The KISS Team
Owner, Product Manager
Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, Mike Young’s childhood was nothing short of unique.
Back in September, 1974 Erwin and Lynne Young moved from Post, Texas to Alamosa, Colorado with their four children, Mark, Mike, Sherri, and Jay. Erwin learned the warm (87° F) geothermal water available on his 80-acre farm was ideal for raising tilapia. Soon after that Erwin added alligators to the farm as a means of disposing the remains of the filleted fish harvested. Once news got out about the gators, the Young family was soon thrust into the spotlight of many media programs and articles. Growing up with the saurian beasts, Mike and his brother Jay, were the only ones old enough to work with them for the eager public who wanted to see them, marking the beginning of the Colorado Gators Reptile Park in 1990.
Growing up as he had, Mike discovered no adventure was too big, taking up other pursuits such as becoming an avid extreme skier, hunter, mountaineer and extreme motorcyclist. Mike learned to scuba dive in the early 90’s and made his first open water dives in a sinkhole on the edge of the Africa's Kalahari Desert. This new experience combined with his passion for extreme sports and wrangling alligators, made it natural for him to gravitate toward technical diving. He was soon performing deep cave dives and his interest in sump diving grew.
On the career side Mike was educated and trained as a tool and die builder for automated machinery in the mid 90's. Among his more notable jobs was with the Hiram Walker distillery, where he designed and built an applicator that would apply a red ribbon and plastic button to 280 bottles of Kahlúa per minute.
Mike’s desire for diving and reaching areas unseen has led him to custom build many of his own products. Through his background in engineering and manufacturing, he had become affiliated with both Hollis and KISS Rebreathers for a number of years. In that time he was influential in the design of a number of diving systems, including the development of the KISS GEM gas extender rebreather.
In October 2012 Mike became the third owner of KISS Rebreathers, moving the entire production facility from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Fort Smith, Arkansas in the USA. With his extensive background in machining, product development, and testing, it was a natural move for him to make, and the right one for KISS which he has since developed the KISS Orca Spirit, KISS Spirit LTE, GEM Sidekick SCR and GS CCR.
In addition to overseeing production and designs for new equipment, Mike’s interest to explore is still very much alive. As a result Mike is a member of the Advance Diver Magazine Exploration Team, as well as the US Deep Caving Team. His exploits include the J2 expedition back in 2010, exploring a system in southern Mexico that is 1200 meters deep and required two days of extreme caving just to reach the water. In 2011, Mike and the deep caving team mapped an underground river system in Puerto Rico that totaled over 23 kilometers in length, making it the world’s longest underground river. Some of the area surveyed had never been seen by human eyes before. More recently, while exploring and mapping submerged caverns in the Yucatan peninsula, Mike also discovered a fully intact Mayan vase dating back 1300 years.
Between Mike’s passion for exploration, and actively working on new concepts and designs to further enhance our ability to explore our world underwater, we expect more great things to come!
KISS Rebreathers is one of the oldest continuously operating rebreather manufacturers in the North American and international market, and Kim Mikusch has been with the company nearly every step of the way.
Kim has been scuba diving since 1990 and has been diving the KISS rebreathers and involved in the company since 1999. She has a business background and is a former dive shop owner. As she expanded her personal diving horizons, her interest grew to include technical and rebreather diving. She has also worked in the finance and securities industry. Kim owned and operated both Jetsam Technologies Ltd. (KISS Rebreathers) and KISS Manufacturing Ltd. from January 2006 to October 2012.
When Kim took over the business in 2006, she carried on the KISS line of mechanically controlled rebreathers. She continued with the design and development of the Classic Explorer & Sport KISS, and introduced the GEM semi-closed rebreather in 2011. Kim worked closely with Mike Young, who was in charge of Product Development for KISS Rebreathers, for several years. In October 2012, Kim sold KISS Rebreather’s to Mike and the company moved to the United States.
While Kim was the owner of KISS Rebreathers, she ensured that good business practices were followed, quality equipment and parts were provided, and ensured proper training procedures were in place. She was also instrumental in designing a Quality Assurance program for KISS Rebreather's under the ISO standard as well as making KISS Rebreathers a member of the Rebreather Education & Safety Association (RESA). Kim is one of the officers of RESA and KISS Rebreathers currently holds the position of President. She is located in the Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada.
KISS Ambassadors are divers of note with a true appreciation and passion for diving with KISS products.
KISS Explorers are divers pushing the boundaries of underwater exploration using KISS products.