UNDERWATER Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Travis Detke, VP of Operations at Aqueos Corporation and former ADCI Board Member. Detke is also the chairman of the ADCI Content Committee, which had the idea to revive The Last Word feature for the magazine. Thank you to Travis for all of your help!
UNDERWATER MAGAZINE: Tell me about how you got involved with the industry and what your responsibilities are at your current job
Travis Detke: I had roughnecked on the land rigs of North Dakota/Montana during the summers of my college and went to dive school to blend my love of the water with my enjoyment of the oilfield work. I was hired straight out of dive school, the Commercial Diving Center, by Sub Sea International in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Piper Alpha was my first home offshore and in a year and a half I went from my first dive to my first saturation. Forty-two years later, I am the Vice President of Operations for Aqueos Corporation in Broussard, LA where I oversee the management of all operations for this dynamic organization.
UM: How have you been involved with ADCI?
TD: I have recently completed my third term of office as the Gulf Coast Chapter Chairman along with serving on the Board of Directors for those six years. During that time, I had the pleasure of sitting on both the Hall of Fame and the Scholarship committees for a year and being involved in the selection process of these individuals was an honor. The Hall of Famers are exceptional individuals who have left their mark on our industry and the scholarship recipients have such potential. I also serve as the Underwater Magazine Content Committee Chairman with the goal of improving this venue and keeping it viable for the years to come. Bringing back “The Last Word” is one of the first moves of our committee. I hope you enjoy it.
UM: What has been the most rewarding part of your career in the underwater industry?
TD: When I first entered the diving industry, incidents were considered inevitable, a by-product of our work environment. Divers were bent, fingers were lost, deaths could and did happen. The rewarding evolution of that mindset was the recognition that all incidents are preventable. By applying that philosophy, and placing numerous preventative measures in place, I am confident countless incidents have been prevented. On a personal note, my career has allowed my wife of 39 years, Jo Ann, and I to raise three wonderful daughters and watch them succeed with their own careers and family. A highlight in that success was the privilege of presenting one of last year’s’ ADCI scholarships to my granddaughter, Audrey, who is now a freshman at LSU majoring in biology/pre-med.
UM: How have you seen the association and the industry evolve since you started?
TD: The updating of the Consensus Standard v. 6.0 back in 2011 and the format and process employed to keep it current (we are currently on 6.3) is a major milestone in our industry. The recognition of this standard by the Coast Guard and OSHA has given the ADCI a stronger footprint on the international stage and has greatly contributed to the cooperation seen between ADCI and IMCA.
UM: What would you like to see the ADCI do to make sure the next 50 years are as productive as the first?
TD: First, keep Phil Newsum on the team: his dedication, knowledge and temperament make him the ideal spokesman for our Association and he is nothing short of amazing. Second: continue on the path of collaboration with IMCA and other organizations which mirror the goals of the ADCI: Safety, Communication, Education and Adherence to the Consensus Standards It is a daunting task given the diversity of diving across the varied membership of the industry. As every clothing manufacturer can attest, there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. We need to keep that analogy in mind as we balance the differing regulations, client expectations, market pressures, etc. when drafting or revising our guidance.