Key Personnel

GME MANAGEMENT

bobby_kirbyRobert Pritchett, GME- Chairman, CEO, President, & acting CFO
Robert has worked in construction for 34 years. Pritchett has extensive experience in all aspects of construction and project management including:  subdivision site work/project plan and layouts, water, sewer, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, roofing, concrete, and steel. He has managed construction projects in five states and two countries.  He has built apartments, shopping centers, subdivisions, and has done construction under government contract for the US Air Force. Bobby presently holds a Florida Roofing License, a Marine Contractors license in Florida as Well as a Commercial Builders license.

Mr. Pritchett has also handled the accounting for his projects including:  budgets, receivables, payables, payroll, taxes, bulk material purchasing. He has done business with twenty-six banks in conjunction with his builder/developer career.

Mr. Pritchett started diving in 1991 became a Diving Instructor in 1993. Since then he has taught class’s in all phases of Open Water Diving, Cave Diving, Nitrox, Tri-Mix/Mixed Gas diving, and gas blending. Pritchett has taught diving courses for PADI, NAUI, IANTD, NACD, NSS/CDS, NASD, US ARMY TDY at Fort Lee, VA. He has spent thousands of hours in underwater construction doing pilings for docks, engineered dam projects and discharge pipe work. Mr. Pritchett also earned his US Coast Guard Captain’s License in 1993.

Pritchett is an international underwater cave explorer and cartographer with 1000’s of hours logged in cave and shipwreck exploration. He was one of four explorers and cartographers for the book Las Cuevas Sumergidas de República Dominicana. He is also a member of La Fundación Espeleobuceo Hispanola, the Bermuda Cave Diving Association, lifetime member of both the National Association of Cave Diving and International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers. Bobby is a founding member of the Dominican Republic Speleological Society. He has spent the past several years doing incredibly extensive shipwreck research, especially related to shipwrecks around the island of Hispaniola and off the Coast Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Bobby has authored and co-authored over 50 books and reports on shipwrecks and underwater exploration.

 

Jeimy Rodriguez, GME EVP – ARS VP Community and Government Relations.
Jeimy is the translator and editor for the Spanish version of ARS Shipwreck Projects – Dominican Republic Volume I. Jeimy brings a unique combination of training and experience to the company. Having studied Law in the Dominican Republic, and having worked in management positions in both a medical laboratory and 3M marketing and sales, Jeimy has the skills to deal with the complexities of negotiations with the government entities and handle the communications with the media in the Dominican Republic. Jeimy was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and gives ARS the needed guidance in the history and culture of the country.

 

 

 

David Sweetin, Sales Development Manager
Having discovered diving very early in life, he has been fortunate enough to take part in activities from commercial to research diving for NOAA, NMFS, and Texas A&M University. Initially certified in 1986, a love for all things aquatic soon found David mastering underwater photography and videography with Biosearch College. Along the way he completed 25 other SCUBA and Rebreather related certifications, including Instructor level ratings in Open Water diving, Nitrox, Cave, and TriOx with PADI, IANTD, and Global Underwater Explorers (GUE). As a mixed gas and rebreather diver with the Woodville Karst Plain Project (WKPP) he routinely made exploration cave dives to 300’ in support of WKPP’s World Record setting efforts. Over the years, he has worked with NHK, BBC, and OLN as a diving/training coordinator for various underwater film-shoots, all while training Cave and Technical divers in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and Asia. During his time with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, David was involved in every facet of rescue, rehabilitation and research of marine mammals. His duties included live animal rescue, transportation, husbandry, and lab/field necropsy for sampling, and/or lecture purposes. While working for San Diego based Diving Unlimited International (DUI), David coordinated their ground breaking national Drysuit Demo Tour as the Sales Development Manager. A noted subject matter expert, David has been internationally published as an author and photographer for SCUBA related manuals, periodicals and websites, in addition to being a sought after Technical Writer. Since 1995 he has crafted user manuals, documentary film scripts, and various industry whitepapers. Ever the active outdoorsman, David has been featured in National Geographic Adventure magazine. He maintains his training as a Wilderness First Responder, enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and is an avid skydiver with over 1000 jumps.

 

Thomas Riffaud with huge steel rudderThomas Riffaud, Crew Leader and Ship’s Service Manager (Osprey), diver and site survey technician
Thomas was born in 1985 in Paris France, moved to Haiti in 2000 and finished his education in a French Prep School. He enlisted in the French Army paratroopers and served for 3 years in Tarbes in the southwestern part of France from 2002 – 2005. He then worked in Haiti for the Hotel Kalico Marina in their marine services division.

Thomas moved to the Dominican Republic in 2007 and started diving. He became a PADI dive master in 2008 and also became certified in Cave Diving in 2008. He did extensive cave diving exploration from 2008 to the present time and co-founded the Dominican Republic Speleological Society. Thomas has also done cave diving exploration in Mexico and Jamaica.

Thomas started working with ARS in the summer of 2009. His diving experience and mapping experience gained from cave diving has proven very useful as Thomas is one of the ARS team that does the site surveys for the shipwreck sites. Thomas is also trained in marine survey operations using a magnetometer and side scan sonar. He is also trained in artifact extraction procedures for sand, mud and calcium carbonate matrix and is educated in underwater excavation techniques such as suction dredges, air-lifts and propwash excavation. Thomas is also trained and experienced in artifact stabilization and conservation.

 

larryCaptain Larry Boswell, USCG Master Captain and Survey Technician
Larry has held a 100 ton master captains license since 1985 and has worked on a variety of vessels in numerous locales world-wide. This experience helps keep GME’s crews safe and secure off-shore, and his overall knowledge of boats keeps our equipment properly maintained and seaworthy at all times. Larry is fully trained and heavily experienced in remote-sensing marine survey using both Marine Magnetics SeaSpy magnetometers and Edgetech 4125 / 4200 side scan sonar equipment. Larry has logged hundreds of hours trolling the seafloor with these sensitive scientific instruments looking for signs of shipwrecks. Larry’s experience has proven invaluable to our operations both on and off the water.

 

Juan BastillaJuan Bautista Portorreal
Juan hails from the Dominican Republic, and could swim before he could walk. He supported his family by fishing and catching lobsters while snorkeling and selling his catch. He also spent some time working with the Santo Domingo Search and Rescue team free diving in the rivers around the city. He was always intrigued by the shipwrecks he saw and jumped at the chance to join the team and get trained to dive.

Juan joined ARS/GME in 2011 and immediately got his Open Water Diver. He quicklyfollowed that up with Advanced, Rescue Diver Dive Master and his Emergency First Response Provider specialty. Juan has extensive experience recovering artifacts and properly chipping artifacts from the calcium matrix found in the DR.

Juan now has extensive experience with underwater metal detectors and probably has more time operating a hand-held magnetometer than anyone. He is also an excellent small to mid-size boat captain and has countless hours operating a small outboard tender.

 

Captain Jim Mims
Cpt. Jim Mims holds a USCG 200 Ton Marine Master license and is a veteran diver with over 40 years serving in both the commercial and professional sport diving industry. He is an accomplished IANTD Deep Technical Trimix Instructor Trainer holding a TRIMIX ITT #6 Rating. He serves on both the IANTD and GME Board of Advisors. Jim provides captain and diving supervisor services as a GME team associate.