Cousins Maine Lobster restructures leadership team; Summer Shack chain founder Jasper White dies

New Cousins Maine Lobster Senior Vice President of Marketing Marion Thomas, President Shaun Higgins, and Director of Franchise Development Lindsay Herberger
New Cousins Maine Lobster Senior Vice President of Marketing Marion Thomas, President Shaun Higgins, and Director of Franchise Development Lindsay Herberger I Photo courtesy of Cousins Maine Lobster
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To keep up to date with the latest personnel changes across the seafood industry, SeafoodSource is compiling a regular round-up of hiring announcements and other personnel-related shifts worldwide. If you have an announcement, please send it to [email protected].

- Portland, Maine, U.S.A.-based seafood company Cousins Maine Lobster has announced leadership changes to support the company’s expansion. The company has appointed Shaun Higgins as president of the company, Marion Thomas as senior vice president of marketing, and Lindsay Herberger as director of franchise development

The company started as a single food truck in Los Angeles, California, but over the past 15 months, Cousins Maine Lobster has opened 22 new units and has more than 20 new unit openings planned for 2024, it said in a release.

"Shaun has been an integral part of our CML family and leadership team from the signing of our first franchisee,” Cousins Co-Founder Sabin Lomac said. “He has selflessly led the brand through years of sustained growth and demonstrates the passion and tenacity that will lead us through our continued expansion. We are appreciative of his partnership, and we are so excited for him as he takes on this expanded role.”

The brand continues to drive profitable, sustainable growth and has expanded its footprint across 26 states, with more than 65 units in operation. With their black food trucks still in operation, they continue to leverage their mobility to evaluate new markets and are actively recruiting new franchisees to fuel growth through the U.S. Midwest and beyond.

- Jasper White, a chef in the U.S. region of New England known for creating the popular seafood chain Summer Shack, died on 11 May, according to Mass Live Boston.

The death was confirmed by long-time business partner Lydia Shire. The two worked a few Boston hotel kitchens before White launched the chain.

“Jasper is the absolute smartest and kindest man I have ever known. I often asked him for advice; there would be a pause, and then what he would say was to the point and brilliant ... something I would not be able to do,” Shire said. “I cannot come to grips with why someone so healthy and vital – working to haul in oysters in the early morning hours for fun three days a week during the season – is swept away from us. It’s very unfair. I love him dearly and will miss him forever.”

- BioMar announced the retirement of BioMar Ecuador General Manager Danny Velez, effective 31 May. Andres Rivadulla, who is BioMar Ecuador’s current finance director, will take over as general manager, the company said in a release. 

“Under the leadership of Danny Velez, we have seen our operation in Ecuador go through a tremendous growth process. He is passing on a company in excellent shape despite the difficult environment for both our staff and customers with national security challenges, continued power cuts that interrupt production, and low shrimp prices,” BioMar Shrimp and Hatchery VP Henrik Aarestrup said. 

Velez joined Alimentsa in 1991 as an operations manager and was appointed vice general manager in 1993. When BioMar Group acquired Alimentsa in 2017, Velez became the first general manager of BioMar Ecuador. He guided the company through the transition from a family-owned local business to part of a leading multinational feed company.

Rivadulla joined BioMar Ecuador from plastic pen and lighter supplier Bic in 2018. 

- Former Mowi Director of Logistics and Strategic Projects for the Americas Andreas Vlahos has joined Cermaq US as its director of strategy and special projects.

According to his LinkedIn, Vlahos began the role in May 2024 and, before that, worked as CEO for Gulfstream Perishable Group.

- Aquaculture feed supplier Unibio has appointed Olivier Hartz as chief commercial officer, effective 1 June. Hartz has worked for Unibio as an external consultant since December 2019, according to his LinkedIn.

Hartz has worked in sales and commercial operations roles in the ingredients, feed, pet food, and pharma sectors for nearly 30 years, with more than 20 of those years spent with Japanese Ajinomoto in Europe, where he held roles of vice president and general manager, Unibo said in a release. 

“Olivier is a highly talented commercial leader in the food and feed sector. His experience, strategic vision, and ability to foster strong client relationships will accelerate our commercial success,” Unibo CEO David Henstrom said in a release. “We are thrilled to have Olivier as our chief commercial officer.”

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