Founder, H. Hilton Yacht & Ship
Hunter grew up in coastal North Carolina and has had an avid love for the water and anything nautical since he can remember.
A family of avid boaters and being surrounded by the best custom yacht builders in the country laid the foundation for the direction he would take in life. A graduate of UNC Wilmington, Hunter spent his summers crewing on various yachts and sport fish boats throughout the region which helped him learn the intricacies of the yachting industry from the ground up.
After college, Hunter found himself being groomed to become the captain of a prestigious yacht. This pivotal point initiated a career that today spans 14 years and over a dozen countries being explored with Hunter at the helm.
During this time, he obtained the skills to efficiently manage a mega yacht and aviation operation while developing international relationships with high profile individuals along the way. Yachting became both his passion and a lifestyle. Working closely with the owner, Hunter assisted in the design and construction of 3 mega yachts in 7 years, which he endearingly refers to today as the "evolution".
His lengthy yachting career followed by successful business ventures allowed Hunter to seamlessly transfer his expertise and global connections into his position as President of H. Hilton Yacht and Ship. His advice and experience are some of the most valuable in the
yachting industry. Hunter provides a service to his clientele that exceeds all expectations.
Hunter prides himself on relationships with his owners that extend far past the purchase or sell of the vessel. Hunter along with his team at H. Hilton Yacht and Ship work diligently to pair you with the highest quality yachts on the market. He believes that this business is not simply about selling you a yacht, it is a celebration of your success.
THE GRAND CREW
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
As a native of Palm Beach, FL, Jon is the son of the CEO of a prominent luxury resort with properties spanning from the Bahamas to Kona, Hawaii. From early on, Jon was groomed by his father to be well versed in all aspects of business leadership as well as an expert nautical adventurer. As a young adult, he advanced to a licensed maritime professional holding captain positions on local sport fishing and dive boats based in Kona.
Jon later became a dive master and made the transition to Tahiti as the operations manager for a high profile South Pacific dive fleet. The yachting industry once again came calling in the late 90’s where he captained prestigious yachts ranging from 80 to 155 feet. Jon traveled extensively through the Caribbean, South America and the Maldives. All the while, he stayed connected to various lucrative business ventures, which developed his skills in business and daily interaction with his clientele. His position as Captain made him an expert in construction, engineering, and global navigation of mega yachts.
Today Jon resides in Ft Lauderdale, FL and enjoys utilizing his vast knowledge of the yachting industry and his global business experiences to better serve his clients as a professional Yacht Broker with H. Hilton Yacht and Ship.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
As a lifelong boater, Steve hails from Galveston, TX where he grew up cruising with local captains on both private yachts and large commercial vessels. During his teenage years, Steve began running 30 to 50 foot boats in Galveston Bay and by the mid 1990’s he knew that a nautical career would be in his future plans.
After college, Steve held senior positions in the corporate world as a financial manager and CFO. Throughout the years he never lost his passion for yachting and the marine industry.
Following his retirement, after a successful career in the financial industry, Steve transitioned to Florida to become a professional Yacht Captain and Owner of Gilchrist Yacht Management. During his tenure, Steve has supervised major yacht builds as well as managed super yachts for extremely high-profile customers. He is established and respected in the yachting industry priding himself on knowing what the clients wants and how to fulfill their needs.
Steve joined the H. Hilton Yacht and Ship Team in 2018 bringing with him an expansive list of skills and an innate desire to create the best experience for his clients.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Jerry has had a lifelong association with boats, growing up water skiing and fishing in the Midwest and spending most of all of his adult life near the coasts. Prior to joining H. Hilton Yacht and Ship, he has had a successful career leading high growth technology companies.
.Jerry’s business experience includes over twenty-five years of leadership experience in a succession of angel, venture-backed and Fortune 100 companies. As a CEO, Baker has raised over $105 million in growth capital and achieved INC. 500, Deloitte Fast 500 and MidAtlantic Venture Summit Top 100 among his list of recognitions. He has participated on the Board of Directors of seven companies and as Chairman of a regional airport. He has also served as an advisor for Panasonic Corporation and multiple other large companies.
