THE GULF WILD TEAM

 

The Gulf Wild team is comprised of passionate and caring individuals who come from a variety of professional backgrounds including fishermen, environmentalists, seafood distributors and restaurateurs. They share an unwavering desire to improve the quality and sustainability of fisheries throughout the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen the commercial fishing industry.


CONSERVATION STANDARDS COMMITTEE

Gib Brogan

Gib Brogan

Northeast Representative, Oceana

Gib Brogan is the northeast representative at Oceana, the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans, leading conservation efforts with recreational fishermen.

Brogan has more than 15 years in marine conservation and fisheries management in both tropical and temperate regions, with a diverse understanding of fisheries and fisheries issues as well as overarching issues in marine conservation. Prior to his time at Oceana he worked in marine and aquatic science education for state and private organizations in field and classroom programs.

A lifelong fish geek, Brogan enjoys teaching his two children about amazing ocean life with his wife Abby, a former curator at the Mystic Aquarium.

Cheri Brown

Cheri Brown

Seafood Consumer

My daughter is a vegetarian and has been for 5 years. As a result, a lot of learning for our family and me has occurred. I love seafood, and while it is not on her diet, I have begun focusing on becoming an informed buyer of seafood. I live in Marietta, GA, a suburb of Atlanta, and enjoy being involved.

Johnny Caradine

Johnny Caradine

Sales and Seafood Specialist, Evans Meats

For over three decades, Johnny Caradine has worked with the fishing industry, getting his start selling live U.S. farmed catfish at the Birmingham farmers market. He went on to owning his wholesale seafood company and four fresh fish markets. Today you'll find him at Evans Meats, still selling fresh domestic seafood.

Beyond handling the highest quality fish, Caradine values the friendships that working in the seafood business has afforded him - from fishermen to some of the top chefs in the country. His motto, “At the end of the day it doesn't matter how much fish you sell, it's how you treat people that matters.”

Angela Collins

Angela Collins

Assistant Research Scientist, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

Angela Collins, a fisheries biologist for the state of Florida since 2005, focuses her efforts on reef fish ecology and behavior; specifically how these disciplines can be applied to fisheries management.

Previously with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Collins worked closely with recreational and commercial divers and anglers to develop cooperative research projects. Together, they have investigated the spatial distribution and reproductive dynamics of hogfish, the habitat association and movement patterns of goliath grouper, and initiated a project to examine the behavior and release mortality of gag grouper in the Gulf of Mexico. With a M.S. in Biology, Collins is currently completing a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Florida.

Elizabeth Fetherston

Elizabeth Fetherston

Marine Restoration Strategist, Ocean Conservancy

Libby Fetherston is the marine restoration strategist for Ocean Conservancy's Gulf of Mexico Restoration Program, ensuring restoration from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is science-based, integrated across political boundaries, fully funded, and inclusive of offshore Gulf waters where the spill originated.

Previously serving as the Deputy Director for Ocean Conservancy's Fish Conservation Program, she led efforts to improve sustainable fish populations, healthy marine ecosystems, and economically viable fishing communities in the Southeast United States.

Fetherston holds degrees in biology from Adrian College, environmental management from Duke University. With fisheries experience from the Caribbean to Alaska, she is committed to applying a multi-disciplinary perspective to achieve creative, long-term solutions to complex resource management problems.

Derek A. Figueroa

Derek A. Figueroa

Chief Operating Officer, Seattle Fish Company

Derek Figueroa is COO for Seattle Fish Company, the largest purveyor of seafood in the Rocky Mountain region. He serves as the internal champion for corporate sustainability initiatives, advancing their 'green team', sustainable seafood policies, numerous green operational improvements, and the installation of a 102kW solar array.

A highly recognized business leader, Figueroa presented at the 2010 Seafood Choices Alliance Sustainable Seafood Summit in Paris, France and is a founding member of Sea Pact, an industry led non-profit dedicated to funding global fishery and aquaculture improvements efforts.

Figueroa holds a Bachelor in Finance, an Executive MBA, and a Masters Degree in Finance from the University of Colorado. He lives in Denver with his wife, son and three daughters.

