Gone Fishing

Back in 1921, our family seafood matriarch, Fanny Kotok walked daily to the wharf in Buffalo, NY to bring fish back to the neighborhood for sale.

We continue today and owe our longevity to the same principles Fanny Kotok, then Nathan Kotok, then Teddy Kotok, then Mark Kotok, and now Michael Kotok hold dear; value, integrity, honesty, seafood knowledge and prized personal relationships.

We’ve focused for so long on; fish, quality, fishermen and our vendors and customers that our website was not a priority. We’re fixing that now.

In the meantime, please get to know us better by reading about our staff below.

Any questions can be directed to info@arcticfisheries.com. Or better yet, call us at 716-632-3633.

Michael Kotok – President

Michael was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. As President of Arctic Fisheries Ltd., Michael is responsible for all daily operations, sales management, procurement, finance and marketing functions.  Michael is also the author of our famous Weekly Market Updates. Michael graduated from University of Buffalo’s Business School where he played lacrosse and skied, alot. Michael began in the business as a youngster working weekends in the freezers and coolers of Kotok & Heims in the late 70â’s and early 80’s. After college, Baltimore Fish & Oyster on Buffalo’s east side was the venue for continued education and insight into all aspects of a wholesale and retail seafood operation. Afterwards, Michael joined X-Sea-Lnt International Corp.and spearheaded the drive to change the name from X-Sea-Lnt to Arctic Fisheries. Michael’s hobbies include skiing, mountain biking and lacrosse.  When not in town, you’ll find Michael out west with his wife, usually in the deepest powder possible. Large Iceland Harvest or OP cod loins (that way you get huge flakes) loaded with hot sauce and grilled on a barbeque is Michael’s preferred fish dish. Fish tacos are also a favorite.

Mark Kotok – Vice President/Retired

Mark was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He has been in the fish business from about the time he started to walk. He started out in the business by “spooning smelts” (a procedure designed to remove the head and entrails from fresh smelts by using a common teaspoon) at the age of 5 at his father’s fresh fish company (see; Arctic Fisheries Our Story) After graduation from Kent State University in 1971 with a Bachelors of Business Administration, he entered the family business full time. He ran virtually every segment of the business including the importation and sales of all types of fresh and frozen seafood, operations, warehousing, distribution and administration. He was actively involved in importing seafood from Canada, Norway, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, and Thailand. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, Mark had the opportunity to start X-Sea-Lnt International Corp. in 1987. The seafood importing company changed its name to Arctic Fisheries Ltd. in January 1999 (see Our Story). Mark is married to the former Rina Brickman and has three grown children; Michael, Aaron, and Adam. Mark and Rina both occupy themselves with a growing number of grandchildren. In addition to golf, Mark enjoys discussing seafood with anyone who will listen.

Nicole Garey – Production Assistant

Email: nicole@arcticfisheries.com

Nicole holds a BA in English from the University at Buffalo, where she studied 18th Century British Literature and the rise of the novel. During this time, she was asked whether she planned to teach so many times that she began to consider it. After two semesters of graduate study and TA work at the University of Massachusetts, she decided against it. As might be expected, she has a lot of experience waiting tables and bartending. She has written wine menus, prepared tastings, and learned a lot about pairing food with wine and beer. One of her favorite dishes is haddock en papillote with roasted vegetables, but she also really loves the fish tacos at Kaya in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, PA. She also has a lot of experience conducting research and compiling documents. She considers herself an expert at annotated bibliographies. While writing this biography, she stopped her daughter from eating a cardboard paper towel roll, changed two loads of laundry, and fed her cats, all while singing along with the Bubble Guppies. She enjoys reading literary theory, learning about systems and working creatively within them, and exploring new cities.

Debbie Duringer – Accounting

Email: debbie@arcticfisheries.com

Debbie was born in New Jersey and now lives in Buffalo, NY. Debbie is a graduate of the University of Buffalo’s School of Management where she majored in accounting. At Arctic Fisheries, Debbie is responsible for many accounting and book-keeping functions. Debbie and her husband Mike have two sons; Alex (15) and William (13). She spends a lot of time with her family and enjoys cooking and gardening. Debbie’s favorite fish dinner is Manaberg Packed at Sea Haddock, baked or grilled.

Steve Blaszak – Operations Manager

Email: steve@arcticfisheries.com

Steve was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Steve is responsible for all of our shipping. Steve is widely regarded as one of the best in the industry. He can get your shipment to you, on time, economically. Steve also assists with many other functions around our offices. Steve is pictured with his daughter, Brianna Marie, born on April 20th, 2001. Steve and his wife Kelly also have twin girls; McKenzie and Madison. Steve is an avid golfer and also enjoys soccer, eating pizza, skiing and hanging-out with family and friends. Steve’s favorite fish is Manaberg Packed at Sea cod, prepared any way, just make sure he gets a large piece!

Heidi Butler – Logistics Manager

Email: heidi@arcticfisheries.com

Heidi was born and raised in the Buffalo, NY-area. Heidi assists with all of our customer-service initiatives. She is also our major-events planner and assists with planning all meetings, conventions and shows. Heidi is a graduate of Canisius College and holds a degree in Marketing and Management. She is an active member of Alpha Omicron Pi Alumnae Chapter. When not at Arctic Fisheries, she enjoys shopping at IKEA with her husband Frank, traveling, reading, going to the beach, city-walks and enjoying movies. Heidi’s favorite fish is Manaberg Packed at Sea Cod prepared spicy; either with cajun seasoning or hot sauce.

