William M. Ziefle, B.S., J.D., MBA, is President and CEO of Divers Alert Network (DAN). Associated with DAN since 1989, Ziefle served on the board of directors from 1999-2009. He has directed various DAN companies including DAN (Director Emeritus), DAN Services, DAN Brazil Association, DAN World, Traveler Emergency Medical Services as well as Accident and General Insurance Company. Prior to taking the leadership role at DAN, Ziefle owned a private law practice in Texas specializing in oil and gas law.
As a member of the DAN Board of Directors, Ziefle established new governing documents for DAN and its subsidiaries and led the way for DAN to become a more transparent and tax efficient nonprofit. During his tenure on the DAN Board of Directors he provided oversight of the DAN subsidiaries and was integral in reorganizing insurance operations to reduce operating costs by 40 percent while improving services available to members. He recruited highly qualified attorneys, actuaries, professional investment managers and enhanced auditing services.
Ziefle is an avid scuba diver with 5,000 dives logged since he was certified in 1973, and over the years has provided legal counsel and fundraising support to several prominent ocean conservation organizations: Ships to Reef, American Academy of Underwater Sciences, National Marine Sanctuaries and Ocean Futures Society. In 2001 Ziefle cofounded Futures 4 Kids, a nonprofit which continues to provide web-based programs that pair local mentors with students to explore interests and develop goal-based educational tracks.
In 2010, Ziefle assumed the role of CEO of Divers Alert Network, wherein he has revised the insurance products DAN has offered for nearly a decade, striving to expand the available product suite to better serve the modern diver. Ziefle has directed the organization on a successful path with solid financial footing, enabling more funds to be put into the endowment of The DAN Foundation than ever before – ensuring that divers can rely on DAN to serve them for years to come.
Jon Council’s diving experience spans forty-six years with the past thirty-two of it as a scientific research diver, submersible pilot/instructor and Aquanaut. His career has taken him around the globe from the arctic to the tropics with projects ranging from collecting subsea biological data beneath arctic ice for the EPA and NOAA, to searching out ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea. He has worked with NASA to help train astronauts underwater in preparation for future space missions to sitting down with school children to teach them about the mysteries and majesty of marine organisms.
Jon has been blessed by working with, and being influenced by the very best within the oceanographic, deep submergence and diving industries. Because of it, he was inspired to become an avid diving historian and now operates the “Avalon Diving History Exhibit” museum in southern California’s Catalina Island where he resides.
In 2018 his works involved with historical preservation were recognized and honored by the Historical Diving Society when he was presented with the Nick Icorn Diving Heritage Award.
Now as a HDS board director he will be able to utilize his years of experience to promote and further the mission of the society.
Eric Eckes has been SCUBA diving for fifteen years and holds instructor certifications from NAUI, SDI and PADI. Eric’s passion for diving is evident as he has been an active member of the Historical Diving Society for over ten years. Eric holds technical certifications in closed circuit rebreathers and cave diving and can be found in the coastal waters off California on most weekends.
Eric has extensive business experience serving as Chief Financial Officer for over 25 years in the financial services market. The Board looks to leverage Eric’s experience by having him focus on HDS’ profitability through financial decisions and controlling the Society’s financial records. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Accountancy from California State University Long Beach.
Ed Uditis began diving in 1954 and became a YMCA assistant instructor in 1959. He became NAUI instructor 1,293 in 1966 and later became a NAUI Course Director and IANTD instructor trainer. He has lived and worked in Connecticut, Florida and the Cayman Islands, where he is credited with successfully introducing NITROX to their dive operations.
Ed joined the HDS in 1992 and is member number 95. He is the HDS Director of Development and is an HDS Lifetime Member. Ed is a regular volunteer for the Society at the DEMA, Underwater Intervention, and Beneath the Sea dive shows and a frequent lecturer on behalf of HDS.
Matt is Vice President/Founder of Dive 1st Aid as well as Vice President of Seaside Marine Intl. Drug Co., Inc. He has been diving for over 20 years and is a certified instructor for both PADI and SDI/TDI. Matt has a business degree from the University of La Verne, a degree in emergency medical management from USC, a pharmacy technician license and is a certified EMT. This background makes him uniquely qualified to advise the maritime industry on medical needs as well as the commercial shipping and drilling industries. He also wrote the current medical first aid requirements for the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI).
Missie has spent the last 17 years in various Management roles for manufactures in the Dive Industry.
She is currently the Director of Sales for Innovative Scuba and Tovatec, she has also held positions in companies such as HydroOptix, and Trident Diving Equipment.
Growing up, Missie always had an interest in all thing’s history including the childhood dream of being an archaeologist, although her childhood dream of being in archaeology was not realized she kept her interest alive throughout her life.
On April 1 st , 2000 Missie took her first breath underwater and was hooked! It was after her initial open water course when she decided to leave her corporate banking job and made diving her full-time career. Over the last 19 years, Missie has had the opportunity to travel and dive the world while teaching her passion of diving, conservation and “where we came from” in our sport.
Michael Menduno is an award-winning reporter and technologist who has written about diving and diving technology for more than 30 years and coined the term “technical diving.” In addition to his reporting duties, he serves as the executive editor of Global Underwater Explorers’ (GUE) new blog “InDepth.”
His magazine “aquaCORPS: The Journal for Technical Diving (1990-1996) helped usher tech diving into mainstream sports diving. He also produced the first Tek, EUROTek and ASIATek conferences, and organized Rebreather Forums 1.0 and 2.0.
Michael received the OZTEK Media Excellence Award in 2011, the EUROTek Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and the TEKDive USA Media Award in 2018. In addition to tech and cave diving, he is a passionate U.S. Masters swimmer.