NFI President John Connelly announces cancer diagnosis

NFI President John Connelly.

John Connelly, the president of the National Fisheries Institute, a McLean, Virigina, U.S.A.-based nonprofit organization that is the U.S. seafood industry’s largest trade group, has been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, or bile duct cancer.

Connelly informed the NFI Board of Directors about the diagnosis on 22 September, 2022, and NFI subsequently put out a press release that included a statement from Connelly.

“Today I took the opportunity to update our Board of Directors on a number of important issues, including my health,” it said. “In late March, I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer, cholangiocarcinoma. Since the first week of April, I have been in chemotherapy. Thankfully, I am responding well to the treatments to date. During this difficult and busy time I have been extraordinarily pleased with the NFI staff’s reaction and the support they continue to provide our members. I have always been impressed with how much we do with so few employees and now more than ever.”

Connelly previously announced his retirement, scheduled for January 2023, which would mark his 20-year anniversary at NFI.

“My pending retirement is long-planned and unrelated to my diagnosis. I continue to work and the transition to a new NFI president is on track for January 2023,” Connelly said. “My wife, Margaret, and our extended family have a wonderful network of family and friends who support us and we deeply appreciate them. Thank you all for your continued prayers, thoughts, and kindnesses.”

In an update provided 24 September, NFI said its presidential search committee has provided the its executive committee and board of directors "with regular updates on the search for the group’s next president and CEO."

"The search timeline is on schedule and the committee anticipates the Board will approve a new NFI president and CEO in late fall 2022," it said in a statement. "NFI’s Global Seafood Markets Conference 2023 will include [an event] honoring Connelly’s 20-year tenure and introducing NFI’s new leader."

Photo courtesy of John Connelly/NFI


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