Sam­son, LeBlanc rec­og­nized

Two Cape Bre­ton­ers get nod for At­lantic Ma­rine In­dus­tries Hall of Fame

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS - BY CAPE BRETON POST STAFF news@cb­post.com

It’s a long way from Cape Breton to Viet­nam, but trav­el­ling to for­eign des­ti­na­tions is all part of the seafood busi­ness for Edgar Sam­son.

In fact, the Petit-de-Grat busi­ness­man is on the road so of­ten, his own of­fice staff some­times can’t re­mem­ber where he is on any given day.

This week, Sam­son is in the United States, but last month it was Viet­nam. Be­fore that it was Dubai, but it could just as eas­ily have been the United King­dom or Ice­land.

“The seafood busi­ness changes all the time, ev­ery year, so it’s im­por­tant to stay in touch with those changes,” he said.

Get­ting a foothold in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets is one of the rea­sons why Sam­son, the pres­i­dent and CEO of Arichat-based Pre­mium Seafoods Group, will be in­ducted into the At­lantic Canada Ma­rine In­dus­tries Hall of Fame during this week­end’s East­ern Cana­dian Fish­eries Ex­po­si­tion tak­ing place in Yarmouth.

“It’s cer­tainly an hon­our, the recog­ni­tion is nice, but it’s not just for me — it’s an hon­our for the com­pany and all the em­ploy­ees that worked so hard for so many years,” he said.

Sam­son, who be­gan his work­ing ca­reer as an elec­tri­cian, part­nered with John F. Sam­son and Brian Sam­son in 1984 to start a lob­ster bro­ker­age busi­ness that has since grown to be­come the Pre­mium Seafoods Group.

He over­sees six com­pa­nies that to­day em­ploy some 200 peo­ple and process and/or buy more than 15-mil­lion pounds of seafood an­nu­ally.

Join­ing Sam­son in the hall are Cheti­camp fish­er­man and in­dus­try ad­vo­cate Leonard LeBlanc and ship­builder Gilles The­ri­ault, of Meteghan River in Digby County.

One of 19 sib­lings, LeBlanc took up the fam­ily trade, but af­ter buy­ing his own fish­ing li­cence he re­al­ized that fish­er­men were not ad­e­quately rep­re­sented in deal­ings with the gov­ern­ment. While he kept on fish­ing, he also went on to rep­re­sent fish­er­men as a top of­fi­cial with a num­ber of or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the Gulf Nova Sco­tia Fish­er­men’s Coali­tion, the Fish­eries Safety As­so­ci­a­tion of Nova Sco­tia and the Snow Crab Sol­i­dar­ity Fund As­so­ci­a­tion.

The­ri­ault has spent his ca­reer in the fam­ily busi­ness, es­tab­lished by his grand­fa­ther in 1938, and has over the years worked as a ma­chin­ist, man­aged the com­pany’s pro­pel­ler shop and even­tu­ally be­came a cer­ti­fied boat builder.

Sam­son

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