The Cornish-based, award-winning manufacturer has confirmed that it has asked Dean Martin to join the company.
Dean has worked in the UK scuba diving industry for almost two decades.
I first met Dean Martin at a dive show in the early 2000s when he worked for Beaver Sports. Dean had joined the Yorkshire-based company in September 2001, as their UK & Holland Sales Rep.
Prior to that, Dean Martin was a specialist recruitment consultant, who happily spent his Saturdays working at 'Diving & Marine Services' in Manchester. John Sawyer, who owned the dive shop, mentioned to Dean Martin that Beaver was recruiting for an international rep who could speak languages. (Dean speaks German). When Dean Martin got the job at Beaver, his old boss thought he had been poached to work for another recruitment consultancy. “He couldn't believe that I was going to work for a dive company” Dean remarked.
Apeks Marine Equipment
After serving a decade at Beaver, Dean was employed by Apeks Marine Equipment in October 2011, as their Northern Sales Representative in the UK. Dean quickly won hearts and minds with his customers because of his unadulterated passion for the sport, his willing attitude to help, and he was a hard worker.
It was clear to all that Dean was proud to work for Apeks, so much so that he soon sported an Apeks tattoo. It was therefore no surprise that just over two years later, in December 2013, Dean was promoted and became UK, Eire & Holland Sales Manager for Apeks.
Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate! Dean Martin
What seems to be overlooked by professionals coming in from other markets to work in our industry is that we are very much a 'people first' sport. Dean was very successful because he was an engaged temperate water diver with a friendly attitude. If he can help, he does hence I don't think I have heard a negative comment about Dean in the time I have known him.
Over the years, I have assisted with the recruitment of Apeks reps. I remember having a conversation with Dean about potential candidates on one occasion. He mentioned that if he had an enthusiastic rep who contacted him and said "boss I want the day off to go diving" that the request would please him. "If you are not keen about regularly going local diving, how can you hope to effectively inspire others?"" he remarked.
Masks, Fins and Snorkels
In July 2018, Dean Martin was appointed to a brand new position that had been specially created. He became Global Product Line Manager for Aqua Lung International with a remit to look after masks, fins and snorkels. It meant he split his time between Blackburn, England and Genoa, Italy where the products were manufactured.
He consolidated the range and ensured that everything matched throughout for every mask, pair of fins and snorkel. When he took over the job, this wasn't the case. Dean Martin helped drive new products, such was the Apeks frameless VX1 mask project, from conception to completion. Dean Martin also helped set up a change in packaging and looked to reduce single-use plastic. He actively encouraged the company to understand that a new mask doesn't always need to come in a plastic case. Today, many Apeks Aqua Lung masks come in a zipped fabric case.
Aqua Lung Restructure
Just over a year ago, on 11 September, I reported that Aqua Lung had appointed Matthieu Bazil as its new CEO. At the time, I wondered when we would see a restructure. The Aqua Lung Group is now going through structural changes to streamline the business, to give the consumer and retailer a more seamless experience. I have been assured that this is nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is believed that a number of the roles that were previously completed by the Aqua Lung distributor in each country will now be fulfilled by the team at Aqua Lung's French headquarters, hence some redundancies have been made. On 9 October 2020, Dean Martin confirmed on social media that he was one of the Aqua Lung team being made redundant - he hadn't wanted to relocate to France.
"So today is my last day at Aqua Lung / Apeks. After a fantastic 10 years working with some great colleagues and most of all friends. I must bid farewell as my redundancy and notice ends today. From my early days as a Rep to promotion to Sales Manager, onto my last role as Product Manager for Masks, Fins and Snorkels I have loved it. Thankfully I will not be leaving the dive industry as I embark on a new role with Fourth Element as Hardware Product Manager."
Landon Helsby, Managing Director at Apeks Marine Equipment stated "it is sad to lose such passion and knowledge from our organisation, a sad day indeed. I knew you’d get sorted quickly and wish you a fantastic future at Fourth Element."
Dean Martin was delighted to meet a fellow temperate-water diver. Prince Charles dived the Tudor Warship, the Mary Rose wreck. Prince Charles later remarked "What I could never get over was the sheer expertise of the archaeologists operating underwater."
Represented the SCUBA Industry
In May 2014, the British Sub Aqua Club proudly announced that the Duke of Cambridge would be following in the finsteps of his father (Prince Charles) and grandfather (The Duke of Edinburgh) and serve as BSAC's President.
Just like my grandfather and my father, I am proud to say that I learnt to dive with BSAC, and share your passion for the sport and the underwater world. Prince William
A number of select members of the UK diving industry were asked to attend the press launch, including Dean Martin.
Dean Martin sat on the SITA (Scuba Industries Trade Association) Board, and in 2015 was appointed Vice Chair. (This is a voluntary position). As such he has helped shape scuba safety in the UK, and supported / promoted British scuba diving.
In January 2020, The Shark Trust asked Dean Martin to become a patron for the conservation charity.
Dean Martin has now been appointed 'Hardware Product Manager' at Fourth Element. It therefore looks as though the thermal underwear manufacturer will launch their own mask, fins and snorkel range in due course. Product development takes time, hence I envisage that we won't see anything being unveiled until at least DEMA.2021 or indeed BOOT.2022. It will be interesting to see what Dean Martin and Fourth Element create.
Dean's passion and enthusiasm for diving has shone throughout his career, along with his environmental ethics. Jim Standing, Fourth Element
Jim Standing of Fourth Element stated "Dean's passion and enthusiasm for diving has shone throughout his career, along with his environmental ethics. We are really excited about bringing his ideas, energy and experience to our team as we continue to grow."