By Steven Hedlund, SeafoodSource editor
24 July, 2012
I’d like to thank you for making SeafoodSource part of your daily news routine for the past three-and-a-half years.
I thought about headlining this commentary “Goodbye.” But that wouldn’t make any sense, because I’m not going far. I’ve accepted a position with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) as its communications manager. My first day with the organization is 6 August.
It’s been a joyous 13 years here at Diversified Business Communications in Portland, Maine, initially with SeaFood Business magazine and now with SeafoodSource.com.
When I arrived on the scene in October 1999, I knew nothing more about seafood than the average New Englander. I knew I liked to eat baked stuffed haddock, steamed lobster and fried clams, but that’s about it. My first interview as SeaFood Business’ online reporter was with Vic Young, former chairman and CEO of Fishery Products International Ltd. My phone hadn’t even been set up yet, and here I am — in my manager’s cubicle — talking to the head of one of North America’s largest seafood companies. It was nerve wracking, but it was rewarding. I had just interviewed my first seafood executive.
Two months later, Vic Young and the folks at FPI in St. John’s, Newfoundland, sent me a Christmas card. I know it’s a common gesture. But I was appreciative that a company going through some tough times would bother to send a 23-year-old journalist less than two years removed from college a Christmas card.
It made me feel like a member of the seafood community, even though I had just started my job and my weapon of choice was a keyboard, not a fillet knife. Now, when strangers ask me what I do for a living, I say I’m “in seafood.” My background is in journalism, but my passion for this industry transcends everything else I do professionally. And I’m elated that I to get the opportunity to continue in a communications role with the GAA.
I owe a lot to Diversified and my colleagues here — particularly Diversified President and CEO Nancy Hasselback, Mary Larkin, the company’s VP of seafood expositions, and Heather Johnson, marketing director for Diversified’s seafood group — for their leadership and for giving me the opportunity to be SeafoodSource’s first editor when the product launched in early 2009.
Building a media brand from the ground up — establishing a voice within the industry globally and gaining your trust and loyalty as readers — has been my most rewarding accomplishment in my nearly 13 years here at Diversified. And I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do so if it wasn’t for Fiona Robinson, editor and associate publisher of SeaFood Business, who, as my editor for nearly a decade, taught me what it takes to put out a good editorial product day in and day out.
I’m leaving SeafoodSource at the right time — the editorial is as strong as ever, thanks to our network of experienced journalists worldwide. And it’s in good hands. Assistant Editor April Forristall will be at the helm, handling the day-to-day activities until a new editor is found. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-207-842-5464.
I look forward to continue to engage with many of you in my new role.
24 July, 2012