Our Crew

 

We invite you to meet the staff at Scuba Schools of America & Swim. We cover just about every level and type of scuba certification available, and our backgrounds in life and diving are as diverse as the underwater world. We all share a deep love for diving, the oceans, our planet, and introducing others to the wonderful lifestyle that is Diving.

From Swimming to Snorkeling to Freediving to Scuba to Extended Range to Rebreather Diver at any level, amateur to seasoned explorer, we stand ready to give you the best training, experience, and adventures the world has to offer

There is no doubt you’ll find a friend, and perhaps a mentor, that will help you excel on your adventure on the water planet we call Earth.

Rusty Berry
SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Instructor Certifier
ANDI Instructor Certifier
Professional Underwater Photographer
ANDI/SSI Rebreather Instructor Certifier
SSI Freediving Instructor
 
 
Having been brought up in the diving business, some say Rusty has a Phd in Scuba and Rebreather Training.  If you are looking for a patient, well rounded instructor, Rusty is your man. Other than bringing extended range diving to the masses, Rusty is excited by helping new divers move to the realm of the rebreather.  He also enjoys underwater photography and is SSA's in house pro.He's an avid cyclist and spends his free time with his adventurous wife, Niki and his young son Teran. Schedule some time with Rusty in the pool and see why he is one of our diver's favorites!
Niki Berry
Scuba Schools International Master Instructor
CEO SXT Adventures
Professional Anthropologist
Over 6000 dives
The Woman We All Answer To
 
Behind every successful man is a more sucessful woman. Niki is the woman that keeps the train on the tracks. A entrepreneur in her own right, Niki not only is one of our most experienced instructors with over 6000 dives, she is the CEO of SXT Adventures, a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines, and a creative wedding planner.  Her favorite areas of the world to dive are Micronesia, Australia, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Western Pacific.....ok....that's pretty much the entire world. Her work ethic is unequaled and allowing her to plan your next adventure will be a treat you will certainly appreciate.
 
Ronnie Alvarado
SSA Store Manager
Advanced OW Instructor
Certified Paramedic
300 dives
 

Ronnie is not only a professional scuba instructor, but also runs many of the athletic programs at the Webb Schools in Claremont. She is excited by the many opportunities she has to take new divers diving. Her following at SSA is amazing.  She's like the piedpiper of scuba!  Spend some time with Ronnie and see how infectious her personality is to keep you diving.
Brad Johnson
Advanced Open Water Instructor
SSI Freediving Instructor
400 dives
 
Brad's excitement of diving is infectious. He splits his time between SSA and many of the local sports and music venues as a professional bar tender. Brad enjoys traveling to Thailand and the Canary Islands for freediving adventures. He spends 6 months of the year in tropical paradise and 6 months in SoCal training new scuba and freedivers.  His favorite dives in California are taking new students anywhere on Catalina Island or teaching them to beach dive in Laguna Beach.  In Thailand Brad freedives with a SSI freedive school on Koh Tao in the gulf of Thailand.
Jeff Berry
SSI Advanced Open Water Instructor
Over 8000 dives
 
Jeff is the consumate professional diver. Jeff got certified by NASDS in 1975 and has over 8000 dives under his belt. An marketing executive in the corporate world, Jeff finds diving, and golf, as great escapes from his busy work schedule. His favorite dives are in Cayman Brac and the deep lobster spots off the California coast. His hobby of land photography has transitioned into the underwater world. His photographs are incredible snapshots of the adventures he shares with other divers
contact him at usadiver@gmail.com
Johnny "Splash" Lopez
SSI Assistant Instructor
 
Johnny, one or our newest instructors, got interested in scuba when he ran into SSA at the Scuba Show. He spent his day at the show checking out all of the stores available to him. He chose Scuba Schools of America & Swim. Living and brought up in South Orange County, surfing and the ocean has always been in his daily routine. His favorite dive spots are Santa Barbara Island and the Green Buoy.....and Cress Street, in Laguna Beach.
Sean Hopson
SSI Advanced Open Water Instructor
ANDI Closed Circuit Rebreather Instructor
Over 400 dives
 
Sean is a Marine Corps War Veteran and a retired law enforcement officer that has nothring but time on his hands just for scuba diving. Scuba Schools of America is his second home. Thanks to the shop Sean has found the wonderfull wold of rebreather diving that has sparked him to futher his education in becoming a rebreather insturctor. His passion for diving has lead him to teach scuba to all walks of life from Boy Scouts of America to people with disabilities. 
Jef Mangelschots
SSI Advanced Open Water Instructor
Over 600 dives
 
