DIVE BVI STAFF

Yacht Harbour • Leverick Bay • Scrub Island

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

– Aristotle

JEFF

JEFF MCNUTT

Director of Special Operations

A proud Texan, Jeff has been a Scuba Instructor since 2000. He moved to Virgin Gorda in 2003 after a BVI sailing trip for his birthday. In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious SSI Instructor Trainer/Certifier rating (meaning he can train new Instructors). He started out as manager of our former Marina Cay location before being named General Manager. In addition, as the recently appointed Area Office Coordinator (Eastern Caribbean) for SSI, Jeff looks forward to bringing the SSI standard to the rest of the Caribbean.

CASEY MCNUTT

Managing Director

Arriving with Jeff, Casey has made herself essential as the one in charge of Retail Operations/Human Resources, ordering all of the latest dive gear and resort wear for our locations and boutique. Casey also still enjoys leading dives at some of her favorite sites which include Ginger Steps and the Chikuzen.  She enjoys running, time out with friends and her Olde English bulldog, Dixie.

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Andrea (AJ) Syrett

General Manager

AJ was born in Woking, UK (home of F1 team McLaren). AJ worked in Accountancy for over a decade but it was on a vacation to the Maldives that she realized it was time for a career change. After completing her Advanced Open Water course, she returned to the UK and trained to become an instructor, even though it meant diving in very cold, dark, murky waters (although was better than being in the office).  AJ has a passion for Fish ID and Underwater Photography. On her days off, she enjoys going diving (both closed & open circuit and with the camera), cooking and baking, watching movies and shopping (she has a dangerous online shopping habit).

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Clayvorne Pope

Locations Manager

Clayvorne is a native of St.Vincent.  She moved to the British Virgin Islands in early 1995.  Clayvorne first met Jeff and Casey when they were managing the Dive BVI -Marina Cay operation. Clayvorne was the administrative assistant of the island.  She is a “people person”, happily dealing with customers daily and always had a smile on her face. She is also super excited about becoming a certified diver in this new adventure.

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Ruby Daniel (”Finey”)

Retail Associate

Called Finey because, as a baby, everyone in her St. Kitts’ neighborhood said she looked so fine.  Finey has been with Dive BVI for almost 20 years!  As our friendly retail clerk, Finey is so helpful with our divers and shoppers that they often find more than they were looking for! She is the source of all island information so stop by and let her fill you in.

Kelaine Smith

Retail Associate

Born and raised in the Beautiful British Virgin Islands currently residing on the spectacular island of Virgin Gorda. Kelaine is a lover of fashion and sports; you name it – she plays it! She is a driven and motivated employee of Dive BVI who takes pride in exceeding her customers expectations.
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Jewellyn “Jojo” Gerald

General Personal Assistant

Jojo’s mom was so excited for her arrival that she gave birth on the way to the Tortola Hospital. Jojo now refers to herself as a Speedy’s Ferry Baby! After a few years traveling to London & Boston, Jojo decided to call Virgin Gorda home for her and her 3 babies! She follows in her Father’s footsteps, a former Scuba Instructor with Dive BVI.

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Rupert Raven

Captain & Scuba Instructor

Rupert is from London, England. In 2005 he went and travelled around the World for a couple of years where he first fell in love with Scuba Diving. He’s got to dive at some amazing places like Phe Phe Island, Thailand, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Poor Knights island, New Zealand (his coldest dive to date !!), Taveuni Island, Fiji, Sodwana Bay, South Africa, and Hawaii to name a few … seeing Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Potato Cod Fish and more and boy was he was hooked !!! By 2007 he decided to broaden his love for diving and became a Scuba Instructor having worked in the Bahamas for 3 years as an Instructor and Shark Feeder before heading down to the BVI in January 2011. Rupert’s other passions are sports (too many to mention, but is often chatting to the guests about the games the previous night) and weather !!! Yes that includes going Storm Chasing and seeing some amazing thunderstorms and tornadoes. He’s experienced 7 tornadoes up close so far and yearns to see more.

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Zoltan Birinyi

Captain & Scuba Instructor

Born in Budapest, Hungary, after studying mechanics in college Zoltan went to get a degree in economic studies. He became involved in Scuba Diving by chance. His flight from Asia to Hungary stopped in the UK and was snowed in for a week. He liked the UK so decided to quit his job back home as a sales manager and move to the UK. In the UK whilst working in a hotel, a dive shop opened opposite and thought it would be a good career and signed up for the instructor course without even a try-dive.  Zoltan has previously worked in marketing and sales, went to the army as a Helicopter Paratrooper so a career in an extreme sport was inevitable. His biggest passion is sailing. On his days off, Zoltan enjoys CCR diving, watching American Football and doing anything active, he cannot sit still for long.

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Ben Foglesong

Captain & Scuba Instructor

A veteran of the US Army and defense contractor in Baghdad, Ben returned home in 2009 and was accepted to the University of Virginia. While deciding on a major, he was watching shark week and noticed everyone “studying” sharks were Biologists. This led him to select Biology as his major and further explored his love of the ocean by focusing his studies on marine ecosystems and organisms; earning a specialization in Ecological and Biological Conservation with his Biology degree. After graduating he moved to Utila (a tiny island of Honduras) to work and earn his scuba instructor rating. Afterwards went to visit his brother in Florida liked it, and stayed there for three years working as a personal trainer during the week and teaching scuba courses on the weekends. While there Ben earned his USCG Master Captain license and his master’s degree at the University of Miami. Over the years Ben has traveled to Europe and throughout the Middle East for work, while visiting and diving Central and South America for pleasure. Looking to return to the water and make the Caribbean his new home, he moved to Virgin Gorda and joined the Dive BVI team.

