Sebastian Belle (he/him/his)
A longtime leader in aquaculture, Sebastian Belle has dedicated his career to demonstrating global leadership in aquaculture and advocating for a sustainable working waterfront. Since 1984, Belle has established best practices and advised commercial aquaculture ventures around the world, bridging private and public sectors. In April 2022, Belle was appointed as president of the board of directors, National Aquaculture Association (NAA) for the 2022 term. Prior to joining the MAA, Mr. Belle was the state aquaculture coordinator, working for the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Mr. Belle serves on NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and on the board of directors of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, The Island Institute, and The Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center. Mr. Belle is also vice president of the International Salmon Farmers Association. “Now more than ever aquaculture needs to unify as a sector to balance innovation with long-term sustainability,” says Belle. “Our seafood farm families, in Maine and across the nation, and working waterfront depend on it.”
Afton Vigue (she/her/hers)
Outreach and Development Specialist
Afton Vigue earned her B.S. in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine in 2017, and stayed on for two more years to earn an M.S. in Natural Resource Economics in 2019. Afton is the primary storyteller at MAA, with her role being dedicated to communications, marketing, membership and public relations. She manages the association’s website, social media accounts, and email newsletters, as well as video and film projects, tourism products including the Maine Oyster Trail and other projects. She has been with the MAA since 2019.
Christian Brayden (he/him/his)
Christian earned a B.A. in Economics at the College of the Holy Cross and an M.S. in Resource Economics and Policy from the University of Maine. Christian’s work at MAA focuses on applied research and assisting growers with aquaculture business and production planning, including financial benchmarking, risk management, and crop insurance. Other work revolves around seafood distribution, marketing, and the creation of Maine’s first aquaculture occupational standards, including their integration into broader aquaculture workforce development efforts. He has been with the MAA since 2017.
Jennifer Altmiller (she/her/hers)
Jennifer Altmiller started her career in non-profit education, working in the President’s Office at Carnegie Mellon University doing administrative support for the Board of Trustees and advisory board system. Following her work in education, Jennifer joined Express SawCutters as a Business Manager. Prior to relocation, Jennifer spent the last several years as the Accounting Manager at IKM Incorporated, an architecture and design firm, where she handled all facets of finance, invoicing, employee intake and exit, and payroll and benefit management. She has been with the MAA since 2022.