Staff


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


 

Brian Ahlers 

Business Engagement Manager

Brian serves as the lead for FishChoice's work with the seafood industry as Business Engagement Manager. Brian has ten years experience in industrial and small-scale fisheries, marine conservation, and seafood systems. He demonstrates specialized knowledge in seafood traceability as a researcher and industry professional, and employs interdisciplinary and specialized knowledge of market and regulatory drivers of global fisheries and seafood sustainability improvements. Brian recently served as Client Services Manager for SCS Global Services where he led MSC fishery and chain-of-custody assessments for domestic and international seafood client groups, including the first-ever Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fishery Certification in the Philippines – the Philippine Small-Scale Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares) Handline Fishery.

Outside of his efforts in seafood sustainability, Brian is an avid gardener and forager along the southern coast of Maine where he resides with his family. He holds an MSc in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University, and a BS in Biology from Dalhousie University.

Favorite Ocean Activity: Scuba and free-diving

Favorite Seafood Dish: Cha Ca (Vietnamese dish)

 


  

Kat Bevington

Communications Manager

Kat builds FishChoice's visibility and brand through digital media, outreach, media relations, and audience research. She has over seven years of communications experience spanning nonprofits, government, and civic tech. But communications wasn't always on the radar for Kat. A budding marine micropaleontologist, she first caught the communications bug while engaging communities at her university's natural history museum. Her passion led to diverse experiences, from writing content for a health exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston to developing a kayak ecotour in Australia. From there, Kat held positions at the National Ecological Observatory Network and NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System, translating complex data and information into digestible communications products. Most recently, she applied digital design best practices, user research, and content strategy to government services as a user experience designer at CivicActions.

When she's not obsessing over oxford commas, you'll find her outside paddling, skiing, cycling, or running. Kat holds a B.S. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Favorite Ocean Activity: Kayaking

Favorite Seafood Dish: Wisconsin Fish Fry

 


 

Richard Boot

Chief Executive Officer

As founder and CEO of FishChoice, Richard is responsible for ensuring that FishChoice remains a leader in the creation of tools for industry and conservation organizations. His chief responsibility is to maintain a team that delivers true value for conservation. Prior to founding FishChoice in 2008, Richard helped to build FishWise (another conservation organization) by designing programs for seafood retailers and a mercury labeling program. Richard serves on the Steering Committee for the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and was a Seafood Champion finalist in 2016. He spent 12 years in the hospitality industry as a chef, manager and seafood buyer for independent and corporate restaurants including Chart House and Landrys. Richard Graduated from the University of California and Santa Barbara with a B.A. in business economics. 

Richard became involved in conservation because he believes that humans have a direct responsibility to preserve the planet in which we live. He has a love of seafood and believes that there are many advancements that the seafood industry can make in wild capture and aquaculture technologies to create sustainable food sources for humans. 

Favorite Seafood Dish: Ceviche - with an ice-cold beer

Favorite Ocean Activity: Surfing and skipping rocks

 


 

Brett Galimidi

Director of Technology 

Brett’s work at FishChoice is to design and implement technology tools to further FishChoice’s sustainability and business-focused programs. He is also responsible for the care and feeding of our two main websites FishChoice.com and FisheryProgress.org. 

Conservation and sustainability are more than a job for Brett; it’s a way of life. To make a meaningful impact, Brett believes ecology and economies need to be considered together. The ocean conservation and sustainable seafood community understands this so Brett feels right at home here, despite being a vegetarian.   

Prior to FishChoice, Brett ran his own consulting business, Digital Timber, which was designed specifically to bring practical technology tools to conservation work. He has worked on numerous tech projects in the ocean conservation community and on other environmental issues such as sugarcane and palm oil, as well as STEM education and social metrics. Brett has worked at the intersection of technology and sustainability for 15 years since getting his Master’s degree in Environment Management from Yale University. 

Favorite Ocean Activity: Brett’s favorite ocean activities are snorkeling amongst the fishes and trying to spy octopus, along with kayaking various bays, sounds and beautiful coastlines. 

Favorite Ocean Movie: His favorite movie about the sea is Waterworld. Oh wait, that can’t be right. Let’s go with the Life Aquatic. In general, Brett likes to nerd out on all things music, nature, comedy, and travel.

