Herzig Honored with GAA Lifetime Achievement Award
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is proud to announce that Bill Herzig is the recipient of this year’s GAA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Herzig will accept the award during GAA’s GOAL 2015 conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Thursday, Oct. 29.
A champion of seafood sustainability, Herzig’s career in seafood spans more than four decades. After graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Herzig took a job with Rich-SeaPak, working his way up to senior vice president of operations, procurement, quality assurance and commodity sales over his 23-year career at the St. Simons, Ga., seafood company.
Herzig joined Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants, the world’s largest casual dining company, as director of seafood purchasing in 1997, graduating to VP of seafood purchasing two years later. He worked his way up to senior VP of purchasing and supply chain innovation, responsible for all purchasing across the 2,000-restaurant chain, before transitioning over to president of Darden Aquafarms, an integrated lobster aquaculture facility in Malaysia.
Along with GAA President George Chamberlain, Herzig was instrumental in the formation of GAA in 1997. At the time, aquaculture, particularly shrimp farming, was under attack from environmental interests, spreading misinformation on mangrove deforestation. As a result, stakeholders from 12 countries established GAA as a nonprofit, based upon a shared vision that aquaculture is vital to feed the world, but that it must grow in a coordinated and responsible fashion. That vision led to the creation of the Global Aquaculture Advocate magazine, the GOAL (Global Outlook on Aquaculture Leadership) conference and the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program.
“This is the most satisfying thing that I have ever been involved in. We did it because it was the right thing to do, and so many have joined the cause,” said Herzig. “As a result, the aquaculture industry now has the fundamentals in place to achieve the vision laid out three decades ago in the Blue Revolution.”
“From the very beginning, Bill Herzig has passionately and unselfishly devoted himself to GAA. The organization would not exist today were it not for him,” said Chamberlain. “With his astute judgment, broad influence, business skills and leadership by example, he pulled us back from the brink of bankruptcy, guided us decisively through contentious issues, and marshaled a strong network of long-term supporters. Bill never asked for, nor allowed, proper recognition for his efforts. He worked his miracles quietly and unselfishly, like the silent hand of an angel.”
“Bill Herzig and I have worked together in the seafood industry for more than 40 years, principally at the business operations level. His forward thinking has led to innovation within every company, and his involvement in pre-competitive activities at GAA and NFI has benefited the entire global seafood community,” said GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens. “Bill is known as a change-management leader, which is again exemplified by his current role with the development of lobster aquaculture in Malaysia.”
Currently, Herzig is president of Sustainable Strategies and Initiatives. In addition to GAA, he has been involved with the National Fisheries Institute.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards, GAA has become the leading standards-setting organization for aquaculture seafood.