Speakers & Bios

Compiled by Gene Muchanski
Show Manager
Scuba & H2O Adventure Show



Jim Elliott – Diveheart:  Scuba Therapy:  Imagine the Possibilities.  Jim Elliott left a successful career in the media business to launch Diveheart, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that helps build confidence and independence in children, veterans, and others with disabilities through zero gravity and Scuba Therapy.  Diveheart seeks to install the can-do spirit in its participants.  Diveheart doesn’t discriminate when it comes to working with people with disabilities and serves cognitively and physically impaired individuals worldwide.

Since 2001, Elliott, who is a volunteer with no salary, has initiated Scuba Therapy research with university medical centers around the country, including the first study on Autism and Scuba Therapy and the world’s most innovative Adaptive Scuba Training program for instructors, dive buddies and Adaptive Divers.  he also lectures and trains dive professionals in the “Business of Adaptive Scuba.”

Presentation Outline:  Scuba Therapy: Imagine the Possibilities

  1. Introduction overview and background of Diveheart & Scuba Therapy
  2. The power of the pool
  3. Life changing Scuba Adventure Trips
  4. Scuba Therapy Research
  5. The business and future of Adaptive Scuba

Jennifer Idol:  Wild Alaska, Exploring Iceland, & Raja Ampa.  This underwater photographer became the first woman to dive all 50 states, documented in her book An American Immersion.  She is a Nikon Professional Service Member, PADI Ambassadiver, and a Member of the Ocean Artists Society.  Jennifer helps others understand the underwater world through her photography, designm and exploration.

Presentation Outline:  Wild Alaska / Iceland / Raja Ampa

Tom Hemphill:  Tom began Scuba Diving in a lake near Pasco, WA in 1959.  He was determined to be an underwater treasure hunter.  His diving adventures and career as a diving educator has been exciting.  Tom is a diving historian, author, underwater photographer, seminar presenter and dive industry leader.



Lisa Hiller:  Lisa Hiller is an avid diver for science and recreation.  For the past 13 years she has been a part of the WDFW dive team conducting surveys throughout the Puget Sound.  Her work has been focused on shellfish and bottomfish research.

Diana Hollingshead – Eugene Skin Diving Supply:  Dive For A Cure.  Owner at Eugene Skin Divers Supply.  Founder at Dive For A Cure.  Member Women Divers Hall of Fame.  Diana has raised over 1/2 Million Dollars to fight Breast Cancer.

Presentation Outline:  Dive For A Cure.




Mike Hughes:  Mike Hughes is the author of “The Northwest Dive Guide” and “The North American Dive Guide.”  He has written for Dive News Network for over 14 years.  Under Mike Hughes Scuba, he has 800 videos on Youtube covering scuba gear, dive charters, and resort operations around the world.

Peter Hunt:  The Lost Intruder.  Peter Hunt flew A-6s for ten years before leaving the Navy to fly commercially.  Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2005, Hunt now writes full time.  An alumnus of Brown University and University of Washington Graduate school, he is the author of “The Lost Intruder,”  “Angles of Attack,” and “Setting the Hook.”

Presentation:  The Lost Intruder

Leon Scamahorn:
  Leon Scamahorn is the CEO of Innerspace Systems corp and inventor of the Megalodon CCR systems.  Leon is a 13 year Special Forces veteran specializing in Maritime operations and was considered the authority on the subject in the U.s. Army.  Leon is still serving his country with supplying the U.S. Navy the MK-28 Mod O CCR for specialized diving operations.  He is continuing to develop other exciting products for the public such as the APECS 4 ISCAN electronics, Pathfinder CCR, and working on other projects for the U.S. Navy.  He is also working on special products for homeland security applications and personal defense against respiratory toxic and hypoxic environments.

Chris Weaver & Michael Salvarezza:  Chris Weaver and Michael Salvarezza have been diving the waters of the world since 1978.  In that time, they have spent thousands of hours underwater and have accumulated a large and varied library of photographic images.  They have presented their work in many multi-media slide presentations, and have appeared previously at Beneath the Sea, the Boston Sea Rovers underwater Clinic, Ohio ScubaFest and Our World Underwater.  Mike and Chris have been published more than 125 articles in numerous magazines, including National Geographic Adventure, and have authored numerous articles for the majority of the dive publications the world over.

Their work has also been used to support a number of research and educational programs, including the Jason Project for Education, the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in New York, The New York Harbor School Billion Oyster Project, The Northeast Ocean Planning Recreation Survey and the Cambridge University and the University of Groningen Arctic Centre work on monitoring the transformation of historic features in Antarctica and Svalbard.  Mike and Chris are the Executive Producers of the annual Long Island Divers Association (LIDA) Film Festival.