Minnesota School of Diving Inc.

Since 1959

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSD Dive Staff

Instructors

William Matthies - Owner

PADI Instructor # 79

 

Original Diver Certification Date: 9 B.C.E. (Before Certification Era) 

 

Diving History: Bill started diving in 1958 A.D., 9 years before PADI started issuing the first recreational diver certifications. While working as a life guard in Mankato MN, Bill met Ken Watanabi - a diver from Hawaii. Ken introduced him to his first breath underwater at the community pool at Tourtellotte Park. He was instantly hooked. A year later, after securing a teaching position in Brainerd, Bill opened Brainerd Skindiving Supply - later known as MSD. For those truly interested, Bill wrote a book "One Earth, Two Worlds" about his life of diving and is available at either MSD store for $19.95. With the PADI Instructor number of 79, he is currently the lowest numbered active PADI Instructor in the world.

 

Some Favorite Dives: The World War 2 shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon, and the English Channel

 

Day Job: MSD tour guide

 

Things I'm Involved With: 30 years as a Brainerd Civil Service Commissioner

 

Other Interests: FreeCell and Spider Solitaire


Todd Matthies - PADI Master Instructor # 60924
 
Original Diver Certification Date: June 1979
 
Diving History: Started diving when I was 6 or 7 around the dock at our lake cabin finding lost treasures (unknown to me, the "treasure" was spare change that my Dad had thrown in - pretty smart way to develop my interest in diving). Finally went through the certification when I was thirteen. Worked sporadically in the dive shop until moving away to college. Worked with Jack Gadbois at Underwater Schools of America in Maplewood, MN while persuing a history degree at the U of M. Moved back to Brainerd and started working at MSD in 1989. Received my PADI Instructor rating in 1992. Moved through the PADI ranks and completed my Master Instructor rating in 2005. While the demands of operating two dive stores keeps me busy, I still try to teach an occational Open Water Course. I still keep a very active role in conducting Advanced and Specialty training during our many dive trips, and participate heavily in the instruction of the Dive Master course.

 

Some Favorite Dives: Local - All of the Cuyuna sites especially the Huntington sites; Isle Royale National Park; and treasure hunting in some of the local traditional lakes. Non-local - (Palau) Ngemilis Wall and Peliliu Express; (Truk Lagoon) San Francisco Maru, Aikoku Maru, and Nippo Maru; (Pohnpei) Ahnt Atoll; (Cozumel) Punta Sur and Palancar Caves; (Little Cayman) any of the Bloody Bay Wall sites; (Roatan) Mary's Place and Spooky Channel.

 

Real Job: It may not seem like this is - but I'll take it.
 
Things I'm Involved With: Founding member (1992) of Crow Wing County Sheriff Volunteer Dive Rescue Squad. Frequent advisor to the Cuyuna Lakes State Rec Area planning board.

 

Other Interests: Travel; Motorcycling (especially on cross country trips); I enjoy (and sometimes detest) restoring my 125 year old brick house; I have been team member of a winter 8 Ball Pool league team since 1990. Another winter activity I look forward to - reading in my chair by the fireplace.  

PADI Specialties I Myself Am Certified In: Night Diver, Wreck Diver, Drift Diver, Boat Diver, Digital Underwater Photographer, Ice Diver, Underwater Navigator, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Equipment Specialist, Dry Suit Diver, Enriched Air Diver, Search and Recovery Diver, and Underwater Videographer. 

PADI Specialities I Am Certified to Teach: Night Diver, Wreck Diver, Drift Diver, Boat Diver, Digital Underwater Photographer, Ice Diver, Underwater Navigator, Peak Performace Buoyancy, Equipment Specialist, Dry Suit Diver, Enriched Air Diver, Search and Recovery Diver, and Underwater Videographer. 
Tom Allinder - PADI MSDT Instructor # 234437
 

Original Diver Certification Date: March 23rd, 2005


Day Job: Information Systems Manager


PADI Specialties I Myself Am Certified In: Ice Diver, Enriched Air Diver, Night Diver, Wreck Diver, Equipment Specialist, AWARE Fish Identification, and AWARE Coral Reef Conservation
Other Certifications: TDI Sidemount Diver, TDI Advanced Nitrox Diver, TDI Decompression Procedures Diver, and TDI Trimix Diver

PADI Specialities I Am Certified to Teach: Ice Diver, Enriched Air Diver, Wreck Diver, Search and Recovery Diver, Dry Suit Diver, Night Diver, Deep Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Project AWARE, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation, and Care for Children w/ AED.

