Team Elite

Dedicated, knowledgeable, experienced, professionals.

ELITE DIVERS has been serving the Scuba community in NJ, NY and the surrounding areas since 1987.

Elite-Divers-Store-TempElite was originally established in Rockaway, NJ by Nick Warden. In 2010, Dennis Santos purchased the business. To celebrate its’ 25th anniversary, Elite relocated to Randolph, NJ. As a Scubapro Platinum Dealer

Elite takes great pride in providing the best gear to its’ customers. A wide selection of Scuba and snorkeling equipment can be found both online and in the store.

As a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center, Elite Divers offers the highest levels of Scuba certification in NJ. All Scuba Diving certifications are offered, from beginner and professional to technical diving. Scuba classes take place at the Greater Morristown YMCA in a newly renovated, heated, Olympic-sized swimming pool. Elite is located less than 2 hours away from Dutch Springs, PA, one of the best places to Scuba Dive in the NJ area.

THE ELITE RETAIL TEAM

Our professional staff members have been hand-selected from a large pool of candidates because they’ve achieved impressive levels of diving experience and specialized instruction. What sets these individuals apart from everyone else is their warmth and friendliness. These are professionals who care deeply for what they do. Top-notch service and instruction in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment is the goal for every last one of our customers. “Get Wet With The Best!” is not an understatement.

DENNIS SANTOS

DENNIS SANTOS

OWNER

Dennis started out at Elite Divers several years ago as an Instructor and brings with him the experience of teaching and working for one of the larger dive houses in New Jersey. He really enjoys traveling, the work he does for the Project AWARE Foundation, and diving for Megalodon Shark teeth. Dennis has become one of the more respected appraisers of these amazing, multi-million year old fossil shark teeth and maintains some of the rarest, sought after, private collections in the world. You can find some of his research, exhibits and pieces for sale at www.deep-thinker.com, as well as information on the high quality underwater services he provides. Dennis carries professional certification ratings from PADI and SDI-TDI. He is also an EFR Instructor and is currently A Master Instructor at Elite Divers. Dennis purchased Elite Divers from Nick Warden as of January 1, 2011 and brings great enthusiasm to the table.

THE ELITE INSTRUCTORS

Enthusiastic. Knowledgeable. Experienced. Professional

DENNIS SANTOS

DENNIS SANTOS

INSTRUCTOR/OWNER

Dennis started out at Elite Divers several years ago as an Instructor and brings with him the experience of teaching and working for one of the larger dive houses in New Jersey. He really enjoys traveling, the work he does for the Project AWARE Foundation, and diving for Megalodon Shark teeth. Dennis has become one of the more respected appraisers of these amazing, multi-million year old fossil shark teeth and maintains some of the rarest, sought after, private collections in the world. You can find some of his research, exhibits and pieces for sale at www.deep-thinker.com, as well as information on the high quality underwater services he provides. Dennis carries professional certification ratings from PADI and SDI-TDI. He is also an EFR Instructor and is currently A Master Instructor at Elite Divers. Dennis purchased Elite Divers from Nick Warden as of January 1, 2011 and brings great enthusiasm to the table.

BOB WILSON

BOB WILSON

PADI COURSE DIRECTOR

Bob’s diving career began in 1986 and attained his first Professional PADI rating in 1988. Since then, Bob has been certified to teach fourteen PADI Specialty Diver Courses. Bob has also authored three distinctive Specialty Diver courses that have been approved and accepted by PADI. He holds the Emergency First Responder Instructor Trainer rating and is an Instructor Trainer for the Tec Deep, the Tec Tri-Mix, and Gas Blender programs. Bob is also an Instructor for three other training agencies, which include instructing Oxygen First Aid for DAN, Technical Diving for IANTD and TDI. Bob has extensive experience in Northeast wreck diving, as well as many other areas of the world. When Tri-Mix diving first became available, Bob sought out training with Billy Deans of Key West, Florida. That training has provided the opportunity to explore many deep wrecks in the Northeast and Florida. Some of these wrecks are: Andrea Doria, U-869, S.S. Carolina, Winneconne, Texel, Ronald B. Johnson/Corey & Chris. Cave diving in the caves of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico have also found their way into his career. Bob is also certified as an Emergency Medical Technician, was accepted as an Associate Member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, accepted as a Member Resident of The Explorers Club, and currently holds a United States Coast Guard 100 Ton, Near Coastal, Masters License. Bob can be contacted directly through Ocean Services Dive and Marine Consulting at: Bob@OSDMC.com.

