Rich Armandi, President
Age : 46
Hometown : Philadelphia, PA
1st Aquarium : 1985: 30-gallon freshwater community
Current Aquarium : In addition to the over 125 customer aquariums I am responsible for, I keep a 230-gallon reef tank at our headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.
Favorite Aspect of my Work : I have always been called by the oceans. I would watch every Jacques Cousteau TV special when I was growing up and, like most Philadelphia kids, my family vacations to the Jersey Shore were a highlight. I would snorkel in the surf all day long to collect shells. When I was in college in Las Vegas, Nevada, I learned how to SCUBA dive. I took trips to southern California and explored Pacific Kelp forests, then to Catalina Island to swim with the inhabitants like Blue Sharks and Garibaldi Fish. I was hooked and knew I wanted to dedicate my life to the ocean and its creatures. But, I didn’t know how. My business has allowed me to follow my dreams and work with these animals on a daily basis. It has been said that we only protect what we love. My job is to promote awareness of the beautiful oceans through the creations of aquariums. Maybe a child who sees one of my aquariums will be inspired to devote his or her life to the aquatic sciences and maybe that child will be instrumental in saving our delicate oceans for the next generations to enjoy.
Kevin Kirby, Jr., Technician
Age : 26
Hometown : Chester, PA
1st Aquarium : 25-gallon freshwater tropical aquarium
Current Aquarium : 55-gallon freshwater tropical aquarium
Favorite Aspect of my Work : I enjoy constantly gaining new knowledge of various fish and corals and getting to share this information with customers.
Enjoy Most about my Job : I get to play with and take care of many types of fish while at the same time meeting new people.
Other Hobbies : In my spare time, I teach Marching Band basics for High School Marching Bands, participate in Drum Corps, and I also enjoy bowling and theatrical musicals.
Favorite Quote : “I yam what I yam,” -Popeye
William Almeida, Maintenance Technician
Age : 28
Hometown : Warwick, RI
Current Aquarium : 55Gal Bow front FOWLR slowly turning into soft coral reef
Favorite Aspect of my work : I love the concept of a controlled living system where we are the stewards of life manipulating the ecological parameters. The science combined with the aesthetic aspect of design turns aquariums into functional art! Seeing the passion for aquaria husbandry grow in a client that was unfamiliar is also very rewarding.
Other Hobbies : Anything outside such as birding, kayaking, hiking and playing with my dog.
Andy Hionides, Aquarium Technician
Age : 25
Hometown : Springfield, PA
Current Aquarium : 125Gal mixed reef
Favorite Aspect of my work : I enjoy the biological aspects of aquatic life. I love watching coral, fish, and organisms grow and develop. One of my favorite parts of this job is watching an aquarium mature and sustain itself while populating microscopic and macroscopic marine life. All the colors and geometry that make up these animals is fascinating to me; especially when they are cared for under a growing company.
Other Hobbies : Singer/songwriter, guitar, music enthusiast
Michael Wind, Operations Manager
Age : 30
Hometown : Salamanca, NY
1st Aquarium : 2001: 30-Gallon South American Cichlid
Current Aquarium : I am currently setting up a 180 Gallon Saltwater Reef Tank.
Favorite Aspect of my work : Throughout my life, I was blessed with the opportunity to frequent many beaches during our family vacations. During these trips the ocean captivated me. From poking jellyfish, fishing, shark teeth collecting I was hooked. I attended college at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where I studied Marine Biology. I had the privilege to work at the Shellfish Hatchery at The Center for Marine Science where I helped spawn oysters, interned with Dr. Joseph Pawlik absorbing Invertebrate Zoology, and volunteered at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City, NC. These opportunities allowed me to work in the industry and gain more knowledge to find my calling. I have since dedicated my career to inspire others in the beauty of the industry, yet encourage livestock acquisition to be harvested sustainably through aquaculture and mariculture means.
Scott Brooks, Installer/Technician
Hometown : Newark, DE
Current Aquarium : 200g mixed reef
Favorite Aspect of my work : l like building a tank that performs to give the fish the best habitat possible and I also love watching small fish and coral frags grow into adults.
Other Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, or just being outside.