Meet our Dive Center & Training Staff

Jeff Cinciripino

Jeff Cinciripino

PADI Instructor, Owner

Jeff has been diving with his wife Donna and son Matthew since 2004. His passion for diving led him to the PADI professional ranks in 2006 with the goal of helping new divers discover the thrill of underwater adventure. He has numerous dives off the islands of Maui and Lanai and continues to explore new sites across the Caribbean and the Northeast. Jeff completed the PADI Instructor Examination and became an instructor in the fall of 2009.

Monty Fitzpatrick

Monty Fitzpatrick

PADI Course Director, Owner

Monty is Scuba Shack’s resident PADI Course Director and Public Safety Instructor Trainer. Monty started his diving career working for his father as a commercial diver. His love for working underwater led him to become a PADI professional. During his 15 years as an instructor he has certified more than 1,000 divers from basic open water to IDC Staff Instructor. Monty is an instructor trainer in 19 different PADI specialties.

Matt Cinciripino

Matt Cinciripino

PADI Instructor & Owner

Since being certified in 2004, the sport of diving quickly grew from a hobby to a passion for Matt. Diving has since opened up various areas of interest from marine ecology to sub-aquatic history to underwater photography. Matt’s been working at Scuba Shack since 2015, and has been privileged to dive in many locations from Hawaii, across the Caribbean to some of the fabled dive sites here in our own backyard.

Donna Cinciripino

Donna Cinciripino

PADI Divemaster, Owner

Donna got certified in 2004 and became a PADI Divemaster in 2006. She likes to share what she has learned with new divers, and enjoys diving on group trips because scuba divers are an adventurous bunch and really know how to have FUN! Her favorite dive spots include Mempachi Cave in Maui, Trinity Caves in Grand Cayman and the Mushroom Forest in Curacao. While she spends most of her days at Scuba Shack, she hopes to keep traveling the world to see new places, above and below the water!

Ed Hayes

Ed Hayes

Consultant

Instructors

Joel Toohey

Joel Toohey

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Joel is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer who started diving in 1982. He enjoys the vertical walls, great swim throughs and diverse marine life in the Cayman Islands (who doesn’t!). Jacques Cousteau made quite an impression on Joel and got him interested in the underwater world.

Peter Katz DMD

Peter Katz DMD

PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Peter is a PADI IDC Staff Instructor who started diving in 1987. Like many divers who have been diving for years, Sea Hunt and Jacque Cousteau got him involved with the sport. He enjoys diving the wrecks off Block Island and in the Bahamas.

Marla Koch

Marla Koch

PADI Instructor

Marla’s bio is coming soon.

Phil Stepczyk

Phil Stepczyk

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Phil became interested in scuba diving in his youth from watching Sea Hunt and the Jacques Cousteau specials on television. That interest became a reality when he obtained his Open Water certification in 1975 as a cadet at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. In the early 90’s Phil worked his way up to PADI Dive Master assisting numerous students at Scuba Shack to obtain their Open Water certification. In 2003 Phil obtained his PADI Instructor’s certification and moved into the new and exciting role of Instructor at Scuba Shack. But Phil’s training did not stop there. Phil became a PADI Master Scuba Diver Training in 2008. Phil enjoys diving through-out the Caribbean and wreck diving here in New England. He has had the opportunity to dive in such exotic locals as Thailand, the Philippines, and Tahiti. Working with new and advance divers to achieve their goals and seeing that smile of accomplishment on their faces is what dives Phil.

Alex Marchenko

Alex Marchenko

PADI Instructor

Alex received his Open Water Certification at Scuba Shack in 2012 and since then he has continued improving his diving skills and learning about the underwater world. Now as a Divemaster, he is helping students learn and fall in love with scuba. His favorite diving spots are the Bahamas, Grand Cayman and the ABC islands. He is always down to dive in the cold and murky waters of the North Atlantic.

Lizzie Weller

Lizzie Weller

PADI Instructor

Lizzie received her Open Water Certification in 2014 and has never looked back. After getting her Advanced and Rescue Diver Certifications with her Dad, Lizzie became a Master Diver and in 2017, a Divemaster. Lizzie is a student at the University of Florida where she works as a Divemaster. During the summer, she works at Scuba Shack. Lizzy hopes to be an Instructor some day.

Ron Weller

Ron Weller

PADI Instructor

Ron has been diving since 1995, and happily went along as an Open Water Diver until his daughter Lizzie caught the diving bug. Since then, Ron and his daughter together completed their Advanced and Rescue Diver Certifications. Ron became a Divemaster in 2018. He is also a volunteer diver at Mystic Aquarium.

Assistant Instuctors

Rick Mooney

Rick Mooney

PADI Assistant Instructor

Rick dove as a youngster, but certified in 2007 while vacationing at his wife‘s ancestral island of Grenada. Rick came to Scuba Shack to take his diving to a higher level. As a PADI Assistant Instructor, Rick wants to share what he’s learned with others while continuing to expand his own diving skills and education. His favorite dive sites include Grenada wrecks and Kelleston Drain in Tobago.

Deb Dauphinais

Deb Dauphinais

PADI Assistant Instructor

Deb has been diving for over 30 years (don’t do the math!) and became a divemaster and an Assistant Instructor back in the 1990s. Deb loves New England diving and is passionate about sharing the joys of local diving, including her weird but charming love of marine invertebrates, with anybody who will listen! She is particularly passionate about ocean and marine life conservation. Deb enjoys the outdoors, both above and below water, and co-owns Bicycles East in Glastonbury with her husband (and divemaster) Steve.

Divemasters

Jill Hall

Jill Hall

PADI Divemaster

Jill developed an intense passion for scuba diving and the training philosophy at Scuba Shack. Along with her husband, Chris Your, their diving adventures began in 2009 after obtaining their Open Water certifications in the chilly October waters at Brownstone Park. Since that time, Jill has explored a wide variety of dive sites and enjoys working with students and leading Drive & Dives.

Chris Young

Chris Young

PADI Divemaster

Chris developed an intense passion for scuba diving and the training philosophy at Scuba Shack. His diving adventures began in 2009 after obtaining his Open Water certifications in the chilly October waters at Brownstone Park with Jill Hall. Chris enjoys leading many of our Drive & Dives and is one of our PSI/PCI qualified scuba tank inspectors here at the dive center.

Donna Lynch

Donna Lynch

PADI Divemaster

While vacationing in Ambergris Caye, Belize in 2011 Donna took a Discover Scuba at the resort and made her first dive. It was amazing and she was hooked. She returned home and came to Scuba Shack to sign up for the Open Water Class where she feel in love with diving and never looked back. Donna has enjoyed traveling with Scuba Shack on three trips and looks forward to many more.

Ivan Valad

Ivan Valad

PADI Divemaster

Ivan started scuba stemming from a curiosity for cave diving in 2015. Some of his other hobbies include rock climbing and enjoying days on the boat.

Dan Kowalsky

Dan Kowalsky

PADI Divemaster

Dan started diving in 2016. Since then he has been active with Scuba Shack, and completed his Divemaster certification in September 2018. He enjoys diving in new and exciting locations and discovering new dive sites in Connecticut.