President & CEO
Ron Evans is synonymous with experience, knowledge, passion, growth and innovation.
Ron moved to Charlotte County in 1976 to manage the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. After a year in Fort Myers at the Royal Palm Yacht Club, Evans moved back to Punta Gorda to partner with Earl Nightingale, Don Donelson and Bob Anderson to design and build Charlotte County’s first true fine dining establishment; Nightingale’s Restaurant at Fishermen’s Village. With its grand opening in 1979, Nightingale’s became an instant success and culinary phenomenon.
Over the course of several years, Evans evolved his personal passions and philosophies into more than a restaurant, but an entire enterprise…quite literally; 1992 marked the birth of Smuggler’s Enterprises, Inc; Evans’ flagship dining venture.
Renowned for the motto he learned from Earl Nightingale, “plan your work and work your plan”, Evans lived by his words. His first move transforming Nightingale’s into The Captain’s Table, intermingling a combination of updated Nightingale’s classics, with prime steaks and seafood, using the highest-quality, local ingredients, whenever possible.
The following year 1993, Evans partnered with Harry Carson to design and build Harpoon Harry’s the first-of-its-kind. Since it’s inception, Harpoon Harry’s has received numerous awards including; “Best Waterfront Restaurant,” “Best Open-Air Restaurant,” “Best Place to Have a Beer,” “Best Sports Bar,” and “Best Bar & Night Spot” by the Charlotte Sun Herald readers.
The Smuggler’s empire includes: fine dining, casual dining, waterfront dining, catering, live entertainment, a jazz and blues lounge, event sponsorship, souvenir clothing, and community involvement, just to name a few. Evans’, proven record of delivering growth and knowledge of the Smuggler’s brands and customers make him the perfect leader.
He has done an outstanding job of spearheading the Smuggler’s expansion. His broad experience in operations management, restaurant design and development, sales and marketing enable Smuggler’s Enterprises Inc. to drive growth and bring company-wide focus to areas that are crucial for long-term success.
Evans has taken the Smuggler’s Enterprises Inc., brand to a level that restaurateurs only dream of. The labors of “planning his work, and working his plan” have transpired into quite possibly one of the most successful privately owned/operated food and beverage operations in Southwest Florida!
Chief Operations Officer
After graduating Charlotte High School, Chris moved to Minneapolis in 1999, where he spent a year and a half polishing his management skills as operations manager for a small manufacturing company.
In 2001, Chris returned to Florida, at which point he elected to continue his management career with Smuggler’s Enterprises, Inc. Since his return, Chris has worked from the bottom up to position the company for growth, by reforming logistical/operational challenges, to changing marketing apparatus and implementing beneficial new initiatives for the company.
In 2008, The Smuggler’s Foundation was formed in partnership with the Charlotte Community Foundation in an effort to streamline Smuggler’s charitable efforts. Currently, the principles of Smuggler’s Enterprises, Inc. fund the foundation by donating .005% of annual sales into the Foundation.
Together with the support of the company’s President and partners, other projects were quickly established, including the popular waterfront restaurant Laishley Crab House located in Laishley Park that was completed in 2009, as well as John Hall’s Goal Post, and Smuggler’s Culinary Catering. In 2009, Chris, along with partners Bruce and Barbara Laishley formed Harbour Graphics and Design, a full service screenprinting, embroidery, and print shop. Chris is fortunate enough to work with industry professionals and great partners that help him maximize the companies’ potential.
Chris is also Managing Partner of Marina Park, LLC, a business enterprise that consists of the Laishley Crab House Center and the Marina Park Management Group.
Chris brings unique passion and a wealth of management and operational experience to the quintessential Smuggler’s Restaurants and Bars, located in vibrant Punta Gorda.
A passion for food and a long-standing family tradition influenced Executive Chef Rodney Monroig to pursue a career as a professional Chef. Interested in all aspects of the culinary art, Rodney has seen his cuisine develop throughout the years. A Puerto Rico native, his culinary creations capture a variety of cultures and their cuisine.
