Priscilla Armstrong’s career includes experience in operations, leadership training and management consulting at seafood processing, aerospace manufacturing, and waste management companies. In each company she focused on driving mission critical strategic initiatives using industry best practices as well as continuous improvement. As a Columbia University graduate in China studies and Johns Hopkins SAIS graduate she also has spent many years living and working in Asia as well as helping organize Sino-American Infectious Disease Conferences in Taipei and Shanghai. Priscilla also volunteers as the co-chair of the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence community advisory board at the University of Washington Medical Center.
Haraldur has been in the fishing industry all his life and fishing is in his blood. He started going to sea at 15-years old as his father, his grandfather and great-grandfather where all fishing captains. At the age of 17, he started his career as a netmaker in Denmark and was on and off at sea during that time. Haraldur spent many years at sea with a family owned business running two purse seiners, F/V Isafold and F/V Geysir, out of Hirtshals, Denmark. Haraldur received his skipper’s license at the age of 20 from Skagen Navigation School, Denmark. Over the years, he has spent many years at sea in Denmark, Iceland and several other countries.
In 1995 Haraldur started working as the international sales manager for Hampidjan Group and later became managing director for Hampidjan New Zealand where he moved in 1997 with his family and spent three years “down under.” Haraldur was instrumental in putting to market the self-spreading technology for midwater trawls, a technology that today is well-known worldwide. In 2011 Haraldur assumed the position of managing director for Cosmos Trawl in Denmark, a subsidiary of Hampidjan Group. Haraldur has been instrumental in Hampidjan Group’s expansion to become one of the world leaders in fishing gear design and production worldwide.
In 2017 Haraldur changed course and took on a new role as the managing director/CEO for Knarr Maritime Consortium. The companies behind Knarr Maritime all have proven, international track records in naval architecture, with their EnduroBow design; off-shore fresh fish processing; automated trawl winches; off-shore freezing processing; and onshore processing for ground and pelagic fish. Haraldur’s role as CEO has been to establish Knarr as a clear choice for fishing companies in the global market by offering integrated, state-of-the-art design and know-how developed by Iceland ‘s leading technology companies, building on decades of experience in the Icelandic fishing sector.
In his leisure time, Haraldur enjoys fly fishing, traveling and exploring the Icelandic wilderness as much as possible with his family.
Rúnar got his first fishing rod at 5 years old as his grandfather was one of the very few crazy Icelanders who liked to fly fish Atlantic salmon instead of catching it in nets. During his upbringing Rúnar was taken on many fishing trips and learned to enjoy fly fishing. His father who was educated as a shipbuilder sold Caterpillar boat engines, and as a young boy Rúnar was taken on many test rides of new fishing boats or boats with new engines.
After graduating with his MSc in mechanical engineering, Rúnar developed a production planning software for the seafood industry for optimizing production value. This was sold to Marel in 1995.
During the years of 1997 to 1999 Rúnar worked at the company Akureyri Fishing and Processing plc in Iceland as the process development manager. During those years the company invested in the newest available technology for cod processing and managed to triple its throughput per man hour and greatly increase production value. In 1999 Rúnar started with Marel and has worked there ever since, most of the time as the industry sales manager helping companies on all continents around the world (except Antarctica) to improve their processing. Five years ago Rúnar moved to Seattle with the aim to improve the processing of whitefish in Alaska. The first automated cod plant was installed in Dutch Harbor about two years ago and is working very well, so the first step has been taken. In his mind there are endless opportunities to increase value and reduce costs in Alaska by modernizing the factories there and to create value-added, bulk-packed products at the source and at the same time get rid of dangerous band-saws in the lower 48 states.
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 18th 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 and Albacore tuna, factors affecting consumers’ preferences for and purchasing decisions regarding pasteurized vs raw milk and grassfed specialty cheeses, 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 for Oregon Pinot Noir wine and exploring the acceptability of dulse seaweed among others.
Bob has the best office in Seattle at the west tip of Pier 54, 10 feet above the highest tides with a full view of all marine activity on Elliott Bay. Ivar’s operates its own stores from Bellingham to Tacoma and east to Spokane, and its world famous clam chowder is sold in about 13,000 locations throughout the US, Canada, Mexico and sometimes China and Japan. Ivar’s produced enough white chowder last year to fill 14 777-200s, or if stacked in 8-ounce cups, to reach as tall as 134 Mt Rainiers.
Bob continues to work actively in municipal matters helping plan Seattle’s new aquarium, the new waterfront park when the viaduct comes down, the goofiness with city regulations, as well as on the boards of the Washington Hospitality Association, the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts, the Historic Waterfront Association, and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
Bob grew up in Milwaukee, graduated from the first UW in Madison, met his wife in graduate school in Connecticut, and moved to Seattle in 1984 so she could teach in the business school at the second UW. Prior to Ivar’s, Bob worked with Peet’s Coffee and about 40 start-up companies.
Mr. Kenny Down owns Seaquest Ventures, a small maritime contract and investment advisory company in Seattle. He worked from 2012-2018 as the president and CEO for one of the largest participants in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands hook-and-line catcher processor sector. Kenny has served as a board member with the Freezer Longline Coalition, and spent more than four years lobbying, organizing and, most importantly, leading national policy in support of low-impact fishing efforts.
