More than Economics: Two Mindsets
Despite the obstacles presented by the United States government and fellow American companies, the MRC perservered. The mindsets of Wally Pereyra and Mark Dudley are two examples of how the MRC was well equipped to build bridges with the Soviets.
Pereyra spent the beginning of his career studying fishery practices in the United States. After years of research, he became interested in learning how fisheries run on a day to day basis. When Talbot was looking for somebody to run the operations side of the MRC, Perryra was contacted. Upon hearing the goal of the MRC, Pereya was intrigued by “the bizarre prospect of a joint business enterprise with the Soviet Union”. Pereyra had experience working with Russian scientists in the past, making him a valuable asset to the MRC. Perryra was integral to the success of MRC as he contacted fishermen in the United States, encouraging them to join the efforts of the MRC. Initially, these fishermen were resistant to working with the Soviet Union, but eventually saw the benefits to a United States and Soviet Union partnership.
Mark Dudley, who remains active in relaying the history of the Marine Resource Company today, stated his interest in Russian culture and history began in high school. He explains that a Russian language teacher brought him and his classmates to hockey games, taught them Russian recipes, and sprinkled in bits of Russian language thoroughout his education. This experience prompted Dudley to study Russian language and culture in college and ultimately led him to his job with the MRC. Given his educational background, his reasons for joining the MRC went beyond economics. Dudley was interested in understanding more about people from the Soviet Union and felt that they were not different from the average American.
Why their Actions Matter:
Wally Pereyra and Mark Dudley, along with Jim Talbot, are men who sought connections beyond economics. Given the difficulties obtaining US permits and opposition from fellow companies, the role of gaining understanding seemed to motivate those working for the MRC to keep the project alive.