Our enthusiastic and professional team at Columbia Scuba look forward to sharing their knowledge and passion for exploring underwater with you. With decades of experience between us we never tire of sharing the excitement of that first dive in the lake or on a reef. We are passionate about not just certifiying people but creating confident divers through continuing education and providing opportunities to go diving both locally and abroad.
Mark has been teaching Scuba for over 20 years, he started in the quarries of Ohio where he was a member of a Public Safety Search and Recovery team. He then moved to California where he met his wife Lisa and finally came to South Carolina, he has been teaching for Columbia Scuba for over 10 years.
Hop is the backbone of our retail shop. His smiling face and warm demeanor welcome customers to our store.
Hop is an avid outdoor enthusiast. Hop has been involved in diving and many other adventure sports for a large part of his life. Hop is usually the first face you see at the shop. Hop enjoys hiking, kayaking, snow skiing, climbing, boating…You get the idea, if Hop isn’t at work he can almost always be found doing something outdoors!
Frank has been diving since 1973, his favorite type of diving is wreck diving, as you get to explore history as well as enjoying the marine life that they attract. He really enjoys making diving safe and fun for new divers. Frank has been a great mentor to many divers who had a nervous start to their course, but are now excited to do more!
Dick's start to his dive career was not exactly by the book (sneaking his friends Dad's gear to a pond as a kid) having survived that he learned to dive properly while in college. A career in the Air National Guard kept him fairly busy allowing a few dives here and there on trips. However on retirement his love of SCUBA was reignited and he became an instructor who especially loves mentoring young divers in our High School programs.
Sam is an all around adventure guy, in fact he teaches adventure education at Columbia International University. When not teaching Scuba he can often be found hanging from a cliff, whizzing down the slopes, or paddling some rapids with his family, who all share his love of the outdoors. His two oldest sons are certified divers, and he hopes the younger ones will join in as soon as they are old enough.
Chris got his certification in Texas in 1995, he was an avid diver and enjoyed diving off the coast when he moved to South Carolina. He really enjoys meeting people with a common interest from all over the world, and learning about the varied types of marine life you encounter. He decided to further his passion for diving and became an instructor in 2013.
Brandon has always enjoyed the outdoors and finding new ways to explore it, which is what led him to diving. Brandon has experience in and is certified as a public safety, technical and full cave diver. Although he enjoys any time he gets to spend underwater, his favorite dives are those spent in the caves of north central Florida. Brandon has a passion for diving and teaching safe diving practices that he loves to pass along to his students. His wife Melody is also a diver, but prefers the warmer blue water!
Scott is a water baby growing up in the Miami he claims he was swimming before he could walk! He grew up on a diet of Jacques Cousteau and Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.
He celebrated 30 years of diving! Scott doesn't have a favorite dive spot, other than "the next dive", he really enjoys overhead environments and is currently pursuing his Cave Diving certification. "Good divers are always learning," says Scott, and "learning goes hand in hand with teaching."
Scott is the father of 5 girls and they, along with his wife Tracy, are all avid divers.
Dee learned to dive in 2008, along with her husband, Hanno (now a Divemaster), and son, Karl. The family continued to pursue certifications and specialties until Dee ended up as an Assistant Instructor. Whoops! You will see Dee helping out in the shop (or just hanging around) and conducting DSDs and Scuba Reviews in the pool or assisting with OW classes. She particularly enjoys the travel aspect of diving, especially to warm water!
Mike is proud husband to Kay and proud dad to Katie. He was raised in Texas and started diving in the mid 80’s and also began instructing in the 80’s.
Mike then took a break from diving to ranch in Colorado. He is currently a Building Official for Richland County.
Mike is very happy to be back diving and teaching with the super family at Columbia Scuba.
Lawrence remembers wanting to dive since he first saw Jaques Cousteau on TV. He began diving when he surprised his wife Karen with classes at Columbia Scuba and says from that moment they were both hooked! He embraced the staff's passion for safety and knowledge and looks forward to introducing new divers to a world that few get a chance to see. He believes its all about making new friends, seeing new places and equipping people to make their own memories that will last a lifetime.
Conrad started diving in 1978 after watching SeaHunt. His first Carribbean trip was to Cozumel and it is still a favorite. He greatly enjoys Underwater Photography and one of his greatest thrills to date was photographing the giant Manta Rays in Palau - his dream dive destination.
As Course Director, Conrad heads up the instructor training at Columbia Scuba.
Cecilia started diving in 1990, because her husband kept “bugging her” about it. She has coined the phrase “DISCOVER THE MAGIC OF DIVING” because of her love of diving and teaching. Cecilia is so much fun she adds a little magic to every class she works with!
Jacob became a certified diver through the USC Scuba Club class. He became an intern at Columbia Scuba in the summer of 2013 and has been an invaluable member of the retail team. Jacob is currently working on his Dive Master certification with a view to becoming an instructor.
Scott started his dive career at Columbia Scuba, his other great passion is sailing, and he likes nothing more than to make the most of both his hobbies with a diving/sailing trip to the Virgin Islands! He is now a Dive Master and Service Technician for Columbia Scuba.