Who We Are


Governing Board

fishing boat with seagulls
Larry Band

Larry Band works as a consultant to non-profit organizations on finance and market-related issues in environmental policy. Previously, Larry worked for 20 years at Lehman Brothers. He spent seventeen years as an investment banker advising corporations on a wide variety of strategic and financing transactions working primarily with companies in the telecommunications, technology and industrial sectors. Larry became a senior member of Lehman’s human capital management team in 2005 where he was the global head of recruiting and responsible for talent management for junior professionals across the firm. Prior to Lehman Brothers, Larry worked as a management consultant for Bain & Co. and as a policy analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. He holds a BS in Biology and a BA in Political Science from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business.

David Festa, President

David Festa is an expert on sustainability and has a long track record of bringing diverse stakeholders together to meet growing needs for food, water and shelter in ways that improve the environment and benefit the economy. As vice president of the Ecosystems Program at Environmental Defense Fund, David oversees initiatives to: reverse habitat loss on working lands; eliminate fertilizer pollution as a major agricultural problem; revitalize working rivers and their ability to provide resilient water supply, and restore coastal ecosystems to protect communities from rising sea level and extreme weather. Prior to leading the Ecosystems program, David headed up EDF's Oceans program, where he ignited a sea change in the way fisheries are managed by winning approval for an incentives-based system called catch shares. Today over 2/3ds of the fish caught in U.S. waters is managed sustainably under the innovative system. David earned a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University. He served as policy director in the Department of Commerce during the Clinton administration and as part of the Obama transition team. David began his career as a correspondent for The Economist.

Tim Fitzgerald

Tim directs the Impact Division of EDF’s Fishery Solutions Center--leading its global programs on training, seafood markets, supply chain engagement and fisheries finance. He also serves on the boards of Ecofish LLC and GulfWild®, and is an advisor to Fair Trade USA, the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. Tim earned an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Hawai’i and a B.S. in Biology from Duke University. His gradate research focused on the behavioral ecology and sensory physiology of tropical sharks, appearing on Discovery Channel's Shark Week and National Geographic Explorer. He is a frequent speaker on oceans conservation and public health issues, and has been featured in Time, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and NPR’s Fresh Air, in addition to being invited to testify to the President’s Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Amanda Leland

Amanda Leland is Vice President for the Oceans program at Environmental Defense Fund. She is responsible for leading a diverse team of 50 scientists, lawyers, and advocates for healthy and abundant oceans. She focuses on strategies to transform resource management to achieve productive and profitable fisheries in the US. Since joining EDF in 2004, Amanda has played a key role in winning new policies and laws that promote healthy fisheries and oceans, securing new marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean that comprise one of the world’s largest protected areas, and developing new partnerships with NGOs, academics, industry representatives, and others to advance practical solutions. Amanda has experience in many aspects of fisheries, including as a scientist conducting cooperative research with commercial fishermen in Maine, as a Congressional staff-person focused on ocean issues, and as an advocate advancing policies that promote sustainable and profitable fisheries. Amanda received her M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Maine.

Fund Advisory Committee

Cavalier boat
The Role of the Fund Advisory Committee (FAC)

The Fund Advisory Committee acts as the guardian of the mission of CFF and maintains focus on meeting the broader goals and objectives of CFF. Members provide oversight of the environmental stewardship, community, and other mission-based objectives of CFF and ensure that state and local needs and issues are thoroughly considered. After considering each loan, the FAC will submit their formal recommendation for approval or denial to the board.

David Crabbe

David Crabbe has been a commercial fisherman in California for thirty years. He has fished with traps, purse seine, drum seine and gillnet for salmon, black cod, Petrale sole, squid, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, halibut and rockfish. David worked with EDF to organize and facilitate a crab steering committee to discuss commercial crab fishery management issues. This project led to the passage of SB-1690 which mandates the creation of a crab task force charged with resolving long-standing crab management issues. He also worked on a project to conduct interviews with Morro Bay fishers in order to document interest and ability to fish with fixed gear and lease ground fish quota share from The Nature Conservancy. David has been actively involved in shaping California fishery management through his role as a Central California regional stakeholder for the MLPA process, as well as his service on the California squid advisory board and the Fishery Advisory Board for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary. He lives in Carmel, CA with his wife and four children.

