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New Leadership for Employee-Ownership Announced

Big changes are in the works at Local Ocean as we near the finish line to become an employee owned company. Who takes the reins under employee-ownership? Fortunately, we did not have to look far to find the right people for the job.

Keep reading for a message from Laura Anderson, Local Ocean founder, on promoting a new CEO and COO.

Leadership has never been a one-person job at Local Ocean. As I reflect on the 20 years since the inception of Local Ocean, I am grateful for the many smart, creative, and hard-working minds that helped co-create our vision and provide leadership along the way. Some have moved on to new ventures, though their imprint remains, while others have stayed the course with us. Thankfully, as I step down, I did not have to look far to find the right people to take the reins and lead Local Ocean into its next chapter.

CEO – Simply put, Issie Corvi is one of the brightest minds I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. If you don't yet know Issie personally, you’ve most certainly seen her work. As the chief architect of the DockBox program, Issie worked diligently to make sure it complemented Local Ocean’s brand identity and objectives. If you like the look and feel of our menus and signage, that’s her, too. Issie tells the story of what makes Local Ocean special through graphic design, photography, and social media posts highlighting our products, people, and community.

As CEO, Issie will ensure that LO is achieving its vision while staying true to its mission. She’ll lead the management team and serve them in all aspects, from culinary excellence to operational efficiency. In her former capacity as Brand Manager, Issie had a strong focus on delivering Local Ocean’s brand promise and enhancing the customer experience. These focal points will be joined by another of Issie’s top priorities – the employee experience.

In her words, “I’m honored to uphold Local Ocean's legacy. My commitment as Local Ocean’s first CEO is to champion our mission and values in everything we do - from our sustainable seafood sourcing practices and standards for culinary excellence, to caring for the people that work and fish for us. The connections between our employees, fishers, community, and customers are what make Local Ocean's experience exceptional. As we begin this new chapter as an employee-owned company, my focus is to cultivate an inclusive culture where our people feel valued, appreciated, and proud of the work we do together. When we support each other, we all succeed.“

COO – Setting the course is one part of leadership, steering the ship is another. The latter requires navigating through new challenges every day without compromising our commitment to consistently high standards. As Local Ocean’s first Chief Operating Officer (COO), Tony Bixler will oversee the execution and management of our strategic plan, leading the charge to transform our vision into reality.

Is his previous capacity as General Manager, Tony guided Local Ocean through some of its most challenging times: the rolling closures of 2020, ‘flipping the script’ on the traditional tip system and developing the DockBox program. Regardless of obstacles popping up through his tenure, he’s never wavered in his commitment to the team, which he shows by fostering collaboration and making sure everyone stays on the same page.

Tony brings an incredibly rare combination of deep industry knowledge and an innate ability to lead others to a sense of shared belonging. In Tony’s words, “Restaurants have always served as communal and cultural hubs, feeding off of and sustaining the energies of a civilization. Those of us who choose careers in food and hospitality do so because we love it deeply, and it’s that love that drives the passion, commitment, and dedication to excellence.”