JOE REARDON

JOE REARDON

INSTRUCTOR

Joe has been a certified diver since 1978. He has been diving with the shop since 1996. Joe is an active member, and a Past President of the Elite Diving Club.

TIM ANDRO

TIM ANDRO

ERDI INSTRUCTOR

Tim Andro began his career in Public Safety as a Firefighter in 1999. In 2005 Tim began scuba diving shipwrecks in the Northeast. By 2008 he had become a Divemaster and completed his advancement into technical diving.

Becoming a Public Safety diver in 2011, Tim combined his passion for technical diving with his commitment to Public Safety. As dive coordinator for Mahwah Rescue 1 in Mahwah, NJ Tim honed his skills and developed his expertise in Public Safety diving.

In 2015 Mr. Andro completed his instructor level PSD certifications with ERDI. Tim then worked with ERDI to be become one of the few authorized ERDI Training Facilities in the region.

Bob Brown

Bob Brown

INSTRUCTOR

Lou Ercole

Lou Ercole

INSTRUCTOR

Lou has crafted diving into a lifestyle for family and students alike ! What began as an intrepid journey to add a new family activity, flourished into Caribbean travel seeking out awesome turquoise scuba destinations ! Lou’s natural passion for growth and sharing drove him to become a PADI Pro in 2000 when he began to share his experience by mentoring students of all ages & abilities to reach their own scuba dreams  ! These days, you will find Lou livin the dream, as a PADI Instructor ! “Teaching scuba provides my escape from the daily grind of the corporate world. When I’m diving, I am in my ultimate place of Bliss.” Lou enjoys teaching his students in a comfortable, relaxed environment, with a great deal of time being focused on the fundamentals of good diving practices. “When a diver has the basics down, confidence builds quickly with each dive experience.” When you’re finished talking to him about scuba, be sure to ask him to share a bit about snow skiing which perfectly complements into his philosophy, and way of life.

JAY CANNAVO

JAY CANNAVO

INSTRUCTOR

Jay comes to us from serving our country in a military and civilian capacity for over 40 years. During his military career he served with the 82nd Airborne (504 PIR), and the 1st of the 75th Ranger Battalion. Jay became a certified PADI diver in 2001. Once he found his sea legs, he couldn’t get enough. Diving has given him the opportunity to form new friendships all over the world, and to become part of the Elite Divers Team. He enjoys diving with incredible sea life in Costa Rica, Bonaire, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Johns, Curacao, Cozumel, and the famous Dutch Springs in PA. The best part of diving for him is being with a student on their first open water dive.

Ike Barbatsoulis

Ike Barbatsoulis

INSTRUCTOR

CAPTAIN MARK 'SHARKY' ALEXANDER

CAPTAIN MARK 'SHARKY' ALEXANDER

FRGS

We are very proud to have the one and only Captain Mark “Sharky” Alexander head up our Closed Circuit Rebreather Training at Elite Divers. Sharky brings with him tremendous experience as a world class expedition leader, author, Vice Chair of the membership development committee and member of The Explorers Club and fellow with the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) out of England. He served this great country as an F16 C/D Aircraft Weapons Systems Specialists in the USAF for 20years (Retired) and currently serves his community as a veteran 25 year Paramedic and Instructor. He holds Instructor level certifications as IANTD and TDI Inspiration Vision CCR & Normoxic Trimix. He is also a PADI Master Instructor and holds instructor level certifications in EFR and DAN. He holds a USCG 100 Ton Master Captain license, is a Hyperbaric Chamber Technician and is a regular visitor to the Andrea Doria & U-869 wrecks when here in NJ. His accomplishments are just too much to list! As an APD Dealer in conjunction with Silent Diving LLC, featuring the Inspiration & Evolution Closed Circuit Rebreather, Sharky is a logical fit to the Elite Divers Instructional Team. For more information on purchasing, training or learning more about his Global Expeditions, please contact the shop or find out more information at http://www.sharkys-ue.com.

