The Ocean First community begins with our employees. We take pride in creating a bright, passionate and energetic culture that shares an enthusiasm for experiencing and preserving our ocean. All of our team members are courteous and knowledgeable and are ready to answer all of your swim, dive and travel questions to ensure each and every customer receives the Ocean First experience.

10557745_10153524702838968_3949583173506813143_o.jpg

Graham Casden

Graham Casden

Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Graham was born in Jackson Hole, WY but moved to California as a child. He soon developed an insatiable love for the ocean and quickly realized his life was intertwined with the sea. In 1995, Graham moved to Boulder to attend the University of Colorado and study marketing and entrepreneurship. His love for traveling and the ocean have led him to dive destinations all over the world. Graham wanted to find a way to continue exploring while also protecting the environment he loves. Over the course of the next 10 years, he’s worked diligently to create a community of ocean enthusiasts who are passionate about experiencing and preserving our marine environments. 

Amy Christopher

Amy Christopher

Founder, Director of Retail & Travel

Amy has been swimming and snorkeling for as long as she can remember. Her first experience was snorkeling with her family at Playa de los Gatos in Mexico when she was 2. From that point on she was hooked. Amy has been fortunate to have spent the majority of her life traveling around the world with her family. She earned her Open Water certification in 1991 and is now a SSI Master Instructor.

Amy is the Director of Retail & Travel Operations and a videographer at Ocean First.  Her favorite part about diving is coming across the unexpected while diving, observing the behaviors of marine creatures, and exploring new countries. Amy has been with the team since March of 2000.

Mark J Duvall

Mark J Duvall

Director of Service & Facilities, Master Service Technician

Growing up on a ranch in the middle of Montana doesn’t afford many opportunities to spend time in the water, but as a teenager Mark would get out to Flathead Lake in northern Montana. In 1985, Mark moved to Boulder and worked as the IT Director for the Geological Society of America.  Later that year, while at a GSA meeting, a group of managers decided they would go diving in the Caribbean.  Unable to resist the lure of the tropics, Mark followed suit and never looked back.  Since then, he has been diving in the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Roatan, Mexico and all around the Caribbean. In 2007, Mark became an instructor for Ocean First and is now the Director of Service & Facilities and Master Service Technician.

Learn more about Mark here!

Scott Griesser

Scott Griesser

Training Director

Scott gained his PADI Dive Master rating by leading trips to the Channel Islands and on California beach dives. After relocating to Colorado for college, he became an SSI Instructor at Ocean First and is now our Training Director. He is also an avid freediver and loves underwater photography. Scott can always be found taking advantage of all the state has to offer such as climbing, hiking, skiing and trail riding with his Border Collie, Denali.

Kathy Gagliardo

Kathy Gagliardo

Buyer & Retail Manager

Kathy has always loved and been intrigued by the ocean, all from the first time she was "bitten" by a starfish at the age of 6. She has since learned that starfish can not bite people. Kathy loves learning about the behavior of creatures in the ocean and plans on becoming a vet someday. For now, she volunteers her time at Colorado's Ocean Journey. Kathy joined the team in January of 1998 and became an instructor in 1999.  She is the Retail Buyer for Ocean First.

Kathryn Foster

Kathryn Foster

Swim School Director

Born and raised in North Carolina, Kathryn spent her summers vacationing  with family along the Carolina and Virginia coast.  She began swimming at the age of three and took her love of the water on to high school to swim competitively.  Kathryn taught swim lessons while an undergrad at UNC Charlotte before traveling around Central America surfing and enjoying SUP Yoga. She recently graduated from graduate school with a degree in Transpersonal Counseling. Maverick, her three-year old pup, is discovering his own fascination of the water and together they are swimming and exploring all parts of Colorado.  

Alysia “Red” Prater

Alysia “Red” Prater

Training Administrator

Red comes to us from the heart of Texas. Her childhood hero was TV personality and wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin, the inspiration behind her dreams of working in conservation and studying biology. She is self-proclaimed sci-fi & fantasy nerd, especially Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Tolkien. She is also passionate about playing disk-golf in the mountains. When she is not greeting customers at Ocean First, she can be found in the great outdoors with her beloved Husky German Shepherd mix, Chloe.

