Owner, Ricky Fitzhugh started his interest in the seafood industry at the young age of 10 where he began working for his father in the family owned business Tideland Seafood. Upon graduation from high school he attended University Of Maryland and majored in architecture. At the age of 24 he became a commercial fisherman until he started Terrapin Fish Co., a wholesale seafood distribution company. Simultaneously Ricky established and developed two successful ice companies; Rosedale Ice with multiple locations and USAICE an ice sculpting company that caters to large corporate events. He then launched Hooper's Island Oyster Aquaculture Company which currently grows (Chesapeake Golds and Holy Grail Oysters).Since the inception of HIOAC we are currently distributing the safest raw oyster on the market from the east coast to the west coast and overseas. Ricky@hioac.com
Johnny Shockley is a third generation waterman born and raised on Hoopers Island. After graduating high school, Johnny became a fulltime waterman building his first work boat, the Islander. After harvesting blue crabs, oysters, and fish on the Chesapeake Bay for several years, he became intrigued with the opportunities arising around oyster aquaculture. In 2010, Johnny and Ricky Fitzhugh created HIOAC in hopes of establishing a new industry around sustainable aquaculture in the state of Maryland. Johnny developed a full line of oyster aquaculture equipment, customized to meet the needs of a new industry. He currently captains the Chesapeake Gold, harvesting fresh Chesapeake Gold and Holy Grail Oysters. Johnny@hioac.com
Chris Wyer is VP of Supply Chain and Partner Relationships, hired for Branding and Marketing development with Hoopers Island Oyster Aquaculture Company and recently has been developing international sales and supply chain coordination. The journey to HIOAC begun with the Marines after high school and then into Psychology studies with the University of Arizona. Self-Graduating with 163 credits he decided that his knowledge of Psychology could be utilized better as a Chef. During his 15+ years in the hospitality industry Chris has excelled in food designs, menu concepts and Ice sculpting. Currently Chris is focusing on global marketing the HIOAC brands, establishing regional growth within the USA and is your liaison to marketing materials for all partnerships. Currently living in Stafford County with his two daughters. email@example.com
Jordan Shockley is a 2014 graduate from Salisbury University with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. Jordan grew up in Dorchester County where he gained his love for the Chesapeake Bay from his father and grandfather. Throughout college he interned at University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at Horn Point Oyster Hatchery in Cambridge for three years. Those three years he expanded his knowledge on oyster aquaculture focusing on algae production, spawning techniques, and larval care. Here at Hoopers Island Oyster Aquaculture Company, Jordan has been focusing on the care of the nursery as well as farm management. Jordan@hioac.com
JT and John Tall
Metal Fabrication Division
John Tall Sr. John has lived in Dorchester County since he was a teenager. Since that time, he has worked in various capacities in and out of the seafood industry. John has 11 years of experience as a fiberglass boat builder, 13 years in the seafood processing industry, and 5 years in the metal conveyor belt manufacturing industry. In 2006, John started Quality First Services to provide mechanical and fabrication solutions to the local area watermen. In 2012, they partnered with HIOA. Since then, John and his son JT have been fabricating oyster tumblers, conveyors and other custom equipment to support the seafood industry.
John Tall Jr. (JT) JT is a graduate of Universal Technical Institute with certifications in Automotive, Diesel and Industrial Mechanics. JT held various positions within the automotive industry before returning to Dorchester County to work with his father at Quality First Services.
Jimmy has worked around the seafood industry since he was a young boy. He worked for various processing plants, had his own boat for commercial crabbing, and worked for F.O. Dean Boatyard as a handyman. Jimmy and his wife Sandy opened J&T Seafood in the early 80's where they processed crabs and shed soft shell crabs. When employees were difficult to find, Jimmy decided to shut down and started working with Terrapin Fish Co. in 2000 and transitioned to HIOA from its inception in 2010.
Jason has been in the construction business all of his professional career since starting to help his father in his home improvement business. Jason transitioned to the oyster company in 2010 while working for Rosedale Ice Company and still splits his time between both companies.