THE ELITE DIVEMASTERS

Enthusiastic. Knowledgeable. Experienced. Professional

KEN GALIPEAU

KEN GALIPEAU

DIVEMASTER

Ken is an enthusiastic and experienced Divemaster. He loves going to Dutch Springs and sharing his passion for SCUBA with new divers. Ken loved diving as a kid but he had to give it up. He got re-certified in 2010 and has been making up for lost time ever since. He dives every chance he gets and has logged over 300 dives since his re-certification. He loves diving anywhere and everywhere. He dives most often in the Jersey shore, where he enjoys looking for artifacts and spear fishing with his son. Ken has also traveled to the Red Sea, Mediterranean, Caribbean and even the chilly waters of the Alaskan coast!

GEORGE TZEZAIRLIDIS

GEORGE TZEZAIRLIDIS

DIVEMASTER

George started diving in 2004 and achieved Dive Master status in 2006 with Dennis Santos as his Instructor. He is a NJ native from Union County and attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Travel-Tourism Management. George has worked as a reservation specialist in Davie, Florida for Stuart Cove’s Bahamas, Dive Master in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for Santos Charters and in Deerfield Beach, FL for Dixie Divers. George currently works in corporate travel in Westfield, NJ. He mostly prefers wall, drift and reef dive sites. Interests include gardening, cooking, sailing, fishing and marine biology.

MIKE MOST

MIKE MOST

DIVEMASTER

Mike is working to perfect his hydraulophone skills.
Check out a video here.

Andrew Ludwig

Andrew Ludwig

DIVEMASTER

CHRIS LEANZO

CHRIS LEANZO

DIVEMASTER

Chris Leanzo has always considered himself to be a “fish”. Whether it be fishing in fresh or saltwater or scuba diving in both, Chris’ lifelong love of the water has lead him deep into scuba diving. Certified in 2003, Chris did not become an active scuba diver until 2013. Since then, he has been all over the tri-state area for both fun and professional diving as well as numerous dives in Cozumel, Mexico.  In addition to being an avid Jersey diver, Chris is also a Divemaster with Elite Divers and a Pool Repair Technician. Chris would dive in a puddle on the side of the road if it was deep enough.

BILL FASCHAN

BILL FASCHAN

DIVEMASTER

Bill became a diver in 2015, and since has been making up for lost time, logging 150 dives in diverse places around the world and joining Elite’s Divemaster ranks in 2017.

THE ELITE LEGENDS

Enough Said!

NICK WARDEN

NICK WARDEN

FOUNDING OWNER

Nick was born in England and moved to Canada in 1967 where he played rugby for many years. He moved to the USA in the 70’s and established a graphic arts company. Finally in 1987, realizing he was totally color blind, decided the next best thing was to open a dive shop! Nick started his diving career in Manaus, Brazil where he jumped into the Rio Negro with nothing more than a cylinder and primary regulator. When he returned to the USA he decided to take a course for certification. After owning the dive shop for many years, Nick has retired and sold the shop to Dennis Santos. He currently resides in North Carolina and also maintains a home in Cayman Brac. He supports diving expeditions in both places.

CHARLIE TURBACK

CHARLIE TURBACK

Charlie, former operations manager, is a Citadel graduate who ran the dive shop for over 20 years. Although he retired in 2007, Charlie is still called upon as a consultant, expert regulator technician, master gas blender and ambassador of Elite Divers. Much of Elite Divers success can be attributed to his work ethic and ability to manage the entire dive shop operation by himself. We are happy to announce that Charlie is doing very well with his famous quote of “if I would have known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.

