Staff

TA croppedTobias Aguirre MB croppedMariah Boyle Arne Croce Ashley Greenley AA-CroppedAurora Alifano
AJG CroppedAlanna Gisondo SL CroppedSara Lewis EL CroppedEthan Lucas ET CroppedElsie Tanadjaja SK CroppedScott Kennedy
KML croppedKathleen Mullen-Ley JC CroppedJen Cole TL CroppedTraci Linder Jessie Zupcic LJ CroppedLindsay Jennings
BT croppedBrooke Towne MS croppedMeg Songer CS croppedCora Sorenson ELT croppedErin Taylor Chase Martin
Michael Abowd Leslie Howitt Jodie King
 

 

Tobias Aguirre, M.A. International Affairs, Chief Executive Officer

Tobias Aguirre is a thought-leader in sustainable seafood known for bringing diverse stakeholders into collaborative relationships in order to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. As CEO, he sets the conservation vision and organizational strategy for FishWise.

Through his work with seafood industry executives, trade associations, foundations, government, and NGO leaders, Tobias builds a collaborative approach to conservation, propelling the sustainable seafood movement forward. To that end, Tobias serves on many advisory bodies, including the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation’s Environmental Stakeholder Committee, the Food Marketing Institute’s Sustainable Seafood Committee Advisory Council, the Advisory Board of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions, the Seafood Summit Advisory Board, and Fair Trade USA’s Fisheries Advisory Council. Drawing from these diverse multi-stakeholder efforts, Tobias charts new national and global strategies, develops innovative solutions for FishWise business partners, and forges new ground in the complex world of seafood sustainability.

Tobias frequently speaks at leading industry events, hosts panels with diverse topics and speakers, and contributes to many strategic initiatives that aim to scale environmental sustainability and social responsibility globally. He works towards an industry that makes a significant contribution to the food needs of a growing population, while supporting biodiverse, productive, and resilient marine and freshwater ecosystems.Tobias has demonstrated that the complexities of the seafood industry don’t have to preclude effective goal-setting and on-the-ground progress.

When Tobias took on his leadership role in 2005, FishWise was working with 10 retail stores, all in Northern California. Through this early work, Tobias led his team to build a scalable model of business engagement – one that is iterative, adaptive, informed by new ecological and social science research, and honed by the needs of business. He has propelled FishWise to one of the world’s foremost sustainable seafood organizations. Now, FishWise is partnered with Albertsons Companies (2300+ stores), Target (1900+ stores), Hy-Vee (240+ stores), and many other regional retailers and suppliers throughout the United States, with some of the most ambitious commitments in the industry. He has positioned FishWise as a trusted guide that businesses seek out for expertise and a proven track record of success. Ultimately, Tobias works to empower the seafood industry to become champions for the oceans and the people that depend upon them.

Tobias holds degrees from Stanford University and UCSD’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, where he specialized in nonprofit management and business strategy and was named a Schoepflin Fellow for his work on sustainable fisheries. He has been honored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a Seafood Watch Hero and was awarded the Spirit of the Alliance Award by the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions.

Each day, Tobias is inspired by a call to action from Paul Hawken: “You are Brilliant, and the Earth is hiring.”

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Mariah Boyle, M.S., Vice-President of Traceability 

As VP of Traceability, Mariah works to create tools that help the seafood industry address risks of illegally harvested seafood and unfair labor practices in supply chains, while ensuring all seafood is traceable back to its origins. Mariah is a frequent speaker at global industry events, participates on expert panels and working groups, and has been named a leader in her field. In 2017, Mariah was named a SeaWeb Seafood Champion Awards finalist for Leadership and, in 2016, was on Intrafish’s 40 under 40 list of the most promising young seafood executives. Mariah’s background in science, business engagement, and supply chain logistics allow her to add a unique perspective to sustainability conversations. She has a Masters in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and a Bachelor of Science from the Florida Institute of Technology. Previously, she has worked in academia, government, and education, monitored West Coast fish stocks at sea, and informed community-based marine protected areas in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Mariah’s network and ability to identify solutions that both create lasting change while making good business sense allow her to address some of the largest challenges facing our oceans.

