Seafood industry veteran Wally Stevens will retire from his position as CEO of the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) at the end of the year, the group announced Thursday.
Brian Perkins, who joined GSA as chief operating officer in March, will be the group's new CEO beginning in January.
Stevens spent the past 14 years in various roles at GSA and will remain a member of the GSA board of directors and GSA executive committee.
His retirement comes at the end of a transitional year for the nonprofit group, which underwent a rebranding initiative and name change from the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA).
“It has been an honor to work with such professional, passionate, devoted, smart women and men here at the Global Seafood Alliance and throughout the industry," said Stevens.
"We have done good for society globally through our education and advocacy work as well as by providing third-party assurances through certification for farm-raised seafood and more recently for wild-caught seafood."
Stevens joined GAA as executive director in 2007. He played a critical role in the organization’s growth, particularly its development of the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program.
The number of BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills currently exceeds 3,000, the group said. Stevens was also instrumental in the establishment of the multi-stakeholder Standards Oversight Committee (SOC), which oversees the BAP standards development process.
He began his seafood career in 1970 as a senior vice president of operations for Booth Fisheries. He was president of Ocean Products from 1986 to 1990, when he left to become president of Slade Gorton. He remained in that role until joining GAA in 2007.
He served as chairperson of the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) in 2001 and is a co-funder of NFI's Future Leaders program.
In 2018, Stevens was the recipient of GSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which was renamed the Wallace R. Stevens Lifetime Achievement Award in his honor.
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