Stillwater Diving Staff
Learn about our experienced staff! We all came from different walks of life but have made it to the same destination, PADI certified instructors! We are proud to show everyone the world of scuba diving.
Stephanie Puttre - Owner/Master Scuba Diver Trainer
I was first introduced to diving as a small child. My sister and I would accompany my dad and his friends' boat diving in Hawaii. I was always curious about what might be underwater. One day after a dive my dad let me put his gear on and float at the surface. I of course saw nothing but I was hooked. The only hitch was I was too young to dive. It wasn't until I was 17 that I received my PADI Open Water Diver certification. My open water certification was not enough and I wanted more so I immediately signed up for the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course. It was not until I came back from vacation in Mexico I realized I wanted to do this for a living. Guiding divers on underwater tours and sharing dive adventures seemed like the perfect job. While training to be a Divemaster I helped a student overcome a phobia and that is when the teaching bug bit me. Since then I have become an instructor and have had the great fortune of being able to work along side the same instructors who have been with me since my open water Course. Now as one of the owners of Stillwater Diving, LLC and a Master Scuba Diver Trainer I am happy to say I love this job and wouldn't dream of doing anything else. So lets go get wet!
Certified since 2004
Highest Certification Level: PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Instructor Since: 2013
- U/W Navigation
- U/W Digital Photography
- U/W Videography
- Search & Recovery
- Enriched Air Nitrox
- Emergency First Response
- Others: EFR for Children and Infants, Project AWARE, Peak Performance Buoyancy
- DAN Diving Emergency Management Provider
Favorite Types of Diving: Anywhere and Anytime!!
Local: Lake Wazee, Pearl Lake, and Silver Lake
Tropical: Cozumel, Bonaire, Lembeh Straits
Jim Cosgrove - Owner/Master Scuba Diver Trainer
I began scuba diving in 2015. The peace and quiet of the underwater world immediately became quite the addiction for me. That first year I completed Open Water through Rescue Diver, and began my Divemaster certification. By midsummer 2016 I was officially a Divemaster, and began to work, signing up for every class I could. By the winter of 2016 I was sure becoming a Scuba Instructor was in my future. In the spring of 2017 I quit one of my two jobs to devote myself to becoming an Instructor. It was without doubt among the best decisions I have made in my life, as well as one of the most rewarding.
The true enjoyment of being a scuba professional is meeting people, and getting to observe and help as they grow as divers. It is very rewarding to be part of people achieving their life goals, and to know that when they leave your service, they are safe and more than competent in the training you have provided.
I have met divers who will never dive anywhere but the Caribbean or similar warm water destinations. I have met divers who use rebreathers and go on 4 hour long dives leaving no bubbles in their wake. I have met technical divers who plan their dives to well beyond the recreational limit of 130’ with long periods of decompression on their return to the surface. I have met commercial divers who have spent weeks nonstop underwater. I have met divers who dive every week right here in the cold murky waters of the Midwest, rain or shine, ice or open water.
You can find me jumping in a local lake with them quite often, though not as often as I’d like. This is the beauty of diving. It has something for everyone, and can be many different things to many different people. Be it local lakes after work, perfectly preserved shipwrecks in the icy waters of Lake Superior, or the beautiful coral reefs of the warm sunny Caribbean. They’re all great dives to me.
Favorite Types Of Diving: All
Local: Okauchee, Silver, Golden, Upper Nemahbin
Travel: Anywhere I can take pictures, see interesting life forms, or visit wrecks.
Dave Weise - Master Instructor
I was a bit of a late bloomer to the scuba diving community, but I'm doing my best to make up for the lost years. I had always enjoyed snorkeling while on tropical vacations and had done a couple of "resort dives." A few years ago my wife gave me scuba diving lessons as a birthday gift. That's all it took to get me hooked. I took my Open Water, Advanced Open Water, and Rescue class all that same summer.
Now, as a PADI certified scuba diving instructor, I get to introduce people to the other 2/3 of the world's surface - the underwater world. Once convinced that they're not going to die (and can actually breathe underwater for extended periods of time) I help them explore new skills from the fun (Underwater Photography) to the adventurous (Wreck Diving) to the critical (Rescue Diver & Emergency First Response).
I feel privileged to be part of Stillwater Diving's instructing staff - opening new adventures and skills to my students while continuing my own education toward the Master Instructor and Course Director levels.
