Seafood’s Top Brass Celebrate Future Leaders Class of 2019

Orlando, FL –– On the eve of the 2020 Global Seafood Market Conference, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members recognized the Future Leaders Class of 2019. The ceremony honored forty of the most promising minds in seafood for successfully completing the well-known and respected executive education program.

NFI is no stranger to developing leaders, as Future Leaders graduates its 21st class, the nation’s largest seafood trade association celebrates its 75th anniversary.

Among the numerous CEO’s at the recognition ceremony was Derek Figueroa, President & CEO of Seattle Fish Company, Denver, CO. Figueroa addressed the Class of ’19 as a 2004 alumni of the Future Leader’s Program and Vice Chair of NFI’s Board of Directors.

“The Future Leaders program is a seminal turning point when I reflect on my current roles at both Seattle Fish and NFI,” said Figueroa. “As we celebrate NFI’s 75th anniversary, I’m very proud of the organization and grateful to those leaders who charted its course all the way back in 1945. By definition, they truly had an eye on the future.”

Each year the Future Leaders designate a Class President who speaks at the final event. This year Elizabeth “Izzie” Wilson, Operations Manager for the Seafood Exchange of Florida, addressed attendees saying, “While we’re all thrilled to have been part of the 21st Future Leaders Class, this year we’re reminded that we’re just one part of NFI’s storied history that encompasses 75 years’ worth of seafood professionals. It’s our class’ pledges to continue to build on what those original NFI leaders began all the way back at the end of World War Two.”

NFI will celebrate its 75th anniversary throughout the year with video retrospectives, throwback photo reels, notable quotables and the hashtag #NFI75. Meanwhile, applications are already under review for the Future Leaders class of 2020 and Future Leaders Canada is in its second year.


The National Fisheries Institute is the nation’s largest seafood trade association. Started in 1945, from policy and regulation to science-based sustainability and nutrition communication it is committed to advocacy for the seafood community