Chris Belland is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Historic Tours of America. Aside from four years at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance, he has spent his entire life in Miami and Key West. His penchant for history comes from three years as an exchange student in South America and trips to Europe during his college years. He has joined his avocation, which is a love of history, into his vocation which is showing off the historical importance of the cities in which our company operates.
As part of the company’s philosophy of giving back to the community, Mr. Belland also formed the Key West Attractions Association, was the first founding president of the Key West Montessori Children’s School and has served on the Boards of the Florida Attractions Association and the Key West Chamber of Commerce. He is presently a columnist for the local newspaper and his works can be seen at hindsightsandinsights.blogspot.com.
“Showing off the incredible seven cities that Historic Tours of America operates in has been one of the greatest joys of my life.”
Edwin O. Swift, III is a founder, President and Director of Historic Tours of America. It was probably the fact that Ed’s father was the head photographer for the St. Louis Star Times and, in fact, was one of those photographers who took the picture of Truman holding up the “Dewey Wins!” newspaper, that caused him to go into the camera business in Key West.
Not only was Ed in retail for 15 years, he has also lived the company’s philosophy by being active in the community serving as Monroe County Commissioner, President of the Chamber of Commerce and being one of the foremost and earliest proponents and developers of affordable workforce housing. He is presently working on the Florida Keys Assisted Care Coalition and the Friends of Mallory Square which built the Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden.
Says Ed, “Being able to make such a positive impact on my community has been my greatest accomplishment. Not only was I involved in the early restoration of a depressed city but I have been part of the process in making this one of the most interesting and desirable destinations to live and visit.”
Edwin O. Swift IV, is the Chief Operating Officer of Historic Tours of America. In this capacity he is responsible for the sightseeing tours and attractions of the company. Ed has been working for Historic Tours of America since he was 11-years-old starting as a summer stock boy. Filling multiple roles for the company over the last 20 years, he has worked in many areas including retail sales clerk, Fisherman’s Café waiter, ice cream parlor server, Conch Train sales representative, Key West Aquarium tour guide and Boston trolley conductor.
He produced and acted in the first Ghosts & Gravestones Tour, and was assistant manager for HTA’s Cambridge Trolley Tours in Boston. Following this assignment, he was promoted to Head of Property Management in Key West and later took the position of Director of Property Development. He opened the St. Augustine Operation for HTA and was soon asked to oversee the Savannah Operation as a regional Director of Operations. He has enjoyed living and working for HTA in Key West, Savannah, Boston, and St. Augustine.
Director of Sales, Marketing and Vendor Support for Trusted Tours and Attractions
Christian Belland is the Director of Sales, Marketing and Vendor Support for Trusted Tours and Attractions. A graduate of Stetson University’s School of Business, Christian joined Historic Tours of America in 1992. Over the course of his employment at Historic Tours of America, Christian has experience having worked in many of the company’s departments. His tenure with HTA includes front-line retail and concession sales positions, ticket seller for the Conch Tour Train and the Old Town Trolley Tours and has been a tour conductor for Old Town Trolley Tours in both Key West and Boston.
Christian served as the Directing Manager for the Yankee Freedom III – Dry Tortugas National Park Ferry, Schooner Western Union, Schooner America and the Heritage Harbor Tour. Christian has been involved with Historic Tours of America’s ticketing sales through Trusted Tours and Attractions from the beginning and has assisted in the development of the Online Vendor Program.
Freddy M. Varela has been employed as the company’s controller since August 2001. As controller of the company, Mr. Varela is responsible for analyzing, interpreting, and controlling the company’s accounting and financial records. His duties cover all of the accounting functions of the company such as general accounting, budgeting and forecasting, accounting methods and procedures, taxes, and internal auditing. Mr. Varela also works closely with the independent accounting firm that performs the company’s annual audit.
He is currently serving a four year term as a member of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. Mr. Varela is also involved with Key West Little Conch Baseball as a baseball coach as well as serving as league president for 6 years. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Varela was a senior accountant for a public accounting firm in Key West for over 10 years. Mr. Varela graduated from Florida International University in August 1990 with a BA in accounting.
