40 Under 40: Cody Mills, Fathom Seafoods

Mills is using innovative technology to push the seafood industry "into the 21st century" by making the process of catching and shipping fish more efficient.

40 Under 40: Cody Mills, Fathom Seafoods

Cody Mills is motivated by his "extremely poverty" background. He is motivated to succeed by his background.

Mills' childhood was not easy. Mills made bad decisions as a child without much guidance from his parents. He ended up in serious trouble.

Mills stated, "I'm talking about more than a few minor problems." I was in a lot of trouble. As I grew older, I began to see that the consequences of my actions were increasing. I found myself in juvenile detention. I knew I was smart and I didn't want be there.

What experiences did you have as a teenager and child that shaped your present path?

I had a difficult childhood. In my last two years of high-school, I had some mentorship. However, I was in a lot of trouble. Most of the time, I did not have good guidance. My mother was a single mom with a mental disorder and my father was absent. I taught myself to be successful.

What role has your childhood played in your success as CEO of Fathom Seafood today?

We have a 'it factor' in our company, which means that everyone who works for us is willing to do what it takes to complete the task. You don't have to be a college graduate to work at this company. All kinds of people are hired, including those who have completed work-release programs. All they need is to be motivated. We have a team of people who will keep their foot on that gas pedal. Some people have had a difficult time, but they often just need structure and a chance. Our chief operating officer was a forklift operator for 13 years. My plant manager used to be a diver.

What was the reason you bought into Fathom Seafoods 7 years ago?

I had some shares as a result of being the president. The ownership was aging, but I was young and ambitious. They were told that either I wanted to purchase the company, or I would leave. The seafood industry is very archaic. Meanwhile, the rest of world has modernized and moved into the 21st century. Our company is now catching up. We do a lot with live seafood. We can ship the seafood all over the globe while keeping it alive. The food quality and safety are excellent, but the process is very challenging. My experience in tank technology is the reason I joined this company.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I don't like to read fiction. I've read "The Outsiders" from front to back, but that is it. But I have committed to reading for two hours every day. I read about science and current affairs.

You are not an expert. Learn from those who are more intelligent than you. Do not break the law but follow your own rules. Do whatever you have to do.