Sarah Hyatt - Chief Operating Officer

“The seafood industry keeps you on your toes. Our customers come from all over the world and I have the great opportunity to learn from them on a daily basis.”

 

As Chief Operating Officer, Sarah manages day-to-day operations for the company – inventory management, sustainability, import/export requirements – you name it. “I get to handle anything to do with the sales and logistics of shipping our products around the world,” she says.

 

Sarah joined the Dana F. Besecker Company in 2007. When she first started, it was trial by fire, picking up the phone and learning the language of the fishing industry. She gladly jumped right in. Today, her problem-solving skills come in handy. “The import/export process is challenging, because each country has specific requirements,” she explains. Sarah works with customers to make sure they have all necessary documentation on time and in order. The work is a team effort, which is a natural fit for Sarah.

 

Growing up in Sedro Woolley, Washington, Sarah developed a passion for team sports –volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball – a sport in which she excelled. The University of Washington took notice and recruited Sarah to play for the Huskies in Seattle. “Playing ball at an elite level was an amazing experience. The University of Washington is one of the top softball and academic institutions in the country. Having a good attitude, high work ethic, and mental toughness, was the only way to be successful on and off the field. You have to meet your challenges head on, bounce back from failures, and be as efficient as possible. The only difference is now, I don’t wear cleats, and my daily challenges revolve around fish.”

 

After earning an economics degree, Sarah worked at a major accounting firm while studying to become a CPA. She also coaches softball at Bellevue College, which requires evening and weekend time. “I realized I couldn’t be a CPA and also coach. And there was something about being in a large corporate tax office that just didn’t fit,” Sarah explains.

 

It was through a UW softball teammate that Sarah first learned about the Dana F. Besecker Company. “I heard that Dana needed help in the accounting department, and it seemed like a good niche for me.” The company is small and family-owned, and everyone works extremely hard while maintaining a positive attitude. “The amount of work we get done with so few people is impressive.”

 

“When I was at UW, I had teammates and coaches who pushed me to do my best every day,” says Sarah. She’s found that same camaraderie and support at work. “It’s a team environment. We work together and we’re always willing to help each other out. We are more than co-workers, we’re like family.”

 

Sarah believes the integrity of the Beseckers created a reputation that fishermen respect. “They are true to their word, prices are fair, and service is reliable – we are accessible and respond quickly.” The company stands behind the quality of its finished product. “Because we buy directly from the source, we know the origin and quality of each load of fish.”

 

Sarah’s enjoyed getting to know the fishermen, and hearing stories about fishing trips and their own families. “It’s fascinating to me,” she says. “I feel like I’m a part of something I can really stand behind. Every day brings a new challenge and that’s what I love about it.”