President and CEO of Kodiak Island WildSource, Chris Sannito worked in fish plants for a decade before using his experience and knowledge to start his own business with Kodiak Island WildSource. Soon his business garnered the interest of the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak, an Alutiiq people with a history on the island stretching back over 8,000 years.
Ownership in WildSource gave Sannito the support he needed. "Since the tribe has taken hold of this business, we’ve grown exponentially," says Sannito. What's more, it gave the Sun’aq community a foothold in a commercial fishing industry that had a legacy of enriching faraway communities at the expense of Kodiak’s first fishermen.
WildSource represents a rich blend of multiculturalism that reflects the unique history of Alaska. While the business is tribally owned, many workers at the plant are Filipino Alaskans.
“We're mostly a Filipino workforce that is very well seasoned and represents generations of families who have worked on the waterfront, and because we’re able to pay a little bit higher wage, that is really attractive to them,” says Sannito.
"We're mostly a Filipino workforce that is very well seasoned and represents generations of families who have worked on the waterfront . . ."
Alaska’s Filipino community—sometimes referred to as “Alaskeros”—have been a vital part of the commercial fishing industry for over a century, and WildSource is proud to provide opportunities for families who have processed fish for generations.
With about 20 plant workers and about as many boats delivering wild seafood to the plant, Sannito says the impact of WildSource is small but significant.
While the commercial fishing industry is changing and becoming more complex, the mission at WildSource is pretty simple: “If you put out a good product, customers will see that and they will reorder and want to know where that seafood came from. Whereas, if you put out junk, you only sell it once.”
With their focus on custom processing Pacific cod and rockfish, and their deep roots in the Kodiak community, we are proud to have Kodiak Island WildSource as a trusted partner.