Chairman’s Report: The Times of COVID-19 and Looking Forward

When I last wrote, we were embarking on a new journey with the advent of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. As expected, it has changed the landscape of the business world and had major impacts on our incomes, our way of conducting business, and our way of life.

It’s safe to say that this has been not just a destructive and disruptive event, but a seminal one as well. In the midst of significant challenges, there are always opportunities. Long ago, when I had a job working at the Ritz Carlton in California, we were trained never to use the word “problem” or “challenge” but instead substitute the word “opportunity” when inevitable eventualities arose.

While forcibly substituting one word for another might seem superficial, it’s about shaping our own attitudes, as success is largely about attitude, so it is with NAUI members, dive business owners, our membership association, and our service partner, NAUI Services Group. We must meet the opportunities with an attitude of success.

We have discovered and continue to discover new ways of doing business, and it has opened our eyes to how indeed small the world is, and necessitated we find ways to be close to each other and maintain contact, despite the physical distance limitations that the virus has forced upon us. We’ve found new ways of communicating and utilized existing methods in new ways. In short, we are turning challenges into opportunities.

This is not at all to minimize the impact this pandemic has wrought on all of us, from the micro level to the macro. It has brought great hardship, but we know we absolutely must persevere to meet the opportunities and rebuild. As I said in my last communication, NAUI members are trained to deal with adversity. Teaching our students to let go of their instincts and everything they know, put on heavy life-support gear, and venture underwater with confidence and excitement is no small task either. I know we are all up to it.

Being cooped up as I have been in New York City at the epicenter of the crisis in the United States, I know we are all eager to get back out there and start bringing customers and income back to our operations. As NAUI members with a motto of “Dive Safety Through Education,” we have safety built into our mental and business frameworks by nature. We must approach reopening with the same consideration and approach to safety we would when training a new diver. Follow the advice and guidelines of your governmental officials and medical professionals where you will find significant resources on how to reopen safely.

We are learning new things every day about this virus, and as we do, it will give us the power and ability to create workarounds for our businesses that will allow us to endure in this environment. Divers Alert Network (DAN) has provided lots of guidance about how to safely clean and disinfect gear, and other information and protocols are being developed daily and put in place to make sure everyone can operate safely.

Headquarters in the U.S. has been operating at peak performance. Most of the staff have been working out of their homes while the building remained largely empty (except for shipping), but all have remained ready, willing, and able to support you and service your needs. HQ in Tampa is reopening on Monday, June 1, and everyone will be “in house” again to assist you as you reopen and grow your business.

The NAUI Board of Directors and our service partner NSG have been working in tandem to develop new products and services that you will see coming online in the near future. I am looking forward to your help and feedback as we re-emerge and build a better, stronger, and more resilient NAUI moving into the future.

There will be more communications in the coming months and opportunities for interaction among members and leadership, and I’m looking forward to those. In the meantime, the members of the board and staff at Headquarters are here to serve you. Please feel free to contact me directly at if you have questions, comments or concerns.

Safe Diving.