AYFS Speaker Biographies

Dr. James L. Anderson

Dr. Anderson is professor and chair of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Rhode Island.  He is involved with numerous research projects related to fisheries and aquaculture management, seafood markets and international trade.  Recent work has focused on analysis of salmon, tuna and shrimp markets, seafood futures and evaluating how aquaculture development and rights-based fisheries management is changing the global seafood sector.  In 2003, his book entitled The International Seafood Trade was published.  In 2007, he co-authored The Great Salmon Run: Competition between Wild and Farmed Salmon with Gunnar Knapp and Cathy Roheim. He earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Davis.

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 masters degree in adult education from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

James Balsiger

James Balsiger, Ph.D., is the regional administrator for the Alaska Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service, a position he has held since May 2000. Jim's prior position was regional science and research director at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, where he also served as deputy director of the center from 1991 through 1995 and program leader for the Status of Stocks Task within the center's Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management Division from 1977 to 1991.

William (Bill) Barker

Bill Barker is President of Leaping Salmon, a family owned salmon fishing business.  He came to Alaska in 1960 and has owned and operated Dog Salmon Fish Site on the south end of Kodiak Island since 1971.  He has served several years on the Kodiak Fish and Game Advisory Committee and four years as its president.  He is currently a board member of the Olga Moser Bay Seafood Producers Alliance (OMBSPA), a marketing coop marketing salmon directly to Chicago under the name OMWild. He and his family have lived in Kodiak since 1975.

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.

Dorothy Childers

Dorothy Childers served for ten years as the executive director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC) in Anchorage, and now acts as the organization's program director. Childers serves on the North Pacific Research Board, the Alaska Sea Grant Public Advisory Group, and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Marine Fish Conservation Network, a diverse cross section of conservation groups and fishing associations focused on advancing fisheries conservation policy through federal legislation. Childers was recently awarded a three-year Pew Foundation fellowship for work on climate change in the Bering Sea.

Cora Crome

Cora Crome was born and raised in Petersburg, Alaska, where she spent  many summers fishing commercially with her family.  She has worked as  executive director of Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, served on  the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and  coordinated a federal subsistence outreach program for United Fishermen of Alaska.  Cora currently serves as fisheries policy advisor to Governor Sarah Palin.

Paula Cullenberg

Paula Cullenberg has been the Program Leader of MAP and the Associate Director of Alaska Sea Grant since 2002.  Before that she was the Director of the UAA Fishery Observer Training Center for 7 years.  Paula started her career in Alaska as a fisheries observer on a Russian trawler in the late 1970’s and has worked for the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, Tanana Chiefs Conference, the Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association and as the Bristol Bay Marine Advisory Agent.  She has a MS in Fisheries Management from the University of Washington and a BA in Biology from Brown University.  Paula has fished commercially in Bristol Bay with her family for 20 years.

Roy Cunningham

Roy Cunningham is the Managing Director of Macrae Edinburgh Ltd, a Young’s Seafood Company.  A highly experienced food industry manager, at just 41 Roy has already amassed nearly twenty years of seafood sector experience, becoming managing director of the Young’s Seafood Edinburgh operations in October 2002. With annual turnover in excess of $1 billion, Young’s is Britain’s leading seafood group supplying 40% of all fish sold in UK stores, including a significant market position for wild Alaskan salmon.  As a major international buyer of seafood Young’s puts responsible practice at the heart of its business.  Its industry-leading approach to sustainable sourcing - ‘Fish for Life’ - has already won two major awards during 2007.

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 US 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.

Peter Evich

Peter Evich grew up in a fishing family and have own various boats. He has fished most of the fisheries in Alaska.   He entered the insurance industry 35+ years ago. Besides being a marine insurance broker, he manages Coastal Marine Fund. It is a self-insurance fund made up of 240 vessels.

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 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 SE Alaska and Baffin Island, Canada, to developing grant proposals for third world fishing projects. 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 US. 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.

Quentin Fong

Quentin Fong has a dual appointment as the Seafood Market Specialist for the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and the Fishery Industrial Technology Center in Kodiak.  Born and raised in Hong Kong, he has 12 years of commercial diving and fishing experience and 10 years of seafood trading experience.  As an educator at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Quentin conducts marketing workshops, one-on-one consultations with stakeholders on strategic marketing and business management strategies and conducts applied market research.  Some of his projects include assisting small processors and direct marketers establish pricing strategies, evaluating brokers, and product development.

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 represent Alaska salmon’s steepest challenge, and our collective salvation.”

Stephen Grabacki

Stephen Grabacki took his MS in fisheries biology from UAF in 1981, and he is a Certified Fisheries Professional.  Steve is president and owner of GRAYSTAR Pacific Seafood, Ltd., an Anchorage-based consulting company, which provides technical services in seafood quality, logistics, and marketing to the Alaska seafood industry, including the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.  Steve was Program Manager of the Alaska Quality Seafood Program, and served on the Quality Subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Salmon Task Force.  As Adjunct Professor at UAA, Steve teaches a course in Seafood Logistics, which covers the entire Seafood Supply Chain, "from boat to throat".Glenn Haight,Glenn Haight was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska and is the Fisheries Business Specialist ther with the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.  Glenn has worked for the State of Alaska in previous fisheries development roles including overseeing the Community Development Quota program and managing part of the State's salmon revitalization efforts.  He worked for a financial intermediary developing business plans and business appraisals.  Glenn has a Bachelor in Business Administration (University of New Mexico) and a Master in International Management (American Graduate School of International Management, Glendale, Arizona).

