AYFS Speaker Biographies

Brian Amend

Amend is Trident Seafoods' Category Manager, focusing on high-value sockeye and coho salmon value-added products. He has eleven years of experience marketing Alaska seafood products (mainly salmon) and has served as sales manager of fresh products, product manager of sockeye and coho fillet products, as well as director of marketing for Ketchikan Air and other business interests. Amend holds a B.S. degree in marketing from California State University Sacramento.

Larry Andrews

Andrews is the Retail Marketing Director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). Larry has been with ASMI for five years and prior was VP of Marketing for a software company developing order entry software for large and small grocery chains both domestically and internationally. Previously for ten years he was VP of sales and marketing for Larry's Markets, a small upscale retail grocery chain in Seattle. His work was instrumental in developing Larry's Markets into an internationally recognized market-leading seven-store chain with sales surpassing $150 million in annual sales.

Torie Baker

Torie Baker is the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agent for the Prince William Sound region and is based in Cordova. As a MAP agent, she works with fishermen in marine safety training, business assistance and collaborative applied research. She is also a 20-year commercial salmon harvester in Prince William Sound, Copper River and Bristol Bay, and has worked extensively in Copper River salmon marketing initiatives. She holds a master's degree in adult education from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Casey Campbell

Casey began working with the McDowell Group as a Research Analyst in November 2005. He holds a B.S. in Managerial Economics along with a minor in Business Administration. A lifelong Alaskan, Casey grew up in Sitka, where he spent most of his life fishing and working in the commercial seafood industry.

Ed Dersham

Dersham graduated from the University of Oregon in 1970 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He has lived in Alaska for 30 years and has been a saltwater charter operator that entire time. Dersham spent nine years on the Alaska Board of Fisheries, three as chairman. Since September 2005, Dersham has worked as a fisheries coordinator for the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game Commercial Fisheries Division.

Jerry Dzugan

Dzugan has been the executive director of the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) since 1987. He currently also serves as national chairman of the U.S. Coast Guard's Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Advisory Committee. In addition to his director duties, Dzugan develops outdoor survival curriculum and safety videos and supports a national marine safety instructor network focused on fishing vessel safety. He has commercially fished as a troller and longliner, and has worked and messed around in numerous types of small vessels between Central America and Alaska.

Lujean Fedotov

Lujean has lived in Alaska for 39 years and has 22 years of commercial lending experience in Alaska. Lujean has also worked for fourteen years with the state, including with the Division of Agriculture and currently with the Division of Investments, where she is the Anchorage office lending supervisor. The Alaska State Division of Investments specializes in commercial fishing and small business lending.

Greg Fisk

Greg's fisheries experience dates to 1979, organizing Inuit participation in Canada's northern shrimp fishery. Recently a Fisheries Specialist with the Alaska Department of Commerce, he worked on the state's Fisheries Revitalization Program. For most of the past 20 years he has done fisheries consulting in projects ranging from small-scale development seminars in Southeast Alaska and Baffin Island, Canada, to developing grant proposals for third world fishing projects. He organized an industry association for the factory trawlers in the Canadian northern shrimp fishery, and co-chaired the government/industry Northern Shrimp Selectivity and Bycatch Workshop. He has worked in the Alaska CDQ program on projects including small vessel inshore halibut fisheries, promoting slush ice chilling on gillnetters, and marketing Alaska salmon in Europe and the United States. His "on the water" experience includes salmon seining and commercial fishing for spot prawns. He currently contracts to the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, consulting on fishing business development initiatives.

Arne Fuglvog

Arne Fuglvog is a fifth-generation Petersburg fisherman who has participated in salmon, crab, halibut and many other fisheries for more than 30 years. He served on the Advisory Panel for the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council for nine years, and on the Council itself from 2003 to 2006. Arne has been awarded the U.S. National Fisherman Highliner of the Year as well as United Fishermen of Alaska's Fisherman of the Year. In September, Arne moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a fisheries aide to Senator Lisa Murkowski, where he continues to work on behalf of Alaska fisheries and resources.

Buck Gibbons

Buck has fished in Bristol Bay and many other Alaskan fisheries since 1976. Currently he serves as president and partner of Wildcatch, Inc., a company dedicated to marketing wild salmon products, primarily from Western Alaska, to organic and high-end conventional retailers across America. According to Gibbons, "Bringing market-driven philosophies to a production-driven industry represents Alaska salmon's steepest challenge, and our collective salvation."

