Staff

Brad Snyder – MI
Tammy Snyder
Michael Matthie
Jonathan Tipan
Lynn Weller
Devan Bruce
Kenn Jones
Martin Smith
John Swanson – CD

Legend
CD = Course Director
MI = Master Instructor
IDCS = Instructor Development Course Staff Instructor
Tec = Technical Diving Instructor
MSDT = Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Dive Masters
Mike Eves
Sue Holmes
Dan Maycock
Gabriel Teodor
Lynn Weller

 



Brad Snyder

Brad has often said “I wish I started diving when I was a teenager”, but like many others who took up diving later in life, he is making up for lost time. He was hooked from that first moment. The sense of weightlessness and peaceful quiet set the stage for the exhilaration and discovery that was to follow.
The first few years as an open water diver were primarily in cold Canadian waters. Since those days, it’s been a continual journey of discovery, exploration and trying new things.
Even though he has just become a PADI Master Instructor, Brad still feels the same thrill watching a new diver take their first breath underwater in the pool and is often active in Discover Scuba classes. Equally exciting is watching the excitement build for someone diving on their first shipwreck in Tobermory, participating in a new drift dive in the Niagara River, or taking their first underwater photo of some cool creature in the South Pacific.
His favourite local dive sites include the Tiller, the Arabia in Tobermory, the Daryaw in Brockville and The America on the US side out of Rockport. The volcanic island of Saba in the Dutch Caribbean is one of his favourite warm water dive adventures, as the amazing diving with Sea Saba is only rivalled by the awesome topside experience. Saba’s Brigadoon restaurant remains Brad’s favourite in the entire Caribbean!! For photography, Wakatobi in Indonesia can’t be beat, and for larger stuff, the Galapagos Islands are still one of the best havens in the world.
See you underwater as you Explore With Us! to Top



Tammy Snyder

Tammy is the “behind-the-scenes” presence of Float N’ Flag and her contributions have contributed to the ongoing growth of the business. Tammy began to dive in 2007, encouraged by the viewing of her husband Brad’s videos upon his return from various dive trips.

Tammy immersed herself in the underwater world, gaining experience through diving and expertise through taking courses on an ongoing basis. This culminated in her becoming a PADI instructor in 2010.
Tammy enjoys working with new divers, both in the pool, during confined water sessions, and at Gulliver’s Lake, during check-out dives.

With each dive trip, Tammy is gaining valuable experience in dive travel. To date, her favourite dive sites can be found in the waters around Saba, especially Diamond Rock. to Top



John Swanson

John’s nickname is JAWS and is very appropriate given his background and standing in the dive community; he is definitely at the top of the “food chain” when it comes to diving.

John’s career in diving began in 1984 when he became a certified open water diver. 1990 saw John become a PADI Open Water Instructor and in 1994, John became a PADI Course Director.

John’s favourite dive destination is Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman. His most exhilarating dive was experienced at Taputa Pas in Tahiti. When diving recreationally, John’s enjoys underwater photography.

John fulfills a myriad of roles at Float n’ Flag, the most important being Director of Training. John is always available to assist with any or all classes and can also be found on the floor where his background and expertise are invaluable when working on the sales floor. Behind the scenes, John manages the documentation of all training programs and the production of any required certification. Finally, when called upon, John also assists with equipment repair, handling and storage. to Top



Michael Matthie

Michael, as an instructor, is a regular participant in our open water classes, refresher classes, Discover Scuba sessions and our Wednesday nights at Gullivers. When not in the pool or assisting on the shop floor, Michael can be found in the service lab working on your dive gear. to Top

 

 

 


Amanda Sway

Amanda moved from the world of lifeguarding to scuba diving in 2001. Her love for the underwater environment grew from the moment of her first open water dives at Gulliver’s lake.

After progressing through the PADI program to Rescue Diver, Amanda decided that she preferred to teach scuba diver over swimming. She completed her Divemaster program at Playa del Carmen, Mexico and returned to the same dive center in order to become a PADI instructor. With a background in several specialties, her educational goal is to become a Master Scuba Diver Trainer.

Most of her local diving tales place at Gulliver’s Lake, Innerkip and Windmill Point. Her interest in photography draws her to her favourite Caribbean destinations, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Mexico, with their abundance of sun, sand and scuba. to Top

 


Paul Finch

Paul has been a PADI professional since 2003 and is currently an IDC Staff instructor at Float N’ Flag. He holds numerous instructor specialty certifications, including cavern diver, and enjoys teaching divers at all levels from Open Water to Instructor Candidates. Paul really enjoys the energy and excitement of new divers, those enhancing their range and capability through continuing education, and those moving to professional level certification.