Certified Since: 2009
Highest Certification Level: PADI IDC Staff Instructor
Instructor Since: 2012
Awards: PADI Elite Instructor - 2013
PADI Classes and Specialties I am certified to teach include:
- Open Water Diver
- Advanced Open Water
- Deep Diver
- Night Diver
- Underwater Navigation
- Search & Recovery
- Peak Performance Buoyancy
- Underwater Naturalist
- Wreck Diver
- Drysuit Diver
- Fusion Drysuit Diver
- Enriched Air Nitrox
- Underwater Digital Photography
- Equipment Specialist
- Rescue Diver
- Emergency Oxygen Provider
- Emergency First Response - CPR / AED / First Aid
- Assistant Instructor
Favorite types of diving: Reef, Wreck, Warm Water
Full-time Employer: Industrial Sales Manager
John Bechthold - IDC Staff Instructor
In 1968 I was snorkeling off Catalina Island in southern California when I noticed some SCUBA divers below me and from that instant I knew I had to try this sport for myself. I checked out a local SCUBA shop, took the classes and became a NAUI certified diver that same year. Between 1968 and 1980 I completed hundreds of dives exclusively in the clear cold waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California.
My job took me away from Southern California in 1980 to Denver Colorado and then to Wisconsin in 1980, and to be honest I did not even think about diving as there was no oceans in either Colorado or Wisconsin. My wife and I completed our PADI Open Water Diver course in 2008 and then to Advanced Open water in 2009. I decided to continue my dive education and completed Rescue Diver in 2011 and then Divemaster in 2013 along with 5 specialty courses to earn my Master SCUBA Diver rating.
I want everyone to experience the joy I have when diving, so I decided to become a PADI Open Water Instructor and help others to become certified and experience the thrill of SCUBA. Since 2008 I have enjoyed local diving and underwater photography here in Wisconsin and many other locations such as Florida and the Florida Keys, Antigua, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Cozumel, Cenotes in Cancun, and Grand Cayman Island. I can't wait to help you get certified as a PADI diver.
- Favorite types of diving: Anywhere I can take photos or video
- Favorite diving location: Grand Cayman
Ken Kessenich - Master Scuba Diver Trainer
I first became interested in diving while watching "Sea Hunt" on TV as a child. I have over 36 years of diving experience beginning in high school. I have participated in diving research activities along both coasts of BAJA, around the Caribbean islands near Belize, the islands off the Northeast US coast, and in two of the three functioning underwater habitats in Florida making me an Aquanaut. I am a high school science teacher of 29 years and have led marine ecology trips for high school students to Marine Lab in Key Largo, FL for thirteen straight years. Since education has always been a part of my life, it finally dawned on me to teach something else I loved, diving. I had the good fortune of enrolling in the Instructor Development Class and have now been teaching diving since 2004. Over the past 3 years I have completed over 300 certifications with 80 of those being diving certifications. I have the privilege now of connecting my two professional worlds and teach diving
to all ages, introducing everyone to the fascinating world of our oceans.
First certified in 1973
Highest Certification Level: Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Instructor Since: 2004
- Enriched Air Nitrox
- U/W Navigation
- U/W Photographer
- U/W Naturalist
- Search & Recovery
- Emergency First Response (Adult-First Aid, CPR, AED)
- Emergency First Response (Child, Infant-First Aid, CPR, AED)
- First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries
- Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Injuries
- DAN First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries
- DAN Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Injuries
- DAN On-site Neurological Assessment for Divers
Georgia “Ann” Bechthold - Assitant Instructor
My name is Ann Bechthold and I am a PADI certified Assistant Instructor. My husband and I have been diving together for about 8 years now. Growing up in the deserts of Southern California I never gave SCUBA diving a second thought. Although I had a love for the beach and was fascinated with the underwater world my proximity to it was a problem. Fast forward – 2 kids, 5 moves and 25 years. Now living in the Midwest SCUBA diving still wasn’t on my list of to do’s. That is until my husband, who had been NAUI certified since 1967, offered a trip to the Caribbean for our 30th wedding anniversary. I could take the first part of the course here and do a referral and finish my open water portion in the warmer water. That was really a no brainer.
We took the PADI Open Water course together and I was hooked. We went back to Antigua the following year to complete the Advanced Open Water course. I am currently the Crew Advisor for a Venture Crew that focuses on diving. It is a co-ed group of young people 14-21 who have also discovered a love for the sport of SCUBA. I decided that if I was going to be diving with other people’s children I probably should at least do the rescue course. From there it just made sense to take it to the next level. I love working with young people and providing them opportunities to learn.
There are so many things I love about SCUBA but I think my favorite is the new friends you make. No matter where you are in the world when you are on a dive boat you already have a common interest. My favorite dive location so far is a toss-up between Grand Cayman and St. Lucia. Second would be anywhere with the crew. They are such a great bunch. I am always looking for new crew mates, anyone want to join me?