A graduate of John & Wales University, Rodney has created menus for many dignitaries and renowned restaurants during the span of his career. He began his career as a Sous Chef for the Naples Beach Hotel, before occupying a position as the kitchen manager for the Primetime restaurant in Englewood.
The technique-driven, large-scale restaurant experience made the perfect segue for his next stop: joining Smuggler’s Enterprises, Inc. in 1996 as the Sous Chef. It was at the Captain’s Table that Rodney had the privilege of honing his skills while experimenting and collaborating on menus that raised the restaurant’s reputation to a true fine dining establishment. Within three years he quickly rose to the position of Executive Chef.
Rodney brings a wealth of personality and culinary expertise to the Captain’s Table. He takes great joy in engaging guests, creating innovative cuisine, ensuring flawless production and offering superb service. A celebrity in his own right, Rodney’s passion and love for food is clear to everyone who meets him. His passion carries on to his love for sharing his wealth of experience and expertise, acting as an advisor to aid in the design and layout for the kitchen of the newest addition to Smuggler’s Enterprises, Inc., Laishley Crab House.
Kelly Liscum is the daughter of Ron Evans, and also the twin sister of Chris Evans. She graduated from The Asheville School in 1999. Upon graduation, she came to work for Smuggler’s Enterprises, Inc. as a server. In 2003, she married the love of her life, Ronald Liscum. She received her B.S. in Education from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2005.
After receiving her degree, she began teaching the 2nd grade at Deep Creek Elementary School. In 2005, Kelly and Ron welcomed their first child, Savanah into their family. In 2008, they welcomed their first son, Wyatt, into the family.
After taking some time off from teaching, Kelly rejoined the Smuggler’s Family in 2010, assisting the management of their newly formed Event Management Company. Kelly is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Accounting and when the office manager manager position opened up, Kelly was well-prepared to take the reins. Her organizational skills are invaluable to Smuggler’s Enterprises. Kelly’s determination, thoroughness, and meticulous attention to detail provide Smuggler’s with an exceptional leader in our accounting department.
As Founder of the area’s renowned professional ?shing tournaments The Flatsmasters Series, Jerry Cleffi serves as the tournament leader in Southwest Florida and visionary founder of Flatsmasters Fishing Tournaments.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary season, Flatsmasters is, without question, the purveyor of Southwest Florida’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Flatsmasters Series, Flatsmasters Redfish Series, Flatsmasters Elite Series, Flatsmasters Redspot “Count The Spots” Tournament, and the Peace River Bass Series.
Cleffi began organizing fishing tournaments in 1991 as a co-branded event, to help promote his tackle shop and guide business. The success of the tournament was beyond what he had ever anticipated. Soon after Cleffi joined forces with the American Cancer Society and the then Coastal Conservation Association, and begin organizing the first inshore fishing tournament series in Florida – The RedSnook Series. In 2001, he helped to develop the Charlotte High School Redfish Roundup, which proved to be the largest and most successful fundraising event for the school and has continuously set record numbers each year! His success and expertise in tournament fundraising made him the ‘go to guy’ for Charlotte Warriors Pop Warner Football, Port Charlotte High School Athletics, Habitat for Humanity, The Snook Foundation, and many others. It wasn’t until 2002, that the Flatsmasters Series saw the day of light. Centered around inshore fishing the unique tournament series, has become the benchmark for all inshore tournaments in Florida. As founder, Cleffi leads the Flatsmasters organization that operates all of the ?shing-tournament circuits offering huge cash prizes, through its 25+ professional tournament events. With an average of over 300 anglers per year for the past 9 consecutive years, The Flatsmasters is one of the largest and most respected tournaments in Florida.
In 2005, Cleffis’ vision to grow fishing beyond the 50 million anglers who participate in the sport annually and build it into a sport that is as much a part of the American past-time as Monday Night Football and NASCAR, he began filming the Flatsmasters TV Show – a reality based show centered around the top anglers in the Flatsmasters Series. In 2009, he began publishing the Flatsmasters Magazine, a quarterly publication about recreational and tournament fishing on the west coast of Florida.