Paul holds PADI Master Scuba Diver certification and is also Full Cave Certified through NSS-CDS. There is not much diving Paul does not enjoy, and he is active throughout the season both at home and abroad. Locally, a few favourite dives include the Forest City and Arabia at Tobermory, and the Rothesay and Daryaw at Brockville (two very different dives). Further afield, Paul enjoys diving the Caves and Keys in Florida, Utila (CJ’s Drop off and Pinacles) and Belize (Pillar Coral Canyons and the Elbow). Dives beckoning include cave and open water diving in Tasmania and somewhere (anywhere) in the South Pacific J. to Top


Trevor Kutcy

Trevor began his dive career while on a holiday to Cuba back in 2002. He was immediately enthralled with the opportunity to explore an underwater environment that most people only dream about.

Trevor progressed through the PADI ranks to become an instructor in June, 2010. He feels that his dive education has just begun and is a life-long process as long as he dives. His love and passion for diving translates into a desire to work with new divers and to share his experiences with more certified divers to assist them in becoming more knowledgeable.

With a strong attraction to wreck diving, his favourite dive sites are, locally, the Arabia in Tobermory and, abroad, the RMS Rhone, Tortola. His wreck diving dreams include a trip to the south Pacific, possibly Truk Lagoon, in order to explore the remnants of the Japanese fleet sunk in WWII.

The peaceful tranquility of diving which enables one to focus on the dive of the moment allows Trevor to dream about one day living on an island with its slower pace, being able to teach diving and to lead divers on underwater adventures.
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Mark Cline

Mark has been a scuba diver since 1979 and has hundreds of dives under his belt. With dive experiences across the Caribbean, Mexico, south east Asia, Hawaii and Canada, Mark has been able to experience some of the most enjoyable and interesting dives available. As a long term Float N’ Flag client, Mark decided to re-certify as a PADI open water diver in 1999 and continued his PADI training over the following years, reaching Instructor status in 2007. Mark continues to thrive on the excitement of diving, the enjoyment of helping others as they embark on and continue their diving education, but mostly, he enjoys the pure FUN of diving.

Mark is a PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Instructor, with certifications to instruct various speciality courses and is an Emergency First Response Instructor. He is currently working on his Master Scuba Diver rating and plans to continue his educational journey to becoming a IDC Staff Instructor.

Mark’s favourite dives include the Niihau dive in Kauai Hawaii and the Manta Ray dive in Kona Hawaii, the amazing waters of Sipadan in Malaysia, diving in the Cenotes (fresh water caves) in Cancun, Mexico and of course diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Mark’s first preference is warm water diving, but generally enjoys diving anywhere and anytime. Another favourite dive spot is the Aldershot training pool, it’s nice and warm and always full of fun, excitement and new experiences.

Mark lives in Burlington and is married with three grown children who all enjoy diving, and is a self-employed IT Consultant who, when not diving, enjoys playing squash and, like Jerry, also enjoys road trips on his Harley. to Top


Mike Tokarchuk

Mike is known in the Float n’ Flag community as “Mr. Buoyancy” for his work in the Peak Performance specialty course.

Mike began his diving career back in November, 1992 on a very cold and snowy open water weekend. He progressed through the PADI levels to become an Assistant Instructor in April, 1996. As previously mentioned Mike is a Peak Performance instructor as well as an Emergency First Responder instructor and also has many specialty certifications.

Recreationally, Mike enjoys Northern Ontario historical diving, Great lakes wreck diving, quarry diving and East Coast wreck/scallop diving. Mike’s additional claim to fame in the diving community is that of an underwater pumpkin carving artist of great expertise. to Top


Larry Shephard

bio_Larry_Shephard

Larry’s love affair with scuba diving began while watching Lloyd Bridges in Sea Hunt. He was exposed to diving while doing an early Discover Scuba with the Air Cadets in 1969 but it wasn’t until a subsequent Discover Scuba in 2004 Cancun) that Larry’s passion for scuba diving began.

Larry completed his open water certification in 2006 and very quickly moved through the PADI levels to become a Master Scuba Diver and Dive Master in 2010, and an Instructor in 2011. Larry’s dive education also includes many specialty courses as well. Larry enjoys all types of diving from wreck diving in Canada to coral swim thru’s of the Caribbean.
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John Strang

John has loved all forms of water sports since early childhood when, if his mother wished to find where John was, she would only have to look near or on the water.

John’s diving career began in 1988 while at university and he completed his check-out dives in the beautiful waters of Kauai, Hawaii. During the next 20 years John’s time and efforts were focused on his schooling and establishing his medical career, but still kept in contact with the world of water through such activities as lap swimming, triathlons and boating.

