Meet Our Team

We are a team of passionate freediving professionals who care about our community. Our sole goal is to ensure that important modern spearfishing/freediving safety training – proven to mitigate the dangers of this sport – is available to everyone who needs it.

Niki Stepanek

Niki Stepanek

Founder/Board of Directors
Tabitha Pupuhi

Tabitha Pupuhi

Board of Directors
Rebecca Montgomery

Rebecca Montgomery

Board of Directors
Jennifer Brant

Jennifer Brant

Board of Directors/Secretary

Jennifer has over 29 years of Operations/IT experience working for several large international banks. She has judged and competed in freediving on an international level as a member of U.S. Freediving Team and currently has 3 National Freediving Master’s records. She is passionate about organization, accuracy and transparency and utilizes her IT and database skills to support FreediveSafe! Hawaii.

Justin Lee

Justin Lee

Media Spokesperson/Youth Program Leader

USA National Spearfishing Champion & World Record Spearfisherman. As a Hawai’i Island local and one of the world’s top spearfishermen, Justin brings more than 28 years of spearfishing experience to our organization. Having been raised in the ocean, Justin has forged a special connection with the ecosystem beneath the waves and shares his experiences through storytelling on social media, inspiring a massive following in Hawai’i and worldwide. As a local boy from these waters, Justin knows firsthand the dangers of our sport, and he is passionate about ushering in a new era for this sport in Hawai’i—where every diver comes home safe.

“This safety initiative is a long time coming for Hawai’i. Everyone spearfishes out here; it’s a way of life for us. I want parents to feel confident knowing their kids are doing it safely.” – Justin Lee @bigisleboy24

Daniel Koval

Daniel Koval

Education Outreach Officer O’ahu

Daniel has gone on to become the deepest freediver in all of North America diving to depths over 110m/360ft on a single breath of air. Daniel started his freediving school in 2011 and has been making the freediving and spearfishing community safer with each and every course.

Daniel not only teaches freediving at the highest level, but also competes internationally in the most prestige competitions around the world. His dedication to the sport has earned him 6 US National records, 2 North American Continental records, and 2 consecutive years of bronze medals at the CMAS World Championships.

Heidi Hoover

Heidi Hoover

Education Outreach Officer Hawai’i Island

Heidi grew up along the Big Sur coast of California, but has called Kona, Hawaii home since 2007. Her life has always been centered around the ocean; surfing, fishing, paddling, and freediving. She has been teaching FII-certified freediving courses for the Hawaii community since 2017.

Living in Kona allows Heidi to enjoy surfing and freediving as a lifestyle year-round. She is deeply passionate about giving back to her ocean community and volunteers for FreediveSafe! and AccesSurf.