Jim Hubbard

Jim Hubbard has been a boat owner and operator for 33 years and has fished halibut, sablefish, Pacific cod and turbot from Southeast Alaska to the Bering Sea.  He has also trolled, seined, crab fished and operated tender vessels. Jim’s fishing history started when he was 12, fishing with an old time Norwegian out of Petersburg.  He’s owned 4 vessels since the age of 19.  He built his current vessel in 1997 -  the F/V Kruzof, a 59’ Freezer Longliner.  Jim has been successful in creating a comfortable and efficient catching platform that also has the capacity to hold, process and freeze product that is direct marketed in good quality form. 

Rhonda Hubbard

Rhonda Hubbard grew up fishing summers in Chignik Lagoon, Alaska and worked in her parent’s herring processing business and buying station in Seward where she met her husband Jim.  They have been married for almost 20 years.  Working in the fishing industry she paid her way through College, graduating with a business degree from the University of Washington.  She currently handles administrative and sales duties of the F/V Kruzof, a direct market Freezer longliner that she currently owns with her husband.

John Jensen

Jensen is a third generation commercial fisherman, born and raised in Petersburg, and has participated in numerous fisheries in S.E. 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.  He is currently vice-chair of the Alaska Board of Fisheries, now serving his second 3-year term, and is also a board member of Southeast Alaska Rainforest WILD.  He has been involved in fish politics for approximately 20 years.

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 five 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.

Don Kramer

Don Kramer is a professor of seafood technology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.  He also serves as a seafood specialist for the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.  Prior to working at the University of Alaska, Kramer was a research scientist at Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans.  His interests are in handling, processing, and storage of fish and shellfish.  Kramer holds master’s and doctorate degrees in biochemistry from the University of California at Davis.

Bruce Michael Leaman

Dr. Leaman has been the Executive Director of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) since 1997. Prior to joining the IPHC, he was employed for 21 years as a Research Scientist with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, B.C., where his primary responsibilities were as Head of the Stock Assessment and Recruitment Biology Program concentrating on biology, stock assessment, and population dynamics of rockfishes, sablefish, and lingcod. Educated at Simon Fraser University (B.Sc.) and the University of British Columbia (M.Sc., Ph.D.), Bruce publishes in the fields of fishery management, stock assessment, and reproductive biology.

Jim Marcotte

Jim has served as the Executive Director of the Alaska Board of Fisheries since January 2006.  He previously served three years as the Executive Director of the Alaska Board of Game and six years as the regional coordinator for the local fish and game advisory committee system in the Interior Region. He also worked for 13 years for Fish and Game's Subsistence Division conducting socioeconomic research, primarily along the Yukon, Koyukuk, and Tanana rivers.  During this time, he gained experience in fishery and resource policy issues throughout the state.  Jim's anthropology degree has proven to be an asset in helping his understanding and appreciation of the diverse public perspectives, cultural values, and economics behind today's complex fishing issues.  Jim is a strong advocate for public participation in fisheries management. 

Chris McDowell

Chris McDowell is the lead Seafood Industry Analyst for McDowell Group, Inc., contractor to ASMI for the Seafood Market Information Service (SMIS). Chris has been the SMIS Project Manager since 1998. He conducts and oversees program research, tracks harvest volume, prices, competing supply and various other indicators that have a bearing on markets for Alaska’s major seafood categories. Chris is a lifetime Alaska resident and long-time participant in Alaska commercial fisheries. He is an active halibut and blackcod IFQ holder in the Eastern Gulf areas, and an active permit holder in Southeast salmon power troll and Dungeness crab fisheries. Chris also owns and operates an RSW-equipped Bristol Bay gillnetter and is Vice President of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (RSDA).

Gerry Merrigan

Merrigan is a member of the NPFMC and North Pacific Research Board. He has been commercial fishing since 1984, primarily in the salmon troll and halibut fisheries with past crew experience in Bristol Bay and Area M. He has served on the Pacific Salmon Commission, Northern Panel, was director of Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, and presently work for Prowler Fisheries, a freezer-longline company based in Petersburg. He has past experience as boat carpenter and ADF&G Fishery Biologist I and received his M.F. degree from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Duke University. 

Chris Oliver

Chris Oliver is a 18-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 as well as the recent Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization.

Eric Olson

Eric Olson is a lifelong commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay.  He was born and raised in Dillingham and currently living in Anchorage.  Eric earned a BA in business administration and a BA 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 member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and was recently elected as Chairman.

Clarence Pautzke

Dr. Pautzke  is the executive director of the North Pacific Research Board in Anchorage.  Previously he served 21 years on the staff of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. He was the Council's deputy director from 1980 to 1988, and executive director beginning in 1988.  Dr. Pautzke earned a doctorate in biological oceanography from the University of Washington in 1979 where his research focused on Arctic Ocean marine ecosystems.

Jeff Regnart

Jeff was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He graduated from Western Washington University with a BS in biology and attended Humboldt State University where he completed his MS in fishery management. While attending college, Jeff participated in the commercial set net fishery on Kodiak Island. Jeff started his ADF&G career in 1990 in King Salmon where he managed the Naknek-Kvichak commercial fishing district within the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. In 1998, Jeff became the Regional Management Biologist responsible for the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay and Prince William Sound. In 2003, Jeff assumed his current position as Regional Supervisor for Central Region, which includes the Bristol Bay, Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet state fisheries.

Sunny Rice

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 masters in public administration at the University of Alaska Southeast. She has worked for the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program office in Petersburg  since 1998, where she focuses on maintaining the health of Alaska's small boat fishing fleets, communities and natural resources.