Kelli Mankowski - PADI OWSI Instructor # 237293
 

Original Diver Certification Date: September 2005

 

Diving History: Between 2006 and 2007 I completed Advanced and Rescue certifications along with Wreck, Ice, Nitrox, Night, Deep, Boat and Equipment specialties which fullfilled my Master Diver certification requirements. In 2010 I went on to complete my OWSI and EFR Instructor courses.


Some Favorite Dives: I just can't tell my favorite dive site in the "Pits", as as it's relatively unused as a dive site and/or swimming area now - and I try hard to keep it that way! Diving in Bonaire was fabulous! Honduras Terrific! Belize wonderful! Florida was good and Mexico fantastic! Anytime you're underwater it's a wonderful thing!


Real Job: Real Job #1 is as owner of Party World in Baxter, MN. Real Job #2 is as a scuba instructor at MSD. Real Job #3 is as the business manager for Lakes Area Yoga Association.


Things I'm Involved With: Brainerd Chamber of Commerce, Brainerd Wedding Assoc., Qualatex Balloon Network, International Balloon Assoc.,and The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Dive Team


Other Interests: I'm a Certified Baloon Artist (yes, that's a real designation/title with the official letters of "CBA" that go with it!) and LOVE any and all things balloons!


PADI Specialties I Myself Am Certified In: Deep Diver, Night Diver, Enriched Air Diver, Wreck Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, and Equipment Specialist. 

Lori Mattson - PADI MSDT Instructor # 182575
 

Original Diver Certification Date: Open water class in St. Cloud 1997


Diving History: I got my instructor certification in 2002 and have been very fortunate to do some amazing dives. I have been able to dive The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Fiji, Maui, Kona, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Florida Keys and springs, the kelp forests off Catalina Island, Isle Royale and other Lake Superor Wrecks, Bonne Terre Mine, Mermet Springs along with a lot of local lakes.


Some Favorite Dives: Favorite Dive Location... Fiji. Favorite Local Dive Site... End of the Line (Huntington Mine)


Real Job: What, teaching diving isn't a real job? I am book keeper at Mattson Lumber in Nisswa. 


Things I'm Involved With: I am a member of the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Dive Team


Other Interests: I have two small kids, so my interests at the moment are watching Sesame Street, changing diapers, and hanging out a the park.

 
Adam Johnson- PADI OWSI  Instructor # 272083
MSD DSG (Dive Shop Guy) Brainerd
 

Original Diver Certification Date: July 2005

 

Diving History: I got certified in 2005 after two years of driving by the shop nearly every day gawking and wishing I could learn to dive. Finally, after getting tired of listening to me talk about it all the time, my wonderful wife Anna told me to "Just go in there and find out what you have to do to get certified and get it done!" I originally got into diving to improve my fishing and - as an aquatic biologist, to learn more about the underwater world. It did not take long to get hooked into the whole diving community and I soon wanted to expand my diving knowledge. I then did my Advanced Open Water class in 2006, Rescue in 2007, Ice Diver in 2008, joined the Crow Wing County Rescue Team in 2008, then completed my Dive Master training in 2010 and instructor rating in May 2013.

 

Some Favorite Dives: I am one of the few local divers that hasn't been spoiled by diving in tropical saltwater destinations (much), so all of my favorite dives have been here in the cold, dark northern waters of MN and MI. Isle Royale on Lake Superior is a favorite. The Huntington mine pit is my favorite local dive destination. I also really enjoy diving the local lakes all over MN just to see what I can find.

 

Day Job: This doesn't count? When I'm not teaching or helping out in the shop, I'm primarily a stay-at-home dad and work on several projects in my other interests. I did work for several years in outdoor media; writing articles, working in TV and radio, production promotions, tournament angling, etc. 

Other Interests: Hunting (especially bow hunting), trapping, fishing, aquatic biology, huge NHL hockey fan (Go Wild!), camping - pretty much anything that can be done outside. I also love to dabble in land management, emphasizing on wildlife management. Food, cooking, and home improvement are also things I enjoy and spend a good amount of time doing. 

PADI Specialties I Myself Am Certified In: I don't have a lot. I have many, many "specialty type" dives, just never sent in for the certification. Surprisingly, the only two I do have are: Ice Diver and Sidemount Diver. 

