Andy Wink steps down from Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association; NFI hires Kayla Bennett as communications manager

Andy Wink.

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].

- Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A-based Bristol Bay Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA) announced that Andy Wink (pictured) has stepped down as executive director.

“Representing Bristol Bay fishermen as BBRSDA’s executive director has been the greatest honor of my professional career thus far. I’m grateful for all the people I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with and for all the experiences this position has provided. I’m proud of the organization’s growth and accomplishments achieved during my tenure,” Wink said in a release. “These are challenging times in the Alaska seafood industry. It was a difficult year for Bristol Bay fishermen and the BBRSDA. We all agree on the problem that fish prices are unsustainably low, but there are many different opinions on what to do about it.”

Wink led the organization in the executive director role for over five years, according to his LinkedIn, and continues to hold the title of principal at his independent research contracting firm Wink Research and Consulting. 

“Going forward, I am excited to pursue new ventures. Those may include working in areas connected to the Alaska seafood industry, expanding my research and consulting business, or other endeavors. I believe the world – including Bristol Bay – is full of problems, possibilities, and opportunities, and my ultimate goal is to leave a better world behind for future generations,” Wink said.

Bristol Bay Seafood Development Association Board President Fritz Johnson has been appointed as acting interim director, the association said. Johnson declined to comment on Wink’s departure, but said he is optimistic about the future.

“We have a product with a unique flavor and quality that can compete with farmed salmon,” he told National Fisherman.

In November 2023, BBRSDA appointed former Peter Pan President CEO Barry Collier as an advisor on industry and global market initiatives on a one-year contract.

“The Norwegians just announced they a USD 46 million marketing program targeting the American market,” Johnson said. “Barry was CEO at Peter Pan for 20 years, and started with in November under a one year contract. If he can beat the Norwegians' USD 46 million, he’ll have earned his salary.” 

- The National Fisheries Institute has appointed Kayla Bennett as its new communications manager.

Bennett previously served as an intern for NFI as part of Ohio University's Scripps Semester in Washington D.C. program. She will be a liaison for reporters, produce multimedia projects, anchor the weekly Inside NFI video and newsletter, and co-host the SoFISHsticated podcast. 

“I’m excited to be returning to NFI,” Bennett said in a release. “These days, working on advocacy communications in the nation’s capital is an exciting challenge, and I’m eager to help ensure NFI’s members get their message out.”

Bennett will also work on crafting NFI’s social media strategy, create editorial content, and collaborate with global communication stakeholders across the industry, NFI said. 

“We are thrilled to have Kayla join us,” NFI President and CEO Lisa Wallenda Picard said. “We think of communications as a core competency around here but one that’s always evolving. Having a fresh set of eyes on what we’ve been doing and what we might do in the future makes a strong team even stronger.”

- Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.-based restaurant company Bloomin’ Brands announced it has appointed both Dave George and Jon Sagal to its board of directors.  

George is the former COO of Darden Restaurants, which operates the Olive Garden, Capital Grille, and Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Sagal is a partner at investment advisory firm Starboard Value.

“With more than 30 years of leadership experience in the restaurant industry, Dave is deeply familiar with the unique aspects of casual dining and has a proven record of driving growth and profitability. Jon brings valuable financial and investment acumen and further shareholder representation to the board,” Bloomin’ Brands Chairman of the Board R. Michael Mohan said. “We are confident Dave and Jon will further enhance our board’s already diverse and proven expertise, and we look forward to benefiting from their perspectives as we advance our ongoing work to deliver a differentiated customer experience, drive sales and traffic, and create value for all shareholders.”

Photo courtesy of BBRSDA


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