Today, Cleffi continues to tap into the power of the nation’s ?shing enthusiasts through new ventures in the tournament arena. In 2010 branched out into creating and managing other events such as the Punta Gorda Redfish Festival and the Smuggler’s Haunting on the Harbor. Throughout his career, Cleffi has owned and/or managed multiple large and small start-up companies. However, he remains a passionate and relentless innovator, linking fishing, tournaments, fundraising and business for the benefit of sponsors, fans and anglers alike.
Captain’s Table General Manager
Steven Redman’s career in restaurants started at the ripe old age of 13, where he worked his way up through their local Country Club in Marlette, Michigan. By the time he was 17 and still in high school, Steve ran the evening kitchen after school.
While in college he worked in the country’s most exclusive country club, The Midland Dow Golf and Country Club in Midland, Michigan, where he worked inside the private club called The Dow Club, where only top Dow executives hosted their business meetings, and where only top staff were cleared to work. He also catered in these executive’s private homes. Steve graduated from Northwood University, Midland, Michigan with a degree in Hotel/Motel Restaurant Management and Accounting at the age of 20. He served as GM of the country club. By 22, Steve moved to Columbus, Ohio, and became the dining room manager for the Chuck Muer Corporation at Engine House #5 in German Village, where on Michigan and Ohio game nights reservations topped over 700 people in 6 different dining rooms and multiple bars. This is where he learned to love fresh seafood, and the value of super staff members. From there Steve owned and operated a restaurant with his family in Almont, Michigan for 8 years.
After selling that operation, Steve moved to Venice, Florida, with his wife and young son. He became opening management for Club Bandstand (a fifties diner and night club on Sarasota Bay) in The Sarasota Quay, Sarasota Florida. A year later Steve decided to buy The Veranda Cafe in Venice, Florida across from Venice Hospital which he ran for 8 years. After a small break, Steve returned to the industry in a global resort company called Royalty Resorts out of the UK. He was responsible for all activities, events, parties, music, planning, a TV station, newspaper, 150 classes and over 400 volunteers, along with their bars and restaurants. Steve was the face of this mega award winning resort called Sun-N-Fun Resort of Sarasota, Florida where he was responsible for the daily fun, for 3600 people. With Royalty Resorts’ 41 properties, Steve was able to travel to Canada, England and France to advance the resort’s programs. After 15 years, Steve retired in 2010, until this exciting opportunity to bring his many years of expertise to the Captain’s Table in Punta Gorda!
Harpoon Harry’s Manager
Corinne has over 4 years experience in the restaurant industry. After graduating from Charlotte High School, Corinne started working as a server at Charlotte County’s favorite hot spot, Harpoon Harry’s. After years of hard work and dedication her role changed from server to Manager.
As Restaurant Manager, Corinne is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Harpoon Harry’s, including the dining room, three full liquor bars, and an outdoor patio.
Harpoon Harry’s Kitchen Manager
A New Orleans native, Dave Kass’ introduction to the Food and Beverage industry began when he was 16 years old, working part-time as a bus boy at Bay Street. He continued to work throughout high school inching his way from bussing to waiting and eventually tending bar. Upon graduation Dave moved to Texas where he became more involved in the hospitality industry.
Presented with an opportunity to see “the other side of the tracks” Dave accepted a manager position, giving him the opportunity to learn about the management aspects of the operation. After gaining experience and insight about management and its responsibilities, Dave decided to take the next step in his development moving to Florida in 1994, to become a full time Kitchen Manager, for Smuggler’s Enterprises inc.
As the Kitchen Manager, he participates in the training of employees, menu development and financial analysis, that work to make Harpoon Harry’s successful. Since his first day on the job back on Sept. 14th 1995, Dave has remarkably missed only one day of work over the course of 12.5 years!
The Goal Post Grill Manager