2019 Speakers / Authors / Workshop Leaders

Chris Coates
Spearfishing Guide, World Traveler
Chris grew up on the beaches of South Africa and fell in love with the ocean. He traded a day job to follow his dreams making dive adventure movies, opening a dive shop, and publishing a dive mag -- "Ultimate Spearfishing Magazine". He currently takes spearos on guided trips in search of trophy fish around the world, and he’s collaborated with experts to develop spearfishing courses. Chris likes to share his passion and his knowledge of the sea with fellow divers.


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.

Tom Greene
Expert Fisherman/Outfitter
At 11 years old, Tom started working in a Boca Raton tackle shop, and at 22, he opened his own. As a well known professional fisherman, Tom holds many fishing world records. In addition to participating in international fishing tournaments, Tom is interested in golf and bowling and recently wrote a book called "A Net Full of Tails" about his years of fishing experience and the interesting people he knows. Tom is one of the largest collectors of antique fishing tackle in the world and is an authority on antique reels.


Martin Stepanek
Freediving World Record Holder, Instructor
Martin is a freediving pioneer having gone to depths never before – over 400 feet on a single breath of air. He is one of the top freedivers/trainers in the world claiming over 13 World Records. Martin’s passion, dedication, and background in human physiology has pushed his F.I.I. curricula to the forefront of freediving education. A native of Czech Republic, Martin resides in Fort Lauderdale.

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.


Charles "CJ" Duffie
Polespear World Record Holder
Charles J. Duffie (CJ) is a two time Men's Polespear World Record Holder, Former President of the FGCU Spearfishing Club, and Fisheries Biologist with a passion for the ocean and all of the Neritic Zone's inhabitants. Him and his father founded Neritic Diving in September 2015.

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.


Mark Laboccetta
Industry Expert, Spearo
Mark Laboccetta and his family business have distributed spearfishing products in the US since 1997. Mark's been spearfishing since 1987 and was the first to introduce carbon fiber freediving fins in the US market, camouflage open cell wetsuits, and carbon fiber spearguns. He has written articles for Hawaii Skin Diver, Spearfishing Magazine, International Freediving and Spearfishing, and PescaSub. He's set 11 IUSA world records and has helped companies develop products for the US market.

Capt Michael Cleary
Pro Angler, Captain, World traveler
Mike grew up fishing and boating in Florida. After attending FAU on a golf scholarship with a business major, he pursued his love for fishing, traveling the world with some of the best sportfishing teams where he mastered the art of bait and switch for marlin and other gamefish. Mike resides in Lighthouse Point where he runs a fleet of private sportfishing boats and specializes in light tackle sportfishing. His goal is too help people all over the world become better fishermen by fishing smarter not harder by using the FishAngler app.