Having served almost 20 years at the helm of the McLean, Virginia, USA-headquartered National Fisheries Institute (NFI), President John Connelly intends to retire from the post in February of 2023. He informed the trade association’s board of directors of the decision to step down during the first day of the NFI’s three-day Global Seafood Marketing Conference in Orlando, Florida, on January 18.
“I very much appreciate working with member company leaders and an excellent and dedicated staff in creating the strong foundation on which NFI can build,” Connelly said. “NFI officers have emphasized over the past two years the importance of an orderly transition and thoughtful succession planning. Announcing this decision now allows leadership the necessary time to engage members to gain critical input as we choose a new president for the future.”
Kim Gorton, president and chief executive officer of Slade Gorton and Company, will lead a search committee made up of members who represent a wide range of experience and viewpoints to find a successor for Connelly, who joined the organization in February of 2003 after serving as vice president of the American Chemical Council for 13 years. His Ieadership credentials also include 20 years as a Captain in the US Navy Reserve from 1990-2010, and six years of active duty service as a Lieutenant.
“An important part of this process will be to hear the views of membership regarding NFI’s mission and key objectives over the next decade, and in particular, how NFI can continue to create value for its members,” said Gorton. “We want to ensure we select the right leader for what members expect and need in the coming years, and not just based on where we are now in 2022.”
National Fisheries Institute Chairman Mike Breivik added: “In addition to NFI’ s ongoing technical, communications and advocacy work, this year we have the opportunity to think about the future. The board looks forward to working with Kim and John to ensure a robust and smooth succession process.”
Joining Gorton on the search committee are Joe Bundrant of Trident Seafoods, Ellen Clarry of Ruby Tuesday, Justin Conrad of Bay Hill and Libby Hill, Jeff Stern of Central Seaway, Jan Tharp of Bumble Bee Foods, and Sylvia Wulf of AquaBounty.
For more than 75 years, NFI has served as a leading trade association for the seafood industry whose members represent all aspects of the value chain from catching and processing to importing, exporting, warehousing, logistics and retailing.