Positively Naperville | Dedication, Service, and Leadership



By Jim Elliott | May 10, 2024

Service above self is how I try to live my life and with the help of great service organizations like the Naperville Lions Club, Rotary Clubs and other local organizations that support Diveheart programs, we can continue our work helping people with disabilities.

About a dozen years ago Tinamarie Hernandez joined Diveheart as a volunteer and then became Executive Director. I’m so proud that Tinamarie has recently been awarded the prestigious “Everyday Disability Hero Award” at the 2024 Disability Matters North America Conference & Awards. The conference took place on April 4-5 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This year marked the 18th annual conference, solidifying its position as one of the most significant corporate events globally.

Disability Matters is renowned for recognizing corporations and nonprofits worldwide that are at the forefront of mainstreaming disability issues across three pivotal categories: Workforce, Workplace, and Marketplace. These awards highlight initiatives and organizations like Diveheart that are driving positive change and inclusion for individuals with disabilities.

Tinamarie Hernandez’s receipt of the “Everyday Disability Hero Award” underscores her remarkable dedication and leadership in promoting inclusivity and empowerment for individuals with disabilities. As the Executive Director of Diveheart, she has played a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s mission to provide adaptive diving experiences and scuba therapy for people with disabilities, fostering confidence, independence, and self-esteem.

Alongside Tinamarie Hernandez, other esteemed honorees were recognized for their exemplary efforts in driving positive change within their respective spheres.

The Disability Matters North America Conference brought together experts from corporations, academia, government, and the national nonprofit sector to share best practices and insights on fostering inclusivity and accessibility. Attendees gain valuable knowledge and strategies for successfully embarking on this essential work, contributing to a more inclusive society.

Tinamarie’s recognition as an “Everyday Disability Hero” reflects Diveheart’s unwavering commitment to breaking barriers and empowering individuals with disabilities through transformative scuba therapy experiences. Her leadership and advocacy continue to inspire positive change, making a meaningful impact on the lives of countless individuals.

Diveheart is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building confidence and independence in children, adults, and veterans with disabilities through the power of scuba diving. Founded on the principle that no one should be excluded from the underwater world, Diveheart provides life-changing experiences and therapy to individuals with disabilities, offering them a sense of freedom, adventure and accomplishment.