Board of Directors

Christopher Brown, President

West Kingston, RI

Chris Brown has fished out of Point Judith, Rhode Island for 38 years. A tireless industry and resource advocate, he is President of the Rhode Island Commercial Fisherman’s Association and The East Farm Commercial Fisheries Center. Chris advises the New England Fishery Management Council, serves on the executive board of the North East Seafood Coalition, and is the founder and executive director of the Rhode Island Fluke Conservation Cooperative. Chris and his wife Maryellen have 3 grown children: Maggie, Christopher Jr. and Samuel. Chris Jr. and Sam are his partners in Brown Family Seafood, a small, quality-driven distribution company specializing in traceable seafood.

Jack Cox

Morehead City, NC

Jack Cox has been involved in commercial fishing, charter fishing and seafood sales for two decades, and is the owner of Crystal Coast Fisheries in Morehead City, North Carolina. Currently, he is a board member for the South Atlantic Fishermen’s Association. Jack’s leadership in fisheries management spans many years, and includes serving on the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission and the South Atlantic Council’s Limited Access Privilege Program Workgroup.

Keith “Buddy” Guindon, Secretary-Treasurer

Galveston, TX

Keith “Buddy” Guindon has worked in the fishing industry for over three decades. As the owner, of Katie’s Seafood in Galveston, Texas, he has worked as both a fishermen and a fish house owner-operator. Buddy is a founding board member of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance and has experience working on both the state and federal levels to assist in the implementation of IFQ’s in the red snapper fishery. Buddy is star of National Geographic Channel’s upcoming commercial fishing reality show “Big Fish Texas”. He educates the entire industry on how and why sustainable fishing practices can best secure the future of Gulf fisheries, and has spoken in front of Congress on behalf of the Alliance, and was the face of National Geographic’s “I am the Ocean” Campaign.

Brent Paine

Seattle, WA

Brent Paine has been the executive director of United Catcher Boats since its inception in January 1994. United Catcher Boats (UCB) is a vessel owner trade association whose members participate in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, Gulf of Alaska and West Coast catcher vessel trawl fisheries. On behalf of UCB, Brent was actively involved in the development of the American Fisheries Act when Congress created it in the late 1990s. Prior to his work with UCB, Brent was on the staff of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for three years serving as the Bering Sea plan coordinator. Brent received his M.S. of Fisheries Management from Oregon State University and his undergraduate degree at St. Olaf College.

Edward Poulsen

Seattle, WA

Edward Poulsen is a part-owner in two Bering Sea/Aleutian Island crab fishing vessels, the F/V Aleutian No.1 and the F/V Patricia Lee.   He received his B.A. in Business and a Masters in Marine Affairs, both from the University of Washington.  Edward grew up in the crab fishing industry, living in Dutch Harbor for a time, while his father pioneered the fishery.  He has participated in numerous fisheries including salmon processing, salmon gillnetting, crayfish fishing, cod fishing, crab fishing, vessel ownership and vessel management.  Edward helped to found the trade group, Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, representing 70% of the Bering Sea crab harvesters and was its first Executive Director and is currently its outgoing President.

Brett Veerhusen

Seattle, WA & Alaska

Brett Veerhusen is a lifelong Alaskan commercial fisherman and serves as an alternate Board member for North Pacific Fisheries Association in Homer, Alaska. Today, Brett helps his family fishing business in Dutch Harbor harvesting bait herring for fishermen across the state of Alaska. Formerly Brett owned and operated a vessel in Bristol Bay. He is the Principal for Ocean Strategies, Inc., a public affairs firm specializing in the maritime and seafood industries. In this capacity, he serves clients across the industry who intersect with policy. Clients include Businesses for Bristol Bay, United Fishermen of Alaska and Northline Seafoods. Brett was also the first Executive Director for Seafood Harvesters of America. He holds a Masters of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington and Bachelor degrees from University of Puget Sound. He splits his time between Seattle and Alaska.

William Ward, Vice President

Clearwater, FL

William Ward has served the Gulf Fishermen’s Association as both a board member and as its Director of Government Relations for over a decade. He is a Coast Guard-licensed Master Captain; President and CEO of Captain’s Finest Seafood; and owner of both Ward Consulting Partners LLC, as well as the William Ward Law Group, PLLC.

Will has served on numerous state and federal natural resources advisory panels, as well as on advisory committees of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. His consulting clients include the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Florida Institute of Oceanography.

Named Florida Businessman of the Year in 2001 and 2004, Will holds a law degree from Barry University School of Law and a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of South Florida.