Management Team:

 
 

BREN SMITH

Chief Mission Officer

Bren Smith is the owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm and executive director of GreenWave. A lifelong commercial fisherman since the age of 14, Bren pioneered the development of restorative 3D ocean farming, which is designed to restore ocean ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and create blue-green jobs for fishermen — while ensuring healthy, local food for communities. His work has been profiled by CNN, Google Food, The New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and others. In 2015, he was the winner of the Buckminster Fuller Prize for ecological design and the Clinton Global Initiative award for ocean innovation. His writing has appeared in the New York Times and National Geographic. In 2013, Smith was chosen as one of six “Ocean Heroes” by Oceana and Future of Fish’s “Ocean Entrepreneur” of the year. He is an Ashoka and Echoing Green Fellow.

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Jill Pegnataro

Regional Operations and Farm Manager

Jill attended The Sound School in New Haven, CT and focused on ecology of the Long Island Sound and ocean engineering. She graduated from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI with a B.S. degree in Biology. After graduation she worked with endangered sea turtles in Texas and Costa Rica. Her skills gained from marine research and conservation are now being used to manage and oversee the daily operations of the farm.   

 


Daniel Marquez

Operations Manager

Daniel is former facilities specialist at the University of Santa Barbara. He bring his many years of experience into the world of ocean farming and processing infrastructure.  Specializing in water and energy efficiency, Dan designed and build the nation's most advanced seaweed hatchery.

 

 


Board of Directors:

 

BREN SMITH

Bren Smith is the owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm and executive director of GreenWave. A lifelong commercial fisherman since the age of 14, Bren pioneered the development of restorative 3D ocean farming, which is designed to restore ocean ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and create blue-green jobs for fishermen — while ensuring healthy, local food for communities. His work has been profiled by CNN, Google Food, The New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and others. In 2015, he was the winner of the Buckminster Fuller Prize for ecological design and the Clinton Global Initiative award for ocean innovation. His writing has appeared in the New York Times and National Geographic. In 2013, Smith was chosen as one of six “Ocean Heroes” by Oceana and Future of Fish’s “Ocean Entrepreneur” of the year. He is an Ashoka and Echoing Green Fellow.

 

MIKE SHIM

Mike Shim is a veteran technology and consumer products entrepreneur, investor and lawyer based in Silicon Valley. He is the CEO of Truth North Cos., a venture operating company building purposeful companies that improve the world through business while delivering superior long-terms returns to their employees, investors and the communities they serve. Mike is a co-founder of New Frontier Foods Inc., makers of "Ocean's Halo" seaweed snacks and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. In addition, Mike serves as a Board member or Advisor of several private companies and non-profits, including GreenWave. He received his J.D. from Cornell Law School and B.A. from Georgetown University. 

 

NORMAN VILLARINA

Norman serves as Industry Capital's Managing Partner. IC invests in private equity real assets globally. IC's asset under management are $2 billion. Firm is based in San Francisco with affiliate offices in Houston, Mexico City and Lagos, Nigeria. In 1999, Norman co-founded Industry Ventures, a $1.8 billion venture capital firm specializing in the secondary market, and served as a general partner from 1999 to 2003. Prior to that, Norman was a private and public equity portfolio manager at Eos Partners and Cassandra-Chase Partners in New York, New York from 1995 to 1999. Norman has also held various positions in Wells Fargo Bank’s commercial lending group and in the derivatives group at Lehman Brothers. Norman holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and MBA from Columbia University.