New Leadership takes the helm

We've had a changing of the guard! As part of our succession plan:
  • President Sophie Wimberley just completed her three years as president and moves into the position of Immediate Past President.
  • Barbara Thompson completed her term as Immediate Past President and will be leaving the Board of Directors.
  • Tyler Brandes completed his term as President Elect and assumes his role as President of the Foundation.
A letter from the President
Dear Dive Pirates,

As the incoming president of the Dive Pirates Foundation, I wanted to provide a brief introduction.

I am a Volunteer Fire Chief, Reserve Sergeant with the Sheriff’s Office in Sparta, TN, and Scoutmaster for my three sons' Boy Scout Troop. I began my diving career in 1992, diving with my father and brother in the Cayman Islands. Later,  I moved to Cayman Brac and worked in the dive industry for a few years. In 2000, I moved back to the states and became involved with my family’s business.  In 2011 I was encouraged to join Dive Pirates by my mother.  I became hooked and began traveling with Barbara and Sophie on chapter visits, assisting them in training instructors and then became an open water and adaptive instructor.  I joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and have attended multiple dive trips, trade shows, and Dive Pirate events. I am passionate about the foundation and it’s mission of bringing the underwater world to adaptive divers. 

As I officially take the reins of the foundation, I hope to continue the great legacy of both Sophie Wimberley and Barbara Thompson as past presidents.  I have several goals to advance our impact on adaptive driving. These include personally visiting as many of our chapters as possible;  expanding our reach to more physical disabled communities, pursuing more fundraising opportunities, and exploring new dive destinations for future trips. I very much look forward to working with you to further the mission of Dive Pirates.  

I want to thank Barbara, Sophie, the Board of Directors, Staff and our membership for their confidence in me. And most importantly want to thank my wife, Ashley and my boys for allowing me to pursue this adventure! 

Yours in Piracy,
Tyler S. Brandes 
President, Dive Pirates Foundation 
a 501(c)(3) organization
Mobile: (727)420-9875

Other updates on the Board of Directors:
A majority of our voting members (those holding memberships at a Captain's Level or higher) unanimously voted to accept the following slate of officers to lead the Dive Pirates Foundation:
  • Gregg Wentworth - President Elect
  • Bob Evans - Board Member
  • Gillian Tilbury - Treasurer
  • Bailey (Pitts) Follmar - Secretary

Retired Colonel Gregg E. Wentworth, USAF

Gregg has been involved with the Foundation for many years to include training, fundraising and trip facilitation. He joined the board July 1, 2020.
Bob Evans

Bob is a retired Navy (civilian) Mechanical Engineer who has supported the Foundation since it's inception, and served as a past board member and volunteer.

retired Navy (civilian) Mechanical Engineer
gillian tilbury
Gillian has been a long-time diver, instructor and supporter of Dive Pirates and has been serving as treasurer for the past few years.
bailey pitts follmar 2
Bailey has been a long-time diver and supporter of Dive Pirates and has been serving as secretary for the past two years.
Thank you all for giving of your time and talents. If anyone would like to be considered for a board or officer position, please let us know, we encourage participation and have board members rotating off yearly as they complete their 3 year terms.

Have a Great 4th of July weekend.

Dive Pirates Foundation
P.O. Box 1564 ~ Wellington, CO 80549
Phone: 877-EYE-DIVE (877-393-3483)