John Finger: Surfer, fisherman, marine biologist.
Growing up on Long Island, NY - a culture steeped in shellfish culture - John honestly never touched an oyster. After graduating, magna cum laude, with a B.S. in Marine Biology from Southampton College, Long Island, John packed his surf board and headed West in pursuit of Pacific Ocean waves.
Arriving in California, he landed a job with International Shellfish Enterprises (ISE) in Moss Landing, CA. He spent his days in the ocean tending oysters from 9-5 and surfing from sunrise to sunset. 'Not bad' he thought and quickly moved up from Field Supervisor to Director of Research & Development to Manager of Nursery Operations.
Wanderlust called and he left for Europe, traveling his way around the continent as a mariculture consultant, first in Ireland then in Spain.
John returned to the U.S. in 1983 to launch the Hog Island Oyster Company on Tomales Bay, CA with friend and co-partner Michael Watchorn.
Terry Sawyer: Ocean explorer, ocean farmer.
Terry was born and raised on the Indian River Estuary on Florida's Atlantic Coast. He grew up fishing, swimming, sailing and exploring the sea - quite possibly the next Jacques Cousteau. But farming was his family's heritage so instead he found a way to merge his two worlds by raising sustainably-farmed shellfish in Tomales Bay, CA.
Terry worked through high school at the Gulf Stream Harbor Branch Research Facility in Ft. Pierce, FL, a prestigious institute which helped to shape his passion for marine ecosystems. He continued his studies with a degree in Marine Biology and Ecosystems at U.C. Santa Cruz, CA. He participated as a research assistant on marine lake systems of Palau, Micronesia with Dr. Bruce Robinson of UC Santa Barbara - where the dive opportunities and travel perks were unmatched.
In college, Terry began a career with the Monterey Bay Aquarium specializing in Marine Animal Husbandry. In his field, he conducted research dives, collected ocean specimens and designed and built marine ecosystem display tanks.
Terry left the Aquarium in 1988 to become a partner with the Hog Island Oyster Co. His experience made for a great fit as he pioneered Hog Island's first wet storage tanks to hold live oysters. This state-of-the-art system creates a natural, bay-like aquarium where harvested oysters purify and chill while waiting to head to market.