Letter: Farewell to my industry


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
February 25, 2013

Editor’s Note: The following is a letter from Mike Lindquist, industry veteran and long time friend of Diversified Business Communications, publisher of SeafoodSource and SeaFood Business. ??

Pure and simple, I am going to miss you; the wildness, the half million dollar deals with a verbal PO, the "Drink Like A Fish" parties, watching our baby industry grow up and friendships that began 35 years ago.

??In the summer of 1978, I got "the phone call" from a close college friend working on a salmon processor in Bristol Bay. If I could be at Clark's Point on Bristol Bay within 24 hours, he had a job waiting for me on the salmon processor. I was 19 years old and the great adventure, within the industry that I became deeply committed to, had begun.

??I worked for six springs and summers leaving Seattle on salmon and herring processing vessels, primarily the Aleutian Dragon plying the waters between Cold Bay and Norton sound, paying my way through college. The wildness, opportunities and great money steered me to Japanese studies and international marketing at the University of Oregon between seasons. My internship was in Tokyo and I graduated with only the seafood industry in focus.??

I landed my dream job at Washington Fish and Oyster (Ocean Beauty Corporate). I had great mentors for the fast paced Alaskan production of fresh and frozen that we moved throughout the USA, Japan and Europe. A few years later I was offered a great opportunity with JJ Camillo in San Diego and had the privilege of working for Maurice Camillo, one of the true gentleman of our industry. He and his close-knit group of business buddies, schooled me on reputation, integrity, and setting your sights high.??

It's been an industry that I have embraced; the smell of fish is the smell of money.  I've had the opportunity to watch my friends go from salesmen to company owners and leaders and small companies become giant multinationals.

??Recently I was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma and a very short life expectancy. The seafood industry has been my world, and as I say goodbye I would like to give you my bucket list:??

1. Shun the scum in our industry; starve them out of business and say good riddance. In order for our industry to play even, we need the rotten apples discarded.

??2. Make the various NGOs accountable to you rather than accountable to them. Their methods, testing and certification needs to be standardized.??

3. Create national marketing for seafood in a team effort across all fisheries to move our industry to a more highly visible protein sector.??

4. Embrace our industry, get involved, enjoy all of it as it's one of the few truly ever-changing markets that is sometimes crazy, full of opportunities and on the rise.??I have decided to spend the remaining time with my family; to travel with them, make great meals together, drink good wine and enjoy each day. I am hoping you also can include some this while you perfect the “art of the?deal” in your busy world.??

Best Fishes,?

Michael Lindquist

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