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Arne Croce, M.P.A., Chief Financial Officer 

As Chief Financial Officer, Arne oversees financial and administrative responsibilities and priorities for FishWise. Prior to joining FishWise Arne served as executive director of a human services nonprofit and had a full career in local government serving as city manager for the cities of San Mateo and Los Altos. Arne has a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University Sacramento and a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley.

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Ashley Greenley, M.S., Retail Division Director 

Ashley leads FishWise’s retail business engagement team, overseeing partnerships with the Albertsons Companies (2200+ stores), Target Corporation (1900+ stores), Hy-Vee (240+ stores), New Seasons Market (20+ stores), New Leaf Community Markets (6 stores), and 13 other independent retail chains. Ashley and her team work closely with FishWise’s retail partners to establish comprehensive sustainable seafood programs with credible environmental, social, and traceability policies. Through these efforts, FishWise’s partners have become industry leaders, driving improvements in fisheries, aquaculture, and supply chain accountability. Collaborating with NGOs and the seafood industry, Ashley brings a pragmatic approach to global seafood sustainability issues. With this perspective, Ashley serves on the Food Marketing Institute’s Seafood Strategy Advisory Committee. Prior to FishWise, Ashley was a field researcher for Stanford University, where she worked closely with fishing communities in Baja California, Mexico. Ashley holds a Masters in Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and obtained a B.S. in aquatic biology from UC Santa Barbara. Her published work focuses on marine protected areas, commercial abalone fisheries, acoustic tracking of marine fishes, and research applicable to conservation and fisheries management.

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Aurora Alifano, M.S., Project Director

As Project Director, Aurora leads multi-stakeholder initiatives to improve business practices that protect human and labor rights within the seafood industry. Her cross-sector engagement strategy brings human rights, labor, and trafficking experts into the world of seafood sustainability. Uniting expertise from representatives of companies, governments, and civil society, this work charts a new course for a truly responsible seafood industry via collaboration, development of new tools, and promotion of best practices. Aurora is a frequent speaker at industry events, presenting North American NGO and industry perspectives on illegal fishing and human rights issues. Her work also integrates social responsibility into seafood sourcing recommendations and traceability improvements, providing awareness and guidance to FishWise partners. Aurora’s interest in human rights began while treating the ill and injured as an Emergency Medical Technician in Monterey County. Aurora earned a master’s degree in marine science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from University of California, Santa Cruz. Aurora also managed international partnerships and implemented large-scale restoration projects to protect native island species in The Bahamas, the Galapagos, and Palau. She currently volunteers as a Diver Medical Technician for the Pacific Grove Hyperbaric Chamber.

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Alanna Gisondo, M.E.M., Project Director

As a Project Director in the Traceability Division, Alanna works with FishWise partners and a diverse range of stakeholders to improve traceability and eliminate illegality in seafood supply chains. She represents FishWise in multi-stakeholder working groups and projects that seek to advance electronic interoperable traceability throughout the seafood industry. As part of this work, Alanna leads FishWise efforts to help standardize how key data elements for seafood products are recorded, requested, and shared throughout seafood supply chains. She also works closely with the FishWise Retail Division to incorporate traceability into seafood procurement policies and recommendations for FishWise retail partners. Alanna holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental systems and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from U.C. San Diego, and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University. She conducted her graduate research in the Spermonde Archipelago in Indonesia, where she evaluated the scalability of marine ornamental mariculture as an alternative livelihood strategy for artisanal fishing communities.

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Sara Lewis, M.A., M.E.S., Project Director

As Project Director, Sara works closely with the Traceability Division Director to research, develop, and assess traceability tools and best practices. Sara assists in the development of reports and recommendations for FishWise partners and other members of the seafood industry, suggesting viable options for improving product traceability, and ridding seafood supply chains of illegally caught and mislabeled seafood products. She also leads FishWise’s engagement on the Presidential Task Force for Combatting IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud. Sara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and two masters degrees in environmental studies from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and the University of California, Santa Cruz respectively. Her academic and professional pursuits have provided Sara with ample opportunity to work with members of government, the conservation community, and the seafood industry internationally, giving her a diverse and unique perspective on marine sustainability issues globally.