Marlee Glasgow

Marlee Glasgow

Marketing Director

Marlee, a San Diego native, is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder, with a degree in Advertising and certificates in Digital Media and Entrepreneurship. She grew up around the ocean, spending her summer bodysurfing and burying her friends in the sand. As Ocean First’s Marketing Coordinator, Marlee is excited to have the opportunity to hone her marketing and graphic design skills while being immersed in all things aquatic, despite being thousands of miles from the ocean. In 2014, she completed her open water scuba certification and looks forward to a lifetime of underwater exploration. 

Gary Boyer

Gary Boyer

Instructor Trainer, Master Service Technician

Gary was raised in southwestern Montana where his family would spend summer weekends boating and water skiing on a nearby lake. He always had a strong desire to scuba dive; however Montana didn't offer many opportunities for discovering the sport. Gary moved to Colorado in mid-1982, and finally realized his dream of scuba diving by earning his Open Water Diver certification in late 1997. He has since earned many instructor and specialty ratings. When not teaching or diving, he enjoys boating, water skiing, snow skiing, motorcycle touring, underwater photography and taking and developing his own black & white photography using various antique cameras.

Roger Young

Roger Young

Director of Sales, TIDES

Roger first became interested in scuba diving while watching the 50's television program "Sea Hunt," however growing up on a small farm in Oklahoma didn't provide many opportunities to experience the sport. He never lost interest, though, and in 1985 while on vacation in the Caribbean he had the opportunity to take a resort course. From that  point on he knew diving was the passion of his life. While he enjoys all aspects of diving, he has a special interest in helping others learn this exciting sport. In addition to teaching scuba, Roger is also a certified SSI Instructor Trainer, certified Alpine Ski Instructor and avid high altitude mountaineer.

Kelly Faulkner

Kelly Faulkner

Lead Retail & Travel Admin

Kelly, or Sassafras, as she is known around here, comes to us from Wisconsin, the land of beer & cheese.  She was introduced to snorkeling at a young age when she would spend time traveling with her family. After high school, Kelly  joined the program Sea|Mester where she picked up her love for the ocean and scuba. During the program she and sailed around the Caribbean, working as crew and studying marine biology, oceanography & Nautical Science. A graduate of CU Boulder with a degree in environmental science, Kelly was also the president of CU's Scuba Club.  She has been a member of the Ocean First family for several years.

Kellon Spencer

Kellon Spencer

Digital Media, Freedive Instructor

Kellon hails from Normal, Illinois (it's a real place, we checked) and is studying ecology and evolutionary biology at CU. He started diving a few years ago and is well on his way to become a dive instructor. Kellon owns a beautiful german shepherd named Kilo who often frequents the shop. If you want to talk about action sports of any kind, from mountain biking to snowboarding to climbing, he is your guy.

Dave Sturtz

Dave Sturtz

Retail Associate, Scuba Instructor

Dave was scuba certified at Ocean First in 2002 when it was still called Scuba Joe, and went on to become a scuba instructor in 2011. He has dived in Costa Rica, Maui, Bonaire, Roatan, Cozumel, Baja, Grenada, the Caymans, the Virgin Islands, Fiji and Thailand, mostly with his wife and dive buddy Anita.  He began working on the retail end of Ocean First in 2016 and loves giving customer the care and attention he would expect to receive.  Dave also enjoys camping, rafting, skiing, biking and motorcycling, and is a volunteer firefighter with the Gold Hill FD.
 
Thea Rogier

Thea Rogier

Training Administrator

Born in New York, but raised in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa, Thea has always been drawn to the ocean. She fell in love with sea turtles when she was 2, decided she wanted to be a marine biologist at 6, and got scuba certified at 11. Thea got a BA in Biology at UCSB, and then spent some time working with sea turtles in Barbados before going to grad school for Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington.

Michael Moritz

Michael Moritz

Retail Associate

 

Michael's passion for nature and the great outdoors brought him to CU Boulder to pursue his dream of becoming a surgeon. He has an passion for the outdoor industry and gear he can count on, and loves passing along his knowledge and expertise to customers looking for gear they can rely on for years to come. When he isn't working the retail floor at Ocean First or studying for school, Michael can be found rock climbing or wading through the local creeks with his fly rod. 

FIND US

HOURS: MON-FRI 10AM-7PM // SAT 10AM-6PM // SUN 12PM-5PM