The sixth Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute looks for future seafood leaders

June 7, 2017


Group photo with 19 people Participants and instructors at the 2015 Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute.

The Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute (ASPLI) gives mid-career seafood processor employees a boost in moving up the leadership ladder, to keep the seafood industry strong and support the Alaska workforce. Companies sponsor experienced workers, typically mid-level managers with the potential to move up the ranks, to receive the intensive professional development.

The sixth ASPLI begins in November 2017 with a week of hands-on seafood processing instruction, a fish plant tour, and review of seafood and processing plant safety procedures. Over the winter the students will work on a project with an in-plant mentor, followed by a week of leadership training, understanding seafood markets, and fishery policy seminars in Anchorage and a visit to the Seafood Expo North America in Boston in March.

man speaking to students in classroom Leadership trainer Al Bolea of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Business speaks to students at the 2015 Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership Institute.

The institute, which is held every other year, is organized by two Alaska Sea Grant faculty based in Kodiak. University of Alaska Fairbanks professor Quentin Fong is a seafood marketing specialist with extensive experience in commercial fishing, seafood trade and marketing, commercial and research diving, and shellfish farm operation.

Research assistant professor Chris Sannito, with more than 20 years of seafood processing industry experience, teaches a wide range of classes and workshops around the state, focusing on seafood processing, environmental compliance, product development, and business operations.

people working in a labStudents receive technical training at Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. Photo courtesy KSMSC.

Joshua Maricich, 35, took the course when he worked as a seasonal quality assurance manager at the Icicle Seafoods plant in Larsen Bay on Kodiak Island. Maricich, who grew up in a fishing family, said the course gave him a wealth of knowledge in subjects like technology, science, product development, marketing, quality and safety. It also spurred him to apply for a higher-paying, full-time position. He’s now a corporate operations project manager for Icicle in Seattle.

“It definitely opened my mind up to new possibilities,” Maricich said.

Online or mailed applications for the institute are due by September 30, 2017. For more information on ASPLI, including information and photos from previous years, visit the Alaska Seafood Processing Leadership website.

— By Dave Partee

Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education, and outreach program, and is a partnership between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agents provide assistance that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy marine and coastal resources.