Chris Dewees

Chris Dewees recently retired as the statewide Marine Fisheries Specialist at the University of California Sea Grant Extension Program - a position he held for 35 years. Before this, he worked as a commercial salmon fishermen, which inspired his interest in fisheries issues. Throughout his career, Dewees studied commercial and recreational fisheries in California, Alaska, British Columbia and New Zealand. He specialized in fisheries management alternatives including restricted access, individual transferable quotas, and technology transfer. He has also worked on a number of innovative projects such as the Spring Run Chinook Salmon Workgroup, which sought to improve salmon habitats by engaging fishermen, farmers, loggers and others in constructive dialogs. He also worked with the U.S. Department of Energy and UC Berkeley to help fishermen retrofit their boats with fuel-efficient technologies. Dewees helped implement the California Marine Life Management Act by conducting the peer-review process, and coedited the 2001 publication, California's Living Marine Resources: A Status Report. He spent three sabbatical leaves in New Zealand, the most recent being in 2006 when he organized a study tour for 20 fishing community leaders from the United States. Dewees holds a bachelor's degree in Biology from University of Redlands, a master's degree in Fisheries from Humboldt State University, and a PhD. in Ecology from UC Davis. In addition to serving on the CFF Advisory Committee, Dewees spends his retirement fishing, playing tennis, and pursuing his art of Gyotaku (Japanese fish printing).

Deborah Halberstadt

Deborah Halberstadt is OPC Executive Director/Deputy Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Policy, California Natural Resources Agency. She has extensive experience in environmental law and policy and has devoted her career to advocating for and protecting the environment. Deborah is committed to implementing California’s innovative, ecosystem driven approach to ocean and coastal management and its emphasis on science-based policies and collaborative partnerships. Before joining the OPC, Deborah spent ten years in the Office of the California Attorney General litigating civil and criminal cases to enforce environmental laws. During that time she worked on several multi-jurisdictional teams with local and federal agencies and was cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Upon graduating from law school, Deborah clerked for the Honorable Walter L. Carpeneti at the Alaska Supreme Court in Juneau. Prior to law school, Deborah served as a federal legislative liaison in the Office of Governor Gray Davis, handling natural resources and environmental protection issues. She also served as director of constituent affairs. She was a legislative and policy coordinator in the Office of Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis. Deborah earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University.

Sonke Mastrup

Samuel P. Schuchat

Samuel P. Schuchat became Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy in July 2001. He is also the Secretary to the California Ocean Protection Council and the Chairman of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority. He serves on the boards of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, and the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission. He was the Executive Director of the Federation of State Conservation Voter Leagues from 1998 to 2001; the Federation is the trade association of 26 environmental Political Action Committees (PAC) in as many states. From 1992 to 1998 he was the Executive Director of the California League of Conservation Voters, the nation's largest and oldest state environmental PAC with 25,000 members. Mr. Schuchat has an extensive background in fund-raising and management of not-for-profit organizations. He has worked as a community and union organizer, has raised money for community art projects, and was the deputy director of Sacramento AIDS foundation in the late 1980s. He served on the California Fish and Game Commission from 1999 to 2004 including two years as Vice-President. He is currently serving on the Board of Temple Sinai in Oakland. He received his BA in Political Science at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1983, and his MA in Public Administration at San Francisco State University in 1989. He is an avid cyclist and birdwatcher, and has backpacked all over the Eastern and Western United States. He resides in Oakland with his wife and daughter.

Gil Sylvia

Gil Sylvia is a Marine Resource Economist, Superintendent of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES) and Professor in the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, Oregon State University. Dr. Sylvia has a Master's Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University (1983) and a Ph.D. in Marine Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island (1989). His research focuses on fishery and aquaculture management and policy, seafood marketing, and bioeconomic modeling. Gil has published in numerous economic and fishery management journals and consulted in a variety of national and international fishery and aquaculture projects. He recently served on a committee of the National Research Council for improving collaborative fishery research, and presently serves on a committee developing Sea Grant's national fishery and seafood strategic implementation plan. As Superintendent of COMES, the largest applied marine research group in Oregon, he has worked in close collaboration with the fishing/seafood industry, coastal communities, and management agencies to increase benefits from utilizing and sustaining West Coast marine resources. COMES signature programs include the Pacific Whiting Project, Molluskan Broodstock Program, Community Seafood Initiative, Surimi Technology School, Astoria Seafood Laboratory, Salmon Ecology Initiative, and Project CROOS (Collaborative Research on Oregon Ocean Salmon).

Valerie Termini

Valerie Termini is Executive Director of the California Fish and Game Commission. Previously, she served as the fisheries policy advisor and as interim Executive Director for the California Ocean Protection Council.

Richard Young

Richard Young is currently the CEO and Harbormaster of the Crescent City Harbor District. From 1980 until 2004 he was the owner and operator of two commercial fishing vessels, participating in the West Coast groundfish trawl, shrimp, and Dungeness crab fisheries. He was elected President and Vice-President of the Fishermen's Marketing Association representing trawlers from California, Oregon, and Washington, and was active in the design of the groundfish buyback program. He served fifteen years on the Pacific Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee, was a member of two National Research Council committees, and has participated in a number of fishery research and management activities. From 1978-1979 he was an assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School. He earned a BA in economics from Humboldt State University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1979.