 
Jef, having been brought up in Belgium, was certified in the murky waters of Holland in 1998. Watching Jacques Coustau, he got hooked into wanting to give scuba a try.  Jef moved to the United States in 2001, with his family,  and found Scuba Schools of America & Swim at the Scuba Show in 2010. He brought his daughter, Anouk, in to get certified and took a refresher class.  The scuba bug bit him again and he moved into the leadership programs.  His favorite dive spot is Farnsworth Banks, on the backside of Catalina Island. His son, Yannick, recently received his SSI Level 1 certification from Jef and is moving towards earning his Eagle Scout Award.  Jef loves photography and he is an avid beach diver.
 
Dr. Greg Asner
SSI Divemaster
Coral Researcher
Over 16000 dives
Dr. Greg Asner is an SSA-affiliated Dive Master.  He is a former U.S. Navy diver with extensive underwater experience using scuba, mixed-gas, and rebreather systems.  When he’s not diving, Greg directs the ASU Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science, including its Pacific Ridge-to-Reef Program in the Hawaiian Islands.  He is also co-founder of the Hawaii Marine Education and Research Center on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Greg works with the SSA team to increase diver exposure to Hawaii’s fragile coral reef ecosystems.
contact him at gregasner@gmail.com
Scott Ramsey
SSI Dive Master
SSI Instructor in Training
Over 300 dives
 
Scott got interested in scuba since he was a child. Having dived Marineland's Baja Reef, he was hooked. First certified in 1997, Scott enjoyed hundreds of dives off the Southern California Coast. Scott's favorite dive in Southern California is Santa Rosa Island's marine preserve. He enjoys the excitement of new divers experiencing the under environment first hand.  Scott is now heading our SSA4Vets programs as he is a veteran from the U.S. Marine Corps.
Contact him at scott@scubaschoolsofamerica.com
DonCosta Seawell
SSI Open Water Instructor in training
SSI Divemaster
Over 800 dives
Attorney at Law
 
Doncosta's love of diving keeps him young. Having been certified in 1996, he has traveled the world and came to SSA seeking a professional dive store that can keep him diving. His hobbys of golfing, skydiving, underwater photography, acting, and practicing law, keeps him busy. He is now moving towards training as a SSI Master Instructor. One of our most knowledgeable instructors you will ever meet.
 
Dr. Robbin Martin
SSI Masterdiver and Rescue Diver
 
Dr. Robin Martin is an SSA-affiliated Rescue diver. She has extensive open ocean and coral reef diving and research experience. Robin leads the global coral chemistry research program at Arizona State University. She is also the co-founder of the Hawaii Marine Education and Research Center on the Big Island of Hawaii. Robin and the SSA team work together to increase diver experience on Hawaii's fragile coral reef ecosystems.
Noah Esquibel
Professional SSI Swim Instructor
 
Noah, the social butterfly that he is, spends most of his time with his friends. Having been hired on as an Scuba Schools of America & Swim Instructor in 2018, he quickly rose through the ranks and soon became part of the managment team for swim.  He recently took up scuba and is now on his way through the leadership programs. His ultimate goal besides becoming an SSI Open Water Instructor is to go to college to study business, so he can take over the Scuba Schools of America & Swim empire!
Mike Bonar
SSI Advanced Open Water Instructor
248 dives
 
Mike became interested in scuba Like checking out the Different types Underwater Anaimals. An Interecting with them up close. Favorite dive sites would Be Santa Barbara Island, Catalina Island Any many Beach Dive Locations..  Favorite International Dive Trips would Include Bonaire an Guadalupe Island. I choosed Scuba Schools of America because the  Staff was very Knowledgeable the location wasnt far from home a very nice heated pool  an a big selection of Dive equipment on site to test an try out.I started out as a open water circuit diver but working on getting into rebreather diving to spend more time underwater an to go deeper to see other interested Anaimals that cant be seen at shallower depths.My Favorite Dives sites would be Bonaire for International dives very clear warm water.  An for Southern Calif Diving my favorite would be Santa Barbara Island like the seal's an bigger fish. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hunter Winfrey
Busy Person
 
You can see from Hunter’s picture why he did not have time to provide us with 5 sentences about himself. In his dreams he does all kinds of stuff. Hunter is a Very Busy Fellow.


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