Piper L. Smith began her career with Historic Tours of America in 1983 working in the Conch Tour Train Ice Cream Parlor and Gift Shop while on breaks from college. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Advertising, she came back to work at the company’s newly created in-house marketing department as an assistant. While there, she noticed the fun the conductors had giving tours; so she became certified as a tour conductor on her weekends off, giving tours for nearly a year. In 1998 Piper was promoted to Vice President of Marketing for Historic Tours of America where she oversees all marketing aspects for the company.
As an avid traveler, working for a company with operations in seven fabulous destinations is a dream come true. “How many people get to play tourist as part of their jobs?” says Piper. “We are around people on vacation every day. How fun is that?” Piper is also actively involved in the community. She currently serves on the Monroe County Tourist Development Council District Advisory Committee and the board of directors of the Florida Keys Lodging Association, Tropic Cinema and Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden. She is a mentor as part of Take Stock in Children. She is a two-term past president of the Key West Attractions Association and Big Brothers/Big Sisters where she was a Big Sister for six years Her other passion besides travel are golden retrievers and she is a volunteer for Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue.
Vincent A. Leone is the Director of Ticketing Operations for Historic Tours of America. Vince began his tenure with Historic Tours during high school working at the Conch Tour Train Gift Shop in Key West. After graduating from Key West High School, he attended Florida State University and graduated from the FSU College of Business with a double major in Finance and Real Estate. In 2009, Vince began training in the Historic Tours Management Training Program working in both Savannah and St. Augustine Operations. During the next four years of Management Training, he learned many roles in the company: Old Town Trolley Conductor, Ghosts & Gravestones Driver, Ticket Sales Agent, St. Augustine Charter Representative and AR/AP Manager.
In 2013, Vince was promoted to a corporate leadership position as National Trainer, focusing on training and accounting standardization throughout the country. Currently, he is responsible for large scale operational rollouts, including but not limited to, online reservation systems, daily recap and vendor ticketing systems. Additional responsibilities include facilitating implementation of all operational ticketing rollouts. Vince enjoys golf, fishing and spending time with his wife, Tracy, and two children, Isabella and Austin.
Regional Manager for Boston, Key West and Savannah
Charlie Brazil has worked for Historic Tours of America (HTA) / Old Town Trolley Tours (OTT) for over 12 years in four different cities. He started in the Management Training Program in San Diego, then transferred to the Key West and Boston operations before being asked to take over the General Manager position in the Savannah Operation. He is currently Regional Manager for Boston, Key West and Savannah. His educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree from Hofstra University in Political Science with a concentration in Literature and a JD (Law) from California Western School of Law in San Diego, CA.
Charlie is extremely involved in the leadership ranks with a number of organizations dedicated to the protection, service and support of the city of Savannah and its hospitality / tourism industry. He enjoys the variety experience in his position and with OTT, and getting the chance to “greet new guests from all over the world, every day.” He takes great pride in working for an operation that was once the smallest in the HTA nation, and has grown to carry more guests than any other operation in the company. In his spare time, Charlie enjoys travel, time spent outdoors, gardening, music, and time with his family, including the newest addition, his boy – Holden, born in February of 2008.
Rod is the Director of Travel Industry Sales for Historic Tours of America and oversees the wholesale and group sales market. Rod was born and raised in Concord, New Hampshire and graduated from the University of New Hampshire and then moved to San Diego. He worked a summer job at SeaWorld of California then got a job as a Concierge at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina and was there for 9 years. He was also the President of the San Diego Concierge Association for two years during that time.
He was then stolen away from the Sheraton and became the Hotel Vendor Rep for Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego. Several years later, he was promoted to Director of Sales overseeing all aspects of the San Diego Old Town Trolley Tours and SEAL Tours sales department. In addition to those duties, Rod was recently promoted to Director of Travel Industry Sales overseeing the wholesale market for all of Historic Tours of America. Rod has also served as the Chairman of the Board of the San Diego Tourism Authority. He enjoys the beach, traveling, going to the gym, hanging with friends, and loves to cook. Rod has been with HTA for 25 years.