PADI Specialities I Am Certified to Teach: Ice Diver, First Aid/CPR, Search and Recovery Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation, and Project AWARE. There are several that I would be able to teach as soon as I send the notice to PADI (such as Underwater Naturalist, Fish Identification, etc.), so let me know what you want to do and let's go diving!
Jeff Adams - PADI MSDT Instructor # 379682
 

Original Diver Certification Date: 1998 

 

Diving History: My fascination with water was evident when I was but a wee lad. My buddy Keith and I were always found strolling up and down the city crick, floating styrofoam pirate ships and other numerous kid activities. Fast forward a few years - our school superintendent held a discover scuba at our school pool. We immediately signed up and were doing flips and watching our bubbles rise to the surface. Needless to say, we were hooked. The next step was the open water class, which we signed up for the that night. Upon completion of the class, back in 1998, we needed to get rides in order to go scuba diving - complete and utter buzz kill. We talked about shipwreck diving all the time, especially in Lake Superior, always saying, "How cool would that be?" If it weren't for Keith, I would have never gotten certified. Fast forward again, but many more years this time, I strolled into the doors at MSD and talked to an older gentleman who informed me of the Fun Dives. I came back a couple weeks later, went on my first Fun Dive and was hooked again. MSD has been stuck with me since 2006. Which was also the year that I completed my advanced and rescue certification. Fast forward to present time, I am currently a PADI MSDT instructor at MSD. 

 

Some Favorite Dives:

 

Plane ride away 

 

Location: Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon. Shipwreck - Shinkoku Maru.

The reason why its my favorite - As we descended to the ships port side stern, we come upon the reason the ship sank, a direct hit from a torpedo. As we got closer to the hole I looked at my depth gauge, it read 122 ft. Upon closer examination, the hole is big enough for us to enter and penetrate the ship. As we enter, I notice the mangled and twisted metal, we had to twist and turn our way into the engine room. There were many things to see in the engine room and other parts of the ship, but entering through the torpedo wreckage was my favorite part of the dive.
 

Location: Roatan, Honduras. This is my first dive trip outside the US. The diving opened my eyes to another realm, so I loved every bit of it - resulting in me taking far too many photos. The topside was how I pictured island life and feel. This is the trip that I compare every other trip to, and it was also the Birth of the Watermelon Bandit.

 
Local
 
Location: Cuyuna Mine Pits. Dive Site - Getting the Shaft, Huntington. This site is hard to get to, but its very unique. At about 15 feet there is a vertical mining shaft, which bolsters a lot of fish - always a good photo opportunity.
 
Location: Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior. Shipwreck - Emperor Stern. As you descend down the line into the dark cold water, the wreck slowly starts to become evident. You start to recognize the stern cabins, tipped over smoke stack, storage holds and railings. Once you start swimming around the stern of the ship, you notice bunk beds, propeller blades on the deck, anchor, and pots and pans still on the galley stove. You can hop over the railing and descend a little further into the abyss and notice the gigantic rudder. The engine room deserves its own dive, as there are tons of things to see in there - most noticeably the plaque dedicated to the lives lost.

 

Day Job: Roofing and siding, self employed 

 

Other Interests: Camping, traveling, snow boarding, tennis, movies, and hanging with friends.


PADI Specialties I Myself Am Certified In: Sidemount Diver, Enriched Air Diver, Self-Reliant Diver
Other Certifications: TDI Sidemount Diver, TDI Advanced Nitrox Diver, TDI Decompression Procedures Diver, and TDI Trimix Diver

PADI Specialties I Am Certified to Teach: Sidemount Diver, Self Reliant Diver, Enriched Air Diver, Emergency O2 Provider, Deep Diver, Wreck Diver, Dry Suit Diver, Drift Diver, Boat Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Diver Propulsion Vehicle, AWARE Shark Conservation, Whale Shark Awareness, Dive Against Debris, CoralWatch, Coral Health Chart, and Invasive Lionfish Tracker.