Andrew Gadaleto

Andrew Gadaleto

Owner, Gadaleto Seafood Market

Andy Gadaleto is the owner of Gadaleto Seafood Market in West Chester PA. He inherited a love of fish from his family's seafood market in New Paltz, New York where he learned the business first hand from his grandfather and uncle.

A seafood purveyor for over ten years, Gadaleto believes in selling the highest quality fish, while taking into consideration the sustainability of fish for tomorrow.

Dr. Julia Gohlke, Ph.D.

Dr. Julia Gohlke, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Gohlke is developing improved methods to assess the role of environmental exposures in human health. She evaluated seafood safety after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and is now studying latent effects of early life exposures on reproduction and lifespan. With funding from the National Institute of Health, her research includes the health effects of extreme heat events, evaluating health priorities and developing climate adaptation strategies.

Dr. Gohlke received a Future Leader Award from the International Life Sciences Institute North America, serves on boards for the Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Environmental Health, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has been an invited expert in several NIH and Environmental Protection Agency forums.

Jim Gossen

Jim Gossen

Chairman, Sysco Louisiana Foods

Jim Gossen is an innovative and tireless leader for the recovery and improved sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico seafood industry. With a 40-plus-year career, he has owned and operated six restaurants in Louisiana and Houston, and founded Louisiana Foods Global Seafood Source, Texas' largest seafood processing and distribution company.

Gossen has received the Environmental Protection Agency's Gulf Guardian Award, My Table's Legends of the Industry award, Southern Living’s Heroes of the New South award and named one of Cooking Light's 20 Food Heroes in America. Gossen remains active, serving on the boards of The Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Gulf Seafood Institute, Friend's of the Fisherman and the Advisory Board of the SoFAB Institute.

Captain Kenny Guindon

Captain Kenny Guindon

Fishing Captain, Falcon

Kenny Guindon is a second-generation fisherman and captains the fishing vessel Falcon from his homeport in Galveston, Texas. Since 1983, he has worked as a commercial fisherman, commercial fishing vessel captain, and Manager of Katie's Seafood Market in Galveston. He has been the captain of a commercial longline and bandit fishing vessel in the Gulf of Mexico for the past six years.

Stan Harris

Stan Harris

Chief Executive Officer, Louisiana Restaurant Association

Stan Harris is responsible for activities including legislative affairs, media relations, association policies, program development and implementation. Starting in 2011, Harris advocates for access to sustainable fisheries from the Gulf of Mexico and informs the restaurant community about the challenges associated with commercial fishing and harvesting.

Harris supports the passage of the RESTORE Act, providing funding for science-based stock assessments, tourism promotion and development in the wake of the Deep Horizon oil spill. He also supports the Share the Gulf Coalition, advocating fishery management policies in the Gulf.

Harris regularly provides testimony before state agencies and on Capitol Hill and participates in the Gulf seafood industry's “Walk the Hill,” an annual event highlighting Louisiana seafood and fisheries related concerns.

Chris Hastings

Chris Hastings

Chef, Restaurateur

Birmingham-based Chris Hastings is the award-winning author and chef of the Hot and Hot Fish Club. He has worked as Chef at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, Chef de Cuisine at Highland's Bar and Grill, Bottega and the Lark Creek Inn.

Along with his wife, he runs the Hastings Consulting Company, helping chefs, restaurateurs, and development companies create foodservice operations that benefit surrounding communities.

Hastings has been featured on the Martha Stewart Show, TODAY, CBS Morning Show, the Food Network's Iron Chef America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit and Food Arts.

He is a member of the Alabama Seafood Commission and Director of the Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation's Culinary Council.

Jen Levin

Jen Levin

Sustainable Seafood Program Manager, Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Jen Levin has worked with fisheries in New England since 2004. Her work with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute catalyses and supports the evolution of sustainable fisheries around the Gulf of Maine. Focused on discovering chain-of-custody and verification systems, Levin works throughout the supply chain, from fishermen, to processors and retailers.

Their branding program, Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested, differentiates the region's seafood, recognizes restaurants that sell Gulf of Maine seafood and is committed to continuous improvement and sustainability of their operations.