Fund Credit Committee

The Role of the Fund Credit Committee (FCC)

The Fund Credit Committee reviews the credit and financial aspects of CFF investment opportunities. Members work together with CFF staff to conduct due diligence and to reach appropriate conclusions regarding loan structures, payback periods, benchmarks and evaluation parameters. The FCC will review each loan being considered for funding, and offer recommendations to the board regarding approval or denial. The Board and Director will strive to appoint members who have an understanding of the specific risks and rewards associated with fisheries-related loans.

Bill Enholm

Bill Enholm has 18 years of experience in commercial loan decision-making at Union Bank of California, Comerica Bank, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust and Citizens Business Bank. Bill's specialty is small business lending; he has built a portfolio of over 500 borrowers, with over $30 million in commitments, over the past 3 years. He is also an experienced SBA (Small Business Administration) lender having approved over $100 Million in SBA 504 and 7(a) loans over the past two years. At Union Bank of California, he was responsible for reconsidering loans that would otherwise have been declined due to credit scoring, for the bank's 250 branches. He conducted additional analysis, on up to 100 loans per month, finding ways to support the approval of about 50 percent. While at Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, he was a member of the California Coastal Rural Development Corporation's Loan Committee, managed a traditional portfolio of commercial relationships and pioneered the use of credit scoring. Bill's experience in small business lending and high risk loans are an invaluable contribution to CFF.

Joe O'Brien

Mr. O'Brien has worked as a consultant at both Fordham University and the New York University School of Law for the past five years. The projects focused on installing financial systems and improving financial processes and the related internal control environment. Prior to that he worked at the Environmental Defense Fund as Director of Financial Projects. At EDF he played a major role in several finance-oriented projects including the establishment of the EDF Donor Advised Fund and initializing the California Fisheries Fund. Before  joining EDF, he spent several years working in the not-for-profit sector as a consultant. Mr. O'Brien took early retirement as a Vice President from MetLife in 1999 after an extensive thirty-four year career in Finance and Information Technology. Mr. O'Brien's education includes undergraduate degrees and postgraduate degrees in Accounting and Management. He is also a Certified Management Accountant. His diversified finance background will be leveraged to support implementation of future plans related to the California Fisheries Fund.

Jason Winship

Jason Winship is Managing Principal of Sea Change Management, LLC, which manages the Sea Change Investment Fund. Sea Change is a growth equity investor that seeks to facilitate greater market access to environmentally-preferable seafood while providing a compelling financial return to its investors. Jason has extensive experience in early-stage private equity, corporate mergers and acquisitions and investment banking. Prior to co-founding Sea Change, Jason worked on a variety of market-based environmental engagements in his capacity as a Senior Associate at California Environmental Associates. Previously, Mr. Winship was a Senior Associate with Westbury Equity Partners, a New York-based $150 million growth equity fund. In that capacity, he developed, assessed and executed early-stage private equity investments in the software and business services market. He also played an active advisory role by supporting portfolio companies with strategic and financial analysis. Prior to his tenure with Westbury, Jason developed and executed international merger and acquisition opportunities for AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. Before joining AT&T Wireless, Mr. Winship was an investment banking analyst with Lehman Brothers, where he participated in a wide range of corporate financing and M&A transactions. Mr. Winship holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rice University.


Phoebe Higgins, Director

Phoebe Higgins joined the California Fisheries Fund in 2008. She manages the Fund's loan portfolio and provides strategic direction. Prior to working at CFF, Phoebe served as the Sustainable Programs Director at Community Bank of the Bay in Oakland, California, where she was responsible for making loans to green businesses and environmental nonprofit organizations. Phoebe also has several years' experience as a community organizer focusing on social justice issues such as affordable housing, equity in education and voter participation. Phoebe holds a BA in Russian Studies from Carleton College and an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise from the Green MBA program at Dominican University of California.

Rebecca Diaz, Loan Officer

Rebecca Diaz analyzes and closes loans, assisting borrowers throughout the lending process. Rebecca has worked in nonprofit finance and operations for almost 15 years. Before that she had a 10-year career in investment banking as a corporate finance analyst, and later as a financial analyst for asset-based loans. Rebecca holds a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MBA with a focus on environmental policy and law from George Washington University. She also has a paralegal certificate from Georgetown University.

Larry Band, Senior Advisor

Larry Band works as a consultant to non-profit organizations on finance and market-related issues in environmental policy. Previously, Larry worked for 20 years at Lehman Brothers. He spent seventeen years as an investment banker advising corporations on a wide variety of strategic and financing transactions working primarily with companies in the telecommunications, technology and industrial sectors. Larry became a senior member of Lehman's human capital management team in 2005 where he was the global head of recruiting and responsible for talent management for junior professionals across the firm. Prior to Lehman Brothers, Larry worked as a management consultant for Bain & Co. and as a policy analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. He holds a BS in Biology and a BA in Political Science from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business.

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) helps coordinate and improve the protection and management of California's ocean and coastal resources and implement the Governor's 'Ocean Action Plan' released in October 2004. The OPC is a strong supporter of CFF, and has invested $2 million.

Private family foundations have invested additional capital into CFF.