Lobster co-op announces new leadership structure

TRENTON — Lobster 207 LLC, the wholesale and retail lobster merchant owned by the Maine Lobstering Union, has announced completion of its new management structure.

Last spring, the union-owned cooperative hired Mike Yohe as its chief executive officer. He had served as Lobster 207’s director of business development.

Last week, Lobster 207 announced that Carmen M. Look had been named the business’s chief financial officer. She has more than two decades of accounting, finance and tax experience in both the private and public sector with many years of work in the lobster industry. At the same time, Brian Hemingway was named Lobster 207’s director of business development. He has more than a decade of sales experience in the food distribution industry specializing in grocery, a market that Lobster 207 has positioned itself to enter in 2020.

The management shakeup came after the union’s decision to fire Lobster 207’s former executive director, Warren Pettegrow of Trenton, last April. According to a letter from the union to its members, Pettegrow’s employment as chief executive officer was “terminated” after “an internal investigation prompted by red flags reported by the company’s auditing team.”

Two weeks after the firing, Pettegrow denied that he had acted improperly in any way, said that he had been “wrongfully terminated from my job” and added “I look forward to restoring my good name.”

In December, Lobster 207 filed a lawsuit against Pettegrow in the U.S. District Court in Bangor seeking damages of more than $1.9 million alleging fraud, violation and conspiracy to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, conversion (theft), breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy. The federal complaint also named Pettegrow’s parents, Anthony D. Pettegrow and Josette G. Pettegrow, both of Trenton, two of their businesses, Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound and Poseidon Charters Inc., and Stephen M. Peabody, the manager of the Beals-Jonesport Co-op, as defendants in the suit. In some circumstances, RICO allows judgments for treble damages.

Federal Magistrate Judge John C. Nivison has given the defendants until Tuesday, Feb. 18, to file answers to the Lobster 207 complaint and to its motion asking the court for an attachment of the defendants’ assets in the amount of $1,940,170.33.

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]

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