Lad Akins and Leslie Leaney are the 2016 recipients of the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association’s Reaching Out Award.
founded has played a key leadership role since the beginning of the Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), an organization that connects the dive community with opportunities to contribute to scientific research and conservation through “citizen science.” He also recently helped spearhead the battle against the Lionfish invasion across the Atlantic and introduced school-aged children to conservation and the aquatic world.
Of Akins, DEMA says:
“Akins currently sits on a number of state, regional and international committees, and working groups devoted to lionfish control and management strategies. His work has been instrumental in bringing the world of fish identification, citizen science, and marine conservation to numerous marine enthusiasts around the globe. He has made the concept of diving with a purpose a reality for tens of thousands in the USA and worldwide.”
Leaney is the co-founder of the U.S. chapter of the Historical Diving Society and founded Historical Diver Magazine — since renamed the Journal of Diving History. He has lectured on diving history at seminars in France, Canada, Mexico, England and the USA, and he has worked as a consultant for a variety of TV networks and other organizations.
On Leaney, DEMA says:
“Leaney has dedicated much of his career to the preservation and education of the industry’s history, which will continue to benefit the industry as a whole for years to come.”
DEMA will hand out the awards to Akins and Leaney at an awards party during this coming November’s DEMA Show in Las Vegas.