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25 Years Of Dressel Divers – A Talk With Our Managers

Dressel Divers managers

Yes, Dressel Divers turned 25 years old in 2018! I’m sure that you have spent great moments under the sea with our incredible Dive Instructors. I’m also sure that you keep amazing memories with our PR, tanqueros, captains and all the staff of our dive centers…But today is the time to honor and learn more about a part of our team that you don’t meet every day, but who also make you enjoy your diving vacation so much.

I mean our managers, yes! Far from being boring businessmen, they are all avid divers, with thousands of dives in their log books. 8 adventurers and interesting persons with incredible experiences to tell us. This week we had a small talk with all of them, and they told us about their beginnings in scuba diving, their most incredible dives or their most memorable moments with students. You should not miss this!

JOCHEN LOHMANN – GENERAL MANAGER OF DRESSEL DIVERS

1. Where are you from? how old were you when you joined Dressel Divers? how long are you in the company?

Germany, 32, 18 years.

2. What did you want to become when a kid? What did you do before you joined Dressel Divers?

Pilot, real estate agent.

3. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?

While traveling Central America when I was 28.

4. Where and with whom did you do your instructor course?

Utila dive center,  Honduras.

5. What was your first function in Dressel Divers and how did you progress from there?

Dive Instructor, 2001 DB Cozumel, 2002 Baseleader Paraiso, 2003 Baseleader Cozumel, 2004 Operations manager Mexico, 2008 GM Mexico, 2012 GM Dressel Divers.

6. What is your diver level and how many dives do you have?

Staff instructor, 4000+

7. Why did you chose the PADI dive federation over others and what recommendations would you have for them?

Only one available. Become more focused on the interest of their professional members and support their efforts rather than following mainly their own business interests.


8. What is the best advice you ever gave to your students?

Keep diving.

Jochen Dressel Divers

9. What is your most memorable moment with students?

Whale shark sighting on the first OW dive.


10. How would you convince someone to go diving if you only have 1 sentence to do it?

If you like aquariums multiply it by 1000, add a turtle, a ray, a lobster and a couple of Dolphins, place it in tropical warm cristal clear water and yourself in the middle, that’s scuba diving.

11. What is down there that is not up here?

Colors, plentiful and diverse life beyond imagination.

12. Which kind of scuba diving and what dive sites offered by Dressel Divers are your favorites?

Snorkeling with whale sharks, dive with bull sharks.

13. What is the most incredible dive you ever did?

Roca Partida, Socorro.


14. What other destinations would you like Dressel Divers to expand to next?

Costa Rica, Bahamas, Bonaire.


15. Do you have a partner? Are you married? Do you have children? Are your partner, wife or kids involved with diving?

Wife and 2 kids, not involved.

16. What other sports do you practice? What other passions and hobbies do you have.

Swimming, traveling.


 

JACOBO ARROYO – GENERAL MANAGER OF THE HEADQUARTERS

Dressel Divers Jacobo

1. Where are you from? how old were you when you joined Dressel Divers? how long are you in the company?

I am from Spain I joined the Dressel Divers team 4 days before my 30th birthday. I have already been 13 years and some months in the company….


2. What did you want to become when a kid? What did you do before you joined Dressel Divers?

When I was a kid I wanted to be something different every week, violinist, veterinary, biologist, journalist,…. Before I joined Dressel I was working in the financial department for a Marketing Agency

3. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?

It was right after a diving trip with some friends to the Blue Hole in Belize that I took the decision of working in the diving industry.

4. Where and with whom did you do your instructor course?

I did it in Playa del Carmen, Mexico with my mentor and Course Director, Víctor Córdoba, and with a class mate and good friend that would, some years later, become a Course Director himself, Cris

5. What was your first function in Dressel Divers and how did you progress from there?

I started as an intern basically. I was a Divemaster then with no experience and was about to start my IDC. Now I am the manager of the Dressel Divers HQ in Valencia, Spain.


6. What is your diver level and how many dives do you have?

I am an IDC Staff Instructor I honestly have no idea of the amount of dives but I guess over 1.500.

 


7. Why did you chose the PADI dive federation over others and what recommendations would you have for them

I chose PADI because it’s the most renowned diving organization in the world. I would recommend them to always try to improve what they offer and adapt to the new times.


8. What is the best advice you ever gave to your students?

Enjoy!


