to also solicit these 31 members privately. It was only after the election results were known, almost two months later, that the 2013 board acted to invalidate this election, doing so under the cover of secrecy by going into “executive session” on December 10, 2013.

It is important to note that of the six directors on the board who voted to invalidate the election, Mark A. Flahan and William Tong were losing candidates in the election, and two more directors, Mark C. Flahan and Michael Tong, are their fathers. Additionally, Michael van Niekerk, had taken a public position of support for losing candidates during the campaign. All of these directors had a clear conflict of interest, yet all five voted to invalidate the election only after they knew the results. Simon Yu was the remaining director who also voted to invalidate. Only three of your elected directors including David Ochs, Lonnie Sharp and Tom Hemphill had the courage and decency to speak against the ill-advised plan to invalidate a democratic election.

You as members have the right to hear both sides. Until now, Dave Ochs has been denied the opportunity to respond to the charges leveled against him. To rectify this situation, we are providing a link to his response to these allegations:

Please also be aware, there is no NAUI bylaw, Federal or CA State statute, regulation or case law that supports the invalidation of an election by a board of directors in a membership association such as ours. Additionally, Robert’s Rules of Order further stipulates that election results, once announced cannot be rescinded. Despite being asked repeatedly by hundreds of members for the legal basis and authority for their actions, the 2013 BOD has provided none.

As members we should all be outraged at the expense and incalculable damage this has caused our association.

Therefore, as members, we demand that those still serving on the board and NSG:

  • Recognize the results of the 2013 BOD Election.
  • Stop all efforts to hold a new 2013 election.
  • Immediately remove the expired members of the board who are still serving: Michael van Niekerk, William Tong, and Mark A. Flahan.
  • Seat the duly elected directors.

As we move forward to resolve this crisis, we would like to stay in touch. We invite you to join other NAUI members at our new social networking site:

This website has been set-up as a member-owned and operated site for those who would like to connect with and exchange ideas with other members.

We also want to inform all NAUI members that legal proceedings are being taken to stop all action by the 2013 NAUI BOD and NSG until the current matter is resolved or the results of the completed 2103 BOD election are accepted.

If you would like to add your name to the growing list of members who are disgusted by the actions of this board and support judicial intervention to enforce our bylaws and legal governance, then please complete this brief survey:

We will not tolerate a precedent that grants this or any board the ability to invalidate an election, regardless of the results. We are a democratic association and we demand the voice of the membership be recognized as the highest authority in governance.

Please join us in our efforts to save our association and return control where it rightfully belongs with all of us! If you would like to add your name as a signatory of this letter, please visit us at:

As a reminder, the NAUI Annual General Members Meeting (AGM) is on Saturday, January 25 at 10:00am at NAUI Headquarters in Tampa. There is no better way to make your voice heard than to be there in person. While we understand that it’s not feasible for everyone to attend, for those who are able to attend, we strongly encourage you. There will be further communications about this in the next few days.

Write your board members and join us in Tampa at the AGM. Be heard! There will a “Friends of NAUI” meeting and social event following the AGM. For more information and to sign-up to attend this important gathering of concerned NAUI members, visit us online at:

Concerned NAUI Members,

  1. Dan Abbott, NAUI 47148
  2. Kevin Abbott, NAUI ?
  3. Rich Alvarez, NAUI 3077
  4. James Armstrong, NAUI 54740
  5. Christian Bailey, NAUI 22798
  6. Chad Barbay, NAUI 7583
  7. Kevin Barrett, NAUI 32605
  8. Bill Batten NAUI 53911
  9. Robert Bauer NAUI 54260
  10. Art Becker-Weidman, NAUI 54876
  11. Bob Belcher, NAUI 3836
  12. Kyle Benger, NAUI 37527
  13. Douglas Bennett, NAUI 17952
  14. Randy Berger, NAUI 43682
  15. Terry Boswell, NAUI 50624
  16. Jean Pierre Botha, NAUI 8009
  17. Randy Botteri, NAUI 14267
  18. Michael Brady, NAUI 20729
  19. Bob Brayman, NAUI 6058 L
  20. Tom Brooks NAUI 42340
  21. Michael Burke, NAUI 53664
  22. Christy Campbell, NAUI 54210
  23. R. A. Camus Jr., NAUI 14497
  24. Alexi Candelario, NAUI 46961
  25. Bill Cannaday NAUI 53039
  26. Bob Casell, NAUI 52582
  27. Ken Charlesworth, NAUI 19780
  28. Bill Childers NAUI 5709
  29. Steve Clabuesch, NAUI 12021
  30. Capt. Steve Coe, NAUI 41871
  31. Ed Deagle NAUI 45425
  32. Patrick Michael DeCharles II, NAUI 4194
  33. Matt Dickey, NAUI 54435
  34. Gary Donahue NAUI 44981
  35. Rick Ducey, NAUI 40690
  36. Dallas Edmiston, NAUI 4099
  37. Darryl Edmiston, NAUI 19630
  38. Linda Edmiston, NAUI 44163
  39. David Elder, NAUI 54914
  40. Robert Eskew, NAUI 12755
  41. Cheryl Esposito, NAUI 55424
  42. Michael Feld, NAUI 50134
  43. Anthony Ford, NAUI 48401
  44. Suzanne Foret, NAUI 46659
  45. Peter Friedman, NAUI 43801
  46. Jim Gauthier, NAUI 33924
  47. John Galembush, NAUI 32879
  48. Courtney Gibson, NAUI 51941
  49. Sarah Gibson, NAUI 52046
  50. Gary Hagland, NAUI 7778
  51. Michael Hanchak, NAUI 52576
  52. Jeff Heim, NAUI 10880
  53. Edward Hewett, NAUI 15359
  54. Kimberly Hewett, NAUI 52829
  55. Floyd E. Holcom, NAUI 48075
  56. Jim Holland, NAUI ?
  57. Billy Hunter, NAUI 44591
  58. Albert P. Jackowiak, NAUI # 52830
  59. Craig Jenni, NAUI 13065
  60. Erik Jensen, NAUI 47608
  61. Karen Kayser, NAUI 47142
  62. Ellen Keller, NAUI 36480
  63. Dana Kersjes, NAUI 17265
  64. Ian Kinder, NAUI 11045
  65. Greg Knauer, NAUI 48419
  66. Mark Kummerer, NAUI 32862
  67. David Lawrence, NAUI 52541
  68. Joseph Lee, NAUI 7418 L
  69. John Lewis, NAUI 51411
  70. Jonathan Leslie, NAUI 40363
  71. Rick Lorimor, NAUI 44715
  72. Timothy J. Lloyd, NAUI 9044
  73. Karl Lynch, NAUI 54706
  74. Gary Mace, NAUI 54273
  75. Charles Machacek, NAUI 49491
  76. Mack Machacek, NAUI T0000060
  77. Vincent J. Malkoski, NAUI 8876
  78. Bill Masler, NAUI 3020
  79. Alison Matherly, NAUI 38309
  80. Michael J McCrorey, NAUI 52514
  81. Sheila McIntyre, NAUI 11220
  82. Daryl McLaughlin, NAUI 55014
  83. Gary McLouth, NAUI 41199
  84. Brian E. McMillan, NAUI 40685
  85. Malcolm McMillan, NAUI 54424
  86. Mark Meador NAUI 49258
  87. Matthew Mead, NAUI 54436
  88. Rebecca Metcalfe, NAUI 32766
  89. Peter Meyer, NAUI 4264
  90. Steve Monk, NAUI 44338
  91. Barry Moore, NAUI 6790
  92. Harvey Morash, NAUI 39292
  93. Tim Moxon, NAUI
  94. Gene Muchanski, NAUI 3821 L
  95. Garrett C. Myren, NAUI 52361
  96. Burhaneddin Zahri Adham Muntasser, NAUI 9650
  97. Bridgette Nadler, NAUI 34859
  98. Michael Nadler, NAUI 10546
  99. David Oldham, NAUI 47797
  100. Karen Parisien, NAUI 16721
  101. Stephen Gary Peacock, NAUI 47859
  102. Randy Pekarik, NAUI 44594
  103. Geoff Pentz, NAUI 9984
  104. Mark Pergrem, 32598
  105. Brian Perry, NAUI 10336
  106. Lindsay Peterson, NAUI 2775 L
  107. Joshua Poole, NAUI 55284
  108. Louis Powell, NAUI 19365
  109. Todd Rather, NAUI 54492
  110. David Reid, NAUI 50542
  111. Sharon Reid, NAUI 50543
  112. Paul Rentschler, NAUI 39695
  113. Chris Richardson, NAUI 17055
  114. David Ross, NAUI 49403
  115. Steve Rossberg, NAUI 9782
  116. Ken Sallot, NAUI 19230
  117. Dan Sansiveri, NAUI 49389
  118. Richard J. Sass, NAUI 4782
  119. Ron Schumacher, NAUI 55526
  120. Jacqueline Selbitschka, NAUI 53021
  121. Charles “Scooter” Sellers, NAUI 16598
  122. Allen Sherrod, NAUI 36480
  123. Matthew Smith, NAUI 51346
  124. Jeff Smyth, NAUI 51074
  125. David Snyder, NAUI 52814
  126. Troy Sorensen, 52954
  127. Randy Tay, NAUI 54733
  128. Michael Timmins, NAUI 49856
  129. Paul Tonovitz, NAUI 53693
  130. Demetris Touvannas, NAUI 50787
  131. Rich Travis, NAUI 52030
  132. Matthew Vinciguerra, NAUI 53958
  133. Devin Waddell, NAUI 35128
  134. Genette Waddell, 41328
  135. J. Stephen Walker, NAUI 47707
  136. Bruce Weinke, NAUI 5343
  137. Robert Weller, NAUI 44439
  138. David Wierzba, NAUI 46736
  139. Scott Williams, NAUI 53906
  140. Mark Winscher, NAUI 48031
  141. Phillip Wood, NAUI 13312
  142. Beth Wrisley, NAUI 47741
  143. Keith Wrisley, NAUI 42234
  144. Jeffery Zilliox, NAUI 11632

Concerned Retail Dive Centers

  1. Dive Pros Ltd, NAUI F0000947

About Gene Muchanski

Executive Director at Dive Industry Association. Board Member at Dive Industry Foundation. Marketing Consultant to the Diving Industry. I have been a certified Scuba Diver since I was 15 years old and have been a passionate waterman for as long as I can remember.
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