John returned to scuba in 2009 and enjoys diving in both warm and cold water. Since returning to scuba diving, John has very quickly continued his dive education to become a Dive Master and is starting to explore technical diving.

John enjoys equally diving in Lake Ontario and Brockville, exploring deeper wrecks as well as the exotic waters of the Caribbean or the Pacific. The ‘Theater” of Darwin Island, Galapagos, with its hammerhead sharks and other exotic marine life, rates as his favourite dive site. John, when not diving, works as a family doctor in Burlington.
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Jenn Strang

Jenn is an active participant in many diverse sports including boxing, rock climbing and running. However, her main focus has been competitive swimming and triathlons.

A resort scuba diving course taken on a trip to Jamaica a few years ago lead Jenn to Float N’ Flag where she became a certified diver. Her new passion motivated her to pursue her PADI dive education to become a Dive Master. She appreciates the dive education that she has received from Float N’ Flag and is excited to assist new divers in learning the skills required to safely enjoy diving.

Although Jenn prefers to dive in the warm waters of the Caribbean, she will never say no to the opportunity to go diving, even in Lake Ontario or Gilboa Quarry. Jenn’s favourite dive is always her next one but is very excited about an upcoming trip to Truk and Palau with the store.
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Chris Brown

bio_chrisbrown

Bio coming soon
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Rob Chiasson

bio_chaisson

Being a native of the east coast, Rob has always had a passion for the sea, whether on top of the water or beneath it. Initially Rob’s interests included such surface activities as competitive swimming, water polo, lifeguarding and sailing. Rob has now added scuba diving to his repertoire of aquatic activities.

Rob’s career as an orthodontist has provided numerous opportunities to travel extensively and view the underwater world through the lens of a camera. Rob has been on dive trips to the Caribbean, Central America, the Galapagos Islands, Cocos Island and Indonesia. Rob has continued to pursue his dive education by taking numerous specialties and loves being an Instructor with Float N’ Flag.

Rob’s ultimate dream is to combine his two passions, a sailing trip on which he could scuba dive.

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Adam Kostiw

bio_Kostiw

Adam began his dive career back in 1989 while on a trip to Venezuela. Adam admits that he was primarily a warm water diver for the next 20 years. That began to change in 2010 when his 10 year old daughter asked for scuba diving lessons for her birthday. Not to be left out, Adam’s wife also certified at the same time and the family began to pursue scuba diving as a family affair. Although the family has travelled as far as Thailand, they are now enjoying the local dive experience.

In the last few years, Adam has continued his dive education through both Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster and most recently his Instructor certification.

Adam holds a degree in psychology and is presently at Tyndale Seminary working on his Masters degree in Counseling.

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David Craig

bio_craig

David’s interest in and fascination with the underwater world began in 2008 while on a snorkeling day trip as part of a vacation to Mexico. In the following year, David began his scuba diving education by completing his open water certification.

Since that initial certification, David has continued his PADI education and now has achieved his Divemaster certification.

David is a year-round diver, enjoying the cold waters of many local sites including the Welland Canal and the Niagara River. When the weather becomes a little too cold, David enjoys escaping the chill of winter for the warmer destinations of “Down South”.

Davis especially enjoys working with new divers and wants to help others share in and enjoy the experiences of what the world’s waters have to offer.

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Katrina McQuail

bio_mcquail

Katrina’s love affair with scuba diving began in 2007 while on a backpacking trip through Central America. During a stopover in Utila , Katrina decided to do her PADI Open Water certification. This opportunity began a love affair with scuba diving and within a month Katrina had completed her Advanced Open Water certification. Katrina “felt, for the first time, truly engaged and excited about something, wanting to learn more, train more and experience the vastness of the underwater world”.

A friend of hers recommended Float N’ Flag to her as a good place to continue her training. She joined the shop in February 2013 in order to pursue her Divemaster certification. The experience proved to be so positive that she then achieved her Instructor certification the following year.

Katrina indicated that since all her diving prior to her Divemaster certification had been in warm Caribbean water, there was quite an adjustment to diving in the much colder fresh water. The recent acquisition of a drysuit will help!!

When asked about her favourite dive location, Katrina replied that she will have to dive all over the world in order to be able to make an educated decision as to which is her favourite.

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David Turner

bio_Turner

David’s dive career began in 1993 when, as a teenager, he became a certified diver. It wasn’t, however, until 2011 while on a trip to Mexico, that his interest in diving was re-kindled. Since that time, Dave has pursued and completed multiple PADI certifications and specialties. The proximity of Float N’ Flag provided David with the opportunity to pursue these PADI certifications. Impressed with the store’s philosophy and encouraged by the store staff, David achieved his Divemaster certification in the spring of 2014 with the view to assisting divers of varying experience levels. Following that, he completed his Instructor course and began teaching in July 2015.