9. What is your most memorable moment with students?

I remember one guy in Bávaro, with a very choppy sea, that once we jumped off the boat, didn’t want to descend. It took me a while to convince him that we would try it bit by bit and that in the moment he wanted to surface we would do it. When we went down, the scenery blew his mind and he enjoyed every single minute of the dive. The moment we surfaced, he was the most grateful student I’ve ever had.


10. How would you convince someone to go diving if you only have 1 sentence to do it?

It’s the most amazing experience you’ll ever have.


11. What is down there that is not up here?

Pufff, everything: the weightless sensation, listening only to your heartbeat and your breathing, the coral, the fish, the interspecies relationships,…. It’s a whole different world.

12. Which kind of scuba diving and what dive sites offered by Dressel Divers are your favorites?

I would say drift diving. My favorite dive site is the St George’s wreck in Bayahibe, Dominican Republic. It’s most likely the dive site I’ve done more times in my life.


13. What is the most incredible dive you ever did?

Bávaro! Not long after I had done my IDC, and right before I was sent to Bayahibe. I had a student that cancelled last minute so I asked permission to go on a fun dive. Manatees had been spotted in the area the previous days. So I did the dive with a group of certified divers and a videographer. When we were heading back to the boat, 4 manatees showed up and started interacting with us. They wanted us to scratch them…. so we did! We spent like 20 minutes playing and interacting with them. The feeling was indescribable.


14. What other destinations would you like Dressel Divers to expand to next?

Anywhere where there is good diving!


15. Do you have a partner? Are you married? Do you have children? Are your partner, wife or kids involved with diving?

I met my wife in Dressel. She was an instructor in México when I was sent there, so yes, she is very much involved in diving. We are both very passionate about it.


16. What other sports do you practice? What other passions and hobbies do you have.

Not much of a sports person besides long walks with my dogs. Another passion? Traveling, although whenever it’s possible combined with diving! I don’t think there is nothing comparable to diving in my case.

 


 

JONATAN L LJUNGGREN – GENERAL MANAGER IN JAMAICA

1. Where are you from? how old were you when you joined Dressel Divers? how long are you in the company?

Lund, Sweden. I was 23 when I joined, and I have been with Dressel for 12 years.

2. What did you want to become when a kid? What did you do before you joined Dressel Divers?

I wanted to become a meteorologist. I was a fire fighter before becoming a diver. I was already a Dive Instructor when I joined Dressel in 2006.

3. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?

2004, When I did my AOW course in Thailand. I saw the Dive Instructors at the dive center where I did my course, the life they lived, and decided that I wanted that for myself.

4. Where and with whom did you do your instructor course?

Ban’s Diving, Koh Tao – Thailand.

5. What was your first function in Dressel Divers and how did you progress from there?

Dive instructor, Bavaro, Dom Rep. After a year I got the opportunity to move to Jamaica holding that same position. After a few weeks I was promoted to Dive Boss, and at age 26 I become General Manager for Dressel Divers Jamaica. I have now held that position for the past 9 years.

6. What is your diver level and how many dives do you have?

MSDT, 2000+

7. Why did you chose the PADI dive federation over others and what recommendations would you have for them?

I choose PADI because a) it was the only federation available in my hometown when I completed my OWC in 2001, and b) because it is the most recognized federation there is, hence much easier to find employment as a professional diver.

 

 
Jonatan Dressel Divers

8. What is the best advice you ever gave to your students?

You will never stop learning, every fun dive is a chance to improve your dive skills.

9. What is your most memorable moment with students?

Ending a student dive with wild bottle nose dolphins in Jamaica.

10. How would you convince someone to go diving if you only have 1 sentence to do it?

Diving will add a new dimension to your life, don’t let fear or any other reason stop you from becoming a diver.

11. What is down there that is not up here?

A whole new world!

12. Which kind of scuba diving and what dive sites offered by Dressel Divers are your favorites?

I love snorkeling on the mangrove Safari with Dressel Divers Jamaica, and my favorite dive site is La Francesa in Cozumel.

13. What is the most incredible dive you ever did?

Socorro Islands, with the Dressel management 2018.

14. What other destinations would you like Dressel Divers to expand to next?

Cayman Islands!

15. Do you have a partner? Are you married? Do you have children? Are your partner, wife or kids involved with diving?

My girlfriend and the mother of my 7 weeks old son is a diver, Advanced Open Water Diver. Unless it’s for work, she is my dive buddy.

