Danny Grizzard: Biosketch As a NAUI member for 40+ years and Course Director for twenty I have a vested interest in the continuing success of our organization. By remaining active as a teaching instructor I am in a good position to work with both seasoned and new instructors. It is important that we remember where we came from as an organization as we continue to steer toward our vision for the future. The challenge is to keep our original identity as we move forward. To many the big difference between us and other agencies is the membership aspect of NAUI. This is great area to promote but we must prove we are better. Even in this era of change we must maintain this difference and not anyone take it away or let our competitors use it as a tool to market against us. In many of my ITC’s and other leadership programs I used the slogan “Not the biggest just the BEST”. We need to work together to continue to show the industry, our members, our competitors and most importantly our future students and members that we are the BEST! We should use the expertise available to us to market this Quality difference and not just through the old fashioned ways. We must embrace the current technology, make our programs visible, support our retailers and grow our organization. Lastly, if for any reason I stop teaching actively I will resign as a Board Member and allow someone else to serve. My one goal will be to vote in a way that supports NAUI and our members.
Position Statement: I worked with a non-profit organization for 26 years with twenty-two of those years in management. I served as Diving Control Officer of a local program the entire time and for the entire organization (30+ programs) the last 7 years. This time gave me a huge insight into the working relationships between board members and staff. I know how not for profit boards work from both sides of the table. This experience should be helpful in consensus building as we move NAUI forward. On the diving side I still teach actively at Gulf Coast State College and also conduct Instructor training programs. I begin diving in 1969, became a NAUI instructor in 1973. I am a licensed US Coast Guard 100 Ton Ocean Operator and have operated dive boats on both sides of Florida as well a Live aboard Operation based out of St. Martin as a relief captain. I am a certified scientific diver and worked as Surface Support Supervisor for two saturation missions on the HYDROLAB habitat that was based in Nassau. Since 1978 I have been actively involved in artificial reef development off the coast of Panama City, Florida. During this time I have supervised over 100 reef deployments. I have received numerous NAUI continuing service awards as well as the Environmental Award. I served as Branch Manager for SE until headquarters eliminated the position. I have been published in numerous magazines, wrote a column for the outdoors section of my local newspaper and done regular TV work for two local stations over a ten-year period.
Answers To The BOD Election Questions:
1. I have over 25 years experience working with not for profit boards. I have seen both sides of the staff versus board struggles. I am ready and willing to make hard decisions to make NAUI better.
2. I attended the CD update in Baton Rouge and have three dive masters and two instructors in training now. One instructor in 2011, one instructor in 2012 and none in 2013. (Did get one sustaining member back to active) The push from the bottom up to promote NAUI should give course directors more targets BUT shops and course directors need to begin to actual close the deal. In that same three-year period I had several DM candidates start and drift away. That is something I intend to change this year.
3. I believe the shorter courses could prove to be detrimental to long-term growth of the industry unless we can balance that trend with better continuing education results. We all know divers can be better trained with more time than a weekend program. E learning can be a benefit when used correctly as can most of the other technology tools (dive computers??). We need to use our NAUI foundation to make even the short courses better, the better the diver the better chance of retention in the sport.
NAUI Instructor Supporters:
- Chad Barby – NAUI 7583
- Bob Brayman – NAUI 6058 L
- Dennis Catron – NAUI 7870
- Nancy Cohagan – NAUI 39015
- Donnie Dawsey – NAUI 39016
- Kimberly Cohagan Dawsey – NAUI 39030
- Mike Gomez – NAUI 9244
- William Horn – NAUI 17511
- Jerry McClendon – NAUI 2614: “I have known Capt. Danny Grizzard for over 30 years. We have worked together as boat operators, instructors and team taught leadership courses. He has always been NAUI directed and I have no doubt that he would serve on the board in the best interests of NAUI and its members.”
- Gene Muchanski – NAUI 3821 L: I’ve read Danny’s Bio, saw his posts on the NW Member Network and spoke with him on the phone. I am confident that Danny has the necessary back bone to make the tough decisions to move NAUI forward in the proper direction. We need people of integrity and my vote is with Danny Grizzard.
- Dan Orr – NAUI 5612: “I have known Danny Grizzard for many years and always found him to be the consummate professional diving educator representing the highest standards of a NAUI instructor. He certainly has my vote.”
- George Perez – NAUI 2626: “I have known Capt. Danny Grizzard for over 30 years. We taught ITC’s together and I have had his OW students on my charter boat on many trips. In all those years he has been a strong advocate for NAUI and dive safety in general. His work on artificial reefs is well known along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Danny is a straight shooter. You can depend on him. He won’t tell you that he’s going to do something and then do something else. As one of only four NAUI dive centers in Alabama I have always been able to call on him when needed.”
- Al Rhoney – NAUI 13832
- Bob Rutledge – NAUI 5127
- Charles “Scooter” Sellers – NAUI 16598 L
- Captain Spencer Slate – NAUI 5756
- Humberto Valle – NAUI 5768