Kersten Rieland - PADI OWSI Instructor # 400529
MSD St. Cloud Store Manager
 
Original Certification Date: July 2006
 
Diving History: I got certified at the age of 12 through Underwater Sports Adventure. My dad and I took the class together which made it that much more meaningful, now we can have father - daughter bonding time under water?! I was fortunate to go on a dive trip with Underwater Sports to Gilbert, MN and dive in the Mesabi Iron Range. There were a few years where I sadly didn't do much diving. I was in high school, busy with sports and my job. After high school I went to college, graduated with an AAS Degree in Professional Photography Technology - and then I had an amazing opportunity to get back into diving!. I started working at MSD! I recently received my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor rating, and am excited to help others obtain a dream of being a certified scuba diver. I also had another first time experience with MSD, I was beyond ecstatic to join them on a trip to Bonaire in February 2014. Since then, I have helped lead MSD trips to Cozumel, Caye Caulker, Belize, Roatan and Utila, Honduras. 
 
Favorite Dives: When I was on the trip with MSD to Bonaire, that was my first time diving in warm water! Needless to say all of those dive blew my mind! However, experiencing the dives in Cozumel... they immediately became my favorite dives, using the current to your advantage was SO much fun! Caye Caulker had great dives too, the last day of diving out on Turneffe Atoll was especially good. As much as I have a passion for diving, the topside experiences on these trips are what I will be talking about with people for years to come. Thankfully, MSD's travel philosophy is to try to avoid all-inclusive trips whenever possible. I much prefer having the opportunity to eat in authentic restaurants and interact with the locals, and experience more of the island life.
 
Day Job: Store Manager of MSD in our St. Cloud location. 
 
Things I'm involved in: I am a trained repair tech, so I help out when the Brainerd shop is swamped in the summer, I will take over repairs, along with staying caught up on the repairs in St. Cloud. I can't get enough of diving in the Cuyuna Mine Pits and participating in the MSD Fun Dives. I am always eager to learn about dive sites / trips! So come on in and tell me your stories!
 
Other Interests: I am ready to do anything outdoors; I love bonfires, four-wheeling, deer hunting, hiking, camping, anything that involves nature. I will try anything once ...I only have one life, so I  better enjoy it!

PADI Specialties I Myself Am Certified In: Enriched Air Diver, Dry Suit Diver, Deep Diver, Wreck Diver, Boat Diver, and Equipment Specialist

PADI Specialties I Am Certified to Teach: Coral Reef Conservation, Peak Performance Buoyancy

Dive Masters

Josh Duda - Dive Master
 

Original Diver Certification Date: 2001

 

Diving History: Basic Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue and Dive Master Certified through MSD and Rapid Deployment, Search & Recovery and Blackwater Certified through Team Lifeguard Systems for the Crow Wing County Dive Rescue Squad

 

Some Favorite Dives: Enjoys all of the Cuyuna Mine Pits as well as the cenotes of Quintana Roo, Mexico

 

Day Job: Paramedic

 

Things I'm Involved With: Goes on the Fun Dives to jump in as well as grill on shore and is also on the Crow Wing County Dive Rescue Squad.

 

Other Interests: Loves triathlons (swimming, biking and running) and Biathlons, as well as cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship.

Tim Gack - Dive Master
 

Original Diver Certification Date: October 2003 

 

Diving History: Basic Open Water in 2003, Advanced Open Water in 2006, Ice Diver in 2007, Rescue Diver in 2007 and Dive Master in 2009.  

 

Some Favorite Dives: Cuyuna Mine Pits, Mesabi Mine Pits, Florida Keys, Lake Superior and Roatan, Honduras. 


Day Job: Embedded System Engineer

 

Other Interests: Hanging out with my grandchildren, riding motorcycles, reading and watching Sci-fi, and playing guitar for Nate's Fish. 

 
Jill Herberg - Dive Master
 

Original Diver Certification Date: August 2005

 

Diving History: I was a competitive swimmer growing up and diving was the next logical step. I obtained my PADI Open Water certification with MSD in 2005, and in 2006 I spent 10 weeks in the the Seychelles volunteering to study the coral reefs and sea turtles. I earned some specialty certifications duirng that time as well. I continued with my diving education and became a Divemaster in December 2008. 

 

Some Favorite Dives: I have been fortunate enought to dive in a few warm locations; my favorite part of any ocean dive is the first glimpse under the blue water as you backward roll off the boat. My favorite dive is the night dive with Manta Rays in Kona, HI. My favorite local dive spot is Connecticut 2-Bit because of the fish!

 

Day Job: Retail Food Inspection Supervisor with the MN Department of Agriculture. I work out of my home office in Brainerd and supervise staff in the central and northwest region of the state who inspect retail food establishments. 