Jerry was also a commercial pilot for 35 years, and has a keen appreciation for complex systems management and performance. He has previously owned a 34’ sloop on the Chesapeake and several power boats in the mid-Atlantic and S. Florida’s east and west coasts. He is currently owner-operator of a well-equipped Hatteras Motor Yacht, which offers him a unique perspective on the many considerations that go into yacht ownership and enjoyment.
Prior to his private sector career, Jerry achieved the rank of Captain in the United States Marine Corps, serving as an artillery Guns Platoon Commander as well as Aerial Observer in the OV-10 Bronco aircraft.
He served 5 years active duty and 5 years reserves in the USMC. In 2016 Jerry was awarded the Semper Fidelis Award, which recognizes individuals whose service to our Nation exemplifies the Marine Corps motto to remain “Always Faithful.” Jerry has integrated his years of serving his county, executive experience and personal Yacht ownership to bring a level of service to the Yachting industry that far surpasses his clients expectations.
Director of Operations &
Suzanne is dedicated to facilitating all operations and caters to each individual client's needs to assist in all aspects of buying and selling their vessel. Her goal is to promote
H. Hilton Yacht and Ship and therefore promote your vessel in the right circles with the right buyer at the right time. She also assists our brokers to make your experience seamless and tailored to fit your needs. Suzanne enjoys seeing our clients celebrate their success from the sale or purchase of a vessel.
Mary Beth Henderson
Founder of Front & Center and proven marketing and communications Swiss Army Knife, Mary Beth serves H. Hilton Yacht and Ship's clientele by ensuring their vessel listings deliver the wow-factor and reach the right people hunting for their dream vessel online. In a digital age, Mary Beth focuses on a quality presentation, while also using optimization to ensure your listing gets the greatest reach from prospective buyers across the globe.
Bret Hawes hails from the gulf coast of Texas. With a very diverse rearing including private education, sports, business apprenticeship and boating with family along the beautiful waters of the Gulf, Bret found his calling at a young age.
By the age of 20 he joined a very prestigious and award winning 58 Merritt as a second mate. Almost immediately he found himself in the world’s hottest Yachting and sportfishing destinations. At 24 he was promoted to Captain and in pursuit of the perfect destinations. During this era of extensive travel he gained an extreme amount of valuable knowledge in addition to dozens of tournament trophies during his journey. The skills developed from the building process to major refit management on production and custom vessels attributed to him becoming an invaluable marine industry professional with relationships cultivated from a foundation of career dedication and leadership.
He has been a part of every facet of the industry and spent many years learning the intricate details behind the business of vessel construction and business by observing the talented management at Merritt , Carolina Customs and Viking. Bret created innovative design features while working directly with the owner to build their perfect boat while monitoring strict budget requirements.
Now , 17 years and two passports overflowing with stamps later along and vas technical expertise of modern Yachts and Sportfish boats, Bret has evolved his talents toward assisting owners in building , purchasing and selling the world’s most prestigious boats. Joining the H. Hilton team was the most logical choice and platform for his endeavor. He has built a career around a high level of service providing both new and veteran boat owners with adventure beyond compare due to his years of experience coupled with a desire for excellence.
Call Bret at H. Hilton Yacht and Ship today for your next purchase or upgrade.
Todd has grown up around boating his entire life spending time on freshwater lakes and offshore fishing in the Gulf Stream. After studying Business Management in College, Todd launched a “Corporate America” career and transferred out west to Colorado. He conquered his quest rising through the ranks evidentially landing an Executive Director’s position with a Forbes Top 50 Firm. Tired of being landlocked and having to endure the harsh winters, he returned to his home in Charleston, South Carolina to fulfill his dream of becoming a Yacht Broker. “Corporate America taught me customer service and a strong work ethic. I brought that same mentality and skill set with me to Yacht Sales.”
In 2008, Todd began his career in yacht brokerage, and he quickly realized that his drive and ambition would lead him further than Charleston. With that, he moved to Florida, obtained a Florida License, and began selling yachts throughout the Southeast. “Working in diverse markets gave me the ability to specialize in a larger variety of vessels such as Express Cruisers, Motor Yachts, and in one arena high-end Center Consoles and Sportfishing Performance Yachts.”
When it comes to his client’s wishes and dreams, there’s one thing for sure, Todd will work tirelessly and has the knowledge to find the right vessel for your Yachting desires!