February 27, 2020 • Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites – Bellingham Airport • Bellingham, Washington


Tom Aliotti

Aliotti Enterprises

Tom is third generation Bristol Bay and California commercial fishermen with 37 years of experience. Tom started fishing at the age of 14 and ran his first Bristol Bay boat at the age of 18. He follows in the footsteps of his father Nick Aliotti and his grandfather, the senior Tom Aliotti, who fished from a sailing gillnetter.


Aliotti started designing and building Bristol Bay gillnetters in 2009 in the search for the fishing boat that would satisfy his high expectations towards a gillnetter. He is now producing four vessels a year, constantly looking for improvement in the manufacturing process. Tom strives for perfection in performance of his boats and is passionate about the quality of fish harvested out of Bristol Bay.


Tom is the founder and owner of Aliotti Enterprises, and its philosophy is “Designed and Built by Fishermen for Fishermen.” Tom lives in Bellingham, Washington.

Christie Benson

Home Port Seafoods

Christie began her career filing at SeaWest Industries in 1982. Trident Seafoods bought SeaWest in 1985, and Christie stayed with Trident and worked her way up to production planner and inventory control clerk until 1992 when she left to join her parents at Home Port Seafoods. Together with her parents, she built Home Port into a multi-line, quality production facility. They custom process all types of seafood into a multitude of products.


Home Port has expanded into the fish house formerly operated by Bellingham Cold Storage (BCS) and hopes to assist BCS’s customers with their processing needs.

Doug “DC” Cannon

Marine Refrigerations Solutions, Inc.

Doug Cannon, often known as “DC”, has worked in the marine refrigeration industry for nearly 20 years. In those 20 years DC has worked to help fishermen create innovative solutions for their refrigeration needs in the use of ice, refrigerated sea water, brine freezing, blast freezing and plate freezing.

Ann Colonna

Oregon State University Food Innovation Center

Ann Colonna received her BS degree in biochemistry in 1997 from the University of Arizona and followed that with a culinary degree from the Culinary School of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado and Provence, France.  She continued her education at the University of California, Davis where she earned an MS degree in sensory food science in 2001 focusing on methods to mask the carry-over effects in the mouth from the astringency in wine.


Ann is currently in her 19th year at the Food Innovation Center in Portland, Oregon, an off-campus Oregon State University Experiment Station, where she serves at the Sensory Program director.  She assists industry clients with sensory and consumer testing and collaborates in mission-oriented research designed to advance Northwest agriculture and food products.  Recent work includes: perceptions of fresh vs. frozen black cod, coho salmon, sockeye salmon, scallops and albacore tuna, exploring the acceptability of dulse seaweed, testing Hispanic consumers in Mexico City on preferences for different pear varieties and ripeness levels, factors affecting consumers’ preferences for and purchasing decisions regarding pasteurized vs raw milk, washed rind and grass fed specialty cheeses, segmenting consumers based on food choice motivations and product benefit expectations involving kombucha, evaluating consumer acceptability of new Northwest strawberry varietals, consumer detection and acceptability of reduced-sodium bread, gauging the sensory impacts of steam treatment to combat Salmonella on in-shell hazelnuts, understanding consumer preference for grass-fed beef, analyzing marketing messages and consumer acceptance of Oregon Pinot Noir wine and testing the product choice overload effect of IPA craft beer in stores, among others.

Mike Fourtner

Cummins Northwest

Mike grew up and spent 25 years in Homer, Alaska and started commercial salmon seining around Alaska at the age of nine. He grew up on the boat and spent the three summer vacation months working out on the water, and according to Mike, it was the best way to grow up. After graduating from high school, he got a job on the F/V Time Bandit and worked as a deckhand, engineer and eventually captain, spending 15 years out on the Bering Sea.


Mike left the Time Bandit in 2013 after 15 years because he and his wife had a set of identical twin girls on the way. In 2014, he went to work for Cummins in marine engine sales, so he gets to sell new engines to the same group of people that he grew up fishing with, near and around. He still owns his own commercial Bristol Bay gillnet boat, so he can slide away from the ‘office’ for six weeks every June and July to get his annual fishing fix in!


Mike lives with his wife, twin daughters and their two boxers in Adna, WA.

Bob Fraumeni

F.A.S. Seafood Products

As a young boy, Bob Fraumeni was fascinated by the sea. He spent countless hours fishing in Gonzales Bay in Victoria, peering into the ocean, wondering what was down there. Although he wasn’t born into a fishing family, he was drawn to the sea. As he got older, a teenage Fraumeni began hanging around the busy docks of Victoria’s harbour, which at the time had three fish processing plants in full operation.


In 1977 Bob bought his first boat, a 36-foot West Coast troller designed for salmon fishing. However, even as he set out on his first trips, Bob Fraumeni knew the salmon industry was going downhill.


“I realized it was time to branch out to other fisheries – especially ground fish,” Bob recalls.