BOB WILSON

BOB WILSON

PADI COURSE DIRECTOR

Bob’s diving career began in 1986 and attained his first Professional PADI rating in 1988. Since then, Bob has been certified to teach fourteen PADI Specialty Diver Courses. Bob has also authored three distinctive Specialty Diver courses that have been approved and accepted by PADI. He holds the Emergency First Responder Instructor Trainer rating and is an Instructor Trainer for the Tec Deep, the Tec Tri-Mix, and Gas Blender programs. Bob is also an Instructor for three other training agencies, which include instructing Oxygen First Aid for DAN, Technical Diving for IANTD and TDI. Bob has extensive experience in Northeast wreck diving, as well as many other areas of the world. When Tri-Mix diving first became available, Bob sought out training with Billy Deans of Key West, Florida. That training has provided the opportunity to explore many deep wrecks in the Northeast and Florida. Some of these wrecks are: Andrea Doria, U-869, S.S. Carolina, Winneconne, Texel, Ronald B. Johnson/Corey & Chris. Cave diving in the caves of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico have also found their way into his career. Bob is also certified as an Emergency Medical Technician, was accepted as an Associate Member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, accepted as a Member Resident of The Explorers Club, and currently holds a United States Coast Guard 100 Ton, Near Coastal, Masters License. Bob can be contacted directly through Ocean Services Dive and Marine Consulting at: Bob@OSDMC.com.

CAPTAIN MARK 'SHARKY' ALEXANDER

CAPTAIN MARK 'SHARKY' ALEXANDER

FRGS

We are very proud to have the one and only Captain Mark “Sharky” Alexander head up our Closed Circuit Rebreather Training at Elite Divers. Sharky brings with him tremendous experience as a world class expedition leader, author, Vice Chair of the membership development committee and member of The Explorers Club and fellow with the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) out of England. He served this great country as an F16 C/D Aircraft Weapons Systems Specialists in the USAF for 20years (Retired) and currently serves his community as a veteran 25 year Paramedic and Instructor. He holds Instructor level certifications as IANTD and TDI Inspiration Vision CCR & Normoxic Trimix. He is also a PADI Master Instructor and holds instructor level certifications in EFR and DAN. He holds a USCG 100 Ton Master Captain license, is a Hyperbaric Chamber Technician and is a regular visitor to the Andrea Doria & U-869 wrecks when here in NJ. His accomplishments are just too much to list! As an APD Dealer in conjunction with Silent Diving LLC, featuring the Inspiration & Evolution Closed Circuit Rebreather, Sharky is a logical fit to the Elite Divers Instructional Team. For more information on purchasing, training or learning more about his Global Expeditions, please contact the shop or find out more information at http://www.sharkys-ue.com.

DAN CROWELL

DAN CROWELL

ERDI Instructor

I’ve been diving for nearly 30 years now, achieving international recognition exploring the underwater world as the skipper of the now-legendary dive boat “SEEKER”. Seeker was made famous as the backdrop of several extreme diving adventure books including the best seller “Shadow Divers”, and in a 2 hour NOVA special titled “Hitler’s Lost Sub”, which was my fist professional shoot. I’m no longer at the helm, but I’m still heavily immersed in the underwater world as a digital cinematographer and media producer.

I developed my diving skills in the trenches of NYC as a commercial hard-hat diver and as a pioneer of technical scuba diving that I developed from the deck of my former dive boat. As an underwater cinematographer my career began as news crews and TV producers showed up to document our exploits. The underwater DP was always ill suited for the extreme diving conditions we were about to encounter. I offered to take their camera and I guess you could say the rest is history.

Since those days I’ve been actively shooting footage across the globe in some of the most challenging condition imaginable, both in and out of the water.  In early 2000 I was hired as director of underwater photography by Kralyevich Productions, Inc. (KPI) who produced 20 episodes of the History Channel’s “Deep Sea Detectives” . In 2007 I was the field and co-producer for my own limited series for Discovery’s Military Channel titled “Quest for Sunken Warships“.

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