 


 

Margaret Gilroy

Fishery Improvement Project Analyst

As a fishery improvement project (FIP) analyst, Margaret spends her time reviewing FIP data on FisheryProgress to ensure the rigor and credibility of information on the platform. Margaret worked on various marine conservation projects prior to joining FishChoice, including a queen conch population study in the Bahamas for the Cape Eleuthera Institute and a vulnerability assessment of bivalves to ocean acidification for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. She was also a consultant for the Natural Resources Defense Council on an international marine mammal bycatch project and co-authored their Net Loss report. Margaret holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the College of the Holy Cross and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University. As a seafood lover, Margaret appreciates being a part of a sustainability organization working to ensure that current and future generations can continue to enjoy seafood.

Favorite Ocean Activity: Diving (and seeing an octopus!)

Favorite Seafood Dish: Lobster roll

 


 

Juliana Herrera

Fishery Improvement Project Analyst

As a fishery improvement project (FIP) analyst, Juliana is focused on reviewing Fishery Improvement Project reports to ensure quality of data as well as to support FIP implementers in their paths to achieving sustainability. Prior to joining FishChoice, Juliana worked as the Seafood Standards Manager at Fair Trade USA where she developed policies and guidance documents and trainings for the implementation of the wild caught and aquaculture programs, worked on the improvement of the Premium-setting process, and most recently led the revision of the Capture Fisheries Standard. Before this, she worked as an observer on-board of a shrimp trawler as well as with small-scale fishers on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Juliana holds a Bachelor of Biology from the University of Costa Rica, and a Master’s degree in Coastal Marine Resource Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California at Santa Barbara

Favorite Ocean Activity: surfing!

Favorite Seafood Dish: Fried snapper with patacones and a cold beer

 


 

Cynthia Hsia

Data Analyst

As the Data Analyst for FishChoice, Cynthia is responsible for managing and analyzing master data sets, developing reports, maintaining accuracy, and troubleshooting data issues. She has a background in behavioral decision research and originally started her career in the automotive industry before transitioning into marine conservation. After receiving her Master’s degree, she began working at the intersection of seafood, science, fisheries, and culinary applications with a collaborative team at NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center and Catalina Offshore Products in San Diego. Cynthia is also the Seafood Liaison co-chair on the Slow Food Urban San Diego board, strengthening her relationships with fishermen, seafood suppliers, scientists, and chefs. She holds a B.S. in Decision Science from Carnegie Mellon University and a M.A.S. in Marine Biodiversity & Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. When she's not outdoors or in the water, Cynthia spends her time sewing and leatherworking.

Favorite Ocean Activity: Surfing & freediving

Favorite Ocean Movie: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

 


 

Melissa Luna

Fishery Improvement Project Analyst

As a fishery improvement project (FIP) analyst, Melissa reviews FIP social and environmental data on FisheryProgress to ensure evidence is accurate, meets quality standards, and supports the results proposed by the FIP implementer. She also supports other projects and initiatives related to Social Responsibility at FishChoice, including the revision of the Human Rights and Social Responsibility Policy. Prior to joining FishChoice, Melissa worked as an independent consultant in social inclusion and gender-responsive programming, including in the fisheries sector, and brings several years of experience leading and supporting research, project evaluation, capacity building, and strategic development. Melissa holds a Master’s degree in Marine Resource Management from the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Chemistry from the College of Charleston. She is extremely passionate about sustainable and socially responsible seafood and a firm believer that inclusive and sustainably managed fisheries can simultaneously deliver positive environmental outcomes while contributing to social justice and equality for all.

