Our team of Dive Pirates is group of volunteers who believes in supporting our community with our passion of scuba diving through the Dive Pirates Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity

The Dive Pirates Foundation is dedicated to bringing scuba diving to persons with mobility disabilities. What began in 2003 as a social club for divers is now a non-profit foundation that teaches, equips and takes disabled people on life changing scuba diving adventures.

While the program is open to all medically qualified physically disabled people, Dive Pirates focuses on disabled military, law enforcement and first responder veterans who have sustained injuries in the line of duty. Some of these men and women have lost a part of their youth in combat; we aim to help restore a sense of adventure, community and hope for these wounded warriors.

So if it’s the pirate life for you then there are numerous ways in which you can Get Involved, to pledge your allegiance to a great cause!


Dive Pirates supports, trains, equips, and provides dive travel to individuals with disabilities through Adaptive Scuba Diving by:

  • Raising funds through annual fundraisers, memberships, sponsors, crowdfunding websites, grants, and dive chapters.
  • Recruiting injured veterans and others who are medically qualified and physically disabled, helping to change lives
  • Training and equipping them to scuba dive as well as their adaptive buddy (i.e. spouse, sibling, friend, parent)
  • Taking them on a trip of a lifetime
  • Encouraging and supporting them to continue diving as part of their lifestyle as well as rehabilitation.


Susan DeVore - Dive Pirates PortraitSusan DeVore


Susan holds an independent contracting company, 3D Innovations, offering business management strategies with an emphasis on project management, budgeting, special event planning and travel, as well as process improvement.

She spent 20 years at Scuba Schools International working in marketing and sales before ultimately being named the Executive Director, developing invaluable business processes and relationships across the dive industry.

Susan joined the Dive Pirates Foundation in 2014 and manages the day-to-day operations of the Foundation in support of our mission and team.

Hellen Armstrong


Hellen is the sole proprietor of Stretch Business Solutions LLC, working with small business owners, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs to identify and implement the most effective marketing opportunities for their businesses.

She is an SDI Course Director/Scubility Instructor Trainer, PADI Master Instructor, SSI Classified Dive Instructor, and RAID instructor/RAIDaptive Instructor. As can be seen, she is happy to share with the Dive Pirates her unique mix of skills and experience both from within and outside the dive industry through Stretch Business Solutions LLC.

Hellen currently manages communications for Dive Pirates through the website and social media as well as liaising with the dive chapters on all aspects of training.


Tyler Brandes


Tyler is the Chief of Hickory Valley Fire Department, Reserve Deputy for White County Sheriff’s Department, and also works with the County Rescue Squad as a member of their dive team.  Additionally, he serves as a Scoutmaster for the Middle Tennessee Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Tyler has been diving since 1992, he has been a PADI Divemaster, SSI Dive Control Specialist, and Platinum Pro 5000 Diver, and is currently a RAID and DAN Instructor.

DPF Gregg Wentworth Col. Gregg E. Wentworth, USAF


Gregg recently retired after 30 years of service to the United States Air Force Reserves,  his last position as Commander of the 433rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas. Prior to commanding more than 120 deployable medical personnel, his service included various humanitarian missions in developing countries to provide ophthalmic examination and treatment to those in austere conditions. He continues his work as the Chief of Optometry at Audie L. Murphy Veterans Hospital, South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

Gregg is also an Adaptive Instructor for both RAID and SSI. His medical and military experience is combined with a calm and thoughtful demeanor in everything he approaches. Gregg has been involved with the Foundation for many years to include training, fundraising, and trip facilitation, adding tremendous value to our mission and team.

Bailey FBailey Follmar


Bailey is a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine for the VCA Animal Hospital Lake Jackson, Texas. Dr. Pitts has interests in the human-animal bond, one-health movement, surgery, nutrition, dermatology. and she has a passion for livestock. ​

She is an SSI Dive Control Specialist and Classified Dive Buddy, and a RAID Dive Master and RAIDaptive Dive Buddy.  Also, she holds an Instructor rating with Diver’s Alert Network. ​

Gillian Tilbury - Dive Pirates PortraitGillian Tilbury


Gillian works as a Senior Director with Alvarez & Marsal’s U.S. Energy practice in Houston. She specializes in helping companies navigate complex change with a focus on performance improvement and human capital. With more than 30 years of experience, Ms. Tilbury has worked extensively within the oil and gas industry serving as the project lead on engagements to develop solutions in organizational design, performance management, operational effectiveness and assurance, process safety, strategy, process optimization, and mergers and acquisitions integration.

