CAIA Elects New Board of Directors and Officers for 2016-17

Executives from finfish and shellfish farms, regional associations, academia and suppliers will make up the association's board.

CAIA has announced the results of elections for its Board of Directors which took place at the Annual General Meeting in Ottawa on November 30, 2016. CAIA members cast ballots for Directors; then, as its first order of business, the new Board elected the organization's officers for the next year.

Meet your Executive Committee Officers:

President: Cyr Couturier, Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Cyr has been engaged with aquaculture development, R and D, education, and fostering an aquaculture industry in Canada since the 1980s. During this time, he has held numerous Board and executive positions on aquaculture associations devoted to sustainable aquaculture in Canada, including AANS (1985-87), NAIA (1995 – present), AAC (1990 – present), and CAIA (1995 – present). He has been a member of nearly every ad hoc and standing committee of CAIA, he sits on numerous CAIA advisory panels, and has a thorough understanding of the industry needs across the country in all of its facets (innovation, promotion, production, regulatory, fresh and saltwater).  He is a strong advocate for the industry whenever the occasion arises.  As Chair of the Board of CAIA, his primary goal is to move CAIA’s National Strategy and Strategic Plan forward under the leadership of our capable Executive Director and staff.

Vice-President: Ian Roberts, Marine Harvest Canada


Ian Roberts is Public Affairs Director at Marine Harvest Canada. With an Aquaculture Technician Diploma and a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication, Ian has been growing salmon and communicating farming in British Columbia for twenty-five years.

Ian has a diversity of interests and skills, ranging from Rotarian to soccer fanatic to electronic musician. Ian resides in Campbell River, B.C., with his partner Lori and their dog Rowyn.



Treasurer: Tom Taylor, Cooke Aquaculture Inc.

Tom Taylor is General Manager of Charlotte Feeds Inc. and Sales Manager for Northeast Nutrition Inc. – members of Cooke Aquaculture Inc. He began in the Canadian Aquaculture industry as a Technician with Stolt Sea Farms on saltwater sites located in Bliss Harbour, NB in 1991.  During his career he has been employed as a saltwater site technician, freshwater RAS Manager, and Nutrition Feed Sales Manager. In addition to his longstanding role on the CAIA Board and Executive, Tom is also active on the Board of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association and the Executive of the Aquaculture Association of Canada. Tom is married with three children and resides in St. Andrews, NB area.

Secretary: Marilyn Hutchinson, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.

Marilyn Hutchinson joined Grieg Seafood in 2011, coming from a decade in business and economic development, including developing partnerships with First Nations and facilitating business missions to China. Her role with Grieg includes oversight of its regulatory and compliance activities, community relations, First Nations relationships and managing its certifications goals. As a CAIA representative she participated on the Canadian Agricultural HR Council’s Labour Market Information project to forecast the supply and demand of aquaculture and agriculture skilled workers. Marilyn has sat on various Boards and committees including the BC Economic Development Association, Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, and is a founding member of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.

Member-at-large: Sue Farquharson, Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association

Susan is an award winning executive manager with an MA in Environment and Management who has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than 20 years, recently bringing that experience to her new role as Executive Director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association.  A former Executive Director of the Canadian Rivers Institute and recipient of the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award and the New Brunswick Environmental Leadership Award, Sue has spent much of her career working on waterway and coastal resource management systems.



Member-at-large: Brian Yip, Fanny Bay Oysters

Brian Yip, is G.M of Fanny Bay Oysters and V.P. of Taylor Shellfish Canada. An industry leader in sustainability, Taylor Shellfish Canada is a fully integrated Canadian company that farms oysters, clams and mussels on the B.C coast. The range of farmed shellfish products are processed, marketed and distributed across Canada, the United States and in Asia. Originally from Hong Kong, Brian graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Business Administration and Commerce. His employment history includes real estate, the importing and exporting of food commodities, as well as operator of a seafood wholesale and retail operation in Vancouver. From here, Brian went on to consult for a local scallop company before joining Fanny Bay Oysters. Throughout his diverse career, Brian has established an extensive network of business relationships in Canada and abroad while gaining a comprehensive understanding of the seafood industry.


2016-2017 Board of Directors includes:

*Denotes new Director for 2016-17 term. See below for biographical information.

