Minnesota School of Diving Inc.

Since 1959








MSD Dive Staff


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


Real 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 our 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.  
Tom Allinder - PADI MSDT Instructor # 234437

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Mark Cross - PADI MSDT Instructor # 199501


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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!

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

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 (yet), 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.


Real Job: This doesn't count? I also do some work as a professional outdoorsman (hunting, fishing), writing articles and promotions for TV and radio. 


Things I'm Involved With: Fun Dives (of course); helping unfortunate individuals find items lost in the water; Crow Wing County Sheriff's Dive Rescue Team.


Other Interests: Hunting, fishing, aquatic biology, huge NHL hockey fan (Go Wild!), camping - pretty much anything that can be done outside.


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


Real 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.  Has also been a member of the Lakes Area Dive Team since 2008.


Some Favorite Dives: Loves all of the Cuyuna Mine Pits (especially Seaward) but also Roatan, Honduras (Sweet Dream)


Real Job: Senior Software Engineer


Things I'm Involved With: Loves to grill and dive on the Fun Dives also a Public Safety Diver for the Lakes Area Dive Team


Other Interests: I love to play my guitar (has played at some of the most recent Dive Fests), reading and riding my motorcycle (not necessarily in that order) but I am also a Sci-Fy movie and tv addict.

Jill Herberg - Dive Master

Original Diver Certification Date: August 2005


Diving History: I began diving in 2005 and was certified by MSD. A year later I traveled to Mahe Island in the Seychelles to volunteer for a marine diving expedition to study coral and fish. I was there for 10 weeks, met people from all over the world and earned my Advanced and Coral Reef Research Diver certifications from PADI. I obtained my Dive Master certification from MSD in December of 2008.


Some Favorite Dives: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Manta night dive- Big Island, Hawaii; Florida Springs; Locally one of my favorites is Connecticut 2 -Bit in the Cuyuna Mines


Real Job: State Food Inspector


Other Interests: I enjoy spending time with my family, travelling, camping, being at the lake, gardening and reading.

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)
Real 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.