16. What other sports do you practice? What other passions and hobbies do you have.

I’ve always been involved in sports one way or another. Currently I represent the Managers football team in Hotel Iberostar here in Jamaica. I also frequently visit the gym and I kite surf.


 

CHRIS MAFFIONE – OPERATIONS AND TRAINING MANAGER IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

 

Chris Dressel Divers

1. Where are you from? how old were you when you joined Dressel Divers? how long are you in the company?

Italy, I started on 2004 when I was 26 Years old. Then, in 2006 I was away 9 months before coming back in the company.

2. What did you want to become when a kid? What did you do before you joined Dressel Divers?

Since a kid I always loved the Ocean, I was living in a Valley at 2 hours from the sea and I always promised myself that my destiny was going to be close to de Ocean. I didn’t know how, but I was sure 100%. Before joining Dressel Divers I did all kind of job. I was working in the Canary Islands for 4 years, Tunisia, Egypt, Ireland, Florida, Dominican Republic. After so many different working experience I saw in the Professional Diving World my Future.

3. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?

Well, It was during my first scuba dive when I looked at my instructors. I thought immediately that it was going to be my mission!. I finally saw a job were I could blend Professionalism, Passion and Nature.

4. Where and with whom did you do your instructor course?

Dressel Divers Playa del Carmen.

5. What was your first function in Dressel Divers and how did you progress from there?

I started on 2004 as Public Relation for 6 months. I was on the Candidate Program for 3 months, getting experience guiding diving excursions to Cozumel and in the Base as Dive Instructor. After not even one month of being Instructor I was chosen to be Dive Boss in Barcelo Base Mexico. After one year I ended in DR as Dive Boss for one year, in 2007 I became Base Leader in Bavaro. In 2010 I became Padi Course Director. In 2011 Dressel promoted me as Training and Quality Manager for Jamaica, DR and Mexico and I kept the position until 2016. This was absolutely the best job I ever did, travelling around the bases, diving daily with the staff, making sure Padi-Dressel Integrity and Standards in all locations were repected and fully applied. I am now Training and Operational Manager for the Dominican Republic.

6. What is your diver level and how many dives do you have?

PADI Course Director around 5000 dives

7. Why did you chose the PADI dive federation over others and what recommendations would you have for them?

PADI has it All. Solid Boundaries, Standards, Career and Best Education Materials.

8. What is the best advice you ever gave to your students?

Your Attitude makes the difference either in or out of the water.

9. What is your most memorable moment with students?

When You finally see Your student independent and confident underwater

10. How would you convince someone to go diving if you only have 1 sentence to do it?

Under the water there is a Fantastic World that you can’t even imagine how beautiful is!

11. What is down there that is not up here?

Or what there is not down there that you have at the surface! Not Stress, Not Cellphone, Not noise. It is like being in a Cartoon for a while were all is Perfect, Colorful Corals and Fishes, Adventure discovering new places. The feeling you have on getting out of from a good dive that is the only think You need.

12. Which kind of scuba diving and what dive sites offered by Dressel Divers are your favorites?

Cavern Dives, Wreck Dives and Night Dives are my favorites

13. What is the most incredible dive you ever did?

For sure any dive with Sharks

14. What other destinations would you like Dressel Divers to expand to next?

Liveaboard, Asia and Hawaii.

15. Do you have a partner? Are you married? Do you have children? Are your partner, wife or kids involved with diving?

I am married since 12 years. My wife Mar is Advanced Diver, My son Kai is 11 and he is finishing his Open Water Certification, My Daughter Kalea is 7 and loves snorkeling, My son Koa is 2 and he loves the rough water!

16. What other sports do you practice? What other passions and hobbies do you have.

I love sports, I play tennis twice a week, surf in the early morning any time I have the chance, Mountain bike, Open Sea Swimming, Windsurfing and Martial Arts.


 

PAUL FLOWER – OPERATIONS AND TRAINING MANAGER IN MEXICO AND JAMAICA

Paul Flower Dressel Divers

1. Where are you from? how old were you when you joined Dressel Divers? how long are you in

South of England, 31 Years, 13 Years.

2. What did you want to become when a kid? What did you do before you joined Dressel Divers?

Pilot, Diving instructor around the world.

3. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?

When doing my AOW course in the Red Sea.

4. Where and with whom did you do your instructor course?

Egypt, with CD Yehia Safwat.