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Ethan Y. Lucas, M.M.A., Project Director

As Project Director, Ethan leads the Sea Delight distributor partnership and tackles FishWise research needs for fishery improvement projects (FIPs). Ethan became involved in wild capture fisheries at a young age on Cape Cod and later transitioned his focus towards marine conservation. Ethan holds a Bachelor of Science in aquaculture and fisheries technology from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Marine Affairs from the School of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington. During graduate school Ethan used experience in community-based coastal resource management gained as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines to help establish a large-scale, no-take marine protected area on Danajon Bank Double Barrier Reef in Bohol, Philippines. Additional experience in marine science education, NAUI scuba instruction, and marine policy development with NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch Program as a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow have contributed to Ethan’s strong interdisciplinary background that integrates rigorous theoretical understanding with practical on-the-ground experience.

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Elsie Tanadjaja, M.S., Project Director

As Project Director, Elsie leads the work with tuna and with data systems. Collaborating with NGOs and the seafood industry, Elsie monitors global tuna issues and develops and implements strategies for FishWise business partners to improve tuna conservation in their supply chains. With the data team, Elsie designs systems to monitor the sustainability performance of our partners. Elsie also facilitates data collaboration with NGOs to streamline processes and enable a wider use of data to support broader sustainability goals and metrics. Being fluent in Indonesian, she is also a great asset to engaging with fishery improvements projects in the Indo-Pacific region. Elsie graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology and a minor in Asian American studies from University of California Santa Barbara. She holds a master’s degree in marine science from Moss Landing Marine Lab where she did research focused on ocean acidification. With research and environmental conservation experiences across the United States, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Mexico, Elsie integrates a multi-cultural perspective into her knowledge and understanding of human and ocean interactions.

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Scott Kennedy, B.A., Project Director

As Project Director, Scott works closely with FishWise retail and distributor partners on program implementation, sourcing support, and data collection. He is closely involved with the Albertsons Companies, Inc partnership, and also leads grant funding programs in fisheries and aquaculture improvement for Santa Monica Seafood and Sea Pact. After earning a BA in environmental studies with a focus on conservation from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Scott went on to work in abalone aquaculture for several years gaining insight into the dynamics of relationships between producers, distributors, and retailers, as well as experience in the field of sustainable aquaculture. He has also worked in retail seafood markets and restaurants, providing valuable experience at the end point of the seafood supply chain. Scott has been an avid fisherman, diver, and ocean enthusiast since a young age. His life long passions for the outdoors, marine conservation, and ecology, as well as his diverse work experience, make him well equipped to implement positive change within the seafood industry.

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Kathleen Mullen-Ley, M.A.S., Project Director

As Project Director, Kathleen leads the FishWise major retailer partnerships with Target Corporation (1,700+ stores) and Hy-Vee, Inc. (240 stores). For each partnership, Kathleen works closely with the seafood procurement team and corporate social responsibility team to develop and implement ambitious, industry-leading sustainable seafood programs. Kathleen advises retailers on product sourcing, staff training programs, point-of-sale marketing materials, and policy and advocacy initiatives. Within FishWise, Kathleen also provides strategic communication support for FishWise’s global tuna conservation work. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from U.C. Santa Cruz and a Master of Advanced Studies in marine biodiversity and conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, with a focus on international tuna fisheries management. Prior to joining FishWise, Kathleen was a marine science educator in San Diego.

