A Message from Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO

PADI President and CEO

There’s been an exciting change of PADI® ownership to a consortium of conservation-minded family investors. This conglomerate of family wealth investors, based in North America, are run similar to foundations and endowments, who invest long-term in cause-oriented premium brands with dominant market share positions that show steady and consistent growth.

As PADI president and CEO, I’m committed to leading the organization into its next 50 years, as is the entire PADI executive team. Together, we will continue to grow the PADI brand and through our stewardship efforts ensure PADI is not only the best in the world, but also best for the world.

This is a positive transition for the organization as the family wealth investors will hold and nurture PADI for many years. This group is closely aligned with PADI’s mission and supports PADI’s efforts to remain stewards for this amazing brand we all love. The new ownership group includes philanthropists drawn to PADI’s commitment to ocean conservation and preservation. And, most importantly, they respect the organization’s dedication to PADI Member support.

Focus remains on the following global priorities:

  • best-in-class support to ensure PADI Member prosperity and growth
  • new diver acquisition initiatives to attract millions of consumers to the sport and train them to be comfortable and confident divers
  • long-term diver engagement and retention through encouraging divers to explore and seek adventure in the underwater world
  • a deeper purpose vision to inspire all divers to ultimately pay it forward through ocean conservation, marine animal protection, community support, and the healing powers of scuba.

This transition marks the next evolution of the PADI organization and is a positive move for PADI Members and the entire dive industry. As my personal friends, I can confidently say that PADI Founders, John Cronin and Ralph Erickson, would be extremely proud of this next step for the PADI organization and heartened to see that it has transformed into a global force for good for scuba diving and the ocean planet.

I thank you for taking the time to read this message. To all PADI Members, I want to reinforce my personal appreciation of your role and contributions to dive training excellence and aquatic conservation advocacy. You are the heart of the organization and the entire PADI staff remain focused on delivering the best service and support to help you succeed. Together, we are – and will continue to be – The Way the World Learns to Dive® . Be best. Be PADI.

Best personal regards,

Drew Richardson

Drew Signature

President & CEO

PADI Worldwide

Dive Shops Significantly Increase Certifications After Going All in with PADI

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A increase of 14 times is what happened to Aqua Sport’s specialty certifications in 2015, the year after the dive facility with operations in Eilat, Israel, and Taba, Egypt, went all in with PADI.

In addition to the increase in specialty divers, PADI® Divemaster certifications quintupled after this dive center chose to make the change. Certifications across the board continued to increase throughout 2016 and this year as a PADI Five Star Instructor Development Center, Aqua Sport is on track to train more instructors than in any year previous.

“We began crossing over all our instructors to PADI at the end of 2015,” says Dafna Budden, co-owner of Aqua Sport. “We understood that further education was key to increasing our sales and that PADI would be the best diving organization to help us achieve that. With PADI’s marketing materials, resources and professional support, we felt we could increase our sales in specialties and professional education and are pleased to report this was achieved.”

Aqua Sport credits PADI’s strong brand as a key factor in its monumental business growth. In 2016, more than two billion consumers learned about PADI Dive Centers and Resorts through media exposures and targeted advertising, including social media messages encouraging certified divers to seek additional training.

Of PADI’s education materials, particularly the digital options, such as PADI eLearning® and the PADI Open Water Diver TouchTM, Budden says, “This is a great marketing tool. Students really enjoy the PADI digital learning and love the interaction with the Touch manuals.”

In addition to benefitting from PADI’s marketing horsepower and educational materials, Aqua Sport appreciates the dedicated customer support team. “The customer service that we and our clients receive from PADI is very important to us,” says Budden. “The PADI staff assigned to our account are professional, helpful, friendly and always on hand to resolve any issues, offer professional advice and guide us where necessary. We are very pleased with the PADI programs and how successful they have proven to be.”

These are just a few reasons why more dive centers and resorts joined PADI in 2016 than in any previous year; retail and resort membership now exceeds 6400 members globally. If you have questions about going all PADI, contact the Territory Director, Regional Manager, or Regional Training Consultant for your area at your local PADI Regional Headquarters.