CFS Founder Steve Cramer
Cramer Fish Sciences Founder Completes Plan to Transition Company to Employees
Phil Roni joins as newest executive and principal scientist
Gresham, Oregon, August 31, 2015
Cramer Fish Sciences (CFS) has transitioned to a new executive leadership and ownership structure
to ensure a sustainable and successful future for both employees and clients. Three key changes
will reinforce the culture of scientific excellence and collaboration initiated under the direction
of founding scientist and board member Steve Cramer: achieving the rollout of 100% employee ownership,
the selection of a new executive team, and adding external directors. Company ownership will transfer
to CFS employees after the September 2015 completion of the Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP)
purchase from Cramer. After the sale, Cramer will remain active at CFS as a board member and Senior
"It is exciting to see the leadership team and ESOP come into place," said Cramer. "We have planned
and worked for many years to position the company for the future, and now as a 100% employee-owned
entity, with great people, and outstanding science and business leaders, I am more confident than
ever about our future."
Cramer continued, "A key to building a sustainable future was to find a strong business leader to
complement our outstanding principal scientists. I'm thrilled that Ken Schrader agreed to assume
the chief executive role and lead the transition of our company to being employee-owned."
The CFS Board of Directors recently named Schrader, who joined the company in late 2013 as
COO, as the new CEO. Schrader brings over 30 years of business leadership experience in Corporate
50 firms including Hewlett Packard, as well as emerging businesses.
"It's an honor to work with our principal scientists and all CFS employee-owners to build on Steve's
impressive legacy of delivering quality science results that solve complex fisheries and natural
resource problems," said Schrader. "Our intent going forward will be to continue leading through
our scientific expertise while providing a great place for our people to flourish."
Another key addition to the CFS executive team is Dr. Phil Roni who joins the company as a Vice
President and Principal Scientist. Dr. Roni, formerly a Watershed Program Manager / Research
Scientist with NOAA Fisheries will be based in Seattle, Washington where he will manage the CFS
Washington and Oregon science teams. Schrader stated, "Phil is an excellent scientist and recognized
industry leader. We are excited that we have added a like-minded individual of Phil's caliber to
lead our Northwest team." Asked about his thoughts regarding this new professional chapter, Roni
replied: "I was excited about the opportunity to join CFS for three reasons: we consistently publish
high quality science in the peer-reviewed literature, we have outstanding scientists focusing on
applied science and research, and our business model provides the best for both our clients and employees."
Dr. Phil Roni
Dr. Joe Merz
Brad Cavallo remains CFS President and a Principal Scientist, retaining the active roles he has
played for the last five years. He continues to be hands-on, shaping the firm's direction and
working with clients on key projects related to salmon and smelt issues in California's Delta
and Central Valley. Cavallo commented, "This is an exciting time for us. I've never been more
proud of our team or more optimistic for how we can positively impact effective resource management
with the insightful science we provide."
Dr. Joe Merz, Principal Scientist, has been promoted to company Vice President. A recipient of the
Cal-Neva chapter of the American Fisheries Society 2014 Award of Excellence, Merz leads a team of
fishery and restoration scientists based throughout Northern California. "An organization can see
its employees as capital to be leveraged or individuals to be developed and fulfilled," says Merz,
"The transition to a 100% employee-owned company puts our people first in the service of clients
and sets the standard for our new management team. Our job is to unleash their talents to let them
focus on the primary goal of Cramer Fish Sciences — great science."
Schrader, Cavallo, Merz, Roni and Dr. Paul Anders, Principal Scientist based in Moscow, Idaho, comprise
the company's management council. A new board of directors' structure adds two external directors
to this governance level. Ellen Cross, environmental business consultant and President of Strategy
Driver, Inc., joins board directors Schrader, Cavallo, and Cramer as inaugural external director.
Cross brings a deep knowledge of industry segment marketing and business development as well as
experience with ESOPs and ownership transitions.
About Cramer Fish Sciences
Cramer Fish Sciences (CFS) is an employee-owned fisheries research consulting firm that
serves the Pacific Northwest and California. Our mission is to rigorously apply the scientific
method to afford our clients innovative, scientifically robust solutions to address a variety
of fisheries and environmental challenges. The CFS team achieves this through effective and
unbiased data collection, insightful analysis and interpretation, application of innovative
genetics technology through our Genidaqs lab, and clear communications. CFS is approaching
its 30 year anniversary.
Contact: Mike England, Cramer Fish Sciences, 503.491.9577, firstname.lastname@example.org