A native Floridian, Joyce Unke, born in Sanford, FL, the “celery capital of the world,” is the Director of Real Estate & Property Management for Historic Tours of America and its subsidiaries. She started her career as an assistant to Gerald “Mo” Mosher and Michael Cates Sr., two of the original four partners of Historic Tours, in a small office off Duval Street in Key West, in 1994! Over the next years, real estate law, contract writing, permitting, maintenance, and negotiating skills were handed down to her by her mentors. She since then has grown and managed hundreds of both residential and commercial properties. Joyce has been involved in the intricate process of local management of over five workforce housing projects within the city and county, median & moderate income.
Joyce is passionate when it comes to Commercial real estate in Key West. She is a take charge, negotiate the deal, and get it done person! She works with large corporate tenants, as well as local entrepreneurs, businesses, and artisans as well.
Joyce loves the hands-on interaction with all tenants alike. In addition, she also enjoys working with the entire team of Historic Tours of America which she also calls her “family”!!
Nelson Nodal is General Manager of Retail Operations for Historic Tours of America. He was born in Cuba and moved to Key West in 1981. He is a graduate of Key West High School and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from St. Leo’s University. Nelson joined Historic Tours of America in 1997 and has worked in all areas of its retail operations. He was promoted to General Manager in 2012.
Nelson loves the challenge of retail as well as analyzing every area of the business to maximize its full potential. Nelson is married with a six-year-old daughter.
Ryan Darrah is the Chief Information Officer of Historic Tours of America. He joined the CAST of Historic Tours of America in 2007 as a Computer Specialist. Within a few years, Ryan was promoted to Information Technology Manager where he worked directly under Layfield Long, implementing and managing many IT projects and upgrades for all the trolley, attractions and retail operations. In June 2015, Ryan was promoted to his current position of Chief Information Officer. Under Ryan’s direction, The IT department is responsible to assist the company achieve its goals through the developing, integrating and implementation of the company’s technological endeavors. Ryan works closely with the senior management teams at every location to ensure these needs are met.
Ryan earned his degree in computer science from SUNY Institute of Technology and brings over 20 years of field and management experience from various computer driven companies ranging from 15 employees to 25,000 worldwide. He has served as Vice President of Mu Theta Fraternity and Vice President and Treasurer of The Southernmost Homebrew Club. Ryan enjoys the outdoors and has participated in a number of 5k races in both Key West and St. Augustine, FL.
William V. Meagher III joined our cast as Director of Risk Management and Insurance in 2007. He oversees the Company’s Risk Management operations which include assessment and analysis, insurance procurement, risk treatment, loss control, safety and claims management. Bill brings with him over 20 years of property and casualty insurance experience and served as a corporate underwriting executive for a major U.S. insurer. In addition, Bill has been involved in sales, marketing and training and has also owned several businesses of his own, including a catering business and two restaurants.
“When I left the cold, ice and snow behind in Chicago and came to Key West I thought I had also said goodbye to the insurance business. Not to be!!! I couldn’t resist the opportunity to join HTA and be part of an organization that knows how to have fun.”
Joanna Huestis joined Historic Tours of America in 2010 as the Human Resources Director, working from our Key West corporate office. She is now leading a diverse department of professionals throughout the US with an emphasis on developing subject matter experts in each area under her direction. Her focus has always been on teaching, mentoring, and strategic planning.
As a graduate of the University of South Florida, she achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and later earned a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. With over 25 years of HR experience, she holds both the SPHR and SHRM-SCP professional certifications.
Joanna enjoys travel, gardening, and boating with her husband in the beautiful waters of the Florida Gulf Coast.
Montgomery “Monte” Triz is National Director of Art Design for Historic Tours of America, Inc. He designs retail stores and backdrop sets for attractions, among other things. A professional artist by training, Triz employs his full range of skills in the development of HTA stores and attractions, including concept illustration, model making, sculpture, and scenic painting. His 25 years of professional experience includes creating stage sets for movie studios in Hollywood as an art director and design work for Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida. He has also worked for Fox/Viacom and the Walter Hill Company.
Triz’s lively approaches to illustrations, story boards and architectural rendering are an integral part of the HTA creative process in the development of museums, attractions, retail spaces, and background sets. His lifelike sculptures, known as Montemen, can be seen at HTA attractions and in theme parks across the country, and his art hangs in studios, private collections and galleries throughout Florida.
