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Meet the Team

Get to Know the Crew


Jerry Williams

a person standing next to a plane

100 Ton Master Captain and PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Capt. Jerry is known around Siesta key as the pretty face of scuba. Jerry did his first dive in 1979 with his uncle Gene taking him on a pool dive for his 6th birthday, and that set in motion a love for diving.  Jerry got certified in 1986 as a padi junior open water diver. After serving in both the U.S. Army and then the U.S. Coast Guard  Jerry worked as a professional dive instructor since 2007 in the Caribbean, and all over Florida. He has certified hundreds of divers through the years. Capt.  Jerry takes  great pride in training and running dive trips though the keys. He can always be found helping divers, and boaters alike enjoy the waters of the Siesta Key.

Rex

a man sitting on a boat

Master Captain, PADI Dive Master and Operations Manager

Rex’s voyage to Dive Master and Huka Operations Manager has been long and colorful. It includes being a retired Police Sergeant, owner of a small chainmail costuming company, author of romance novels, extra in 34 movies and television shows and he likes to talk. So be brave and ask him a question or just leave an uncomfortable silence and he will be happy to fill it with numerous stories.

Rex’s Quote:
“Hold on let me find my readers.”

Sheldon

a man smiling next to a body of water

Master Captain and PADI Dive Master

Sheldon was a welder at a nuclear power plant were he made a 6 figure income.

Then one day he came to Venice on a vacation and went huka diving with the crew, and it changed his life. After being back at the plant for a few months he started to realize that money isn’t everything in life. So he called Capt. Jerry and the next thing you know Sheldon quit his job moved to Venice and started working with Capt. Jerry and becoming a dive master, and a boat captain.

Sheldon’s  Quote:
“Is hero a strong word?”

Nick

a person standing next to a road

Captain and PADI Dive Instructor

Nick came to Huka Dive from the cold cold land of Providence, Rhode Island

in the land of northern aggression. Nick served in the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne division as a grunt. Capt. Jerry always has a place for veterans on his boats, so Nick started his journey to become a dive master.

Nick came to us as a lowly open water diver wanting to be more like the older and wiser good Capt. Jerry.

He worked his way through all of the dive courses, and earned his divemaster. He has been a big part of the dive team. Nick is always ready to go diving and find the Megalodon teeth. Nick has a super power he can actually smell the Megs. Its not unusual to see Nick telling Capt. Jerry were to drop the divers. When not working Nick can be found diving in the local rivers looking for Megs.

Nick’s Quote:
“What’s that smell? Oh its Meg teeth.”

Kasey

a person standing next to a body of water

PADI Dive Master

Kasey is a dive master with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University. He worked and dove the Texas Aquarium until he heard the hypnotic song of once specific Venice Siren. Kasey immediately left the water and vowed not to return.

After graduation, Kasey blindly followed a Tender date to Florida. Very surprisingly, that did not work out. Lucky for us, once Kasey saw the Venice visibility, he was hooked. For real, it is actually better than Corpus Christi!

Kasey is a graduate of the Keys Huka Dive Divemaster Program and is the poster child for “Venice Strong”. He survived Hurricane Ian in a 1969 Airstream boondocking at the Venice Jetties.

Kasey’s Quote:
“Those mountains aren’t blue!”

Wes

Peter Donald Badalamenti II smiling for the camera

PADI Dive Master

Wes is an actual Florida native, they do exist! Wes worked several part time jobs while growing up in Florida including fisherman extraordinary, secret agent, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and photographing goats in trees.

Wes then decided he wanted to do more than just fish. He then applied himself to the study of the migration of prehistoric sharks from the Boneyard in Venice to the Mariana Trench. While Wes was in high demand as both a high stakes gambling influencer and a highly skilled sushi chef, his love of the sea ultimately won his heart.

At this point it was all over for Wes he responded to a social media spam from Captain Jerry and his destiny was forever changed. Wes mastered both the academics and practical skills, quickly earning his Padi Dive Master. Wes is a valuable member of the Keys Huka Dive Team.

Wes’s Quote:
“Just Dive Already!”

Cody

a person posing for the camera

PADI Dive Master

Cody came to KHD in June of 2022 from the great state of Texas. He just graduated high school and was on a mission to find a career were his love for the outdoors, and boating could lead him. Well it just so happens, at that exact time, keys huka was looking for someone who loved boating and being outdoors. Cody has worked like a rented seahorse, knocking out his dive certs one after the other like Mike Tyson’s punch out. Cody is always the first one ready for a dive.

Cody completed the zero to hero program (our loving term for someone with no diving experience that goes from nothing to a PADI Divemaster). I am proud to say Cody is now a full member of KHD. Does Capt. Cody have a nice ring to it? I think he might be on that path as well.

Cody’s quote:
“Yes Sir I can do that!”

Taylor

a group of people standing on top of a sandy beach

PADI Dive Instructor

Taylor came to huka dive from Wisconsin. She moved to the town of Northport were the boredom drove her to look for a career  were her love for the environment, and wildlife could come into play. That’s when she seen that Capt. Jerry was looking for a divemaster trainee. She meet with the good Captain, and decided to take the jump and become a divemaster.
She worked her butt off for several months of training while holding down two part time jobs. Taylor earned her dive master then her Instructor.  Don’t be surprised to see Taylor out diving most of the guys, and making them eat bubbles. She can always be found competing with the other crew as to who can find the biggest Meg teeth.

Taylor’s Quote:
“5 min. beach clean up anyone?”

JD

a man standing in front of a car

PADI Dive Instructor

JD came to keys Huka Dive from Colorado via Ohio.

He has succeeded in a myriad of careers including ownership in a brewery in Colorado before moving to Florida and bumping into captain Jerry at a tiki bar.

Is JD lovable…. Yes
Is he a great diver…? Yes
Is he left-handed…? sadly yes
However, this man consistently finds Megalodon teeth.

He might even grab them with his left hand. He’s strong enough to move a piano or steal your heart.

When JD isn’t leading divers, he can be found with a beer in his hand (most of the time someone else’s beer) enjoying the local tiki bars and sand bars.

JD’s Quote:
“It’s for sale, 2 for 1 today only! (Megalodon teeth of course, get your mind out of the gutter!)”

Captain Haylee

Haylee

Master Captain and PADI Dive Master

Haylee came to Huka Dive in Jan 2020 and in just a few months she went from never dove before to a dive master.

She has in this short time also earned her Master Captains license.

Haylee has plans of traveling the Caribbean.

Haylee’s Quote:
“Tell me I can’t do it.”

Kim Williams

a person sitting on a bench

Chief Financial Officer and Queen of Everything

Kim has worked as a CPA, and Finance Director for several state government agencies during her career. While she loved her career she wanted more than just a desk in her life. So she decided to check out scuba diving.

Kim then meet the good Capt. Jerry as a dive student in Mexico Beach, Florida. After completing her advanced diver certification, Kim decided to ask the good Captain out for a few drinks after a dive trip. Well, it just so happened that the good Capt. Jerry had his eye on Kim as well. It worked out in Kim’s favor after pursuing the young Capt. for many, many years, she final won the big door prize! Kim is now Mrs. Capt. Jerry Williams.

She is the backbone of Keys Huka Dive. With Kim’s extensive experience in financial management as well as early childhood development, she’s keeping the business and the good Capt. Jerry in order. Although Kim holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State, she still whishes’ she could be a Florida Gator.

Kim’s Quote:
“Play the long game ladies!”