ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A strong team of forward-thinking, experienced and motivated professionals is being assembled at Peter Pan Seafood Company, LLC. Mark Foster, Steve Minor and Jonathan Thorpe are among the latest additions to the growing team.
Peter Pan came under new ownership in January 2021, bringing the company back under U.S. and Alaska ownership and becoming a vertically integrated seafood company with a focus on value-added sales channels combined with the legacy of a storied seafood processor in Alaska. In their respective roles, Foster, Minor and Thorpe will support and bring their own unique contributions to Peter Pan’s new direction.
Foster is serving as the company’s chief financial officer. He brings familiarity and momentum to his role as he’s been serving in a consulting position for Peter Pan over the last few months. With a blended background in finance, operations and strategy, Foster is well-positioned to support the new direction of Peter Pan.
Foster’s past experience includes senior roles with Alaska Communications Systems and various consulting roles with other companies looking for new energy and a new direction.
“When I can go to big box and national retail stores and buy Peter Pan product, knowing all the people behind that product and the work they put into it, that’s special,” said Foster. “What made me excited about joining the team is that there are already a lot of talented people here throughout the organization, and the new ownership group who are passionate about seafood as an industry because of what it can do for people — from the people who eat seafood because it’s a healthy choice to the people who work in this industry because it’s a good job.”
Foster will be working alongside Steve Minor who will serve as the manager of business development, a role that will include exploring the potential development of new resources, community development and more.
Minor came to Alaska as a commercial diver during his college years and decided to build his career. Like Foster, Minor’s background is diverse. From marketing and communications to telecommunications regulations and seafood, he knows the ins and outs of business and regulation in Alaska.
Much of Minor’s career has been focused on the development and protection of Alaska’s state and federal marine resources and coastal communities, the management of Alaska commercial fishing assets, and the science-based, sustainable management of those marine resources. He’s a Benchmark Committee Member of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative, an internationally recognized benchmarking process based on the UN FAO principles. Minor brings extensive Bering Sea knowledge to Peter Pan and his past experience includes Unisea, Golden Harvest Alaska, Ocean2Table, Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association and the North Pacific Crab Association.
“It’s an exciting time at Peter Pan. It’s a world-class company recently back under U.S. ownership, and not just U.S. but Alaska ownership,” Minor said. “I really believe the next stage of development in the industry in Alaska is more value-added products being produced here, and the new ownership group believes in that too. I’m excited to be working alongside so many other smart and talented people committed to development within an industry with such a storied history.”
“I’ve known Mark and Steve for a long time and they are great additions to our Peter Pan team,” said Rob Gillam, chief executive officer of McKinley Management, parent company of McKinley Alaska Private Investment and McKinley Capital Management. “They are both innovators, they look at how things are done and think, ‘Is there a way we can do that better, add more value, be more efficient?’ They aren’t just checking a box because that’s the way something’s always been done, and that fits in with our mission and values for Peter Pan.”
While Foster and Minor lead finance and development, Thorpe is working to increase access to swimming resources through investment, strategically aligned partnerships and direct sourcing in addition to developing downstream products and customers.
Thorpe joins the team with a near-lifetime of seafood knowledge and experience. Growing up in Alaska, Thorpe got his first job commercial salmon fishing through family friends, a multi-generational Cook Inlet set-net family.
He brings a diverse and proven professional track record to Peter Pan that spans over 30 years from his days fishing to roles as a CFO and chief investment and strategy officer for Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, executive vice president of market development for Blue Harvest Fisheries, and the executive vice president of resource development for Mark Foods.
Thorpe has been involved with several boards as a member and committee member. His experience covers a breadth of products including, crab, cod, halibut, pollock, scallops, salmon, swordfish and tuna. He has spent time working in the regulatory environment at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and the International Pacific Halibut Commission of behalf of the companies he has worked with.
“I’m excited to be part of this team,” said Thorpe. “In the seafood industry, people and businesses earn their history, Peter Pan is one of those great stories. That, coupled with the new ownership group, made up of creative thinkers coming together to say, ‘How can we be different, do something unconventional, let’s grow past where we are today.’ It’s great to see. I’m really looking forward to how this new team can use our diverse knowledge and experience to let this opportunity flourish. There are already many good, hard working people here that are ready to thrive. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
“Jonathan has been involved in several merger and acquisition transactions and he knows how to source and analyze opportunities. He has worked with finance, operations, sales, product development, procurement and fleet,” said Rodger May, Peter Pan president and chief growth officer. “His extreme amount of industry knowledge, plus nearly a decade working as a certified public accountant, Jonathan brings so many strengths and a ton of great energy to our dynamic Peter Pan team.
This announcement follows the hiring of Jon Hickman to lead Peter Pan’s Alaska operations and Kevin Larsen on the sales team. Foster, Minor and Thorpe will add the same caliber of talent to the finance, development and sourcing teams.
About Peter Pan Seafood Company, LLC
Peter Pan Seafood Company, LLC is a vertically integrated seafood company dedicated to a strong future of prosperity and sustainability 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’-Nuk Investment 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).