MSC Americas staff biographies
Jim joined the MSC in 1999. As fisheries director, he manages the MSC’s programs with a variety of fisheries groups in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Jim has a B.S. degree in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University and an M.S. degree in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Jim has 20 years experience working with Sea Grant Marine Advisory Programs in Michigan and Washington State, and with the seafood industry on the U.S. west coast, British Columbia and Alaska. Jim’s roles with the MSC include:
- Strategic oversight and management of the fisheries outreach program in the Americas region
- Management of fisheries outreach staff
- Outreach to fisheries in Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean
- Support to fisheries engaged in MSC’s assessment and certification process
- Coordination with independent certifiers who are conducting MSC assessments of fisheries
- Engagement with fishery related stakeholders who are interested in fisheries undergoing MSC assessment
Dan combines nearly 20 years of experience in fisheries and marine sciences with recent studies in sustainable business principles. For state and federal governments and private businesses on the west coast of the U.S., Dan has worked on projects and studies including recovery of Puget Sound salmon populations, coastal and inland fisheries research and management, and Puget Sound cleanup efforts. He has worked extensively with various stakeholders in fisheries, as well as the scientific community. Dan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries Sciences and a Certificate in Sustainable Business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Dan's role with MSC Americas includes:
- Outreach to the fishery sector, primarily in British Columbia, the U.S. Pacific Northwest and California
- Support to fisheries going through the assessment and certification process
- Coordination with independent certifiers accredited to certify fisheries to the MSC standard
- Engagement with fishery related stakeholders
- Promotion of MSC's sustainability certification program to fisheries not yet engaged
Jay has nearly 20 years of experience in fisheries management, fisheries associations, harvesting/processing operations and other marine and regulatory affairs. For the past 10 years he has operated a consulting firm for a variety of fisheries and marine clients including: Herring Science Council, an industry-led research and acoustic data program; Seafood Producers Association of Nova Scotia, where his focus was on oil and gas issues; and Atlantic Fishing Industry Alliance, which monitors implementation of an aboriginal treaty right. He has an M.A. from McGill University in Montreal and a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College in California. He resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his wife Peggy and three children. Jay’s role with MSC Americas involves:
- Outreach to the fishery sector on the east coast of North America, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean waters.
- Support to fisheries going through the assessment and certification process.
- Coordination with independent certifiers accredited to certify fisheries to the MSC standard.
- Engagement with fishery related stakeholders and government.
- Promotion of MSC's sustainability certification program to fisheries not yet engaged.
- Coordination with Commercial Managers on Chain of Custody certification under MSC.
Geoff comes to MSC with more than 20 years experience launching and growing enterprises in the for-profit and non-profit sectors worldwide. He has held executive and leadership roles with TravelCLICK, McDonalds, iExplore, and Conservation International. In these positions he has managed projects and teams in a range of fields including environmental conservation, clean technology, online travel and hospitality, food, and strategy consulting; and worked closely with large international brands, as well as small entrepreneurs and communities. Geoff holds his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; BA from Tufts University; and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
Senior commercial manager
Sandra is responsible for driving adoption of sustainable seafood sourcing within the foodservice sector throughout the United States. Sandra comes to the MSC from Fortis Foods International where she held the position of Managing Director. With more than 25 years experience Sandra has held management positions at a number of the industries more notable companies including Slade Gorton & Company, Fishery Products and Sysco. While there she was responsible for sales development in a wide range of sales channels including broadline foodservice, contract feeders, multi unit chain restaurants, college and university feeding and club store sales. Sandra attended Quincy College and resides in Massachusetts.
Maggie has more than a decade of marketing, research and fishing industry experience. Before joining MSC, she worked for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) for seven years as a senior marketing specialist. While at ASMI, Maggie developed marketing strategies for several European markets, and managed overseas marketing offices in the UK, France and Spain. She also advised companies on trade development, market trends, and brand building. More recently, she advised a range of her own clients, including Sea Fare Group and Bryant Christie Inc, on marketing, sales, and seafood sustainability. Maggie has a degree in economics and an accounting background from Western Washington University.
Michael has more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience with consumer products companies. Before joining MSC, Michael led marketing efforts for Pura Vida Coffee, a Seattle-based Fair-Trade, Organic coffee company. As director of marketing, he developed a number of sustainability programs for customers that increased sales for the company. Prior to that, he held various marketing positions including division marketing manager for Bacardi USA, trade marketing manager for Vivendi Universal Games, marketing manager for TMP Worldwide, and account manager for The Kellogg Company. Michael holds a Masters in advertising from Michigan State University and a Bachelors of Business Administration in marketing from Cleveland State University.
Mike DeCesare joins MSC after more than 6 years working in Washington, D.C., most recently serving as Chief of Staff and Communications Director for a senior Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In that role Mike managed a global communications strategy that frequently meant interaction with key media across the U.S. and overseas. Before working in Congress, Mike worked throughout Asia Pacific for major U.S. corporate clients in software, aerospace and consumer products. He also managed a regional office for The Rockey Company, now Rockey Hill & Knowlton.
Micaela has extensive experience leading marketing and communications efforts for corporate and non-profit institutions across diverse industries. Her background includes serving as a consultant for a national healthcare association and a major international environmental organization, as well as working for global public relations firm APCO Worldwide. Micaela started her career in the field of international development where she worked on urban environmental and municipal development issues for international organizations in Washington, DC and Central America. Micaela holds an MA in International Development from The American University and a BA in Journalism and Political Science from San Jose State University.
Melissa has more than four years of media relations and communications experience in addition to more than five years of marine science involvement. Prior to joining the MSC team, Melissa increased regional and national print, online and broadcast publicity, developed media materials and staged successful press events as a public relations professional in the travel industry. Preceding this, she established the foundation of a brand development role and generated creative content for product brochures, produced materials for partners and in-store campaigns and extended promotion through outreach strategies to target markets through multiple distribution channels. Melissa also spearheaded the expansion of a publication for a local non-profit organization and formed strategic and executive communications to increase funding and involvement. In addition, she has promoted ocean conservation through two years as a marine science educator and three years as a life science volunteer at a public aquarium. Melissa studied at the Universita per Stranieri di Siena in Siena, Italy and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University.
Latin America manager
Prior to MSC, Rodrigo worked for the Chilean Government in the Under-Secretariat for Fisheries, which he joined in 1996. He worked in several different positions, gaining broad experience in fisheries issues. For four years, he worked in the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Under-Secretariat for Fisheries, where he was in charge, inter alia, of data management and technical support to the process of negotiation of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SP-RFMO). He also served as coordinator of a Chilean fisheries working group for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Laurent Viguié is a British educated Frenchman who arrived in Brazil in 2008 to advise the newly created Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture on marine aquaculture policy. After two years working for the Fisheries Ministry in Brasilia, Laurent began working as a consultant with MSC in 2010 and serves as the organization’s representative in Brazil. In 2006, Laurent founded the world’s first organic cod farm in Shetland, Scotland and created “No Catch”, the world’s first totally sustainable fresh farmed fish brand. Laurent also farmed organic salmon and organic sea trout in Shetland, culminating in an annual production of 18,000 tons of organic fish from 27 sea sites. The multi-award winning “No Catch” brand was distributed in more than 11,000 stores across Europe and the organic cod was served in some of the world’s most famous restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay’s in London and the French Laundry in Napa Valley, California.