Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results.

The Evolution Scuba Team

In order to follow our mission and philosophy through to success, we had to assemble a team that shared our passion and drive. Listed below is a diverse group, all of whom are divers but with their own unique and special talents, backgrounds and knowledge. The goal of this team is to bring solutions to our clients.

Ed Hayes

When it comes to scuba diving, Ed has trained with a purpose and passion for years. He continues to train with other instructors and is a certified cave and technical diver. He thrives on passing new skills and abilities to novice, intermediate and advanced divers so they can confidently enjoy the underwater world.

Ed is a certified instructor with Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). He’s logged more than 5,000 dives in waters throughout the northeast, as well as Mexico, the Bahamas, and Florida. Ed teaches all classes in the GUE Recreational curriculum and Fundamentals, Doubles, Drysuit and Dive Propulsion Vehicle 1. He is a PADI Master Instructor and Emergency First Response instructor.

Ed is a Public Safety Diving industry leader in southern New England. He’s trained and supported more than 20 police and fire department dive teams and continues to work with many agencies.

For a business focus, Ed has quite a bit of experience and investment in the outdoor adventure market. Ed is a founder and an owner of Brownstone Park in Portland, Connecticut. He is also an owner and investor in Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield.

Along with these, from 2007 to 2017, Ed owned and operated Scuba Shack in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, which became the premier dive shop in the region.

Gary Woods

Gary has been a certified diver since 1987 and became a dive professional in 2002. Diving is his passion, and he enjoys teaching others from his diving experiences. He has traveled to many parts of the globe and is an accomplished underwater photographer and videographer.

Gary is a PADI Master Instructor and Public Safety Instructor. He is certified to teach 23 PADI specialty courses. His experience as a respiratory therapist makes him uniquely qualified to teach emergency first responder courses, medical first aid courses, and oxygen therapy.

With over 30 years of owning and managing different businesses, he has a solid background in business management, Internet and social media marketing, including online sales. He is a specialist in store display and design.

Through his work with various dive agencies and entities, Gary has been instrumental in developing dive courses, curriculums, and strategies to bring divers, instructors, and businesses to a new higher level, well above the industry norm.

Stretch Altenhein

With a love for the ocean and a desire for adventure, Stretch began diving in 2007. Little did he know how quickly and dramatically his life would change. Diving allowed him to travel, meet new people (this is how he met his wife), and see parts of the world few people experience.

Stretch enjoys all manners of diving, from shallow water reef diving to deep shipwrecks. However, his main focus is cave diving. There’s just something about those water-filled holes in the Earth.

He is an active member of the GUE community and the WKPP. His interest in exploring the underwater world, sharing it with others, and promoting aquatic conservation has become his life’s passion.

Stretch is a GUE Cave 2 Tech 2 and CCR diver.

Christopher Lunz

Chris graduated from the Connecticut State Police Academy in 1997 and soon became part of the State Police Dive Team. He completed the US Navy Scuba Diver program, advanced certification and ice diving exercises in 1998 and 1999.

Throughout his career at the state police, he was a team member and supervisor in the Marine Unit. The unit’s primary responsibilities included underwater search and recovery efforts, support for in-water and near-water events, and support for other federal, state and local agencies. He has a wide variety of law enforcement experience, including, but not limited to, patrol, dignitary protection, training, and tactical operations.

Chris has completed an exhaustive list of law enforcement continuing education programs focused on underwater training and dive operations. He completed his PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Instructor course in 2015.

Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science at the University of New Haven. He holds a 50-ton Master Captain’s License.

Ginamarie Hayes

After her first lesson in 1998, Gina knew she would forever be a scuba enthusiast, and her passion has accelerated her diving career. If you ask, she’ll tell you she is the luckiest woman in the world, and diving has enhanced her life in multiple ways… it’s how she and Ed met.

Gina is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and enjoys introducing students to a new world. She is dedicated to continuing her education and has completed GUE Tech 1 and Cave 1 certifications.

With degrees in Psychology and Communications and a Master’s in Business, Gina has been employed in the healthcare industry for more than fifteen years. Currently a sales director with Quest Diagnostics, Gina brings her team management and marketing expertise to our clients.

Steve McGough

After walking by Scuba Shack’s dive tank at the Hartford Boat Show each year for about a decade, Steve finally signed up for the Open Water Scuba course in 1987. By the fall of 1990, he had completed his Divemaster internship and was interested in becoming an instructor. During a conversation with Tom Misenti at the Hartford Boat Show – right next to that same dive tank – Steve and Tom discussed a retail expansion of the store.

Steve worked full-time in the industry for more than ten years, managing Scuba Shack’s satellite operation in Canton. He spent more than a year in the Bahamas as an instructor and manager at Nassau Scuba Centre. Steve continued to teach for another five years while working in corporate America.

Steve qualified as a Master Instructor in 1996 and has more than 1,000 logged dives. He’s experienced diving in New England, Florida, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, and other destinations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. He’s logged dozens of dives along the Kona Coast in Hawaii and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Steve is self-employed and owns Spider Creations, a marketing consulting business supporting micro and small businesses with their online presence. He implements and manages websites for clients and offers support for email marketing, eCommerce solutions, and print marketing. His market niche includes the scuba industry – of course – but he also works with clients in many other industries. He is also the training coordinator for Operation Specific Training, a firearms training outfit offering programs for law enforcement, military and civilian students throughout the US.