 

Other Interests: I have two young children who keep me on the go. My favorite place to be is on the lake wakesurfing with my sister and our families. I love to travel, take pictures, read, work in my flower garden, and binge watch tv series. 

PADI Specialties I Am Certified In: Coral Reef Research Diver, Underwater Photographer, Peak Performance Buoyancy, and Deep Diver.

 
Lynn Jannetta - Dive Master
 

Original Diver Certification Date: She can't remember and told us to "Look it up, you have the records..." Everyone meet Lynn, Lynn this is everyone.

 

Diving History: Lynn holds multiple specialty certifications, but we would have to look them up...

 

Some Favorite Dives: 5 Great Lakes, 8 Great Days bus trip in 2002 (we dived in each of the Great Lakes over a 8 day period). Truk Lagoon, Palau, Cozumel, Roatan and Belize

 

Real Job: Social Worker

 

Things I'm Involved With: Crow Wing County Sheriff's Dive Rescue Team, foster parenting.

 

Other Interests: Grand kids, reading, boating, traveling, (and not looking things up)

 
William (Bill) Lacroix - Dive Master
 

Original Diver Certification Date: August 1990

 

Diving History: I became PADI Certified in 1990 through Underwater Sports in Sauk Rapids, MN.  I have literally traveled the world with MSD on their various dive trips beginning in June of 1991.  Those trips have included destinations to all five Great Lakes (including Canadian waters), several lakes in Minnesota, many destinations on several occasions in the Caribbean Sea, four trips to the Micronesian waters of the Pacific Ocean (Truk, Pohnpei and Kosrae), the Philippine Sea waters of Palau and of course the beautiful waters of the Cuyuna Range mine pit lakes.  I have also dived the waters of the Caribbean, two of the Hawaiian Islands and the northern waters of the Mediterranean Sea while on family trips.  SCUBA diving is important to me. 

 
Some Favorite Dives: For local diving I prefer Sleepy Hollow (Mangan mine pit lake) and I've also enjoyed anyplace along Bloody Bay Wall on Little Cayman Island, Siaes Tunnel and Wall (Philippine Sea--Palau)
 
Day Job: Retired (34 years of teaching including 32 years on the faculty of St. Cloud State University)

Things I'm Involved With: I love to take three (of six) grandchildren that have been PADI certified - through MSD, diving.  I also enjoy going on the Fun Dives during the week(end) and helping out with Discover Scuba sessions.

 
Other Interests: I love to spend time with my family and my yard.  I try to enjoy my surroundings.
Nick Haglin - Dive Master
 

Original Diver Certification Date: October 2001

 

Diving History: I was certified with my best friend from elementary school when we were 21. I started to evolve in my diving career in 2010 when I became an Advanced Diver, then in 2013 when I received my Rescue Diver certification. I then joined the Crow Wing County's Sheriff's Dive Team in 2015, and I became a Dive Master in 2017. 

 
Some Favorite Dives: Dives with my wife. 
 
Day Job: Project Manager & Owner at Thelen Heating and Roofing, Inc; Firefighter for Brainerd Fire Department

Things I'm Involved With: Crow Wing County Sheriff's Dive Team; Brainerd Fire Department; Brainerd Noon Sertoma Club; Brainerd Public School Foundation

 
Other Interests: Travel, CrossFit, Airplanes, Farming, Downhill Skiing, and Motorcycles

PADI Specialties I Am Certified In: Night Diver, Search & Recovery Diver, Ice Diver
Cory Hines - Dive Master
 

Original Diver Certification Date: June 6th, 2013

 

Diving History: I started diving because Nick Haglin asked me if I was interested and once I took the class I was hooked. I spent the next few years logging dives and getting the Advanced Open Water Diver certification. Places I have travelled to dive are: Bonne Terre, Tobermary, Puerto Rico, Straits of Mackinac, Alpena, Roatan, and Glacier National Park with plenty more to come. 

 
Some Favorite Dives: My most memorable dive would be when Paula Persons decided that floating around the surface was more enjoyable than diving at the Straits of Mackinac. The second would be my first ocean dive in Puerto Rico; just the change from Minnesota diving to the clear water was amazing. My favorite local dives would be Seaward, Wombad, Feigh, and anything in Huntington. 
 
Day Job: Laborer at BNSF

 
Other Interests: My other interests outside of diving are traveling, hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing. 

PADI Specialties I Am Certified In: Ice Diver (2015), Night Diver (2016), and Equipment Specialist (2018)