Erin Harrington

Erin has been working with the McDowell Group in their Kodiak office as a research analyst and project manager since October 2004. Along with her family, she has fished extensively in the Kodiak longline fisheries. Erin holds an M.S. in Seafood Marketing and Economics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Robert Heyano

Robert Heyano is a lifelong resident of the Bristol Bay area. Robert started commercially fishing for salmon in Bristol Bay around the age of 9 with his mother and brothers on their family-owned set net sites at Ekuk. He has participated in the Bristol Bay salmon drift gillnet fishery since 1970. Having spent the first two years as a crew member, he has operated his own Bay drift gillnet operation continuously since 1972. Robert has also participated in the Togiak herring sac roe seine fishery since 1979. Heyano currently serves on the Alaska Board of Fisheries, on the Board of Directors of the Bristol Economic Development Corporation, and is an interim member of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board of directors.

Hal Hockema

Hal Hockema brings more than 20 years of marine design and consulting experience to bear on vessel design in the commercial fishing industry. Widely known for his work on 58-foot seiner/combination vessels, Hal has also designed a number of larger fishing vessels, notably a number of Alaska's better known freezer longliners. In addition to design of new vessels, he has worked extensively on repowers, stability, tonnage, widening, lengthening and other conversions of existing vessels, always with a view to safety, practicality, durability, aesthetics, and a keen awareness of the owner and builder's specific needs for a project. Prior to founding his own company, he served 11 years at another Seattle naval architecture firm and seven years as an engineer and planner in shipyards in Washington and California.

Frank Homan

Frank grew up in Ketchikan working in his family's fish buying business. He has lived in Alaska for more than 60 years, spending his professional career in both government and the private sector. He holds a B.A. in economics from Seattle University. He has done graduate work at UA Southeast and specialized studies at the National Judicial College. His professional career includes director of industrial development for the Alaska Department of Economic Development, senior advisor to Alaska State Senator Arliss Sturgulewski, founder and principal of a private economic research firm in Juneau for 15 years, chairman of the board of the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank, and executive director of the Southeast Conference, a regional economic development organization for Southeast Alaska. Frank was appointed to the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission by Governor Walter Hickel in 1991 and served through 1996. He was reappointed and named chairman by Governor Frank Murkowski in 2003.

John Jensen

Jensen has been an Alaska commercial fisherman since 1965. He is a third-generation commercial fisherman, born and raised in Petersburg. He has owned and operated many different commercial fishing vessels since 1972. He has participated in numerous fisheries in Southeast Alaska including salmon gillnetting and seining, herring gillnetting and seining, red and brown king crab, tanner and Dungeness crab, as well as halibut and black cod long-lining. In Bristol Bay, he has fished for salmon and herring; in the Gulf of Alaska, black cod, halibut and crab. In Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet, he has seined for herring. In the Bering Sea, Jensen harvested king crab and Alaska Peninsula gillnet salmon. In Norton Sound, he gillnetted for herring. The Jensen family home and homeport remains Petersburg. He is currently a member of the Alaska Board of Fisheries, now serving his second 3-year term. He has been involved in fish politics for approximately 20 years.

Eric Jordan

Eric has been involved in fishing since his mother and father took him trolling on their 26-foot double-ender, the Salty, when he was five months old. Over the last 30 years he has had the opportunity to help a variety of fisheries and conservation groups accomplish regulatory change through collaborative processes. His son Karl, 27, is in his second season of running his own troller.

Lea Klingert

A lifelong Alaskan with a career in banking, Klingert's experience over the last 30 years encompasses all facets of the lending industry at a variety of local institutions. Currently she is the CEO/President of the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank (CFAB), a position she has held for the last four years. Prior to assuming this leadership position, she managed CFAB's credit department.

Gunnar Knapp

Gunnar Knapp is a professor of economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research, where he has worked since receiving his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1981. Dr. Knapp has written numerous research reports on the economy of Alaska and the management of and markets for Alaska natural resources. Since 1991, he has been actively involved in research on markets for and management of Alaska fisheries. In connection with his research, Dr. Knapp has made numerous trips to Japan, Russia, Chile and Norway.

