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After finishing school Dave Elliott completed a four year apprenticeship in Coach and Motor Body Trimming, where he was trained in all aspects of auto trimming and upholstery.
He started his own business when he was nineteen as a second year apprentice, working on cars after hours. Then two years later one week after finishing his apprenticeship, he went full time in Wynnum, Queensland, doing a mixture of runabouts/trailer boats and car interiors. Dave discovered he enjoyed working on boats and taught himself Marine Trimming.
Dave is a member of IFAI, MFA USA and a committee member of MFA Australia. He is a certified Master Fabric Craftsman and has a great passion for the work he does. Dave has been involved in starting MFA Australia with Neil Hancock from Aussie Boat Covers Vic. and holding workshops to help improve the Marine Canvas industry within Australia. He and his team have won international and national awards for the work they have designed and created.
Dave Elliott lives in Wakerley Brisbane on 2 acres, where his main workshop is situated.
David and his wife Barbara own River Custom Canvas, LLC in Clayton, NY. The business was founded by Barbara in 2014 and focuses on serving boaters in the 1000 islands region with most customers boats located within a 10 mile radius of the shop. The business is seasonal and open April through October and is located inside a busy marina.
On a day to day basis Barbara does most of the sewing while David helps with patterning and installations, and does frame bending, ordering, bookkeeping, estimates and marketing.
Both David and Barbara have been self-employed for most of their lives with David having 28 years of direct commission only sales with a strong emphasis on marketing and lead generation.
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.
Amy is the owner of Wyckam in Portland, OR. She has been using CAD for designing marine canvas for over 12 years. Before that, she used forms and spreadsheets to standardize products and help automate the design and cutting process.
Aaron Stroud-Smith runs Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, based on the Gippsland lakes in south east Australia. He completed his apprenticeship as a furniture upholsterer, and bought out his boss once his apprenticeship was complete. Over the last 28 years Aaron has grown his business from general canvas and upholstery into a business that specialises in large on-water and timber boats.
He is always chasing the perfect fit and functionality for his clients and the satisfaction that brings at the end of the job. He enjoys trialling new fabrics and products, and is always looking for the best fabrics available.
Aaron is an active member of the Marine Fabricators division of the Specialised Textiles Association in Australia. He has been running intensive marine trimming training workshops for advanced students during 2018.
Kym spent her childhood on Australia’s Gold Coast. Her dad was a marine engineer, and her mum was a sewing teacher, so that easily explains her love of boats and canvas work.
After school, Kym obtained a Bachelor of Science, - Geology and Biology, and worked for some time as a geologist in western Queensland. With further study she gained her Graduate Diploma in Teaching. She has taught senior science and maths students in both the public and private sectors, developed curriculum and served on the State Education advisory Panels for both Biology and Mathematics.
Today, she is the business manager for Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, and works with Aaron in all aspects of design and installation. In 2017, she was the recipient of Specialised Textiles Association “Woman of the Year” Award for her work in the textile industry. Kym believes in life long learning, regardless of age or circumstance. ""There is always something to learn, another way, a new way, a better way. Never stop searching”"
I started in the marine canvas business part time 1974 working for my father,
ran my own shop Bay Side Canvas in Bay City, Michigan for 7 years.
Relocated to Florida worked for Canvas Designers in Riviera Beach and Recovery Room in Panama City Beach Florida.
Employed at Serge Ferrari North America as Marine Sales Manager since Jan 2007.
Served on MFA board of Directors from 2008- 2018 stepped down as MFA Chairman of the Board in January 2018
Been in the Marine Canvas industry 44 years.
Enjoy Sport Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico"
Gary has been working at Autometrix since 2013 doing software/hardware testing and training. He is responsible for testing and reporting on new software projects and incremental releases of existing software. He also provides software training for new and existing customers. Other duties include 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.