Minnesota School of Diving Inc.

Since 1959








Sales and Service 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 - Owner
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.   

Kersten Rieland - MSD St. Cloud Store Manager, PADI Dive Master Candidate
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 am currently in the process of becoming a dive master through MSD, I also had another wonderful first time experience with MSD, I was beyond ecstatic to join them on a trip to Bonaire in Feb. 2014. Since then I have helped lead MSD trips to Cozumel and Caye Caulker, Belize in Feb. 2015. I am very excited to be experiencing Roatan, Honduras for the first time this Feb!
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.
Real Job: Store Manager of MSD in St. Cloud and I also fill in at Marnantelis Pizza in Cold Spring when they are short staffed.
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!
Lindsey Lemke - MSD DSG (Dive Shop Girl) Brainerd
PADI Open Water Diver

Original Certification Date: June 2012


Diving History: I've always had a love for water; I grew up on the Gull River so anything involving water has always been a favorite pastime of mine. When my friend Brittany got her open water certification, she enjoyed it so much - I felt I had to join her. I was hooked right from the start. Since I got certified, I've gone diving in the Cuyuna Mine Pits on a couple of Fun Dives and with friends, took a trip to Australia and dived at Blue Pearl Bay off Hayman Island and at Reefworld on the outer part of the Great Barrier Reef in 2013.


Favorite Dives: Nothing will pass up the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, but I do enjoy the fresh water fish and wildlife as well, Louise Mine in the Cuyuna Mines is another favorite.
Real Job: I also work at Coco Moon Coffee Bar.


Other Interests: I love being outdoors, camping, hiking, swimming, ice skating... etc.
Jeff Adams - Sales and Equipment Service Tech, PADI Dive Master

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 working towards my PADI Dive Master certification. 


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.

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.


Real Job: Roofing and Siding at Midwest Exteriors of Royalton Inc.


Things I'm Involved with: Regular at MSD fun dives and "Repair Dude" at MSD.


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