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Jen Cole, M.S., Project Manager

As Project Manager, Jen researches and develops initiatives to improve business practices that protect human and labor rights within the seafood industry. Jen attended Stanford University, where she earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in biology, with focuses on marine ecology and social-ecological systems, respectively. Jen’s interest in ocean conservation stems from her childhood in Guam where she would snorkel and fish with her family. Her interest in sustainable fishing grew when she researched the social-ecological systems of small-scale wetfish fisheries in the Monterey Bay with the Center for Ocean Solutions. Jen also worked as an analyst at the Center for Effective Philanthropy where she advised foundations on how to maximize the effectiveness of their giving and relationships with grantees. Jen’s academic experience in marine conservation and professional role working with foundations have given her an interdisciplinary perspective to creating change in the field of conservation. She brings this cross-sector and collaborative focus to her work with human rights and sustainability in the seafood industry.

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Jessie Zupcic, M.S., Project Manager

In her role as Project Manager, Jessie provides general support for the Albertsons Companies partnership and oversees their Responsible Sushi Program. Prior to joining FishWise, Jessie attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where she earned both a Bachelor of Science in marine biology and Master of Science in ocean sciences. While at UC Santa Cruz, Jessie conducted field and lab research on a wide variety of ocean inhabitants ranging from 1,000-pound northern elephant seals to microscopic plankton. For her Master’s thesis, she analyzed the yearly bands of sperm whale teeth, which act as time capsules recording chemical signals of habitat and food throughout each whale’s lifetime. Her strong background in analytical science and keen eye for detail make Jessie a valued addition to the FishWise team.

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Lindsay Jennings, M.P.S., Project Manager

As Project Manager, Lindsay supports the Traceability Division by developing tools to improve seafood traceability, eliminate illegally harvested products from supply chains, and facilitate discussions between key players to find solutions to these global challenges. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Marine Science from Eckerd College, Lindsay worked for the state of Florida researching harmful algal blooms in Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. She received her Masters of Professional Science degree with a concentration in marine conservation from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Marine Affairs and Policy. While there, she conducted field work tagging sharks with UM’s Shark Research and Conservation Program. Lindsay also was a Marine Conservation Institute Ocean Policy Fellow, during which time she worked to pass illegal fishing legislation through Congress. Her ability to marry science, policy, and effective communication makes Lindsay well prepared for the challenges that come with ensuring a more sustainable future for our oceans.

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Traci Linder, M.S., Project Manager

As Project Manager, Traci develops tools to improve seafood traceability and combat illegal fishing and human rights violations. She leads the communications for the Traceability Division, crafting the Division’s blogs, social media content, and messaging. Traci holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with a focus in ecology from UC San Diego, and a master’s degree in biology with a focus in marine ecology from UC San Diego / Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Traci has been conducting fisheries and aquatic research for over ten years, spanning from mariculture studies in Costa Rica to working on large-scale fisheries conservation projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. She also has experience in policy work surrounding aquatic resource management and communicating both policy and scientific research to the general public. Traci’s experience in both science and policy has shown her the importance of strong communication and collaboration for effective ocean resource management.

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Meg Songer, B.S., Project Manager 

As a Project Manager, Meg provides support to FishWise retailer partners, manages sourcing information, in addition to developing and implementing training programs. Her work facilitates the implementation and maintenance of retailers’ environmentally responsible seafood programs in addition to providing consumers with the tools to make informed purchasing choices. Meg holds a Bachelor of Science in anthropology and environmental studies as well as a Bachelor of Science in liberal studies with concentrations in natural sciences, social sciences, and fine art from Iowa State University. Upon graduation from university, Meg spent several years as a naturalist and marine science instructor on Catalina Island, California. While teaching in Stonington, Connecticut, Meg made interpersonal relationships with local commercial fishermen and incorporated their insights into hands-on marine science lesson plans. These experiences as an environmental educator served as Meg’s introductions to marine ecosystems and also point to the root of her commitment to marine conservation. Meg’s deep-seated passions for education, ecology and understanding human behavior make her well equipped to cultivate heightened awareness and action within the seafood industry.