Jason is the Revenue Manager for Historic Tours of America, previously the Operations Manager of HTA’s St. Augustine Tours and Attractions. There, Jason stood out as an Operator, temporary Safety Officer, and Trainer. With his background and knack for technology and implementation, he helped streamline St. Augustine’s technology costs and performance.
Today, Jason is based out of our HTA North Corporate office in St. Augustine and helps focus HTA’s revenue generation efforts utilizing pricing strategies, forecasting, and reporting to help keep General Managers and the Executive Team advised and up to date on not only past and current performance, but trends and upcoming opportunities. Jason also helps manage our product portfolio as a member of the HTA Ticketing Team and is one of the high-level ticketing system users who bridges the gap between HTA and Ventrata.
In his leisure time, Jason enjoys spending his free time with his wife and 5 children, whether it be traveling, dining out, or watching movies. He also records professional voiceovers as a hobby in his home studio. Needless to say, Jason is nearly always near a computer and ready to lend a hand in Ventrata, or check up on our library of dynamically priced products. He can also still give an entertaining St. Augustine Trolley or Nights of Lights Tour in a pinch!
Originally from the North of England, Chris Crompton is now based in Boston, Massachusetts.
Before moving into travel and tourism, Chris worked in sales before an interest in travel and exploration opened a door into the aviation industry. Initially, he worked in ground and airport operations before his sales background surfaced again and he moved into aircraft leasing and management.
In 2008 Chris moved into the sightseeing industry and since then he has been involved with, or has launched and managed, operations in several different countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America.
Having visited over 100 countries, Chris has always been an avid traveler and has experienced the good, the bad, and the exciting sides of travel for both business and pleasure. This includes working in challenging or hostile environments providing humanitarian and evacuation air services and at the other end of the spectrum, joining potential clients on private jets to demonstrate the functionality of a luxury aircraft.
When he is not at work, Chris enjoys cycling and hiking with his dog and is still keen to visit the countries that he has not yet had the opportunity to experience.
Executive Director and Vice President of the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Shawn P. Ford is the Executive Director and Vice President of the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Previously, Shawn was Vice President of International and Domestic Sales. Says Shawn, “I have the best job in the world (and I am very sincere about that statement); I have been with HTA for over 22 years (here’s the part when you’re supposed to say… YOU SURE DON’T LOOK THAT OLD!)”. Shawn started his career with the company as a tour conductor with Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston. “It has been a tremendous 22 years. I have had the opportunity to represent this company at hundreds of trade shows and sales missions, served on many board of directors both locally and nationally over the years. I can honestly say that I have never ever had ‘a typical work day’ here at HTA and that the entire cast and crew are certainly NOT your ‘typical company employees'”. Shawn is a past president of the Boston chapter of SKAL.
“Outside of Historic Tour of America, I enjoy great cooking, great food, great wine and most importantly great friends and company. I have been blessed to have been with my partner for 17 years, who just happens to be the greatest human being in the world, and the smartest guy in the world because he has decided to be with me. Our boys Dalton and Cody (two cocker spaniels) are the joy of our lives, who enjoy spending their summers on Cape Cod National Seashore ( who says “it’s a dogs life out there”) swimming, chasing sea gulls and digging for clams.”
General Manager of Old Town Trolley, and Arlington National Cemetery Tours in Washington, DC
Eric S. Holmes is the General Manager of Old Town Trolley, and Arlington National Cemetery Tours in Washington, DC. In this role, he oversees the financial, practical, and logistical operations of these three companies.
Eric started his HTA career in 1996 as a tour conductor for Old Town Trolley Tours. After being with the company for one year, he was promoted to the role of head conductor. In 1998, he was offered and accepted the position as operations manager of Old Town Trolley Tours, Savannah. After one year in Savannah, he would return to Washington DC as the operations manager. Over the last 19 years, he’s also worked as a sales representative, safety and training officer, charter representative, vendor representative, and assistant general manager.
In 2013, Eric was ordained to preach the gospel at the Isle of Patmos Baptist Church where he now serves as the Assistant Pastor, Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, and President of the Men’s Ministry.