By 1984 Bob’s company had grown and was established as a limited company called F.A.S. Seafood Producers Ltd., which stands for ‘Frozen At Sea.’  F.A.S. now has eight boats plying the seas, catching everything from halibut up in Haida Gwaii to Albacore tuna off the West Coast of Vancouver Island.


After selling exclusively to the Asian market for many years, Bob was eager to make his high quality products available locally. ‘Finest At Sea’ Products, Ltd. was established as a boutique-style seafood company with locations in Victoria and Vancouver, BC. Bob recognized the need for a source of top quality, 100% wild seafood products of known origin and now the ‘Finest At Sea Products’ are just a phone call away.

Amy Grondin

Duna Fisheries, LLC

F/V Arminta

Amy Grondin has worked since 1993 in the Alaska and Washington salmon industries as a commercial fisherman, fish buyer and small scale at-sea processor. When not on the water, Amy works as a consultant in commercial fisheries outreach and specializes in sustainable seafood. A long time member of Slow Food and the Chefs Collaborative, she advocates for local and regional food systems and has great concern for the health of ocean resources. Amy serves as vice president of the Organic Seed Alliance. She lives in Port Townsend, WA.

Brandii Holmdahl

Bornstein Seafoods

Brandii Holmdahl has spent the last 27 years working in efforts that involve processing, fishing, political, regulatory, scientific and educational aspects of commercial seafood.


Brandii has worked in seafood processing companies in Alaska from Bristol Bay to Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, the Kenai Peninsula and South East with hands-on plant work at the processor, QA manager, foreman and plant manager levels as well as commercial fishing on a southeast gillnetter, PWS jig cod, skiff tendered/QA tech’ed during the Sitka herring fishery and longlined for halibut and black cod in the gulf of Alaska. She has ridden and observed on tenders in the bay, PWS and Sitka.


Brandii worked to develop government sponsored regional branding efforts working with set netters, drifters and processors to achieve a cohesive program and served on the quality sub-committee of the Salmon Legislative Task Force, campaigning for adding icing infrastructure in Bristol Bay, followed by working with Bristol Bay Economic Development District, various processors and fishermen to create a regional branding program. In 2016 she was elected to a seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, representing district 6 and more than 7,000 constituents.


After leaving Alaska, Brandii worked for global seafood import/exporter, Stavis Seafoods in Boston, Massachusetts where she traveled to various countries to audit seafood firms and troubleshoot manufacturing problems. She currently works for Bornstein Seafoods as the director of quality and regulatory compliance. Branidii is also currently a member of the ASMI technical committee.


Brandii is passionate about seafood training and innovation. She believes that changing old methodologies and shifting paradigms are essential components of responding to increasing regulatory requirements and creating information streams that allow harvest and production to meet the needs of today’s seafood consumer.

Bill Liston


Bill Liston grew up in a hunting and fishing family and has been involved in nearly every facet of the seafood industry. Over the past 17 years Bill’s career, which started when he was a fish monger at Pike Place Market, has included retail sales, wholesale buying, primary and secondary processing, direct salmon buying and commercial albacore fishing. Bill is passionate about educating consumers and delivering high quality seafood, therefore, he returned to retail sales. Currently Bill is the seafood manager at Uwajimaya in the Seattle store. Bill has made it his focus to reshape Uwajimaya’s buying practice and to buy directly from fishermen and fish buyers, as much as possible. He hopes that this collaboration will enable retailers to elevate consumer’s knowledge of the seafood they are eating and help our local fishermen earn a sustainable living wage. In this ever-changing seafood marketplace, Bill’s hope is that through continuing collaboration we can educate consumers, support our local fishermen and minimize the gap between what the fishermen receive for their catch and what the consumers pays.

Nick Mendoza


Nick Mendoza is the CEO and co-founder of OneForNeptune. He is a scientist and seafood system expert turned passionate spokesman and storyteller. Nick studied environmental and marine resources at Stanford University and has a master of science degree in sustainable aquaculture from the University of Stirling, Scotland. His belief in innovation and a consumer-up approach to building value in the industry led him to found OneForNeptune, a snack food company that has developed tasty jerkies from premium-quality, undervalued, and underutilized white fish that is traceable to small-scale US West Coast fisheries. A lifelong advocate of healthy, sustainable seafood, Nick’s mission is to bring more fish to the center of the American plate, and into more aisles of the grocery store.

Jerry Morgan

Samson Tug & Barge

Jerry Morgan is the director of sales at Samson Tug & Barge and has been in the transportation business for more than 25 years. Samson Tug & Barge transports large volumes of frozen and canned seafood from Alaska to Seattle and partners with export carriers for international shipments transferred at Dutch Harbor and Seattle.


During his years at Samson, Jerry has worked in all parts of the transportation industry, holding positions in sales and marketing, pricing and scheduling, operations, and as traffic manager.


Jerry was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and lives in Puyallup with his wife, Diane, son, Jake and dog, Riggy!