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Cora Sorenson, M.B.A., M.P.P., Project Manager

As Project Manager, Cora develops guidance to support the seafood industry’s efforts to address human and labor rights issues in the seafood supply chain. Cora holds an MBA and Masters of Public Policy with a focus in ocean conservation from Mills College, as well as a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University. Prior to joining the team at FishWise, Cora interned with various conservation organizations including Conservation International, Hawaii, and Oceana’s California program, where she helped to develop sustainable fishing gear plans, as well as understand policy, cultural and social landscapes impacting community adoption of a recreational fishing license system in Hawaii. Cora has a long-standing commitment to addressing social well-being issues for populations and communities impacted by poverty, and brings a people-centered lens to her work in sustainable fishing.

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Erin Taylor, B.A., Project Manager

As Project Manager, Erin works closely with the Distributor Division Director to research, co-develop, and execute innovative and collaborative workstreams with seafood distributors. Erin is responsible for providing support to both new and existing partnerships that aim to enable these critically important mid-supply chain actors to become leaders. She graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Analysis and Policy and a minor concentration in Business Administration and Management. Before joining the FishWise team, Erin was a wild fisheries specialist for the New England Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Program, where she advised large companies on a diverse array of seafood sustainability issues, including traceability, policy, certifications, fisheries improvement, and environmental risks, particularly for Alaskan and Russian fisheries. Erin’s multidisciplinary background in science, policy, and business and experience forming cooperative relationships with seafood industry members have given her the tools needed to tackle seafood sustainability’s multifaceted challenges.

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Chase Martin, M.A.S., Communications Project Manager

Chase leads FishWise’s internal and external communications channels and activities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a Master of Advanced Studies in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His Master’s thesis identified octopus species in Southern California markets, assessing potential sustainability, fisheries management, and taxonomic implications. Prior to FishWise, Chase worked in the communications department at Conservation International in Washington, D.C. Coming full circle, Chase is able to blend his expertise in communications and marine conservation in his role at FishWise.

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Brooke Towne, B.A., Controller & Human Resources Director

As Controller and Human Resources Director, Brooke is responsible for leading, implementing and delivering human resources programs and services that support and sustain a high performance culture, providing strategic, operational, and administrative expertise, in addition to providing financial oversight and assisting executive management with financial strategies and policies supporting business objectives and the FishWise mission. Prior to FishWise, Brooke managed an independently owned natural food store in Aptos, CA, overseeing all operations, and held positions in customer service at Netscape Inc., and human resources at SugarCRM in Silicon Valley. She is a key contributor to FishWise’s ability to adeptly manage client needs, rapidly identifying and resolving challenges of all kinds by developing and implementing practical and focused solutions.

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Jodie King, B.S., Office Manager

As Office Manager, Jodie is responsible for supporting and facilitating the day-to-day operations while performing a wide range of administrative and office support duties. Prior to FishWise, Jodie managed and coordinated a multitude of events, overseeing all operational needs, as well as holding account management and customer service positions within the Telecommunications and Hospitality industries. Jodie received her Bachelor of Science degree from CSU Sacramento, and credits living on both the west and east coast to her understanding of the importance of seafood sustainability. With her interpersonal and organizational skills and appreciation for the ocean, Jodie is well-suited to support FishWise and its team.

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Michael Abowd, B.A., Data Project Manager

As Data Project Manager, Michael focuses on evolving our custom database applications and reporting tools. Prior to FishWise, he worked for AVID Technology, where he developed his business application and database knowledge, which led to him serving as their Global IT Director overseeing 44 locations around the world. Later, he and his wife relocated to Santa Cruz full-time where he has been assisting various companies like CCOF and Universal Audio with their IT-related projects.

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Leslie Howitt, B.S., M.Res., Data Project Assistant

As Data Project Assistant, Leslie works with the rest of the data team to build and maintain the data systems at FishWise. She also works with the other FishWise teams to understand and implement their data needs. Leslie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in ecology and evolution biology from Brown University, and then went on to earn a Master of Research in marine biology from Plymouth University in England. Before joining the FishWise team, Leslie worked at Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, where she collaborated with their outreach and science teams on various data projects. Leslie brings a passion for marine science, a background in scientific research, and experience working in the sustainable seafood community to her work at FishWise.

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