Forever Oceans hires Bill Bien as CEO, launches Kahala Klash contest
Gainesville, Virginia, U.S.A.-based Forever Oceans, which farms ocean-raised seriola rivoliana in Panama, Brazil, Indonesia, and the U.S. state of Hawaii and sells it in fillets and whole under the brand Forever Oceans Kahala, has hired Bill Bien as its new CEO.
For the past six years, Bien was CEO of Signify's agricultural lighting division, prior to which he worked as Signify’s chief marketing office and chief strategy officer. He has held numerous positions in the ag-tech, clean-tech, and high-tech sectors, including management roles with Cisco, Telstra, and the Boston Consulting Group. At Signify, he developed a path toward carbon-neutral performance, an achievement recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the United Nations.
"I look forward to expanding Forever Ocean's innovation and market leadership in sustainable seafood," Bien said in a 3 November press release. "The world needs more sustainably raised seafood to feed its growing population in an environmentally sound and commercially attractive way. Forever Oceans is poised to do just that. U.S. consumer purchases of seafood grew over 30 percent since 2019, and their demand for high-quality, delicious, and sustainable seafood will continue to grow. Our leadership position in producing nutritious, contaminant-free fish from off-shore enclosures gives us a unique position for long-term growth."
Forever Oceans Founder Jason Heckathorn, whom Bien replaces, will continue to serve on the company's board of directors and as its chief sustainability officer, according to the release.
The company recently completed a record harvest from its farm in Panama and is unique in its automated approach to fish-farming, which uses robots to nurture its fish without human contact and to monitor each enclosure remotely in real time. In September 2021, it was placed on SeafoodSource’s Top 25 Seafood Product Innovators list.
"Forever Oceans is pioneering a new ocean-raised market by offering highly-nutritious fish that will meet the world's increasing demand for fish protein while also preserving our oceans and the environment," Bien said. "Forever Oceans' unique ocean-raised production and management technologies will enable us to quickly build a market leading position. I look forward to working with the team to achieve our full potential as a market leader in aquaculture innovation."
Separately, Forever Oceans has announced the launch of its Kahala Klash cooking contest on Sunday, 7 November. Taking place in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., the contest will pit students at the Culinary Institute of America against each other, with a USD 10,000 (EUR ) CIA scholarship awarded to the top chef using Forever Oceans Kahala, as chosen by celebrity chefs Andrew Zimmern, Nick DiGiovanni, Brendan Walsh, Rick Moonen, and Mark Allison.
“Chef Nick DiGiovanni is one of best-known chefs in the world,” Forever Oceans Chief Brand Officer Monica San Miguel said in a release. “Nick was a finalist on FOX Network’s MasterChef Season 10, was selected to Forbes 30 under 30, and has more than 11 million followers on social media. We’re thrilled to have him inspire these young future chefs in our competition.”
Photo courtesy of Forever Oceans