Who We Are
David T. Willett
President and Founder
David has lived in Santa Barbara since 1986. He graduated from UCSB in1989, with a major in electrical
engineering. Upon graduation, he took his first job with Pacific Scientific - Electro Kinetics Division, where he worked as an electrical engineer, designing aircraft power systems for the next nine years. He later went on to earn a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and an Executive MBA from Pepperdine University. In 2005, his career shifted into the renewable energy space when he became VP of Strategic planning for Clipper Windpower in Carpinteria, CA, and later VP of Manufacturing for Clipper. It was there that he had the opportunity to lead the development of a global wind turbine manufacturing operation, and built a team of over 300 people in the US, Asia, and South & Central America. Together with his team, they manufactured and deployed over 750 utility-scale wind turbines throughout the United States and Mexico. After wind power, his career shifted to ocean energy systems engineering, and for three years he worked as the Director of Engineering at Aquantis, Inc., leading the ocean engineering of a tidal energy conversion system. His team was responsible for performing naval architecture, mooring system design, subsea power cable design, hydrodynamic design, electrical power system engineering, and mechanical engineering. In recent years, he consulted for a Seattle-based wave energy converter development company, Oscilla Power, Inc., developing a moored, point-absorber wave energy converter for deployment at the U.S. Navy’s Oahu, HI wave energy test site. Many of the engineering skills and know-how needed for the design of tidal and wave energy converters, especially mooring system design, are directly applicable to the design of submerged offshore longlines for shellfish aquaculture.
Over the last 25+ years, he has owned three different ocean boats, and currently enjoys a sportfisher that he keeps in Santa Barbara Harbor and uses for spearfishing, surfing, and hiking out at the Channel Islands. He has also been a sailor his entire life and has bareboat captained sailboats in the Caribbean from St. Martin all the way down to Grenada, in many of the small islands off the coast of Belize, and in the Balearics, including Mallorca and Menorca Islands
Growing shellfish is the perfect way to blend his love of the ocean, passion for renewables and sustainability, and ocean engineering and business operation experience to create a substantial local business that provides jobs, adds to our local economy, and delivers a meaningful increase in a sustainable source of animal protein in an environmentally friendly way.
A board member of Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara, Steve has been a commercial fisherman since 1991, working out of the port of Santa Barbara since 2001. While Steve’s catch-of-the-day is primarily Rock Crab, he also provides Urchin, Spider Crab, Sea Snails (Whelk) and Lobster direct to the public every Saturday at the Newport Beach ‘Dory Fleet‘ Fisherman’s Market. Steve fishes off his 44’ Stanley Lobster boat, the Ocean Pearl, which you may see docked in Santa Barbara just down from Brophy’s Restaurant on the breakwater.