Cape Cod Fisherman’s Alliance Welcomes New Board Members

CHATHAM – The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance welcomed six new board members at it’s appreciation night last week.

The celebration welcomed Greg Bilezikian, Charles Borkoski, Beau Gribbin, Eric Hesse, Barry LaBar and Brian Sherin, who all joined the Fishermen’s Alliance’s board this year.

The annual event, held at Hog Island Beer Company in Orleans, provided the chance to gather and thank the many people who help the Fishermen’s Alliance protect and grow commercial fisheries on the Cape.

Gribbin and Hesse are long-time fishermen. Gribbin, owner of High Pressure Fisheries, started on draggerboats out of Provincetown at the age of 10, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and uncle.

Bilezikian grew up working for his parents at the company they founded, Christmas Tree Shops.

He built on what he learned to open Dennis East International, DEI, a manufacturer and leader in the gift and home decor industry.

When Chuck Borkoski moved to Chatham in 2005, having grown up in a farming community on Long Island, he was struck by similarities between commercial fishermen and farmers.

Both are buffeted by Mother Nature, climate change, variable markets, the lack of a steady paycheck, and regulations.

While the Fishermen’s Alliance can’t do much about the weather, it can help in regards to policy, advocacy, and marketing.

That hooked Borkoski, a graduate of Providence College with a bachelors in business management, who recently retired as vice president from McLaughlin & Moran, Rhode Island’s premiere beverage distributor.

Barry LaBar has been coming to the Cape since the 1960s and went offshore lobstering here in the 1970s.

Fishing was and still is the heart of Chatham, he says.

Graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1973 with a degree in English and philosophy, he went into the printing business, owned his own company and served as president for OnPress, Inc. in Ohio.

When he retired here in 2012, he thought the Fishermen’s Alliance’s work to protect fishing, the community and ecosystem was something he wanted to support.

Brian Sherin, a longtime recreational fisherman, believes commercial fishing is what defines the peninsula.

As founder and president of BPStrategies, the Harwich resident’s background is in healthcare financial consulting where his work includes fighting for regulatory changes.

With an MBA from La Salle University in finance, he can also provide advice as the Fishermen’s Alliance purchases new fishing quota to lease back to local fishermen at an affordable price.

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