East Coast Seafood names food industry veteran new CEO
East Coast Seafood Group has appointed Chris Maze, previously president and CEO at Campofrio Food Group – America, as the company’s new chief executive officer.
Based in Topsfield, Massachusetts, East Coast Seafood Group distributes North American lobster, scallops and fish through subsidiaries including Seatrade International, East Coast Seafood, Garbo Lobster, Paturel International Company and Worldwide Perishables Enterprises.
“I am honored to become a member of the East Coast Seafood Group team,” Maze said in a press release. “The quality and openess of the people along with the values and principles of this wonderful company are inspiring. There is an incredible foundation here and I am eager to join and help the team achieve a bright future.”
Chris Maze has 17 years of leadership experience in the food industry, including at Campofrio and also as vice president of finance and COO at Fiorucci Foods. While at Campofrio, Chris led the company’s growth into branded and value-added products, which were sold extensively in both the retail and foodservice channels throughout North America. In its announcement, East Coast Seafood Group said Maze will lead the company’s continuing improvement in its current distribution channel, as well as oversee an expansion into new categories and products.
Maze will start in his new in early April, and when that happens, current CEO Michael Tourkistas will remain active within the company, according to Brad Hudson, a principal of Forum Capital, which is a primary investor in East Coast Seafood Group.
“[Tourkistas] was instrumental in choosing his successor,” Hudson said. “Michael is a pioneer and leader in this industry and this change will allow him to turn his focus to strategic business development opportunities. He will work very closely with Chris to ensure a successful transition.”
The change in leadership has been part of East Coast's strategic plan, which was created in part by Tourkistas, and he said it will bolster the company’s strategic growth plans for 2017.
“Evolution starts from the top, and I believe we have found a dynamic and experienced leader for the next phase in our growth and development at East Coast,” Tourkistas said. “My stepping aside as CEO is something I have considered for a long time which prompted me to suggest this move. I’m looking forward to Chris placing our existing business under a microscope with an objective look at opportunities to become stronger suppliers and better partners. My heart and soul have gone into the business for the past 35 years and the same passion will fuel the next chapter of the company’s bright future.”