Although cold water diving appeals to David, warm water diving is his favourite. David’s dive experiences have taken him to Ontario’s Great Lakes, the Canadian West Coast, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Mexico. ‘Columbia Brick” in Cozumel and “Danger Reef” plus “The Blue Hole” in the Bahamas are his favourite dive sites to date.

When not diving, David cycles and swims to keep in shape. Ultimately, David would like gain additional experience in both recreational and technical diving.

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David Schranz

David Schranz

Coming Soon

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Lynn Weller

Lynn Weller

Lynn became a member of the diving community over 23 years ago. Initially her focus was on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, exploring the wrecks of Brockville, Cornwall, Kingston and Tobermory. Lynn moved through the PADI ranks but put her pursuit of diving on hold with the arrival of her 3 children. Her children, now teenagers, are all certified divers. When her son indicated that he wished to become a Divemaster, she decided to pursue the Divemaster program herself, rather than permit herself to be upstaged by her son.

A call to Float N’ Flag allowed her to complete her Divemaster training which she had originally begun 18 years ago. Although every dive is a great dive, Lynn recounts 3 favourite dives: German Channel, Palau, night diving on the Rhone in BVI and Darwin’s Arch and Wolfe Island, Galapagos, with the hammerhead and whale sharks. For Lynn, the most wonderful part of diving is being able to share the fantastic undersea world with her children. As a Divemaster, she also fosters that excitement and curiosity with new divers.

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Paul Cloutier

Paul Cloutier

Paul’s underwater journey began while snorkeling on the Southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef in 2006. Float N Flag provided the expert training, safe diving mantra and contagious passion for diving in fresh and salt water, warm and cold water. His first salt water dive was in Wakatobi, Indonesia and has since done many dives in the South Pacific / Australian waters.  His favorite dive sites include 1. Byron Bay, AU, protected marine-park where every dive is unique with incredible marine diversity & seasonal migration; 2. The black sand beach of Tulamben, Bali on the USAT Liberty wreck.  He has pursued his strong interest of underwater photography making his dives exciting and memorable.

Paul lives in Burlington and has a career in IT management.  He enjoys the occasional round of golf, biking, rudimental snare drumming and good music. His next diving goal is to achieve the PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer certification.

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Rob Hooton

Rob Hooton

Rob originally certified as a NAUI diver in 1983. Following his certification, Rob enrolled at Seneca College, training to become a commercial diver. The later pursuit of a career (not in the commercial dive industry) and the challenges of raising a young family, resulted in Rob drifting away from diving for several decades.

In 2013, three of his four children expressed a desire to become certified divers. Rob was then introduced to the Float N’ Flag family and re-certified as a PADI diver. Hooked on diving, Rob enthusiastically moved through the PADI certification process and became a Divemaster in 2014. Presently, his dive training has taken him into the world tec diving, and he is taking the PADI Instructor course this year. Warm or cold are both fine for Rob, as long as he’s diving. Thankfully, Rob’s wife, Anja, also became a certified diver in 2014, with the same enthusiasm as Rob. With visits already to Tobermory, Saba and Roatan, she’s already a veteran! The entire family is now eagerly looking forward to dive vacations together.

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Gary Holmes

Gary Holmes

For Gary, the underwater world was open to him while snorkelling in the Caribbean. His fascination with a myriad of colourful fish and endless varieties of corals lead to the decision to become an Open Water diver in 2009. A dive at Gulliver’s Lake resulting in a close encounter with a small bass was the catalyst to further his dive skills and diver education. Both warm and cold water experiences coupled with taking several courses resulting in achieving Master Scuba Diver ranking. His desire to share his enthusiasm and experiences with new divers plus wanting to help them become certified propelled Gary to recently becoming a Dive Master. Gary’s favourite cold water destination are the wrecks of Tobermory while a return to Little Cayman would be a definite repeat dive trip.

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Sue Holmes

Sue Holmes

Susan has always been in love with the water; whether on it, in it or under it. If you add turtles to the mix, Susan will not be very far away. Her passion for diving began on a Caribbean cruise while snorkelling and observing turtles. Wanting to be closer to the turtles was the catalyst for Susan to become an open water diver and she completed her PADI Open Water course in 2009. Her fascination with the underwater world, a desire to improve her diving skills and a new-found interest in underwater photography lead to Susan to continue her dive education culminating in becoming a Master Scuba Diver. Her desire to share her enthusiasm and excitement for diving with new divers recently resulted in Susan becoming a Dive Master. Having experience both warm and cold water diving, Susan indicated that she does have a favourite dive location yet, but plans to keep looking for it for a long time.

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