James F. Smith started his diving career as a young man growing up in South Dakota in the 1960s, advancing as a diver while attending Iowa State University in the 70s and finally arriving in California in 1985 when he attended the NASDS Instructor's College in San Diego.
Beginning his professional career as an instructor in San Luis Obispo where he worked for two years, he subsequently headed south to Santa Barbara where he worked in two dive shops over the course of the next three years, gaining valuable experience while teaching courses of all levels from both PADI and NASDS.
Jim made the big step in May 1989 when he bought a small dive shop called Ventura SCUBA Schools, which was located in the Ventura Harbor Village. Starting small (it was less than 1000 square feet) but with big aspirations, he worked diligently through the years watching the business grow into what it is today, one of the top-rated dive centers in California. Encompassing nearly 5000 square feet, an on-site pool, state-of-the-art classroom, repair department and rental department, Ventura Dive & Sport added the only missing ingredient in July 2006 - the Raptor.
Jim has always kept active as a diver and as a dive instructor, teaching and traveling to all corners of the globe to see what the underwater world holds in store. Reaching the pinnacle of the PADI Professional Pyramid, he became a Course Director in 2002, putting his myriad teaching experiences to good use training instructors through Ventura Dive & Sport.
Company Mascot !!!