Your WDC Team

Jonathan Eddy - Owner

Jonathan Eddy - OwnerJonathan has been co-owner and manager of Waterfront Diving Center since July of 1990. Originally certified by PADI in 1970, Jonathan has over 40 years of diving experience and has traveled to a variety of diving destinations. Although his first career was in the banking industry, Jonathan actively pursued his passion for diving. From working as a skin diving guide for Club Med on the Costa Brava in Spain while he was in college, to volunteering as a diver on several nautical archaeology projects conducted by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Jonathan found interesting ways to stay wet. Diving has taken Jonathan all over the world. His diving destinations include: The Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, Bonaire, Saba, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Roatan, Truk Lagoon, Palau, Fiji, the Maldive Islands, South Africa, the Red Sea in Egypt, Dominican Republic, Solomon Islands and Coastal New England. Jonathans’ favorite local dive is the OJ Walker because everything is still there – the anchor at the bow, wheel at the stern, the masts, the dead-eyes, and cargo still on the deck. He likes to say that the only thing missing are the sails! Another one of his favorite dives is not a wreck. Ferris Rock, located Northeast of Schuyler Island on Lake Champlain has great geology with large crevices, overhangs, drop-offs, and even a small archway. His favorite dive destination outside of Vermont would be the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands are remote, pristine, and amazing diving, offering unparalleled diving. In his time off Jonathan enjoys spending time with his family at his camp on Lake Champlain in Willsboro, N.Y., and flying his amphibious ultra-light around the Champlain Valley. During the winter he really enjoys skiing.

 

Robert "Ski" Wilczynski - Owner, Instructor Trainer, Service Technician

Ski is a co-owner of Waterfront Diving Center. Ski was originally certified to dive in 1989 through NAUI and became a NAUI Divemaster in 1999. Ski completed his Instructor training with Hall's Diving Institute in August 2011. His diving experiences have brought him to many locations in Lake Champlain, as an Archaeological Diver with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and assisting with many Waterfront Diving Center classes over the years. While a majority of Ski’s diving activities have taken place in Lake Champlain and other Lakes and Rivers around Vermont, he has also enjoyed cold water diving in Lake George, Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, and the coast of Maine. His West Coast diving experience includes Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. He has also dived in the warmer climates of Florida, all three Cayman Islands, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and the Bay Islands of Honduras. Some of his favorite diving destinations include the shipwrecks of Lake Champlain, and anywhere in the Caribbean, where the water is warm, the Corals are vibrant, and the fish life is out of this world. When Ski isn’t diving, he can be found spending time with his wife, three children, and their dogs. In the summer, he is on his sailboat, Andiamo in Malletts Bay, at any golf course, or swimming; In the winter he loves to ski, skate and slide with his family.

 

Arthur "Art" Cohn- WDC Instructor

Art is a senior Dive-Instructor in the Waterfront Dive Center family having become a NAUI Instructor in 1974 (#3795) at the Rockport Massachusetts ITC. While working winters in the Caribbean, Art founded Northern Divers in 1976 and soon became introduced to the extraordinary history and archaeology of Lake Champlain. Art co-founded the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in 1984 and directed dozens of nautical archaeology projects and became a leading voice in advocating for the public value and preservation of shipwrecks. Working in partnership with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Art helped establish the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve program in 1986.

Art has served as Safety Diver for the NOAA Hydrolab, Divemaster for the multi-year Azores Shipwreck Survey’s, Project Director/Divemaster for the Hudson River Shipwreck Verification Project, and dozens of shipwreck documentation projects and field schools. He is currently an Affiliated Scholar at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A& M University, A Research Fellow at the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, Principal Investigator of the Spitfire Management Project and an active first-responder with the Ferrisburgh Fire Department. Art continues to work as a Divemaster and an Instructor in the WDC’s Dive

 

Jade McMillan - WDC Staff Member (Part Time)

Jade was certified by Shelagh and AJ in her Junior year at UVM. Her favorite places to dive are anywhere with reefs and shipwrecks (she also enjoys underwater local treasure hunting). Jade graduated from UVM in 2020 studying Biological Science, Math, and Chemistry. Jade has received her Nitrox and Rescue certification while at the dive shop and hopes to continue her scuba career. Currently, she is working at Equity Service Inc. as a New Business Associate on their Operations team. You'll usually find Jade working at the dive shop on weekends. If Jade isn't working, she enjoys working with her horse, playing with her dog Azula, and snowboarding during the winter. 

 

 

Azula - Shop Dog

Azula was adopted from Puerto Rico in June 2021 from the Student Rescue Project. She loves meeting new people and playing with her big brother Ace. If you have food, she will be your best friend. When Azula isn't at the shop on the weekends she's most likely sleeping or hiking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Sileo - WDC Staff Member

David is from Pittsburgh, PA and was certified there at Splash Water Sports in 2012. He grew more into diving over the years and completed his Divemaster certification in 2019. He's worked in the shop since spring of 2021 and hopes to advance his certification to the instructor level as well as picking up new skills like doubles and ice diving. David has dived all over the world including West Palm Beach, Grand Cayman, The Great Barrier Reef, and Alaska. His favorite thing to see while diving are Sharks, but he also enjoys hunting for little critters like Nudibranch and anemone shrimp. When he is not dive-mastering, David enjoys underwater photography, check out some of his photos in the gallery section! Outside of diving, David is a UVM senior majoring in Biology with an Economics minor. He enjoys golfing, playing ice hockey, backpacking and skiing. 

 

Aidan Ruggles - WDC Staff Member (Seasonal)

Aidan has been a part-time employee at the shop since August of 2019. He got certified by Shelagh and Nancy as a member of our kid's SCUBA camp at the age of 14. He has since taken his diving education further, recently completing his Advanced Diver and Intro to Technical diving courses. He is currently attending Northeastern University as a Marine Biology student, where he hopes to dive and research around the world. When he isn't underwater, his hobbies include hiking and playing guitar. 

 

Stephanie Farrell - WDC Staff Member (On Occasion)

stephanie farrellStephanie was originally certified to dive in 2001 when she was just a little high school freshman; in fact, Waterfront Diving Centers very own Brett Campbell was her instructor. Her diving experience includes Lake Champlain only when the water is at its very warmest, frequent trips to the Isle of Shoals in Maine, and has also ventured over the Canadian border to Lake Ontario. It was only when her mom surprised her with a trip to tropical Cozumel, Mexico in 2003, that she knew she had met her true match; Warm water diving was certainly for her! She has since been to Fiji, Palau, Grand Cayman, and Utila, Honduras. Stephanie’s favorite place of all time to dive in Palau because of all the BIG animals, lots of sharks, and huge schools of fish. When Stephanie is not diving you can certainly find her at Waterfront Diving Center working the retail end of things. She also enjoys making frequent trips to Boston to live the city life for a weekend here and there, traveling around Vermont and discovering all that it has to offer food and beverage-wise and just taking it easy.

Instructors:

 

Lawrence Jacques – Instructor

larry jaqcues waterfront diving center instructorLarry was originally certified to dive in 1984 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts through NAUI. He became a NAUI instructor for Waterfront Diving Center in 2003. Most of Larry’s diving experience has been as an instructor as well as a public safety and rescue diver for Berkshire Country. He has also been a rescue diver for the Iron Man, which is held every year in Lake Placid. When Larry isn’t doing work-related diving, he enjoys doing “fun” dives in Lake George, New York because its very close to where he lives. His favorite dive destination is to a wreck called Chester Poling, North Shore Massachusetts. This is one of his favorites because it’s a fun, deep wreck. When Larry isn’t busy teaching students how to dive here at Waterfront Diving Center or helping saving lives, he enjoys sporting clays and target shooting with his family.

Pierre A. LaRocque - Instructor

pierre larocque scuba instructor

Pierre was originally certified to dive way back in 1986 with NAUI. When Pierre isn’t teaching various Scuba Diving courses here at Waterfront Diving Center he is a professional commercial diver for local projects. He is also very involved with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Pierre’s favorite local dive is any and all dives in the lake simply because they are always different. His favorite dive destination would be to the Islands of Palau because of its big blue water and big fish! When Pierre isn’t diving he can be found on the ski slopes in the winter or hanging out on his boat in the summer!

 

Jim Squires - Instructor Emeritus

Jim Squires is one of the senior diving instructors on Lake Champlain with over 25 years of teaching experience. He teaches all levels of divers, including Rescue and Underwater Photography, and leads groups on diving vacations throughout the Caribbean. Jim considers himself fortunate to be able to combine two passions- diving and photography- into a dream hobby of underwater photography. Jim’s underwater photography has adorned the walls of Waterfront Diving Center for many years, and he has received awards in several photography contests, having won Coastal Photographers’ Guild (GA) Contest Best in Show (2009 and 2010), Little Cayman Digital Shootout (2010), Hawaii’s Kona Classic Underwater Photography Competition ( 2006) and Grand Cayman’s Digital Madness Photography Contest (2007). He is seldom seen underwater without a camera. Jim is also recognized nationally as an early education expert and currently serves as Senior Research Fellow for the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. He spends time between Charlotte, Vermont, and Saint Simons Island, Georgia with his wife, Debbie, and Australian shepherd, Obie

 

Shelagh Cooley - NAUI Instructor Trainer/PADI Instructor

shelagh Shelagh began her diving career at the age of 15 as part of a school trip to Belize with a group from Essex High School. She grew up in South Hero enjoying all aspects of the lake and diving fit right into her love for nature and sport. After years of “vacation diving”, she decided to take a career break and went to the Philippines to complete her Divemaster certification. While working at Evolution Diving in Malapascua, she had the opportunity to do a lot of really exciting diving including diving with thresher sharks, technical diving to deep WWII wrecks, and her favorite muck diving (looking for small creatures in the sand!). While in Asia, Shelagh enjoyed diving the north shore of Bali, Sipidan, and of course her favorite spot – the Philippines! She became an instructor in 2013 and while she knows being a divemaster is the good life, she loves teaching her students how to have fun and be safe while diving! Shelagh looks for any excuse to get in the water. When Shelagh wants to get away, she looks to northern Florida for cave diving, otherwise known as her happy place.

 

 

 

 

Wade Labrecque – NAUI Course Director

Wade LabrecqueWade was certified in 1982 with NAUI and became an instructor in 1994. Wade was born and raised in Burlington and dove extensively in Lake Champlain, first with Northern Divers and then with Waterfront Diving Center. He later moved to St. Thomas where he worked and dove many destinations throughout the Caribbean. Wade is also currently a Public Safety diver with the Colchester Technical Rescue Team. Wade has logged more than 1,000 dives over the past 27 years that he has been diving! His favorite local dive is to the OJ Walker right out here in Lake Champlain because he thinks that “it's what a shipwreck should look like.” His favorite dive destination is Saba because there is unbelievable pinnacle and blue water with big sharks and eagle rays. When Wade is not diving he keeps very busy working as a Police K-9 Officer for the Burlington Police Department.

 

Dave Potter - Instructor

Dave Potter started diving at age 12 and was certified at age 14 in 1978 by Art Cohn at Northern Divers (the predecessor of Waterfront Diving Center).  Most of Dave's diving experience was in our own Lake Champlain until 2006 when he met his future wife, Lisetta Hansen.  Since 2006, Dave and Lisetta have been to the Maldives, Philippines, Costa Rica, Roatán, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Socorro Islands of Mexico, Florida (freshwater caves and ocean diving), Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, and they both still enjoy diving Lake Champlain any chance they can.  Lisetta also introduced Dave to the Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) training organization. Dave is currently pursuing GUE certification in overhead environments (caves) and mixed-gas diving.

 

Greg Murray - Instructor

Greg MurrayGreg was certified to dive in 2006 through NAUI at Waterfront Diving and became a PADI Divemaster in 2017. Greg got his first SCUBA experience in the turquoise waters of St. John, USVI. As soon as he returned from his trip to the Caribbean, he went straight to Waterfront Diving and signed up for the Open Water SCUBA Course. Once he had the first "C" card it just took off for him. He has taken most of the courses that are offered at Waterfront in an effort to become a better diver. The desire to dive has taken Greg all over North America diving, from the cold North Atlantic off the Maine Coast to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the Northwest Puget Sound, the St. Lawrence River, and many, many dives in Lake Champlain. He has also traveled overseas to the Mediterranean and numerous trips to the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Greg has assisted with many classes at Waterfront Diving over the years before finally taking the steps to become a Divemaster. Greg is happiest when he is diving on the many wrecks in Lake Champlain, the wrecks of the St. Lawrence River or his favorite, the "Wreck of the Rhone", int he British Virgin Islands. Greg was a history major in college, so the stories told by each wreck fascinate and stimulate his interest in diving.

 

Dave Bean - Instructor

Dave Bean started diving in 1989, after meeting his future wife, an already certified diver. Certified at Water Front Diving when it was up the block on Battery Street, Dave dove mostly with his wife, Cathy, in Lake Champlain for many years before traveling to dive.  Since then they have been to the Maine, the Georgia Aquarium, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, BVI, St. John USVI, St. Lawrence River, Key West and multiple trips to the east coast of Florida diving out of the Boca inlet. Dave has assisted with WDC classes for years before pursuing his DM Certification and enjoys helping new divers learn about diving and certified divers explore the next level of certification in Advanced classes.  His most notable dive is when he found a diamond ring off the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine.  His most memorable dives are to ‘Grand Central’ on Ghana Island in the BVI and the deep, current, wreck dives of the St. Lawrence with WDC friends. 

 

 

 

 

 

Divemasters

Lisetta Hansen - Divemaster Emeritus

lisettaLisetta Hansen was originally certified to dive in 1994 through PADI and three years later became a certified Divemaster. She also holds various certifications with NAUI, GUE, NACD, NSS, and TDI. She has been diving in a variety of different places including, the Maldives, Indonesia, the Red Sea, Thailand, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Bonaire, Cozumel, Roatan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Florida Keys, North Central Florida, Vermont, NY State, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Quebec and Ontario. Her favorite local dive is to the St. Lawrence River in Ontario and Quebec because it is great freshwater wreck diving in Ontario (the Vickery being one of her favorites), and saltwater wreck diving in Quebec (the Empress of Ireland is another favorite). If Lisetta could choose any place in the world to dive it would have to be the Maldives or Indonesia, Simply because the corals are spectacular, the fish life very abundant, and of course the manta rays! Her favorite Caribbean location is Little Cayman because the Bloody Bay Wall is fantastic. She also loves the cave diving in Mexico where the stalagmites and stalactites are too beautiful to describe. When Lisetta is not diving she is…planning her next dive of course! She loves spending time with her husband Dave, cooking for her family, working out, and gardening.

 

John Siminger - Divemaster

John was originally certified to dive way back in 1970 through NAUI and became a Divemaster with the same agency in 2007. John’s diving experience includes a lot of diving in Lake Champlain as well as frequent Caribbean visits to Cozumel, Roatan, BVI, the Bahamas, specifically San Salvador, and the Cayman Islands. His favorite local dive would have to be the wall at Thompson’s Point because it's only 5 minutes from his house and he can go diving right after work. When John isn’t diving his favorite activities include staying active through hiking, biking, and paddling.

 

 

 

 

Tony Facos - Divemaster

Tony was originally certified to dive in 1990 through NAUI and became a NAUI Divemaster in 2005. Tony’s diving experience has mostly been in the colder waters of Lake Champlain, Maine, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. He has been to the warm waters of the Caribbean diving as well a few times. Out of all of these places his favorite local dive would be the St. Lawrence River because the water temperature is warm in the summer and there are a variety of impressive wrecks! His favorite dive destination is Bonaire because you are kind of “on your own” out there. Bonaire is mostly shore diving with incredible reef and sea life right off the beach! When Tony isn’t diving he is working for the Montpelier police department, skiing, riding, and enjoying life!

 

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