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To keep up to date with the latest personnel changes across the seafood industry, SeafoodSource is compiling a regular round-up of hiring announcements and other personnel-related shifts worldwide If you have an announcement, please send it to [email protected].
– Five former executives with Kaunas, Lithuania-based Viciunai have surfaced at Port Lite, a start-up focused on value-added fish products based in Liepaja, Lithuania. Dirk Belmans, formerly Viciunai’s managing director, is now Port Lite’s European commercial director. Berta Tatarune, former supply chain manager at Viciunai, has been named Port Lite’s head of procurement. Viciunai’s former head of surimi production, Rolandas Daugmaudis, is now Port Lite’s director of production. Former Viciunai CFO Tomas Strumskas has been named Port Lite’s COO, and Viciunai’s former supply manager, Saulius Abrutis, is now a Port Lite purchasing specialist.
Port Lite Owner Sigitas Ambrazevičius is spending EUR 8 million (USD 8.8 million) to modernize a seafood processing facility in Liepaja to produce surimi and salmon products, according to Verslo žinios. Ambrazevičius told the Lithuanian newspaper his company’s eventual goal is to take on Viciunai’s dominant market share in the country.
“This is only the first step of our development in the port of Liepaja. There will certainly be more in the future, but more on that later. In the first phase, we will install a state-of-the-art crab and surimi stick studio with the latest equipment, capable of producing up to 1,000 tons per month. The work has already started, the equipment is on its way to Lithuania,” he said in June 2022. “We fully understand that we are coming to a sector that has suffered from the dictatorship of one market participant for many years. However, contrary to some, we will win the hearts of consumers only with quality and an open policy – both towards our partners and towards our employees and society. There will be no exceptions to this.”
– On 20 July, Ahold Delhaize USA announced John Ruane as president of the Giant supermarket chain, having previously served as Giant’s senior vice president and chief commercial officer. Giant Food Stores is owned by Ahold Delhaize USA, which is a branch of Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize.
“We have been fortunate to have John lead The Giant Company as interim president during a time of transition, and we are excited about this next step in his career,” Ahold Delhaize USA chief executive officer JJ Fleeman said in a release. “He has led the team during a very important time in the company’s history as it celebrates its 100-year anniversary this fall. John is a leader who cares deeply about his team and serving customers. He will continue to drive strong performance and advance many of the hallmarks of The Giant Company brand, including growth in its local markets, innovation in operations, and a strong commitment to diversity, equity a,nd inclusion, as well as health and sustainability.”
– Former Forever Oceans Western U.S. division sales specialist Howard Porter has joined AquaBounty as its North American sales manager.  According to his LinkedIn profile, Porter began at AquaBounty in July 2023.
– Cleveland, Ohio-based transportation and logistics company UWL announced Peter Vigil has been named its director of refrigerated services. Vigil will work to pioneer growth in the UWL reefer program, and specifically its Sun Chief Express service in Alaska.
“This expansion to Alaska is another way we are responding to the needs of our customers,” UWL President Duncan Wright said in a release. “Sun Chief Express has experienced success with our existing export program through the Port of Seattle, and with today’s market only being serviced by a limited number of carriers, this addition is a natural extension that makes sense for all parties involved. We continue to bring reliability and out-of-the-box thinking to customers, providing a speedy shipping option that is a real outlier compared to other offerings.”
Photo courtesy of Dirk Belmans/Linkedin

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