Barclay Kopchak

Barclay Kopchak is a longtime Cordova fishwife and instructor at Prince William Sound Community College where she teaches public speaking, English, and Spanish. She holds a B.A. in government from Cornell University and a law degree from Northeastern University. She is actively involved in community theater and serves as an annual panelist at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska.

Chris Oliver

Chris Oliver is a 17-year staff member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council where he is currently executive director. Mr. Oliver has a business degree and a master's degree in fisheries science from Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to Alaska, he was employed as a research associate for Texas A&M, working primarily on management issues associated with the Texas shrimp fisheries. He has been integrally involved in the development of most of the major limited-entry programs developed for federal fisheries off Alaska.

Eric Olson

Eric Olson is a lifelong commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay. He was born and raised in Dillingham and is currently living in Anchorage. Eric earned a B.A. in business administration and a B.A. in accounting from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He worked within the western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) programs for the last 10 years and is employed by Kwik'pak Fisheries, which is a subsidiary of Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association. YDFDA represents six communities at the mouth of the Yukon River. Eric is a voting member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Prior to his council appointment, Olson served as chairman of the Council's Advisory Panel.

Sunny Rice

Born in Minnesota, Sunny Rice first experienced Alaska and the commercial fishing industry in 1990, when she worked as a summer fish processor while attending college. After graduation, she moved to Petersburg, worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and completed her master's in public administration at the University of Alaska Southeast. She has worked for the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program since 1998, where she focuses on maintaining the health of Alaska's small boat fishing fleets, communities and natural resources.

John Sackton

John Sackton, president of Seafood.com and editor and publisher of Seafood.com News, has been active in the seafood industry for 30 years. He is recognized as one of the top international seafood market analysts and his daily seafood commentary is read by thousands in the industry. Sackton also consults on markets and prices in the crab, shrimp, lobster, and groundfish industries. He has been selected as the non-binding price formula arbitrator and market analyst jointly by Alaska crab harvesters and processors for the past two years, and has prepared in-season market price reports for the Canadian snow crab industry for ten years. Sackton has an M.A. in marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island, and is a graduate of Harvard College. He lives and works in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Susan Salveson

Susan Salveson has worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) since 1975. She currently is the assistant regional administrator for sustainable fisheries in the NMFS Alaska region. The Sustainable Fisheries Division is responsible for implementing North Pacific fishery management programs and regulations developed in coordination with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council as authorized under the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Prior to her work with the Alaska Region, Ms. Salveson worked with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the Center's Auke Bay Laboratory in Juneau conducting research and other activities supporting north Pacific groundfish stock assessments. Ms. Salveson received her B.S. degree in biology from Western Washington University and her M.S. degree in fisheries from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Phil Smith

Phil Smith is a lifelong Alaskan. He was raised in rural Alaska and graduated from Cordova High School in 1960. He recently retired from NOAA Fisheries, where he was the administrator for federal licensing and limited entry programs. Before his federal service, he served on the State of Alaska's Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission for eight years, and as Executive Director for the Rural Alaska Community Action Program.

Clem Tillion

Tillion is a long-time commercial fisherman, a nine-term Alaska state legislator, and is a charter member and past chairman of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Over the past forty years, he has served on numerous state and federal councils and committees dealing with fisheries regulation and is a leading fisheries management spokesperson. Tillion resides in Halibut Cove near Homer, Alaska.

Bill Webber

Based in Cordova, Bill Webber is an active commercial salmon fisherman marketer and a highly regarded boat builder. He has been involved in commercial salmon fishing all his life, and has operated his own boat since he was 11 years old. Bill has been a leader in the growing Alaska direct marketing phenomenon through his company, Gulkana Seafoods-Direct. His other enterprise, Webber Marine & Mfg., Inc., has served the Alaska fleet since 1981, initially building boats in fiberglass and then in the late 1980s moving into aluminum construction. Webber Marine & Mfg., Inc., builds boats up to 42 feet in its 6800 sq/ft shop in Cordova. Fabrication of custom hydraulic deck equipment is his specialty. Bill's experience is reflected in his designs that combine a high degree of comfort, efficiency and reliability with the ability to maintain and deliver top quality seafood products.