THE SHAREHOLDERS' ALLIANCE TEAM

The members and supporters of the Shareholders' Alliance are fishermen, seafood suppliers, industry representatives, regulators and elected officials who work to protect Gulf Coast fishing communities. We are a fisherman’s organization run by fishermen on behalf of fishermen.

We are working hard to protect the Gulf’s fish and fishermen for today and future generations. Everything we do is founded in our belief that conservation and stewardship protect fish populations and fishermen’s businesses. And we do this from the ground-up: we are commercial fishermen creating positive change.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Bubba Cochrane

President
Galveston, Texas

Captain Bubba Cochrane fishes out of his homeport in Galveston, Texas on his boat the f/v Chelsea Ann. He has been fishing for as long as he can remember - starting out on a charter boat when he was 17, and fishing commercially in the charter off-season, Bubba eventually became a full-time commercial fisherman. In his role as President, he supports and provides leadership to both the Shareholders' Alliance and Gulf Wild. He is passionate about the sustainability of Gulf fisheries and works to protect the heritage of fishing for his family, especially his ten year old son, Connor.

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Jason DeLaCruz

Vice President
Madeira Beach, Florida

Jason has been fishing since he was 5 years old. Starting out as a recreational fisherman, he has worked as a professional commercial spear fisherman as well as an owner operator of the commercial fishing vessels f/v Miss Ruby, f/v Brickyard, f/v Relentless and f/v Nuthing Purfect. He became actively involved in the fishery management process when he became a member of the Shareholders' Alliance and accepted a position as Vice President working to protect the fishery he loved.

During this time, he helped develop and implement the Gulf Wild brand. Knowing that actions speak louder than words, Jason's company - Wild Seafood Co. - adopted the principles and guidelines of Gulf Wild so that it could provide the highest quality, responsibly harvested seafood, to the nation.

Jason is also the first Executive Director of Gulf Wild. In this capacity, he drives brand development, awareness and support. At the same time, he supports commercial fishermen who are dedicated to protecting fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico; committed to responsible harvest of their catch; and interested in innovative measures of seafood conservation.

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Steve Tomeny

Treasurer
Port Fourchon, Louisiana

A freshwater and saltwater fisherman in Louisiana and Mississippi since childhood, and an avid scuba diver since his days at LSU, Steve has more than 35 years of experience in Gulf of Mexico fisheries. He started out building and operating a six passenger dive charter boat out of Port Fourchon, LA. Subsequently, Steve bought a 65-foot bare hull, towed it from Montgomery, Al to Baton Rouge, and within a year, launched the f/v Southerner. A few years later, he added the f/v Louisiana, f/v Gulf of Mexico, and the f/v Caribbean Sea, all 65-footers built on the same style hull for mixing charter and commercial fishing. Steve is on the board of the Charter Fisherman’s Association, which consists of charter operators and captains working to advance new ideas in the charter-for-hire industry. A separate fisheries management plan for the charter-for-hire fleet is one of CFA’s more immediate goals.

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Lisa Schmidt

Secretary
Ozello, Florida

Lisa Schmidt was a surgical charge nurse for over thirty years managing surgeons, staff and an operating room schedule in a busy Tampa hospital. After the untimely death of her husband (and member of the Shareholders’ Alliance) John Schmidt in 2015, she was thrust into the commercial fishing industry. Today she enthusiastically oversees and manages the company he established, Bohica Fishing Inc. Her three longline boats operate out of Madeira Beach, FL, primarily targeting grouper and snapper. Lisa’s background in scuba diving and her skills as a competitive spear fisherman are attributes that have kept her involved in the dive community for many years. She has long been an environmentalist and an advocate for sound fisheries management in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. Her fishing company, and her vessel captains, work voluntarily with Mote Marine Laboratory researching and studying b-catch in the commercial fishing industry. She is a politically active ambassador for the hard-working anglers, business owners and other stakeholders who cooperatively supply seafood to the masses.

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Glen Brooks

Founding Member & Director
Cortez, Florida

Glen has been grouper and red snapper fishing for over 30 years, owns three bottom long-liners and is active in promoting sustainable management policies for the fishery. Presently, Glen is president of the Gulf Fishermen’s Association while concurrently serving on our board.

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James Bruce

Director
Magnolia, Mississippi

James Bruce is a third-generation commercial fisherman who has fished primarily out of Louisiana. He began fishing when he was 13 to save money to purchase a four-wheeler, and he’s been fishing ever since. By age fifteen he was gillnetting. He has been active in the industry for forty years, fishing for snapper and grouper. He now lives in Mississippi.

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Wayne Werner

Director
Alachua, Florida

Wayne Werner has been a commercial fisherman for over thirty years and has been an active advocate for the snapper fishery since the 1980s. He was part of the development of the IFQ system for the commercial red snapper fishery and saw it as a system that could help snapper populations recover and create better, safer fishing opportunities.

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ALLIANCE STAFF

Buddy Guindon

Founding Member & Executive Director
Galveston, Texas

Buddy has worked in the fishing industry for 30+ years as both a fishermen and fish house owner operator at Katie's Seafood Market in Galveston. He has experience working on both the state and federal levels to assist in the implementation of IFQ's into the red snapper fishery and a staunch advocate of education, especially the benefits of sustainable fishing practices that will secure the future of Gulf fisheries. With Buddy's leadership skills and first hand knowledge of fishery issues, the Shareholders' Alliance is strengthening its ability to address complicated discussions within the fishery - particularly with respect to reallocation and MSA reauthorization.

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Eric Brazer

Deputy Director

Starting out on his father's commercial lobster boat in Maine, and with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University as well as a Master’s degree in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University, Eric Brazer brings a wealth of fisheries experience to his position as Deputy Director of the Shareholders' Alliance. He began working with the Shareholders' Alliance in October of 2013 after having spent nearly 10 years working with the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance in Massachusetts. During that time, Eric led the charge for a responsible quota management program in New England's traditional groundfish fishery and was one of the first Sector Managers in New England to look after a groundfish harvesting cooperative of more than 50 fishermen.

Eric works closely with the Executive Director and Board of the Shareholders' Alliance to protect the commercial fishery and the resource that fisherman and consumers rely on. Together they are working to build solutions to today's fishery problems.

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Ashford Rosenberg

Policy Analyst

Ashford has been involved in sustainable seafood initiatives since 2009. She has a B.S. in Marine Science from Eckerd College and an M.S. in Environmental Science from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. For her masters’ project, she analyzed and evaluated sustainable seafood programs at North American aquariums and assisted in the development of a sustainable seafood program at the Tennessee Aquarium. From 2013-2018, she developed outreach strategies for Audubon Nature Institute’s sustainable seafood program, Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.), focused on restaurants and consumers. She also coordinated projects with shrimp, crab, and tuna industries across the Gulf region. In early 2018, she joined the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance, working with the Board of Directors, members, local fishing communities, regional managers, and federal representatives to improve fishery regulations and ensure that the Gulf reef fish fishery can continue to provide the American public with a sustainable source of domestically-caught Gulf of Mexico seafood.

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