Riverence Group names third CEO within a year; FFAW President Greg Pretty retires

The Riverence Group CEO Sean Nepper
The Riverence Group CEO Sean Nepper I Photo courtesy of The Riverence Group
6 Min

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].

Riverence has named Sean Nepper as CEO, marking the company's third CEO within the past year.

Nepper has been with the Riverence Group since 2017 and brings nearly 30 years of experience in aquaculture to the role. His career began in broodstock, and he has successfully spawned 26 different types of aquatic species.

Riverence Farms operates six grow-out farms, primarily raising steelhead and golden rainbow trout, while Riverence Provisions comprises eight grow-out farms, raising rainbow trout. The eggs for these trout come from Riverence’s recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facilities in the U.S. state of Washington. Collectively, Riverence companies produce more than 22 million pounds, or 10,000 metric tons, of fish annually, and employ over 300 team members.

Nepper will be replacing Brandon Gottsacker as Riverence CEO, who, in turn, replaced Rob Young, who served as CEO of the group since 2014.

- Fish, Food, and Allied Workers (FFAW) President Greg Pretty has announced retirement after more than 40 years with Newfoundland and Labrador's largest private sector union, according to CBC News.

Pretty was the president of the union during a tumultuous term that included two contentious tie-ups in back-to-back snow crab seasons. 

When asked if he would have done anything differently looking back, Pretty said no.

"We had to have tie-ups to move this agenda. It was contrary to regulations and legislation, but it had to be done and it paid off," Pretty said. "We're in a much better situation right now in 12 short months. So no, I don't have any regrets."

- The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions has appointed Meaghan Hudgins as executive director.

Hudgins previously served as the alliance's senior director of operations and development and has been a part of the team for nearly a decade, the organization said in a release.

“The Alliance serves a unique need within the responsible seafood movement by creating community in an often disparate space,” Hudgins said in a release. “I plan to focus on the trust, collaboration, and inspiration that grows here because, in the end, we can achieve far more together than we can on our own.”

- Christina Cash has been named executive director of the University of Maine Lobster Institute, effective 17 May.

Cash has been with the institute since 2021 as the assistant director of communication and outreach and, recently, as interim director, according to National Fisherman.

“It is an honor to be in this position as a liaison between industry and the university,” Cash said. “There’s so much going on in the lobster world right now, and I look forward to collaborating with partners from industry, management, and academia on research that can help the fishery. I also hope to expand the Lobster Institute’s programs and student opportunities based at the Darling Marine Center.”

Cash previously worked as an advancement officer at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

- Norwegian salmon farm installation, maintenance, inspection, fish transport, treatment, sorting, and counting task firm Frøy has appointed Petter Jønvik as its head of ESG.

According to his LinkedIn, Jønvik began the role in February 2024. Previously, he worked as the head of sustainability at the electric company Statnett SF, headquartered in Oslo, Norway.

- Starting January 2024, Bolton Food and Tri Marine, both units of Bolton Foods, have merged to form a new integrated business unit.

Since the 1970s, Bolton and Tri Marine have collaborated, with Tri Marine as the sole global supplier of tuna loins. Bolton's acquisition of Tri Marine in 2019 strengthened its partnership, which led to the new integration.

The new business unit, Bolton Food & Tri Marine, will oversee the entire tuna supply chain with a combined market share of over 10 percent in both the global tuna catch and branded businesses, the companies said in a joint release.

Luca Alemanno will serve as CEO of the new unit, leading a team of approximately 9,000 people worldwide.

Juan Corrales, former CEO of Tri Marine, will become senior vice president of business development, focusing on commercial opportunities.

- Karnataka, India-based online platform Captain Fresh, which matches seafood providers with retailers and facilitates digital auctions for sourcing, has appointed Mathew George as CFO.

“With a clear vision, demonstrated success in execution, and the support of esteemed investors, I believe we are primed to propel our growth forward,” George said in a LinkedIn release

George brings nearly three decades of experience working in global markets, including the U.S., Europe, India, U.A.E., and Nigeria, and has held leadership positions at Medi Assist Health Care Services, Jumbo Electronics, HCL Technologies, Cognizant Technologies, Accenture, GE Capital, and Genpact.

Captain Fresh has expanded rapidly across India and has raised more than USD 100 million (EUR 93 million) in a series of funding rounds, including USD 25 million (EUR 23 million) in February 2024. The same month, it acquired CenSea, one of the largest shrimp importers in the United States.

- Feltham, England-based Nomad Foods has named Ruben Baldew as CFO, effective 17 June.

Baldew brings over 20 years of experience in the global consumer products sector to the new role and most recently served as CFO of Accell Group from November 2018 until October 2023, the company said in a release.

"We are delighted to welcome Ruben to Nomad Foods,” Nomad Foods CEO Stefan Descheemaeker said. “He is a dynamic leader with extensive experience in both financial leadership, as well as other senior executive positions, which will bolster our strong foundations and strategic plans."

Baldew will succeed Samy Zekhout, who is leaving to pursue outside opportunities but will remain with the company until 31 July to assist in the transition. 

“Samy leaves a strong finance organization that has been instrumental to our success, as evidenced by our consistent organic revenue, EBITDA, and EPS growth, during his time with us. He has been a critical player in driving our strategic agenda, leading key initiatives such as revenue growth management and business transformation, which will benefit us for many years to come,” Descheemaeker said. 

- Alicia Gallardo Lagno has been elected president of the Aquatic Animals Commission of the World Health Organization (OMSA).

“I appreciate the support and I take with great pride the responsibility that has been given to me,” Gallardo said in a release. “I am committed to continuing to strengthen animal health in aquaculture for a future with multiple challenges that we are facing, such as climate change and the need to produce more aquatic protein more sustainably.”

Gallardo previously served as undersecretary of fisheries and director of the Chilean National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service. In 2023, she also worked as a technical advisor to the Chilean Salmon Council.

- Tom Prins announced his resignation from his role as head of dealflow at Netherlands-based global aquaculture investment fund Aqua-Spark.

According to his LinkedIn, Prins had been with the organization for over eight years.

“After nearly a decade at Aqua-Spark, I have decided to move on and explore what else is on the blue horizon for me. Therefore, May and June will be my last months at Aqua-Spark,” Prins wrote in a LinkedIn post. “I came into this business looking to contribute to a more sustainable future for our oceans. Whilst in many parts of the world, today’s practices are still questionable, my conviction has grown stronger that if we do legitimately get this right, the seafood we consume doesn’t need to harm our oceans but, on the contrary, contribute to its health.”

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