Michael Kotok

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 is a past board member of the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and a current board member of the Better Seafood Board.

Michael graduated from University of Buffalo’s Business School where he played lacrosse.  Michael began in the business as a youngster working weekends in the freezers and coolers of Kotok & Heims in the late 70’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 barbecue is Michael’s preferred fish dish. Fish tacos are also a favorite.  Look for his seafood tips on our twitter account.

Brett Barber
Chief Operations Officer

Brett, native to Western New York, currently resides in Hamburg. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was a member of the men’s ice hockey team.  Committed to self-improvement, Brett enrolled in graduate studies pursuing an accounting based MBA.  With the encouragement and support of family and friends, Brett is expected to complete his degree from Canisius College by the end of 2017.

Prior to joining Arctic Fisheries Ltd., Brett was as an award-winning manager in the Buffalo office of a Fortune 500 Company. He is a highly motivated, well-organized, and results-driven professional bringing over ten (10) years of valuable and diverse management experience to Arctic Fisheries Ltd.  Having worked in fast paced, constantly evolving environments, Brett has become a passionate believer that strong team communication is the foundation for a successful business culture.

Growing up, Brett’s life centered on family, friends and sports…come to think of it, not much has changed.  Summers belong to golf, lacrosse, relaxing by the pool, fishing out on the lake, and an annual trek to Stone Harbor, New Jersey for a large extended family vacation. Winters include ice hockey, skiing and camping in the Adirondacks. It is easy to see why Buffalo, a hockey and football crazy city, resting on the shores of Lake Erie and offering such close proximity to so many natural and man-made attractions has been such a natural fit for Brett.

Brett’s favorite seafood dish is grilled Atlantic Cod, don’t be shy with the Old Bay Seasoning.

Mark Kotok

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.

Steve Blaszak
Operations Manager

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

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.

Dan Smykowski
Sales Manager

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.


Mike D’Angelo
Sales Manager

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.


Katie Okonzak
Sales Manager

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.

Adam Kotok
General Counsel and Director of Sustainability

Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Adam is practicing attorney with several years of focused practice in the areas of international commerce, trademarks and source-identifier regulation, and food and beverage imports.  Adam has a business degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. 

He lives with his wife and daughters in the New York City area.  His three daughters are Buffalo sports fans, and Adam wonders if this was a parenting accomplishment or mistake. 

His favorite fish dishes include cod or haddock from a trustworthy source, either in tacos with a quality beer, or simmered in a spicy cioppino-style tomato stew with chickpeas.


Haley Bolton

Haley was born and raised just outside of Buffalo, NY in the city of Lackawanna and has lived in the suburb of Hamburg since 2011. In 2006, she completed her B.S. in Accounting from Hilbert College in Hamburg, NY and ten years later went on to pursue and complete her MBA from Medaille College in Buffalo, NY.

Haley has held multiple progressively responsible positions and worked her way up from junior and staff accountant to positions of Senior Accountant and Assistant Controller in both large and small companies.

When she is not focused on work, she is a wife and a mom of a busy 12 year old boy named Chance. In the winter she is rushing off to hockey tournaments and in the summer it’s all about cheering him on in travel baseball.

During the occasional down time, her and her family enjoy boating, jet-skiing and golfing on the St. Lawrence river in the Thousand Islands and relaxing with friends.

Haley’s favorite seafood is snow crab loaded with butter.

Jody Towner
Logistics Manager

Jody was born in Anchorage Alaska and raised down south.  She also served in the military for four years.

Jody moved to Buffalo in 2007.   She brings over 15 years customer service experience with her.

When not working, she enjoys spending time outside hiking with her family, making things by hand and volunteering with dog rescue.  She has three cats and two turtles that she has rescued.  She also enjoys going out to local events in the community and supporting the local music scene.

Her favorite fish is haddock, especially prepared spicy.

David Pimental
Production Manager

Dave is a California native, born and bred in the Bay Area.  It was a wonderful hub to learn about all things shellfish while also exploring and enjoying some of the best sushi and sashimi in the state.  Also, being Portuguese meant many a Sunday family meals including Bacalao at Grandma and Grandpa’s place.  It was also in the Bay Area where he met the love of his life and somehow struck the perfect balance of chivalry and goofiness, tricking her into marrying him.

Flashing forward a few years, just as Dave thought he was getting the husbanding thing down, along came the miracle of he and his wife’s son.  It didn’t take long to realize that the grind of Bay Area life and traffic was detracting from that valuable family time they all desired.  Call it a risk, call it crazy, or maybe even call it a mid-life crisis, but Dave decided to sell their home and moved his family to the Buffalo area to reset that balance and quality of life.

Dave brings with him over 15 years of procurement and asset management experience in both the private and public sectors.  And when he’s not looking out for the next great deal, Dave can be found watching sports, playing golf or breaking out in a spontaneous dance party in the living room with the family.

Dave is a lover of most things seafood, particularly enjoying the growing line of Bob & Doug’s lobster products from Canada and Maine.

Anthony Imiola
Sales Manager

Anthony was born, raised and graduated college in Buffalo, NY.

Anthony is a student of business materials, stock market analysis as well as nutrition.  He is quick to point out how healthy and beneficial seafood is.  He is quick to help others and is always open to learning.  If not studying something, you will find him in the gym, healthy-cooking, or catching up on soccer.

With his focus on nutrition, he enjoys a lot of seafood.  In particular, he enjoys our lobster or crab items, which he prepares many ways.


David Stekla

David was born abroad in Geneva, Switzerland.  However, his family returned to the US where he was raised in Houston, Texas.

From the south, he went to the wilds of Pennsylvania to study at Allegheny College and to experience real seasons.  Next, his career brought him to the real best city in New York State, Buffalo.  Currently he is attending University at Buffalo where he is pursuing an MBA.

David’s hobbies include; summer soccer league, watching football religiously, and participating in various fighting sports.

David prefers pan-seared haddock from Iceland, and also enjoys lobster and soft shell crab.


Kole Klostermann
Sales Manager

Kole was born and raised in Buffalo, NY

Prior to Arctic Fisheries, Kole worked as a sales representative for PepsiCo for five years until he moved to Eugene Oregon to explore the West coast.  After moving back home to Buffalo from his westward travels, Kole found a place in the Buffalo restaurant and hospitality industry until finding his new home with Arctic Fisheries.

When not at Arctic Fisheries Kole enjoys spending time with his family, making various wines, and playing disc golf all around Western New York.

Kole favorite seafood is home-made lobster bisque with a Yagry haddock Buffalo fish fry.  Friday or any day!