We love the coast of Maine, are committed to supporting local coastal communities and are serious foodies.
Mitchell Lench, CEO
Mitch has been an entrepreneur from the time he was 9 years old, selling coffee and doughnuts to a captive audience of drivers stuck in gas lines during the oil crisis of the 1970s. He went on to manage large and very profitable businesses within global institutions including Bank of America and Credit Suisse. Besides enjoying building businesses, he is also a passionate and active supporter of conservation as well as providing opportunities to help people rise out of poverty, here at home and in developing countries. Mitch founded one of the early impact investment management companies that invested in and provided opportunities to micro-entrepreneurs across the developing world while delivering solid financial returns to investors. He also has built operating companies in the agricultural/aquaculture field that have a triple bottom line objective. Mitch co-founded Ocean’s Balance because he recognized that seaweed was going to be a long-term healthy food trend for people and the planet, and that locally grown kelp in the clean, cold waters of Maine compares favorably to crowded Asian waters, the source of 95% of the seaweed consumed in the US. Mitch manages most of the strategic and business aspects of Ocean's Balance. He has learned throughout his career that success comes from being aggressive, continually overcoming challenges, being responsive to customers, creating efficiencies, and sweating the details.
Mitch is on the Board of the Nature Conservancy of Maine. He earned a Master from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Lisa Scali, Co-Owner/Director of Sales & Marketing
Lisa is a foodie at heart, growing up in an Italian family where food was the glue that bound everyone together, and living for years in France where she savored the cuisine with devout reverence. Having spent 20 plus years developing strong relationship and marketing skills in senior sales positions for large companies in complex industries, Ocean’s Balance has provided Lisa with a platform to unleash her tenaciousness and sales skills in a business that she feels incredibly passionate about that combines her love of food and protecting the environment. Besides building strong relationships with retailers, chefs, and distributors, Lisa loves creating new seaweed recipes and experimenting with new products. In addition to her sales and culinary abilities, Lisa developed some strong organizational skills working for multinationals, ones that help keep Ocean’s Balance operating efficiently. She also can be seen out on the water in the middle of winter helping on the farms, which is a far cry from dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, but more rewarding in other ways.
Lisa earned a Master in International Political Economy from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a B.S. in Economics and French from Lehigh University. She is a board member of the Alliance Française du Maine.
Dave Labbe, Head of Operations
A generalist at heart, Dave has always been drawn to develop new skills through experiential learning. This has served him well and has helped him broaden his skill set. During college, Dave owned and operated a stage rental company providing installations in Maine and New England. After obtaining his degree, he took a job as Operations Manager for a seafood production company. During that time he honed his skills as a manager and gained valuable knowledge about seafood production and the seafood industry. In his spare time, Dave is currently continuing his education towards a masters degree in Project Management. His love for local food, nature, and conservation, coupled with his desire to work in a socially conscious and sustainable industry, has led him to Ocean's Balance where he plans to build a fulfilling career. In his free time, Dave can be found exploring the forests and beaches of Maine for edible plants, mushrooms, and algae.
Dave earned a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Maine at Farmington.
Kelly Bruett, Operations Assistant
After several years in South and Central America where she worked for non-profits focused on educational, environmental and social reforms, Kelly now calls Maine home. She was drawn from her native New Jersey coast in search of colder waves, denser forests and more mountains. Ocean’s Balance was a natural fit for her given that she comes from a family of fishermen and has a deep love of food, cultivated from her many years spent working in the restaurant scene. She harnesses her passion for the environment and sustainability every day in her work and looks forward to helping Ocean’s Balance continue its upward growth trajectory. When she's not at the shop, Kelly has been spotted surfing the nearby breaks, hunting for snowy mountains to ski, shooting photos in Portland, or trying to reel in dinner.
Kelly earned a B.S. in Mathematics and Environmental Science from Boston College.
Sam Wiese, Production & Food Safety Coordinator
Growing up in his mother's restaurant on the Maine coast, Sam has always been surrounded by people and places that inspire connection, with each other, with the water, with the food we eat. An avid outdoorsman, he spends most of his time exploring Maine's forests and tidepools. It was a natural fit for him to land at Ocean's Balance, where he can foster connection between local communities, sustainable industry, and the thriving culinary scene in Maine.
Adam Race, E-commerce Coordinator
Drawn to the ocean through his love of marine life and fishing, Adam moved from Syracuse, NY to Portland, ME to turn his passions into a career. Throughout his undergrad years, Adam was drawn to the sustainability of marine resource use, and focused his studies on marine biology and ocean law. Experience as a commercial fisheries observer in Gloucester, MA instilled his passion for making a living by working the water. Adam looks forward to growing his blue thumb with Ocean’s Balance by farming the ocean for sea vegetables and creating ways to promote the sustainable - and delicious- food. When he’s not working, Adam can be found hiking with his hound dog, exploring breweries or fishing the Maine coast.
Adam earned a B.S. in Marine Affairs with a minor in Marine Biology from the University of New England.
Kacey White, Inventory Manager
An artist at heart, Kacey has always enjoyed creative and innovative ideas. Her love for the ocean stems from childhood. Growing up, she would spend summers at her grandparents in Westerly, RI, where she spent her days on the boat, exploring the beaches and fishing with her grandfather. With a degree in Massage Therapy, Kacey has been able to tap into not only the external benefits of seaweed, but the internal benefits as well. In her spare time, Kacey enjoys painting, music & travel.
Drew Ennis, Operations Assistant
Arriving in Maine by way of the tri-state area, Drew lives in Biddeford after first living in Portland. Coastal Southern Maine provides an outlet for Drew's pursuit of hiking, birding, botany, and other interests in nature. The local cities offer art, music, culture, and skate-able environments for his practice of street skateboarding. A lifelong creative, Drew paints, draws, etches and designs.