John Lees

President & CEO

John Lees has over 30 years of experience in the seafood industry, founding Mar-Lees Seafood in 1986. Mar-Lees grew to become the premier scallop distributor in the US, specializing in building fresh, frozen, and value-added seafood brands, and establishing itself as a creative and marketing innovator within its space. A vertically integrated international seafood company, Mar-Lees built state-of-the-art facilities where it processed, packaged, and distributed product through its sales and marketing channels. 

John also owns several commercial fishing vessels, which uniquely positioned the company with direct-from-the-source access to products. John forged lasting relationships with premier wholesale clubs and distributors, retail supermarkets, national accounts, and broad-line distributors.

In 2010, John sold Mar-Lees and founded New England Marine, a boutique seafood company with four of its own vessels and specializing in delivering a scallop catch tailored precisely to customer needs. Over the past 9 years NEM has built strategic partnerships with dozens of commercial vessel owners, seafood processors, and distributors. NEM is revolutionizing the scallop industry by delivering a unique and customized catch with reduced costs.

John founded JAL Consulting in 2011, which provides business development and strategic guidance to companies in the food sector. Most recently, John founded Forward Food Group, a holding company in its beginning stages, which will seek to create, build, and acquire unique brands within the food sector and beyond.

John and his wife, Pamela, spend their time between Naples, Florida, Boston, Massachusetts, and Marion, Massachusetts. They have two daughters who live and work in Boston.

Meet The Fleet

New England Marine’s five scallopers are berthed in New Bedford, MA, the world’s leading commercial fishing port , and are the best-maintained in the industry. That means our scallops get to your plate while they are at their very freshest and most delicious.