When he’s not at the offices, Eric loves spending time with his children and breeding South African Mastiffs.
General Manager of Old Town Trolley in Nashville, TN
Steve Burress is the General Manager of Old Town Trolley in Nashville, TN. Steve started his career with Old Town Trolley in the Key West operation as a tour Conductor in 2006. Over the course of the next several years, Steve had a goal to learn as many aspects of the company as he could. He moved into the Sales Department and spent time working in the sales booths. An opportunity opened in the office working with the Office Manager and became the administrative assistant, gaining valuable knowledge of the office side of the operation. In 2001, Steve was promoted to the Operations Manager where he spent his time until the position of General Manager for the new Nashville Operation was available. Steve was excited about the opportunity to help Old Town Trolley expand into its 7th city and gladly accepted the opportunity.
When Steve is not in the office, he enjoys exploring Nashville, his new home, as well as spending time with his family and dogs.
General Manager of Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine
David Chatterton is the General Manager of Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine. He started his hospitality career in St. Augustine in the early 1990’s. He joined HTA in 2003 as Savannah’s Operations Manager. Born in Hackensack, New Jersey, Dave considers St. Augustine his hometown, and eventually returned as Operations Manager in 2007.
In 2009, he was promoted to General Manager of Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine, the Authentic Old Jail and the St. Augustine History Museum. To make this operation the best it can be, Dave continually seeks innovative ways to insure guest satisfaction, maximize sales and attract CASTmembers that happily perform in keeping with HTA philosophy.
General Manager of all San Diego operations, Old Town Trolley, SEAL Tours and Old Town Market
David Thornton began his career with Old Town Trolley Tours as the operation manager of the Old Town Market retail division and property leasing. After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1981 with a degree in advertising, David moved to Dallas Texas and began a career in retail operations with Mervyn’s Department store. After 12 years of Mervyn’s, 10 different stores, and 5 different states, David joined the Hewlett Packard Corporation working in Corvallis, Oregon. David’s career focused in the area of training and new hire orientation. After the dot.com crash of 2001, David moved to what is known as ‘America’s finest city’, San Diego. There he joined Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego, Old Town Market, and began his new career back into retail operations, but now with a focus on tourism hospitality. In 2008, David was promoted to General Manager of all San Diego operations, Old Town Trolley & SEAL tours and the Old Town Market. “What better way to work than with people who are on vacation in America’s Finest city, San Diego!” David is involved in community events such as Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo, Fiesta Navidad, Old Town Planning committee and the St. Vincent DePaul family & children’s division. David has also volunteered with the San Diego Big Bay clean-up project and other community events.
General Manager of Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah
Garry Patrick is the General Manager of Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah. Garry began his career at Old Town Trolley as the Depot Sales Manager in 2010. After three successful years in this role and seeing the need for stability and growth in the Ghosts & Gravestones program, Garry volunteered to become the Program Manager. Garry has also worked in the Groups and Charters Department and was previously the Assistant General Manager of Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah. “Without question, this is truly a great company to work for,” says Garry. “I am thankful every day for the opportunity to work in Savannah for Old Town Trolley and with our amazing Castmembers.”
Originally hailing from Australia, Garry has four children: Stephanie, Emily, Zara and Wade. When he is not working he enjoys spending time with his children outdoors enjoying all Savannah has to offer.
Director of Attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah
Kayla Black is the Museum Manager of the American Prohibition Museum in Savannah, Georgia. Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Kayla completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in History and Applied History at Bloomsburg and Shippensburg Universities of Pennsylvania before moving to Savannah in 2011. In 2013, she began working for Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah as a Trolley Conductor and moved through the company working as the Training Officer and Script Writer until finding a home in her current position at the Prohibition Museum. Working as the Training Officer afforded her the opportunity to become familiar with many different departments of the Trolley Operation. Kayla says, “Being with the Museum from the first cross-legged powwow meeting to the ribbon cutting Grand Opening has been an amazing experience”.
When not in the Museum, Kayla enjoys taking her corgi, Radar, to the beach.
