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Darren Arthur of Nautilux Custom Canvas is based in New Jersey where he operates an 18 yr old business that began in his basement. His focus is on incorporating and developing technology standards for the industry while maintaining the craft. Serves on the Advisory Board of Directors for the MFA. Darren has a background in engineering and has been in the marine industry for 26 yrs. He currently lives in Red Bank New Jersey with his wife Kim and their two boys.
Michael was born and raised in Denver CO. He has been working at Paul's Custom Canvas for over 20 years. Michael and his brother are second generation owners and look to continue to grow the business. When Michael is not working he enjoys running, skiing, soccer and spending time with his family.
Vice President/Co-owner, Premier Performance Interiors, Inc.
Jim Cowan has been in the marine industry since 1983. Thirty Six yrs. ago he started his career working at Kirkoffs Custom Canvas, a canvas shop in Westfield, Indiana where he made custom boat covers, biminis, and convertible tops. In 1989, Jim left Kirkoffs and went to JC Pontoons in North Webster, Indiana where he started the bimini top department. JC Pontoons went on to become the first company to make a folding 13 foot bimini on a pontoon boat. Eventually Jim moved into the upholstery department and took it as far as he could with a square boat. By January 1995, Jim left JC Pontoons and moved on to Aqua Marine Products Clearwater, Florida. When Jim started at Aqua Marine Products, there were only 8 employees. When Jim left, there were 36 employees and they were doing upholstery for more than 20 boat companies. Today, Jim is the co-owner of PPI, opened in 2001 one of the most well-known OEM and custom upholstery companies there is. He accredits the success of Team PPI to the talented crew of 55 employees and business partner co owner Lee Wingard.
Production Manager and Lead Fabricator, Sewlong - Custom Covers
Clint Halladay joined the marine textile industry in the spring of 2010 under the tutorship of Justin Jones. His passion for the industry and continued growth has helped mold him into a true student of the marine canvas trade. He enjoys solving new problems and learning from other fabricators how they handle similar situations. Over the past nine years, his role has expanded into managing workflow, production standards, and deadlines.
Deborah Hamilton has been sewing as a hobby since the age of 12. Later she became the Wardrobe Mistress for the largest dance studio on the east coast, not including New York state. She was recruited by Linda Beach in 2013 and worked with Linda for 2 years at a local upholstery company. When Linda opened her own upholstery business in 2015, Deborah followed. For the next 3 years it was just the two ladies. Beach Upholstery has since expanded and now has two shops and 4 other employees.
Jay Hanks is the owner of Allerton Harbor Canvas, located in Hull, MA and has been in business since 2004.
He is married to wife, Patty and they have a son name Christopher. Originally born in Erie, PA, Jay has been a resident of Hull for the last 36 years.
He attended the Pennsylvania College of technology with concentrations in Graphic design and Illustration.
Prior to owning a thriving and successful canvas business, Jay spent 32 years in the printing business, successfully navigating through roles in sales, management and pre-press.
Jay has served on the executive board at the Hull Yacht Club as well as the board of directors of The MFA (Marine Fabricators Association) and on the advisory board of the IFAI (Industrial Fabricators Association International).
Jay is an avid sailor and racer (50+ yrs. experience). He enjoys traveling, golf, music, art and costume making. Jay built his first boat at the age of 15 and currently owns and sails a Beneteau 361.
Rob Kotowski is the second-generation owner of Lake Shore Boat Top Company, located in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. With a business degree from Walsh College and years of working in the family business as a child he decided to become a more active part in the future of Lake Shore. Now as an owner, he has followed in his father’s footsteps, learning how to balance family life with a growing business. In his free time he enjoys watching and playing ice hockey and spending time with his wife Jessica, 3 year old daughter, Ava and 5 month old daughter, Julianna.
Larry Oxenham is one of the Nation’s top business succession and estate planning advisors with over three decades of experience. He is the author of numerous articles and books and is a nationally recognized speaker who has trained thousands of professionals at hundreds of conventions, conferences and meetings across the country, Having worked for decades as a merger and acquisitions consultant for mid-size businesses, there is no one better to teach you how to maximize the value of your business and create a successful business succession plan.
Amy Po founded Wyckam in 2006, and has grown the shop from a small sail loft into a successful marine canvas and custom industrial sewing shop. She enjoys new challenges, working with new materials and creating new designs.
Keith Purves became involved in the Marine Fabrication trade at a young age working for his mother Linda Rhoades who owned Riverside Covers in Fort Myers, Florida. As his skills developed, his involvement grew with the Marine Fabricators Association, and was invited to present several seminars at national conventions throughout the years. He hosted 2 shop tours and training seminars at his family business in Fort Myers. Keith earned his Master Fabric Craftsman certification in 2010 and has contributed to multiple articles in the Marine Fabricator and Review magazines. In 2013 after selling his business Keith changed career paths and joined Trivantage as an account representative serving the West Coast of Florida. He is currently in his second term on the marine fabricators Board of Directors and is chairman of the education committee, assisting in planning seminars for the national MFA conference. In his free time Keith enjoys boating, fishing, and camping with his wife Tammy and daughters Julia and Jessie in Southwest Florida.
Gary has been working at Autometrix since 2013 doing software/hardware testing and training. He is responsible for testing and reporting on new hardware and software projects and incremental releases of existing software. He provides software training for new and existing customers and does demonstrations of the cutting systems and software for potential customers.
Gary has a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management and has been working with CAD/CAM software for over 25 years.
With a lifetime in power, sail, and paddle vessels on 3 coasts, Jeff is the proverbial “Son of a Son of a Sailor”. As the 4th generation of a family that has designed, built, cruised, & raced boats of all types, he has a love for quality craftsmanship and all things nautical. After 25 years of helping companies all over the world improve their business with information technology, Jeff returned to his nautical roots. He owns & operates Alameda Canvas on Alameda Island, in San Francisco Bay, and has presented at numerous events on various industry topics.