Meet the Board
Sonny Beal | Fisherman
Sonny makes his home on Beals Island, Maine with his wife and two boys. Lobstering for Sonny began when he was 12 years old on a small outboard. Sonny has also spent time on the water working a gill netter, dragging for scallops and quahogs, he has even done some seining as well. Sonny earned an Associates Degree from Eastern Maine Technical College, which he used at an electronics firm in Gloucester, MA for a short time before returning to lobstering. Sonny now works from his 40’ Young Brothers. Additionally, Sonny serves as the Vice Chairman of the Beal-Jonesport Co-Op.
Bruce Fernald | Fisherman
Bruce Fernald is a sixth-generation lobster fisherman from Little Cranberry Island. He dabbled in fishing as a kid, then enlisted in the Navy after high school. Returning to Little Cranberry after almost 4 years at sea and without a plan for his next move, he credits his father with getting him back into fishing. He’s been at it ever since. Bruce got his first taste of marketing when he was featured in a beer commercial in the ’70s and has been a regular with the media ever since.
Dustin Delano | Fisherman
Dustin Delano is a fifth-generation Friendship fisherman. He first went out fishing when he was five with his father and then bought his first skiff at 11 with money he had saved from fishing his five traps. Dustin has been fishing full time since returned from college in Pennsylvania. He has participated in the MLMC’s chef and media events, and has first-hand experience sharing the Maine Lobster story with media and consumers. He is also on the board of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.
Katie Werner | Fisherman
Cape Elizabeth | Island Lobster Company
Katie Werner grew up on Peaks Island and now lives in Cape Elizabeth. She owns and operates Island Lobster Company restaurant on Peaks Island, where she works to source and serve local seafood. She has served on the Cape Elizabeth Farm Alliance and the Waterfront Alliance in Portland. She worked for 13 years in corporate healthcare. Her husband Thom is a lobsterman.
Ben Conniff | Dealer / Processor
Portland | Luke's Lobster & Luke's Seafood Company
Ben is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Luke’s Lobster. Among the many hats he has worn at Luke’s since 2009, Ben has led the company’s marketing strategy since its infancy, including PR, social and digital marketing, advertising, partnerships, product development, and restaurant and retailer promotions. Ben is also the author of the cookbook Real Maine Food (Rizzoli 2015) and prior to Luke’s worked in media, publishing in Saveur, WNYC, Tasting Table, Smithsonian, Yankee, and more.
Tom Adams | Dealer / Processor
Kittery | Maine Coast
Tom is the founder and CEO of Maine Coast. A lobster wholesaler based in York Maine; shipping live lobsters all over the world. Tom Adams amassed more than 30 years of experience, industry leadership and long-standing business relationships when he created Maine Coast. Under his leadership the company has experienced significant year over year growth in both domestic and international markets. The company has been honored to have their hard-earned success recognized over the years including 2015 SBA Maine Exporter of the Year, 2016 Maine’s Fastest Growing Mid-sized company, 2017 Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, 2018 Exporter of the Year by Maine International Trade Center, and in 2019 the President’s eAward for Exports. Tom holds several leadership and board roles. Currently he is an active member of National Fisheries Institute. He is also a board member of the York Land Trust. He has served on the board of the Maine Lobster Dealers Association.
Annie Tselikis | Dealer / Processor
South Portland | Maine Lobster Dealers' Association
Annie is the Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association. Annie’s fifteen-year career in Maine’s marine industry started on the stern of a ferryboat in Portland Harbor and has evolved to cover the entire coast of Maine as she supported commercial fishing organizations and lobster businesses. In 2014, she became the first executive director of the Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association where she advocates for lobster wharves, wholesalers, and processors in Maine at the local, state and federal level. She previously worked in procurement for Garbo Lobster, was the marketing manager at Maine Coast overseeing their digital marketing strategies, international trade shows and trade missions promoting Maine lobster to customers worldwide. She has supported several of Maine’s commercial fishing organizations with leadership and business training programs and formerly served on the Maine Fishermen’s Forum Board of Directors and the Scallop Advisory Council. Annie graduated from Connecticut College with a degree in anthropology and photography. She currently serves on the boards of the Lobster Institute and the Lobster Research, Education, and Development Fund.
Maile Buker | Public Member
Scarborough | Hannaford
Maile is VP Marketing of Hannaford Supermarkets. Maile has built consumer demand for brands including Nike, Timberland, Black Diamond Equipment, Eastern Mountain Sports, IZZE Sparkling Juice (Pepsi), ZICO Coconut Water (Coke), and Coors Beer. She is currently Vice President of Marketing and an Officer for Hannaford Supermarkets, overseeing E-commerce and Digital Marketing, Loyalty, Marketing Strategy, Brand Communications, PR, and Community Relations. Maile also sits on the Boards for Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Chimani in Portland, Maine and the Historic Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She advises startups participating in the Telluride Venture Accelerator in the areas of brand strategy, brand identity, consumer research, go-to-market strategy, digital marketing, and e-commerce.
Brian Langley | Public Member
Ellsworth | Union River Lobster Pot Restaurant
Brian is the Current Owner of the Union River Lobster Pot restaurant and former owner of the Oak Point Lobster Pound. He is also a former legislator, having served one term in the House and four terms in the Senate, including serving on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, the Marine Resources Committee, the Labor Commerce Research and Economic Development Committee, the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s 21st Century Workforce. Brian also served three terms as the Legislative Commissioner to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Brian also has considerable experience as an educator and a chef, having served as a Culinary Arts Instructor at the Hancock County Technical Center, and a Certified Culinary Educator as well as a Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation.
Jeffrey Bennett | DECD Designee
Portland | Maine International Trade Center
Jeff Bennett is the Canada Desk Director and a Senior Trade Specialist for the Maine International Trade Center. A Canadian native, growing up near Toronto Ontario, Jeff earned his B.S. in Business Administration and Economics minor from the University of Maine at Orono. He joined MITC in January 2007, bringing with him over 10 years’ experience in the consumer goods industry, marketing Maine-based companies both nationally and internationally. Jeff has led several international focused trade missions within the seafood and food industry. He currently serves on the program committee and state rating committee with Food Export USA, administering the federal market access program; is a member of the District Export Council; and serves on the board of directors for the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative. Jeff is a National Ambassador for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Washington, DC and a LIVESTRONG Leader and national advocate with the LIVESTRONG Foundation in Austin, Texas.
Patrick Keliher | Commissioner, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
Patrick Keliher has served as Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources since 2012, having previously served as Acting Commissioner since 2011. During his tenure at the Department Keliher has worked hard to reach out to the Department’s many and varied constituents to ensure an opportunity for broad input and feedback around Maine’s marine resources issues.