Before his political work, Mr. Down spent nearly 20 years in the Alaska longline fishing industry. He has worked as general manager for an Alaska cod longline company, and has broad experience as a port engineer, USCG licensed chief engineer and a fisherman at sea. In 2015 Kenny was first appointed to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council and reappointed in 2017 where he remains a current sitting member.
Jerry Downing is the third generation in his family to be involved in the Alaska fisheries. He started out in the South East Alaska troll fishery and eventually worked his way to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. He called Dutch Harbor home for more than a decade before moving back to Seattle, where for the last twenty years he has been employed by, and currently serves as president of, B&N Fisheries Company.
Capt TJ Durnan began his career in Alaska in 1991, starting as a crab processor. Shortly thereafter, he moved into the pollock fishery, working up to a mate’s position on a 220-foot catcher processor. Fleet consolidation following the passage of the American Fisheries Act led TJ to move to freezer longliners and Bristol Bay salmon until 2002 when he took his current position with the O’Hara Corporation on the F/T Constellation.
Kevin has been working in seafood since 1976 when he began fishing the summer, reef-net sockeye fishery in Puget Sound with his father.
Kevin’s first industry job was in 1978, and since then he worked for UniSea and Icicle before joining Trident in 2011. His experience is primarily in operations, and he currently manages the Everett smoked salmon plant and the Bellingham value-added facility.
He is passionate in his belief that sustainably and responsibly sourced seafood is the best food on the planet, and that as an industry we need to continuously drive that message through to our current and future customers.
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.
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.
Capt Erling E. (Jake) Jacobsen has been involved in Alaskan and west coast fisheries since 1968; he was engineer on a Bering Sea crab boat /trawler at age 18 and worked for eight years as an engineer before becoming a captain in 1980. He received a USCG license as master (1600 tons, inspected vessels), and has operated many vessels, including a 70-foot ocean going tug (pulling a 300-foot barge), several Bering Sea crab boats/trawlers, five crab catcher-processors and a freezer longliner. As a shipyard representative for Arctic Alaska Fisheries, Inc., he consulted on the conversions of two crab catcher-processors.
Capt Jacobsen has been surveying since 1993 and has worked full time as a surveyor since 1995. He has completed surveys on fishing vessels ranging from 32-foot gillnetters to 320-foot factory trawlers, as well as tugboats, yachts, barges, crane barges, passenger vessels, dredges, cruise ships including the 789-foot Statendam, and fish processing vessels to 680 feet in length.
Capt Jacobsen currently chairs the USCG’s Fishing Vessel Safety Advisory Committee. He is also a member and former chair of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Shellfish Committee and a member of the Pacific Northwest Crab Industry Advisory Committee.
Capt Jacobsen is executive director of the Bering Sea Arbitration Organization and executive director of Inter-Cooperative Exchange, the largest cooperative of Bering Sea crab harvesters.
John Kelley started his career in the meat packing industry in the Midwest. He moved his family to Seattle in the ‘80s to be closer to the ocean. His love for the outdoors and work experience made the growing seafood industry a perfect fit. John has now worked in the seafood industry for more than 30 years producing several products ranging from pollock fillets, hake and Atka mackerel surimi, analog surimi, salmon H & G, fillets, flakes and roe products for the world markets.
For the past 20 years John has been the Alaska operations manager for Signature Seafoods focusing on developing markets for under-utilized, under-valued species, by delivering higher quality products and new product forms. John’s innovative approaches have led to developing a pale chum market for the industry.
With an interest in diversity, John led a J-1 student recruitment program from 2002-2013, traveling to thirty-five countries for interviews and program development. John continues to travel to hire, train and develop top talent for the seafood industry.
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.
Edward Poulsen is a part-owner in two Bering Sea/Aleutian Island crab fishing vessels, the F/V Aleutian No.1 and the F/V Patricia Lee, which harvest golden king crab and snow crab.
Edward grew up in the crab fishing industry, living in Dutch Harbor for a time, while his father pioneered the crab fishery. He has participated in numerous fisheries including salmon processing, salmon gillnetting, crayfish fishing, cod fishing, crab fishing, vessel ownership and vessel management. Edward helped to found the trade group Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, representing 70% of the Bering Sea crab harvesters and was its first executive director and former president. He is currently a board member of several fishing organizations including the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation and Seafood Harvesters of America.
Edward received his BA in business and a master’s degree in marine affairs, both from the University of Washington.
Gary Rodrigue is the blockchain food safety leader at IBM Food Trust. In his career, he has had the opportunity to be involved in two major disruptive technology events that were driven by a convergence of technologies. The first, putting communications devices into computers, and the second, putting them into mobile devices. Each of these events with the use of his leadership skills, strategic vision, communication skills and deep customer relationships helped the companies he worked for be market share leaders. He sees a similar convergence of technologies happening with blockchain. He believes this convergence of technologies will propel blockchain and will transform how we do business.
Jim Towers is a senior naval architect and marine engineer at Elliott Bay Design Group. He has more than 40 years of marine experience in vessel design and construction with a specific emphasis on structure. He is a recognized industry expert in vessel design and has been a part of numerous fishing vessel construction and refurbishment projects. Jim has worked for the Pacific Northwest’s top shipyards, where he gained an interest in fishing vessels and developed his engineering talent. Jim’s vast experience includes production engineering and management, shipyard estimating and budget control, CAD design, and repair yard engineering and management.