5. What was your first function in Dressel Divers and how did you progress from there?

Instructor in Cozumel, and then quickly became the Base Leader in Cozumel, and have since worked in Management roles in Mexico, Dominican Republic.

6. What is your diver level and how many dives do you have?

Course Director, 6500 Logged dives.

7. Why did you chose the PADI dive federation over others and what recommendations would you have for them?

PADI without doubt is the strongest force in diving, so why look anywhere else.

8. What is the best advice you ever gave to your students?

Stop, Think, Breathe then ACT

9. What is your most memorable moment with students?

Every IDC is a memorable moment for different reasons.

10. How would you convince someone to go diving if you only have 1 sentence to do it?

70% of the world is covered by water, why would you only want to see 30%?

11. What is down there that is not up here?

Zero distractions and No Email or Phones to worry about.

12. Which kind of scuba diving and what dive sites offered by Dressel Divers are your favorites?

Any of the Cenotes and of course the best diving in the Caribbean, Cozumel.

13. What is the most incredible dive you ever did?

Big Brother in Egypt, Sharks GALORE.

14. What other destinations would you like Dressel Divers to expand to next?

ABC Islands.

15. Do you have a partner? Are you married? Do you have children? Are your partner, wife or kids involved with diving?

Yes my Wife is a Divemaster.

16. What other sports do you practice? What other passions and hobbies do you have.

Reading, traveling, Motor bikes, Rugby

 


 

FRED AGER – ADMINISTRATION MANAGER IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

1. Where are you from? how old were you when you joined Dressel Divers? how long are you in the company?

France, 29 years. 16 years in the company.

2. What did you want to become when a kid? What did you do before you joined Dressel Divers?

As a kid? Nothing I remember… I worked in a restaurant (from waiter to manager), I owned a bar, then I started diving in the DR, and I worked in a Dive Center in Bayahibe.

3. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?

It was the condition to work for DD.

4. Where and with whom did you do your instructor course?

In Mexico, Dressel IDC.

5. What was your first function in Dressel Divers and how did you progress from there?

May 2002 entered as Divemaster in Bayahibe. 1st july 2002 started as OWSI in Bayahibe. 3rd of September 2002 started as Base Leader in Bayahibe. 1st November 2004 I started as Administration Manager, then in combination with Operations Manager.

6. What is your diver level and how many dives do you have?

OWSI, and cave diver. about 2,000 dives.

Fred Dressel Divers

8. What is the best advice you ever gave to your students?

Remember you are doing something exceptional, enjoy every moment of it.

9. What is your most memorable moment with students?

Teaching somebody who nearly drowned as kid and was afraid of water.

10. How would you convince someone to go diving if you only have 1 sentence to do it?

If you never tried it, don’t say you don’t like it… and once you are there, you become part of the middle you are in. You melt with all the submarine creatures, they are curious about you, as you will be about them. The best adventure!!

11. What is down there that is not up here?

Moving in 3D, colors, animals… relaxation, nobody talks…

12. Which kind of scuba diving and what dive sites offered by Dressel Divers are your favorites?

I am fanatic of sidemount, and wreck diving.

13. What is the most incredible dive you ever did?

Diving with Mantas and Dolphins…

14. What other destinations would you like Dressel Divers to expand to next?

Liveaboards.

15. Do you have a partner? Are you married? Do you have children? Are your partner, wife or kids involved with diving?

Yes I am married, and my wife is a diver, but lately she does not dive much.

16. What other sports do you practice? What other passions and hobbies do you have.

Cooking.


JEREMY VATINEL –  ADMINISTRATION MANAGER IN MEXICO

 

Jeremy Dressel Divers

1. Where are you from? how old were you when you joined Dressel Divers? how long are you in the company?

I’m from France. I was 20 years old when I joined the company. I’m now working for Dressel Divers since 18 years ago.

2. What did you want to become when a kid? What did you do before you joined Dressel Divers?

I wanted to joined the army. I was at school.

3. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?

Since I was 16 years old I realized that I wanted to become a Dive Instructor.

4. Where and with whom did you do your instructor course?

I did my  Dive Instructor Course in Geneva with Michel Maissa, at the Dolphin Shop.

5. What was your first function in Dressel Divers and how did you progress from there?

I started as Dive Instructor, Dive boss in Cozumel, then base leader in Bayahibe, Cozumel, Paraiso, Cozumel and now Administrative Director in Mexico.

