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The Chittum Team2024-01-28T22:27:32-05:00

THE TEAM

Stephen Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer

  Stephen began working with Chittum Skiffs in 2023. Before that he was the co-founder of 6 other companies, including multiple cable networks and various technology ventures, working in partnership with companies ranging from Telecommunications, Inc., Time Warner Cable, the Providence Journal Company, Ucopia, Internet Gift Registries, Target Media Networks, and ValueVision. He began his career as a counsel with the US Congress, and has been fly fishing for decades, frequently staring at fish who had better things to do. Stephen has a BA from Boston College and a JD is from Columbia Law School.

Capt. George Sawley, Co-Founder, Chief Sales Officer

George Sawley is a Co-Founder of Chittum Skiffs and has a long history as an off-shore fisherman after a childhood in the Middle Keys fishing both inshore and in the back country. His career began while still a teenager, capitalizing on his previous experience as a commercial fisherman, and his real world experience has been instrumental at turning him into the skiff developer he is known for today. He and Hal Chittum have a history that goes back more than 30 years, long before they decided to join forces to create the ‘best damn skiff’ in the industry. Research and development efforts took almost two years, and as George puts it, the first 30 boats were works in progress. Since then, however, they created a manufacturing facility and started managing the process from start to finish. The end result has been the Chittum Skiff, the winning boat in most tournaments that it enters, and the skiff of choice for anyone committed to speed, stealth, strength and a dry ride.

Royce Booker, Director of Operations

Royce Brooker has boat building encoded in his DNA. He’s a 3rd generation boatbuilder, and an 8th generation Floridian. He grew up exploring Florida’s coastlines hunting, fishing, and exploring. His knowledge, operational skills, and authenticity are a driving force in Chittum’s innovation and factory efficiencies, and his leadership and dedication are essential ingredients in Chittum’s growth.

Sammy Avellaneda, Manager of Lamination

Sammy Avellaneda is an accomplished Infusion manager, boasting extensive expertise in infusion production and quality control, with more than 5 years of experience in overseeing infusion operations, streamlining processes, and upholding product quality standards, and more than a decade of experience managing colleagues and improving efficiencies and production before that. Sammy’s commitment to efficiency and continuous improvement drives Chittum’s production operations. He is driven by his desire to have a four-day work week, allowing him to be a devoted father and coach to his two young boys.

Mike Casey, Manager of Production

Mike Casey has been an integral part of Chittum since the inception of Snakebight nearly 8 years ago. A native Floridian, he has relished everything that Florida and its surrounding waters have to offer. His detail orientation has been a particularly relevant asset at Chittum, where he has been able to develop familiarity with all aspects of the boat-building process, and have been particularly valuable in identifying components, pricing, and inventory needs. Finally, his familiarity with composites and fabrication, coupled with his previous experience at crafting prosthetics and orthotics, have led to his development as the Chittum boat fabrication specialist, working with our guides and other owners.

Chris Demott, Manager of Rigging

Chris Demott started in the marine industry in 1990, crafting boats for renowned companies like Rio Mar Yachts, Island Hopper, and Twin Vee. This led to 18 years with Novurania of America, specializing in the construction of custom mega-yacht tenders. He ascended to the role of General Manager there, before transitioning to Chittum Skiffs in 2020. He has brought decades of knowledge about every facet of boat building, and has settled in as the Rigging Manager, responsible for everything from the electronics to the consoles to the relationships between different components from bow to stern. It is an honor and privilege to work with him.

Stephen Ford, Director of Conservation and Guide Relations – Sales

Stephen Ford’s passion for marine wildlife and his proximity to the Texas Coast made him the perfect leader of our conservation initiatives. He is widely recognized within the company for his critical product feedback during the early design and modeling phase of Chittum Skiffs. This experience with the products also led to his appointment as the leader of our direct communication efforts with the guide community. Stephen lives in Rockport Texas and is happy to provide demos and to help with the purchase of your Chittum.

Dean Gallegos, Service

Dean started working with Chittum in February of 2020, working in the Rigging Department, after previous experience in the Marine industry in high school, working at a boat dealership in central Florida. After a brief stint designing trusses, he decided to rejoin the industry with Chittum, and his service orientation is highly regarded both internally and with our clients, coupled with his technical skills. He is already a net plus.

Fred Klein, Manager of Finishing

Fred spent 8 1/2 years working in the life sciences industry and has been with Chittum since 2019. He has both quality control experience and is a dedicated production manager, with both the ability to grasp the big picture and the detail orientation to make sure that Chittum skiffs are finished the right way. His primary focus has been process enhancement and ensuring that the product finish aligns with the expectations of our clients, with particular emphasis on tooling, painting, non-skid application, and ceramic coatings. We are honored to have him in management.

Nick Watson, Manager of Parts

Nick’s deep connection to the water, cultivated through spearfishing and surfing, not only provides him with a profound understanding of marine environments but also a genuine passion for the industry. This passion translates into a keen attention to detail in managing yacht parts, ensuring that every component aligns with the high standards of the marine world. Additionally, his journey from a parts associate to a parts manager showcases his dedication and ambition for upward growth. We are eager to support his growth as a manager and as a leader.

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