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Institute for Sustainable Food Systems

Innovative solutions for a healthy and productive world

Institute for Sustainable Food Systems

Innovative solutions for a healthy and productive world

The Sustainable Food Systems experts are an integral part of UF/IFAS Research to improve the quality of life in Florida and throughout the world.


George Chamberlain

President, Global Aquaculture Alliance and the Responsible Aquaculture Foundation, Portsmouth, NH

George Chamberlain has been President of the Global Aquaculture Alliance from founding to present.  GAA is an active presence in the development of best management practices and certification standards for the aquaculture industry.  He has served as an extension specialist and researcher, directed aquaculture programs at Ralston Purina International and Monsanto, led the development of an integrated shrimp farm in Malaysia. In 2004, he co-founded Integrated Aquaculture International, a technology company that operates breeding, nutrition and farming businesses for shrimp. George holds M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees in aquaculture from Texas A&M University.

John Connelly

President, National Fisheries Institute, Washington DC

John Connelly became the President of the National Fisheries Institute in 2003. NFI lobbies Congress and regulatory agencies, serves as the seafood community’s spokesperson with the media, and provides technical advice to its members.

He served as Chairman of International Coalition of Fisheries Associations and helped found the International Coalition of Aquaculture Associations. He also serves on the Marine Stewardship Council and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, the global tuna industry’s sustainability organization. Connelly is the Treasurer of ALLFISH, a public-private partnership with The World Bank.

Connelly has held business leadership and advocacy positions at the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s $110 million trade association. He holds an MBA from George Mason University and a history degree from The College of the Holy Cross.

Bill Herzig

President, Sustainable Strategies and Initiatives, Seattle, WA

Former Sr. Vice President, Red Lobster, Orlando, FL

Bill retired from Darden, Inc. in December of 2014, and formed his own firm, Sustainable Strategies and Initiatives, focused on building sustainable businesses in the seafood industry.

At Darden, Bill was Senior Vice President of Purchasing, responsible for purchasing (of all proteins, international purchasing, bakery, capital equipment, smallwares, and beverages) with a total annual value of over $2.5 billion. Bill was also responsible for supply chain sustainability, public policy, and concept support. As President of their Aquafarm strategic initiative, Bill was responsible for the company’s investment in Lobster aquaculture in Malaysia, Australia and China.

Bill has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Fisheries Institute for over 20 years and the Executive Committee for 8 years. Bill was one of the co-founders of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), and continues to serve on the Board of Directors and as VP of their Executive Committee. Bill currently serves on the Board of Directors of Trident Seafoods, the largest vertically integrated seafood business in North America. Bill has served as a Member of the Board of Trustees of Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute (marine research), the External Advisory Board for the University of Florida’s School of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and the Board of Directors for the Lobster Sustainability Trust in Canada.

Bill holds a B.S. in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and did post- graduate work in Marketing, Quality Strategies and Systems, and Supply Chain Design and Re-Engineering.

Brad Richmond

Chief Financial Officer (retired), Darden Restaurants, Orlando, FL

Brad Richmond served as senior vice president and chief financial officer for Darden Restaurants, the world’s largest full-service restaurant operating company reaching annual sales of $9.3 billion.  Brad’s management responsibilities included all aspects of Finance. One of his biggest accomplishments was leading the strategic plan development and separation of the $2.5 billion Red Lobster business in 2014. Brad’s executive management was similarly integral to transforming the Olive Garden brand, where he led all financial planning and strategy development. He played a key role introducing and expanding both Red Lobster and Olive Garden in Canada.

Brad holds a Bachelor of Sciences/Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri. He is a Certified Public Accountant in Missouri. He has served on the Executive and Audit Committees of Florida’s Blood Centers, and is on the Advisory Board of the University of Missouri School of Accountancy.

John Stephens

President, Bama Sea Products, St. Petersburg, FL

John Stephens was born and raised in Savannah, GA.  Mr. Stephens worked in bank services and started a graphic marketing company earlier in his career.  He started a seafood restaurant and captained a shrimp boat before founding Bama Sea Products.

Bama Sea Products, Inc. was founded in 1979 by two shrimp boat captains with a passion to bring quality seafood products to market. Bama began packing and distributing shrimp throughout the Southeast and Northeast U.S from its first packing plant in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. In the mid 1980’s Bama had an opportunity to partner with Red Lobster’s (now Darden Restaurants) packing plant on the docks of St. Petersburg, Florida. Still owned by the Stephens family, the passion to bring quality products to market that led Capt. John to open the first plant is still the driving force for the more than 120 employees of the Bama family.

John Stephens studied finance at Notre Dame and Business and Horticulture at the University of Georgia.