Gillian has been diving since the mid-80’s and is certified as an open water and classified diving instructor within both SSI and RAID agencies.

Board of Directors

Capt Kevin Bourgeois, US Army

Kevin’s service as a board member is a way for him to give back to those who have served and to pay back the foundation the service gave him as a young officer.

Following his military service, he built a very successful career in the oil and gas industry, both in the US and overseas. He is currently the President of Operations for Lapis Energy, a CCUS project developer.
With a strong background in performance metrics, analysis, project management, and his service, he brings a wealth of knowledge to the betterment of Dive Pirates.

Bob Evans

“Overboard” Bob is a retired Navy (civilian) Mechanical Engineer who has been diving since 1994.

As a PADI Divemaster and SSI Classified Dive Buddy from Indiana, Bob works to promote the Foundation.

He encourages all prospective adaptive divers to come and join the Pirate crew.

Janeen Judah - Dive Pirates PortraitJaneen Judah

Janeen is currently an independent director for a publicly traded corporation and recently retired as an executive at Chevron. She was the 2017 President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, is passionate about petroleum technology, innovation and mentoring women engineers, and is a frequent public speaker on technology, innovation, risk and career development.

Janeen is a PADI Open Water Instructor, expert level fish surveyor for REEF.org and director of the Houston Audubon.

Dive Pirates Board Chris Pulley HeadshotChris Pulley

Chris is a Bank of America, Vice President (VP) – Manager of Finance Business Support.

He has nearly 20 years of financial support and control for banking institutions. His specialties are data management and contract negotiations.​

​Chris and his father Mike have been diving together since 2006 when he learned to dive as an Adaptive Diver and has logged more than 100 dives.

Claudia Ruggerio HeadshotClaudia Ruggiero

Claudia recently retired from a 45 year career of planning, developing and implementing occupational health programs for domestic and international oil and gas companies. She played a key roll in creating the corporate disability management program at Chevron, Houston.

Throughout her career she gave generously of her time and talents to various non-profit organizations, including the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the American Heart Association to name a few. She is now an adaptive dive buddy and enjoys assisting adaptive divers enjoy the freedom of diving.

Scott-ShaverScott Shaver

Scott Shaver MSN, RN, CPHIMS is currently the director of hospital information systems at Memorial Hermann Health Systems in Houston. He has an impressive career of more than 30 years as a paramedic, 17 years as a registered nurse, and quite a track record of process improvement in the health industry.

He has experience operating a 501c3 in Texas dedicated to increasing awareness of PTSD in first responders as well as 20 years with the Houston Livestock Show Medical and Safety Committee. He sees Dive Pirates as an opportunity of blending his love of scuba diving and helping people.

Ed Shearer

Ed is the principal naval architect at The Shearer Group, Inc. in Houston, Texas specializing in inland marine equipment moving commerce along rivers and the Gulf Coast.

His favorite boat to be on is a dive boat, and he donates much of his time and energy to ensuring people with disabilities, especially injured military veterans, have the opportunity to enjoy the freedom of adaptive scuba diving.  Ed became a certified diver in 1995 and received his classified buddy certification in 2016.

Capt. Corey Vickers, USAF

Corey is an Engagement Director at Tata Consultancy Services in Houston, Texas. A certified supply chain professional, he has built a successful career understanding the needs of the industry versus the market to provide processes for efficiency, productivity, and profit.

He is a huge advocate for veterans and works to network with like-minded organizations to facilitate growth in veteran-owned businesses, recreation, and the community.

Sophie Wimberley - Dive Pirates PortraitSophie Wimberley


Sophie is an effective, results-oriented healthcare professional with 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in medical affairs supporting 14 drug launches and 10 years as a practicing pharmacist in acute care and transplantation.

Teaching scuba diving and traveling the world to dive is Sophie’s passion. Above the water, she is Therapeutic Area Lead for CLL in Global Medical Affairs at AbbVie.​ Sophie is also co-founder of Dive Pirates and an SSI instructor trainer as well as a DAN instructor trainer and a RAIDaptive instructor trainer.

Advisory Council

LCpl Sean


Dive Pirates Board Sean Barr Headshot

Sean served as Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.  In 1994, he suffered an injury that caused quadriplegia. After his medical discharge, he attended Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Ocean Engineering. He currently works as a project engineering manager at Subsea 7 in Houston, Texas.

Sean was a recipient of the Dive Pirates Foundation and continues to pay it forward as a board member and a mentor to other recipients applying to the Foundation.



D’Artagnan Bebel - Dive Pirates Portrait

D’Artagnan is an assistant scuba instructor continuing his education in scuba while bringing a wealth of knowledge in change management to the foundation. He is currently the Vice President and General Manager of Fox 26 KRIV-TV in Houston, Texas. D’Artagnan is also very active in giving back to the community.



Lou_Brown_Advisory Council 2018

Lou is a West Texas rancher, political advisor, critter keeper, and organist for the local monastery. She has lots of divers in the family but much prefers to sit on the beach and listen to the surf. Lou brings terrific experience in organization and fundraising. Since the beginning of Dive Pirates, she has been involved in creating the organization and has continued to support the foundation with her talent and treasure!



Sue_Chen__Advisory Council 2018Sue was born in Taiwan and has been a Los Angeles resident for more than 20 years. Feeling deeply connected to the ocean, Sue received her open water certification in 2005 and since has been involved with ocean conservation and sharing the joy of diving. Sue shares the passion of sharing mobility with others, as she is the CEO of NOVA Medical Products. Being involved with Dive Pirates is a perfect fit combining her passions for human empowerment and diving.



Martin is a seasoned videographer that got his start in local Television in his hometown of Midland, Texas. Then, he worked his way to the Fox affiliate in San Antonio, specializing in sports and action videography. Now, he is a freelance outdoor sports videographer and part-time rancher in West Texas. However, he has been involved in both videography and video editing for Dive Pirates since its beginning in 2005. His diving career started with Dive Pirates and continues today!

Charles “Mackie”


Headshot of Charles Davis in the pool A true lover of life. Mackie was a student at Rice Aviation and an avid motorcyclist until his spinal cord injury in 1990. “In the spring of 2016, a member of the Dive Pirates introduced me to what I now describe as ‘the life-changing world’ of scuba”. Since then, he has worked towards becoming an advanced open-water diver and is looking forward to being a part of the “pay it forward” team with the Dive Pirates. “I enjoy reaching out to other disabled individuals to help introduce them to the world of scuba and look forward to my next underwater adventure”.

Janette “Nettie”


Nettie_Evans_Advisory_Council 2018‘Nettie the Red’ as the crew affectionately calls her, Nettie is one of the three founders of Dive Pirates who continues to be a great source of ideas and direction. With more than 50 years of business experience in the hardware industry, she also enjoys her dogs, fast cars, crocheting, and diving with her diving friends.



Advisory Council members Carl and Suzy Fago in conference room at Cayman Brac Reef Resort

Carl has been active with the Dive Pirates since 2015. Carl is an SSI AOWI, SSI Classified Instructor, and PADI OWSI. Similarly, his late wife Suzy was an SSI Master Diver and adaptive dive buddy, a Registered Nurse, and a Certified Nurse Case Manager. Carl is a US Navy veteran from the nuclear ballistic missile submarine force and is now an Engineering Manager with Duke Energy at Oconee Nuclear Station, residing in Seneca, South Carolina.

Capt. John


Dive Pirates Board Freddy Headshot

Freddy is the Chief Operations Officer of the Stonecreek Group, an investment advisory firm. He is a results-oriented leader who believes small team management and goal setting are the keys to any successful organization big or small. He currently runs his business and leadership style like that of Walt Disney, trying to exceed expectations each and every day. ​

Freddy is a PADI Instructor and is the owner of EPIC Divers in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Dr. Mark


Dr. Mark Fredrickson - Dive Pirates PortraitMark is a practicing physician with quadriplegia, specializing in rehabilitation medicine for those with spinal cord injuries. When Dr. Fred isn’t diving, he’s the medical director for Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital in San Antonio. He is also an adjunct professor of rehabilitation medicine at the Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Mark was instrumental in creating standards for divers with spinal cord injuries.



Jose, an SSI Classified Dive Buddy, has been an enthusiastic supporter of Dive Pirates since he first heard of us and began Emceeing our annual Dive Pirates Ball in 2006. He has been the morning anchor on Fox 26 Houston since 1998. He has been diving since 1985 and is a veteran of the US Army.

Major Lisa


Dive_Pirates _ LisaLisa is a soldier, an engineer, a wife, a mother, and a trailblazer.

One of only three women to graduate from the first integrated United States Army Ranger program, Lisa served seven years in active duty including tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.​

​She is the Director of Civil Engineering at M&S Engineering and is an Army Reserve individual mobilization augmentee with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She was introduced to the Dive Pirates Foundation as she delivered the keynote address at the 2019 Dive Pirates Ball in Houston, Texas.



Jean Jones headshotJean has been diving since 1983 and since her retirement from IT and the “Dive Shop,” she has volunteered as an instructor for Dive Pirates. Jean is a RAIDaptive Instructor and a Master Instructor with SSI. This has been some of the most rewarding and challenging teaching that she has ever done.  When she is not off on dive trips or teaching, she spends her spare time working on her crafting.

Cpl. Todd


Todd Kemery Headshot sat in lobby at Cayman Brac Reef Resort“As my life has been enhanced by the vision and mission of the Dive Pirates organization, my goal is to be an ambassador for the sport here in Minnesota. I am honored to work with Dive Pirates, especially as I have a unique insight having been in a wheelchair for the past 36+ years and all that represents. As a peer mentor at the VA, I have had the opportunity to hone my skills at relating and increasing my effectiveness in counseling others, who are just starting out in a wheelchair.”

Capt Marlene


Marlene_Krpata__Advisory Council 2018Marlene was a leg limb salvage after suffering a mortar attack while serving in Iraq. In 2011 she decided to amputate her leg below the knee. Since her amputation, she has been back playing softball and running around with her nieces and nephew. Swimming in the ocean has had a calming effect on Marlene since she returned to the States. She finds diving relaxing as well as a relief to her PTSD.  Returning on many trips she is quite the mentor for new pirates.



Nigel_Lakey Advisory_Council 2018With a pirate’s soul as long as he can remember, and diving since 1985, Nigel is an SSI AOWI and SSI Classified Instructor. Since becoming involved with Dive Pirates in 2004, Nigel has been on a mission to work less and dive more. Initially, he made the first step by retiring from the Oil and Gas business and starting his own hedge fund. Nigel assists in the essential elements of all things Pirate: Education, Training, and Pillaging…Sorry, meant to say Fundraising.



Anne_Larboullet Advisory Council 2018Born and raised in Paris, Anne moved to Houston for her oil and gas work in June 2012. Anne connected with DPF for two reasons: she always wanted to scuba dive, and she wanted to give something back to American veterans who bravely fought in France during WWII. Anne was certified in 2014 and is now a master diver and a classified dive buddy. Currently, she is looking forward to furthering her diving education.



Cassie MacDowell Headshot on beach in Cayman BracCassie has been with the foundation since 2015 as our Cayman Brac events coordinator and is now an underwater photographer. By being born in Cayman Brac to two dive instructor parents, Cassie is very in tune with her inner island girl. Aspiring to be an environmental researcher, she is an avid diver and conservationist on the island. 

Capt. Clay


Clay McCollor - Dive Pirates PortraitClay is a partner with the law firm Knighton & Stone specializing in business law. Serving four years of active duty in the U.S. Army Field Artillery, he achieved the rank of Captain. In fact, Clay was the fourth generation in his family to serve on active duty. He is a devoted family man who loves spending time with his wife and five children, all avid outdoor adventurers.



Linda Maune Advisory Council 2018Linda is a retired public school teacher who can’t stop teaching! She started diving in 2000 – became a scuba instructor in 2009 and has been teaching each summer in the Florida Keys ever since! That grew into tour directing in 2015, as well as showing folks our wonderful world above and below the water! In her spare time, she officiates volleyball and basketball. Linda just loves helping others get out there and have fun.



Mark_Parker Advisory_Council 2018Mark began his diving career in 1999. Today, he is an SSI Instructor Trainer as well as an SSI Classified Dive Instructor Trainer. His vision for the Dive Pirates Foundation is to spread the opportunity of diving to everyone interested in learning how to dive.

This vision drives at the heart of our mission and team.



Chris_Pulliam Advisory_Council 2018Chris has been diving since 1996 and is currently an SSI Advanced Open Water Instructor and SSI Classified Dive Instructor. She is a physical therapist at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.

Her vision for the foundation is to support our wounded military through scuba diving. She is actively involved in the training and instruction of students in the San Antonio, Texas area.



Robin Reynolds - headshotRobin started diving in 2002 reaching the certifications of Classified Dive Buddy and SSI Dive Control Specialist. In 2018, she celebrated her 450th dive.

She usually dives with her daughters, Carly and Paige, who have been Dive Pirate volunteers for the last decade. Robin works at ExxonMobil in Houston. Go Dores!

Lea Ann


Lea Ann Robertson Advisory Council 2018Lea Ann has been diving since the late 1970s but nowadays snorkels more than dives. When in clear water environments, she spends her time encouraging numerous young grandchildren to explore the joys and wonders of the underwater world.

Lea Ann is a Managing Director at The Carnrite Group (with Gangplank Gilly). She looks forward to supporting DPF in strategy and business operation improvements, allowing Pirate leaders to focus on providing great experiences for adaptive divers.



Headshot of photo of Rhonda Sizemore Advisory Council memberRhonda is a retired cardiovascular interventional specialist and has been diving since 1990. She holds certifications as a rescue diver in both PADI and RAID. As a RAIDaptive dive buddy, she is working on her divemaster certification.

She and her husband were intrigued by the number of people touched by the foundation. They both feel diving has taken on a new meaning after volunteering. “I know when you gift one person with the ability to dive free from restrictions on land you realize one is not enough!”



Dive Pirates Advisory Stace SStace supports the Dive Pirates through Tom’s Dive and Swim in Austin, Texas.  Assisting on dive trips, he has been diving since 1999 and became an instructor in 2016. He became an SSI-classified instructor in 2017.

A veteran of the US Navy, he enjoys giving back and sharing the underwater experience with people of all abilities.



Barbara Thompson - Dive Pirates PortraitBarbara is the Early Engagement Manager for Baker Hughes GE Subsea Products for the Americas. She has more than 30 years of experience in hydrocarbons and related businesses. Her technical specialties are naval architecture, floating systems, and data analytics. Her professional specialties include engineering operations leadership, strategic vision, business development, and project management.

Barbara is a RAID Instructor Trainer as well as a RAIDaptive Dive Instructor Trainer and co-founder of Dive Pirates. She assists in fundraising efforts and liaises with the dive industry.



Trudy_Viers Advisory_Council 2018Trudy has been diving since 1978. She is SSI certified, an advanced open-water diver, and has been supportive of Dive Pirates since the beginning of the foundation.

As manager of the Cayman Brac Beach Resort, Trudy has helped facilitate dive trips, assisting with creating many of the traditions carried out today.



Sue-Lynn VoightSue-Lynn and her husband Trent are an unstoppable team: building a company from napkin concept to trading on NASDAQ, and their greatest joy, rearing two amazing daughters. A Centenary College grad with a Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga, she founded the Ladies of Van Alstyne Exchange (LOVE), Baylor Parents Network – Frisco, and Van Alstyne’s Fall der All, as well as chaired Van Alstyne Parks and Recreation Board and the Grayson Foundation.

Preferring a snorkel, she is married to a diver and loves the passion and mission behind Dive Pirates.



Dive Pirates Advisory Rhonda Wentworth

Born and raised in Houston, TX, Rhonda moved all around the state before settling in San Antonio in 2004 with her husband and son. She has been lovingly dubbed “Scuba Mom” around the dive shop, as she is often helping out during classes and learning as much about scuba diving as she can.

Her first official Dive Pirates trip was in 2011 to Cayman Brac where she fell in love with the island life.



Dive Pirate Advisory Council Travis Wentworth
Travis received his first dive certification in 2009, his instructor rating in 2012, and his DAN instructor certification in 2019.

Known affectionately as “The Cub” among the pirate crew, Travis continues to support the Dive Pirates through its San Antonio Chapter Dive Masters of San Antonio. Meanwhile, he also volunteers as an adaptive instructor on Dive Pirate trips.



Dive Pirates Advisory Emma Willhoite HeadshotEmma has three great loves in her life: teaching, being a dog mom, and scuba diving. By day, she’s an elementary school teacher. She always brings her love of diving to the classroom by teaching her students about underwater habitats and conservation.

Emma has been certified since 2015 and has been diving throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean. She’s currently working toward becoming a Dive Master and looks forward to leading many dive trips to some of her favorite places.

Lt. Col. Allen


Lt. Col. Allen West - Dive Pirates PortraitLieutenant Colonel (Ret) Allen B. West is a Christian constitutional conservative, combat veteran, and former Member of the US Congress. He is a Fox News Contributor, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom and Hold Texas, Hold the Nation.

He is the former Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, Texas. Allen is also an avid distance runner, a Master Scuba diver, a motorcyclist, and in his spare time he enjoys cheering on his beloved Tennessee Volunteers.