Favorite Ocean Activity: SCUBA diving and freediving in tropical warm waters and soaking up the sun during surface interval

Favorite Seafood Dish: Either ‘tiritas de pescado’ (a style of Mexican ceviche) or oysters on the half shell with a glass of crisp, dry white wine

 


 

Marisa Nixon

Fishery Improvement Project Analyst

Marisa works with the other fishery improvement project (FIP) analysts at FishChoice to review materials from FIP implementers who are working toward environmental and social improvements in their respective fisheries, ensuring that their data is up-to-date and accurate on FisheryProgress. Prior to joining FishChoice, Marisa worked with the West Coast Ocean Alliance and West Coast Ocean Data Portal, where she supported state governments, tribal governments, and federal agencies in coordination on marine planning and data sharing projects on the West Coast of the U.S. She has also worked in shellfish sanitation, environmental restoration, and inquiry-based science and sustainability programs for youth aboard several different sailing vessels. Marisa has a Bachelor of Science in Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington. She is currently based in Corvallis, Oregon, where she enjoys exploring the outdoors with her dog, Misha, and steadily replacing her lawn with flowers, vegetables and native plants. She also likes to home-can Oregon-caught Albacore!

Favorite Ocean Activity: Sailing

Favorite Seafood Dish: Freshly dug clams steamed with white wine, butter, and lots of garlic

 


 

Gabby Petrelli

Program Coordinator

As the Program Coordinator for FishChoice, Gabby supports both the FishChoice and FisherProgress platforms. Prior to joining the FishChoice team, Gabby served as the Conservation Action Coordinator for Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, where she led the aquarium’s plastic pollution and sustainable seafood programs. She enjoys inspiring volunteers, businesses and the public to take action on behalf of the environment and believes one of the best places to start is with the food on your plate. Gabby holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Northwestern University. Gabby is based in Chicago, where she enjoys exploring the city’s restaurant and music scenes, visiting Lake Michigan’s many beaches, and playing tennis. 

Favorite Ocean Activity: Whale watching

Favorite Seafood Dish: Miso glazed sablefish

 


 

Jeremy Rude

FisheryProgress Program Manager

Jeremy ensures that the information on FisheryProgress is consistent, accurate, and credible. He works with the implementers of Fishery Improvement Projects to share their status and progress with potential buyers, so that buyers can make informed seafood sourcing choices. Jeremy has 10 years of experience in marine science and conservation, with specialized experience in fisheries management, strategy development, and data analysis. He holds a Master’s degree in Coastal Marine Resource Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Favorite Seafood Dish: Peruvian ceviche with leche de tigre

Favorite Ocean Activity: Happy hour sailing somewhere warm to the tune of bossa nova

 


 

Kristin Sherwood

Program Director

Kristin leads FisheryProgress.org, FishChoice’s fishery improvement project (FIP) tracking website, and works to increase industry adoption of the site globally, builds key partner relationships and fosters new innovations for the site. She also supports strategic planning, impact tracking and funder relationships for FishChoice more broadly. Kristin has more than 20 years of experience in international marine and coastal conservation, and before joining FishChoice, she ran the Conservation Partnership Initiative for The Nature Conservancy, where she created in-person and online training programs supporting the development of smart, sustainable partnerships. Prior to that, for six years, Kristin was a Program Officer for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Conservation & Science Program, and earlier in her career, she worked with IUCN’s marine program in Washington, DC. She spent a number of years living and working in Central America and in the Central and Western Pacific where she really began to understand the need for conservation efforts that support the livelihoods of people and communities. Kristin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Virginia Tech and a Master’s degree in Environmental Resource Management from James Cook University in Australia. Kristin lives in Fort Collins, CO and has a husband and two young daughters that are also avid fish-spotters. 

Favorite Ocean Activity: Snorkeling & diving on coral reefs 

Favorite Seafood Dish: Tie between ceviche and Hawaiian poke

 


 

Mary Stevens

Graphic Designer / UX Lead

Mary is the Lead Graphic and UX Designer at FishChoice, working to highlight and further the organization’s mission through creative design solutions for its two online platforms, as well as creating their supplemental marketing and resource materials. Prior to joining Fishchoice in 2015, Mary worked as the Digital Content Manager for the City of Boston, creating digital content and constituent communications, and managing updates to Boston.gov. It was during this time that she became interested in sustainable food issues while assisting on projects for the Office of Food Initiatives. Mary graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Outside of work, Mary pursues a number of creative outlets as an artist, utilizing recycled materials whenever possible, and enjoys creating pieces that focus on highlighting the beauty and humor in things traditionally deemed as ugly, weird, or dated.

Favorite Ocean Movie: JAWS 

Favorite Ocean Activity: Paddleboarding, Snorkeling