The Alaska-based company Peter Pan Seafood has announced the appointment of Thai Union executive Kevin Bixler as the new CEO. After nearly two years under new ownership, the company continues to grow with this addition. Bixler will take over from Rodger May, owner, and chief growth officer, who had been serving as CEO of the practice. According to the announcement, the new chief executive officer "will play a key role in leading Peter Pan Seafood in its vision to produce sustainable seafood for the benefit of oceans and people". Bixler will join his new position next month.
Although his most recent position has been global fish purchasing manager for the Thai Union Group, Kevin Bixler has known the seafood industry all his life. Born into a family of commercial fishermen, his experience began on his father's fishing boat more than three decades ago, so he has been involved in almost every facet of the business. That trajectory led him to Thai Union, where he has worked in leadership roles since 2006. He started as director of acquisitions for Chicken of the Sea and was quickly promoted to vice president of acquisitions, the youngest person in the company's history to be promoted to this level.
"Kevin's experience at Thai Union, a global seafood leader, and his other various roles in the industry make him a natural fit for Peter Pan", highlighted Rodger May, owner and chief growth officer, and the person Bixler will take over the position. "Since we brought Peter Pan under new ownership nearly two years ago, I've been handling many of the CEO duties. We've had a great team of leaders including Jon Hickman, Mike Galan, Joe Guptill, Mike Mussell, David Lerson and Shannon Grant, among others. We have seen significant growth under the new ownership and the timing couldn't be better to bring Kevin and his skill set on, and hand over some of those duties while I continue to focus on growth. I'm confident Kevin will be a great leader for the company in our commitment to customer devotion, working with key stakeholders and providing the best service and support to our fleet", he added.
In addition to his work experience, Kevin Bixler has held leadership and advisory roles in several organizations, including the American Fisherman's Research Foundation, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). Moreover, in 2021, he was elected president of the International Seafood Sustainability Association and Foundation, where he previously served as vice president and on the board of directors. According to the release, that experience and commitment to seafood sustainability will be key to his work leading Peter Pan Seafood to produce sustainable seafood.
"I am proud and excited to take on the role of CEO at Peter Pan Seafood. I'm looking forward to working closely with the entire team at Peter Pan to continue growing the company and going the extra mile for employees, fleet, community and customers", Bixler stated. And added, "I am also deeply committed to sustainability, something that is very in line with Peter Pan's values as well".
Peter Pan Seafood Company, LLC is a vertically integrated seafood company composed of Peter Pan Seafood's assets and the value-added sales channels of Northwest Fish Co., LLC ("Northwest Fish"). The ownership group is Rodger May of Northwest Fish, the Na'-NukInvestment Fund, LP (managed by McKinley Alaska Private Investment, LLC and McKinley Capital Management, LLC), and the RRG Global Partners Fund (managed by RRG Capital Management, LLC). Alaska based, the company declares being "dedicated to a strong future of prosperity and sustainability".