6. What is your diver level and how many dives do you have?

I probably have around 2000 dives and I am a staff instructor.

7. Why did you chose the PADI dive federation over others and what recommendations would you have for them?

I chose PADI because it was the organization that was recognized everywhere in world to work as a Dive Instructor.

8. What is the best advice you ever gave to your students?

Have fun, enjoy.

9. What is your most memorable moment with students?

Diving with PADI Discover Scuba Diving students in Cozumel and meeting dolphins.

10. How would you convince someone to go diving if you only have 1 sentence to do it?

It’s an other world, try it…

11. What is down there that is not up here?

Peace.

12. Which kind of scuba diving and what dive sites offered by Dressel Divers are your favorites?

My favorite dives site are in Cozumel, Paso del Cedral and Santa Rosa wall.

13. What is the most incredible dive you ever did?

Diving with dolphins and manta rays in Socorro.

14. What other destinations would you like Dressel Divers to expand to next?

Bahamas, Belize, Maldives, Galapagos.

15. Do you have a partner? Are you married? Do you have children? Are your partner, wife or kids involved with diving?

I have a girl friend, that just did the DSD a month ago.

16. What other sports do you practice? What other passions and hobbies do you have.

Crossfit, Kite surfing.


 

VÍCTOR CÓRDOBA – HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER

1. Where are you from? how old were you when you joined Dressel Divers? how long are you in the company?

Valencia, Spain. 33 first time. 8 years from 1999 till 2008 and now just started again.

2. What did you want to become when a kid? What did you do before you joined Dressel Divers?

Engineer. Bioquimist.

3. At what point did you realize you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?

I started in a diving club and as soon as I finish my first course I used to go help instructors with new students, so, for me was just logical to become a Scuba Diving Instructor

4. Where and with whom did you do your instructor course?

I did it in Spain with Juan Ivars, IT from SSI at that time.

5. What was your first function in Dressel Divers and how did you progress from there?

Instructor, after one month and 20 days I was offered to become Base Leader. 6 months later I took over excursions and candidates and instructor training. I left the company for 10 years and now I just came back to take over Human Resources at the Headquarters.

6. What is your diver level and how many dives do you have?

I am PADI course director and IANTD Instructor Trainer Trainer specialized in cave, trimix and rebreather diving. I have over 6000 dives

7. Why did you chose the PADI dive federation over others and what recommendations would you have for them?

I started with SSI and while working in Dressel the company switched over to PADI and I did the crossover and training for Course Director. PADI is the biggest and best structured diving training agency. Easy to work with them.

 

Victor Cordoba

8. What is the best advice you ever gave to your students?

Some times I don´t let my students answer my questions as I´m too excited with the explanations. My students some times asked me to wait until they answer even if they are wrong.

9. What is your most memorable moment with students?

So many that is difficult to choose one but, if I have to, I would choose one dive with Divemaster students. One girl was acting as Divemaster and the rest, including me, as divers. I entered the water with no fins on purpose, and she was coming to me all time asking if I was ok… but she never realized I had no fins during the whole dive. We were all laughing a lot. Even now, every time I see her on Facebook, she reminds me of that dive.

10. How would you convince someone to go diving if you only have 1 sentence to do it?

Don´t try it unless you are willing to change your life.

11. What is down there that is not up here?

I do mostly cave and very deep diving. For me it´s a personal challenge to dive in a wreck at 100 m depth where I need all my technical, physical and psychological strength to do the dive. During more relaxed technical dives I just find it very relaxing and a way to disconnect from every day routine.

12. Which kind of scuba diving and what dive sites offered by Dressel Divers are your favorites?

I like cenotes, specially. But I like also the dropoffs of Cozumel and Jamaica and the Saint George wreck in Dominican Republic.

13. What is the most incredible dive you ever did?

A deep cave dive in The Pit in Mexico to 107 meters for 4 and half hours

14. What other destinations would you like Dressel Divers to expand to next?

For practical reasons any good location in the Caribbean would be great. But regarding dive sites, some are in the Pacific Ocean. Palau, or Truk Islands for example.

15. Do you have a partner? Are you married? Do you have children? Are your partner, wife or kids involved with diving?

I have a partner, no children and she is not into diving yet, but soon.

16. What other sports do you practice? What other passions and hobbies do you have.

Diving, Diving, Diving, Diving, Diving, Diving….and let me think…..ahhh yes Diving

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