Staff Bios

Joe (Uncle Joe) Petrella- Owner/ PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT)

Joe joined the US Air Force in 1981 and is currently RETIRED from Active Duty with the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. Joe retired December 1st, 2008 culminating over 27 years in the military. Joe and his family began Scuba Diving in 2000. Scuba became a personal and family passion and since his initial certification, Joe has logged over 500 dives.
Joe wanted to share his passion for diving and thus became a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor in 2003. In 2005, he founded Uncle Joe’s Scuba as an independent instruction agency. Joe and his son Jeff decided to expand Uncle Joe’s Scuba into a retail store and opened the showroom doors on May 1st, 2007.

Jeff Petrella- Owner, Training Director, PADI IDC Staff Instructor/ EFR Instuctor Trainer

Jeff has been an active diver for over 15 years. He began diving in 2000 along with his father and brother, and was instantly hooked. In his first discover scuba experience, Jeff was doing somersaults! He and Joe began diving heavily; in their first year together, they each had over 50 logged dives and were already Advanced Open Water Certified. The two worked closely as Joe became an Instructor and at age 18, Jeff began work on his Divemaster certification. Since then, has become a PADI IDC Staff Instructor and Dive Rescue Specialist. Jeff spent about 6 years with the Crescent Volunteer Fire Department and its prestigious dive team. He is in charge of sales and service for Uncle Joe’s Scuba and is available 24/7 via email.

Jeff also coordinates all Instructor Development and professional ratings and is an Ice Diving and Full Face Mask Instructor. He is also a TDI Semi-Closed Rebreather Diver on the Hollis Explorer working on his SCR Instructor credentials.

Jeff Petrella

Neil McGee – PADI IDC Staff Instructor / EFR Instructor

Neil started his career in diving in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2008. It started with one certification, Open Water Diver with PADI. He was hooked after the open water course was finished. The wild ride started, and continues to this day, He became a card collector. He is involved in scuba diving in a variety of ways, a member of MAST (Maritime Archeology Survey Team), ScubaFest, Steel City Divers.

Neil has been to several diving sites, and logged over 175 dives. He can be found a lot of the time at White Star Quarry in Ohio. If you ever get a chance to go, let Neil know, he will probably want to join you. He has also been to other places though and the next runner up would be Bonaire, a true diver’s paradise. Neil is also qualified to teach the Emergency Oxygen Provider, Enriched Air, Deep, and Wreck Diver courses.

RON Post Dive

Ron Pasic- EFR Instructor/ PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Ron began diving nearly 30 years ago. He dove heavily at first but, like many, had to abandon his pursuits to start a family. When his daughter wanted to try diving on a recent trip to Turks and Caicos, Ron found an excuse to renew his passion. He earned his PADI Divemaster rating through Uncle Joe’s Scuba and quickly advanced on to Assistant Instructor and now OWSI. You will rarely see him out of his drysuit!
Ron is very active in the non-diving community as well. He sits on his local school board, rotary, and several other charitable organizations.
Ron’s favorite courses are Drysuit, Deep, and Enriched Air Nitrox. He is also a TDI Semi-Closed Rebreather Diver on the Hollis Explorer

Renee Trudel – PADI Divemaster

Along with her many other pursuits (including, but not limited to, Firefighting, Flying, Rappelling, and camping) Renee is an avid diver. She is not only another one of us who ‘caught the bug’, she caught it diving lakes and quarries. In all the years she has been diving, it wasn’t until Nov 2011 that Renee completed her first ocean dives in Key Largo, FL. Renee completed her Divemaster training with Uncle Joe’s Scuba in 2009. She and her sister Rita join us for a lot of our local excursions, especially Gilboa, a favorite of many!


Carl Niehaus – PADI Assistant Instructor

& Amanda Cook – PADI Divemaster

Carl came to Uncle Joe’s Scuba in 2013 after moving back to Pittsburgh. He earned his Rescue Diver certification that year and dove heavily with us. The following year he and Ron worked together to earn their Divemaster ratings and in 2015 became Assistant Instructors together. Carl is currently working on his Instructor credential where we know his big personality will be a huge asset.
Our newest Assistant Instructor, Carl also works in the shop at Uncle Joe’s Scuba. When he’s not helping at the pool or lake, you can find Carl behind the counter or in the workshop helping to keep things running smoothly.

Amanda has a wealth of dive experience in the 3 years since she became certified with Uncle Joe’s back in 2013! She has dove with us in all of our favorite quarries and lake Erie, including Ice dives. She and Carl have dove the ocean and cenotes in Mexico and spent a week with us aboard the Aquacat in the Bahamas. Her other hobbies include herding her 3 large German shepherds, and cheering on the Pens!


 Nate Russell- PADI Divemaster

Nate came to us in May 2016 after working for months on the island of Roatan, Honduras. He is currently working towards his instructor certification here at Uncle Joe’s and helps us out in the shop a few days a week.

Russell, Nate