2019 Speakers / Authors / Workshop Leaders

Capt Mike Lever
Captain, Adventurer, Conservationist
Captain Mike was happily occupied as a water-bomber pilot in the Canadian Arctic and dive instructor in the chilly waters of British Columbia when he stumbled ointo his first live-aboard dive boat. 27 years later, Lever’s company has evolved from pioneering adventure diving in Alaska and Clipperton Atoll to opening up luxury live-aboard diving with the Socorro Island giant mantas and Guadalupe great white sharks. Lever and his team have made major commitments to the study and conservation of great white sharks and were also responsible for the design of the Nautilus LifeLine marine rescue GPS.


Ryan Myers
Nat'l Champion, Captain, Instructor
Ryan grew up fishing and diving in South Florida. After studying Marine Biology at Florida Tech, he began traveling the world in search of remote locations and record fish. Ryan has been the number one ranked United States competitive diver for the last four years and is the 2017 U.S. spearfishing National Champion. Ryan is an accomplished competition free diver, U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, PADI free dive instructor, ISA spearfishing instructor, 5-time world record holder, and international spearfishing guide.

Manny Puig
Shark Wrangler, Swamp Explorer, Adventurer
Manny continues to educate and entertain audiences. His approach is primitive - no cages, tanks, or armor protecting him from encounters with some of the most feared predators in the world. Manny interacts with sharks, faces down black bears, and dives in the swamp with the American alligator.


Sheri Daye
Event Host, Ocean Lover
Sheri is a Freedive Spearfishing National Champ, multiple IUSA world record holder, and past host of "Speargun Hunter" on Outdoor Channel. She started the expo as a fundraiser for the developmentally disabled 10 years ago. She wishes to thank all the speakers, exhibitors, and volunteers that have turned it into what it is today - where we can all share, honor, and celebrate the ocean world.

Capt Jon Cooper
Expert Angler, Diver, Captain
Jon is an accomplished fisherman, spearfisherman, and captain. He's won top honors in major billfishing tournaments, including 3-time World Sailfish Champions on the Get Lit.. He was the spearfishing National Champion in 1986/1988 and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988. Jon runs Diversion Charters, specializing in trips to the Bahamas and is sponsored by Contender, Yamaha, Garmin, and Costa. He is respected for his wealth of knowledge regarding fishing, spearfishing, and navigation at sea.


Tony DiGiulian
Pro Angler, Consultant, Conservationist
Tony started his career in 1979, aboard his Aunt and Uncle’s charter boat, out of New York. Working for over 39 years in the sport fishing industry as a professional Captain, deck hand, conservationist and consultant, he has led anglers to over 10,000 billfish captures worldwide, including several ultra-light world records and tournament victories. ​A published author on various fishing related subjects, Tony is a recognized expert on all types of saltwater fishing. His articles have been published in Sport Fishing Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Tournament Digest, IGFA International Angler, Billfish Magazine, fishtrack.com, In The Bite Magazine and Coastal Angler Magazine. He has been interviewed for numerous articles on fishing related topics by all the major fishing publications. You can view his many how to videos on YouTube, IGFA.org and Fishtrack.com. ​ Mr. DiGiulian has always been committed to the sport fishing industry, but above all, has a deep desire to help preserve our marine environment and to protect the rights of the fishing public. Tony has been advocating for professional ethics, responsible use and proper fish handling and reviving techniques for three decades.

Dr. Daryl Wong
Expert Spearo, Expert Speargun Builder
Dr. Daryl Wong is a dentist from Hawaii and is one of the premier builders of custom-made spearguns used around the world. He is also an accomplished spearo and world record holder, constantly experimenting with different designs and techniques. He enjoys reef and bluewater hunting and loves traveling to meet new friends. He is known for his generosity and for his kind spirit of aloha.


Chris Gillette
Underwater Photographer, TV GatorBoy
Chris has had a passion for animals, especially toothy ones, since a young age. Aside from being a devoted photographer, Chris’s passion has also fueled a career as an entertainer, television personality, and a researcher with a degree in Environmental Studies from FIU. Chris's unique skills allow him to bring the camera lens close to oceanic pelagics, swamp creatures, and more.

Dan MacMahon
Professional Spearo, Tournament Champion
Dan MacMahon is one of the most respected spearfishermen in the state of Florida, due to his skill and character. He is an accomplished freediver, scuba diver, and technical diver, sometimes going to depths exceeding 400 feet. His passion for spearing comes through in his story-telling and he continues to be a role model and a guiding influence on many other spearos.


Ted Harty
Freediving Instructor, Safety Advocate
Ted started freediving professionally in 2009 when he became an instructor for Performance Freediving International (PFI). In 2010 he founded Immersion Freediving where he teaches PFI classes year round in Fort Lauderdale. Ted has won multiple freediving competitions and is a US Freediving national record holder.

Jim Mathie
Lobsterman, Author
Jim, also known as "Chiefy", is a retired Division Chief with Deerfield Beach Fire Rescue. He is an avid diver and underwater hunter for more than 30 years. He authored Catching the Bug, The Comprehensive Guide to Catching the Florida Spiny Lobster and more recently Catching the Spear-it! The ABC’s of Spearfishing. Chiefy has been written about in the Sun-Sentinel newspaper and featuredon the Paul and Young Ron Morning Radio Show. He will be sharing how to Find, Catch and Eat Florida lobster.


Forrest Simon
Freediving Safety Advocate, Instructor
A South Florida Native, Forrest grew up a 3rd generation ocean-man.  Utilizing freediving for photography, hunting, recreation and exploration, Forrest spent decades as a "student" of Mother Nature.  In 2002 he began his journey of Freedive Safety Advocacy and continues to promote it through courses, public speaking, and events throughout Florida.  Forrest set a personal best of 257 ft with Bi Fins by utilizing techniques learned from various classroom and instructors. He now teaches these same skills and techniques.