  • Susan Cole, Ontario Aquaculture Association
  • Cyr Couturier, Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • *Tillmann Benfey, President, Aquaculture Association of Canada
  • Terry Drost, Four Links Marketing
  • Jeremy Dunn, BC Salmon Farmers Association
  • Terry Ennis, Atlantic Aqua Farms Partnership
  • Sue Farquharson, Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association
  • *Michael Foti, Phibro Animal Health Corporation
  • Marta Gameiro, Elanco Canada
  • Marilyn Hutchinson (Rocky Boschman alternate), Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.
  • Laurie Jensen (Fernando Villarroel alternate), Cermaq Canada           
  • Mark Lane, Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association
  • *Rich Moccia, Aquaculture Centre, University of Guelph
  • Ian Roberts (Vincent Erenst alternate), Marine Harvest Canada
  • John Rose, Icy Waters Ltd.
  • Tim Rundle, Creative Salmon Co. Ltd.
  • Amédée Savoie, Maison BeauSoleil
  • Tom Smith, Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia
  • Trevor Stanley, Skretting Canada Inc.
  • Matt Sullivan, PEI Aquaculture Alliance
  • Bob Sweeney, Sweeney International Marine Corp
  • Tom Taylor (Nell Halse alternate), Cooke Aquaculture Inc.     
  • *Kathryn Unger, Cargill Canada
  • Darlene Winterburn, BC Shellfish Grower's Association
  • Brian Yip, Fanny Bay Oysters

While most of the Directors listed above are continuing in their role from the preceding year, we are pleased to welcome the following new and/or returning Directors for the 2016-2017 term:

Tillmann Benfey, President, Aquaculture Association of Canada

Tillmann Benfey is a professor of biology at UNB Fredericton, where his research program focuses on basic and applied aspects of sex control and triploidy in fish. He has supervised the research of 35 graduate students to date, many of whom have gone on to careers in aquaculture. He is currently President of the Aquaculture Association of Canada, and he has been an advisor on issues related to aquaculture for the United Nations (FAO and WHO), the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, the US Food and Drug Administration, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.



Michael Foti, Phibro Animal Health Corporation


Michael has been involved in agriculture professionally since 1995 as a feed sales rep in the poultry industry for a national Canadian family-owned feed company.  In 2001 he moved into the animal health sector focusing on all agricultural species.  From 2003 to 2006 he served as a director with the Poultry Industry Council in Ontario, mandated to promote industry research and education.  While his first exposure to aquaculture was early in his career, he has been heavily involved in aquaculture with the Canadian salmon industry since 2012.  This industry captured his heart and imagination - he sees the potential for our country and world, as we feed a growing population in the coming years.


Rich Moccia, Aquaculture Centre, University of Guelph

Rich Moccia recently completed a 10 year, executive term as the Associate Vice-President of Research at the University of Guelph, and has been a professor of aquatic and fisheries science there since 1987. Professor Moccia was one of the primary architects of a multiyear framework agreement between the UG and the provincial ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs worth nearly $1 billion. With a life-long commitment to research, education, extension service and volunteerism, he holds several national and regional awards of excellence in all four disciplines.  Prior to joining the university, Rich was self-employed in the private sector, having established 2 SME start-ups specializing in ag-based technologies in the aquatic food production sector.  He was also a founding member of CAPC, the predecessor organization to CAIA. Over his entire career, Rich has been a vocal and conscientious advocate for Canada’s aquaculture industry.

In his spare time, Rich is avid outdoorsman and community volunteer.

Kathryn Unger, Cargill Canada

Kathryn Unger is the Country Director for Cargill’s Aqua Nutrition (CQN) group. She joined Cargill in 2014 in their growing aquaculture business.  In her current role, she has responsibilities for serving aquaculture customers and employees in North America. She serves on the board of the Cargill Hispanic Latino Council (CHLC), which strives to make Cargill the employer of choice for Hispanic Latino talent.

Prior to joining Cargill, Kathryn worked for Cummins, Inc. for nearly 10 years, leading the Rail and Defense Engine Businesses, globally.  Kathryn was also a tax consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Houston, Texas, and a teacher in both North Carolina and in Colombia, South America. 

Kathryn holds an undergraduate degree in education and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a MBA from Stanford University.

She serves on the board of Urban Ventures and volunteers with Partners in Food Solutions.  She also interviews local high school seniors as part of the admissions process to Stanford’s undergraduate program.

Kathryn is married to Chad Unger and has two step-children, Carlee and Ethan, who are based in Minneapolis.  Chad, the children and hervery large extended family are a top priority.  In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, reading, movies and spending time with loved ones.  Most importantly, Kathryn has a fabulous English Cocker Spaniel named Miles.


The CAIA Executive would like to hear from you. If you have any feedback or comments on CAIA, its activities and projects, please don't hesitate to contact CAIA President, Cyr Couturier. Member feedback is important!