About Us

Our Vision

Improving Lives and the World Through Seafood

Our Misson

We’re dedicated to making a positive impact around the world through philanthropic and community development efforts centered on seafood.

Our Board and Staff

Board Members

Larry Cotter, Chair

Former CEO of APICDA

Larry arrived in Juneau, Alaska in 1974 and went to work cleaning fish at Juneau Cold Storage. After four years he became a labor organizer for seafood processing workers throughout Alaska. In 1986 he became a fisheries consultant and the youngest member of a federal fishery management council (the North Pacific Fishery Management Council), serving two terms through 1992. During this time period foreign fishing and processing was eliminated in the North Pacific EEZ. Larry helped organize and became CEO of the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association (APICDA) in 1992, a position he held until he retired in 2018.

Soren Dalsager, Founder

CEO, Everfish International

Soren is the founder of the Napa Seafood Summit and the Napa Seafood Foundation. A Danish national, he is educated in seafood engineering and worked in seafood production management for Faroe Seafood A/S and Seagull A/S. Soren also worked in international management consulting for Matcon Consulting A/S before moving to the USA. Throughout his career, Soren has held the roles of VP of Sales for San Francisco Trading Company, President of Royal Greenland US and Executive Vice-President of Global Sales for Regal Springs. In addition, he served on the board of directors of Iquique US Inc., and DNI Group and has been part of the senior management team of the Russian Fishery Group. He also started his own company— Soren’s Gourmet Seafood— and co-founded Everfish, which is currently doing business as Yutai Seafoods in China and San Francisco fisheries.

Hank Baumgart, Vice-Chair

Icy Strait Seafood

Hank began working in the seafood industry in the summer of 1969 unloading salmon for Dahl Fish Co. and then New England Fish Company in 1972 and 1973.  In 1974 he leased his first commercial fishing boat which began a 25-year career in the fishing industry. During those 25 years he was constantly upgrading and building new fishing vessels and participating in the salmon, herring, halibut and blackcod fisheries on the west coast—from San Francisco to Norton Sound.  In 1994, Hank founded Icy Strait Seafoods, Inc. a seafood processing company of which he remains the president today.  He is an owner of processing plants in both Juneau and Hoonah Alaska. He continues to longline for halibut and black cod in Alaska for a few weeks annually and enjoys sportfishing in Alaska and Puget Sound.

Devan Nielsen, Treasurer

President, DNI Group

Devan is the president of the DNI GROUP—a seafood sales and marketing firm founded in San Francisco in 1995 which specializes in Japanese foods. DNI GROUP began in the seafood industry and continues to be an innovator in value added Japanese seafood products today.

Mark Cotter

CEO, The Food Group

As the CEO of The Food Group, Mark has spent more than 30 years in the food industry as a marketing executive, food innovator and trusted adviser to some of the world’s leading food manufacturers, brands, and agricultural/seafood boards and associations. He has assisted in making Norwegian Salmon a world-renowned brand and making Oreo the number-one branded ingredient in food products today. He was creator and content expert for the History Channel series “America Eats,” and appointed by the First Lady Michele Obama as a member of the advisory committee to the president on creating of the new food pyramid.

Nour Maxwell, Secretary

Maxwell Consulting & Enterprises

Nour is an international policy and sustainability strategy expert with +18 years of experience. She currently helps FMCG business in the San Francisco Bay Area adopt best ESG practices. Nour has also served as a senior diplomat, Counselor of Foreign Affairs, specializing in international human rights protection. She represented the Kingdom of Morocco at the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Conference on International Private Law in The Hague. Nour also served as the Deputy Director for Sustainability and Head of Public Affairs/Public Relations for OCP S.A. Nour also co-founded GreenStarBlueSea and dabaddo SARL. Nour is a Fulbright scholar with a B.A. in International Relations/Law from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration Publique in Rabat, Morocco, a M.A. in International Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. She has completed her Executive Education at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She is fluent in Arabic, French and English. Nour lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband, son, daughter and 2 dogs.

Phil Gibson

CEO, Resiliensea Group, Inc

Phil has been involved in the seafood industry for over 30 years. He was part of Safeway USA from 1991 through 2012. As the company’s corporate Seafood Group Director—a role he held for the last seven years of his tenure—he implemented many innovations, including a private label brand that produces $200 million in sales annually. He also created a formal, internationally recognized, sustainable seafood program. In 2011, he received the SeaWeb Seafood Champion award for his work on sustainability issues. Phil is currently the CEO of Resiliensea Group. He also advises select companies and environmental conservation organizations. His focus is helping companies develop practical and credible programs to improve sourcing and selling practices. His clients include global and regional suppliers as well as national and regional retailers. He also authors market and brand studies for companies and trade associations using syndicated sales data to track consumer buying habits and help shape brand messaging.

Yara Silva

Highland Refrigeration

Yara holds a degree of Bachelor Science in Civil Engineering and a graduate degree in International Business. Yara has worked in banking negotiating daily operations with major clients at the trade desk and later in trade finance at the International Department. In 1990, Yara moved to Seattle where she worked as a consultant, acting as intermediary between buyer and potential sellers in countries such as Brazil (where she was born and raised), Chile and Denmark.  In 1999, Yara co-founded Highland Refrigeration and is presently responsible for Finances and Administration. Yara also volunteers at the Goodwin Foundation (former Milk Fund) and the American Red Cross as a Portuguese language translator. She was a board member of the Danish Association in Seattle (Former known as Danish Foundation).

Marcy Bemiller

Founder, Candor Seafood

Marcy manages global seafood consulting services where she drives the development and execution of growth strategies, for sustainable seafood products. She brings over 30 years of experience in the seafood industry including retail, foodservice and club store experience. Marcy understands the industry intimately and has experience scaling nearly all types of wild and aquacultured products. To this day, Marcy combines her passion for the ocean and living a healthy lifestyle with her unparalleled ability to uncover the best way to bring individual seafood brands to market.

Staff Members

Jiliane Patriarca, Project Manager

Founder, The Organization Organization

Jiliane has been the Event Manager for the annual Napa Seafood Summit since 2015 and was brought on to the Napa Seafood Foundation as Project Manager in 2020. Specializes in professional organizing, event planning and business consulting, she founded her own company—The Organization Organization—in 2014. By applying her skills in marketing, productivity and time management she clears her clients’ cluttered processes, enabling them to focus on longer term visions and ambitions. Jiliane has worked across many different industries including finance, hospitality and foodservice. Originally from New York, she attended Franklin University in Lugano, Switzerland and currently resides in California. 

Anli Chen, Intern

Harvard College / Bain & Company

Anli Chen is the Fundraising & Outreach Manager for Napa Seafood Foundation’s Seafood for Heroes project. She began interning with the Napa Seafood Foundation as a Harvard College senior, where she studied Economics. Anli is passionate about food access and sustainability. Currently based in Orlando, Florida, she will be joining Bain & Company’s Boston headquarters as a management consultant this fall.