Levin is driven by the fundamental belief that good environmental and business practices go hand in hand. With previous experiences with the State of Wisconsin, the National Association of State Foresters, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Geoff Luebkemann

Geoff Luebkemann

Vice President, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association

Geoff Luebkemann's background is an impressive blend of hospitality and public service. At the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, he heads the Education & Training Department and Regulatory Compliance Services and is active in numerous national and statewide food safety initiatives including the Conference for Food Protection, FDA Retail Food Partners Workgroup, Florida Food Safety and Food Defense Advisory Council, and the Florida State Emergency Response Team.

Luebkemann's experience also includes operations for one of the largest casual theme companies in the US and Director of the Florida Division of Hotels & Restaurants, where he was responsible for over 300 employees, 8 offices statewide, over 80,000 licensees, more than 150,000 inspections annually, and operating revenue exceeding $25 million.

Brian Mellon

Brian Mellon

Fishing Captain, Miss Ruby

Brian Mellon captains the fishing vessel Miss Ruby out of Madeira Beach, Florida, and brings his fresh, wild-caught fish to Wild Seafood Co. For the past 22 years, Melon has been fishing the waters of the Gulf, Caribbean, North Atlantic and Windward Passage. As an accomplished captain, Melon has developed a reputation for delivering the highest quality product possible.

Rick Moonen

Rick Moonen

Restaurateur, Chef, Cookbook Author

Rick Moonen has many titles, including restaurateur, chef and cookbook author, and is one of the country's leading advocates for sustainable seafood. His two restaurants - Rick Moonen's rm Seafood and Rx Boiler Room at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas - showcase his commitment to sustainability without foregoing creativity and innovation. His cookbook, Fish Without a Doubt, is a practical, hands-on guide to buying, preparing and cooking fish.

Moonen has been featured in Food & Wine, SAVEUR, Bon Appetit, TODAY, Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate, Top Chef, Top Chef Masters and more. His sustainability accolades include Chef of the Year by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Humanitarian of the Year by the American Culinary Federation.

Wendy Norden

Wendy Norden

Senior Science Manager Seafood Watch Program, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Wendy Norden's responsibilities include program strategy development, a rigorous scientific framework that evaluates wild capture fisheries and aquaculture operations, and all aspects of research. Her goal is the development and maintenance of credible, defensible and transparent seafood recommendations.

At the University of Maine, she evaluated eco-certifications, economic incentives for conservation, and assessed ecologically damaged subtidal marine ecosystems in both the Gulf of Maine and San Francisco Bay.

Norden has created subtidal eelgrass restoration programs, investigated American lobster post-settlement success rates, managed the New Zealand Department of Conservations' fisheries observer program, influenced seabird mitigation regulations, and researched bycatch reduction best practices aboard fishing vessels in New Zealand and Australia.

Norden was recently named to the fisheries expert working group for the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative.

Greg Stunz, Ph.D.

Greg Stunz, Ph.D.

Professor of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

As a marine biologist specializing in fisheries ecology and sport-fisheries, Dr. Greg Stunz seeks to provide scientific data for sustainable management of marine fisheries and ocean resources to ensure healthy environments. His research focuses on the migration patterns of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, and the understanding the vital role that estuaries and near-shore waters play in sustaining marine populations. This includes understanding how artificial reefs enhance fisheries, the roles of apex predators (i.e., sharks) in Gulf ecosystems, dolphin-fish migration and life history studies, red snapper ecology and management, and many other projects dealing with estuarine fishes.

Dr. Stunz sits on numerous boards, panels and scientific advisory committees with local and national impact and is Endowed Chair of Fisheries and Ocean Health, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies and Executive Director, Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation.

Megan Westmeyer

Megan Westmeyer

Fishery Improvement Project Director, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

Megan Westmeyer helps the fishing industry improve practices, minimize environmental impact, and meet the requirements of key buyers.

Previously, Westmeyer led the Sustainable Seafood Initiative at the South Carolina Aquarium, an educational program for culinary professionals learning about sustainable seafood - translating technical fishery information to a concise format usable by the culinary industry. She also gained valuable industry insight while working as a shrimp bycatch observer in the Gulf for the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Westmeyer serves on the Board of Overseers of Chefs Collaborative, holds a M.S. in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University and a B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama.


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