Tom Leaird

Tom Leaird
Midwest
tom.leaird@scubaeducators.org

I became a YMCA Scuba diver in 1961 and a YMCA instructor in1969.  In 1972 I became the Institute Director in Indianapolis, IN.  I served as Region Commissioner for 6 states in Mid-America in about 1980 and was asked to vacate that position in 1989 to become part of the YMCA Scuba Advisory Committee.  In 2008, YMCA of the USA called telling me the YScuba program was going into sunset – thus ending 49-years of the program.  I was offered the program and during that year started Scuba Educators International.  I retired from the photographic industry in 1988 to take up scuba full time.

In total, I have written 22 manuals and books on scuba – mostly for the scuba program.  My total dive count to date is just over 3,800.  Locally, in Muncie, Indiana, our group of instructors have certified just over 10,000 divers at all levels.  We track our divers beyond Open Water and have found that around 50% of those return for advanced, specialty, and leadership certifications.  I am serving my final two years on the DEMA Board of Directors and have represented both YMCA Scuba and Scuba Educators on the Board of Directors of the RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council).  Since 1972 I have operated Leaird’s Underwater Service, a full-service dive center in Muncie, Indiana.