Clinton Curry has been employed in various positions with Historic Tours of America and today serves as the Director of Operations for our Transportainment®, Museums, and Attractions operations in Key West. Clinton has been working with Historic Tours of America since 1987, starting as a stock boy for our retail operations and server within our food and beverage operations in Mallory Square. By the early 1990s he began working as a tour guide at the Key West Aquarium, promoted in 1999 to Operations Manager of the Key West Aquarium. In 2004 Clinton was promoted to General Manager of the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum and in 2016 assumed the role of Director of Museums and Attractions. Throughout his tenure with the company, Clinton has assisted with the development of several other city tours, including the highly popular Ghosts & Gravestones of Key West Frightseeing® Tour. Clinton serves as Executive Director for the Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation, has been a board member and officer of the Key West Attractions Association, and volunteers time to many of our local non-profit organizations and our community at large. Furthering his understanding of the City of Key West’s operational needs, Clinton has completed training as an Ambassador for the City of Key West. In his own words, what he enjoys most about working at Historic Tours of America is the “opportunity to serve those I work with and to meet people from all over the world, while sharing the cultural history of my hometown.”
As a seventh-generation, native-born Key Wester, Clinton and his family are well-rooted in Key West. In his spare time, Clinton and his family enjoy the many wonderful land and sea activities available in the Fabulous Florida Keys.
Richard Sanders-Fox, Transportainment General Manager in Key West, began his career with HTA as a Conch Tour Train driver in 2013. Originally from Manchester, England, after 15 years in the British Military, Richard first came to the United States as a Senior Project Manager for Lucent Technologies. After Hurricane Katrina, he worked with American Tower Corporation to help rebuild telecommunications in the southeastern U.S. before taking a break from corporate America and moving to the Florida Keys. When an opportunity presented itself on the Old Town Trolley side of the operation, he brought his talents there. This transfer marked the beginning of a chain reaction from driver to Head Conductor, culminating in his current position where both trains and trolleys now work together under the Transportainment heading.
10 years in, and Richard still loves working for our CAST and guests. “Every day is a different challenge. I love coming to work every day.” An active member of the community, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Key West Attractions Association, is a lead advocate for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and is a member of both the local Chamber of Commerce and the Key West Business Guild.
When not at work Richard loves to spend time with his wife Tracy and watch his favorite soccer team, Manchester City, play at the weekend.
Brent Lyons is the General Manager of Attractions in Key West. He joined Historic Tours of America in 2018 and has worked in various roles in every HTA tour and attraction in Key West. Brent holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in supply chain management.
Brent’s very involved in his community where he coaches youth baseball, volunteers in community activities, serves on multiple boards of directors for various associations, and participates in the Key West Chamber of Commerce. His wife, Carly, is a local elementary school teacher, and together they have 3 young children.
Brent was a successful Independent Contractor for years with FedEx in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He relocated his family to the Lower Florida Keys in 2011 and became the District Manager for Coca-Cola, where he earned the company’s Innovation Award for developing and launching a successful local sales and marketing program. He was then recruited to become the General Manager for a large Coca-Cola facility in the Black Hills of South Dakota. After a couple years contemplating why they gave up eternal paradise for the cold winters in South Dakota, he moved his family back to the Florida Keys and reinvented himself once again in the tourism industry.
Joining HTA has been one of the most exciting steps in Brent’s career: “I really enjoy the tourism industry, the guests who choose to vacation where I live, and serving the amazing CAST here at HTA Key West!”
When Brent is not in the office, he’s likely on his boat in the beautiful waters surrounding the Lower Keys spending time with his family!
Brett Unke is the General Manager of Yankee Freedom III. He has a strong administrative background and loves working with his staff and crew. The Yankee Team is laser-focused on providing the best customer experience aboard the exclusive ferry to the breathtaking Dry Tortugas National Park. Brett is new to the HTA family but not to the Florida Keys. He has spent the last 30 years in the Keys working for the school board as a teacher and retiring from education as a school administrator for the last 20. Brett has a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in advertising from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. He also has a master’s degree in administrative leadership from Florida State University. When he’s not at work for the Yankee boat you will find Captain Brett on his own boat exploring the beautiful Keys waters.