Chris Richardson: Biosketch Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Christopher served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1984 to 1995.During his service he served in submarines, surface ships and with Land Forces. Operationally he served in the 1991 Gulf War, with NATO and United Nations Peacekeeping forces. Christopher brings broad diving industry experience to NAUI. After leaving the Canadian military he moved to the Cayman Islands, where following a year working in a bar, he worked as a resort instructor, repair tech, dive sales and store manager. In 2000 Chris left Grand Cayman for the United States where he managed a large dive store in South Florida and then spent two years doing dive consulting to the mega yacht community. In 2002 Christopher began his successful career as a sales manager in the Dive industry, representing at various times Mares, Dacor, Oceanic, OMS, Delta P(VR Dive Computers). During his tenor as a Caribbean Sales Manager he held a voluntary position as the NAUI Caribbean Sales Manager. Since 2007 Christopher was a principle with EDGE and HOG Dive gear, a startup of diving equipment with both national and international distribution. He left EDGE and HOG in July 2014 to pursue new opportunities. He first became a NAUI instructor in 1994, taught scuba diving in Tobermory, Ontario, and Grand Cayman, and has been active as a NAUI Instructor, Course Director for Recreational and Technical diving. Christopher has been awarded the NAUI Outstanding Service Award, NAUI Continuing Service award and NAUI Ambassador Award. Christopher’s complete C.V and in detail position statement, can be viewed at www.richardsonforbod.com
Position Statement It’s been an interesting last year for NAUI. While the actions of some have disappointed me, the passion of our members has made me certain of the bright future of NAUI. Our association is unique, our membership, unlike other training agencies(where you are no more a “member” than at the local gym), is really in practice a “Citizenship” in our association. It requires that we as members participate in the process. My NAUI qualifications and experience has allowed me to enjoy a good living in a field I love. I want all and future NAUI leaders to be afforded the same privilege. I feel my experience, knowledge and frankly tenacity will stand in good stead to represent the members of the association at the board level. My intentions are simple, to examine each issues brought to the board in the context of how it aligns with our shared values as NAUI Instructors.
Answers To The BOD Election Questions
1. I wish to leverage my experience and expertise in all aspects of the dive industry to help reinvigorate and strengthen NAUI for the future while being an advocate for traditional NAUI shared values. I bring the unique advantage of experience in both international and the domestic US dive industry. I have a proven track record for innovation and success in business models. A board members responsibility is to be involved yet removed from day to day governance, a sounding board and idea incubator. A member of the board is expected to represent and be responsible to the membership of our association. We are an association of equals, that is something that I would remember, respect and guide me as a board member.
2. Over the last three years I have been awarded the Continuing Service Award (2011) for teaching as an Instructor and Course Director in the Southeast. I have conducted numerous ITW’s, ITC’s, Technical Instructor Programs and have conduced IQP’s for NAUI Instructor Trainers conducting ITP’s. Frankly at this time I am more interested in “creating” more potential divers for our instructors to teach than qualified candidates for NAUI membership. If we create the first the second takes care of itself. We create that pool of potential divers by offering compelling reasons to choose NAUI training over other offerings on the market, frankly we aren’t in a position to outspend our primary competition in marketing, but are easily in a position to “outquality” them creating trained, comfortable and excited divers who become our best marketing effort.
3. I am excited by using technology to improve scuba training, provided it is used to make teaching more efficient and/or as supplementary to time with an instructor. The potential student often seeks faster training, and our industry has been too eager to provide. However poorly trained divers do not stay diving and they do not tell their friends that diving is great! Ideally, skill development and learning takes time. In water skills need to be taught repetitively over a period of time and academic knowledge needs to be comprehended and internalized. Too many “diving” classes today are rushed, leaving students with little skills and knowledge or even fear of diving. As a training agency NAUI needs to address these pressures in a manner that balances the economic and marketing realities with quality standards and a corporate culture that puts the needs of the students first.
- Endorsement by Chad Barby, NAUI 7583: I fully support Chris Richardson for the NAUI Board of Directors. NAUI needs people who are Hard Core Drivers that can regain control of its Service Centers.” NAUI Instructors can email me at email@example.com
- Endorsement by Bill Childers, NAUI CD 5709 L:
- Endorsement by Tom Brooks, NAUI 42340: I fully support Chris Richardson for NAUI Board of Directors. NAUI needs members who have Chris’ experience in the dive industry and are very ACTIVE Recreational and Technical Dive Instructors. Chris’ experience in the Public Safety Diving area will help move NAUI in the correct direction adopting a PSD training program, second to none. This experience and leadership is very necessary to move NAUI forward in this very critical time. I strongly recommend you to vote for Chris Richardson in the NAUI 2014 Board of Directors Election. Any NAUI Instructor may contact me a firstname.lastname@example.org or cell 828-329-9911
- Endorsement by Ralf Deutsch, NAUI 33589: “After reading through this forum and some related sites, I have decided to give 1 of my 2 votes to Chris Richardson. Chris I will campaign for you among the few NAUI instructors whom I know here in Korea. Good luck and do not believe anyone who tells you that being outspoken is a bad thing! There was much too little of that in the past years in our NAUI.”
- Endorsement by Gene Muchanski, NAUI 3821 L: I fully endorse and recommend Chris Richardson for the NAUI Board of Directors. Chris has the experience and leadership necessary to take NAUI to a new level of professionalism. This election is very critical to the future success of NAUI. Last year marked a significant advance for NAUI when Michael Feld, Dallas Edmiston and Rick Lorimor were elected by the Membership and seated on the NAUI Board of Directors. Over 400 NAUI Instructors fought to elect and seat the duly elected board members. That, I believe was the tipping point to NAUI’s recovery in the marketplace. I like to call it “Step One” for NAUI on the road to recovery and regaining its good reputation and prominence. “Step Two” is electing people like Chris Richardson, to ensure that NAUI does not lose the ground it gained in the past year. Chris relates well with the board members who were elected last year and possesses the necessary conviction to make sure that progressive plans for NAUI’s future are put in place. NAUI needs a person with Chris’s conviction and determination to do the things necessary to guarantee NAUI return to a leadership role in the diving industry. If you are not happy with the products, services or communication you are currently receiving from those hired to support you, Chris Richardson will work hard to turn that around. I strongly recommend you vote for Chris Richardson on November 3rd as your next representative to the NAUI Board of Directors.
- Endorsement by Dan Orr, NAUI 5612: “Chris Richardson is an outspoken and enthusiastic young man. Although I don’t always agree with Chris on certain issues, if he is willing to roll up his sleeves and put his energy to work to make NAUI a stronger organization, I will support him.”
- Endorsement by Captain Spencer Slate, NAUI 5756: