Instructor Bios

Frank Barry – MSDT Instructor

Frank learned to scuba dive through the SJSU program in 1970. He quickly became addicted to the sport, and in addition to diving for pleasure every opportunity available, rapidly progressed through the advanced program, and through all the leadership courses to become an instructor in 1972. He has thoroughly explored the Monterey coast, the North Coast, the Channel Islands, and countless “exotic” dive locations over his 44 year diving career. He is an avid hunter and talented photographer/videographer.

Frank has been teaching people to dive continuously since 1972 and has certified over 2,500 students. His love of the sport led him to a career in diving, and ultimately to open Any Water Sports in 1984, where he has spent 32 years serving divers in the Bay Area. Currently, in addition to teaching Any Water Sports programs, he is the scuba instructor for the SJSU scuba program. He also offers private instruction for those who are unable to fit the standard class format into their busy schedules.

Frank has a reputation for excellence, delivered with the voice of experience and a dose of very dry humor. Those who put forth the effort to learn, will find him to be a patient instructor eager to share the joys of the underwater world.


Sue Skidmore – MSDT Instructor

Inspired by the beauty and diversity of the ocean, Sue has been diving for over 20 years. Since early 2001, she has introduced over 1,200 students to the wonderful world of scuba diving in Monterey Bay. “I love the expression on a new diver’s face when they see something amazing underwater – a sea cucumber, a harbor seal or a school of senorita fish – its like they just went to Disneyland”. “This is my escape from the daily grind of high tech marketing. I don’t think about work at all when I’m diving.”

Sue’s classes are taught in a very comfortable, relaxed environment. There is a lot of one-to-one time and focus on fundamentals of good diving practices. “If a diver has the basics down, the rest will come more easily to them and the program will be more fun – and fun is Mandatory.”

Sue also teaches advanced programs, including Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver,  the DiveMaster program, and a variety of specialty classes at Any Water Sports. “The advanced programs are a blast to teach. You really get to know your students and the classes are focused on the ocean diving – what could be better?”


Nick Copping – Course Director

Nick has lived in and around the water his entire life, swimming, snorkeling, diving and boating. He really caught the diving bug as a college post doc where he jumped into scuba after studying the physics of gasses, water and sound while learning the names of all the critters he saw underwater. Nick joined the professional ranks of diving in 1998 and has taught classes in the San Mateo/Santa Clara area since 2005. He loves working with students as they move from open water to the professional level. To Nick, everyone brings something unique to diving, so everyone learns and grows at each step… that’s the magic!  Nick serves on the PADI Retail Advisory Committee. In his spare time he has been a VP at HP and Microsoft and is the coCEO of ZOOM Marketing, a firm that purveys strategic positioning for high-tech companies all over the world. Nick brings his passion for diving and his strategic marketing experience to the Any Water Sports team to help address the enormous, untapped diving and instructional marketplace here in Silicon Valley.


Dan Thomas – MSDT Instructor

Dan became a certified diver in 1992. “Dive buddies introduced me to Any Water Sports just after I became a certified diver. I have been a fan ever since. I have had the good fortune to work with great divers who know how to dive and teach.  I started helping with classes and became an instructor about 10 years ago. I enjoy the family atmosphere and being around divers who love the sport.”

Dan’s focus is on teaching important dive fundamentals in a friendly structured environment. “I love watching a new student enter an open water class to try diving for the first time and then see their excitement and enthusiasm infect those around them as they become the diver they envisioned.  It can be a life altering experience!”


Phil Sammet – Advanced Nitrox/Tech Instructor

Phil has intimate knowledge of the dive sites surrounding the Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur coast. He has many, many, many stories to tell, all of which provide endless entertainment during travel time and surface intervals. Most of the time you’ll find Phil on or below our local seas serving as a tour guide, technical dive instructor, or crew aboard a research vessel.


Dennis Imfeld – MSDT Instructor

Dennis has crafted diving into a lifestyle for family and students. What began as an intrepid journey to discover new family activities blossomed into world travel in search of that perfect diving destination. Dennis’ natural passion for growth and sharing attracted him to diving instruction in 2008 where he began to share his experiences and excitement nurturing new and advanced students on their own diving journeys.

You will find Dennis—and his family—in Monterey and Point Lobos enjoying the cold water, where they are constantly teaching and building a network of diving fun. He loves working with children because; in his words ‘They are so amazed and have no fear.’ In his spare time, Dennis owns and operates a successful HVAC company and—after you finish talking with him about diving—ask him to share a little about fast cars and drag boat racing, both of which fit easily into his philosophy and way of life.


Kevin Barry – IDC Staff Instructor

I grew up in the dive business… I never intended to make it my career, but after graduating from Univ. of Washington in Seattle with a Business Degree and spending 6 months in Australia, I realized there was no denying that the scuba business is a natural fit. I have been working at Any Water Sports full time since 2010 and became a PADI instructor in 2011. I literally have a lifetime of experience and have dived incredible locations worldwide. I enjoy watching people progress from being a bit intimidated by the idea of scuba to becoming comfortable in the water and fascinated by what the underwater world has to offer. I am a firm believer that specialty certifications are the best way to grow your confidence as a diver, and enjoy teaching all levels of instruction.


Bruce Fischer – MSDT InstructorExif_JPEG_PICTURE

Bruce has always enjoyed playing in “warm” water, but was not convinced that California waters had anything to offer until his open water certification in Monterey in 2004 as he prepared for a vacation.  He was immediately hooked and later discovered that Monterey has some of the *best* diving in the world – and the critters are *not* out to get you!  Through this new sport, Bruce has met some amazing people, formed new friendships and has been accused of growing gills as he’s in the ocean almost more than on land.

Bruce’s enthusiasm about diving is contagious and it shows.  During his first year as a diver, he earned certs in nitrox, advanced open water, master diver, rescue, several specialties and completed over 100 dives!  And he hasn’t slowed down.  He’s helped with classes at every chance while becoming a dive master and then scuba instructor.

As an instructor, Bruce enjoys seeing new divers’ faces light up when they discover what the ocean has to offer.  His method of teaching is very relaxed and entertaining while ensuring everyone receives the individual attention needed to ensure a solid understanding of diving basics.  Bruce also offers a wide range of classes, including Advanced open water, Rescue, Dive Master, Nitrox and numerous specialties (including photography).  His underwater photos and videos have been seen in many places and are always an enticement for others to learn to dive.

Monterey is his backyard playground and he’d love to share it with you!


Terry Martin – MSDT Instructor

I first learned to dive in the rough and tough days of the early 80’s. I find that diving today is far more enjoyable and easier than those ‘Dive knife in the teeth’ days. I have been affiliated with Any Water Sports since 2004 in various roles including divemaster, and I made the decision to become a PADI instructor in 2011. If I am providing a refresher, conducting a tour, working on a speciality, or instructing open water/adventure classes I always approach it the same way: have fun, be safe and learn something new along the journey.


Chris Waddell – IDC Staff Instructor

What is there to say but – LET’S DIVE!  I started diving in 2002 through a senior high school sub tidal marine research course where I fell in love with the underwater world and what it has to offer.  Shortly after graduating in 2003, I started working at a local dive shop in Monterey and have been working in the industry ever since.  In 2006 I started working at Any Water Sports as well as helping as a divemaster for Frank’s San Jose State classes.  Over the years of helping, I decided that the best way to share my love and knowledge of the underwater world is to teach people how to dive. So, I became a PADI instructor. I invite you to come explore the “rest of the world.”


Melissa Ann Boyd – Master Instructor

As Melissa grew up, she spent her entire life living a mere block away from the beach. Needless to say, she was very fortunate and always in the water. Living so close to the sea resulted in her becoming an avid swimmer, diver and overall beach lover. Melissa has been a PADI professional since age nineteen and is still continuing her education advancing to the next instructional levels. Although Melissa has been diving all over the world, right here in Monterey is still her favorite spot. Professional, enthusiastic and never-ending-fun, her students have been quoted as ‘infecting them’ with her deep love of diving.


Sergio Schirripa – MSDT Instructor

A long time ago…  In the year 2000… Sergio was looking for a PE elective at SJSU and signed up for scuba class.  He absorbed diving like a sponge and soon fell in love with the sport.  So much so, that he took the advanced class the following semester, and quickly became an assistant in the SJSU program.  A patient man, he loves the aspect of interacting with students and helping them fine tune skills.  Sergio’s love for diving soon brought him to seek a position in sales at Any Water Sports…  And they haven’t been able to get rid of him since… even after he was hired as a geologist upon graduation from SJSU.

Sergio can still be seen loitering about the shop,  but when he’s not diving the coast, he can typically be found in the warm tropical waters of San Jose State’s indoor pool assisting with classes.  In addition to the Northern California coast, Sergio has had the pleasure of diving Cozumel, the Philippines, and Cortes Banks, and would be happy to tell you all about it sometime.  Sergio’s philosophy always remains, “What better way to enjoy your passion, than to teach and share it with others?”


Lance Carpenter – Assistant Instructor

LanceBioLance started diving in 2003 in Florida and instantly fell in love with the underwater world. Over the next several years he dove all over the Florida coast and northern Florida spring systems. He moved to California in 2006 and had no idea what amazing diving we have in our own backyard. Once he experienced Monterey diving Lance was hooked and started working on continuing his diving education. He eventually worked his way up to Divemaster and Assistant Instructor and has been helping with classes, scuba reactivates, and leading dives with Any Water Sports since 2013. Lance absolutely loves introducing people to the underwater world and hopes to see you there soon!


Jonas Jonsson – Divemaster

Jonas learned to dive in Sweden in 2000 and has continued to learn JonasJonssonever since in both warm and cold waters around the world. In 2012, he moved to the Bay Area and quickly fell in love with the magical kelp forests along the California coast. His love of exploration extends into his day job, where he develops technology for NASA missions here on Earth and beyond.

In addition to his role as a NASA science diver and helping out with teaching dive classes, Jonas can be found in the different aquarium tanks of the California Academy of Sciences, where he volunteers as a scuba diver to help maintain their exhibits. He is also a volunteer California Reef Check diver, assisting in tracking reef health along the California Coast. Through these experiences, as well as his interest in trying new things, such as through the specialty courses that are availabe, his learning never stops.

His most memorable adventures include dives under the ice of the archipelagos in Sweden and diving the active hydrothermal vents in the Icelandic fjords. He has experienced spectacular warm water dives as well, with the walls off the Cayman Islands currently topping that list. Jonas is always on the lookout for the next great dive and will gladly help others discover the marvels that lie hidden beneath the ocean surface.


Dave Faraone – Divemaster

Dave began his diving career about 3 years ago, and became addicted immediately.  He is very dedicated to his dive training and fitness regime and became a PADI Divemaster in 2010.   He’s a true diving fanatic and dives as often as he can with friends, classes, and his wife, Donna.  “Whether in the chilly waters and kelp forests of Monterey Bay or the warm, clear water of Kauai, I really enjoy the feeling of freedom and being part of the underwater world.”

Dave is frequently seen helping out with Any Water Sports classes.  “I really enjoy helping out with classes, and providing assistance to new students.   It’s a great feeling to give something back to the dive community.”

When he’s not diving, Dave, enjoys backpacking, hiking, motorcycle riding, and snowboarding.


Yvonne Pendleton – Divemaster

Pendleton_profile_photoYvonne completed her Dive Master and Discover Scuba Leadership training with Any Water Sports instructor, Melissa Barry, in June 2015. She is an enthusiastic diver who is eager to help students find their underwater comfort zone. First certified with Any Water Sports in 1985, Yvonne stopped diving for many years while she was raising her children and launching her scientific career. When the time was right, she found her way back to AWS and became a Master Diver (along the recreational diver track) before deciding to go the professional route. She enjoys working with all students, but is especially sensitive to new or returning divers who might be second-guessing their capabilities. She has made over a hundred dives in Monterey in the past two years, and you can find her there most weekends when she is in town.

She loves Monterey diving for its unique beauty, but also enjoys diving the warm, clear waters of Cozumel, Bonaire, and Maui. Her day job is pretty cool, too. She is an astrophysicist and a senior executive at NASA. Whether she is exploring the cosmos through a telescope, or the wonders of the ocean, Yvonne enjoys learning more every day. If you have the passion to dive, AWS can teach you what you need to know. And Yvonne would be very happy to assist in that process.