Bumble Bee CEO Jan Tharp joins plant-based food company’s board of directors

Published on
March 31, 2020

Bumble Bee Foods President and CEO Jan Tharp has joined the board of directors of Gathered Foods, the developer of plant-based seafood analogs under the Good Catch brand.

Tharp’s appointment comes just after Bumble Bee and Gathered Foods announced their joint distribution venture on 2 March, a partnership that will see the former “leverage its sales, distribution and logistics expertise to ensure that consumers nationwide have access to Good Catch products at affordable prices.”

Regarded as a “transformational leader within the industry, among her peers, and with Bumble Bee employees,” Tharp will leverage her extensive seafood sector experience and expertise while seated on Gathered Foods’ board, the plant-based alternatives company said in a press release.

"We are thrilled to welcome Jan to our board of directors, as she brings years of leadership, innovation and superb operational expertise in the seafood industry, along with a shared passion for the health of our oceans," Gathered Foods CEO and Co-founder Chris Kerr said. "The voracious demand for protein alternatives is rapidly changing and evolving in the food industry. We look forward to having Jan's knowledge and trusted voice on our board as we continue to make plant-based seafood readily available to consumers everywhere."

While the two companies will remain independent, both stand to gain a lot by working together, they said. For Bumble Bee, “the addition of Jan Tharp to the [Gathered Foods] board amplifies the seafood company's commitment to bolstering the next wave of plant-based proteins through products such as Good Catch, while continuing its long-term commitment to ocean health,” it noted. Gathered Foods added that the appointment works to ensure that both businesses “continue to grow in a sustainable, innovative direction.”

"I'm proud to join Gathered Foods' board of directors and look forward to the opportunity to work with the esteemed group in an official capacity," Tharp said. "We have a shared commitment to find innovative solutions that will continue to bring value to our consumers and to the food industry. Our recently announced joint venture with Good Catch is one example, and I know there will be more to come."

Tharp brings over 30 years of experience in the food industry – which includes more than a decade spent within the seafood sector specifically – to her new board appointment. It was back in May 2018 when Tharp first took over as CEO of Bumble Bee, in the wake of former executive Christopher Lischewski stepping down following an indictment brought against him by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding his alleged part in fixing the prices of canned seafood in the U.S. Before she was CEO, Tharp served as the company’s chief operating officer.

Tharp holds a master's of business administration from Columbia University and London Business School, and a bachelor's degree in packaging engineering from Michigan State University.

Photo courtesy of Bumble Bee Foods

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