Jim Stanley may have spent 15 years as a corporate banker, but he never strayed far from his tribal fishing heritage, and has continued to seek ways to give back to his community.
Stanley is a Taholah native and one of 15 finalists in the 2017 Washington Coast Works Small Business Competition vying for up to $10,000 in startup financing. He launched Wild Salish Seafood after a career in commercial lending and a marketing degree from Western Washington University as a way to keep more of the commercial fishing dollars in the Quinault community.
By coordinating small-batch seafood deliveries to the Seattle and Portland regions, Stanley will create new markets — and he will create new jobs by hiring retirees and fishermen who still want to work but can no longer withstand the physical rigor of commercial fishing.
“Our success depends on good relationships," says Stanley. “I am aware of those relationships when I am navigating the complexities of the fisheries ecosystem or working with the crew of Josie (a fishing vessel) or meeting new customers. And as a young guy, I get to learn from the experienced Quinault fishing fleet, as they share their generational knowledge with me.”
“Jim brings revenue and jobs to the Peninsula while reducing the carbon footprint of the food we eat,” says Mike Skinner, director of the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Washington Coast Works administrator. “Generating profit and benefiting community and our planet exemplifies the triple bottom line business model that Coast Works is designed to catalyze.”
Videos and other posts on the business' Facebook page help capture the stories and images involved in harvesting Dungeness crab and black cod, two primary products of Wild Salish Seafood.
Stanley is in the final phase of writing his case statement for the Nov. 9 competition that will take place in Sequim. Any winnings will go toward revenue-producing assets that support his operations.
Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, the Taala Fund, and the Olympic Natural Resources Center. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Pacific, Wahkiakum, Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.