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Becca Knight

Scuba Instructor & Crew Leader

Becca’s first steps into diving were taken whilst traveling Australia in her early 20’s. They were baby steps indeed as she was afraid of the water!!  But after a few nervous breaths she fell in love with the freedom she found with SCUBA and the world beneath the waves.  Becca was offered a place to help crew on her friend’s yacht on a trans-Atlantic crossing from the UK to the Caribbean – what better excuse to wear that pirate outfit?!  Six months later, they had island hopped through the Azores and the Canaries, finally arriving in St. Lucia.  She was desperate to get underwater after such a long time above, so she scoured the job boards and soon landed in Saba, a tiny volcanic island in the Dutch Caribbean.   After a three month break in Europe she returned to the Caribbean, this time to Virgin Gorda and Dive BVI.  So far she’s enjoying exploring our ‘big’ island (Saba is only five square miles!) both topside and below, especially the various wreck sites; and has been lucky enough to be welcomed by eagle rays, sharks, turtles and a dolphin!

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Tara Murphy

Scuba Instructor

Tara was born and raised in the busy capital city of London, UK. She studied and worked as a graphic designer in London for a few years but with the economic decline that was happening, work was quiet and she decided it was time for a change, so she bought a one-way ticket to Australia for an adventure! There she not only worked in a variety of jobs and traveled a large area of Australia, she completed her Open Water Diver course, fell in love with the underwater world and she worked her way up to be a Diving Instructor. After a year in Oz and a trip to New Zealand, she then went to Fiji for two years working as a Dive Instructor. Whilst in Fiji she worked on a variety of locations including small islands, large five star resorts and a cruise ship! After a short visit back home to the (cold) UK, she wanted to get back in the warmer waters and sunny weather so started her new diving adventure by joining Dive BVI in the Caribbean and continues to enjoy every minute here!!!

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Beth Besom

Scuba Instructor

After graduating college with a degree in Dance, she made her way to NYC to create costumes for Broadway and New York City Ballet.  Despite a successful career in the theater, she missed being outside, so she applied for what was supposed to be a temporary job as a park ranger in NYC. They offered to pay her to ride a horse in NYC, so she decided to give it a try. Fourteen years later she found herself a sergeant with the mounted unit of the NYC Parks Enforcement Unit.  Not a bad gig, except when it’s freezing and you have to wear four layers of long underwear… Anyway, an amazing whale watching trip to the lagoons in Mexico, where she kissed a baby gray whale on the nose, sent her life in yet another direction. Beth realized that she wanted to be under the water instead of inside the boat, so she went home and got scuba certified. Her first visit to Virgin Gorda was as a tourist. She returned as a student to study with the Dive BVI staff and Jeff McNutt for her SSI DiveMaster certification. She now proudly joins the staff that inspired her with their high standards and love of what they do.

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Steve Ellefson

Director of Fleet Operations

Steve is a SW Florida native, but has spent the last 10 years in the Caribbean.  He’s a multi-tasker on land and in the water, shooting great photos, he’s an excellent mechanic, and a fun Instructor.  He’s a great boat captain as well!

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Michelle Hannemann

Divemaster & Excursion Crew

Born in Florida, on a leap year, she recently celebrated her 7th birthday! Although a lifelong resident of the Sunshine State, Michelle never imagined a career in the water. After completing two bachelor’s degrees in the medical field and jumping between jobs in marketing and hospitality she decided to look for something more exciting. Her scuba career started after meeting her now fiancé who also happened to be her Scuba Instructor. After countless dives and goliath grouper sighting in southern Florida, Michelle completed her Divemaster Certification and sought work in the Caribbean. A few months later she arrived in the BVI with two suitcases, her puggle Marley and a new adventure.

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Kat Vanhoeck

Scuba Instructor

Kat went to Germany at an early age and did most of her schooling in RAF Rheindahlen. She decided after she studied and worked as a Social Worker she needed less stress and a found a job working for the largest commercial radio group in the UK called GWR now known as Global Radio working as a Personnel Assistant to 7 Directors and a multi million pound budge to account for. As a young lady she liked to travel with the family and in 2004 decided to take up diving as a hobby.  To that she fell in love with the ocean. That year she completed her Open Water and Advance so that she was able to go on a liveaboard to Egypt. From that trip she never looked back!! In 2009 her and her future husband decided that the UK wasn’t for them and moved to the British Virgin Islands ` living like pirates’ on their sailing boat `Lucky Break’.  At the beginning of 2010 she moved to the Bahamas where she worked at Stuart Cove’s for 5 and half years before moving back to the UK in May 2015. In December 2015 she decided she needed a well earned holiday and came back to the BVI to visit friends.  Whilst she was here thanks to DiveBVI Kat was offered a job as a Diving Instructor over at our Scrub Island location and is enjoying every minute of her time here.

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Erika Boruff

Retail Manager

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Tyler Boruff

Scuba Instructor

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Theresa Bascombe

Retail Associate

Hailing from Grenada, Theresa has lived on Virgin Gorda for ages.  She has been a retail clerk with Dive BVI for over 20 years!  She’s very excited about our new rebranding and upgrades in the Leverick Bay location.  Theresa continued her family here and has raised two brilliant children, Akin and Tahira, along with her husband, Glen.

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Kalilah Chiverton

Retail Associate

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