Meet the Experts: Unveiling the Instructor Team for NAUI’s Northeast Leadership Conference 2023

The upcoming NAUI’s Northeast Leadership Conference, slated to run from October 2 to October 29, 2023, marks a watershed moment in diving education. Embarking on a mission to advance regional divemaster and instructor training, the conference melds traditional in-person instruction with virtual workshops, creating a holistic learning environment. Spearheading this groundbreaking initiative is an esteemed cadre of NAUI Course Directors and Technical Examiners—David Caldwell, Mark Criasia, Vin Malkoski, Heison Chak, Frank Rakowski and Bernard Fuersich.


Each of these professionals brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge and experience, promising a transformative educational experience for NAUI members across the Northeast U.S., Eastern Canada, and beyond. Whether you’re an aspiring Divemaster, a seasoned Instructor, or anywhere in between, this conference offers an invaluable opportunity to elevate your skills, deepen your knowledge, and connect with a community united by a passion for underwater exploration. Meet the conference instructor staff:



David Caldwell (NAUI# 42994)

Captain David J. Caldwell is a co-founder of Northern Atlantic Dive Expeditions, Inc. Dave is co-captain of the GAUNTLET and holds a commercial 100 Ton Near-Coastal Master’s license. Dave is the NAUI Worldwide Northeast Territory Manager, a NAUI Course Director Trainer (CDT) and Technical Instructor Examiner (TIE)with open circuit and CCR trimix qualifications. Dave is a Fellow Member of the Explorers Club. Additional, Dave is an Assistant Harbormaster for the City of Beverly, MA and is on the BOD for Salem Sound Coastwatch.


In addition to instructor-level certifications, Dave holds OC and CCR full-cave certifications. In addition to making shipwreck discoveries in his local waters, including the historically significant USS Nezinscot, Allentown among others, Dave has led and/or participated in collaborations with NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, as well as in expeditions to notable shipwrecks such as the Andrea Doria, Empress of Ireland, SS Republic, and shipwrecks from around the world including Prince of Whales, HMS Repulse, & Thistlegorm.





Frank Rakowski (NAUI# 58062)




Frank Rakowski is a NAUI Course Director and the proprietor of Scuba Connection® in New Jersey. A NAUI member since 2016, he is also an instructor at Bergen Community College, teaching both college and high school students that attend Applied Technology High School.







Heison Chak (NAUI# 59648)

Heison Chak applied his engineering and teaching background into scuba education. As a team-oriented diver, Heison has a deep appreciation for safety, technique and knowledge. His true passion lies in coaching and mentoring fellow divers and educators, nurturing their growth into responsible and thinking divers through education. He is certified to 75m/250′ on mixed gas in Open Circuit as well as Close Circuit Rebreather. Heison holds certifications from multiple agencies for Tech, Cave and Mine.





Vin Malkoski (NAUI# 8876L)



Certified as a NAUI Scuba diver in 1975, Vin Malkoski became an Instructor Trainer by 1989 and has actively contributed to NAUI instructor training programs. He was certified as a DAN Oxygen Instructor (#237) in 1992 and added additional courses, ultimately becoming a DAN Examiner in 2016.  Vin also assisted with the initial DAN/NAUI training programs at DEMA in 2016 and is cross certified as a NAUI FA Examiner.








Mark Criasia (NAUI# 54799L)



Mark Criasia is a Lifetime NAUI Instructor, NAUI Course Director and Co-Owner of MAISI Scuba in Milford, Massachusetts. Certified in multiple equipment and safety protocols, he also teaches all levels of First Aid, CPR, AED and Oxygen Administration. He also has attended the prestigious Hall’s Diving Institute for formal training in regulator and equipment repair. Criasia boasts a rich history with NAUI, having been a diver since 1972.








Bernard Fuersich (NAUI# 8940)


Bernard Fuersich is a multi-faceted educator with nearly five decades of teaching experience. A full professor and former Athletic Director at Bergen County College, he developed the Sports Management Degree Program with Scuba as a core activity. His international presence includes teaching NAUI courses in countries like Spain, Brazil, Turkey, and Russia. He has certified over 1000 students and 500 instructors globally and also served as NAUI’s Territory Manager for the Caribbean.  He has owned or co-owned three scuba stores and facilities in New Jersey and Jamaica.






For additional information please contact the instructor team at: or you can see more details on the NAUI calendar of events at the following links:


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