David Beam – Production and Purchasing Manager

Email: david@arcticfisheries.com

Dave was born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY. He graduated from Niagara County Community College with a degree in Communications and Media Arts in 1999. Dave enjoys playing tennis, racquetball, golf and snowboarding. He also enjoys hiking all the various trails in the gorge along the lower Niagara river, where he might often run into Steve fishing. Each year, he celebrates his family reunion at the Outer Banks. Dave and his wife, Jenny, look forward to going camping with their sons, Isaiah and Levi. Growing up, he enjoyed fresh, wild caught trout his grandfather would bring home for the family. Since then, he enjoys a wide variety of seafood dishes, especially spicey ones, noting that spicy (using Frank’s Hot Sauce, of course) Yagry cod is his favorite.

Dan Smykowski – Sales Manager

Email: dan@arcticfisheries.com

Dan was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He graduated from Buffalo State College with a degree in business economics. Dan enjoys playing soccer, traveling, snowboarding, collecting vinyl records, music and brewing his own beer. He also is a supporter of Buffalo sports, attending games whenever he can. His favorite dish is a toss-up between grilled cod and fish tacos, though he insists on frozen-at-sea cod, whether it be Manaberg or Yagry.

Francine Favata – Sales Manager

Email: francine@arcticfisheries.com

Francine was born and raised in the Buffalo, NY area. She brings over 15 years of sales and service experience to Arctic Fisheries Ltd. Her expertise is in commodities, including seafood. You will find Francine to be very dedicated to the seafood industry and her customers. Francine lives in the Buffalo area with her husband Joe and adorable daughter Hannah. An avid gardener who enjoys traveling as well, Francine enjoys soaking up the sun and shopping on those rare inclement Buffalo days. Francine prefers grilled vegetables with baked cod. So long as the cod is either from Manaberg or Yagry, she’s happy!

Lisa Ziems – Logistics Manager

Email: lisa@arcticfisheries.com

Lisa was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She has been able to apply her extensive logistics background to seafood and has learned a lot about fish and seafood production. When she is not working or changing-up her fantasy football lineup, Lisa likes to spend time with her friends and family, preferrably outdoors. Lisa enjoys; horseshoes, ice skating, Lifetime movies, a day at Lime Lake and attending any Buffalo sporting event…Go Bills! Hands-down, haddock is Lisa’s favorite fish, especially beer battered with a side of German potato salad.

Mike D’Angelo – Sales Manager

Email: miked@arcticfisheries.com

Mike was born and raised in Buffalo, NY.  A graduate of SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Mike is the newest addition to Arctic Fisheries.  He brings an enthusiastic sales attitude, a lot of energy and technical knowledge of fish and the environment to the company. When not working, Mike enjoys; the outdoors, spending time with his wife and son, kayaking, handyman projects around the house, constantly upgrading his Jeep and off-road camping. Mike enjoys a traditional Buffalo, New York haddock fish fry made with Manaberg Packed at Sea haddock from Iceland, beer-battered and accompanied by a cold hard cider.

Phil Proto – Sales Manager

Email: phil@arcticfisheries.com

Phil was born in Cape cod, Massachussetts, so he naturally gravitates towards good seafood.  He graduated from Niagara University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Phil brings extensive sales and marketing experience to Arctic Fisheries Ltd.  He lives nearby in Kenmore and he enjoys time with his family.  Phil is a fan of our local sports teams as well as weekends on Seneca Lake, cooking and traveling to Toronto, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Using his culinary skills and passion for cooking, Phil is known to cook Frozen at Sea Atlantic cod various ways as well as many shellfish dishes including opilio crab as well as lobster.

Katie Ellis – Sales Manager

Email: Katie.ellis@arcticfisheries.com

Katie was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan (Go Blue).  Katie attended Eastern Michigan University where she studied Business Marketing. She still holds Michigan near-and-dear, being a die-hard Wolverine fan.  She also loves the Detroit Lions, Red Wings and the Tigers.  We’re trying to convert her, but it seems a lost cause.  When she is not home hanging out with her Husky, Elliott, more than likely you will find her outside either hiking or fishing, with Elliott by her side. She has adapted well to Buffalo, as her favorite fish dish is our traditional beer-battered haddock fish fry, usually paired with a local craft beer.

Joe Andolino – Sales Manager

Email: joe@arcticfisheries.com

Joe was born in Angola, New York and spent much of his childhood there, often fishing 18 mile and sisters creek. Joe is a fan of football, basketball and MMA, and our local Buffalo sports teams.  When not working, he enjoys spending time with his fiancé Mackenzie (not pictured).  They are often in the ski town of Ellicotville.  They have one dog, named Kobe (also not pictured). Joe’s favorite seafood dish is grilled Atlantic cod, especially Manaberg.

Eric Cassidy – Sales Manager

Email: eric@arcticfisheries.com

Eric was born here in Williamsville where he also grew up. Eric’s professional career has included sales and editing for the New York Times as well as food service distribution. Despite the Buffalo Bills’ poor showing of late, Eric continues to be a loyal season ticket holder where he continues to refine his tailgating technique.  Though pictured with a Green Bay Packers jersey, he is loyal to the Bills and Buffalo Sabres.  When not living through the agony of Buffalo sports, you’ll find Eric enjoying Buffalo’s restaurant and beer scene.  Buffalo is home to many breweries and Eric enjoys trying them all, though he always goes back to his favorite style, IPA.  When time allows, Eric will retreat to Las Vegas where he continues to advance his poker skills. Pictured along with Eric are his oldest nephew Tyler and youngest niece McKenzie. Along with a Buffalo-brewed IPA, Eric enjoys a Buffalo classic Manaberg fried haddock dinner.