Jeff Fort is a venture stage investor, entrepreneur, and accomplished operations manager. He has 30 years of hands-on management experience with both startups and large-scale businesses with global sales and distribution.
Early in his career, Jeff had diverse and extensive aquaculture management experience in all aspects of hatcheries, production and processing sectors. He was responsible for building out one of the largest vertically integrated shrimp operations in Central America. This experience built a deep understanding of the operational and economic drivers that are responsible for profitable results. In addition, Jeff has led several companies through high growth phases from start-up to over $40 million in sales and 1000’s of employees; and has also been involved in restructuring efforts in response to falling commodity prices and changing business drivers. Through all these projects, he has identified and assembled talented management teams, created revenue growth strategies and built sustainable financing plans.
Jeff founded Delta Blue Seafoods over 15 years ago and continues to lead the organization as a strong strategic advisor and mentor. Delta Blue builds unique seafood brands and fosters strong relationships between seafood producers and buyers, and Jeff is focused on delivering ongoing value through this process. You will continuously find Jeff working in the trenches with his staff to produce excellent quality services and products from Delta Blue.
Jeff has also been an active investor and manager with several companies in the food and technology spaces. For 10 years he operated a fresh seafood processing and distribution business located in Salt Lake City, and he is an investor and active Director with AmericaMeadows.com, and HighCountryGardens.com - both leading online ecommerce retailers of wildflower seeds, bulbs, and plants.
Jeff was a founding Board Member of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the leading, global non-profit organization which promotes responsible and sustainable aquaculture practices as a mechanism for increasing the world supply of seafood through farming. He served on its board of directors for 20 years and from 2009-2019, served as the organization’s CFO and COO, leading an innovative growth phase with people and programs around the world. Jeff firmly believes that responsible aquaculture and fisheries practices play a crucial role in the world’s food supply and has used that focus to build companies and opportunities that bring great, healthy seafood products, services, technologies and ingredients to market.
Jeff attended Colby College in Maine, graduating with a BA in Biology and Environmental Science in 1991. Originally from seacoast New Hampshire, Jeff has also lived and worked overseas for many years during his career, providing unique perspective to operating conditions and cultures around the world. Always looking for new opportunities, Jeff currently participates in several angel investor groups and is also a direct investor in several aquaculture investment projects, including AquaSpark and Hatch, as well as startup ventures in multiple other sectors.
VP Sales and Operations (CMFIC)
Bill Hoenig is a 30-year veteran of the seafood industry. Born in Mexico and raised in a bicultural, bilingual home, Bill is proficient in creating strong and lasting networks across both borders and cultures; skills that are vital in the global aquaculture supply chain today.
Bill’s first seafood business began as a one-man-operation in the early 80’s, buying fresh fish on the beaches of México and importing to the U.S. From there, Bill went on to work with several large international food businesses including Shamrock Foods, Rich Products and ExPack Seafoods. His roles included Category Manager in broadline distribution, General Manager of Procurement and Materials Requirement Planning for a food manufacturer, and as VP of National Account Sales for a large seafood importing company. Bill followed his growing passion for aquaculture and joined Bluecadia Aquaculture Group in Belize where he was responsible for Operations and Sales of one of the largest vertically integrated shrimp farming operations in Central America.
Currently Bill is the VP of Sales and Operations of Delta Blue Aquaculture. With Delta Blue, Bill is responsible for all operations including production, processing, and sales. He focuses on developing our co-op network of aquaculture producers and bringing high quality seafood with a story to select customers in Mexico, United States, Canada and Europe.
Bill is a founding member of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, has served as chair of the Shrimp/Import Committee for the NFI and served as chair of the International Services Committee for the Arizona Mexico Commission.
Bill attended the University of Arizona and currently lives in Tucson with his wife Kay. Bill is the proud father of 3 grown children. In business and pleasure, Bill enjoys world travel, is an avid trail-runner, swimmer, and mountain biker.
Finance and Operations Manager
Ali Blais is an experienced operations manager, team leader, sustainability advocate, and self-starter. Ali has spent more than 20 years managing multiple types of businesses with a focus on restaurant operations and large-scale food and beverage management. She also started, built, and subsequently sold a residential and commercial cleaning company that specialized in sustainable and eco-sensitive cleaning products and techniques.
Ali comes to Delta Blue Aquaculture (DBA) as our Operations and Finance Manager. She works side by side with our VP of Sales and Operations, Bill Hoenig, and our DBA customers managing the day to day logistics of the business. Ali also manages the accounting department.
From 1999 to 2011 Ali was involved in restaurant operations. She managed and trained front and back of the house operations and staff from small family restaurants, working her way up to one of the largest resorts on the East Coast. In these roles she was responsible for multiple on-mountain budgets, employee scheduling, vendor relationships, customer service, inventory and food/liquor cost, the day to day activities of kitchens, dining rooms and service counters, and large corporate events/weddings.
More recently, for the last 8 years Ali worked with a non-profit organization; the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program an advocate of sustainable aquaculture practices, handling diverse roles such as office manager, accounting, HR, and for the latter 5 years as the BAP Operations Manager. In this role she was a key member of the corporate leadership team. She was responsible for the operations and strategic growth of the BAP program within the GAA – including managing a department budget of 10 million dollars.
Ali attended Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, graduating with a BS in Social Work. This degree continues to prove a valuable balance of experience between people and profits in entrepreneurial setting. Furthermore, it is complementary to her passion for people – with commitment to and influence on health, self and community. She currently lives in Rye, New Hampshire with her son.