Rich Murdy

Pacific Power Group

Rich Murdy has been a marine sales representative for Pacific Power Group since 2016. He works with builders and dealers in the Puget Sound area and Alaska to provide propulsion solutions for new vessels and repowers to existing vessels, working primarily with the Volvo Penta commercial product line to provide power from 175hp to 800hp. Before working at Pacific Power Group, Rich held a similar role with Cummins Northwest for 10 years supporting dealers and builders in the Puget Sound Area along with some builders in Oregon and Idaho.

Sukanya “Suki” Paciorek

Whatcom Community Foundation, Millworks Project

Sukanya “Suki” Paciorek recently joined the Whatcom Community Foundation team as director of special projects. She and her family moved to Bellingham this spring from Brooklyn NY, where she spent the past 18 years working in the real estate, energy and sustainability industries. Most recently she was the chief operating officer at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300-acre economic development zone on the Brooklyn waterfront. She is passionate about cooking and food, loves hiking and camping, and is excited to be working on the Millworks project which combines her interest in food, affordable housing and sustainable development.

Peter Philips

Philips Publishing Group

Peter is the president of Philips Publishing Group, publishers of trade journals for the maritime and transportation industries. In the years since Philips Publishing was founded by Peter’s father in 1983, the company has grown to become the largest maritime and transportation publishing house on the West Coast. Titles include Pacific Maritime Magazine, aimed at West Coast commercial vessel and terminal operators, FOGHORN, the official publication of the Passenger Vessel Association, Clipper Vacations Magazine, published for Seattle’s Clipper Navigation, Catalina Express Magazine, published for Catalina Express, Pacific Fisheries Review and Fishermen’s News, the oldest commercial fishing publication on the Pacific Coast.


In addition to publishing trade journals, Philips Publishing also specializes in creative design services for the maritime and transportation industries, with clients across the country. Peter is the immediate past president of the Seattle Marine Business Coalition, which represents the interests of marine industrial land users. Peter is past president of the Port of Seattle Chapter of the Propeller Club, and past regional vice president, West Coast, of the International Propeller Club. Peter has a BA in history from Whitman College, and has been employed in the maritime publishing field since 1985.

Mike Rusk

Tri-County Diesel Marine

Mike started his career working as an apprentice on heavy equipment with NC Machinery Co. in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1981. After the economy collapse in 1986, he and his wife moved to Ft. Myers, Florida where Mike continued with Cat on heavy equipment and began to focus on marine. In 1991 they moved again, back to Mike’s roots in the Northwest where he took a job with Tri-County Engine in Bellingham. It was there that he really dug into all aspects of marine and became certified on many different brands.


Mike and his wife purchased Tri-County Engine in 1991, which became Tri-County Diesel Marine. Thanks to his loyal customer base, the business has grown beyond their expectations. They now have a friendly, qualified staff who they trust to meet any challenge the business throws at them.

Chef Eric Stover

Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen

Eric Stover is the roving chef for Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen. With more than 20 years in the restaurant industry, Eric has worked in restaurants throughout numerous regions of the United States. A chance trip to Seattle forever changed him, and he now calls the Pacific Northwest home. Eric works in all the Tom Douglas restaurants, which provides the opportunity to experience daily our region’s abundance via many different and exciting styles of food and service. He and his wife live on Bainbridge Island, WA.

Gary White

Bellingham Cold Storage

Born and raised in Bellingham, Gary has worked at Bellingham Cold Storage (BCS) since 1985, starting in the fish house unloading boats and freezing fresh fish on the freezer belts and tunnels at BCS. He then worked up to warehousing in the freezers and working on the docks loading and unloading trampers with seafood products, bound for various ports around the world.


In 1992 he took a break to study commercial industrial refrigeration and HVAC, which he then applied to a new position at BCS in the industrial refrigeration department. After a few years he was able to work up to supervisor of the department where he helped implement the current Refrigeration Control System (RCS), which in its first year of operation saved BCS over 35% on its electricity bill.


In his current capacity as vice president engineering, he is responsible for maintaining both BCS facilities, from the refrigeration systems to the building maintenance and all the infrastructure of both. He also works heavily in the areas of new construction, tenant improvements and remodels and has completed a couple of improvement projects to the waterfront facility in recent years. One of note was the icehouse. Originally built in 1946, the building’s old school technology was very labor intensive and not as efficient in producing ice. In 2011 BCS committed to rebuilding the icehouse with more modern technology, it currently has the capacity to make 240 tons of ice in a 24-hour period with its eight flake ice machines and two ice bins.


Gary has been active in our community since he graduated from high school by joining the Marietta volunteer fire department and has been on the Whatcom County hazmat team since 1998, where he currently serves on its board of directors. Gary is also active on the Refrigeration and Energy Committee, and the Construction and Codes Committee for the Global Cold Chain Alliance.


Gary lives with his wife of 30 years, two of their four children and numerous “critters” in the Ferndale area, and loves to fish and go boating in the San Juan Islands.